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1st Division & Specialised Infantry tested during exercise.

Mark Lancaster (Minister for the Armed Forces) has visited Ex RHINO CHARGE, the annual premier exercise for the United Kingdom’s 1st Division, at Longmoor Camp, Hampshire. The exercise aims to test the Division’s command and control capability on military operations.

The exercise sees the Division’s Regular and Reserve staff exercised through the whole spectrum of operations, from conflict prevention to conflict intervention. 1(UK) Division is the Army’s leading HQ to deliver Defence Engagement to overseas partner countries across the globe. The exercise is therefore based on real-life events taken from the troops deployed today in more than 22 countries, delivering military stabilisation training and British influence to respective security forces. The exercise draws from lessons learnt in recent operations and aims to promote best practices for the future.

Ex RHINO CHARGE also sees the first introduction of the new Specialised Infantry battalions, which since its conception in April has developed the enhanced capability to a deployable standard and has pilot schemes already operating in several African countries.

Mark Lancaster said of Specialised Infantry, “This is a new and exciting capability that will enhance the UK’s ability to work alongside allies overseas. By consistently training and engaging with our partners abroad we can prevent conflict before it happens and ensure we are more prepared if it does.”

Professional excellence, cultural empathy and physical and mental resilience underpin the success of this capability, which delivers persistent engagement to security forces most in need, in sometimes what could be very austere and higher threat environments.

"Exercise RHINO CHARGE was the first opportunity for the Division to exercise and practice the concept of Specialised Infantry,” said Major General Ralph Wooddisse CBE MC, General Officer Commanding 1st (UK) Division. “Specialised Infantry will enhance the already considerable utility of the Division both on operations and in our engagements overseas.”

The exercise has been running for two weeks and is due to conclude today, when the Division will return to its home base in York.

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