EXERCISE KEY INFORMATION
Ex FB has grown exponentially in its popularity over the past seasons and there is no evidence to suggest this trend will not continue. It is an opportunity for Infantrymen to take part in tough, dangerous and challenging training in an extreme environment doing something completely different. It is fully supported by the Army COC. Early action is vital, therefore: Units should identify their intentions at the earliest opportunity and initiate planning. The exercise is filling up quickly; where possible all teams will be accommodated, however if capacity is reached for the championship phase places will be allocated on first come first served basis.
ONLINE FORMS / RULES / REFERENCE DOCUMENTS
- Warning Order
- 2013DIN01-083 Status of Sports in the Services
- 3014DIN07-092 Army European Winter Activity Instruction
- LFSO 3206 (4th Revise) Welfare Grants
- Materiel Regulations for the Army Volume V Pamphlet 1 Section IV Paragraph 427
- JSP 456 Vol 2 , Ch 7, CILOR (6th edition).
AIMS AND OBJECTIVES
The aim of Ex FB is to BROADEN & DEEPEN the Infantry Alpine talent in order to win the corps competition at the Army championships.
Overarching Exercise Objectives
The exercise objectives provide overarching direction; however exercising units may wish to development specific training objectives that fit within the scope of the exercise:
- Develop and test individual’s psychological limits, their determination and endeavour towards the extremes of physical courage under stress, pressure and fatigue, through training for and taking part in Alpine racing.
- Develop and test young Officers leadership, administration and organisation of a squad of soldiers in a complex, testing and potentially dangerous environment, within safe boundaries.
- Compete as individuals and teams for the title of Infantry Alpine Ski Champion(s).
- To train towards competing at Divisional and Army level.
The intent is to train Individuals in a progressive and coherent fashion to maximise individual and team ability to compete successfully during the Infantry championships and subsequent competitions, whilst also building the foundations for future years. All training is delivered by Evolution2 a French ski school that provides specialist race coaches. The programme is designed to be progressive but challenging. Full days will be up to 8 hour of intensive training. The racing is delivered by Club de Sport, the company that run FIS international events and will take place on the slopes used by the World Cup circuit.
DOWNLOAD – EX FROSTED BLADE XXX PROGRAMME
To win the Army Inter Corps Championships by the provision of quality training and racing at Corps level, entering as many teams and individuals as possible for the Divisional Championships to qualify as many Infantrymen as possible for the Army Championships.
ARRIVAL / REGISTRATION
PARTICIPATION & TEAM COMPOSITION
Team Captains – The team captain is the appointed officer in command of a unit’s manpower. They must be of at least WO2 or Lt rank, ideally a Capt. Teams should also have a 2IC of a second officer or SNCO.
Team Selection – Units should select individuals with care. Individuals should not be sent who are unfit, have already shown that they are incapable of improving or are not prepared for an arduous and challenging alpine skiing exercise. A coherent C2 structure is not to be underestimated.
Regular Inf Unit Teams – Each Inf Regular unit taking part in Ex FB is encouraged to deploy with 12 individuals to take part in Phase 1 of the exercise, ideally this should be broken down into 6 individuals for both the A and B Division. On completion of Phase 1 teams are to reduce to no more than 6 individuals that will complete Phase 2 and 3. Units will be allowed to enter 6 individuals into the Championships, giving one racing team of four and two racing reserves.
Inf Reserve Unit Teams – Reserve teams are welcome to attend for the whole exercise or purely for the 2 weeks package (Phase 2B and 3). Reserve teams should liaise with Secretary Infantry Alpine in regard to team composition.
Individuals – Experienced Infantry skiers are encouraged to train and compete as individuals if their unit is unable to attend. The secretary is happy to assist in facilitating this, however early engagement is a must.
Non-Infantry Teams and Individuals – Guest teams (UOTCs etc) and individuals from other Arms/Services are invited to participate in all phases of the exercise subject to place availability and will be allocated on a first come first served basis. They will not be eligible for all prizes during the Championships.
Bespoke Packages – Units wanting to organise bespoke packages and/or utilise Ex FB contacts and discounts, as directed by DCLF, must inform the Alpine Secretary as to their intent in order that timely planning can take place. These units will be OPCON to the Secretary whilst in Val d’Isère and will have to attend the nightly O Group.
Ex FB has grown exponentially in its popularity over the past 2 seasons and there is no evidence to suggest this trend will not continue. It is an opportunity for Infantrymen to take part in tough, dangerous and challenging training in an extreme environment doing something completely different. It is fully supported by the Army COC. Early action is vital, therefore: Units should identify their intentions at the earliest opportunity and initiate planning.
MOVEMENT AND TRANSPORT
Vehicles are to be white fleet only and should be provided by TSU or ideally contract hire. Vehicles must be under 2.10m in height and manual (ideally front or 4 wheel drive). The recommended break down of vehicles for a 12man team is as follows:
- VW Caravelle (9 seater) x 1
- Ford Transit x 1
- 4×4 (Landrover or pick-up) x 1
All vehicles must have a green card certificate of insurance and vehicle recovery instructions.
Aral (multi agency) and Shell fuel cards are to be obtained for use in the UK and France in accordance with reference E. Each team is to have two sets of agency cards to allow the team split after Phase 1. In addition all teams are to have a budget of €300 in cash to pay for local purchase of fuel .
Adherence to driver’s hours is the team captain’s responsibility. To mitigate this teams should have as many trained drivers as possible and should consider overnighting on their route to and from Val d’Isere. During Ex FB no vehicle movement will be permitted after 2000 hours without the authority of the secretary.
Military drivers must hold a current FMT 600 endorsed with a current European Driving Matrix test pass. Drivers are to be in possession of their full UK driving license and their FMT 600 at all times whilst driving.
All vehicles must pay tolls to use the French autoroute system. This can be paid for using fuel agency cards, but this must be authorised through MTOs in advance of deployment. It is highly recommended that team captains have a miscellaneous fund to cover any road tolls that must be paid in cash.
Snow chains are mandatory on French roads. These can be demanded through unit MTOs to come with contract hire vehicles. In addition European break down kits are now mandatory, critically these must contain warning triangles and fluorescent jackets .
There is no free parking in Val d’Isere. Parking on the road side will result in it being towed by the gendarmerie for which a fee of c€300 will be required to recover the vehicle. It is also essential for safety and vehicle maintenance (temps down to -30 degrees) that all vehicles are parked in underground parking. Reservations can be made through www.parkingvaldisere.com. Cost is c€400 per vehicle.
Units travelling from the UK will need to book ferry tickets. These can be purchased through the Army Sports Control Board at a reduced price. The point of contact is Mrs Christine Maskell on 94222 3569. Where possible open return tickets are to be booked to allow flexibility of return date. Failing that unit should book one way travel and book return through their parent units during the exercise.
CILOR – Units are to apply for CILOR in accordance with Reference F and should note that they may be asked to provide proof of DIPCLEAR before CILOR will be authorised. Bids should cover Ex FB and the subsequent championships. It is highly recommended that teams gain authority when applying for CILOR to purchase cooked meals. CILOR once authorised should be drawn in Euros from unit FSAs. Team captains will be supervised to ensure soldiers are receiving three balanced meals a day.
Subsistence Allowance – CILOR does not cover period s of travel. Individuals will have to pay for there own food during travel periods and subsequently claim the cost back on JPA.
Supply – Tinned and dry foods are more expensive in France, teams should make best use of UK ‘cash and carry’ to buy in bulk. There are three supermarkets in Val d’Isere which are extremely expensive. There are a further two, larger, cheaper supermarkets in Bourg St Maurice from teams should look to do a weekly shop for fresh produce.
Cooking – The standard equipment supplied in apartments is designed for a small family, certainly not a 6 man team of soldiers. Teams should consider bringing larger pans and more robust utensils.
Providers – There are a number of accommodation agencies available in Val d’Isere who will rent teams self catering apartments. Recommended suppliers have agreed to waiver the local tourist tax. It is at team discretion which company they use. The majority of companies will not take bookings till after 1 Sep, however early booking is essential to ensure availability during peak periods. The following are some recommended suppliers and have been asked to provide lists of available accommodation for 3 and six week packages:
- NEXITY. The historic preferred supplier. POC Lesley Galloway. 0033 479 062 808. LGALLOWAY@nexity.fr
- Val Agence. POC Martine. firstname.lastname@example.org
- Simply Val. POC Kim Rippin. email@example.com
- Val d’Isere Reservation. POC Cecile Cassard. firstname.lastname@example.org
Type of Accommodation – The average apartment offered is a 4 man studio. These are designed for a small family. It is prudent on planning for extra space for the high quantities of kit and equipment. As a guide two 4 man studio apartments will be ideal for a team of six. Larger apartments and chalets are available, although they generally come at higher cost, the standard of living for the soldiers are considerably better. These more luxurious apartments will need to be offset by non-public funds. Units must strive to minimise cost to public funds when selecting accommodation.
Location – The closed to the centre of the town the more expensive the accommodation and the less value for money you will receive. Teams have previously stayed in La Daille where money will go further, however they have found the separation from the main town suboptimal.
Amenities – Teams should discuss in details with providers what is included in their apartment as the provided cooking equipment, bedding and electronics will vary massively. Comfort items such as duvets, pillows and entertainment devices (games consoles, DVD players, etc.) should not be underestimated in importance.
Units should apply early through their parent Div G8 branch for the funding, which can be amended at a later date should cost change. This document should provide you full justification for all the costs. Where added granularity is required questions are to be addressed to the Secretary.
Out with public funds units should apply to other sources to minimise the cost to the individual. Previously units have secure funding from: Battalion funds, Regimental funds, Divisional funds, Infantry 200 Club, the Berlin Infantry Brigade Memorial Trust Fund (BIBMTF) and the Army Sports Lottery. In addition for the TA/UOTC:RFCA grants and the Ulysses Trust. Not all these funds are available to all units; units must enquire as to their eligibility, Bde and Div G8 are a good start point for this.
Sports equipment grants are available from hr Nuffield Trust for the purchase of ski equipment. The NT will provide grants of £4500 (The unit must contribute 30% (£1350) of the total grant) for units every three years. In addition equipment and clothing may be purchased from the annual units sports equipment public fund (SEPF).
Teams may obtain private sponsorship in line with MOD policies. Snowberry, STVI, Dicks T Bar, Evolution2, QIOPTIQ (via Team Army), Saladin and Club Des Sport are official sponsors of Ex FB and therefore are not to be approached by individual teams. Any advertising in return for sponsorship whilst on the exercise is to be cleared through the Secretary prior to accepting the sponsorship.
Tourist exchange rates in Val d’Isère are unfavourable compared with those offered by banks in the UK. Teams should ensure that they have either sufficient Euros or Euro traveller’s cheques. MasterCard or Visa card with cash dispenser facility attract poor exchange rates and high commission charges. Creating an exercise account for unit teams has proved to work well, allowing a full audit trail. If accounts are to be created joint signatories with team 2ICs are essential.
Payment is to be made NLT 25 Nov 14 by bank transfer into the Exercise account: EX FROSTED BLADE, sort code 202923, acct no 90076643. The Unit title must be clearly stated as the payment reference. In extremis units may pay by cheque. Late payment will result in teams not being allowed to take part in training.
All kit and equipment used during racing and race training must comply with AWSA rules. The Secretary will stop individuals from training r racing on safety grounds if equipment being used is not suitable.
The AWSA rules dictate minimum ski length for men as 165 cm and 155 cm for women. As a general rule the faster the race discipline and/or the better standard the skier the longer the ski must be. As a rough guide a good skier should be using 165cm for slalom, c180cm for GS, 190cm+ for super G and 2m+ for downhill.
The wearing of helmets and goggles is mandatory at all times whilst skiing on Ex FB. Helmets are to comply with FIS standards. As a simple guide they must be designed for ski racing, be CE approved, be full cask (i.e. no soft ears) and be completely smooth (i.e. no visors, spoilers or attachments are allowed). Helmets of this standard are not available for hire in Val d’Isere. Back protection is highly recommended but not mandated.
Skis, boots and poles can be hired from Snowberry, an official sponsor of the exercise. They can provide a wide range of kit and equipment but will be unable to provide skis of a standard or length suitable for speed events. Prices for the 2014/15 season are still TBC, but are likely to be as per previous seasons: €2 per man per day for boots, €5 per man per day for standard skis and €15 per man per day for high quality race skis. Poles are provided free of charge.
Individuals must have suitable clothing that will protect them from the elements. The exercise will routinely train in conditions down to -15 degrees. Gloves are mandatory at all times when training or racing. No military clothing or day-sacks are permitted. It is encouraged to wear tasteful Regimental branded team clothing.
Teams looking to utilise a NT grant or SEG are strongly advised to contact the secretary for advice on suppliers. The secretary is able to coordinate orders with French suppliers at close to cost price (both clothing and equipment). The majority of teams that pre buy equipment in the UK have experienced significant problems or have paid over the odds. Under no circumstances should teams buy ski boots with grants. As a general guide the priority purchase with NT grants should be specialist speed skis.
Infantry Alpine Championships 2014-15
A record-breaking year with over 370 soldiers taking part throughout the exercise from over 30 Regular and Reserve Infantry Battalions. The programme has seen 170 novices taught to ski, culminating in a final GS race in early December. The Elite Division has seen the development of the Infantry squad in preparation for the Divisional and Army Championships. Race week begins in early January with over 200 infanteers competing for individual and team honours in Slalom, Giant Slalom, Super Giant Slalom and Downhill.