A BUXTON army officer has been honing his military skills in the freezing environment of the snow capped French Alps.
Captain Robert Peek, 31, of Germany-based 4th Regiment Royal Artillery, was one of 320 soldiers to compete in Army skiing contest Exercise Pipedown, organised by 1 (UK) Armoured Division in the French Alpine town of Les Contamines, near Mont Blanc.
Robert, who recently completed a six-month tour in Afghanistan as a Fire Support Team Commander, competed in the Alpine races and finished 89th out of 124 competitors.
Exercise Pipedown is part of the British Army’s program of Adventurous Training and provides an important opportunity to hone important skills enhancing an individual’s ability to withstand the rigours of operations and rapid deployments. It also offers the opportunity for novices and experts alike to ski under international competition rules.
“Adventurous training is one of the closest ways that a soldier can face real danger in their training. Preparing for danger is exactly what you need to deploy,” explained Robert, who commissioned as an officer in 2005 and also enjoys wind surfing and sailing.
“I love skiing; I love the raw nasty speed. The Army gave me the opportunity to learn – it’s an action outdoor sport so I really wanted to try.
“The whole experience of being in the Alps and taking part in a ski race is amazing.”
Vice Chairman of the Army Winter Sports Association Brigadier Richard Dennis, described Exercise Pipedown as ‘physically and mentally demanding’.
He added: “It showcases adventure training in its true sense to bring out courage and determination in the competitors.”