The 5th Battalion The Rifles operates with Warrior Armoured Fighting Vehicles as one of six of the Armoured Infantry (AI) battalions within The Army. As part of 20 Armoured Brigade the Battalion is currently based in Paderborn, Germany. It will re-locate to Bulford, Wiltshire in the Autumn of 2016. Since formation, the Battalion has deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan, returning from the last combat operations tour of Afghanistan in October 2014. It has since deployed company groups on training exercises in Kenya, Canada, France and alongside Canadian infantry units in southern Germany. The future sees the 5 RIFLES Battle Group deploying to Canada in the Summer of 2016. The 5th Battalion holds the Regiment’s cross country and long distance running team, although it has successful rugby and football teams too. It also regularly participates in the Army downhill and cross country skiing championships in France each year.
5 RIFLES Royal Colonel
Her Royal Highness The Countess of Wessex GCVO
After a long period during which it felt like the battalion had been cast to the four winds, we have found ourselves back in Paderborn as a single unit, albeit momentarily before departing on some well earned summer leave.
A Coy are back from their British based peregrinations enabling RAAT, see below, B Coy are now out of Africa and back from Ex ASKARI STORM. D Coy and Fire Support Coy have achieved their pre summer leave training targets and HQ Coy have administered across the board.
Our Salamanca Day celebrations went down superbly and the families and Riflemen enjoyed a rather grand funfair put together by OC Fire Support Coy. The two senior messes have held their annual competition for the Wieler Clock, and yet again the Officers’ Mess have retained it, due to a combination of gladiatorial skill, expertise in fireball hockey and the fact that they wrote the rules.
We look forward now to leave and the start of what will be our training in earnest for Canada next year.
Following a long awaited Easter leave, A Company 5 RIFLES deployed to Knook Camp on Salisbury Plain to take over as the second rotation (ROTO2) of Regular Army Assistance Troops (RAAT), the means by which the Army manages to get an enemy for exercising troops. The ROTO is a 4 month company level commitment which resources exercises across the UK and beyond.
Troops relished the chance to be back in the UK and close to home, and took full advantage of Adventure Training opportunities such as a variety of activities from rock climbing to mountain biking in Castle Martin, and sailing across the Atlantic from New York to Portsmouth- a challenging but immensely rewarding feat which showed the perseverance of the riflemen involved.
ROTO2 saw A Company riflemen deploy on several exercises to provide support ranging from armoured enemy forces on anti-tank exercises to light role support of the Company Commanders’ course at Warminster. Throughout their taskings, A Company’s professionalism and standards earned them acclaim, and every opportunity was taken to extract as much training value as possible from every serial. This was especially true in the support of Ex Dragon’s Eye during which riflemen benefitted from first hand instruction from Infantry Battle School staff, in typically demanding Brecon conditions. Crucially for an armoured company, vital experience with the Warrior platform was also gained in exercises with the Reconnaissance and Armoured Tactics Division at the Land Warfare Centre in which the company practiced everything from individual vehicle manouevre to Battlegroup Armoured attacks, with the able assistance of the Queen’s Royal Hussars’ Challenger 2 tanks. Such valuable opportunities will surely pay dividends as the battalion moves into the training year and A Company prepares to deploy on Ex Prairie Storm in BATUS, Canada in Spring 2016.