Army

Army Reservists Make History In Largest Ever Deployment In A Single Unit

Reservists are undergoing five weeks of intensive training before their deployment in Cyprus.

Under their own command, approximately 240 reservists from 7 RIFLES and 5 Royal Regiment of Fusiliers are being deployed to Cyprus.

The "unique" deployment will see the reservists patrolling Sector Two, part of the buffer zone between the Republic of Cyprus and the Turkish North.

The personnel come from across Britain, from London to Newcastle, but soon they will form the United Nations Peace Keeping Force in Cyprus

Speaking to Forces News Lieutenant Colonel James Gayner spoke about the operation.

"This deployment is unique as it is ninety-five percent reservists," he said.

"The only regulars involved are those of us permanently assigned to army reserve battalions anyway, or where there are niche skills that the army reservists simply don't have like medics or chefs, for example."

Before the reservists fully join Operation Tosca they are first undergoing intensive training in Norfolk.

Rifleman Joseph Riley is one of the reservists going to Cyprus, he said could not turn the opportunity down.

"It's something different, you look at your civvy life at home, you would never be doing anything like this," he said.

Fusilier Joe Rosi, agreed that this wasn't something you get to do every day. 

"There are a lot of benefits both personally, and in what I can learn with the whole battalion," he said.

The newly blue beret soldiers will leave Norfolk for Cyprus in six weeks.