News Article

A message from General Chris Deverell MBE Colonel Commandant.

22 August 2011

Following the Secretary of State's decision earlier this month to approve the transfer of elements of the CBRN role from the First Royal Tank Regiment to the Royal Air Force, the RTR Council held an Extraordinary Meeting on 17 August. We reviewed the background to the situation and considered the options for 1 and 2 RTR in the future.

The Council welcomed the Commander-in-Chief's address on his visit to Honington on 3 August in which General Parker warmly congratulated the Regiment on its outstanding performance both in and out of role since assuming the Joint CBRN task in 1999, and indicated that its future would be considered alongside, and no differently from, all other Royal Armoured Corps Regiments in the ongoing review of the Army's force structure.

This review is being conducted by Major General Carter following the outcome of the Ministry of Defence's 3 Month Exercise, announced in July, which will result in a further reduction in regular Army numbers - below the level planned in last year's SDSR - from the current figure of over 100,000 to 90,000 by 2015 and to 82,000 by 2020.

Along with my fellow Council members, I can see that the numbers in the RAC are likely to reduce as a result of this review, which will conclude in the Autumn. The RTR will, of course, accept its fair share of any reductions. However, against that backdrop, the Council will be seeking the best possible outcome for the RTR from this work. It is my intent that the RTR will remain a significant and proportionate element of the RAC. I will say more as soon as it is sensible to do so. In the meantime, I would discourage speculation.

To those of you currently serving in Honington, or shortly to go there, I should add that I welcome the stability offered by the decision that there will be no move of 1 RTR next year, and I am encouraged by the efforts of DRAC and HQ Land Forces to allocate some rewarding interim tasks to you, including on operations, pending whatever longer term outcome is decided. I would expect you to depart from the CBRN role with the same professionalism you have demonstrated whilst you held it, and to focus on opportunities rather than threats as we face the future together.

Fear Naught.

Maj Gen C M Deverell MBE

Col Comdt RTR

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