Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

French and UK Troops Together Here; Entente Cordiale Is Strengthened as Soldiers Cross the Channel to Join Our Forces in Exercise on the Northumberland Ranges

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

French and UK Troops Together Here; Entente Cordiale Is Strengthened as Soldiers Cross the Channel to Join Our Forces in Exercise on the Northumberland Ranges

Article excerpt

THE French connection is adding a continental flavour to British military training in the wilds of Northumberland. On the wide-open ranges of Otterburn Camp, soldiers from across the Channel are adding their skills to those of UK Regular and Reservist units.

Under a new alliance, French military units are playing an increasing role in British preparations for future conflicts.

The French supply fire support to the Royal Artillery regiments and the intensive training regime at Otterburn is designed to integrate the different cultures into a single force.

A two-week exercise involving 1,500 personnel is moving towards a finale and has coincided with some of the harshest weather that Northumberland can throw at them.

But the French have braved the icy cold - night temperatures dropped to -6 this week - with a Gallic shrug.

Staff Sergeant Matthieu Thomas, from Toulouse in south west France, has spent hours scanning the landscape from the wind-blasted hilltop lookout post he shares with Lance Bombardier Mark Wildman. …

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