Soldiers from 3 Company, The Rifles have been preparing newly-trained soldiers and a new fleet of armoured vehicles for a deployment in the Middle East. 

Many of 3 RIFLES troops are new to the unit and Exercise Northern Skirmish is an opportunity to develop their skills against fellow troops. 

Lance Corporal Regan Brown has been overseeing a scenario that involves a quick attack on enemy positions:

"They've just come through training so its a new learning curve for them."

3 RIFLES soldier on Ex Northern Skirmish

Previously a regular infantry unit, 3 RIFLES is well used to ground attacks, but the main aim of Exercise Northern Skirmish is to take those long held skills and build on them.

The regiment has been recently converted into a Mechanised Infantry Unit and has been practicing its new role in Galloway Forest.

The Mastiff six-wheel-drive patrol vehicle can carry eight troops and has a crew of two. 

3 RIFLES soldier and Mastiff armoured vehicle on Ex Northern Skirmish

3 RIFLES will be taking part in Exercise Wessex Storm on Salisbury Plain in the summer. They will later deploy to Operation Shader in Iraq.

Major Charlie King, Officer Commanding, C Company, 3 RIFLES, is confident that his unit will take the lessons they have learned in Scotland and apply them well:

"All of this is giving us an opportunity to be the best we possibly can be on that exercise."

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