Foot soldiers from 1st Battalion the Irish Guards have been deployed into the Belize rainforest as part of an exercise to learn how to fight using the jungle itself as a method of defence.
The Irish Guards, who are currently based in Hounslow , are swapping their iconic outfits - bearskins and red tunics - for head-to-toe camouflage as they take on all the jungle has to throw at them.
Mayan Storm is a three-phase training exercise, teaching survival and navigation. Whilst in the jungle the soldiers will have to hunt for their own food, survive ambushes and be aware of the jungle's inhabitants such as dangerous snakes and spiders, and of course there is also the weather to contend with.One of the Guards spoke of his experience in the Central American Jungle. He said: “The training has been emotional, the heat and the environment is so much harder to deal with than any other I have experienced. I am really looking forward to getting some proper kip and freshening up.”
Although based in Hounslow, the soldiers are frequently recruited from further afield such as Ireland, Liverpool and Manchester. The current regiment was formed by order of Queen Victoria back in 1900, to recognise the courageous acts carried out by Irish soldiers in the Second Boer War.
After returning from the rainforest, the Guards will begin preparations for the Queen's 2017 Birthday Parade.