The Covid-19 pandemic that broke in March 2020 has impacted the Regiment. The Battalion is under LONDIST command, but with no State Ceremonial and Public Duties (SCPD) in the present programme, they are doing as much ‘green training’ as possible – focussing on the basics of infanteering; Shoot, Move and
Communicate. They are however maintaining their attention to detail on the drill. With an operationally focussed outlook, there is much to be
done before resubordination to 11 Brigade in February 2022.
Over the early part of 2020, the Battalion has focussed on the delivery of Mobile Testing Units (MTUs), which saw Guardsman deployed across London in ‘pop-
up’ Covid-19 testing sites. The Battalion then took a much-deserved period of summer leave before returning to work.
The Queen’s Company were busy preparing for their four-month tour to the Falkland Islands. As part of their preparation, they assisted another unit on Ex BLUE MAKTIA as their OPFOR. As of late October, they formally took on the responsibility of the Falkland Islands Roulemont Infantry Company (FIRIC) from the Inkerman Company.
Number Two Company completed a three-week exercise in Brecon. The purpose was to build low-level skills and become reacquainted with living in austere conditions for extended periods. The exercise culminated in a Company attack.
At the end of October, The Inkerman Company returned back in the UK from their four-month FIRIC commitment. They then took leave and in November 2020 conducted Autumn drills to be ready to fill the SCPD plot as required.
Support Company focused on building up numbers and internal cadre training, supported another Regiment on a six-week-long Battalion-level test exercise (with the provision of a reconnaissance section, an anti-tank detachment and a mortar line) and finally Battalion-level innovation activities and conceptual training.
Headquarter Company maintained its place as the glue that holds the Battalion together. With so many of the fighting components of the Battalion committed,
keeping the soldiers paid, equipped, fed and watered is challenging!
Battalion Headquarters were busy too. Commanding Officers conducted their handover, a new Adjutant and a new Operations Officer came into post. The Commanding Officer and associated personnel joined Number Two Company in Brecon for their final week of exercise and commanded the final attack. More Battalion-level exercises are in the pipeline for 2022!
Nijmegan Company continues to be the best-manned of the Incremental Companies and during 2020 conducted two (small) Guards of Honour (socially distanced) in one week. They too were affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and had no ceremonial element to Public Duties. Guard duties were extended to 7 days in length. Men from the Company conducted their annual battle camp in Brecon, deployed nine Gdsm on FIRIC (Falkland Islands), raised money for Stamford Hall (Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre) by running 4 miles every 4 hours for 48 hours while on Tower Guard, returned to Brecon to focus on fieldcraft and tactics. Nijmegen Company will be on Queen’s Guard and Windsor Guard over Christmas 2020 and deploy on exercise with the 1st Battalion in early 2021 as part of their preparation for Kenya later that year.
The 1st Battalion is presently stationed in Lille Barracks, Aldershot.
Nijmegen Company is stationed in Wellington Barracks, London.