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Reserve Forces & Cadets Association
Northern Ireland



12 December 2018

591 (AA) Field Squadron recently deployed to Belize on Exercise MAYAN STAR 18. The deployment was divided into two Troop rotations with attached medics allowing the Squadron to complete various construction tasks across the country.

The Troop deployed on the second wave and hit the ground running in the first week of the package in PRICE barracks, carrying out construction tasks for BATSUB and the Belize Defence Force (BDF).  These tasks involved the construction of a concrete pathway for BATSUB HQ, track and road construction, drainage repair, building deconstruction and camp maintenance. The Troop worked well and completed the construction task in a timely manner and to a high standard despite the hot temperatures you’d expect in Central America. 

With some work in the bag the Troop took time out to enjoy a day at Caye islands, which involved scuba driving around the mangrove and the coral reef.  The troops were also given the opportunity to swim with marine wildlife, such as rays and sharks - if they were brave enough.  The Troop were then given a few hours to enjoy the Caribbean lifestyle and work on their tan lines before heading back to camp in preparation for phase two and a move into the jungle.

The Troop deployed to take part in jungle survival training and carry out engineering tasks while living and operating within the diverse jungle environment.  Initially they learnt the from the local jungle trackers on how to survive in the environment. For the remaining time within the jungle they completed construction tasks such as track maintenance, culvert construction and repair, bridge upgrade and jungle camp maintenance and improvements. The troop completed all tasks whilst living in the jungle which caused complexities such as degradation of the construction force due to the weather and logistical issues as a result of the isolation. Despite the extra stress on the team all the task within the jungle phase were completed on time and to a high standard.

The Troop also took part in a day of adventurous training.  ‘Water tubing’ involves going through one of the hundreds of Belizean rivers and mountains, while on a rubber ring. It can only be done in a few places around the world, so they couldn’t let the opportunity slip. The Troop also took part in zip lining across the tree tops and rivers of the Belizean jungle before topping the day off with a visit to a Mayan temple soaked in history and culture. This was a fun experience and excellent opportunity, especially for Reservists, that hopefully everyone will remember and talk about for years to come.