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French on the attack in North East.

Byline: Alex Finnis Reporter

FRENCH soldiers have joined a British battle group for the first time in history for a live firing exercise in Northumberland. The sounds of gunshots filled the air at Otterburn Training Area as around 400 soldiers from the 1st Battalion of the Duke of Lancaster's Regiment teamed up a 120-strong party from two regiments of the Foreign Legion.

They worked together, using mortars and practising real life war scenarios, working as if they were trying to seize a position.

An army spokesman said: "They did section and platoon attacks, always with live firing and quite deliberately joining up with the French to improve communication between the two teams." The MoD site is the UK's largest firing range, and is used to train more than 30,000 soldiers each year.

The 1st Battalion the Duke of Lancaster's Regiment is a light role infantry battalion based in Catterick Garrison in Yorkshire.

It recruits from the North West and most of its members originate from Cumbria, Lancashire, Greater Manchester and Merseyside.

The Battalion is made up of five Companies: Anzio Company, Burma Company, Coruna Company, Somme Company and Helles Company.

The training will continue over the weekend with more company attacks.


1st Battalion The Duke of <B Lancaster's Regiment takes part in a live firing excercise alongside the French Foreign Legion at Otterburn Camp, Northumberland
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Mar 29, 2014
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