Exercise Supreme Glacier 2017
2017 was an extremely busy year for 4 Regiment Army Air Corps Workshop. Our tradesmen deployed in support of the flying squadrons on exercises in Scotland, throughout the south of England, Germany and Cyprus. The Workshop also deployed on-board several Royal Navy ships to support maritime flying operations in the seas around the UK. These commitments were in addition to the important task of providing flying in the Main Operating Base (Wattisham). Hard work and relentless effort resulted in the delivery of more the 2100 hours of Attack Helicopter flying for 4 Regiment Army Air Corps.
Following this extremely busy and productive period, it would come as no surprise that when members of the workshop were offered the opportunity to participate in Ex SUPREME GLACIER they jumped at the chance. SUPREME GLACIER is the annual REME Snow Sports development camp in Austria. It affords participants the opportunity to learn and develop their skills in Alpine Skiing, Snowboarding and Telemark Skiing.
Preparation for the exercise began in August 2017 with the booking of accommodation and application for funding. By mid-November everything was arranged and 24 members of the workshop participated in Alpine Skiing and Snowboarding training throughout a 3 week period. The exercise was delivered in a series of one week chunks with personnel returning to and departing from Wattisham each weekend. The transport plan to change over participants each week was complex, but ran seamlessly. It was an achievement in itself to get that many tradesmen away from the MOB. As ever the difficulty being the relentless exercise commitments and the constant pull of daily flying operations in Wattisham.
After the fairly long drive from Wattisham, the teams arrived in the picturesque village of Neustift im Stubital. Located in the Tirol of Austria, the town of Neustift is the base camp for accessing the Stubital Glacier Skiing area. Rising to a height of 3210 metres and with nearly 40 km of pistes, as well as notable off-piste routes. Stubai is one of the premier locations for Snow Sports in the Tirol region.
The training under instruction went extremely well. Around 50% of the workshop participants were beginners or novices and by the end of the exercise everyone was at a good standard. The highlight however for many of the younger members was the free-ski which took place after 1500 each day. This was where the groups were released from the instructors and were able to meet up with members of their own unit and ski the mountain. Some members of the workshop decided that this would be an ideal opportunity to re-create a Wattisham version of ‘The Jump’. This would involve a daily search for the best ledge or kicker, approach it at great speed and take off to see who could jump the highest.
The exercise was a huge success with all participants at least achieving greater competency in their discipline as well as some being earmarked for further race training or instructor roles. As well as enjoying the Skiing and Snowboarding the Workshop took the opportunity to make the most of the local area and tourist facilities. This often involved Apre-Ski refreshments at the legendary umbrella bar as well as the odd meal out in the town. This was excellent respite for the Workshop and really put some fun back into what has been an extremely busy 2017. In summary, SUPREME GLACIER is an excellent and extremely well run exercise. 4 AAC WKSP participated and had a fantastic time.