The Middle East

28 February

Since its formation in 1968 the Regiment has served in the Middle Eastern Theatre on two wars, Operation GRANBY, the liberation of Kuwait from Iraqi forces and Operation TELIC, the invasion of Iraq and subsequent stabilisation operations.

The Middle East

Operation GRANBY was the operational name given to theBritish military operations during the 1991 Gulf War whose aim was to liberateKuwait after the Iraqi invasion in August 1990. In all 53,462 members of theBritish Armed Forces were deployed during the conflict.

The Third Battalion, the Royal Regiment of Fusiliersdeployed on Operation GRANBY from its barracks in Deilinghofen, Germany in theautumn of 1990 and by New Year’s Day were complete in Saudi Arabia. On the 17thJanuary 1991, following the Iraqi refusal to comply to the United Nationsdeadline to withdraw its forces from Kuwait Operation DESERT STORM begun withthe Air campaign. After intensive build up training, the Land Campaign began onthe 24th February and by 0800hrs 28th February was complete with the Iraqiagreement to a 2 ceasefire. During the 97 hours of theLand battle the Fusilier Battlegroup had advanced 350 kilometres from the Saudiborder to the northern approaches to Kuwait City.

During Operation GRANBY six Fusiliers were killed alongsidethree Privates from the Queen’s Own Highlanders, who were attached to C Companyin a ‘friendly fire’ incident. A further Fusilier was killed whilst trainingimmediately after the cessation of hostilities. Subsequently the Regiment wasawarded the battle honour Gulf 1991 which appears on the Regimental Colour.

Op TELIC was the operational name under which all ofthe United Kingdom's military operations in Iraq were conducted between thestart of the Invasion of Iraq on 19 March 2003 and the withdrawal of the lastremaining British forces on 22 May 2011. The bulk of the mission ended on 30April 2009.

The First Battalion, the Royal Regiment of Fusiliersdeployed on Operation TELIC in February 2003 as part of 1 (UK) ArmouredDivision which was involved in operations in southern Iraq around and in thecity of Basra. They were instrumental in the capture of Basra and then thesubsequent stabilisation operations. Following the defeat of Iraqi forces andthe removal of Saddam Hussein, the Coalition Forces continued to mountstabilisation and support operations in Iraq until 2011. The First Battalionconducted a further two six month deployments in 2005/6 and in 2008. The SecondBattalion also deployed company sized reinforcement groups whilst based inBelfast and Cyprus between 2005/8.

During Operation TELIC four Fusiliers were killed and therewere numerous injured. It should not go unmentioned that many officers andsoldiers from the Regiment, both Regular and Reserve, deployed as individualreinforcements to other units and HQs on many occasions throughout OperationTELIC. Subsequently the Regiment was awarded the battle honour Iraq 2003 whichappears on the Regimental Colour.