DIO compounds Plain training improvement with new facilities

Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) has now secured planning permission for 50 compounds designed to support troops training on Salisbury Plain by helping to replicate conditions in Afghanistan.

Working with industry partner Landmarc, DIO is upgrading training facilities on the Plain to better prepare troops for deployment. The move, which adds to the number of existing compounds on the training area, also helps DIO to operate more efficiently in providing these important facilities.

Securing planning permission for the structures at a range of locations across the plain means that staff do not have to keep putting up and taking down the compounds. This saves both time and money

Lt Col Mark Hiskett, Commander Salisbury Plain, said:

“DIO’s top priority is to support our Armed Forces as they prepare for operations. We’re delighted that planning permission has been secured for the compounds, as it means that troops get more time actually using these important facilities.

“It means we are able to add to the compounds across the Plain, which enhances the realism of exercises for our soldiers as they train hard in preparing for deployment to Afghanistan. Gaining this permission also allows us to get more ‘bang for our buck’.”

He explained that Army ran major exercises on Salisbury Plain twice a year. Operations in Afghanistan are mostly in urban areas consisting largely of civilian compounds. It is these conditions which are being replicated on the training area.

The MOD had routinely been setting up and taking down such compounds in the past, but this was relatively expensive and inefficient. It also denied use of such facilities to other lower priority users outside the main exercise periods.  

The compounds are simplified structures designed to replicate civilian life in Afghan villages – allowing troops to rehearse the type of day-to-day operations which they would carry out in Afghanistan.

Lt Col Hiskett added:

“We cannot replicate Afghanistan on Salisbury Plain, but we can put in place adequate infrastructure to enable essential tactics, tools and techniques to be rehearsed, practiced and perfected.”

Each compound is based around one or more shipping containers at each location with removable hoarding acting as the compound walls.

Wiltshire Council has given DIO permission to put a total of 100 containers with removable hoarding across the 28 sites on condition that the compounds are removed by late 2015. Work begins on the facilities this month.


Further information:

Press enquiries to: Tony Moran, DIO Senior Communications Officer

on 0121 311 3879 or email tony.moran572@mod.uk

Notes to editors

1.  Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) is part of the Ministry of Defence (MOD). It is responsible for managing and maintaining land and properties to meet the current and future needs of the MOD and personnel at home and abroad, and to support current operations.

2.  Our work includes providing, supporting and improving: operational units; single living and service family accommodation; training areas and historic military sites.  DIO actively manages these to ensure the needs of Defence are met, value for money is achieved, our heritage is protected and to achieve our environmental goals.

3.  DIO was formed on 1 April 2011 when the former Defence Estates (DE) organisation was brought together with other property and infrastructure functions within department to form a single organisation. DIO manages the MOD’s property infrastructure and ensures strategic management of the Defence estate as a whole.

4.  Landmarc Support Services plays a vital role in ensuring pre-operational training facilities across more than 120 sites on the Defence Training Estate (DTE), spread over six regions throughout the UK and delivers a diverse range of estate management services.

5.  In addition to a traditional FM service, Landmarc operates and maintains the ranges and training areas, maintains roads, tracks and conservation areas and provides a central bookings service for all training facilities. Landmarc supports DIO on environmental issues and leads the management of the MoD's 1,400 tenancy agreements. It maintains environmentally sensitive sites which cover some 60,000 hectares of the 220,000 hectare estate.


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