Troops train in Cyprus 010319 CREDIT BFBS

Poachers Prepare For Exercise In Egyptian Desert

Personnel from the Royal Anglian Regiment are preparing to deploy to Egypt for an exercise.

Troops train in Cyprus 010319 CREDIT BFBS

Troops from 2nd Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment based in Cyprus have been preparing to deploy to the Egyptian desert later this month to take part in Exercise 'AHMOSE'.

Alongside the personnel known as the 'Poachers' will be a small detachment of soldiers normally based in Gibraltar. 

Troops from C Company prepared for their trip to Egypt ensuring they are qualified to act as range staff, overseeing live firing training with the Egyptian Army.

The training took place at the individual Battle Skills range at Pyla, just down the road from Royal Anglian's base at Dhekelia.


The exercise will take place in the desert of northern Egypt and for many of the soldiers it will be the first time they have been to the Middle East.

Second Lieutenant Alex Langley says:

"There's definitely a gap in operational experience."

Second Lieutenant Langley believes it is important to make the most of overseas exercises, "especially when dealing with partner forces".

"They're very competent soldiers and eager to get out on deployment, but they just seem to have missed the operations in Iraq and Afghanistan."

Target used during training in Cyprus 010319 CREDIT BFBS

While the Poachers are being trained as range staff, the soldiers firing come from a different unit – the Royal Gibraltar Regiment, known in the British Army as the 'Barbarians'.

Around twelve of them are heading to Egypt with the Poachers, but they first need to be certified on the firing range.

"It's getting the guys firing from individual pieces of cover," says Lieutenant Callum Robertson, "to going down as an individual, to going down as a pair."

The history of The Royal Gibraltar Regiment dates back to the 1720s.

In the Second World War, it manned anti-aircraft guns against Italian and Vichy bombers

It became a light infantry unit in the 1990s, defending the rock and deploying soldiers around the world.  

The Barbarians on exercise
The Barbarians on exercise.

"Each year we go to Morocco," explains Lieutenant Robertson.

"We also deploy troops to the UN Peacekeeping School."

The exercise in Egypt will last a month and will also involve troops from 4 Rifles, the British Army’s designated Specialised Infantry Battalion for the Middle East and North Africa.

Particularly for the newer soldiers, it will be a chance to experience an austere environment and train to fight alongside a foreign army.