Page 121 - The Rifles Bugle Autumn 2019
P. 121

  Tbilisi saw the Band’s second QBP performance and also our third joint performance over the years with the Georgian Defence Orchestra. Again, we have hosted musicians from their band in Exeter. Their Director has even conducted our band at Exeter Racecourse earlier this year at one of our community engagement events! The ability to forge relationships with music as the central theme cannot be underestimated and again our performance was watched by hundreds of local people. Two further concerts were held in Tbilisi; both aimed at the general public. One in Mtatsminda Park and the other at the trendy Fabrika. Here, the Soul Band came into their own and their lively performance of modern pop music in a relaxed atmosphere drew a large crowd which went long into the evening.
After another long road move, the third and final QBP of the tour took place in Baku. The importance of ‘flying the flag’ and flying it well makes all the difference to ‘UK PLC’ and everyone agreed that the added pomp we gave to the event made it a huge success. The final two engagements of the trip were outdoor joint concerts played to the general public with the State Border Service Band and the Azerbaijan MOD Orchestra. The latter is directed by a Major General who used to be a musician back in the old USSR! One of his claims is to have played for Maggie Thatcher during her state visit to Moscow. He certainly was an influential and inter- esting character!
After all the administration and hard work, our ADE was over for another year. It’s an old cliché that music is the international language and we certainly demonstrated its soft power. Used correctly and appropriately it can open doors, sway opinion and influence at a diplomatic level or on a national platform. Time and time again we have witnessed the effect of British musicians performing a local folk tune and feeling immediate warmth from the audience. It can be difficult to measure our influence, as often it can only be felt in the hall, square or from the stage from where we play. We look forward to delivering effect across the region long into the future.
WO2 Cregan
The Salamanca Band of The Rifles.
The Bugles perform the opening fanfare prior to the Ambassador’s Speech
As a part of the annual adventure training programme, 9 soldiers from 6 RIFLES and 1 outside instructor deployed on Ex TIGER ADRIATIC RIFLES to participate in a Sub-Aqua Diving expedition overseas on the island of Vis (Croatia), spanning 10 days. The aim of the expedition was to develop
key military skills such
in a challenging and
demanding environment.
It was also to develop
our in-house instructors,
and enable the training
of 6 RIFLES divers for
future expeditions. The
expedition saw the
group dive a handful of
sites around the island
of Vis, including the
dive wreck of the ‘Tulsa-
merican’ – an American
heavy B-24 bomber
which was disabled by
German fighter aircraft.
Other dives included
caves, wall dives and
shipwrecks, one being
a cargo ship with coal remaining in her hull. During the exercise, one soldier qualified as a BSAC Sports Diver, with three soldiers qualifying as Dive Leaders and two PADI – BSAC crossover courses. Others managed to make headway into their Advanced Diver qualification. During the planning phase, Rfn Gibson achieved a BSADS qualification.
This year’s expedition – Ex Submerged Bugle is due to take place in North Sardinia on 19th-29th October 19.
Lt Chris Flynn
OC 10 Pl
as planning and communication
  Charity Cycle
Major George Vosper, our RAO joined Royal British Legion colleagues to cycle 500 miles around Devon to raise money for the Poppy Appeal. Visiting 75 War Memorials to pay their respects the team took 6 day cycling between 85 and 102 miles each day. Devon is not flat country and over 35,000 feet of climbing was recorded on the over the week. £2500 was raised.
Maj George Vosper RAO
A Rifleman explores the wreckage of a plane in Croatia on Ex TIGER ADRIATIC
  Maj George Vosper celebrates the completion of his 500 mile cycle around Devon

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