News, 2nd Battalion, Exercises | 28 March 2024

2nd Battalion Deploy to Poland with NATO

The first few months of the year saw the 2nd Battalion Royal Anglian Battlegroup deploy to Eastern Europe. The battalion deployed as the Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (Land) under 7 Brigade initially to Germany, where we began a vast road move from Northwest Germany all the way to Eastern Poland, this was known as Operation LINOTYPER.

This was part of NATO’s Ex STEADFAST DEFENDER. Whilst on this deployment, the battlegroup stopped at various training areas so that we could begin training and integrating with our partner nations from NATO. An experience which we were all very much looking forward to doing.

At DPTA, the battalion were fortunate to work the Spanish, Turkish, Albanian, and Polish armies. It began with low level training; working all the way up to a battlegroup attack, which included a Distinguished Visitors Day. This saw B ‘Leicestershire’ Company working with the Albanian representatives attacking a position in front of various media outlets from across the globe. We later featured on the covers, of The Guardian, The Telegraph and The Financial Times. The battlegroup concluding with an advance to contact with the Polish and Spanish Tank Battalions, a new experience for many.

After this phase of the deployment, the battlegroup then moved to Grupa to conduct a river crossing demonstration across the Vistula River. This saw the unit once again work with our NATO partners and exhibiting the proficiency and capability of the unit.

As soon as this phase was completed; the battlegroup then deployed once more and completed another road move to Eastern Poland. The unit redeployed to Bemowo Piskie Training Area, close to the Suwałki Gap. On this part of the exercise, C ‘Northamptonshire’ and D ‘Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire’ Companies conducted Live Fire Tactical Training (LFTT) and were able to do some great training. Concurrent to this, A ‘Lincolnshire’ and B ‘Leicestershire’ companies were able to do more blank training with access to the FIBUA and Woodland Warfare training areas, a highlight for many!

2nf Battalion Royal Anglian Regiment, Exercise Steadfast Defender 24
2nf Battalion Royal Anglian Regiment, Exercise Steadfast Defender 24

As the deployment began to wind down, we were fortunate enough to host and meet the Secretary of State for Defence, Grant Shapps as well as the Polish Minister for National Defence, Władysław Kosiniak-Kamysz. During their visit, elements of the battlegroup put on a Distinguished Visitors Day for them and had the opportunity to listen to them make speeches and then chat to them both afterwards. The day was a great success, and a great opportunity to meet them.

In summary, the deployment was an enormous achievement. The battalion covered thousands of kilometres in our vehicles and showed the ability of what can be done when working as the spearhead battalion of the VJTF(L). For many it was the first time that they had deployed to Eastern Europe on exercise; and for nearly everyone involved, it was the largest deployment that anyone had been involved in, with the absolute scale of service personnel and vehicles. It was a great opportunity for all those involved, and a significant amount of training was accomplished. The Poachers remains on readiness for a few more months.

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