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British Army Special Operations Brigade Ranger

ASOB Ranger from II Ranger Battalion [© Bob Morrison]

At the recent DSEI 2023 expo in London we were given the opportunity to pose a British Army Special Operations Brigade Ranger for K&C, writes Bob Morrison.

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Formed initially as the Specialised Infantry Group (SPEC INF) in October 2017, then reshaped in August 2021, the foundations of the British Army Special Operations Brigade or ASOB currently comprise “four Ranger Battalions and the Joint Counter Terrorist Training and Advisory Team (JCTTAT)”. UK MoD states “the Ranger Battalions will consist of All Arms Regular and Reserve volunteers who are carefully screened, assessed, selected and then professionally educated and trained prior to deploying on operations”.

A three-man Ranger team at DSEI 2023 [©BM]

Being ‘Special Operations Capable’, the Rangers have a lower public profile than more conventional British Army units, but official MoD sources state: “The Ranger Battalions will have a persistent presence across the world, to operate with allies and partners and to tackle adversaries, wherever they pose a threat to the UK and its interests. Ranger Battalions and JCTTAT are optimised to operate alongside selected specialised Partner Forces in complex, high threat environments to counter threats posed by Violent Extremist Organisations (VEO).”

A three-man Ranger team at DSEI 2023 [©BM]

Each of the four Ranger Battalions is aligned to a specific Area of Responsibility which can roughly be delineated as: I Ranger covering West Africa; II Ranger covering East and Southern Africa; III Ranger covering Eastern Europe plus Northwest Asia between the Mediterranean and Caspian Seas; and IV Ranger covering the Middle East. The Rangers on this page are from the 2nd Battalion, which was initially formed out of 2 PWRR (Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment) and is home-based at Keogh Barracks in Surrey.

The Ranger who kindly posed for the lead image and the four-view on this page wears Crye Precision G4 Combat uniform in MultiCam and a Gentex Ops-Core FAST SF Helmet. He is armed with the recently announced L403A1 AIW (Alternative Infantry Weapon) aka the Knight’s Armament Company (KAC) 5.56x45mm KS-1. Edgar Brothers of Macclesfield is the prime contractor for this specialist Army Ranger kit.

British Army officer wearing grey Ranger beret briefing Lt Gen Sharon Nesmith, DCGS, at DSEI 2023 [©BM]
Tactical Union Flag worn by Rangers on the left arm [©BM]
Ranger flash photographed on Salisbury Plain in September 2022 [©BM]

[images © Bob Morrison]

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