4/5 RANGERS, First Annual Camp, Cyprus.

Sat, 06/12/1993 - Fri, 06/25/1993
Colonel-in-Chief visits Assault Pioneer Platoon, 4/5 RANGERS in Cyprus.
The Colonel-in-Chief, HRH The Duke of York CVO ADC, visits 4/5 RANGERS Assault Pioneer Platoon at Akamas Training Area, western Cyprus.

The 4th/5th Battalion The Royal Irish Rangers, commanded by Lt Col E Glover R IRISH, attended Annual Camp, Exercise LIONS PRIDE, at Bloodhound Camp, Episkopi, Western Sovereign Base Area (WSBA) Cyprus from 12 - 25 June 1993. Ex LIONS PRIDE was the title of a UK battalion's deployment to a British Forces Cyprus training facility.

The Defence Review, Options for Change, resulted in 4/5 RANGERS becoming one of only eight TA battalions with an ACE Rapid Reaction Corps (ARRC) role. Specifically the role was to be in the ARRC Rear Area. Companies were to be operational by 1 October 1993 and 4/5 RANGERS overall by 1 April 1994. These dates became the key objectives for the Training Year 1993-1994 and the main effort was to be at Annual Camp. It was therefore preceded by ARRC study periods, TEWTs (Tactical Exercises Without Troops) and then the Battle Procedure necessary to set the ARRC scenario so that the battalion could be deployed directly into the battle area. Over 12/13 June the Main Body of 435 personnel flew directly from RAF Aldergrove to RAF Akrotiri.

On arrival the battalion's battle procedure deployed companies directly into company defensive locations on Ex SHADEED RANGER, the battalion field training exercise, which secured Route TARA through the ARRC rear area. The Echelon was based in Bloodhound Camp. This was the first time that the majority of personnel had deployed onto an exercise in the field for a continuous period of seven days. Meanwhile, the Support Company Group had deployed to Akamas Training Area at the western end of the island. The support weapon platoons undertook an intensive period of live firing including the Assault Pioneer Platoon who were able to practice demolition exercises, including the firing of three Rapid Cratering Devices.

The final period, following the prolonged exercise, saw all personnel on Rest and Recreation attending a range of recreational sports activities and adventure training courses. The battalion departed RAF Akrotiri on 25 June and returned to Northern Ireland via RAF Brize Norton in England.

The most senior visitor was the Colonel-in-Chief, His Royal Highness The Duke of York CVO ADC. Prince Andrew first joined the officers of 1 R IRISH and 4/5 RANGERS for the Waterloo Dinner which was hosted by 1 R IRISH, the resident battalion WSBA at Episkopi. The following day and night Prince Andrew visited Battalion Headquarters and the Echelon in Bloodhound Camp, Support Group at Akamas and (by last light) the rifle company positions on Route TARA.