The British Army’s official Twitter account shared an interesting photo of the pipe rifle range at NATO’s base in Kabul showing ‘newly arrived’ troops zeroing their rifles. The Hamid Karzai International Airport (HKIA) Pipe Range is part of NATO’s base near Kabul’s airport. Interestingly, the men are armed with the L85A2, not the ‘new’ L85A3 which is reportedly supposed to be issued to all units going on operations. They’re also armed with the L131/Glock 17 pistols in RADAR holsters.
From their shoulder flashes, it appears that these men are from the 2nd Battalion, the Mercian Regiment, which has recently deployed to Afghanistan. 110 men of D company 2 Mercian are on a short-term, 10-week deployment bolstering the Kabul Security Force.
They’re tasked with patrol and force protection operations in and around Kabul as a part of Operation Resolute Support, the ongoing NATO-led training, advise and assist mission which replaced ISAF after the drawdown of combat operations.