Operation QALB

Royal Artillery Open Fire in Afghanistan

British Army Royal Artillery Op QALB (Op HERRICK) Helmand Afghanistan (Crown Copyright, 2013, OGL)[1180crop]

Royal Artillery on Op QALB (Op HERRICK) in Afghanistan (Crown Copyright, 2013)

Soldiers from 4 Brigade Reconnaissance Force (BRF), on Operation QALB, Helmand Province, Afghanistan, in 2013. Here, a corporal from the British Army’s Royal Regiment of Artillery provides covering fire while comrades from 4 BRF cross open ground. Part of Operation HERRICK, Op QALB was a joint ISAF and ANSF operation, tasked with finding Taliban caches and disrupting the insurgents’ supply chains. Over all they retrieved and destroyed 1.5 tonnes of what the MOD called “lethal aid” in two days.

Military Units Featured

Royal Regiment of Artillery


Royal Regiment of Artillery

The Royal Regiment of Artillery, commonly referred to as the Royal Artillery (RA) and colloquially known as “The Gunners”, is the artillery arm of the British Army. The Royal Regiment of Artillery comprises thirteen Regular Army regiments, King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery and five Army Reserve regiments.

4 brigade reconnaissance Force

Brigade Reconnaissance Forces (BRFs) carry out ISTAR (Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition, and Reconnaissance) for the main body of the Brigade. BRFs typically comprise of reconnaissance specialists plus attached artillery spotters, forward air controllers, snipers, medics, engineers, etc. 4th Mechanized Brigade deployed for Herrick 17 (October 2012 – April 2013), with the BRF for Herrick 17 being drawn from B Squadron, Queen’s Royal Lancers (B Sqn QRL). 4 BRF deployed to Afghanistan in 2010, with the confirmed involvement of  the 4th Regiment Royal Artillery. Under Army 2020 the 4th Mechanized Brigade was reformed as an infantry brigade and renamed the 4th Infantry Brigade and Headquarters North East (The Black Rats).

Military Equipment Featured

SA80 A2 with Underslung Grenade Launcher

British Army standard SA80 A2 assault rifle with Heckler & Kock AG36 underslung grenade launcher. Designated L123A2 UGL by the British Army, the AG36 is a single-shot 40 mm grenade launcher that operates on the High-Low System and was designed primarily for installation on the G36 assault rifle, manufactured by the German armaments company Heckler & Koch of Oberndorf am Neckar.


Sergeant Rupert Frere, RLC. Crown Copyright, 2013.

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