Page 31 - MBS 2022/23
P. 31

                                 As I approach the end of my third year with 1st Bn London Guards, I can look back on a very enjoyable and rewarding time. 1st Bn London Guards are the only Army Reserve battalion for the Guards Division. Each company supports a regular battalion, from the Irish Guards, Grenadier Guards, Coldstream Guards and Scots Guards. Soldiers from the battalion are therefore given the opportunity to serve anywhere in the world with their regular battalion, this includes ceremonial duties in London. Currently there are soldiers deployed on Op INTERFLEX training the Ukrainian army. The last 12-months have seen me delivering a unit health fair, the GOC’s annual sports trophy competition and regular fitness testing weekends at Wellington Bks. The Battalion has also taken part in the GOC’s Sports Trophy Competition as well as the Army Indoor Rowing League, two sailing weekends at the Army Inshore Sail Training Centre at Thorney Island and their annual training
WO2 (QMSI) K Pitcairn RAPTC
 camp in Italy. So what is the battalion doing now? The battalion are currently preparing for the King’s Coronation in May and Trooping the Colour in June. This means 440 soldiers being fitted
for bearskins and tunics, not forgetting months of drill. A first for the 1st Bn London Guards.
GOC LONDIST’s Sports Trophy - TOW Competition 2022
 As I enter my final 6 months in post at 1st Battalion Coldstream Guards, it can only be described as a remarkable 3-year assignment. From COVID 19 hitting in 2020, a last- minute deployment to Iraq as NATO Support, to witnessing the Battalion showing their immaculate standards for her HM Queen Elizabeth’s State Funeral. After some well-earned Christmas leave the Battalion turned its attention to a 3-month deployment to Kenya, as part of Exercise ASKARI STORM.
Ex ASKARI STORM 23 would be the first time a full Battlegroup of over 1200 mutli-cap badge Service Personnel (SP) had been used since 2020. Arriving in Country, ready to Acclimatise 1200 SP, can only be described as “Herding Cats”. Luckily, 1st Battalion Scots Guards were deployed as enemy and sent out SSgt
3 Coy enjoying the Kenyan sunshine
SSgt (SSI) C Grose RAPTC
(SSI) B Sargent RAPTC, to give a helping hand. After the Acclimatisation phase had finished it was time to pretend I was an ATI. Due to the size of SP on ASKARI STORM, it was the first time in years that so many RAPTCIs had been in Kenya at the same time, so it was only right we “donned” the white vests and abseiled down the 100ft waterfall. After months of planning, it was good to see over 800 SP complete AT during the Exercise.
48-hours after leaving Kenya, the Battalion were changed and on parade
RAPTCIs – White Vest heroes
to take part in the King’s Coronation rehearsal parades. After 8 weeks in the field and 10 days “On the heel”, the Battalion had the privilege and honour, of once again show chasing their flawless ability to deliver a remarkable moment in history, The King’s Coronation Parade.
After months away from family and friends, the Battalion now turns its attention to some long overdue leave, before resetting and focusing on deployments to Iraq and Op INTERFLEX later in the year.
SSgt (SSI) C Grose and SSgt (SSI) B Sargent RAPTC at the centre of earth

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