In the case that calls for involvement in the conflict in Ukraine, British Army bosses training troops for war have said they are battle-ready. The Mirror embedded in Oman with The Royal Anglian Regiment, which will next year command NATO’s Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF).
Should the 30-country alliance opt to get involved, the VJTF would be the first to meet the Russian Army in Eastern Europe. This comes after claims this weekend were denied by the British Army Chiefs that they would be unprepared to lead the force from next year.
Mirror reporters were given access to a mock assault on an enemy urban area in Exercise Khanjar Oman, which is the main field training exercise of a four-month deployment for the regiment in the desert. The British troops face a "peer enemy" - an army with similar military capabilities - as they prove their force to Vladimir Putin.
Since the days following Russia's invasion of Ukraine last March, the regiment has focused on training to take on such an enemy. With a large amount of the Army training in recent decades being geared towards tackling terrorist threats, the approach has very much been shifted in the wake of the war in Ukraine.
Major Simon Cox, 39, suggested scepticism that troops from Russia were actually "up for it", and said his troops are keen to fight. The Iraq and Afghanistan war veteran and 2nd battalion B company commanding officer, said: "People might ask why are you training in a hot, dusty environment when we’re looking to Eastern Europe?