Troops complete mission specific training at Otterburn

Over 600 troops descended on Otterburn Training Area, in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, to take part in a major exercise that will prepare them for deployment on operations.

Soldiers from 1 (UK) Armoured Division, 1 Artillery Brigade and 3rd Regiment Royal Horse Artillery took part in a 12-day training exercise (Joint Fires Group to Arm Live Mission Specific Training) to ensure they are ready for their roles overseas.

The Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) maintains the training area at Otterburn, where the exercise provides mission specific training for three specific sets of troops: Battery Tactical Groups (including the Battle Group Joint Fire Cells), Gun Groups and Brigade Mortars.

Brig Simon Humphrey CRA 1 (UK) Armd Div, said:

“Otterburn is undoubtedly one of the best training areas in Europe for the integration and delivery of Joint Fires training. Across two major training exercises over the last six months (Ex STEEL SABRE and Ex PASHTUN SABRE), I have found staff to be hugely proactive, flexible and resourceful in supporting high-tempo, complex and rugged military training. 

“There is no doubt in my mind that without this forward leaning, friendly and collaborative approach to training, the units under my command would not have received such high-quality training opportunities.”

The current exercise enables Fire Support Teams and Battery Commanders to conduct Battle Group and Company level tactical group training. Gun Groups will also have the opportunity to conduct the full spectrum of live firing missions, defence, manoeuvre and anti-ambush drills.  

The exercise is a required live firing exercise for Mortar Fire Controllers. It also gives them the opportunity to integrate their fires within a fully-fledged Joint Fires Integration exercise.

DIO delivers the Training Service, enabling Defence users to live, work, train and deploy at home and overseas.  

Lt Col Mark Holden, Regional Commander DIO Ops Training North, said:

“DIO’s priority is to support our Armed Forces and their allies, as they prepare for operations. This exercise offers an opportunity for these three Units to come together and conduct joint training. 

“The size and nature of Otterburn Training Area means that it offers excellent training facilities, ideal conditions and the perfect backdrop for complex and diverse exercises such as these.” 

Otterburn Training Area is over 23,000 hectares (57,000 acres), of which some 11,700 hectares (28,900 acres) are set aside for dry training – where no live ammunition is used.  The diverse training facilities enable the British Army to meet its training requirements to prepare for operations worldwide.  


Further information:

Press enquiries to Tony Moran, Communications Manager 0121 311 3879 or email 

DIO website:

Notes to Editors

1. The Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) is part of the MOD. We are responsible for managing and maintaining land and properties, as well as providing related support services, 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 and supporting services, such as soft facilities management and guarding, to ensure the needs of Defence are met, value for money is achieved, heritage protected and environmental goals achieved.

3. Picture Caption - please credit 'Crown copyright / MOD 2013'

Soldier in training as part of Ex PASHTUN SABRE at Otterburn Training Area




Documents & Links