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From Catterick to Kabul: Black Rats Brigadier Takes Charge

A North Yorkshire-based senior Army officer has taken over the command of British forces operating in Afghanistan.

Brigadier Olly Brown, who heads 4th Infantry Brigade and HQ North East back home, stepped into the high-tempo job at the start of the month.

The prestigious role also sees the officer take charge of the Kabul Security Force, a multinational effort comprised of soldiers from Denmark, Mongolia, and the US, in addition to the UK contingent.

Brigadier Brown is not the only soldier from 4th Infantry Brigade, known as ‘the Black Rats’, to be deployed abroad; the unit is currently one of the most utilised formations in the whole Army.

Troops under its command are currently serving their country across the world, including 2nd Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Scotland (The Royal Highland Fusiliers) in Afghanistan and the Light Dragoons in Mali.

Aside from operations, personnel are also committed to overseas training packages such as Exercises Askari Storm (Kenya), involving 1st Battalion, The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment and 2nd Battalion, The Mercian Regiment, and African Lion (Morocco).

International expeditions form just one part of the formation’s work however, with troops also supporting NHS efforts to combat Covid-19 as part of Joint Military Command North East.

Brigadier Brown, who has spent his first few days in Kabul engaging with our valued Afghan partners, takes over command from Brigadier Chris Ordway, who returns to the UK.