A £500,000 investment from the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) to improve facilities at Copehill Down’s Fighting in Built Up Areas (FIBUA) village on Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire has just been completed by Landmarc Support Services – with the first troops to benefit from the new facilities praising the site’s enhancements in helping them to prepare for operations worldwide.

The FIBUA village, constructed in the late 1980s and covering 70-acres, is a purpose built facility that allows soldiers to practice fighting in an urban environment. It is managed by Landmarc, which also runs the rest of the Ministry of Defence’s 190,000 hectare UK defence training estate, and has implemented a number of significant enhancements to meet the changing needs of the armed forces in recent years.

Mark Manning, Project Manager at Landmarc, said:

“We have enhanced this urban facility by providing alleyways, tunnels, compounds and high level walkways, all of which have added considerable complexity and flexibility to training in one of the country’s busiest training features.

“These changes were made to satisfy the client needs – together we identified the requirements and brought them to fruition.”

Major Alistair Rule, DIO’s Training Safety Officer (Dry) at Salisbury Plain Training Area, added:

“The latest changes at Copehill Down have been led by recent experience in conflict. A new ‘shoot house’ also enables teams to practice their low-level urban skills using simulated ammunition such as paintballs. This allows for more realistic live training but without the need to provide large danger areas.”

Major Mike Wade-Smith, Burma Company, 1st Battalion, The Yorkshire Regiment, whose soldiers were among the first to use the upgraded facility said:

“The recent investment in Copehill Down and other urban training areas allows the army to prepare in a complex and challenging urban environment. Facilities such as this are critical to helping us deliver success in future operations.”

Watch our video to learn more about Copehill Down and see the 1st Yorkshire Regiment in action.

Copehill Down Village