The aircraft were deployed in support of the British Army’s Royal Gibraltar Regiment, which was training with the 2eme Brigade d’Infanterie Parachutiste (2nd Parachute Infantry Brigade) of the Moroccan Army in Exercise ‘Jebel Sahara’ between 6-28 October.
The British Army is ramping up its adaptive foundation training activities in Kenya, using the country as a surrogate Contemporary Operating Environment (COE).
The Royal Air Force, meanwhile, is training aircrew in Morocco, seen as an Afghanistan-representative theatre.
Jane’s Defence Weekly recently reported that the British Army Training Unit Kenya (BATUK) will now host seven annual six-week battle group exercises – up from three before.
It notes the 3rd Battalion, Royal Regiment of Scotland (The Black Watch) became the first to pass through at a new tempo in early October.
British training activities have been controversial in Kenya, with local communities all-too-often complaining loudly about unexploded ordnance and disciplinary infractions. Most have been dismissed as unfounded on investigation.
The International Defence Review notes that a flight of five Boeing Chinook HC.2s and AgustaWestland Merlin HC.3s from the UK’s Joint Helicopter Command (JHC) “deployed to Morocco in early October to exercise their rapid deployment and operational flying skills in an Afghanistan-representative theatre”.