Mike Tindall jokes about children and wears military gear as he embraces MOD campaign | Royal | News
Mike Tindall is seen in a new video exploring a military training area in a Warrior tracked armoured vehicle while donning protective gear. The former rugby player joined members of the Army for a day to experience first-hand some of the challenges they face when training in MOD areas also open to members of the public, such as Salisbury Plain. The clip, part of the Respect the Range campaign, opened with Zara Tindall‘s husband, who won the Rugby World Cup with England in 2003, taking a walk in Salisbury Plain.
Joking about being a father of three children – Mia, Lena and Lucas – Mike said: “Hi, I’m Mike Tindall, former England rugby captain. I love the great outdoors. After being in professional rugby for 17 years rolling around in the mud, now I got three kids I am used to pulling out of the mud.
“Which is possibly why I have been invited here to the Salisbury Plain training facility. I am here to experience a day in the life of our military and some of the challenges that they face working on this territory.
“This land is accessible to the public, they are free to roam, relax and explore at certain times.
“But it’s also where the Armed Forces bring their vehicles and their troops, and as we are about to find out, it’s pretty important they don’t mix.”
The clip continued with Mike inside a vehicle being shown just how many risks the Armed Forces are exposed to when civilians are not careful while on military training areas.
During the training session, he is told at times these areas can be used by some 3,000 to 4,000 troops plus dozens of vehicles.
While chatting with Lieutenant Colonel Vance Worsley, Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) Commandant and Senior Training Officer for Salisbury Plain Training Area, Mike learned some of the very real risks associated with accessing MOD sites open to the public.
The officer said: “It’s all about respect for the range, this place can go from tranquil to treacherous at any point.”
Mike acknowledged the risks faced by the Army members, saying he had already seen “three dog walkers” and “two motorbikes just going through the middle” of the field.
Jordan Brown, the 5 Rifles Warrior Commander, also told Mike of a chilling “close call”, saying: “There was one dog walker who had their dog off lead, which they then decided to chase onto the firing range.”
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The MOD is urging holidaymakers and locals ahead of the Easter holidays to take extra care to safely experience the MOD sites.
To ensure the public stay safe while on military land, the MOD is encouraging visitors to always check training and live firing times before they travel, stick to public access paths and observe safety information including red flags, fences, signs and by-laws.
This phase of Respect the Range is focusing in particular on the following MOD sites: Aldershot, Donna Nook, Barry Buddon, Lydd & Hythe, Lulworth, Holbeach and Salisbury Plain.
Mike called his experience on the military training area a “real eye-opener” and is encouraging the public to take heed of the MOD’s advice.
He said: “Like most, I love the great outdoors and will be making the most of the beautiful British countryside this Easter. If, like me, you’re planning some time out and about with the family over the coming weeks, make sure to follow the MOD’s guidance to keep yourselves and your loved ones safe.
“It was a real eye-opener to see first-hand how quickly military land can change from calm to combat, suddenly posing huge safety risks to anyone passing through.
“It’s vital that everyone – from locals to holidaymakers – visiting these sites know how and when to access military land safely. I know now that it involves much more than simply closing a gate behind us, and we must follow the public safety advice to enjoy these spots of natural beauty harm-free.”
Appealing to the public, Lt Col Worsley also said: “Our military training estates can go from tranquil to treacherous at any point. With the Easter holidays upon us, it’s a key time for the public to be aware of the potential risks when accessing these sites, as well as actions they can take to keep both themselves and our troops safe.
“The training areas sit within some of the most picturesque parts of the British countryside. Visitors are welcome, but we ask that people only access the sites when and where it is safe to do so. We are reminding people not to cross into areas that are prohibited, to stick to public paths and always check live firing times before visiting.
“If we all work together to use these spaces with respect and consideration, the public will stay safe, and our Armed Forces will be protected during their important training exercises.”