Hundreds of army reservists in Norfolk to train for UN peace keeping mission

Published by: ITN, on 02 February 2020.

Hundreds of army reservists in Norfolk to train for UN peace keeping mission.

Hundreds of army reservists have been in Norfolk to mark the start of their training for a UN peace keeping mission in Cyprus.
It's the British Army's largest ever deployment of the Army Reserve in a single, formed unit under its own command.
7th Battalion The RIFLES is the Reserve Infantry Battalion of London and the South and today at a special ceremony soldiers got to wear their Blue Berets for the first time.
“The British Army runs on a ‘one army’ philosophy. Regular or Reserve, we wear the same uniform and are all expected to meet the same standards. The British Army is used to sending troops to Cyprus as part of our commitment to building peace and stability, but this is the first time that the unit tasked with doing so has been entirely raised from Reservists. Most of the Regular soldiers who will be out there with us are only there because their specific jobs do not exist in the Reserve.”

– Lieutenant Colonel (Lt Col) James Gayner, the Commanding Officer of 7 RIFLES
The Battalion is comprised of 500 part-time soldiers from a wide variety of backgrounds and has bases in London, Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Berkshire and Wiltshire and they are conducting their training at the STANTA Training Area in Thetford before they take up their duties on April 1st 2020 for 6 months.

The soldiers are from both the 7th and 5th battalions. The Battlegroup is 7 RIFLES led but there is a mix of approximately 60% 7 RIFLES and 40% 5 RRF (Royal Regiment of Fusiliers).
"Our Riflemen – and Fusiliers – have made a noble choice to take almost a year out of their busy civilian lives to serve their country. It proves what the Army Reserve can do. Yesterday they were builders, bankers, policemen, nurses and actors. From today, and for the next nine months, they are full-time, professional soldiers, playing an equal role in the British Army’s deployments and commitments.”

– Lieutenant Colonel (Lt Col) James Gayner, the Commanding Officer of 7 RIFLES
The battlegroup will be based at Thetford, in Norfolk, for around two months of pre-deployment training (PDT), which will see them learn and practice the skills they need to keep the peace on Cyprus’ Green Line.
“Our training in Norfolk will focus on developing us as tactical diplomats, we are not going out there to fight, but to keep the peace. I am really looking forward to going to Cyprus. I will of course miss my family, but I am excited to go overseas and do something unique. I will come back having gained new skills as part of what will be a great experience.”

– Rifleman Kirpal Gurm, Paramedic
Cyprus became a divided island in 1974 following an extended period of tension and violence between the Greek and Turkish communities. The British soldiers’ mission will see them patrol the no-man’s-land between the Republic of Cyprus and the Turkish north to ensure that both sides continue to abide by the terms of the ceasefire agreement.

Approximately 240 ( . . . from a total of 500 in training ?!) Reservists will be deployed - the first time a fully formed Reservist unit will be operationally deployed under Army 2020.

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Daxx

MIA
Book Reviewer
500 from an AR of 30000. I'm 'impressed'. Impressed because according to CDS all 30k are deployable...
 
500 from an AR of 30000. I'm 'impressed'.
In fairness, both cap badges mentioned are Inf AR which are possibly no more than 1200 to 1400 combined strength …Although there is mentioned the lead is 7 rifle with apron 60% pids so well done for getting so many to volunteer.
 
500 from an AR of 30000. I'm 'impressed'. Impressed because according to CDS all 30k are deployable...
500 soldiers from ONLY two Battaliions !!

"The soldiers are from both the 7th and 5th battalions. The Battlegroup is 7 RIFLES led but there is a mix of approximately 60% 7 RIFLES and 40% 5 RRF (Royal Regiment of Fusiliers)".

"Our Riflemen – and Fusiliers – have made a noble choice to take almost a year out of their busy civilian lives to serve their country. It proves what the Army Reserve can do. Yesterday they were builders, bankers, policemen, nurses and actors. From today, and for the next nine months, they are full-time, professional soldiers, playing an equal role in the British Army’s deployments and commitments.”

– Lieutenant Colonel (Lt Col) James Gayner, the Commanding Officer of 7 RIFLES
 
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@Bravo_Bravo ....here's your chance !
Fair few of my old blokes there

I do hope 5RRF have upped their game since I had the misfortune to attend an H15 Battle Camp they ran...

And "The soldiers are from both the 7th and 5th battalions. "

Of two different Regiments.
 
How will they do this - it's not for defending the country or an emergency, how will they get people to leave their lives for 6 months - or will they rotate people every few weeks?
Will they take volunteers first?
Is the regular army so short of people it just can't do it?
During peacetime, the IDF mobilises its reservists for operational service for up to a month - and that's in a society that is designed (more or less) to cater for such things.
 

Sixty

ADC
Moderator
Book Reviewer
500 from an AR of 30000. I'm 'impressed'. Impressed because according to CDS all 30k are deployable...
Well it's not their day job so swanning off for six months isn't an option for a lot of the blokes unless they have no employer or a very supportive one. Good effort from the Rifles and RRF.
 
500 from an AR of 30000. I'm 'impressed'. Impressed because according to CDS all 30k are deployable...
Royal Yeomanry are deploying a full Sqn to Poland and Baltics later this year as part of the US Army batlegroup. A repeat of what they did in 2018 with QDGs.

Thats not to mention loads of AR volunteer for FTRS and reg deployments around the globe so to be "impressed" because you've only just heard about something thats been happening on a regular basics since2003 Op Telic shows a total lack of knowledge, somthing prehaps you might want to keep to yourself.
 
How will they do this - it's not for defending the country or an emergency, how will they get people to leave their lives for 6 months - or will they rotate people every few weeks?
Will they take volunteers first?
Is the regular army so short of people it just can't do it?
During peacetime, the IDF mobilises its reservists for operational service for up to a month - and that's in a society that is designed (more or less) to cater for such things.
UNFCYP was a bit exciting for a couple of weeks mid 70's.
Since then it is a lovely place to visit, holiday , honeymoon , retire and even better if your Country will pay you do so .
 
Royal Yeomanry are deploying a full Sqn to Poland and Baltics later this year as part of the US Army batlegroup. A repeat of what they did in 2018 with QDGs.

Thats not to mention loads of AR volunteer for FTRS and reg deployments around the globe so to be "impressed" because you've only just heard about something thats been happening on a regular basics since2003 Op Telic shows a total lack of knowledge, somthing prehaps you might want to keep to yourself.
How long is the squadron deployment as part of the battle group due to last?

Individual members of the AR volunteering sounds admirable but it doesn't really have much bearing on the ins and outs of deploying an AR unit for months.
 
As far as I'm aware deployment is the standard six months excluding warm up training.
As for ones and twos deploying to units not having a bearing you are wrong. The experience they bring back is very useful for the next guys wanting to deploy, training the Sqn/Company can arrage/sort/make more realtime valuable, conects Reg regiments with their AR partners which in itself is brilliant for interaction in training, access to equipment amongst other things. They are filling holes left in the orbat and doing a proper worthwhile job taboot. Remember 'one army'? There it is, working and working well.
 
Spoke to a few ex 4 RGJ now with 7 at the last Remembrance Service.

Smiling like loons at the prospect of this tour.

Thoroughly deserved as it included a very good friend who has done several Herricks including OMLET where his skills (and memory) of using a Plotting board helped on the 82mm Mortars they were training the locals with - yep, the younger bods , both Reg and AR were baffled ,having only used MFDC
 
As far as I'm aware deployment is the standard six months excluding warm up training.
As for ones and twos deploying to units not having a bearing you are wrong. The experience they bring back is very useful for the next guys wanting to deploy, training the Sqn/Company can arrage/sort/make more realtime valuable, conects Reg regiments with their AR partners which in itself is brilliant for interaction in training, access to equipment amongst other things. They are filling holes left in the orbat and doing a proper worthwhile job taboot. Remember 'one army'? There it is, working and working well.
Either you didn't bother to read my post properly or you are so lacking in experience of UNIT deployment in the AR you failed to get the point. Ones and twos volunteering and "filling holes" elsewhere in the army is admirable and holds the advantages you mentioned but it has no bearing on the challenge of deploying an entire UNIT of AR. As any tactical staff officer could tell you, armies are made up of UNITS, while manning is adjutant business.
"One Army" is a slogan. You will not be able to know whether the incorporation of AR units is "working well" in our time until it's actually been done.
As someone who deployed with his reserve airborne battalion on operational service every year for twenty years, I can tell you that the challenges of deploying at battalion or just company strength for even a month are formidable.
 
UNFCYP was a bit exciting for a couple of weeks mid 70's.
Since then it is a lovely place to visit, holiday , honeymoon , retire and even better if your Country will pay you do so .
Yeah. We did a six month UNICYP tour in 1976 in the summer months. The Greek Cypriots and the Turks were still pretty much at each others throats barring pulling the actual trigger so it was an interesting tour. Surprisingly, it was warmer in the UK than Cyprus that year.

Weather apart, at various stages, we were pretty much very occupied keeping the buggers apart although we did have some pretty outrageous drinking parties on the OP’s at the weekends while we were out of sight of the OC, CSM and other senior bods etc.

I watched a video connected to this thread subject of the AR going there elsewhere on the internet earlier today and there was a clip of a UNICYP patrol in the DMZ and they didn’t even appear to be carrying weapons?

It was a relatively easy tour in comparison to a NI tour but even so, we still had to be pretty much on our toes. The UNICYP tour seems to have changed quite a bit very much for the better!
 
7th Battalion The RIFLES is the Reserve Infantry Battalion of London and the South...
Ha! A great big "Fuck you" to the Londons, PWRR etc. Not to mention 6 RIFLES and RRF who are even mentioned in the article. Cracking.
 
Fair few of my old blokes there

I do hope 5RRF have upped their game since I had the misfortune to attend an H15 Battle Camp they ran...
I wouldn’t read too much into those things, it sounds like you had similar experiences to me, I eventually realised that ex/sim really doesn’t match reality and it’s not a good yardstick to judge units, although certain individuals can and do expose themselves as utter Bellthronks.
 
How will they do this - it's not for defending the country or an emergency, how will they get people to leave their lives for 6 months - or will they rotate people every few weeks?
Will they take volunteers first?
Is the regular army so short of people it just can't do it?
During peacetime, the IDF mobilises its reservists for operational service for up to a month - and that's in a society that is designed (more or less) to cater for such things.
How will they get people to leave their lives for 6 months...?

In the sun?

Supping Keo?

On the beach?

No idea.
 

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