Sgt Cottington, 221 Field Squadron (EOD&S), 101 Engineer Regiment (EOD&S) was mobilised from 10th Aug 2020 to 5th Nov 2021 on Op RESCRIPT and deployed in the Defence Academy Shrivenham, working as part of a Tri-Service operation, in direct support of StratComm, providing a multitude of key roles, directly aiding the operational effectiveness of British Forces and contractors.

Central Quarantine Facility (C-QFAC) provided real life support to the quarantining troops in an outbound quarantine facility for deploying troops into operational theatres. The initial C-QFAC operated a gold standard testing facility, providing testing for Troops in Quarantines (TIQ) and a walk-in facility for members of the wider Armed Forces. The team was responsible for ensuring all samples arrived at DSTL Porton Down for analysis. As the newly re-rolled Defence Management Quarantine Service (DMQS) site towards the end of 2020, the role of facility was to ensure the testing programme of troops returning from operations and exercises out of red list countries. This involved the day- 2 and day- 8 test for all TIQs and the collation of their results in accordance with government guidelines. During this time, the DQMS testing team delivered testing for over 1600 troops.

Along with the main task at the testing facility, there were many opportunities to utilise management and leadership skills; managing a fleet of vehicles, co-ordinating the roll out of MODNET laptops and providing training to new members. In the summer of 2021, DQMS Shrivenham moved location to Garats Hay, near Loughborough which also provided challenges as well as opportunities in setting up new systems.

Sgt Cottington said of his time on Op RESCRIPT, “ This was my first time on operations within the UK and though the risk levels differed from conventional operations, the Op itself posed its own unique set of challenges. With the ever evolving nature of the risks posed by Covid-19 and the ever- changing government guidelines, my training as an engineer helped me to assist the team with practical solutions and aided us in providing deliverables to the troops in our care. I very much enjoyed my time while mobilised, working within a Tri-Service environment. It was the highlight of my Army Reserve career so far. I found it beneficial working with members of the Tri-Service and a multitude of different trades, both Regulars and Reserves. It’s encouraging to see how we can all come together, showing a high level of interoperability, and learning more about each other’s specialised roles. Overall, I felt this to be a very fulfilling mobilised tour and I’m extremely proud of the work we delivered.”