Thursday, 23 November 2017
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Rifleman B will always be a Rifleman.

The stripes, crowns, laurels, stars and swords of rank... black, white, silver, gold or red... embroidered, stitched, printed or stamped... are unlikely to be his. His "Swift and Bold" lumbers along at the Experimental Corps' cadence of hundred and forty paces to the minute. This rate of advance is the unchanged distinction for Sir John Moore's 18th century dark, racing-Rifle-green innovation of the embodiment of the thinking solder, who continues to serve us all, Wellington, Richards, Fox, my family and yours, so well.

So many prescribed lessons, quality instruction, Explanation, Demonstration, Imitation and Practice go, systematically, plan-fully and (of humane necessity) de-sensitisingly, into the uniquely standard casting of each and every modern Rifleman. That ingraining, into muscle memory, of each element of basic, advanced and continuation training, as skills combine into drills sequenced tactically as part of the operational art designed to achieve strategy, will, randomly, save some of our "happy few" lives, and help our band of Brothers and Amazons, to decide how best to do bad things to "very bad" people; to wit: the Queen's enemies.

Before the New Year, Tornado, Typhoon and Reaper aircraft conducted airstrikes in both Iraq and Syria, reports the UK Defence Journal. According to an MoD press release:

"A precision guided Paveway IV weapon was used to destroy a Islamic State artillery position and weapons cache on the outskirts of Mosul. Concealed amongst trees under dense foliage, the Tornado was able to locate and score a hit against the Islamic State target.

A further weapons stockpile was targeted, this time in Mosul, by a Tornado-launched Brimstone weapon. The terrorist weapons were successful destroyed by a direct hit. The same Tornado formation was then tasked to a target in Syria, two kilometres north of Palmyra.

A Brimstone weapon was used in a precision attack to destroy a Islamic State artillery weapon which was mounted on a truck. Tornado aircraft conducted thorough checks before each strike to ensure that no civilians were put at risk.

Typhoon aircraft were also performing close air support duties over Iraq, supported by a Voyager air refuelling tanker. Reaper remotely piloted aircraft struck three targets in Mosul, assisting Iraqi troops on the ground. Three Hellfire missiles were launched against three separate Islamic State targets, including a mortar team hidden under a tree line."

Although often under reported, drone strikes or claims of them continue mainly in Afghanistan, but also in Somalia and Yemen. On the next page is a round up of alleged drone strikes in June 2016. Strikes by manned aircraft, often with indistinguishable effect, are excluded where identified as such.

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