Desert training as female Riflemen mentor Jordanian females

A British Army female engagement team (FET) from 2 RIFLES made history last month during Exercise Olive Grove as the first females to mentor a platoon of female Jordanian infanteers; putting their skills to test in the Jordanian desert.

The FET accompanied B Company, 2nd Battalion The Rifles on an overseas training exercise in The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and partnered with the Jordanian Armed Forces Quick Reaction Brigade, the 15th Battalion, King Hussein Bin Ali Brigade for the duration of the exercise.

The FET team was jointly headed by 2nd Lieutenants (2Lt) Emily Smith and Scarlett Knight, assisted by Riflemen (Rfn) Taylor Lewis and Gemma Reynard. Their purpose was to champion the female Jordanians, train alongside them and show them just how powerful they can be in their role as soldier. 

It is amazing to see what they have achieved and how much they enjoyed it. 2nd Lieutenant Knight

2Lt Emily Smith said: “The ladies initially were shy, but we soon built up a great rapport, with the help of their Canadian liaison officers and two fantastic translators. We focused on integration and training on urban operations, building up to include live firing. Basically, getting down to some interesting fun, safe, live ranges which the Jordanian Platoon very rarely get access to.”

Major Stacy Weir RAMC, a reservist normally based with 205 Field Hospital (205 Fd Hosp) in Scotland carried out basic medical training such as the use of tourniquets, emergency field dressings and triage training. Major Weir said: “It was a pleasure to work alongside the Jordanian female platoon and I think we’re pushing boundaries in the work we are doing.”

The ultimate training goal was achieved when the FET and Jordanian platoon carried out live firing on the ranges at the end of their two-week engagement.

2Lt Scarlett Knight said: “They told us today it was their favourite training they'd ever done, which is exactly what you want to hear.  We’ve seen them progress from being shy and unconfident to super confident, like eight people dealing with a casualty and two enemy walking into a whole building floor and clearing it properly. It is amazing to see what they have achieved and how much they enjoyed it.”