A senior military officer has given an insight into the training being provided to Ukrainian troops at Longmoor.
Lieutenant Colonel (Retd) Mark Ludlow gave a thorough response in a letter to Greatham Parish Council following a complaint about excessive and late-night noise from a villager.
Lt Col Ludlow said he couldn’t go into greater details about the “intense programme of training” and apologised for the noise levels.
But he stressed the nature of the training and the quick turnover of recruits means there is likely to be ongoing issues, especially as many are civilians with little or no military experience.
He wrote: “Time between rotations is short and we are obligated to produce the best package of training that we can deliver before Partner Nation trainees are required to go back.
“The type of skills we have to deliver are many and complex and given the timelines we have been set and the nature of the training it is of necessity extremely intense.
“This requires both Partner Nation troops and UK and allied training teams to work pretty much 24/7 with only a short break between rotations at the end.”
Lt Col Ludlow admitted the timings of the programme were “not as they would have liked” and confirmed he had identified the unit making the excessive noise. He said the MOD would give surrounding residents as much advance warning as possible in the event of “particularly noisy” operations before re-highlighting the situation on the ground.
He claimed that nocturnal training was essential as it reflects the realities that recruits will sadly have to face when they return home.
“You will also understand, I hope, that we have a duty to make the training every bit as realistic as possible so that trainees are given the very best preparation for what they soon have to do.”