Soldiers on a mission to train and mentor Iraqi forces will soon return to their Penicuik base as a six-month tour comes to an end.
More than 100 servicemen and women from the 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland, based at Glencorse Barracks, have been deployed in Iraq – working with a coalition of 72 nations to bring stability to the war torn country.
As part of Operation Shader, 2 SCOTS’ noncombat role has been aimed at strengthening the Iraqi Security Forces as they fight to remove the Islamic State.
They have provided the latest training in urban combat, marksmanship and countering improvised explosive devices to enable the ISF to counter ISIS threats in the region and any potential attacks from the bordering nations of Syria and Iran.
Around 75,000 ISF have been trained to date in skills like countering Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), infantry skills, combat medical techniques and engineering skills.
The operation began in Iraq on September 26, 2014 following a formal request for assistance from the Iraqi government.
The troops joined forces with 3 SCOTS, based at Fort George in Inverness, and have been deployed within Erbil, Taji and Al Asad Airbase.
Before deploying defence secretary Sir Michael Fallon visited the Penicuik base.
He said: “The men and women of our Scottish-based Armed Forces perform a pivotal role in keeping the people of this country, and our allies, safe.
“From Afghanistan to South Sudan to Cyprus as well as recent deployments in the UK, the strength and versatility of 2 SCOTS allows them to operate in varied roles that span continents and project UK influence across the globe.
“The men and women who serve here today can be proud of the valuable contribution they make to our security both at home and abroad.”