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Army to undertake critical training exercise at Castlemartin

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THE ARMY will be using the Castlemartin Ranges, in Pembrokeshire, for a large-scale Exercise in June and July 2024, it was confirmed this week

Exercise CABRIT TEMPEST, which runs from the 24th June to the 5th July, will provide critical training for the Royal Dragoon Guards Battlegroup, who are set to deploy in September on a NATO Operation in Estonia.

The Castlemartin Training Area will host live-firing, tactical battlegroup-level exercises involving multiple Armoured Fighting Vehicles and the site plays a key role in maintaining full training capability for units within the UK.

This exercise will see the training area in use by around 1,000 personnel with heavy transport travelling to and from the area, including Challenger 2 tanks and Warrior infantry fighting vehicles.

Consideration to local residents remains a priority and any disruption will be kept to a minimum. Firing times will be published widely within the local community to help minimise disruption.

The Defence Training Estate plays a vital role in providing a safe place to train ensuring our Armed Forces are prepared and ready to deploy on operations at home and abroad. Castlemartin Ranges are managed by the Defence Infrastructure Organisation, supported by Landmarc Support Services, who provide the facilities for the delivery of military training.

Deputy Commander Defence Training Estate – Wales and West Midlands Paul Snelling said: “Our most important job is to provide the ‘safe place’ for military training and to ensure our personnel and the public don’t come to harm. We ask that the public always follow our simple steps when visiting MOD land to help keep themselves and our armed forces safe: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/safe-access.

“Castlemartin Ranges provide essential training opportunities for large scale exercises, such as this, which supports the training of military personnel from multiple units. We are grateful to the local population for their continued support.”

The unit undertaking the training, The Royal Dragoon Guards, is an Armoured Cavalry Regiment, currently equipped with the Warrior Armoured Fighting Vehicle. It is a reconnaissance force, fighting at the front of the British Army’s armoured formations. The Battlegroup also includes elements from The Royal Tank Regiment, Royal Engineers and Royal Horse Artillery.

Captain Oliver Grell, The Royal Dragoon Guards, said: “This training exercise is the climax of our pre-deployment training, bringing together the technical gunnery preparation which has taken place on the ranges, and the tactical exercises which were carried out on Salisbury Plain earlier this year and in 2023. This exercise is the only occasion, and Castlemartin the only place in the UK, where we can combine the tactical setting of an exercise with live firing from our vehicles, along with artillery.

“The experience we will gain from completing this training successfully will be instrumental in allowing us to deploy ready to fulfil our commitments to our NATO allies.”

The public can find out more about the exercise by visiting the GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) website and searching ‘Castlemartin firing notices’. A public briefing will also be held prior to the exercise at 18.30hrs on the 13th June at Castlemartin Camp (SA71 5EB) and post exercise on the 10th July at 18.30hrs. Pre booking is not required for either event.

Soldier from B Company, 3rd Battalion, The Parachute Regiment, pushed through the enemy trench during the combined arms live-fire exercise (CALFEX) phase of Exercise Swift Response on the 4th of May 2024. 16 Air Assault Brigade Combat Team, the British Army’s global response force, is leading a force of more than 2,300 soldiers, sailors and aviators from four countries working together in Estonia on Exercise Swift Response. The training is about NATO airborne forces building their ability to respond together to crises. It is part of Steadfast Defender 24, NATO’s largest military exercise since the Cold War, which involves approximately 90,000 troops from all 32 NATO allies.

Entertainment

Blue Lagoon to open to the public for one day only as charity fundraiser

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A POPULAR leisure venue will be open to locals this summer with the aim of raising thousands of pounds for local charities.

The Blue Lagoon at Bluestone National Park Resort will throw its doors open to the public on August 27.

Six hundred tickets will be available for the local community to enjoy the tropical water park.

All ticket sales go to local charitable causes, with 75 per cent of funds going to a local charitable organisation and 25 per cent through the Bluestone Foundation.

On Tuesday, August 27, Paul Sartori Hospice at Home and Team Cruising Free will benefit from the fundraising created through ticket sales.

Paul Sartori provides end of life care and support at home for Pembrokeshire patients. Team Cruising Free will row the Atlantic in 2025, raising money for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust and Paul Sartori.

The Bluestone Foundation, the charitable arm of Bluestone National Park Resort has generated funding totalling £17,500 for west Wales communities from its latest round of events and funding.

It has supported local groups with more than £250,000 since it was launched in 2010.

The Bluestone Foundation offers two avenues of support: the community events and the community fund. The community events at the Blue Lagoon raise funds and awareness for local charities.

This year, the foundation has already hosted events for Get the Boys a Lift and VC Gallery. As well as the August event, there will also be an event in October for Sammy Sized Gap, a local charity supporting young people with mental health issues.

“We are thrilled to see the positive impact our community events have on local organisations,” said Marten Lewis at the Bluestone Foundation. “The Blue Lagoon provides a unique and enjoyable setting for fundraising, and we are grateful for the community’s support.”

The community fund, which runs in three rounds this year, provides financial assistance to projects focused on economic, social, and environmental initiatives. The foundation recently allocated approximately £7,500 to three projects in its first round of funding and is currently reviewing applications for its second round which closes in July. A third round of funding will close on 17 October.

Among those to have benefited in the first round are the South Ridgeway Community Association in Manorbier to help develop a community garden and allotments; The Tenby Project, to support weekly sessions with a trained nutritionist on healthy eating for adults with learning difficulties; and Transition Bro Gwaun in Fishguard, to host community energy engagement events.

Tickets for the August event can be purchased at Eventbrite For more information about the Bluestone Foundation and its initiatives, visit www.pavs.org.uk/apply-for-funds.

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Entertainment

Broad Haven’s Music Festival set to rock village

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GET ready for an electrifying day of music and fun as the Havens Events Crew proudly presents the highly anticipated Broad Haven Music Festival. Scheduled for Saturday, July 20, from 3 PM to 11:30 PM, this event promises a vibrant mix of live bands, local talent, and a delightful BBQ, making it an unmissable occasion for music lovers and families alike.

The festival, at Broad Haven School Field, will feature an impressive lineup of performers. Attendees can look forward to the acoustic melodies of Cadence Acoustic, the energetic rhythms of Coastal Horizon, and the dynamic performances by Loose Change. These local bands are set to deliver a variety of genres, ensuring there’s something for everyone.

In addition to the musical performances, the festival will offer a range of delicious BBQ options, perfect for enjoying a summer evening outdoors. Whether you’re a long-time resident or a visitor, the Broad Haven Music Festival is an ideal opportunity to experience the local culture, connect with the community, and enjoy high-quality entertainment.

Tickets for the event are available for purchase at the Broad Haven Post Office and Lobster and Môr. Early acquisition is recommended to secure a spot at this popular event.

It promises to be a memorable day filled with music, food, and community spirit. The Broad Haven Music Festival is more than just a concert; it’s a celebration of local talent and a testament to the vibrant culture of our town. Don’t miss out on this fantastic event!

For more information, visit the Havens Events Crew’s official website or follow their social media pages for updates and announcements.


Event Details:

  • Date: Saturday, July 20
  • Time: 3 PM – 11:30 PM
  • Location: Broad Haven School Field
  • Performers: Cadence Acoustic, Coastal Horizon, Loose Change
  • Tickets Available At: Broad Haven Post Office, Lobster and Môr

Be sure to mark your calendars and get your tickets soon – we look forward to seeing you there!

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England’s Euro 2024 semi-final victory captivates millions

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ENGLAND’S Euro 2024 semi-final victory over the Netherlands garnered a peak audience of 20.3 million on ITV, cementing its status as the most-watched television programme of the year. Broadcasters are now hopeful that Sunday night’s final against Spain will attract over 30 million viewers, surpassing the numbers that tuned in for England’s Euro 2020 final defeat.

The overnight viewing figures, provided by ratings agency Digital-i, do not account for the millions who streamed the match on ITVX or watched in public venues. The coverage of Euro 2024 in the UK is split between the BBC and ITV, with the channels alternating first choices for matches in each round. ITV executives celebrated Jordan Pickford’s crucial penalty save against Switzerland, which secured another high-profile England match and delivered a substantial advertising boost to the channel.

Both the BBC and ITV will broadcast the final, with approximately a fifth of viewers typically opting for ITV over the BBC. Euro 2024 has demonstrated the enduring appeal of live sports broadcasting, which continues to draw massive audiences, particularly when the events are free to watch. Even matches not involving home nations have attracted significant viewership, with the Spain v France semi-final on BBC One peaking at 11 million viewers.

The Euros are part of the UK’s “crown jewel” sporting events, which include the football World Cup, Wimbledon, and the Olympics, all mandated by law to be shown on free-to-air channels. In contrast, other sports have opted for the higher revenue available from pay TV channels, resulting in substantially lower audiences for international matches. The England and Wales cricket board successfully lobbied in the 2000s to keep England test matches off the free-to-air list. Consequently, Jimmy Anderson’s farewell match against the West Indies at Lords, broadcast behind a paywall on Sky, attracted a peak audience of only about 700,000 viewers.

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