The Falkland Islands continued contribution to the UK Armed Forces was spotlighted again this month with two Falkland representatives attended courses at the world renowned UK Defence Academy. Commanding Officer FIDF; Major Justin McPhee completed the Intermediate Command and Staff Course (Land Reserves), making him the first member of the FIDF to complete the internationally recognised and highly desirable training package.
When asked why he decided to undergo this formal military training and rigorous professional development in his role as CO FIDF Major McPhee said:
“In addition to modernising equipment and training we must also develop our knowledge and personal skills in a rapidly changing world. The UK Defence Academy provides training to the highest standards and was the obvious choice to develop military skills.”
His attendance coincided with that of Islander and newly promoted Major Teraaka (Trucker) Middleton’s attendance on the Regular Army version of the course. Both courses are designed to train Army Majors for their future roles and command responsibilities. The Defence Academy provides post-graduate level education and military training to the UK’s Armed Forces and international partners; more than 1,100 foreign students from over 90 countries attend annually. However, this appears to be the first time that the Falklands have been represented marking the considerable contribution that the Islands make to the UK Armed Forces.
This highlights the renewed emphasis for the continued professionalisation and evolution of the FIDF as a modern, credible and effective force. Trucker reiterated that:
“Interoperability and mutual understanding between Allies is essential for success in modern operations. We constantly work and train with our partners; we are most effective when we understand how each other thinks. The continued professional development of the FIDF using British Army training courses is a critical investment as it will ensure that the FIDF can operate effectively with BFSAI to protect the Islands.”
“I feel extremely privileged to be the first member of the FIDF to complete formal training at the Defence Academy. The training was of an exceptionally high standard and I really enjoyed working with UK. The FIDF will be making great use of relevant UK training courses for across all ranks in the future. For those looking to join the FIDF we will be starting recruit training early in 2020.”
To find out more about the Intermediate Command and Staff Courses please visit the Defence Academy website.