Op TELIC 1 : 2003 : The Invasion
In December 2002 the 1st Battalion received a warning order to prepare for operations in the Gulf with 16 Air Assault Brigade. An arduous, Battalion level, confirmatory exercise was conducted at Sennybridge, Wales prior to deployment in mid-February 2003. In Iraq we conducted war fighting, counter-insurgency, peace support and humanitarian operations, and fortunately without sustaining one casualty from enemy action.
On crossing the border on 22 March the Battalion secured the strategic target of the Rumaylah Oilfields in Southern Iraq. On orders the Battalion then conducted an advance to contact north to secure the towns of Al Medina and Al Qurnah in the Garden of Eden.
Within days the Battalion then pushed north again to meet up with Pathfinder Special Forces on the River Euphrates. Over the next 36 hours the Battalion conducted a lightning raid of over 150km to secure the city of Al Amarah. As the first troops into Al Amarah we had the task of protecting over 70,000 people as they went about their lives.