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2nd Battalion - The Poachers

The Poachers are the 2nd Battalion of The Royal Anglian Regiment. They recruit primarily from Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire and Rutland. The Poachers are based at Kendrew Barracks in Cottesmore, Rutland.

They are a Light Mechanised Battalion under the Army 2020 structure and part of the Adaptable Force.

In 2017 they are due to move to Cyprus where they will become the Regional Standby Battalion held at high readiness to deploy if required.

Operational history

The Battalion conducted nine emergency tours of Northern Ireland and served on operations in Cyprus, Kuwait, Bosnia, Sierra Leone, Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Battalion’s most recent operational experience was in Afghanistan in 2013 and 2014. The Battalion was responsible for transferring Main Operating Base Lashkar Gah and the Lashkar Gah Training Centre to the Afghan Security Forces. C ‘Northamptonshire and Rutland’ Company was part of the Manoeuvre Battlegroup and were highly successful in conducting multiple operations to disrupt insurgent activity.

The Poachers working alongside the Afghan Security Forces in June 2014.

The Battalion has trained across the globe, taking part in exercises in Kenya, Belize, Norway, Denmark, Italy, USA, Canada, Poland, Jamaica and Jordan. Overseas exercises will continue with exercises in the Falklands, Kenya and Belize currently on the calendar.

Future roles

Since returning from Afghanistan the Battalion has been training for contingency operations. This involves focusing on basic infantry skills and will prepare the Battalion to be able to react at short notice to deploy anywhere around the world. The training is exciting and demanding and takes place in the UK and overseas.

As part of the Army 2020 Adaptable Force, the Battalion is ready to send soldiers to conduct Short Term Training Teams around the world with other nations Armed Forces.

Members of A ‘Lincolnshire’ Company practicing their urban warfare skills on a joint exercise with Italian Paratroopers

Other activities

Sport and adventurous training are important to the Battalion and in 2014 alone there were two parachuting and sky diving expeditions, separate snowboarding and skiing exercises and a mountain climbing expedition in Corsica. There were also three mixed activity packages in Cornwall and Scotland allowing soldiers to conduct wind surfing, surfing, sea kayaking, coasteering, mountain biking and more.

A Poacher embracing the fresh air at 12,000ft in California.

Sport has been equally important as it provides another outlet to improve physical fitness, teamwork, leadership and determination. The Poachers have played much sport and amongst other titles, have been the Army inter-unit boxing champions four times. The Battalion has an excellent football team which plays in the local leagues. There are 24 different sports teams which any member of the Battalion can become part of (including cross country, triathlon, boxing, orienteering, Nordic skiing, sailing, golf, hockey, cricket, squash, rugby, cycling, swimming and shooting).

As a leader in the Regiment you must have the intellectual capacity to plan operations under pressure and have the robust mental and physical attributes to see them through to a successful conclusion.

As equipment becomes more sophisticated the demand for soldiers with quick wits is greater than ever. Our Regiment is famous for soldiers with a team spirit based on mutual respect and trust.

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