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Rifles join EU mission in Mali
AS the drawdown in Afghanistan begins in earnest, the army is deploying in more places across the world, albeit in small numbers.
Soldiers from 1st Battalion The Rifles (1 RIFLES, who come from the amalgamation of 1 RGBW and 1 D&D) have assumed responsibility for the UK’s contribution to the EU mission in Mali.
The 21 volunteers have also prepared with extensive predeployment training including cross-country driving, closequarter marksmanship, foreign weapons handling, mentoring and French language lessons.
The 1 RIFLES deployment with the EU Training Mission follows initial UK military support to the efforts of French and African Union troops who went into Mali in January to help halt the advance of Islamist extremists and to stabilise the country Elsewhere in Africa, army reservist soldiers of 4th Battalion The Mercian Regiment are playing out a battlefield scenario with members of the Ugandan People’s Defence Force, whom they are training in the art of counterinsurgency and basic infantry.
This exercise is the culmination of two weeks’ training in a short term training team role for the 4 Mercian troops. And it’s the second time the battalion has undertaken training the UPDF, building upon its recent operational experience in Afghanistan, Iraq and Cyprus.
Soldiers from 3 R Anglian (another Reserve Army unit) have recently deployed on exercise to Croatia, just 21 years after the start of the Bosnian conflict The 140 army reserves have spent two weeks on the exercise, which has seen them training at the 240 sq km Combat Training Centre about two hours from Zagreb.
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