Band Of The Royal Irish Regiment

The battalion as a whole returned from its most recent deployment to Afghanistan in March 2011 and since then has been busy with a wide variety of training and support to other units who have been preparing for their own deployments.

Twenty one troops from the battalion have recently deployed to Mali to carry out infantry training as part of a contingent of British Army personnel who are supporting the EU Training Mission. This is a significant event which the battalion is particularly proud of being selected for and demonstrates an example of what high regard it is held. Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said: 'British personnel will play an important role in the EU Training Mission, enabling the Malian authorities to restore order and deny a safe haven to terrorists. This mission is a further demonstration of our commitment to tackle violent extremism and the threat that it poses to our national interests.'

Other elements of the 1st Battalion continue to train for the future and stay current and prepared for any situation in which it is required to play a role on behalf of the British Government.

In addition soldiers have taken part in adventurous training including kayaking, sub-aqua diving and climbing courses, while traveling to various parts of the world to test these skills. Such expeditions included multi-activity adventure training in the Lake District, kayaking and climbing in Germany, skiing and snowboarding in Austria and a large group deployed to Egypt for 7 days to sub-aqua dive in the red sea. This expedition allowed soldiers to explore everything from World War II wrecks to swimming with wild dolphins.

A wide variety of training has also taken place on the military side including field exercises, urban operations training, culminating in the entire battalion deploying to Kenya to undertake a testing and challenging exercise in the jungle and grasslands of the equator.

While this has all been going on the soldiers have had opportunities to develop and receive their own professional development training including specialisation in additional weapons and skills. This has included promotion courses to become a non-commissioned officer, sniper, anti-tank and heavy machine gun qualifications in addition to the normal barracks life.

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