Headquarters South West, supported by the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force, works alongside the emergency services, Dartmoor Search and Rescue Group, and many other voluntary organisations and individuals to ensure the safe conduct of the Ten Tors and Jubilee Challenges. The Ten Tors and Jubilee Challenges offers the Army an opportunity to train Reservists and test command and control procedures, and interoperability with civilian authorities. This is in the context of UK Resilience to support an emergency, such as The Somerset Levels flooding in 2014. The Challenges are also a demonstrable opportunity for the Armed Forces, and particularly the Army, to show its commitment to supporting the local communities throughout the South West through development of young people; this is part of the Armed Force’s Community Covenant. Below are brief introductions on most of the organisations who help make Ten Tors work!
The Headquarters South West Cadet Training Team provide Public Information (PInfo), Ten Tors Challenge Registration, Scrutineering and Safety Briefing. Additional task includes providing a Lost Child RV throughout TT Challenge.
Volunteers from the Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force work as part of the Moor Support Group to man the 10 Safety Check Points and 14 Check Points across the Moor and provide team progress reports, oversee night stops and support to those participants unable to continue the Challenge. The Scrutineers, who enforce the Ten Tors Challenge Rules and assist with safety, are also predominantly drawn from current and former members of the Royal Navy and RAF.
The Commando Helicopter Force, based at Yeovilton, supply and man the support helicopters and provide 24-hour search, rescue and casualty evacuation facilities - in any weather.
A number of units provide the Moor Support Group (MSG). The Group monitors and reports on the welfare and progress of all participants throughout their Ten Tors Challenge. The MSG consists of check points (CPs) on each Tor and Safety Control (SC) points on the outskirts of the Moor with road access. Any individual not able to continue, enters the ‘Fall Out’ system at a SC and is the responsibility of the MSG until safely reunited with their Team Manager.
29 Commando Royal Artillery is responsible for the delivery of high readiness Joint Fires capability in support of 3 Commando Brigade. Although it is made up primarily of Royal Artillery and REME ranks from the Army it also has RAF, Royal Navy and Royal Marine personnel in the unit. For Ten Tors, 29 Commando Regiment provides the two 105mm Light Guns to fire and signal the start of the event.
6 RIFLES is one of the Rifles' three Reserve Infantry Battalions and is based in Exeter, Devon. It has 450 part-time soldiers from across the South West of England. They work closely with their paired Regular Battalion - 1 RIFLES and provide one quarter of their fighting power on operations. 6 RIFLES are responsible for establishing, managing and administrating Okehampton Camp in support of Ten Tors. The Battalion is actively recruiting and trains predominantly on a Tuesday evening in Army Reserve Centres at the following locations: Exeter, Paignton, Plymouth, Barnstaple (Wed), Gloucester, Bristol, Dorchester and Poole. Follow them on Facebook or twitter@6_
165 Port & Maritime Regiment RLC is based across the South of England, with Regimental Headquarters located in Plymouth and sub units in Plymouth, Bodmin, Truro, Southampton, Isle of Wight, Banbury and Aylesbury. Members of the Regiment will be one of the first uniformed military people you are likely to encounter when you arrive at the Ten Tors Camp. They will guide and direct some 5,000 vehicles to their relevant car parks and keep the traffic moving on the narrow access route. You can also follow them on Twitter! and/or Facebook!
39th Signals Regiment is a reserve unit based in Bristol. Their role is to provide deployable communication assets at high readiness to deploy in support of UK resilience operations. During the Ten Tors event they provide communications and UK operationally experienced Royal Signals soldiers to support the management and coordination of the military support to the Ten Tors event. The Royal Signals soldiers provide IT and radio communications between the operations rooms, support helicopters and check points, whilst utilising the tracking and information management system to maintain situational awareness and track the participants as they move around the moor. 39th Signals Regiment is also supported by 81 Sig Sqn from the 10th Signal Regiment, who provide the fibre optic network around Okehampton Camp which facilitates all the local data communications.
Bristol University Officer Training Corps runs the Start and Finish areas of the event. The OTC aims to develop the leadership of select undergraduates at Bath and Bristol's universities through military training, adventurous pursuits, sports and social activities during their 3 years of studies. The Officer Cadets are paid for their attendance at training but does not demand that the students either join the Army, or serve on operations. The unit in the past 12 months have taken part in expeditions to Germany, Norway, Falkland Islands, Kyrgyzstan and Malta to name but a few. You can follow their exploits on Facebook.
Exeter University Officer Training Corps is responsible for the Jubilee Challenge. The Officer Cadets provide escorts for young people with disabilities, man check points to track the participants’ progress and are ready to assist in case of problems. Our undergraduates from Exeter and Plymouth Universities improve their leadership and management skills through learning military skills. The OTC has a strong tradition of sport; we recently won the OTC Queen’s Challenge, and adventurous pursuits with expeditions in the last 12 months to Mongolia, diving in Egypt, sailing, parachuting in Cyprus and skiing in Austria.
Defence Infrastructure Training, Service Delivery Training supported by Landmarc Support Services, manages the Dartmoor Training Area including the camps at Okehampton and Willsworthy. Dartmoor provides the Armed Forces with training areas for live firing, tactical training, and dry training which are essential to our soldiers, sailors and airmen.
Dartmoor Search and Rescue Group is a voluntary organisation that provides, Search and Rescue cover across Dartmoor. During the Ten Tors event this is co-ordinated from the operation room in the camp. The Group work closely with all other agencies involved with the event and their first-hand knowledge of the Moor is a crucial part of the Ten Tors safety-net.
Devon and Cornwall 4x4 Response “we never close & we always respond”. The volunteers provide over thirty 4x4 vehicles with drivers to carry the EUOTC, Scrutineers and DRG teams together with Army fall out units for transporting participants who need to leave the route early. Snow, floods and difficult tracks are where we usually operate and in recent years our members covered over 10,000 miles carrying police, nurses, doctors, carers, and essential medical supplies.
Devon and Cornwall Constabulary work closely with the Ten Tors organisers throughout the training period and the Event. Anyone who has been lost or injured on Dartmoor will tell you of their expert coordination of rescue from Dartmoor’s wild country.
The Scrutineers: This group consists in the main of serving and retired members of the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force who support the safety management of the event. They have two key tasks; before the start they check selected teams kit for conformity and during the challenge patrol the moor in teams to ensure adherence to the rules. The Scrutineers have collectively many years of experience and travel from all over the country to support this unique expedition.