Soldiers exercising on a military training area in Norfolk will sleep soundly, thanks to Landmarc and the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) upgrading and weatherproofing ‘stone tents’.

Refurbishment work at Stanford Training Area (STANTA) is providing a more realistic training environment for units training there, as well as giving troops a more comfortable night in the field.

The £60,000 project was delivered in eight weeks. It has helped to preserve the structures’ integrity by reducing wildlife and weather intrusion. In certain instances, where the stone tents sit close to ranges, they provide a ready-location for unit field accommodation.

Tony Powell, DIO SD Training’s Regional Executive Officer for the East Region said:

“The refurbishment and ‘ruggedisation’ of the stone tents at STANTA means troops now benefit from a robust multi-functional building they can use as a more realistic complex training environment or as a unit base depending on their requirements. 

“Having made the stone tents weather-tight also protects the fabric of the building and lessens the risk of vermin causing damage whilst the buildings are not occupied by user units.”

Phil Daisey, Landmarc’s Business Services Manager for the East Region project managed the work and said:

“The work to improve the stone tents included demolition and refurbishment, asbestos and bat surveys, installation of stock fencing with gates, repairs to failing brickwork and the removal of spoil heaps to ensure greater fields of vision.

“All of the work was completed in consultation with local conservation specialists to minimise the effect and, in most cases, enhance the habitats of local protected species.  Also, by controlling entry to these training assets they can be allocated according to demand which minimises the impact on training time.”

Major Wayne  Forrest MBE, Training Major of Yorkshire Officers’ Training Regiment said:

“Having stone tents to enhance our training has been vital to our mission success. Not only do they provide a unit base, they also provide all weather cover for the exercising troops when required. They also add realism and complexity in the current transition from Op HERRICK to contingency ops.

“Having exercised a number of times on STANTA including pre-deployment training for Op HERRICK, and using it today, it is clear that the facilities are not only improving but have also adapted to the training needs of the user.  From the Officer training perspective, the latest upgrades have made STANTA the ideal training area for a unit of our configuration.”