Cinque ports mayors visit Lydd army base

Hastings mayor Bruce Dowling with Deal mayor Adrian Friend and Rye mayor Bernadine Fiddimore behind them
Hastings mayor Bruce Dowling with Deal mayor Adrian Friend and Rye mayor Bernadine Fiddimore behind them
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The cinque ports mayors came together and visited Lydd Ranges Cinque Ports Training Area (CPTA) for the first time in living memory.

The Rye, Winchelsea and Hastings mayors were given a tour of the military base on Wednesday, December 9.

All of the mayors and soldiers pose for a group picture

All of the mayors and soldiers pose for a group picture

Bernadine Fiddimore, John Spencer and Bruce Dowling joined mayors from across Kent in their chains to learn about the CPTA and its role in training British soldiers.

“We has an interesting day and enjoyed ourselves as there was lots of interesting information,” Cllr Dowling said.

Commander defence infrastructure organisation service delivery (DIO SD) training South East Lt Col Dickie Bishop MBE hosted the mayors

“I would like to thank all the mayors, as representatives of our local communities for their support of the military activities on the training area which underpins the training we deliver to soldiers prior to deploying on operations,” he said.

One of the Second Battalion Royal Gurkha Rifles soldiers

One of the Second Battalion Royal Gurkha Rifles soldiers

The mayors were given a tour of the ranges by Major Rick Beven, senior training safety officer CPTA and Major (Retd.) Pat O’Reilly, training safety officer at Lydd Ranges.

They were able to see soldiers from the Second Battalion Royal Gurkha Rifles undergoing training prior to their next deployment in 2016 and shown around some of the training areas, where they were able to see some of the equipment and facilities available to the training staff to create realistic training environments.

“There is a long history of CPTA being used to train the Army prior to deploying on operations all around the world, going all the way back to 1853 when Hythe Ranges were established,” Major Beven said.

This was both a historic occasion and an excellent opportunity for DIO SD Training staff at CPTA to meet the local mayors and explain to them all about the vital military training conducted on CPTA in preparing soldiers to deploy and operate around the world.

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