Army

2 SCOTS Begin Training For Afghanistan Deployment

Soldiers from 2 SCOTS have begun socially distanced training ahead of their upcoming tour of Afghanistan. 

The troops will be deployed on Operation Toral, taking over from sister battalion, 4 SCOTS, in October. 

The soldiers have returned to Barry Buddon training camp, near Dundee, after helping with the coronavirus response in Scotland.

Major Matt Alder, Officer Commanding of A Company, 2 SCOTS, told Forces News the soldiers are following "quite a few social distancing and hygiene measures" during the training.

He added: “It’s really important that we continue to train, not least to support the Government's counter COVID strategy...but also to allow us to go on to conduct operations that were scheduled before the COVID crisis."

Special measures have been put in place so soldiers can socially distance as much as possible. 

Markings have been laid out on the floor to ensure personnel are two metres apart when reloading, while regular handwashing is also being encouraged.

Safety guidelines have also been implemented at Glencorse Barracks in Penicuik where the soldiers are undergoing medical training ahead of the tour.

Markings have been laid out on the floor to make sure the troops stay two metres apart.
Markings have been laid out on the floor to make sure the troops stay two metres apart when reloading.

With just months to go before the deployment, any outbreak of COVID-19 among the battalion could be disastrous.

Sergeant Ritchie McBarron said: "It's imperative that they [the soldiers] stick to these conditions. 

"End of the day, if we have any incidents within the battalion itself and we isolate...potentially that makes us combat ineffective."

Personnel from 2 SCOTS had been running mobile coronavirus testing units in Scotlands.

Last week, thousands of Armed Forces personnel were stood down from the COVID Support Force with 12,500 individuals returning to normal duties.

According to the British Army's website, nearly 1,000 UK troops are currently deployed to Afghanistan. 

Soldiers have a non-combat role and support NATO's Resolute Support mission.