A former Ashton school pupil has swapped the shrubbery of Ashton Park for the deep rainforests of Central America.Advertisement
Mark Sutton, an infantryman with the 2nd Battalion Duke of Lancaster’s regiment is learning how to cope with energy-saving humidity and temperatures of 30 degrees.
The 23-year-old, who is in his seventh year of service, is in Belize for a month learning the art of jungle warfare.
Private Sutton joined the Army after studying at Preston College and Ashton High School.
He said: “My dad and some of my uncles were in the Army so I wanted to join as well. I really enjoy being with the lads.
“This is my first time here so we have been learning how to live and move through the jungle. It’s a really hard environment totally different rules to what we are used to. I thought the jungle would be quite flat but I was wrong, and in this humidity that is very challenging.
“This is my first time here so we have been learning how to live and move through the jungle. It’s a really hard environment – totally different rules to what we are used to. I thought the jungle would be quite flat but I was wrong, and in this humidity that is very challenging.”
Mark and 100 others from the batallion’s Blenheim Company have been learning how to survive and fight in some of the toughest conditions on the planet.
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Major Nick Higgins said: “This whole exercise is designed to be progressive so we’ve been giving the soldiers time to get used to the environment. They’re coping really well.
“We have some good platoon commanders and section commanders, and that’s important; they make sure the lads look after their feet and drink enough water. I can see from the morale of the platoons and how they’re integrating with the instructors and the BDF that, although finding it hard, they are enjoying the challenge.”