A RUGBY paratrooper has been swatting up on urban combat with the French Army.
Private Lewis Reeve, 18, of 3rd Battalion The Parachute Regiment, has been on Exercise Gaulish Eagle at Centre d’Entertainment aux Actions en Zone which is an urban warfare training centre in north east France.
The two-week exercise entailed Pte Reeve’s regiment training with the tanks of the 1er Regiment de Hussards Parachutistes with the aim of improve the ability of the two armies to operate together.
Pte Reeve used the Giat Famas assault rifle, the standard weapon of the French army, and also learnt French tactics and techniques for operating in built-up areas.
Pte Reeve, a former pupil of Bilton School, said: “It has been a challenging exercise because it’s different to the normal training we do.
“We’re using French weapons and their approach to fighting in urban areas is slightly different to how we operate, which is interesting.
“As paratroopers, we’re not used to working with tanks so that been something new as well.
“Communicating with the French troops has been a challenge at times, but we’ve got by with a few words of French and lots of hand signals and sketch maps.”
During the exercise the soldiers enjoyed a day in Paris, visiting the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre.