Monday, February 23, 2009

MPs welcome 7th Armoured Brigade

Service personnel who have recently returned from service on operations in Iraq will parade through central London on Monday, 23rd February, as they head for a prestigious Westminster reception.

Members of Parliament from all parties have invited members of 7th Armoured Brigade to attend the event to allow them to show their appreciation for the dedication and sacrifice shown by the troops on Operation TELIC 12.

Around 120 personnel will march from Wellington Barracks, led by the Brigade Commander, Brigadier Sandy Storrie OBE. The parade will depart at 1530hrs, via Birdcage Walk and Parliament Square to arrive at the Houses of Parliament.

7th Armoured Brigade returned from Iraq over a period of several weeks, beginning in Nov 08. Their tour was a story of success.

They arrived in Multi-National Division (South East) (MND(SE)) in June 2008, after the Iraqi Army Operation Charge of the Knights, having trained hard for a different situation to one in which they found themselves.

The Militias had been driven from Basra and an inexperienced though successful Iraqi Army was in charge, assisted by an Iraqi Police Force in poor condition. Basra was secure but very fragile.

Faced with a changed situation, the Brigade swiftly reorganised, adapted to the prevailing conditions and committed over 1,000 of its soldiers into small Military Training Teams (MiTTs) attached to the Iraqi Army.

The aim was to build resilience into the Iraqi Army. Starting with advice on basic tactics, the MiTTs rapidly moved onto command, logistics, administration and specialist training, moving gradually towards an Iraqi lead in each area once confidence and competence improved.

Trust between commanders was vital. At the same time, the remainder of the Brigade tackled the remaining threat from indirect fire to the contingency operating base (COB) through targeted patrolling and searches both on land and in the rivers.

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