British Army Royal Lancers Scimitar Ex Arrow 19 Finland (Crown, 2019) [880]

Royal Lancers on Ex Arrow 19

Royal Lancers Take Scimitar to Finland for Military Exercise

Soldiers from D-Squadron, the Royal Lancers, have spent May deployed alongside the Finnish Army on Exercise Arrow 19, where they have provided reconnaissance for a Finnish Armoured Infantry Brigade, according to the British Army.

This is the first ever deployment of both the CVR(T) Scimitar vehicle and the Royal Lancers to Finland and has provided an opportunity to practice crucial interoperability with partners in Europe. With this deployment the Royal Lancers have demonstrated the British Army’s global reach and presence throughout the world. “It’s been a fantastic deployment – in a training environment that we are the first British soldiers to ever use” said Lt Charlie Mackaness, a Troop Leader with D Sqn, Royal Lancers. “The Fins have been fiercely professional and brilliant hosts. Training with them has allowed us to adjust our own tactics, gain an understanding of their way of warfighting  and bond with fellow soldiers from across the world.”

The FV107 Scimitar is an armoured reconnaissance vehicle (sometimes classed as a light tank) used by the British Army, classed as a combat vehicle reconnaissance (tracked) or CVR(T). It was manufactured by Alvis in Coventry and mounts a high velocity 30 mm L21 RARDEN cannon.

Based in Catterick, The Royal Lancers (Queen Elizabeths’ Own) was formed by an amalgamation of The Queen’s Royal Lancers and 9th/12th Royal Lancers (Prince of Wales’s) on 2 May 2015. It serves as the Formation Reconnaissance Regiment of the 12th Armoured Infantry Brigade, 3rd (UK) Division, and is the last regiment in the British Army to retain the name of lancers.

Exercise Arrow 19, which included participants from the US Marine Corps, US Army and Estonia, has also allowed the Royal Lancers to prove and demonstrate the expeditionary capability of their platform. At home in the narrow forest tracks of Finland, the reconnaissance soldiers have constantly been able to out-manoeuvre the simulated enemy, calling the allied infantry onto targets and then vanishing back in the pine forests.

This has been a second overseas deployment for the Royal Lancers  in less than 12 months, with many members having returned from Cyprus on Op Tosca in October 2019 and coincides with two other Lancer squadrons exercising in Germany and a fourth in Scotland concurrently.

Image: the Royal Lancers in Finland with the CVR(T) Scimitar (Crown Copyright, 2019).