Royal Irish Battlegroup in Major European Exercise

Date Published : August 5th, 2015    Published By : admin

The Royal Irish Regiment is leading a major international exercise in Europe in their new role as a light mechanized infantry battalion. Exercise Wessex Storm means the Royal Irish is working alongside Americans, Canadians, Czechoslovakians and other nations as they come to grips with tactics and skills for close combat with their range of military vehicles including Foxhound, RWimik, Wolfhouse, Husky and Ridgeback.

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The Royal Irish Battlegroup – including a number of Northern Ireland based Army Reservists from 2 Royal Irish are being put through their paces in Germany where Commanding Officer Lieutenant Colonel Graham Shannon said the new vehicles complement their infantry role. “We may now be vehicle mounted but at the end of the day our core role is to defeat an enemy through close combat and that is exactly what we are testing and training for here in Germany.”

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Ranger Stephen Tan (25) from Belfast says the terrain is challenging not only for the soldiers but for the vehicles. “This is a tough and realistic environment pushing us hard,” he said, “but when the adrenalin kicks in we really get going. It is what we joined the army for”.

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And for Lance Corporal Robbie Wood (23) from Cork the Royal Irish have been ignoring the heat and pressures of live fire, trench and building clearances in order to “shine” in front of soldiers from other nations. “It’s tough, and it’s tough to motivate at times but the Royal Irish soldiers have professional pride and always perform at the top of their ability, especially in from of other nations.”

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Photos: (Courtesy Armed forces in Northern Ireland)

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