Penicuik-based troops set for Afghanistan return
The Second Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Scotland will be supporting the Afghan Government on Operation Toral as part of the NATO mission Resolute Support.
Operation Toral is the name given to the UK element of the 2015 onwards effort to support NATO’s Resolute Support Mission - a 38-nation non-combat mission - to train, advise and assist Afghan Defence and Security Forces.
The Midlothian-based soldiers have been training on Exercise Kabul Dawn at Stanford Training Area in Norfolk ahead of their deployment.
Col Ollie Dobson, Commanding Officer 2 SCOTS, said: “Our role will be to support the Afghan Government by escorting mentors and advisors to allow them to perform their role.”
While being put through their paces in the field, 2 SCOTS were visited by the Secretary of State for Defence Ben Wallace and the Home Secretary, Priti Patel. They saw them in action and met Afghan interpreters, who continue to provide vital support to UK forces.
Col Dobson added: “Training was difficult under the Covid-19 restrictions, but the Army is a fabulous organisation for overcoming adversity and we were able to adapt to constraints including complying with distancing and making sure high touch items were cleaned.”
embers of 2 SCOTS were deployed on OP TORAL in Afghanistan in 2015. They also deployed multiple times to Afghanistan during OP HERRICK. In recent years they have also been deployed to Iraq on OP SHADER (the fight against Daesh).
During the Covid-19 crisis 2 SCOTS delivered support to NHS Scotland by providing mask fit training and helping with the start of testing at one of the main testing centres in Glasgow.
When asked about how the troops feel about deploying, Col Dobson said: “People don’t join the Army to sit at home, they join the Army to go on Operations, to be used and useful. Older member of the Battalion were last out in Afghanistan in 2015 and they are keen to go back and see the progress there.”