TA troops train for future conflict

The troops on training manoeuvres in Cyprus Photo:

More than a hundred TA soldiers based in the West Country have been training in Cyprus preparing for future wars.

Part time soldiers from 6 Rifles have been brushing up their skills alongside their regular counterparts - 1 Rifles.

It is part of the government’s plan to get more reservists working alongside regular troops.

Otis has been trained to sniff out explosives and enemy weapons Credit: ITV News West Country

Today’s exercise involved Otis – a five-year-old Golden Labrador, trained to find enemy explosives and weapons. It is the first time many of these reservists have ever worked with a military dog.

A brief moment of down time during training Credit: ITV News West Country

Five things you did not know about 6th Battalion The Rifles.

  • 6 Rifles comprise 520 part-time soldiers from Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Gloucestershire and Shropshire
  • The Rifle Volunteers were formed by the amalgamation of the 6th Battalion, The Light Infantry (based in Cornwall), 4th Battalion, The Devonshire and Dorset Regiment (The 1st Rifle Volunteers) and elements of the 2nd (V) Battalion, The Royal Gloucestershire, Berkshire and Wiltshire Regiment, which then became 6th Battalion The Rifles in 2007
  • Since operations started in Afghanistan in 2003, the Battalion has had people deployed in Helmand
  • The Rifles spell Serjeant with a J which dates back to their involvement with the Napoleonic wars
  • The Rifles march at 140 paces per minute which is 20 paces per minute quicker than heavy infantry
Otis' keen nose could save the troops' lives Credit: ITV News West Country