ROYAL GIBRALTAR REGIMENT (RG) soldier Corporal Liam Downs has successfully completed the Jungle Operators Course and Urban Instructors Course recently. Both courses are designed to teach students how to become subject matter experts and instructors in these disciplines.
When asked about the Jungle Operators Course, Cpl Downs said: “We’ve all seen films like Predator and Platoon, and up until now this was my only knowledge of ‘the jungle’. Watching these films made the jungle look daunting, at least from a soldier’s perspective. The course is about Warfighting Operations, but in the context of the jungle. The environment is very difficult to navigate, and what we call ‘ground sign’ (marks left by human activity) is a constant battle, whether covering our own, or tracking the enemy.” However Cpl Downs completed the course, one of the British Army’s most difficult.
When asked what makes the jungle so difficult to work in he said: “The environment is so close, you can’t see more than a few metres at any time, and humidity means you are always wet, whether tabbing, walking, or being still. The insects and animals are another danger – this is why we use hammocks to sleep elevated off the ground.”
Having successfully completed the Jungle Operators Course, the knowledge gained equips Cpl Downs with the skills to instruct anyone on how to survive the jungle.
After completing this arduous course, Cpl Liam Downs then went on to complete the Urban Instructors Course, which focuses on a completely different jungle! Cpl Downs said: “In the coming years, the global population is set to be 90% in urban areas, the current forces and organisations use this ground for protection, and to us, it is of utmost importance that we can get in close, with minimum risk, and challenge the enemy.”
With both courses completed, Cpl Liam Downs is now well qualified to operate in some of the most difficult areas of the world. His instructor knowledge will be key to the Regiment’s success in future operations.