3 Battalion The Rifles (3 RIFLES)

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3 RIFLES is a Regular Infantry Battalion of around 650 Riflemen that is based in Dreghorn Barracks, Edinburgh. It will move to Catterick, North Yorkshire in 2021 as one of the selected units in the British Army's new Strike Brigades within 3rd (UK) Division - 'The Iron Division' that is the only division at continual operational readiness in the UK. 


3 RIFLES is one of just four 'Strike' Infantry Battalions within the British Army and will be equipped with the new Mechanised Infantry Vehicle (MIV) to provide a better, more protected agile force that will be able to self-deploy thousands of kilometres with minimal logistical support. This exciting new role plays to the strengths of The Rifles, in which Riflemen have always been known for their ability to operate on their own initiative deep inside the battlefield.

Since 2007, 3 RIFLES has deployed on five tours to Iraq and Afghanistan, together with numerous other operations and training missions worldwide.

Both Edinburgh and Catterick have very good transport connections to the whole of the country. In particular Riflemen from North East and Yorkshire find it easy to get home easily most weekends.

Facts & Figures

  • 3 RIFLES is a Mechanised Infantry Battalion, operating out of Ridgeback, Wolfhound, Jackal and Mastiff vehicles. These vehicles were brought into Army service during the campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan. They are battle proven, robust and offer good protection from small arms fire and blast damage.


  • 3 RIFLES is one of the only Infantry battalions within the Army’s new concept Strike Brigades. This means that they will be equipped with the brand new Mechanised Infantry Vehicle (MIV) when they soon come into service and will be working alongside the new medium armour Ajax family of vehicles.  


  • 3 RIFLES are currently based in Edinburgh and will be moving to Catterick in 2021.


3 RIFLES is due to move from Edinburgh to Catterick in North Yorkshire in 2021, with both locations retaining good transport connections to the South and Midlands, making it a particularly popular battalion for Riflemen from these areas because they can get home quickly most weekends.

Not only a capital city, Edinburgh is also the leading festival city in the world, home to the phenomenal summer festivals, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

With a plethora of world-class visitor attractions, sightseeing in Edinburgh is pretty easy, and you can experience different centuries of history without even moving. Head to the bottom of the famous Royal Mile and you'll find the 17th century Palace of Holyroodhouse, the modern parliament building and the prehistoric extinct volcano famously known as Arthur's Seat standing proudly next to each other. 


Our People

Rifleman Aaraon Lazarcsak

"As soon as I arrived at 3 RIFLES I began pre-deployment training for Operation FIRIC, a 12-week deployment to The Falklands Islands. It was great fun. It was hard work, but it's during deployments like that where you make your best mates. When we got back from The Falklands, we then deployed to Kenya to take part in a battalion level exercise. I don’t think I would have travelled to any of these places if I wasn’t in the Army and going with the guys in my platoon was brilliant.  For me, 3 RIFLES is a very close-knit unit where I've made friends for life. There are exciting opportunities on the horizon; 3 Rifles is going places, and I'm onboard for the ride."


Lieutenant Tom Brash

"Leading Riflemen is a real privilege and watching my platoon develop has been hugely rewarding. What I particularly like about the Battalion, the Mess, and The Rifles as a whole, is the relaxed working environment and the mutual respect shared across the ranks. My 'top tip' for potential officers would be: do your homework. Go on as many Regimental visits as you can before Sandhurst and find a Regiment which feels like home.  For me, that was The Rifles."


At Work

3 RIFLES has easy access to the some of the best training areas that Scotland and the Northeast of England have to offer.  With its recent conversion to Mechanised Infantry complete, 3 RIFLES is now focused on pre-deployment training for an operational deployment to Iraq in early 2019.


At Play

3 RIFLES has this year reached the finals of the Army Boxing Championships. 3 RIFLES host the best football team in the Regiment, and this year reached the semi finals of the Army Football Cup, with a good squad heading into next season. Edinburgh city centre is a bustling modern city centre with good shopping and nightlife and is just 15 minutes away from 3 RIFLES. There are also easy train links from Edinburgh to the surrounding area and South into England.  The Riflemen are ideally placed to enjoy the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and the Burn’s Night festivities at Edinburgh Castle.

3 RIFLES Timeline

  1. 1st Feb 2007


  2. Iraq 2007 -

    1 Tour of duties

  3. Afghanistan 2007 -

    3 Tours of duties

  4. Worldwide Operations

    Kosovo, Saudi Arabia, Malawi and Sierra Leone

  5. Overseas Training

    Kenya, France, Germany, Austria, Nepal, USA, Malawi, USA and Kuwait.

  6. Future

    Will conduct Operations in Iraq in 2019.

Mechanised Infantry Battalion

Jackal 2

Rapid Jackal 2 is a high mobility weapons platform, with a unique air-bag suspension system allowing rapid movement across varying terrain

Reconnaissance vehicles


TSV This heavy-armoured truck is part of the Tactical Support Vehicles (TSV) group along with the Husky and the Coyote.

Protected patrol vehicles


2009 Ridgback first deployed on operations in 2009 and provides protected mobility in urban and urban-fringe environments.

Protected patrol vehicles


90 kph Mastiff is a heavily armoured, 6 x six-wheel-drive patrol vehicle with a top speed of 90 kph.

Protected patrol vehicles

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

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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