The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has decided to continue troop training for the foreseeable future at the British Army Training Unit Suffield (BATUS), which is located at the Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Suffield near Alberta, Canada.
The decision comes after a long and detailed look out for the best location for the UK Army to deliver its future training plan.
Dubbed as the UK Army’s largest armoured training facility, BATUS trains a total of five battle groups, each containing approximately 1400 personnel, each year for up to 30 days, since 1972.
Canadian defence minister Rob Nicholson said the country is fully supportive of Britain’s decision to remain in Canada.
"Canadian Forces Base Suffield and BATUS have an excellent working relationship and continue to find effective ways to deliver world class training," Nicholson said.
The UK military had considered relocation to a base in Germany due to the expense of training at BATUS, The Canadian Press reported.
BATUS commanding officer colonel Jim Landon said the UK defence secretary Philip Hammond has informed Nicholson of the country’s intentions to generate savings in the support costs of running BATUS.
"Minister Nicholson has recognised this concern and undertaken to work with us to identify ways to save money," Landon said.
BATUS enables all elements of a combined arms battle group, including infantry, armour, artillery, engineers, air defence, logistics and equipment support to conduct realistic live firing training at all levels and also practice sustaining this activity over a long period of time.
The facility currently houses more than 1000 vehicles, including Challenger 2 tanks, Warrior infantry fighting vehicles, CVR(T) and bulldog armoured fighting vehicles (AFVs), Trojan armoured vehicle royal engineers (AVRE), Titan armoured vehicle launcher bridge (AVLB), as well as Gazelle helicopters.
Image: UK soldiers during training at the British Army Training Unit Suffield (BATUS) in Canada. Photo: courtesy of the British Army.