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UK conducts surprise readiness check of
Global Response Force

Joe Saballa, The Defense Posts

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Photo: British Army © MoD Crown Copyright

British troops participating in a Global Response Force readiness check. Photo: British Army © MoD Crown Copyright

The British Army has initiated a no-notice readiness check of its Global Response Force amid the escalating tensions in the region.

Part of Exercise Totemic, the 2nd Battalion Royal Gurkha Rifles (2RGR) of the 16 Air Assault Brigade was alerted for a simulated mission to evacuate British citizens in danger overseas.

The mission started with the Gurkhas conducting a check of their documents and personal kits, while the 13 Air Assault Support Regiment Royal Logistic Corps assisted in loading up supplies.

When everything had been set up, the unit moved to the Joint Air Mounting Centre in west London to plan the mission and conduct airworthiness checks.

The 2RGR then boarded a Royal Air Force A400M transport aircraft and proceeded to Wattisham Flying Station in Suffolk, which represented an overseas airport held by friendly forces.

The site also became the starting point of the evacuation mission, according to the British Army.

Exercise Totemic aimed to check if British troops are ready to respond to global crises at a moment's notice.

It was conducted amid reports that UK civilians may be called to fight in case Russia's invasion of Ukraine escalates to NATO.

According to commanding officer Major Andrew Emerson, being a very high readiness force is not just about tactical skills but also having the admin and logistics processes in place to get to the battlefield.

“We have to ensure our soldiers have the right documentation, are medically fit and meet all the training requirements, and that our kit and vehicles are ready to fly,” he said.

2RGR unit member Private Hiren Rai echoed Emerson's statement, saying it is important for soldiers to always prepare their bags for short notice operations.

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