Second Battalion, the Royal Regiment of Scotland have been training on the STANTA range in Norfolk, ahead of their forthcoming deployment to Iraq.
The mission comes at a time when the situation on the ground is evolving in Iraq.
The regiment is currently taking part in their mission rehearsal exercise in Norfolk, where they are training for their mentoring and force protection role before they deploy to Iraq
Particularly important is vehicle training; the foxhounds lead and bring up the rear and the pickups imitate what in Iraq will be protected vehicles.
Lt Col Campbell Close, Officer Commanding explained the upcoming mission:
“We’re on our mission rehearsal exercise for Op Shader- the land component for British Government operations to assist the fight against Islamic state- to help in the development of Iraqi forces so they can secure their own country”.
In one scenario rehearsed by the regiment, the Iraqi Forces Camp where they should have delivered the training, can’t be used, so they have had to improvise.
It is the sort of daily challenge they will face on the ground when they do the mission for real.
Every aspect of the mission is trained for - including serving personnel wholesome and tasty food in difficult conditions.
Many other cap badges will be joining 2 SCOTS on their mission, bringing their own special skills to the table, and the teamwork aspect of the exercise so far seems to be going smoothly, according to Cpl Neil Kilbride, Section Commander of 35 Engineer Regiment:
“We’ve been able to integrate really well, working with forces protection we have the feeling that we’ll be really secure out on the ground when we’re delivering training to the Iraqi armed forces”.
Their core role of training Iraqi forces is clear as is the job of protecting the trainers, but this team know the situation in Iraq is fluid and things might change.
In just a few weeks, their training will truly be put to the test.