Page 130 - The Rifles Bugle Autumn 2019
P. 130

 G Company
G Company has continued to grow its footprint across London with three locations: West Ham, Mile End and Kensington. In the last edition of the Bugle we were delighted to report that G Company had a new platoon outstation at Mile End. However, 2019 has seen the formation of another: 19 Platoon in Kensington. This is at section strength, but the aim is by the end of 2020 to have recruited and trained a full platoon.
G Company now has a trained strength of 80, with a further 25 recruits at different stages of training. The recruiting team, led by Corporal Mel Turner, has done an excellent job in driving recruitment. Our three locations each attract different potential applications, so a nuanced approach is required.
There has been some excellent training over the last year with the Mortar Cadre (including live firing) on Salisbury Plain, deployments to BATUS with 5 RIFLES and demanding company and battalion weekends. In the below articles you will learn about these in more detail.
Maj Robert Stewart OC G Coy 7 RIFLES
 How do we recruit our Reservists?
On the edge of West Ham Park, you will find G Company HQ. We have proven to be role models in reserve recruiting and have been dubbed on occasion ‘the most diverse sub unit in the British Army’. As a company we exhibit a varied selection of Rifleman across different occupations, ethnicities and religious backgrounds.
As a regiment The Rifles have of course one of the strongest and most easily recognisable brands in the British Army. Rather unsur- prisingly we benefit from this strength in respect of our recruitment. When people read about our regimental ethos encapsulated by ‘the thinking, fighting man’ and how well we have performed on operations, it places us in a favourable position. Outside this, G Company’s Recruitment Team led by our very experienced RSUSO Corporal Mel Turner, work very hard to disseminate information about the numerous opportunities and skills Reserve Service can provide.
This is done through the various events we attend and our skirmishes (temporary recruitment stands) in strategically selected locations to attract new and diverse talent. A typical event will involve setting up our area, showcasing some of our kit and equipment, and then quite simply, talking with people. We are approached by individuals with established lives, plans and interesting stories - our SOP is to listen to them. We go on to tell them more about us and the diverse range of opportunities a career with The Rifles can offer. Throughout this, we are measured, sincere and professional. We are not in the business of sales nor out on the ground to ‘convince people’. Those individuals who are ‘sold’ or ‘convinced’ to join will unlikely make it through the training or have a very limited career in the army. We attract recruits who are committed, resilient and giving of their time. Therefore, they need to want to join for themselves.
Another large part of our role is guiding people through the process once they apply, and helping them prepare for selection and subsequently, all of their recruit training. Navigating the many steps to develop a civilian into a trained Rifleman requires guidance and support and is not always straight forward. It can take an elapsed time of two years to train a Reservist. However, one thing is certain and that is the G Company recruiting team are always on-call to help.
Rfn Awais Waqar, G Coy 7 RIFLES
    Mortar Cadre
In May, members of 6 RIFLES and G Coy, 7 RIFLES travelled to Westdown Camp, Salisbury Plain for the Mortar Cadre. Over two weeks they learned the history, theory and operational aspects of the 81mm L16 mortar. These mortars are the backbone of an Infantry Battalion’s organic Manoeuvre Support Firepower and are used to put a heavy weight of fire down on an objective in an extremely short period.
As the saying goes, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” and this applies to the 81mm mortar more than perhaps any other capability employed by the Army. The mortar itself and the principles of its operation have their origins in the Stokes Mortar, devised by Sir Wilfred Stokes in 1915. Stokes’ mortar was a simple muzzle-loaded weapon, consisting of a smoothbore metal tube fixed to a base plate with a lightweight bipod mount – the same set up as used today.
The first week consisted of getting to grips with setting up and maintaining the mortar, in conjunction with understanding the theory and logic behind the operation of the C2 sight, how targets are engaged and how fire missions are built-up and employed as part of the wider battle picture. Then followed the heavy carry, a two-hour march over six miles carrying the standard combat weight of 20kg plus rifle, in addition to a piece of the mortar kit and ancil- laries.
From this, it was straight onto the overnight exercise. Mortar lines were established and camou- flaged, fire plans carried out using drill rounds, and then response drills to incoming direct fire (IDF) and enemy contact with the mortar line. It was the second week, however, that saw the real action – live firing. Nothing beats the thrill of dropping a round down the barrel for the first time and seeing everything learned up to that point fall into place. The strong attendance from both battalions means the standing up of another vital capability, ready and available to support training and operations going forward.
Rfn Tom Page G Coy 7 RIFLES
7 RIFLES mortar platoon in action

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