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 anywhere in the world.
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 has been in Afghanistan and Nigeria. From 2013 to 2014 the Battalion deployed C ‘Northamptonshire and Rutland’ Company as part of the Manoeuvre Battlegroup, disrupting Taliban activities before they could pose a threat. A ‘Lincolnshire’ Company protected MOB Lashkar Gah whilst it was handed over to the Afghan Security Forces whilst B ‘Leicestershire’ Company and D ‘Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire’ Company worked with the Afghan Security Forces at the Operational Co-ordination Centre and Lashkar Gah Training Centre.
From late 2014, The Poachers have continuously deployed Short Term Training Teams to Nigeria. They are training Nigerian soldiers in tactics and fieldcraft so that they are better able to fight the Boko Haram insurgency.
The Battalion has conducted exercises across the globe, including Kenya, Belize, Norway, Denmark, Italy, USA, Canada, Poland, Jamaica and Jordan. In 2015, A Company deployed to the Falklands for 8 weeks and C Company deployed to Germany taking part in an exercise with the US and Czech Army. In 2016 the Battalion will take part in a Battlegroup level exercise in Kenya and then deploy two Rifle Companys to the United States and Oman in early 2017.
As part of the Army 2020 Adaptable Force, the Battalion maintains a high level of training and is ready to react to any number of different tasks around the world. The wide range of skills the soldiers have, backed by their operational experience, has seen them selected to lead multiple Short Term Training Teams to Nigeria to assist the Nigerian soldiers preparing to fight Boko Haram.
Training is exciting and demanding, it often takes place overseas and pushes soldiers to their limits. There are a wide range of opportunities allowing soldiers to gain diverse skills and confidence. The demanding nature of training combined with the Regimental ethos ensures there is a strong sense of camaraderie within the Battalion. No matter what role a Poacher is employed in, he will be fit, motivated and ready for whatever challenges lie ahead.
Sport and adventurous training are important to the Battalion as they promote physical fitness and competitive spirit as well as providing an exciting reward for the intense demands of military training.
Since 2014, there have been multiple parachuting and sky diving expeditions, annual snowboarding and skiing exercises, mountain climbing in Corsica, battlefield tours in the Falklands and France, diving in Cyprus and frequent mixed activity packages in Cornwall and Scotland allowing soldiers to conduct wind surfing, surfing, sea kayaking, coasteering, mountain biking and more. There are plans for a mountaineering expedition to Norway in 2017.
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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