Two soldiers go over a wall at the Bermuda Regiment O/S Camp Training at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. *Photo supplied
Two soldiers go over a wall at the Bermuda Regiment O/S Camp Training at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. *Photo supplied
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WEDNESDAY, MAY 4: Bermuda Regiment soldiers have broken a decade-old course record set by Britain’s tough Royal Marines Commandos at their annual camp in North Carolina.

The troops from the Regiment’s 1 Platoon completed the gruelling 420m infiltration course at Camp Lejeune in record time.

Regiment Captain Ben Beasley said: “Every participant was thoroughly exhausted, soaked, covered in mud, but elated by their accomplishment.

“It was an extremely proud moment for the Regiment and a testament to the hard work and dedication of the team.”

But the Sunday morning occasion was tinged with sadness – on return to the Regiment’s HQ, Commanding Officer Lt Col. Brian Gonsalves broke the news of the murder of Jason Smith, 22, who served as a Lance Corporal in the training company.

The 165-strong detachment observed a minute’s silence to honour L/Cpl Smith.

Col. Gonsalves said: “We were all saddened to hear of the passing of one of our own, worsened because he was the victim of a senseless act.

“He was part of the Regiment family and his passing was marked as one.

“We have offered assistance to his family and our thoughts and prayers go to them and all those who knew him.”

On Monday, Governor of Bermuda Richard Gozney and the honourary Colonel of the Regiment Eugene Raynor visited the Regiment.

They watched the Regiment take part in internal security training using a mock-up of a village. They also watched other troops undergoing training in military policing, naval operations and take care of the wounded.

The Regiment is now preparing for the final test exercise – four days providing internal security in the mock town of Jackson Key.

Lt Col. Gonsalves said: “The training team has done a sterling job – the soldiers’ skills have noticeably improved.

“I’ve also observed that the soldiers have really stepped up to the challenge and taken advantage of this superb opportunity.

“They’ve been operating as more than individuals, looking out for each other and demonstrating a justified sense of pride in themselves and each other.”