2nd Battalion | 13 September 2023

2nd Battalion deploy a Team to The Republic of North Macedonia

A Small Training Team from 2 Royal Anglian deployed to North Macedonia in June to run an Urban Operations and Close Quarter Battle Course for the Infantry. This was part of a long-term commitment by NATO and the UK to uplift the North Macedonian Army to the NATO standard as the country looks to join the alliance in 2027. Alongside this the Poachers would get to train and share SOPs with the North Macedonian Battalion that will be aligned to 7 Brigade during the commitment to NATO’s Reaction Force. This offered invaluable insight into the nations culture and working practise before we could potentially deploy with them in 2024.

2nd Battalion Royal Anglian Regiment deploy a Team to The Republic of North Macedonia

The course was designed to build up from the basics of British Urban Doctrine such as weapon handling or how an individual moves to how a Platoon might defend an urban area, adding complexity throughout two weeks with each group. Training was conducted concurrently with Sections looking at skills and drills whilst command elements conducted conceptual training and planning exercises to make the most of the short time frame. Then this was put together and analysed throughout several test exercises, each a tougher test than the last to prove the concept and give confidence to the exercising troops. The training audience jumped at this opportunity and showed us exemplary commitment and ability to learn and adapt to our methods. They were then able to show off their developed skills in an afternoon attack watched by their senior command and embassy officials, during which they excelled themselves.

The training programme was elevated by the first use of a British built Urban Training Complex on the North Macedonians largest training area which offers the ability for them to develop their urban doctrine to a higher standard than they have previously been able to. This alongside the steady stream of short-term training teams that have been delivering a variety of programmes from promotional cadres to education development is showing how committed the UK is to encourage greater military ties with the Balkan nation.

It was not all work however, the Poachers were also able to explore and gain a greater understanding of this fantastic land-locked country, the second most mountainous on Earth. Using the relationships built with the Platoons in training and their great recommendations we were able to have some brilliant opportunities to hike, learn about the culture and greater understand the unique history that followed the campaign of Alexander the Great. Overall, the deployment was an excellent opportunity for all parties involved, forging greater relationships and knowledge between the two NATO allies.

Lieutenant Johnstone – 2IC C Company

2nd Battalion Royal Anglian Regiment deploy a Team to The Republic of North Macedonia
2nd Battalion Royal Anglian Regiment deploy a Team to The Republic of North Macedonia

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