Soldiers from 1st The Queen’s Dragoon Guards participated in their final Mission Rehearsal Exercise at Stanford Training Area, simulating a number of humanitarian and military situations.


This article was submitted by John. John is a student at the University of South Carolina studying political science. He has also studied the Arab-Israeli conflict at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. John currently hosts ‘The Osint Bunker‘ podcast, a popular bimonthly production focusing on global events, you can read more about the podcast on our dedicated page here.


According to the MOD, the Task Group also includes A Company, 1st Battalion The Royal Irish Regiment and specialist support from Explosive Ordnance Disposal operators, mechanics from the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, Un-crewed Aerial Vehicle pilots and medical support from the Ground Manoeuvre Surgical Group.

British forces make up a small portion of the multinational UN peacekeeping operation
MINUSMA (Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in Mali).

Commanding Officer of 1st The Queen’s Dragoon Guards, Lieutenant Colonel Hugo Lloyd, said:

“The UN has been operating in Mali for 8 years and there are currently troops from over 50 countries working in-country. The UK has been there a year and our contribution of around 300 soldiers is a small part of what is a 13,000 strong multi-national force.”

The forces have been utilizing Jackal (MWMIK) armoured vehicles to perform long-range
patrols, gain intelligence that can assist the UN mission, and “engage with the civilian
population”.

The Welsh Cavalry has elements of C squadron operating in conjunction with 2nd Battalion, The Royal Anglian Regiment already operating in Mali. Last week, British peacekeepers engaged multiple armed militants while on patrol, killing two
armed terrorist fighters.

Over the summer, British forces helped investigate suspected war crimes during Operation
MAKARA 2, remaining in the field for three weeks, becoming the only member force to stay out longer than a week.

“During this time, the troops were involved in carefully collecting eye-witness accounts from the local population and physical evidence left by the attackers, as well as providing security.”

Lieutenant Colonel Lloyd:

“It is a huge privilege to lead such able and motivated people in an environment which is challenging for so many different reasons, including the heat and the terrain we need to operate over. Each soldier is proud to be involved in this peacekeeping mission and represent the British Army in Mali and the United Nations.”

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john
john
2 days ago

Please stay safe guys and trust only yourselves.

Mike
Mike
2 days ago
Reply to  john

So true!

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
2 days ago

A very small operation, just 300 British troops out of 13,000. I know there are other small operations happening elsewhere. But how things have changed since the larger deployments of HERRICK and TELIC.
As John says, stay safe.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
2 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Is that because of a retraining pivot away from Sandy wars and piece keeping to dealing with little grey/green men and near peer?

Otherwise it is a bit puzzling: as it is exactly what UK is good at and is now equipped to do.

Rob
Rob
2 days ago

Nobody likes wars. Putting as few people in danger to make the biggest difference is a good thing unless national security is at stake. Good luck to them all and be as safe as you can.

Sonik
Sonik
2 days ago

It is a peacekeeping mission? But yes for sure UK can make a great contribution however small. The French have certainly been glad of the assistance with logistics.

Last edited 2 days ago by Sonik
Steve
Steve
2 days ago

It’s just polictical. After the mess that was afgan/Iraq there would be zero support in the media for another large counter insurgency deployment. A few hundred troops mostly won’t make headlines, unless of course the worst happens and we start losing soldiers.

Robert Billington
Robert Billington
2 days ago

All these little wars we get involved in, are a live fire exercise for our soldiers when the big one comes. This harks right back to the American War in the 18th century. We’d had the Seven Years War, the Great War as it was known, and then the army fell into disarray thereafter as it wasn’t until the Peninsular War and the Napoleonic Wars that we were feared again. Not to mention the lack of thrust and pursuance by the government at that time! Blockading the whole Eastern seaboard of the US in 1814 was a feat I don’t… Read more »

John Clark
John Clark
2 days ago

We’ve discussed this many times, all I would say is Mali is settling into a counter insurgency campaign. I’m quite happy to maintain a low level force under French leadership, SF, some infantry and logistics support, but would caution against getting sucked into yet another open ended counter insurgency campaign as a larger deployment. Mali could be the rallying call for every crackpot Islamic terrorist to come and have a crack at the west, who knows at this point. If this happens and it becomes financially backed and supported by key state players like Iran (assuming it isn’t already), then… Read more »

Sonik
Sonik
2 days ago
Reply to  John Clark

Even if it does risk becoming a protracted counter insurgency campaign, the big difference from other recent deployments is it’s an uncontroversial, internationally supported, peacekeeping mission with a UN mandate at the invitation of a legitimate government. Also Russia has no interest.

Last edited 2 days ago by Sonik
John Clark
John Clark
1 day ago
Reply to  Sonik

Morning Sonik, my main concern is if it becomes a protracted insurgency campaign, backed and supported by Iran among others, then it becomes unwinnable.

History shows us that you can throw as much tech, troops and kit at a determined insurgency as you like and it makes little difference, you still get your arse handed to you at the end of the day..

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
2 days ago

Above all, the British Army needs to reset, stop rushing about chasing the next unicorn, and go back to basics with a period of stability.
So I’m glad the deployments are small, but numerous.

TabYomper
TabYomper
2 days ago

Just watch you dont get shot at by trigger happy Estonian soldiers which happened the other day on British vehicles.

David Steeper
David Steeper
2 days ago

Hope the Army is focusing on sorting it’s real problems and not these kind of ops. We need the army to deliver actual peer or near peer warfighting capacity. This and the attention they seem to give to the Ranger Regt should be the icing on the cake. Hearing nothing about Ajax, Artillery, Air Defence etc etc. That is what we need to hear.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
2 days ago
Reply to  David Steeper

Hearing nothing about Ajax, Artillery, Air Defence etc etc. That is what we need to hear.”

Cynically speaking, they cost big money!

David Steeper
David Steeper
2 days ago

Yep and the longer they put off doing something the more it’ll end up costing

Paul.P
Paul.P
1 day ago

I think Mali already qualifies as an unwinnable war.