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Reserve Soldiers from the Scottish and North Irish Yeomanry (SNIY) in Northern Ireland have adopted the grey beret of the paired Regular Regiment, The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards (SCOTS DG). 

Based in Belfast and Coleraine the NI reservists were presented with their grey berets at ceremonies in the Army Reserve Bases. 

Changing from their blue head-dress to the grey means SNIY personnel are now indistinguishable from their paired Regular colleagues, with the exception of the striking wolf cap badge. 

Lieutenant Colonel James Campbell-Barnard, the Commanding Officer of the Scottish and North Irish Yeomanry said: “The opportunity to adopt the grey beret is highly significant at the start of our new history and is a distinctive privilege bestowed on us and our affiliated cadet detachments by our paired Regular Regiment and one we do not take lightly.

“It demonstrates that, alongside the SCOTS DG, we collectively provide a robust Light Cavalry capability within the Army, which we will continue to develop as we evolve into a fully manned Regiment over the coming years.”

Read the full story: http://bit.ly/1PWMfuw

Photographer: Mark Owens; Crown copyright
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Image of the day: A sniper, from The 1st Battalion The Rifles (1 Rifles), in position ready to fire during an exercise in Otterburn.

Photographer: Cpl Thomas Evans; Crown Copyright
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Riflemen are known for their excellence on the battlefield. Watch this video, to see their snipers in action.

The Rifles is the largest infantry regiment in the British Army. Learn more: http://bit.ly/1Ka9fGc

Video by Cpl Tom Evans
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As part of ongoing Exercise Prairie Storm, soldiers of 1st Battalion The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers are pictured conducting an attack on opposition forces in the town of Pakshar at BATUS (British Army Training Unit Suffield) in Alberta, Canada.
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More than 120 Reserve recruits recently completed the final stage of their Phase One Army training at the Army Training Regiment in Grantham.
 
They marked the end of their training by taking part in a Pass Off Parade in front of family and friends at Prince William of Gloucester Barracks, and were inspected by Major General Ranald Munro, the Deputy Commander of Land Forces. Music on the parade was provided by The Band of the Mercian Regiment.
 
The final stage of the Phase One training saw recruits immerse themselves in Army life, learning everything required for the role, including drill, marksmanship, physical fitness, first aid, field craft and map reading.
 
Amongst those on parade was Sarah Moody from Middlesbrough, who was awarded the title of Champion Soldier in her troop. She said: “I saw the advertising campaign to join the Reserves and I thought it looked like fun.

"I went along to the Regiment’s C Detachment in Norton. They were so welcoming and friendly there was no reason not to join. I plan to get my licence to drive a 9-tonne MANNS vehicle that we have at our detachment.”
 
Addressing the soldiers on parade Major General Ranald Munro said: “This parade represents the successful culmination of your Phase One training. Standards in the British Army are high and you have met them.

"You are quite rightly entitled to be proud of yourselves and those of us joining you here today are proud of you. You have earned the right to be on parade; congratulations and very well done. "
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The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo was launched yesterday to a vibrant display of cultural diversity from around the globe.
 
This summer’s ‘East Meets West’ themed event is set to be one of the most impressive ever staged: a celebration of the richness of international culture and the creative spirit of human endeavour.  
 
Making a first visit to Edinburgh, the impressive Changxing Lotus Dragon Dance Folklore Group will tell a story - through dance and music - of a great dragon emerging from a pond covered in beautiful lotus flowers. The legend has been presented in China for many years to help promote the prospect of good crops and wider prosperity.
 
The Dragon Dancers are joined by other Tattoo first-timers, the United States Air Force Honour Guard, marking the special relationship between the US and the UK, with a dynamic display of precision drill.
 
Amongst all the acts recruited and brought together for this year, the perennial highlight remains the traditional march across Edinburgh Castle drawbridge by the Massed Pipes & Drums. Stirring sounds from 14 Regimental and Commonwealth bands, comprising 250 pipers & drummers.
 
Chief Executive and Producer, Brigadier David Allfrey said: “The Pipes and Drums are special. Everyone waits for their moment and you can feel the sense of expectation across the stands.  We have added an extra set again this year and are bringing the pipers together with dancers, fiddle players, traditional instruments and Gaelic song.  It is stunning!” 
 
“We are particularly proud to present ‘The Pipers Trail’ again with a composite international pipes and drums drawn from the piping family on several continents.  They have their own tartan and their own style,” he continued.
 
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The Armed Forces Hindu Network hosted a Raksha Bandhan ceremony for members of the armed forces in Birmingham.

Raksha Bandhan is a major Hindu festival, symbolising bonds of mutual protection within families and within communities. For Armed Forces Hindus, Raksha Bandhan holds particular significance as it’s a chance to celebrate and emphasise the duty the Armed Forces have to protect their society.

Members of local Hindu youth groups tied Rakhis (thread bracelets) on the wrists of Service personnel from local Armed Forces units. In addition to these Rakhis representing and reinforcing the bonds of friendship, brotherhood, mutual protection and support – the bands will also represent society’s protection of its Armed Forces. This representation heralds from when Sachi, wife of Lord Indra (King of Heaven), tied a sacred protective amulet to his wrist before he went into battle with evil King Bali, whom he ultimately defeated.
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Soldiers from B Squadron Royal Yeomanry have been exercising on the Bramley Training Area in Hampshire. The weekend training included reaction to fire and casualty evacuation drills.

The Squadron provides a deployable light reconnaissance force, which can be used in a wide range of operations from peace support through to major combat operations overseas.

They are equipped with the RWMIK (Revised Weapons Mounted Installation Kit) Land Rover, a highly mobile lightly armoured weapons platform, which carries Heavy and General Purpose Machine Guns. Each RWIMK requires a driver, gunner and commander. 

Find out more about the Royal Yeomanry: http://bit.ly/1o794x3
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Thirty soldiers from 3rd Battalion the Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment (3 PWRR) arrived back to the Army Reserve Centre in Farnham from serving a six-month operational deployment to Afghanistan.
 
The soldiers were based in Kabul and, as part of NATO's Resolute Support Mission, their role was to assist with the training of the Afghan National Army and to boost security in the region.
 
After ‘pairing’ with 1 Royal Anglian Regiment (1 R Anglian), nicknamed The Vikings, under the restructured Army 2020 concept, the two units integrated to become a Regular unit on operations.
 
Platoon Commander Lieutenant (Lt) George Bignold (24) from Kingston upon Thames, said, “It’s been a busy 6 months, the guys have worked hard at all times. The Vikings are a very professional unit and it’s been a great experience to work alongside them.

"We have done exactly the same job and performed to exactly the same standard, the only way people could tell we were Reserves was by the cap badge. I am very proud of the guys they are a great Platoon to work with and have completed a job worthwhile – well done!”
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Yesterday afternoon in Bethnal Green, London, Army explosives experts from 11 Explosive Ordnance Disposal Regiment Royal Logistics Corps successfully defused a German WW2 air delivered bomb weighing 250kg. The 27 hour operation involved the military, emergency services and officials from Tower Hamlets Borough Council working seamlessly together to minimise disruption in a highly populated, busy part of the capital.

The Army Explosive Ordnance Disposal Commander on the scene said: “The bomb had been in the ground for more than 70 years but unlike a fine wine these devices do not improve with age. It was potentially more dangerous today than the day it was made.”

Read the full story: http://bit.ly/1N9uNDB
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Around 250 Soldiers from The Royal Highland Fusiliers, 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland (2 SCOTS), will deploy to Kabul in Afghanistan this week to support training for the Afghan National Army.
  
Commanding Officer of 2 SCOTS, Lieutenant Colonel Graeme Wearmouth said: “We’ll be in Kabul to provide an extra layer of protection and control for the wider NATO mission but our main responsibility will be to support the Afghan forces who lead on security in the area.
 
“This is a great opportunity for us, we’re a light role infantry battalion taking up a mechanised role with the use of the Foxhound vehicle.
 
“Many members of the battalion have previously deployed to Afghanistan in combat roles, this is a completely different mission for us and a lot of work has gone into training and preparing the soldiers for this deployment.”
 
The battalion has previously completed three Combat tours in Afghanistan and is well prepared for the next challenge of carrying out a supporting role in the country. 

Read the full story: http://bit.ly/1KPP5zz
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The Army Air Corps closed a chapter of its history today as it bid farewell to the Lynx Mk7 aircraft and the last Lynx students were awarded their graduation certificates. It was day of sadness and celebrations as Lynx Mk7 crews past and present gathered to say goodbye to the much loved aircraft and also to mark the 70th Anniversary of 671 Lynx Conversion Squadron.

The event opened with a six Lynx Mk7 flypast including the last backflip, a move the Lynx is famous for. The fin...al backflip was performed by Warrant Officer Class 1 (WO1) Mick Kildea and Captain Neil Posthumus, the AAC’s award winning 2014 display pilots. WO1 Kildea said: “I am very proud to have been a part of the formation today; it’s a great privilege to be the final person to fly the final aerobatic backflip for the British Army. The Mk7 doing the backflip today, XZ184, was converted from a Mk1 airframe which was the first Lynx to do a backflip so it is fitting that she also did the last.”

During the ceremony, the students were presented with their graduation certificates by the Guest of Honour Jonathan Hayward, son of Sir Jack Hayward who was a founder member of 671 Sqn.
The Wildcat AH1 will eventually replace all the Lynx helicopters in the AAC service when the Lynx Mk9A retires in 2018. It has a lot of the fine qualities of the Lynx but takes the original basic design to new levels of capability.
 
Read the full story: http://bit.ly/1OFqNJg
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