More than 100 members of the Royal Bermuda Regiment are preparing to travel to the US this weekend for an intense two-week training exercise.

The overseas deployment at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, in North Carolina, will allow soldiers and officers to hone skills in larger facilities and more varied environments than can be found on the island.

Focus will be placed on live firing, urban operations and conventional warfare training but specialist programmes will also be delivered to medics and regimental police.

Joining the RBR will be troops from the Turks and Caicos Islands, the Cayman Islands and the Falkland Islands as well as three instructors from the UK.

Major Thomas Wood, the Regiment’s Executive Officer, says: “It’s a great opportunity to go overseas to train in areas where the terrain and size of Bermuda wouldn’t allow.

“We are, as always, very well-supported by the US Marine Corps contingent within Camp Lejeune who bend over backwards to ensure that we have a successful and worthwhile exercise.

“For a lot of the soldiers it’s the first time away with the Regiment and the first time to Camp Lejeune, so hopefully we will make it a fun, enjoyable, yet challenging experience for them all.”

Troops carried out pre-deployment administration on Saturday, when they were briefed on what to expect and performed kit checks.

Known as Exercise Island Warrior 24, the programme will also include adventure training components.

Maj Wood explains: “The focus this year is to ensure that we are able to operate independently but also as part of a wider contingent of armed forces.

“We offered opportunities to participate in our exercise and thankfully the Falklands, Cayman and TCI all came back with very enthusiastic requests for places.

“We will teach them how we do things, but also, we will be receptive to how they do things.

“It’s a melting pot of ideas as to the best practices that can work within Bermuda but then, importantly for us, more widely within the British Overseas Territories communities.”

Major Kenji Bean, Officer Commanding for the exercise, says: “Just like the Regiment is a mixed group of individuals from across the island, that help to bring team spirit and experiences together to form one unit, we’re going to be doing the same thing, except on a wider scale.

“Experiencing other cultures and other units, their procedures, may help us, or even just having general conversations, learning other people’s personalities.

“Those things help you to gel as a team so that when we do get on the exercise or we go to operate, you know that even though someone across from you is not from Bermuda, they’re still a person and a soldier.”

He adds: “I hope our members get great training, but also great memories.”

It is hoped that soldiers will recount their overseas exercise experiences enthusiastically upon return to the island to generate increased interest in RBR enlistment.

Maj Wood highlights: “At the forefront of everything we do is the idea that we want to recruit more and more Bermudians into the Royal Bermuda Regiment, so they can serve and be proud, as many generations have done before them.”

For more information or to enlist in the Royal Bermuda Regiment, visit or call 238-1045

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