News Article

MESSAGE FROM CO 1 RTR

13 November 2012

1St Royal Tank Regiment Update  The final elements of the 1st Royal Tank Regiment are now returning from theatre. The end of D Squadron’s commitment to provide the Reception, Staging and Onward Integration (RSOI) package for new arrivals into Afghanistan will mark the end of a long and challenging deployment for the Regiment. And we look forward to welcoming D Squadron back to Honington on 21 November. However, the Regiment’s commitment to Op HERRICK is not yet over. Those that have returned from Afghanistan will now support the training of 1 Mechanised Brigade, of which the 2nd Royal Tank Regiment is a part, imparting knowledge and vital lessons learned, in the run-up to its deployment in the spring. Our successful Operational Tour on HERRICK 16 and return to the UK is being marked by a series of homecoming parades. D Squadron will be marching through Glasgow on 24 November, and G Squadron will be marching through Liverpool on 1 December. The Regiment will conduct a medal parade, including a service in the Cathedral and subsequent VIP reception, in Bury St Edmunds on 28 November. In addition the 1st will also be taking part in the 12 Mechanised Brigade parade at the Houses of Parliament on 26 November. These parades will give an opportunity for friends and families of the Regiment, and the local communities on whom we depend, to come out and show their support for Tankies of the 1st and thank them for their efforts overseas this year. The Glasgow and Liverpool parades are particularly significant as they will possibly be the last time the 1st Royal Tank Regiment will march through its traditional recruiting grounds before the merger with the 2nd. With the RHQ team now back at our desks, Maj Kevin Forde (OC HQ Sqn) and his Rear Operations Group (ROG) have now officially stood down. In addition to keeping Regimental business ticking over throughout the deployment, the ROG and Welfare team have supported the deployed soldiers and their families with real dedication and commitment, making the transition from operations to life back in the UK as smooth as possible. Individual Augmentees, Dog handlers, and the Mastiff Crews of G Sqn have all commenced their post tour routine, including some well-earned leave. The chance to rest and recharge has been important and necessary as the pace of activity will steadily build after Christmas. Whist the fine detail of future Regimental activity is still to be confirmed, a steady build up of training including 120mm ranges and culminating in an exercise, on armour, in Canada next autumn is an exciting prospect. The requirement to get soldiers of the 1st fully re-acquainted with armour, and complete the raft of associated individual and crew qualifications as soon as possible, is certainly a major task. However it is one that is essential for our people ahead of the Merger, and it is very welcome. We suspect that his will be the final time the Regiment goes through a training year before attention turns to the lowering of the 1St Royal Tank Regiment Flag at Honington in 2014, so we absolutely intend to make the most of it! Fear Naught CO 1 RTR

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