The Poachers return to their Lincoln heartland

About three hundred and fifty soldiers from 2nd Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment paraded through the city of Lincoln on Friday 4 February 2022 to mark their return home from deployments around the world.

In the past 12 months the battalion, known as The Poachers, has completed two six-month UN peacekeeping tours to Mali in West Africa as part of Operation (Op) Newcombe. The first deployment was in December 2020 and included over 70 soldiers from B (Leicestershire) Company. They were followed by over 130 soldiers from A (Lincolnshire) Company and the battalion’s headquarters on a second deployment in May 2021.

“The Battalion is incredibly proud of the long-standing bonds it has with our recruiting communities and heartlands. We are deeply honoured that we can parade in Lincoln and say a personal thank you to the people that support us.” Lieutenant Colonel Will Meddings, Commanding Officer 2nd Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment,

While in Mali, the Battalion provided reconnaissance and deterrence, conducting patrols to gather intelligence and engaging with the local population, helping the UN better understand how to help.

The Task Force was supported by specialist trades from across the Armed Forces including medical and Explosive Ordnance Disposal soldiers who will also be represented on the parade.

A further forty soldiers deployed on Op TORAL in Afghanistan in late 2020, and a further one hundred soldiers deployed to Poland on Op CABRIT in March 2021.

Op CABRIT is the codename for the UK’s deployment and contribution to NATO’s enhanced Forward Presence. Some 150 soldiers from D (Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire) Company deployed to Poland to provide the British contingent to the US-led battlegroup. The Battlegroup’s mission was to provide a highly mobile deterrent presence in the area.

The Commanding Officer of the 2nd Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment, Lieutenant Colonel Will Meddings, said: “The Battalion is incredibly proud of the long-standing bonds it has with our recruiting communities and heartlands. We are deeply honoured that we can parade in Lincoln and say a personal thank you to the people that support us.”