2 Battalion The Rifles (2 RIFLES)

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2 RIFLES is a Regular Infantry Battalion of around 550 Riflemen.  It is based in Lisburn, Northern Ireland; from where it deploys worldwide on training missions and operations. No longer routinely committed to security operations in Northern Ireland, the Battalion forms a part of 38 (Irish) Brigade, as part of the British Army’s Adaptive Force that is optimised for the challenges of today, both within the UK and abroad.


2 RIFLES is a Light Infantry Roled Battalion and is paired with 8th Battalion The Rifles from the Reserve Force. Light Infantry Roled Battalions are trained to deploy worldwide at short notice with light scales of equipment, into terrain ranging from mountains to jungle, demanding fit and agile Riflemen.

Since 2007, 2 RIFLES has deployed on four tours to Iraq and Afghanistan, together with numerous other operations and training missions worldwide.

Every Rifleman serving with 2 RIFLES in Northern Ireland receives additional allowances, including higher pay and 12 free warrants to fly home to mainland UK each year. This package makes 2 RIFLES a popular battalion for many soldiers.

Facts & Figures

  • 2 RIFLES deployed on operations in Iraq and Sudan in 2017 and is set to return to Afghanistan in 2019.  So far, 2018 has seen 2 RIFLES deploy Riflemen to The USA, and on Public Duties in London.  The latter half of the year will see Riflemen deploy to The Falkland Islands and to Sierra Leone.


  • 2 RIFLES hosts the Regimental Boxing Team; with talented boxers assigned to the battalion from across the Regiment. 


  • 2 RIFLES is a popular battalion for Irish soldiers from across the Army to transfer into because of its location in Lisburn. 


2 RIFLES is based in Lisburn, Northern Ireland.

Lisburn city sits southwest of Belfast, in a green fertile valley just beside the river Lagan. It has the peppy step of a young city, as it received its city’s status in 2002 from Queen Elizabeth during her Golden Jubilee Celebrations. And yet its pleasant streetscape has remained largely unchanged since the 18th century thanks to conserved buildings.

The city’s pretty parks tell the story of the great benefactor Sir Richard Wallace, who donated 50 fountains to Paris and Lisburn to commemorate the ending of the Siege of Paris in 1871. Lisburn also marks the start of the Lagan Towpath: a beautiful, 18km long trail that follows the Lagan river from Belfast to Lisburn – perfect for hikers and cyclists.


Our People

Rifleman Daniel Wood

"I’ve been with 2 RIFLES for ten years. Riflemen have a unique bond; the expression "everyone is a Rifleman" holds true. This was demonstrated to me in Afghanistan when, even as a brand new Rifleman, I was asked for my opinion when planning patrols. All of the leaders that I have worked with have allowed me to be myself; you’re allowed to make mistakes as long as you learn from them, move on and develop. 2 RIFLES has been fantastic; I’ve been able to travel across the world and see places and things I would never have considered visiting before I joined the Army and the free flights back to home are a real bonus."


Lieutenant Tommy Westlake

"Since joining 2 RIFLES six months ago as a Platoon Commander I have been busy getting my platoon ready to deploy to the USA for a long exercise. The training has been really rewarding; in particular, running live firing training for my Platoon has been especially fun. Being in Northern Ireland has supported my love of rugby; I play for both the battalion and a local team.  Similarly, the surfing on the north coast is excellent as well. I could not live a better lifestyle!"


At Work

In recent months 2 RIFLES has deployed its Riflemen to the USA, the jungles of Belize and onto ceremonial duties at Buckingham Palace. 2 RIFLES currently has Riflemen on a training mission in Gabon, in an attempt to reduce poaching of endangered species, such as Elephants. This shows the wide variety of tasks that the Riflemen of 2 RIFLES enjoy.


At Play

2 RIFLES host the Regiment’s boxing team and has recently had two Riflemen selected for the English Boxing Team in the build up to the Commonwealth Games. The battalion has also enjoyed success across a multitude of sports, including one Rifleman who won the Army Strongman Winter Giants Competition. An added bonus of being based in Northern Ireland is that if home for the Riflemen is outside of Northern Ireland, the Riflemen are a given a free return flight 12 times a year to ensure that they can get home to see friends and family.      

2 RIFLES Timeline

  1. 1st Feb 2007


  2. Iraq 2007 -

    2 Tours of duties

  3. Afghanistan 2007 -

    4 Tours of duties

  4. Worldwide Operations

    Kosovo, Gabon, Somalia and South Sudan.

  5. Overseas Training

    France, South Africa, Kenya, Germany, Mexico, Canada, Cyprus, Singapore, Denmark, Oman, Malawi, Italy, India, Belize and Pakistan.

  6. Future

    Assigned to the Very High Readiness Joint Taskforce in 2019.

Light Infantry Battalion

SA80 Individual Weapon

Tests On its introduction, it proved so accurate that the Army marksmanship tests had to be redesigned.

Small arms and support weapons

L115A3 Long Range 'Sniper' Rifle

600 metres They are designed to achieve a first-round hit at 600 metres and harassing fire out to 1,100 metres.

Small arms and support weapons

L129A1 Sharpshooter Rifle

7.62mm The rifle fires a 7.62mm round and has enhanced accuracy of engagement during longer-range firefights.

Small arms and support weapons

Light Machine Gun

300 metres It provides the section commander with the capability to impose sustained suppressive fire on to an objective out to 300m.

Small arms and support weapons

Combat Shotgun

12 gauge The Combat Shotgun is a semi-automatic, tubular magazine-fed weapon chambered for the 12 gauge cartridge.

Small arms and support weapons

General Purpose Machine Gun

GPMG The general purpose machine gun (GPMG) can be used as a light weapon and in a sustained fire role.

Small arms and support weapons

Heavy Machine Gun

12.7mm The powerful L1A1 12.7mm (.50) Heavy Machine Gun (HMG) is an updated version of the Browning M2 Fifty-cal.

Small arms and support weapons

Grenade Machine Gun

Mounted The GMG is usually mounted on WMIK Land Rovers but can also be used from ground-based tripods.

Small arms and support weapons

81mm Mortar

5650 metres High explosive, smoke and illuminating rounds to a maximum range of 5650m.

Small arms and support weapons

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