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Iraq British Forces Riot Squad

14 October 2005..Basra, Iraq...'Riot Squad'.....Companies from The Royal Regiment of Wales engage in Public Order training. Equipped with wooden batons known as 'hickory sticks', Perspex shields and 'baton guns' which fire a hard rubber bullet the troops take turns to act as a hostile mob...The soldiers deploy from armoured 'snatch' Land Rovers and 'warrior' fighting vehicles. The mob pelts the riot squad with sticks, rocks and bottles whilst shouting abuse. The squad make repeated charges at the crowd, pushing them back and forming a 'base line' which they then try and hold. Often the vehicles are used to push into the mob with the dismounted soldiers running along behind using them as cover. The troops also carry their SA 80 rifles, the 'rules of engagement' allow for an escalation to the use of live ammunition against a mob if the soldiers lives are considered to be in danger. Training in temperatures in excess of 120 F requires that the squad drinks several litres of water during a session. In order to make the training realistic both sides must act aggressively and this does result in injuries. During this session one soldier was evacuated after having his head split open by a baton blow.

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(c) Jason P. Howe 2005
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14 October 2005..Basra, Iraq...'Riot Squad'.....Companies from The Royal Regiment of Wales engage in Public Order training. Equipped with wooden batons known as 'hickory sticks', Perspex shields and 'baton guns' which fire a hard rubber bullet the troops take turns to act as a hostile mob...The soldiers deploy from armoured 'snatch' Land Rovers and 'warrior' fighting vehicles. The mob pelts the riot squad with sticks, rocks and bottles whilst shouting abuse. The squad make repeated charges at the crowd, pushing them back and forming a 'base line' which they then try and hold. Often the vehicles are used to push into the mob with the dismounted soldiers running along behind using them as cover. The troops also carry their SA 80 rifles, the 'rules of engagement' allow for an escalation to the use of live ammunition against a mob if the soldiers lives are considered to be in danger. Training in temperatures in excess of 120 F requires that the squad drinks several litres of water during a session. In order to make the training realistic both sides must act aggressively and this does result in injuries. During this session one soldier was evacuated after having his head split open by a baton blow.