Soldiers from the 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland have deployed to Iraq as part of Operation Shader.
Away for six months, more than 100 servicemen and women will be tasked with training Iraqi troops.
Sergeant Kevin Conway explained their aims while out in the Middle East:
“The point of this is to provide first class training to the Kurdish and Peshmerga forces and that will involve things like basic soldiering, infantry skills, first aid training and a bit of bomb training.”
2 SCOTS have been extensively preparing for their mentoring and force protection role. In October they took to the STANTA range in Norfolk to practice using Foxhounds, but they’ve also been sharpening their ‘soft skills’ too.
Second Lieutenant Ash Jones said:
“It [the training] has actually been very interesting. It’s been a lot more about soft skills, so dealing with key leaders, engaging with overseas forces and things like that. So really useful everyday skills.”
Their mission comes at a time when the situation on the ground is evolving in Iraq.
However, over the past three months they’ve trained for every aspect of the mission so when they deploy, they can confidently engage in the vital role given to them.
The troops left their base at Glencorse in Penicuik yesterday and are expected to return in the summer of 2018.