1st Royal Scots deployed to Iraq this week, in a movement that I don’t think was part of the routine brigade roulement. Underneath the racket about paedo shitbags and surveillance dolphins parenting binge estates, it rather vanished into the background noise, but there is an interesting point here.
Out of the battalion from the British Army’s senior regiment – formed 1633 as a mercenary outfit in Swedish service, then at various times nationalised and lent out to the French (for some reason they don’t make much of that bit of their history), and eventually regularised as a line infantry regiment – one rifle company is going to the Baghdad protection force. What is this? Well, although Baghdad is under a US Army division, there is a British embassy and a miscellany of organisations and British advisers, staff officers, contractors and such there. For their additional security, they have a considerable detail of Military Police. But this is the first I’ve heard of a rifle company (120 men) with all the usual infantry weapons (7.62mm GPMG machine guns, antitank rockets, snipers’ rifles, 51mm mortars) being sent there, which on the face of it would suggest that the threat level has gone up considerably.
Now, why not take a look at the MOD’s current ORBAT in Iraq? There is no mention of the Royal Jocks, which may reflect either that these are reinforcements (as usual, as they are “temporary” they are not officially an increase in force levels), or that the MOD doesn’t bother to update its website although the table is given as current on the 10th January.