Regimental Update: November 2018

In the last 8 months (Apr – Nov 18) we have been fully immersed in our Committed Year, which has been excellent for the Regiment. It has provided opportunities for the majority of our soldiers and officers to deploy on testing and interesting exercises which will have us well-placed for BATUS and Op CABRIT in Estonia in 2019.

‘C’ Squadron, led by Maj Gez Kearse, along with his squadron second in command (Capt Alex Pattison) and SSM (WO2 Sparks) have been outstanding as an independent subunit on Salisbury Plain Training Area. ‘C’ Squadron has achieved all the tasks and effects required of them despite being geographically removed from the Regiment and with a plethora of frictions from higher formations and contractors. They have done a brilliant job which has reflected very well on the Regiment.

I am happy to report that as the Opposition Force (OPFOR) we gave the KRH BG a very good run out on the Prairie and we can honestly claim to have come out on top. BGHQ worked extremely well in austere conditions and the sub-units embraced the mission command given to them to achieve some impressive and audacious manoeuvre. The experience has also helped us to prepare for our own BATUS in 2019.

Capt Barnaby Spink and the RGSS, SSgt Jones, lead a troop of Queen’s Royal Hussars to Grafenwoehr to compete in the Strong Europe Tank Challenge. It was the first time the British Army had taken part in this event for many years. They came a commendable fourth place out of eight which was pleasing considering the comparative amount of preparation the other teams were able to put in. Most satisfying was that they were consistently the best troop in terms of tactics and fitness.

In June we were honoured to exercise the Freedom of Paderborn with the rest of the 20th Armoured Infantry Brigade, as well as receive the Fahnenband from the Stadt. It was an immensely proud moment for the Regiment and it seems a fitting way to bid farewell to our home of 20 years.

On a very sombre note, the Regiment lost a young soldier this year. Tpr Staley was killed in September whilst training for Ex-Cambran CAMBRIAN PATROL. In line with the wishes of his family, he had a full military funeral. The day was exceptionally well coordinated by ‘D’ Squadron SSM (WO2 Russell) and it was a very fitting way to lay him to rest.

Lt James Passfield led the Cambrian Patrol team to a silver medal. A terrific result for which he and the soldiers should be rightly proud. A Bronze medal last year and a Silver this year, highlight the high standards of basic soldiering in The Queen’s Royal Hussars. Gold is the target for next year.

The polo team had a successful summer winning the Captains’ and Subalterns’ trophy and sending officers to represent the Army. It is very pleasing how much talent we have in the Officers’ Mess and it is even better that we also have a Trooper in the team.

The Alpine, Nordic and Cresta teams are making the final touches to their plans and bids for funding. I am confident we can do well this year although our record-breaking Alpine team has been broken up by postings. We have already sent a snowboarding team away in which Tpr Wright won Best Snowboarder on Ex SNOW METHOD and was selected for the Army team.

The football team made it to the final of the Cavalry Cup, but with the majority of the Regiment in Canada, we were unable to bring it home. Over the summer the team had a successful tour of Los Angeles and are now getting ready for the new season.

Recent AT trips have included Ex DOLOMOITE DEVIL led by Lt Johnny Sleeman which was a hiking expedition. Capt Morant managed to get away sailing. ‘C’ Squadron are planning on running a cycling expedition in Italy in the new year. Over 130 soldiers and officers did AT in Canada this year.

Many of the mess members are decamped from Remembrance Weekend in Birmingham and headed to Scotland for Ex HIGHLAND HUSSAR. Unfortunately due to a late extension of our pre-BATUS planning exercise, not as many people as we had planned will be able to go. However, I know they will have a great time and I firmly believe it is an important event to run annually.

Next year will be a challenge for the Regiment. Preparation is on track for the Regiment’s final deployment to Bergen-Hohne. The whole regiment will deploy and during the package, we plan to progress from individual Annual Crew Test (ACT) to tactical troop manoeuvre.

The QRH BG will deploy to BATUS from April to June. The Battlegroup will be made up of C Squadron, Command and Recce Troops, as well as companies from 5 Rifles and 1 Royal Regiment of Fusiliers. The Brigade Commander recognises how we are different from an Armoured Infantry Battlegroup and he is therefore designing our training to exercise our core skills: shock action and destruction of enemy armour, with less emphasis on stabilisation and urban operations.

HQ Squadron Leader, Maj Jason Styles (RL) has got to grips with rebasing and we have been told that we are better placed than other units at this stage. The PEC has been closed and handed back, pictures are coming off the walls and we are clearing out all the attics and cellars. The announcement of the Joint Vision Statement by the Secretary of State this month has given some much-needed clarity on the future of Athlone Barracks which will remain a British Army camp.

BATUS is the primary preparation for the deployment to Estonia and the Regiment will also conduct pre-deployment training in Sep/ Oct 19. Soldiers have been loaded onto the Cold Weather Survivors course and we are planning a recce in early 2019. The expected tour dates are Nov 19 – May 20.

After BATUS Regimental Headquarters will undergo some changes with Lt Col Shann taking over as Commanding Officer, Maj Erskine-Naylor (Scots DG) as 2IC, Capt Barnaby Spink as Adjutant and Capt Max Morant as Operations Officer.

Major Mark Cubitt, Regimental Second in Command

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