Infantry Training Centre (British Army)
|This article relies largely or entirely upon a single source. (January 2013)|
|Infantry Training Centre Catterick|
|Part of||Army Recruiting and Training Division|
The Infantry Training Centre (ITC) is a unit of the British Army administered by HQ School of Infantry responsible for both basic and advanced training of Soldiers and Officers joining the infantry. The ITC has three main locations.
Infantry Training Centre (ITC) Catterick
ITC Catterick has been operational since 1 May 1995 when it assumed overall responsibility for all infantry phase 2 training from the three Infantry Training Battalion sites at Catterick, Strensall and Ouston. As of May 2002 the ITC assumed full control of all infantry phase 1 and 2 training for the Regular Army in a single Combat Infantryman's Course (CIC). ITC Catterick also conducts specialist phase 3 training for the Army School of Bagpipes and Highland Drumming in Edinburgh within the School of Ceremonial. In addition, pre-parachute selection courses are run for recruits intending to join the Parachute Regiment and for volunteers for 16 Air Assault Brigade, the creation of ITC Catterick has centralised training on a scale not seen since National Service. ITC Catterick is the training depot for the Infantry and since 23 July 2001 the HQ School of Infantry has been located at Catterick, it commands the ITC Catterick, the Infantry Battle School (Brecon), and the Support Weapons School (Warminster). ITC Catterick is the predominant user of the Warcop Training Area.
The Infantry Training Centre (ITC) Catterick is the primary training location for all recruits who want to join the infantry and is where the Combat Infantryman's Course (CIC) is conducted. The CIC combines Phase 1 and Phase 2 infantry training, (although junior soldiers destined for the infantry continue to receive Phase 1 training at Bassingbourn Army Training Regiment and at the Army Foundation College in Harrogate). ITC Catterick is divided into three Battalions 2 Infantry Training Battalions (ITB) and one support Battalion (ITC).
- 1st Infantry Training Battalion is responsible for training soldiers destined to join the regiments of the Queen's Division, Prince of Wales' Division, the Royal Irish Regiment and The Rifles, King's Division and the Royal Regiment of Scotland. The 1st Battalion has five training companies:
- Queen's Division Company
- Prince of Wales's Division Company
- Rifles Training Company
- King's Division Company
- Scots Division Company
- 2nd Infantry Training Battalion has responsibility for training recruits who will join one of the regiments of the Guards Division, the Parachute Regiment and the Brigade of Gurkhas. In addition, 2 ITB provides training for the army's airborne role through its 'P' Company courses and for training junior soldiers from AFC Harrogate and TA Infantrymen. It has four Training Companies,
- Anzio Company
- Guards Division Company
- Parachute Regiment Training Company
- Gurkha Company
- The 3rd Battalion (ITC) ITC Catterick's primary support unit, dealing with logistic and medical support. It also serves as the parent unit for those soldiers who are undergoing rehabilitation from injury, or who are in the process of being discharged. However, the 3rd Battalion also has a training role, with responsibility for some specialist training on the CIC (such as signalling), and for the ceremonial aspects of infantry duties. The 3rd Battalion is structured to provide maximum support throughout the ITC and consists of the following departments:
- Headquarter (HQ)Company.
- Hook VC Company (discharged soldiers).
- Williams Company (rehabilitation).
- Army School of Ceremonial.
- Army School of Bagpipe Music and Highland Drumming.
- Army Primary Health Care.
- Quartermasters (QMs) Department.
- G7 Training.
Combat Infantryman's Course
The Combat Infantryman's Course (CIC) is the standard framework course on which all infantry training in the British Army is based. The standard course lasts 26 weeks, in which the basics of infantry soldiering are taught:
- First aid
The majority of recruits, who have chosen to join a line infantry regiment, join their battalion following the standard 26 week course. Some infantry regiments require a degree of additional specialist training, and therefore undertake a longer CIC:
- Foot Guards - recruits joining one of the regiments of Foot Guards undertake a two week enhanced drill course as part of the CIC, due to the stringent drill required of the public duties they will undertake. The CIC for Foot Guards therefore lasts 30 weeks.
- Parachute Regiment - recruits joining the Parachute Regiment undertake a two week Pre-Parachute Selection (PPS) course during their CIC to determine their suitability for parachute operations, which must be passed before the recruit can progress further. The CIC for the Parachute Regiment therefore lasts 28 weeks.
- Brigade of Gurkhas - all new recruits to the Brigade of Gurkhas undertake the Gurkha CIC, regardless of whether they will join the infantry or one of the Gurkha support units. Gurkha recruits undertake a 39 week course which comprises the Common Military Syllabus (Recruits) (CMS(R)) taught at the Army Training Regiments and the CIC. The Gurkha CIC also includes special courses in English and British culture.
- Junior entry line infantry - recruits who join through the Army Foundation College Harrogate go to Anzio Company and conduct a 12 week phase 2 course before joining their battalions.
Infantry Battle School (INFBS) Brecon
The aim of the Infantry Battle School is to deliver trained officers and soldiers in order to meet the operational requirements of the Infantry, the Army and wider national Defence.
The Infantry Battle School (INFBS) is located in Brecon, Wales. The INFBS conducts realistic battle training for officers who have passed out of Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and for Warrant Officers, SNCOs and JNCOs. This encompasses Phase 2 training for officers (who do not attend the ITC Catterick, but undergo their Phase 1 training at Sandhurst) and Phase 3 training for NCOs and Warrant Officers. The INFBS has a permanent military staff of approximately 250, including a company drawn from the Brigade of Gurkhas which provides realistic opposition for those undergoing training at Brecon.
Slwch Tump, the ‘mini beacon’ which lies some five hundred metres to the North West of this camp has had a military presence on or about it from Roman times. It is not surprising, therefore, that in the mid 1930s a war office contingency plan was conceived to site a temporary training camp, in the event of war, in the lea of the Tump. When it was completed in early 1939 it became known as Dering Lines after Sir Edward Dering who, in 1689, raised the 24th Regiment of Foot to be named the South Wales Borders and more recently, The Royal Regiment of Wales.
From 1939 until 1946 Dering Lines was the home of 21 Infantry Training Centre (ITC) with a capacity of eight hundred troops in training at any single time, crammed into the asbestos and wooden huts. The 27,000 plus men who were trained here reinforced the hundreds of Infantry Battalions throughout the world.
In 1946, 21 ITC was replaced by The Welsh Brigade Training Centre and it remained thus until 1955 turning out an endless stream of National Servicemen. In the early 50s the parade square and roadways rang in the early mornings as the Band led formed drafts of reinforcements in full battle order to Brecon Station to start their journeys to Korea (1 Welch) or Malaya (2 RWF and 1 SWB).
By 1955 Dering Lines was ready for the demolition hammer but it was given a short stay of justice as a very temporary week-end training centre – 83 WETC this lasted for 18 years.
In 1961, very noticeably the year after the RA Practice Camp, Sennybridge, opened its doors to the Infantry as a field firing area. The Parachute Regiment was allowed to locate a battle camp within Dering Lines. Two years later the potential of Brecon as a training area had been realised (again) and with a little money earmarked for minimum maintenance, The Parachute Regiment Battle School was established.
During the major reorganization of the School of Infantry in 1967, part of the NCOs’ Division moved to Dering Lines. The unit then became known as The Parachute Regiment Battle School and Tactical Wing, NCOs’ Division, The School of Infantry (a sign writer’s nightmare.).
In 1973 the title changed again to NCOs’ Tactical Wing, School of Infantry and took the Parachute Regiment Recruit Division (PRD) under its wing. A major rebuild was approved in the 80s as the old camp was almost beyond any more patch repairs. This however was taken over by events.
In 1991 the government laid out its policies entitled “options for change”. This affected the School of Infantry to the degree that tactical and skill at arms training should be centralised in one place and not several as was previously the case. Brecon was selected and once again the fortunes of Dering Lines changed. The rebuild started in the 80s ceased, The Parachute Recruit Division departed and new plans were drawn up to cater for the revised role of the new and autonomous establishment to be called The Infantry Training Centre Wales (ITC Wales). Buildings costing several million (funded from “options” savings) were put up and completed on time for the official opening on 1 April 1995. The centre now has responsibility for instructing Officers and non commissioned officers on specialist and career courses. It has no responsibility for recruit training.
Thus after 60 years nothing (except this old hut maintained for nostalgic purposes) remains of the temporary camp cobbled together in wood, tin and asbestos to meet the needs of a country at war. Strangely, though the original name has been perpetuated and the aim of the Infantry Battle School continues to be the teaching of men and women to a standard of excellence in the profession of arms.
Support Weapons School, Warminster
The school's mission is to deliver trained officers and soldiers in order to meet the operational requirements of the Services. It is based in the Land Warfare Centre and comprises three training Divisions; Mortar Division, Fire Support Group Division and the Communications Information Systems Division.
- "Public access to military training areas", MoD website