Local reservists head to Italy

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Soldiers from the Borders and Berwickshire serving with the 52nd Lowland, 6th Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland (6 SCOTS) left for Italy last Friday.

The reserve batallion will be training with their hosts – the 8th Alpini Regiment,(8° Reggimento Alpini) of the Italian Army – as part of the ongoing Exercise Roman Star.

They’ll be based in the camp at Caserma Goi Pantanali in the town of Gemona Del Friuli in the province of Udine – which is a two-and-a-half hour drive north from Venice.

Exercise Roman Star will see the reservists learn how to adapt to the changing nature of conflict. As the Army looks to reduce its forces in Afghanistan and retrain to combat the new security threats facing the world, the way in which they train is also changing, thanks to a heavier reliance on reserve soldiers to integrate with the regular army, and to equip them in the same way.

It is the first of a series of overseas exercises for the reserves, who hope to increase their numbers to meet the demands of the new structure.

6 SCOTS are taking the lead on the exercise, but will be joined by soldiers from other regiments, such as 7 SCOTS (reservists from the Scottish Highlands) and regular soldiers from 3 SCOTS and 4 SCOTS as well as2REME (based in Leuchars).

And heading to watch them in action this week will be Southern Reporter journalist Kevin Janiak, who will be interviewing the locals to see what being a reservist in today’s army means to them.