Recording: Op NEWCOMBE: Long-Range Patrolling as Part of UN Peacekeeping in Mali

Operating for the last eight years, the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) aims to tackle the growth of terrorist violence and conflict between communities in one of the world’s poorest countries.

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Operation NEWCOMBE covers the UK’s support to MINUSMA in two parts: logistical and airlift support to the French-led Operation Barkhane, and the Long-Range Reconnaissance Group (Mali) (LRRG(M)), tasked with peacekeeping support through intelligence gathering and long-range patrols. Having recently returned from the second deployment of the LRRG(M), the Second Battalion, the Royal Anglian Regiment will reflect on their peacekeeping role experiences.

The forum covers a variety of subjects including the use of UK forces within a UN context; supporting peacekeeping reform; medical provision over large distances; integration of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) and stabilisation.

About the speakers

Lieutenant Colonel Will Meddings, Commanding Officer 2nd Battalion, The Royal Anglian Regiment, ‘The Poachers’. Lieutenant Colonel Meddings commanded the UK Long Range Reconnaissance Group on Operation NEWCOMBE, part of The United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA). He took command of The Poachers in September 2019, has deployed on operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, and moves in March 2022 to the Africa Plans desk of the Permanent Joint Headquarters at Northwood.

Major Bryn Williams was the Officer Commanding of C Squadron, 1st The Queen’s Dragoon Guards, the Light Cavalry Squadron deployed in Mali on Operation NEWCOMBE 2 as part of the Long Range Reconnaissance Group. He took command of the Squadron in July 2020, having previously served as the Military Assistant to the Chief of the General Staff. Prior to promotion to Major, Major Williams had served at Regimental Duty throughout his career, completing two operational deployments to Afghanistan, including with the Brigade Reconnaissance Force.

Major Harry Willis, Officer Commanding of A (Lincolnshire) Company, 2 ROYAL ANGLIAN. Major Willis deployed on Op NEWCOMBE as Officer Commanding of the Long Range Reconnaissance Group’s Light Mechanised Infantry Company. He took command in June 2020 having previously served in the United States and the Ministry of Defence.

The panel discussion is chaired by Paul O’Neill, Director of Military Sciences.


Paul O’Neill

Senior Research Fellow

Military Sciences

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