Soldiers from 3 RIFLES have completed a gruelling Patrol Competition, Exercise CAIRN PATROL, to prove their combat readiness and infantry skills.
Soldiers from Edinburgh based 3 RIFLES spent three days completing a 40-kilometre route across the Pentland Hills, while carrying up to 25kg.
Junior Non-Commissioned Officers (NCO) led their teams of eight soldiers across the route, stopping at 13 stances along the way and completing a range of military skills activities. Each of these tests involved tasks that Riflemen are expected to excel at, including light weapons knowledge, navigation, communications and an individual 80 metre river crossing. The Junior NCO leading the best performing team (best scores on the test stands and quickest time) was awarded the ‘Best Corporal’ award.
Captain Rhys Evans, the Battalion Training Officer, said “The main thing that the Sections are getting out of this is mutual understanding. They are building an esprit de corps and are being pushed to the point of failure in a controlled environment.”
The Battalion is currently acting in the role of the NATO Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF) ready Battalion. This means that they stand ready to move at short notice to provide immediate support to NATO in any areas of developing crisis, especially in eastern Europe. They can perform peace-support operations, protect critical infrastructure and support disaster relief.
As well as contributing to OP RESCRIPT over the last few months, primarily through running testing centres, 3 RIFLES have also recently deployed to Iraq on OP SHADER, Bosnia on OP ELGIN and OP ORBITAL in the Ukraine. Members of 3 RIFLES are currently deployed on EX DEFENDER 21, a NATO Corps exercise in Romania, with members of the Battalion also participating in HRH The Prince Philip Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral in Windsor.
3 RIFLES are a Mechanised Battalion and part of UK’s 1 STRIKE Brigade. Although they recruit from across the UK, many of them come from the North East of England.