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4 SCOTS

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Commanding Officers Foreword

It is 8 weeks since I left Germany and we have achieved much in that time. A Company, the RSOI leads, have trained over 5000 individual soldiers preparing them for the rigours and excitements of Afghanistan; B Company have passed out over 100 Afghan instructors ready to teach their fellow Afghan Warriors the basics of shoot, move and communicate; the Recce Platoon in STERGA 2 have kept watch; and the HQ and Support Company have planned and supported over a dozen operations to reinforce the Afghan National Security Forces in their defeat of the Taliban. The positives of the Brigades deployment are many but some interesting facts and figures for you in Nahr E Saraj district, in central Helmand, there are 20000 children now at school of which 6500 are girls and 20% of those who so far have registered to vote are women. This has not happened overnight but is evidence of the excellent work by Brigades and Units over the last 3 years schooling and healthcare while still not perfect are better than ever. And the quality of life and opportunities for all but especially women has improved immeasurably. All this does come at a terrible cost and the tragic loss of WO2 Fisher the Warrior Sergeant Major for A Company 3 MERCIAN reminds us of the incredible sacrifice made by many. WO2 Fisher was well known and respected by 4 SCOTS having served with us both in Canada and now in Afghanistan. I know I speak for you all by concluding the thoughts and prayers of all us both home and abroad are with Emma, James and William and his Parents at this truly awful time.

Commanding Officer 4 SCOTS: Lt Col J C Roddis MBE

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Just Giving
Thank you to everyone that has bought a wristband and/or made a donation to our Just Giving page to date. As you can see we have made a good start to our fundraising efforts, but there is still a way to go yet. Keep spreading the word to all your friends and family of the fantastic work the Royal Regiment of Scotland Association does and how important it is that we continue to help them to help our Jocks. Visit our page and donate today!

www.justgiving.com/4SCOTS

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Manoeuvre Battlegroup
During what has been a busy month for the Jocks in Manoeuvre Battlegroup, one event of note was the day in which the Armoured Infantry Company practiced operating from Helicopters. This also saw the Commanding Officers Tactical Headquarters (COs Tac) deploy to the area north of Camp Bastion to validate the training.

COs Tac in front of Juno Mountain. The training event saw 60 members of the Armoured Infantry (AI) Company be flown in by two Chinook helicopters, before completing a number of ground based training serials. Although this is by no means a new method of operating in Afghanistan, it was new to many of the Company and will provide greater adaptability to the ways in which the Manoeuvre Battlegroup can operate in the future.

Two Chinook Helicopters drop and pick up our soldiers amongst a huge dust cloud formed by the rotor blades downdraft. 3

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The training was a highly successful event and has not only brought new capabilities to the Battlegroup, but it has helped to further build our good relationship with the team in Juno and will hopefully see us using the excellent facilities again in the future.

The CO managed to hail down a passing Lynx to get a faster ride around Helmand. Also of note are the fantastic images captured during this training. All were taken, including the first page of Other photographs this month, by our very own Captain Euan David Bailey Philbin as part of his ever growing portfolio. Keen to enter the Armys Photographer of the Year competition, Im sure you will all agree that action shots like the ones taken in Juno, which would otherwise go unrecorded, will most certainly stand him in good stead. Thanks also goes to those based in the outstations such as STERGA 2 and Lashkar Gah Durai, as without your continued proactive attitude towards capturing moments for prosperity, this newsletter would not be possible.

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A (Grenadier) Company

A Company in front of the newly refurbished CP HECTOR range. After almost 4 months of hard work delivering the training to incoming Force Elements, A Company has completed their task and is now destined for home. We have set the conditions for operational success, with a professional no nonsense approach, and the hard work and detail exuded by each member of the team is already paying dividend on operations on the ground. This has been an exceptionally successful tour; and whilst not conducting the kinetic high tempo operations as we have done in the past, there is no doubt that we can return content with our contribution to the overall force in theatre. The focus for A Company will switch on our return, but only indistinctly as one eye remains on Afghanistan as we support those that stay forward on Operation HERRICK 19. On completion of some well-earned Post Operational Leave; A Company will reassume the Battlefield Casualty Hldr Blair perfects his aim on the Heavy Machine Gun Replacement Platoon (BCR), during the Heavy Weapons ranges. deliver up to date testing training for the 4 SCOTS elements that will rotate into theatre in the New Year and contribute to the effort in Fallingbostel and the ROG. As we depart theatre our thoughts and well wishes persist with our brother Highlanders who stay to continue to deliver operational success with the Manoeuvre Battle Group. In particular, as OC A 5

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Company, my thoughts are with my men in 2 and 3 Platoon biding in Kandahar and Bastion as Force Protection platoons. I am confident they too, commanded by Lieutenants Pearson and Gourd, are well trained, well focused and well set to make their mark in the closing chapters of operations in Afghanistan.

Officer Commanding A Company: Major Ross Brookfield

Pipe Major MacGregor proudly plays his pipes on the walls of CP HECTOR.

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B Company
What does mission success look like in Afghanistan? B Company 4 SCOTS thats what. A bold claim you might think; but the Infantry Training School (the senior branch of the Regional Corps Battle School, Helmand) demonstrates exactly what is possible and what the future for a sustainable Afghan National Army (ANA) looks like. Over the past two months, working with the United States Marine Corps (USMC) the soldiers have managed to move through and almost transition a self-sustaining training establishment to the Afghan instructors. All with a laid back swagger that only a jock battalion can manage.

B Company stand amongst their US Marine Corps and Afghan counterparts at the RCBS. Sitting on the western edge of Camp Shorabak, headquarters of the Afghan National Army (ANA) 215 Corps, the school has been training recoilless rifles, machine guns, M24 sharpshooters and mortar systems to those straight out of basic training. From them we have selected the top students to remain as instructors for subsequent turns of the screw. Such is the progress been made that nearly all the course are now being led by the Afghan instructors. This has been down to the hard work of the teams forcing their counterparts to take the lead. There are always issues, frictions, but with the chipper wit of Corporal Burns and relaxed air of Corporal MacPhee; these are always surmounted. The constraints on our progress are those imposed from the outside; the afghan logistical system and the needs of the retrograde from theatre.

Major Kelmanson presents Colonel Kabir with 5 Afghan Fat Bottomed Sheep as a gift for Eid.

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As we now go into our train the trainer (T3) phase I feel confident that we will be able, to mix my metaphors, take a further step back with the training wheels off early in the New Year. Scribe: Capt Robbie Grant Progression of 215 (Maiwand) Corps Training With the advent of the new Battle School, the Headquarters element of 215 Corps has suddenly found themselves with a huge administrative beast to deal with. The Corps training office was previously dedicated to individual training packages, where units would return to Corps HQ with their own weapons and ammunition to use the ranges at Camp Shorabak. Now, alongside members of B Coy, the 215 Corps HQ have been working with the RCBS HQ to effectively plan and execute 17 concurrent courses, providing dedicated training equipment, forecasting ammunition and deconflicting ranges. The courses offered at the RCBS represent a huge increase in both the quality and quantity of training within the Corps, but Cpl Burns instructing the ANA Warriors on the SPG-9. this increase has to be supported by effective administrative planning. The development of this ability within the Corps is B Coys most difficult task, and also its most important, as it is imperative to the RCBS remaining a successful, sustainable institution once the ISAF advisor team has redeployed. Scribe: Lt Marcus Pemberton The Mortar Course The 82mm Mortar Course consists of 3 advisors (one civilian) 4 instructors and 31 students and was fairly well established prior to B companys arrival. With the instructional knowledge and experience of its advisors it is now almost completely self-sufficient and running to a high standard. With minimal input from its advisors it has produced 12 possible candidates to go onto participate on the T3 course and become instructors in Shorabak and various other kandaks in the 215 Corps. Advisor SSgt Tony Burwell (US Marine Corps) believes that the current class has shown amazing progress in such a short period of time, 8

Cpl MacPhee oversees the ANAs mortar training.

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commenting These guys would give most Marines I know a run for their money! The students have managed to master the art and science involved in setting the system up, conducting misfire drills and large and small deflection with relative ease - watch out Mortar platoon 4 Scots, your jobs may be under threat!

The ANA continue to make real progress in their training. Scribe: Cpl Donnie MacPhee Officer Commanding B Company: Major Jono Kelmanson

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Mortar Platoon Lashkar Gah Durai

4 SCOTS Mortar Platoon in Lashkar Gah Durai.

The Mortar Platoon deployed on 31 September 2013 to Patrol Base Durai in Helmand Province, Afghanistan to work alongside the Armoured Infantry Company of 3 MERCIAN and provide mortar support to the surrounding area. The Mortar Platoon deployed fully prepared for their role in Afghanistan, having been thoroughly tested throughout the Mission Specific Training (MST) package. Taking over the living and social areas from the previous Mortar Platoon of 2 SCOTS, it was not long before the platoon were fully embedded. The first few weeks were spent acclimatising to the blistering heat of the desert and getting to know the surrounding areas; although the jocks are certainly noticing the sudden drop in temperature in recent weeks. There is a definite feeling that winter is coming.

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Conditions in Patrol Base Durai are a little more austere than the home comforts found in Fallingbostel, but with improvements such as the showers being fixed to provide hot water for 3 hours per day (sometimes) and the air-conditioning working on occasion, the conditions are not as bad as they could be. As winter approaches, the thicker sleeping bags are coming out, and everyone is hoping for heating units rather than air-conditioning. The deployment so far has been relatively quiet for the Mortar Platoon, with much time being occupied by developing the Jocks basic soldiering skills, focussing on first aid training provided by the medics The Platoon planning in the communal area. and map-reading lessons conducted by the more senior members of the Mortar Platoon. There is also time for socialising, and the jocks are busy learning a series of different card games and following the football scores religiously.

LCpl Jallow, Hldr Dugasse and Hldr Jose practicing drills while members of the Platoon clean their weapons whilst enjoying the afternoon sunshine. Although still early days in a long deployment, spirits remain high and the post received from home has been much appreciated, especially the numerous welfare parcels. Halloween decorations are up and we are all anticipating some fantastic Christmas decorations to follow shortly.

Officer Commanding Mortar Platoon: Captain Pete Brownjohn

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Recce Platoon CP STERGA 2
When the team chosen to be based in STERGA 2 were put together the week before the Final Training Exercise (FTX), some having never worked together, the conditions were set for a learning curve as steep as the cliffs to the North of the Patrol Base located in central Helmand! After finishing FTX a well drilled tight knit group, occupying a Check Point the size of the battalions parade square with around 100 soldiers, some things were going to have to change!! Most noticeably CSgt Campbell put his 4 fingered Brecon point into the armoury (which he squared rickt awah) and signed out his new weapon, an MS laptop and highlighted the areas where the real battles are fought.

For those that didnt know

With Capt Challis struggling to split his time between the Ops room and adequate skin care, Capt Anderson was sent to STERGA 2 as 2IC Delta Fire team. Eager to get straight on patrol, well vehicle patrol, Capt Anderson arranged the assets for the best photo before then carrying out the patrol.

Capt Anderson insisted that the balloon came down to enhance the aesthetics of the photo.

The boys have taken to PB life well, initially being worked hard but finding their way into routine even without the use of hot water and other amenities.

Hldr Randalls still insists on shaving even above his eyebrows. 12

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The primary task for the 4 SCOTS elements, mainly composed of the RECCE Platoon and those aspiring to join, is force protection of the check point itself. With views to the north over the River Helmand into the protected community of Malgir and into the NES Canal Dashte to the south, STERGA 2 is a location with fantastic views and can provide excellent support to Task Force Helmand.

CP STERGA 2 overlooks some absolutely stunning scenery of Helmand Province. The first three weeks have flown by with over 10 local patrols to meet local nationals in the surrounding area, vast improvements to all areas of the location and settling into routine. The main focus is now ensuring training is kept to the highest standard and some good reporting can be produced from SERGA 2 to feed the ISTAR Group and aid the transition to Herrick 20 and eventually the withdrawal of ISAF troops from Afghanistan. Moral of the men is being fuelled by the postal service for which we are all grateful and every one in STERGA 2 would like to extend their thanks for all the support from everyone at home. Capt Challis insists that a comprehensive and rigorous approach to skin care is the only option in times of austerity. Officer Commanding STERGA 2: Captain Ed Challis Second in Command STERGA 2: Captain Finlay Anderson

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Force Elements At Readiness (FE@R)
The theme of back-to-basics has continued to drive the training programme for October. In addition there has been the Cambrian Patrol, a number of Adventurous Training courses and some extracurricular activities which have enabled individuals to get away and enjoy more of what Germany (& Wales) has to offer. The last 10 days of the month has seen about 40 members of the FE@R prepare to deploy to Afghanistan, either as part of the STERGA 2 uplift, the Bastion Force Protection multiple, or for the initial BCR RSOI pulses.

One of the yachts sailing into the channel that leads to Kappeln, past the distinctive solitary tree which marks the entrance. The Company has focussed on a different aspect of soldiering each week, with navigation, Ground Sign Awareness and reconnaissance patrols all being covered. For navigation, the Company ran a series of classroom based lessons which progressed onto Navigation exercises, both during the day and at night. This proved challenging and were of great benefit to the Jocks. Sgt MacLennan, Sgt Brennan and Cpl Tagica took the lead on Ground Sign Awareness week; invaluable training which will help us manage the IED threat in theatre. Finally, LCpl McDermot ran a recce week, starting with the basics in the classroom and progressing to the Jocks building model pits and writing patrol reports; everything that would be expected of a recce patrol on operations. Whilst those in Fallingbostel were kept on their toes with the busy training schedule, groups embarked on several courses and expeditions across Europe and the UK. 34 people headed north to Kiel to do a Competent Crew Sailing Course which involved sailing 140 miles around Danish islands in the Baltic Sea on 34 foot yachts. This proved to be a challenging and enjoyable course, apart from the majority going down with sea-sickness on the first day! Also taking place up in Kiel was the Ocean Diver Course, an opportunity for complete amateurs to gain their first BSAC scuba qualification. Concurrently, another 24 people headed south to the Harz Mountains and participated in a multi-activity week which included mountain biking, hill walking and rock climbing. The Battalion continue to be well represented in Army Sports. LCpl Vimataki, Hldr Daway, Hldr Nayacakalou and Hldr Gasaudrau all played for the Infantry XV against the REME on 9 th Oct. They lost 24-14; but it is great that The Highlanders can boast such a large proportion of the team. In addition The Battalion Cross Country Team had its first taste of success with the Highlanders A Team, consisting of Capt Burnett, Capt Law, Hldr Reid, Hldr Glanville, coming 3rd in the British Army (Germany) competition on 9th Oct. 14

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4 SCOTS entered a team which took part in the coveted Exercise Cambrian Patrol, an internationally recognised and arduous two day patrol competition conducted in Brecon. Other extra-curricular included a visit to HMS SUTHERLAND whilst docked in Hamburg; and a minibus full of Jocks visiting the American PX in Wiesbaden to stock up on cheap electronics and American food! On 18 October a warning order came through to step up an additional 27 pax for various tasks in Afghanistan. Looking ahead, many more members of the FE@R will be deploying to theatre In deep water, but not out of their depth; members of through November to February. In order the Cambrian Patrol team practice river crossing drills. to prepare for this the focus of training in November and December will re-focus on preparing for Op Herrick.

Officer Commanding FE@R: Major Will Colquhoun

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Rear Operations Group (ROG)
In the last month the ROG has continued to work closely with the deployed elements, the Force Elements at Readiness (FE@R) and the Welfare Office to maintain normal working routine within Fallingbostel, whilst also continuing to support the Battalion through busy periods of deployment and recovery from Afghanistan. The 4 SCOTS Fire Support Group (FSG) Platoon and elements of the Sniper Platoon returned from Kenya having supported the 2 MERCIAN Battalion during a 6 week exercise at Battle Group level. Despite the arduous conditions and uncertainty that comes with working with a different Unit, the 2 MERCIAN Commanding Officer had nothing but praise for the professionalism and skill of the Jock soldiers. The Battalions soldiers have continued to promote its active and physical reputation with a number of soldiers being selected to represent the Army in both Rugby and Road Running. 5 Soldiers were selected to represent the British Army (Germany) Rugby Team in a game against the Belgium U23s, whilst Capt Burnett (ROG Adjutant) was selected to represent the Army at the Leeds Abbey Dash 10km, the Inter Service and County Championships. With the Cross Country season under way the 4 SCOTS team has made a strong start finishing 3rd in the British Forces (Germany) Relay Championships and are currently sitting third in the Cross Country League Table behind 5 Rifles and the PWRR all the more impressive given the busy period of training that is being conducted by the 4 SCOTS soldiers in the FE@R and ROG. In the last month Major MacGregor (OC ROG) has also spread the wings of the ROG to the UK, visiting a number of organisations that provide support to 4 SCOTS. During his time in the UK, he went to see the 4 SCOTS soldiers at the Personnel Recovery Unit (PRU) in Craigiehall, Edinburgh. Here, ex-4 SCOTS soldiers receive medical support and mentoring to assist recovery before leaving the Army. He also visited the UK Support Detachment, a key player in assisting with compassionate issues that arise during the HERRICK 19 period and the subsequent movement of families and soldiers. These organisations highlight the care and attention given to Army and 4 SCOTS soldiers, regardless of the circumstances. On his travels he also met with the OC (SRTT) in Edinburgh, where 4 SCOTS have recently had 5 soldiers successfully complete a JNCO Cadre that prepares and qualifies them for promotion to Lance Corporal. The X Country Relay Team.

Rear Operations Group Adjutant: Captain Grant Burnett 16

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HECTORS
Exercise GI JANE was requested by the wives of 4 SCOTS to Capt Billy McLaren as something that they wanted to do. Unfortunately with the Battalion constantly away on exercise or predeployment leave, finding a date that suited the vast majority of the wives was proving difficult, but on the weekend of 12th13th Oct, it was achieved by the hard work of Sgt Sid Walkinshaw and the 13 hardened wives, who braved the cold German weather. The activities undertaken were: Drill under the watchful eye of RQMS Ian Cordiner, basic weapon lessons before shooting in the DCCT, and basic fieldcraft (which consisted of cooking in the field, setting up a harbour and ambush training, with the latter being done by the wives). They all withdrew to a FOB, where tin bins were worn and warry stories were told. With a reveille at 0600hrs, the wives were all encouraged to have an early night as the following morning after breakfast they had to complete the assault course. All in all everyone had a fantastic time, with the wives wanting to do another exercise when the husbands are back from H19; so the planning has begun. The 4 SCOTS Wives club also showed off their organisation skills this month when they planned a night of glamour and beauty at the 4 SCOTS Glam Night. Special mention has to go to Mrs Sheena Hendry and Mrs Gail Genter, who wrote to major department stores and other beauty outlets to donate beauty products free of charge. The response was excellent; as they had enough products to make up 60 gift bags for the 60 ladies who had put their names down to attend. With the demand being higher than expected, they had to up the numbers to a maximum of 80 and these extra tickets were quickly snapped up. Both Sheena and Gail also managed to persuade 6 beauty professionals to work on a Friday night at reduced costs. These included: Hair dressers, make-up artists, nail technicians, masseuse and an eyelash technician. Overall this night of glam was a wonderful success and the sense of achievement for the wives who planned it was memorable. The kids Halloween party at the end of October was also a massive hit with all the children that took part. Over 60 children turned up to be frightened by Sgt McKay on arrival who was dressed up like the "Wicker Man". Once they got over the shock, well once the mothers got over the shock, traditional Halloween games Sgt McKay as The Wicker Man were played such as dunking for apples. Everyone that took part has to be congratulated on the effort that was put into their terrific costumes. Timings were changed this year to allow the children to go trick or treating and of course to terrorise the faint hearted. 17

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Unit Welfare Officer: Captain Billy McLaren

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Celebrity Support for 4 SCOTS
This months celebrity support for the Highlanders has been cooked up in the form of the English chef and restaurateur Glynn Purnell. Described as undoubtedly the finest chef to hail from Chelmsey Wood, Glynn is the owner and Head Chef at Purnells restaurant in Birmingham, which was awarded a Michelin Star in January 2009. As you can see, Glynn took time out of his kitchen this month to send his best wishes and support to all those in 4 SCOTS. Remember to keep your eyes peeled next time you see Glynn cooking on the television, to see him proudly wearing his wristband.

If you know a Celebrity or just see someone famous in the street, then tell them about our fundraising during H19 and get a photograph of them showing their support. Send your Celebrity Supporter pictures to gentryrichard@hotmail.com and lets see who appears on the pages of next months Blue Hackle.

Glynn Purnell shows his pride in supporting 4 SCOTS.

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4 SCOTS in the Media
In what has been another busy month for 4 SCOTS, media coverage has again been high. As expected, Remembrance Parades have received a vast amount of coverage over this past week and this has not gone without featuring a substantial number of Blue Hackles. See members of A Company on parade as part of the Royal British Legion Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall. In the presence of Her Majesty, The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh, around 4,000 people enjoyed the live show that featured A Company paying their respects in a service in Afghanistan. If you missed it dont worry as you can still view the whole show, uninterrupted on BBC iPlayer.

RBL Festival of Remembrance on BBC One.


In addition to A Company, other members of 4 SCOTS and, in particular, Pipe Major MacGregor can be seen in numerous media products covering the Remembrance Parade held in Camp Bastion to which The Duke of York and the Secretary of State for Defence, Rt Hon Phillip Hammond, were in attendance. Click any of the links below to see 4 SCOTS on parade or google search for many more!

BBC news coverage. The MOD news broadcast. The Daily Mail coverage.
Elsewhere in the media, B Companys work at the RCBS continues to receive widespread coverage and an interview with Lieutenant (now Captain) Marcus Pemberton can be seen on Facebook and on the MOD news page.

B Company interview on Facebook. B Company on the MOD News.


Ali Gibson, the BFBS reporter based here in Camp Bastion has also been out and about this month and begun to report back on what the jocks are up to. In her first report she has focused on A Companys efforts at the RSOI before they fly home.

A Company on BFBS.
To keep fully up to date with all thats happening in theatre follow us on Hectors Welfare Facebook page, The Royal Regiment of Scotland Facebook page and the 4 SCOTS JustGiving site.

All links must be accessed through open source internet. They will not work on Dii, RLI or MS.

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Other Photographs This Month

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