The 1st Battalion The Rifles is part of 160 Infantry Brigade based in South Gloucestershire, close to the Welsh border and Chepstow. As a light infantry battalion, 1 RIFLES have recently deployed on training missions to Mali, Ukraine, Slovenia and across the Middle East building on their successful operations in Afghanistan. Sport is an important part of life in the Battalion which excels at rugby but participates in numerous other sports. The Battalion has also conducted high profile overseas adventurous training expeditions that have included mountaineering, skiing and caving.


1 RIFLES Royal Colonel

His Royal Highness The Duke of Kent KG GCMG GCVO ADC


Golden-Owl1_800_x_325Exercise Golden Owl

As part of 1 RIFLES ongoing Defence Engagement with the Kazakh Armed Forces, a team was sent to represent the UK in the international sniper competition known as Exercise Golden Owl. This competition is held every two years, hosted by the Kazakh Armed Forces and is the third time 1 RIFLES have participated.

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Photographer: Corporal James McAllister (RLC) Phot Pictured: HRH The Duke of Kent meets with members of the battlegroup training at Lydd Ranges Images of: HRH The Duke of Kent has visited soldiers from 1st Battalion The Rifles as they prepare to deploy to Iraq. 1 Rifles has been committed to the training mission in Iraq since August, 2015, and is completing a two-weeks skills package on the Lydd Ranges in Romney Marsh, Kent, in readiness for its latest deployment. HRH The Duke of Kent, who is Royal Colonel to the battalion, was introduced to Riflemen and others attached to the battlegroup and was given a first-hand view of a Foxhound vehicle in action with live firing from a GPMG (general purpose machine gun) being returned from top cover. This world-class training, on both an individual and collective level, will ensure the soldiers can deliver the necessary training to the Iraqi Security Forces and Kurdish Security Forces, as part of the UKÕs efforts to counter Daesh. Lieutenant Colonel Charlie Grist MBE, Commanding Officer 1 Rifles, said, ÒWe are honoured to receive HRH The Duke of Kent today, as we prepare for our next deployment to the Middle East to support the Government of Iraq in its fight against Daesh. ÒIt is a real morale boost and we are delighted our Royal Colonel has found time to visit us. ÒIt is an exciting time for the Riflemen Ð be it for those who have not deployed before or those who have many years of operational experience already. It is a new challenge and as a forward-looking infantry regiment we welcome such opportunities.Ó In Besmaya, Erbil, Taji and the Al Asad Air Base in Anbar Province, UK personnel are training Iraqi and Kurdish Security Forces in infantry skills, counter-IED, weapons maintenance and combat medical techniques. This training is already saving lives and contributing to recent successful operations. The UK is playing a leading role in the Global Coalition (GC), which includes more than 60 nations, committed to defeating Daesh. The coalition includes Iraq, Arab, European nations and the US. The UK supports the Iraqi Government and is on the ground in Iraq at their invitation. 1 Rifles, previously part of 3 Commando Brigade but now under the command of 160th Infantry Brigade and Headquarters Wales, has trained and operated with the Afghan National Army on Operation Herrick, the Malian Armed Forces on Operation Newcombe and has exercised in Kazakhstan, Ukraine and Slovenia in recent years. The battalion is well experienced in training foreign forces. A number of Reservists from 6th Battalion The Rifles, which has links across South West England and the Midlands and is paired with the 1 Rifles, will also be deployed on the Iraq training mission that will last for the remainder of 2016. During his visit to Lydd Range HRH The Duke of Kent also presented Long Service and Good Conduct Medals to a number of Riflemen who have served in the British Army for more than 15 years. NOTE TO DESKS: MoD release authorised handout images. All images remain crown copyright. Photo credit to read - Corporal James McAllister (RLC)

Royal visitor for 1 Rifles ahead of deployment to the Middle East

1 RIFLES has been committed to the training mission in Iraq since August, 2015, and is completing a two-weeks skills package on the Lydd Ranges in Romney Marsh, Kent, in readiness for its latest deployment.

HRH The Duke of Kent, who is Royal Colonel to the battalion, was introduced to Riflemen and others attached to the battlegroup……..

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In the last 12 months, 1 RIFLES has come under command of 160 Infantry Bde, based in Brecon, which sits in the Adaptive Force.

Since Apr 14, the Bn has adopted the A2020 ORBAT, which has meant some changes to rifle coys where there are now just 2 rifle pls and a MG pl. The 3rd rifle pl is then provided by 6 RIFLES. Between Apr- Sep 14, the Bn continued to provide 26 Rfn in support of Op NEWCOMBE (the European Training Mission in Mali) having supported this operation for the previous 6 months. During the summer, the Bn conducted and lead with a series of coy-level exercises on Sennybridge Training Area before switching to leading with the support to OP ISMAY, the NATO Summit in Newport. The Sniper Pl also found time to win the Tri-Service Sniper Competition, which earned them a trip to the US where they were placed as the first international team This saw lots of photo opportunities for Rfn with some famous people of the world, as well as a few ‘trophies’ apparently! The Autumn saw a peak of training activity, with the Bn conducting a PJNCO Cadre and Sp Wpns Cadres, as well as assuming readiness as part of VANGUARD in Dec- in addition to being at readiness for ARRC and JFHQ.

Since Jan 15, the Bn has been focussing more on its CT4 Ex, Ex WESSEX STORM, due over Jun. This started with BGHQ planning exercises, culminating in the Bn conducting CAST in Warminster in mid-Feb; the first time for a few years, but a success nonetheless! Straight after, nearly 200 Rfn were supporting Ex ASKARI STORM in Kenya with PRT and COEFOR earning plaudits for the quality of the ranges, as well as the mayhem they incurred as ‘quality insurgents’. At the moment, the Bn is in the midst of a MATTs and LF Battle Camp before switching into some coy-level exercises ahead of Ex WESSEX STORM on Salisbury Plain in Jun.