Armed Forces

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INTO THE EYE OF THE STORM

2 Platoon, I Company from the Royal Gibraltar Regiment (RG) was sent on a deployment to Kenya on Exercise ASKARI STORM towards the end of 2022.

Whilst on deployment, 2 Platoon were directed to work with 1RIFLES in a Battle Group context. They were integrated into C Company and were given the call sign 9 Platoon. Right from the start, 9 Platoon were just another member of a much larger team and meshed seamlessly with the rest of C Company and 1RIFLES.

9 Platoon, C Company, consisted of an RG platoon with 3 attached Riflemen from 5RIFLES. The Light Role infantry element of the 1RIFLES Battle Group consisted of 3 Companies including C Company.

Here the light role element spearheaded large scale manoeuvres and the RG learned about the battle rhythm and tactics employed with this level of workforce. It was a great opportunity to see the logistical, vehicle recovery and medical chains being tested throughout the exercise in real time.

Royal Gibraltar Regiment, I Company, Captain Thomas said, “One of the highlights that was voiced from 9 Platoon was the final action on CALFEX which was a live, black, Company assault on steep and difficult features in the region of Archers Post which is a settlement in Kenya’s Samburu County.

The live mortars and machine guns firing, whilst the reconnaissance guided the Companies into position before an arduous assault will be a memorable moment for all those involved.”

“It was an ideal platform to learn about bush tactics and practice some hard soldiering,” he continued, “It also provided an opportunity to show off the skills the RG continue to develop in Gibraltar.

From pre-deployment training, all the way through to the end of Ex ASKARI STORM, the RG were welcomed with open arms by 1RIFLES which made the actual training more enjoyable.”


Royal Gibraltar Regiment B Company’s Private (Pte) Bouhaltit has been presented with the Best Reserve Solider of the year for 2022.

The assessment is made over the calendar year to capture key training such as Exercise Jebel Tarik, Exercise Calpe Keys, Ceremonial Duties and Mandatory Annual Training Tests.

During 2022, Pte Bouhaltit had shown an enormous amount of commitment to the platoon and company and at one point was the only Annual Combat Marksmanship Test qualified soldier.

Battalion Second in Command, Major John Pitto MBE, said, “The last time a soldier was awarded the title of Best Soldier was 4 years ago. The platoon Sergeant and I were therefore very keen to bring this back as it provides an opportunity to recognise individuals from the platoon for their hard work and effort over the year of training.

Pte Bouhaltit puts the Company and training before his other commitments, including his 5 other jobs, but more noticeably, he always gives 100% effort in any training that is undertaken.”


Lt Cdr Adam Colman recently paid a courtesy call on The Governor as he relinquished his two-year command of the Royal Navy Gibraltar Squadron..

He leaves Gibraltar to attend the Intermediate Staff Course at Shrivenham before a short period on board HMS DEFENDER (Type 45 Destroyer) before starting the Principle Warfare Officers Course at HMS COLLINGWOOD in June.

Good luck from everyone at Insight.

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Sir Joe Bossano laid a wreath during the Remembrance Sunday ceremony at the Cenotaph in London, on behalf of His Majesty’s Government of Gibraltar and the People of Gibraltar.


SPORTSMAN OF THE YEAR

A local man is celebrating after becoming the first member of the Royal Gibraltar Regiment to be nominated for the Sportsman of the Year Award, held in Sandhurst.

Warrant Officer Class 2 (WO2), Ethaniel Jeffries-Mor, travelled to the UK for the two day ceremony, where he was presented with his Runner Up Sportsman of the Year Award by Major General Zac Stenning OBE, Commandant of the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst.

WO2 Jeffries-Mor, 44, became aware that he had been nominated for the award when he began receiving numerous messages from the Regiment’s Chain of Command, and members of the British Army Judo and Infantry Judo congratulating him on his nomination.

He said, “It took a few minutes before I realised what had happened. My family were over the moon when I told them, as they are the ones who support me day in day out especially my partner and kids, Noah and Chloe.”

Having competed since he was 16 years old, WO2 Jeffries-Mor said, “After so many years of hard work and dedication, selfless commitment, even leaving my family behind in order to pursue what I love and represent not only my Regiment but also Gibraltar, it couldn’t have felt better to have been nominated.

“I really couldn’t have done this without the continuous support of the Royal Gibraltar Regiment.”

WO2 Jeffries-Mor picked up an injury on his last training camp at the Judo School of Excellence in Walsall, resulting in a fracture to his right foot. Despite this, he remains active in order to prepare for his next competition, the Army Championships in January 23.


On Monday 14 November 2022, The Headquarters Company, Thomson’s Battery, fired a 21-Royal Gun Salute to celebrate the 74th Birthday of His Majesty King Charles III.

The ceremony was attended by the Inspecting Officer, His Excellency the Governor of Gibraltar, Sir David Steel KBE DL who was formally received and hosted by the Regiment’s Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel (Lt Col) Moore.

To mark the special occasion, the first round of the Royal Gun Salute was fired at 1200 under the watchful eye of the Battery Commander (BC) Major Garcia-White.

Members of the public gathered to watch the salute, which lasted just over three minutes as officers and veterans from the Royal Gibraltar Regiment stood to attention.

Major Garcia-White marched towards His Excellency, saluted, and reported that the Gun Salute was complete and that all guns were empty. The gun crews were then given a short address by His Excellency before he was invited to sign the Inspecting Officers’ book.

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Passing out Parade

The Royal Gibraltar Regiment is delighted to announce that five new recruits have passed out from Infantry Training Centre Catterick.

Family and friends gathered to watch Private Elder, Private Rowarth, Private Paredes Almonte, Private Maxwell and Private Posso march out in their passing out parade after spending six months in ITC Catterick.


The Gibraltar Defence Police is pleased to announce another officer has recently qualified as an Emergency Response Driving Instructor.

PC McOuat is only the second Gibraltar Defence Police officer to undertake the course which trains the driver to drive under response conditions with the blue lights and sirens on during an emergency.

PC McOuat took part in the Emergency Response Driver Training (ERDT) course at the HM Customs Training Wing. After successfully completing the training, he decided to undertake the instructor’s course.


Four Gibraltar Defence Police Officers were invited to an award presentation held by Gibraltar Hearing Issues and Tinnitus Association (GHITA) and The Hon Samantha Sacramento MP.

The officers took part in a British Sign Language (BSL) Course which started at the beginning of the year and ended in June. The online course, taught by a UK based instructor and assisted by a local instructor, was held via Zoom every Monday and Wednesday over a five month period.

Gibraltar Defence Police Chief Rob Allen said, “Carrying out our duties as police officers, communication is a key skill. For those members of the community with speech or hearing impairment, sign language is vitally important.

“The officers involved in this learning gave up their own free time to take part in this course to improve their ability to communicate, demonstrating their willingness to go above and beyond their usual duties for the benefit of the police service and wider community.”


Battle of Trafalgar Ceremony

Members of British Forces Gibraltar gathered in the Trafalgar Cemetery to commemorate the Battle of Trafalgar today, Friday 21 October 2022.

The service was attended by Commander British Forces, Commodore Tom Guy, His Excellency the Governor, Vice Admiral Sir David Steel, and the Chief Minister, Fabian Picardo, who each laid a wreath at the Admiral Lord Nelson Statue before the service commenced.

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Commanding Officer RG Handover

After serving for three years, The Royal Gibraltar Regiment gave a big send off to Lieutenant Colonel (Lt Col) Simon Dyson as he left his position as the Commanding Officer (CO) of the Royal Gibraltar Regiment.

The Battalion formed up on the Devils Tower Camp Parade Square and stood to attention as Commander British Forces, Commodore Tom Guy commended Lt Col Simon Dyson on his achievements over the past three years as CO.

Lt Col Dyson handed over the position of CO to his successor Lt Col Matt Moore.

Lt Col Simon Dyson said, “This week I have handed over to Lt Col Matt Moore, there are some bittersweet feelings about leaving, however I have had a great time here for the last three years.

“What they have delivered, the skill and dedication that the Royal Gibraltar Regiment have shown in the Public Duties both in the UK and here in Gibraltar was fantastic and I will always look on it with fond memories.”

Lt Col Matt Moore has been appointed as the CO of the Royal Gibraltar Regiment and will remain in post until March 2025.


INS TARANGINI VISITS

British Forces Gibraltar was delighted to host the Indian Navy Ship (INS) Tarangini.

INS Tarangini, the first Sail Training Ship of the Indian Navy, deployed from Kochi as part of Lokayan 22.

The ship, whose name comes from the Hindi word ‘Tarang’ meaning waves, is a three-masted steel barque, designed by Colin Mudie and built at Goa Shipyard Limited, Goa, India in November 1997.

Tarangini, which has a permanent crew of six officers and 30 sailors, is a near sister to STS Lord Nelson with the same hull and rig though with a different layout and deck works.

The ship carried out Flag Hoisting as part of ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav – the 76th Anniversary year of India’s Independence’ at London during the 76th Independence Day on 15 Aug 22.

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Officers from the Gibraltar Defence Police were awarded their Platinum Jubilee Medals in a recent ceremony held at the Force Headquarters in HMNB.

Officers who have served a minimum of 5 years in the emergency services are entitled to the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Medal.


Youth Outreach

Members of The Royal Gibraltar Regiment’s recruitment team invited The Youth Service to Devil’s Tower Camp to participate in the Royal Gibraltar Regiment Youth Outreach Programme.

Twenty children between the ages of 10 and 17 spent the day learning about the history of the Royal Gibraltar Regiment and what its responsibilities are today.


GDP Passing Out Parade

In a brief ceremony at the Gibraltar Defence Police (GDP) Headquarters in Her Majesty’s Naval Base, GDP’s Chief of Police Rob Allen presented new recruits with their certificates for completion of their initial training, and for the latest recruits their first warrant cards.

Speaking to the new recruits in the presence of family members, the Chief of Police first welcomed Commodore Tom Guy RN, who has recently taken over as Commander British Forces Gibraltar.

Turning to the recruits, Chief of Police, Rob Allen said: “You have achieved an early milestone in your careers, having completed your initial training. You have a unique status as police officers, and you should use your significant legal powers with integrity and humility at all times.

“As police officers, sworn under Gibraltar Law, first and foremost you are here to keep people safe – that is your principal objective.

“The MOD maintains a police force to work with other law enforcement agencies locally to provide the necessary safety and security for the MOD and Her Majesty’s armed forces to carry out their mission in Gibraltar.”

Addressing the recruits following the presentation of their certificates, Commodore Tom Guy said that he was delighted to be in Gibraltar and highlighted the importance of the GDP to British Forces Gibraltar.

The police officers involved were: PC Daubney, PC Prescott, PC Celecia, PC Lombard, PC Avellano, PC Mauro, PC Galliano, PC Gaivizo, PC Benyoussef, PC Stokes.


RG CHANGES

Warrant Officer Class 1 Patrick Canepa has been promoted to Captain after completing three years as the Royal Gibraltar Regiment’s Regimental Sergeant Major (RSM).

During his three years as RSM, he helped steer the Regiment through the COVID-19 Pandemic, administrated the Battalion and planned and executed ceremonial events such as the Royal Gun Salutes and Ceremony of the Keys.

Royal Gibraltar Regiment’s Capt Canepa said, “Becoming RSM has been the pinnacle of my career. I joined the Regiment 22 years ago and never expected to become RSM. To finish of my time as RSM, I had the privilege of planning and executing Public Duties outside the Royal Palaces.

“I was also present as the Regiment received their New Colours at Windsor Castle and was involved with the recent Royal Visit here in Gibraltar.

“I now look forward to my new role as the Planning Officer.”

Warrant Officer Class 1 Dan Henderson has also been appointed as the new RSM. Henderson enlisted in the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers in 1999. 

RSM Henderson added, “It is a great honour and a huge privilege to be appointed RSM of the Royal Gibraltar Regiment.”

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SWO Handover

Warrant Officer Class 1 (WO1) Brian “Taff” Morris has taken over as the Senior Warrant Officer (SWO) of HQBF Gibraltar as the most senior non-commissioned rank in the Command.

Taff, who joins from Navy Command Headquarters, has taken over from WO1 Mac McKenna, following a handover outside the HQBF Gibraltar Tower.

As the SWO, Taff will act as the conduit between the non-commissioned ratings and ranks of all three services based in Gibraltar as well as conducting important ceremonial roles as the Parade Commander of the Battle of Trafalgar ceremony; he will attend public and private events alongside CBF.

Outgoing SWO, Mac McKenna said, “The past two years serving as the SWO have been demanding but extremely rewarding in many ways. It has been an absolute privilege to be part of and work alongside some fantastic people

“Serving as SWO in Gibraltar has been one of my career highlights and I leave with some fond memories of occasions such as the Armed Forces Day in 2021 and most recently, the Royal Visit and Her Majesty the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations.”

Mac leaves Gibraltar to start a new chapter in his Royal Naval career. He joins the Britannia Royal Naval Collage in July to undertake his officer training as part of the Warrant Officer Commissioning Programme.

Speaking of his new role, Taff added, “I am both excited and honoured to be returning to Gibraltar in the position of SWO and look forward to supporting Commander British Force’s Command plan.

“I am looking forward to further progressing the work that has been ongoing throughout Mac’s tenure and look forward to meeting people and their families from across the Command”


Farewell To CBFG

At the start of the month, Commodore Steve Dainton bid farewell to The Tower and Her Majesty’s Naval Base after two years as Commander British Forces Gibraltar.

Commodore Dainton arrived in Gibraltar in 2020, amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. He will now head back to the United Kingdom and take up his promotion to Rear Admiral. He left The Tower aboard patrol boat HMS Cutlass with his wife, Caroline, waved off by staff.

During his time in Gibraltar, Commodore Dainton was instrumental in the implementation and development of plans in support of the Integrated Review, he has led British Forces Gibraltar during the COVID-19 pandemic, supporting resilience plans to help protect Gibraltar against the virus, as well as being committed to contingency plans surrounding ongoing EU exit negotiations. 

He was also the instigator for the First Armed Forces Day here in Gibraltar, in 2021, Commodore Dainton oversaw the arrival of HMS Cutlass and HMS Dagger and has championed the development of the Royal Gibraltar Regiment’s new maritime capability.

Commodore Steve Dainton commented, “I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here and I am very sad to leave. I was very fortunate when I found out that I was coming to Gibraltar. I have been coming back to Gibraltar since I was 18, so it has become my second home.

“I have had the privilege of working with some fantastic people whilst being here.” 

Everyone at Insight wishes you all the very best!


Jubilee Medals

British Forces Gibraltar personnel were recently awarded their Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Medal in a recent ceremony held in the Tower Courtyard, in the Naval Base, and on the parade square in Devil’s Tower Camp.

To mark The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, a special commemorative medal has awarded to all serving frontline members of the police, fire, emergency services, prison services and the Armed Forces. 

The Platinum Jubilee Medal is just one part of the year-long Platinum Jubilee celebrations that will take place throughout the United Kingdom, the Commonwealth and across the world in 2022, as The Queen becomes the first British Monarch to celebrate this incredible milestone.

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RFA Lyme Bay

Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) Lyme Bay paid HM Naval Base a recent visit for a scheduled logistics visit.

RFA Lyme Bay is a Bay-class landing ship dock of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary. She can deliver a significant fighting force anywhere in the world.

As a Bay-class landing ship, RFA Lyme Bay’s purpose is to deliver troops, vehicles, stores and ammunition on Fleet operations across the globe. This enormous ship helps the Royal Navy maintain the ongoing waves of an amphibious assault.

From combat operations and international exercises to humanitarian aid missions, RFA Lyme Bay and her crew help make sure the Fleet is prepared for anything.


42 ROYAL GUN SALUTE

A 42 Royal Gun Salute was fired by the Thomson’s Battery, Headquarter Company of the Royal Gibraltar Regiment to celebrate The Anniversary of Her Majesty The Queen’s Coronation.

After being formally received by Major John Pitto, Commander British Forces, Commodore Steve Dainton was escorted towards the inspection line through Grand Battery House.

On completion of the inspection Major Pitto escorted Cdre Dainton to a central position to the rear of the troops where he viewed the salute.

Members of the public gathered to watch the salute as officers stood to attention.

On completion of the salute, Cdre Dainton signed the Inspecting Officers’ book and was accompanied into Grand Battery House by Major Pitto.


GDP LONG SERVICE MEDALS

Fourteen Gibraltar Defence Police officers are celebrating after receiving their 18-year Long Service Medals at the Force’s headquarters.

Chief of Police Rob Allen handed the medals to the officers during the special ceremony in the Training Wing.

It followed the GDP’s largest ever intake in 2004, when the fourteen officers signed up to join the Force.

The GDP officers who received the awards were:

PC Tania Rodriguez, PC Reginald Azzopardi, PC Darren Robba, PC Michael Gaetto, PC Daniel Hemmi, PC Lee Casciaro, PC Christian Fernandez, PC Jonathan Perez, PC Mario Johnson, PC Christian Jefferies, PSgt Prisan Fa, PSgt Martin Hosken, PSgt Ryan Casciaro and Chief Inspector Mahesh Chellaram.


Infantry Hockey

Two sergeants from the Royal Gibraltar Regiment travelled to the UK to take part in an Infantry hockey tournament.

Colour Sgt Malcolm Head and Sgt Ivan Massetti joined the Infantry Hockey Team, made up of players are from all branches of the Infantry, for the three day competition at Aldershot Hockey Ground.

The annual competition saw 9 teams from the Corps of the Army battle it out against each other — with the Infantry team coming 4th in the competition.

The Infantry won their first game 6-1 against the Royal Logistic Corps (RLC) and their second game against the Adjutant General’s Corps (AGC) 4-3.

On the second day, the Royal Artillery were unable to field a team so pulled out of the competition, pushing the Infantry straight into the semi-finals against tournament favourites, the Corps of Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers on day three.

A spokesman added: “Unfortunately, the Infantry lost 3-0. The infantry then played penalty flicks against the RLC to determine 3rd and 4th place, which again saw the Infantry lose.” 

In the end, the Royal Corps of Signals won the tournament.

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Easter Programme

Over Easter, children from the British Forces Community took part in an Easter Programme organised by the Community Support Team in Four Corners.

Twenty five children, aged between five and sixteen, attended the four day programme where they spent three days taking part in Easter Arts and Crafts and then an Easter Egg Hunt on the fourth day.

The Arts and Crafts days consisted of making Easter egg baskets, Easter nests made from rice crispy cakes, and bunny masks. The children also took part in an Easter inspired Zumba workout, some dancing, and played several board games.

On the last day, the children were treated to an Easter Egg hunt. They were each given a map of the Four Corners Estate with clues to where a letter was hidden. They had to find all nine letters and spell out the Easter themed word in order to get their Easter egg. This year’s word was Easter Fun.

Amy Alexander from the Community Support Team said, “We had great responses from both the children and their parents, who loved seeing the creations they brought home. We are already planning what we can do next year.”


GIBRALTAR & THE FALKLANDS

An exhibition to mark the 40th anniversary of the liberation of the Falkland Islands was opened by the Hon, the Deputy Chief Minister, Dr Joseph Garcia CMG MP.

The exhibition has been curated by the Archivist Anthony Pitaluga MBE and prepared by the Gibraltar National Archives. Its opening follows the unveiling of a commemorative plaque last week to honour Gibraltar’s role in the Falklands conflict.

Dr Garcia explained that the enduring and unbreakable bond between Gibraltar and the Falklands was cemented during the war to liberate the Islands. There were strong parallels between both places and many Gibraltarians saw their own situation reflected in the plight of the Falklands and defended their right to self-determination.

The conflict in the Falklands had a direct impact on Gibraltar at the time, with the reopening of the border delayed, and an Argentine military operation against the Rock thwarted. A very close relationship was maintained throughout the conflict and continued after the Islands were liberated on 14 June 1982.

The exhibition is made up 190 A1 PVC panels displaying 483 individual images, live testimonials from Falkland veterans, a collection of original memorabilia and a section of postage material relevant to the conflict are also on display. There is also an interactive research station where archival material from the UK National Archives and the Imperial War Museum can be viewed.


CHARITY BAKE SALE

The Princess Royal Medical Centre and Joint Admin Office recently held a charity bake sale to raise money for Gibraltar Hearing Issues and Tinnitus Association (GHITA).

Members of staff from the PRMC and JAO took turns to bake cakes with the aim of raising money for this charity. A variety of cakes were on sale including a spiderman themed cake, cheesecakes, spiced buns and a chocolate, raspberry & aubergine cake.

Mr Edgar A Triay from GHITA was invited to the PRMC for a formal presentation where donations totalling £86.10 were handed over to help toward this cause.a

RAF Medic, Cpl Josh Satterley, from the PRMC said, “The PRMC hopes to establish a good working relationship with GHITA in the future. We are also currently looking to train some of our medics in sign language.”

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Royal Navy Gibraltar Squadron is delighted to announce the arrival of HMS Dagger, the final craft to be delivered by Marine Specialised Technology (MST).

HMS Dagger will be based in HM Naval Base Gibraltar and used to patrol British Gibraltar Territorial Waters, support British exercises and operations in the area and will keep close watch over Gibraltar’s shores.

Dagger must first undergo a rigorous set of sea trials and safety checks until she can fly a White Ensign. These trials are due to be complete in mid- 2022.

The role of Royal Navy Gibraltar Squadron (RNGS) is to conduct maritime operations in order to provide security in British Gibraltar Territorial Waters, to reassure the Gibraltarians and demonstrate UK sovereignty of Gibraltar. They also provide force protection to visiting warships, submarines and auxiliary units alongside their civilian counterparts in the Gibraltar Defence Police force. They perform this unwavering duty 365 days a year.

The ship’s Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Simon Holden said, “The arrival of HMS Dagger to the Royal Navy Gibraltar Squadron is the culmination of many months of hard work by our commercial partners, Ministry of Defence and the Royal Navy.

“This is an incredibly proud moment for everyone involved in the project and as her first Commanding Officer I am looking forward to putting HMS Dagger through her paces and getting her operational as soon as possible.

“She is now going to conduct several sea trials prior to raising the White Ensign in mid- 2022.”


The Gibraltar Defence Police is delighted to have got their boat back after it was sent off for refurbishment in the UK.

The Police Motorboat (PMB) Sir Evan Gibb, also known as Victor Charlie 5, was built in the United Kingdom in 1984 and delivered to Gibraltar in 2012. The vessel is 15 metres long and can reach a top speed of 25 knots.

Although the vessel is 38 years old, it has proven to be a reliable asset to HQBF and the force in general.

In 2018 Sir Evan Gibb, underwent a refit at a local ship repair yard and resulted in officers enjoying a revamped stable platform in which to carry out their duties.

The vessel was transported to a professional ship repair yard in the UK in 2021 for a full re-fit, during which the vessel was modernised and improved to suit the new operational requirements that the GDP currently undertakes. The vessel is design to carry 8 passengers. It has four Whole Body Vibration Seats as well as a small kitchenette, a toilet and shower facilities.

Inspector Olivero, from the GDP Marine Section, said, “Sir Evan Gibbs is used as an operational vessel, patrolling Admiralty Waters and British Gibraltar Territorial Waters by a qualified Marine Crew. It also serves as the main focal point for armed maritime escorts for inbound and outbound Naval vessels into Port.

“It is not unusual to see this vessel floating inside the harbour adjacent to naval vessels, not only providing protection to the vessel but also the crew onboard.” the great success it is.”


The Royal Gibraltar Regiment (RG) received its new Colours at a ceremony at Windsor Castle from HRH The Earl of Wessex, in a memorable moment for attending troops, family and friends.

In what is only the third time that the Regiment has performed public duties in London, the RG took over from the Coldstream Guards at the famous Changing of the Guard ceremony at Buckingham Palace on Monday 21 March. Since then, they have spent the last few weeks guarding The Tower of London, St James’ Palace and Windsor Castle.

The troops had an early start to the big day as they departed from Woolwich to arrive at Windsor to ensure all the final preparations were underway. The final hours were filled with kit preparation. A final rehearsal was conducted in Victoria Barracks before the troops made their way to Windsor Castle.

His Royal Highness the Earl of Wessex presented the Regiment with their new colours, which were approved by Her Majesty The Queen.

Watching in the Quadrangle were the Commanding Officer of the RG, Lieutenant Colonel Simon Dyson, Commander British Forces Gibraltar, Commodore Steve Dainton, His Excellency the Governor of Gibraltar, Vice Admiral Sir David Steel, and Chief Minister Fabian Picardo.

Commanding Officer of the RG, Lieutenant Colonel Simon Dyson said, “To receive new Colours at Windsor Castle truly is an honour and will be such a memorable experience especially for the junior soldiers; it is a real highlight in the Regiment’s history.”

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In an incredible display of flying prowess, a Chinook helicopter delivered 4 critical components of radar equipment to Rock Gun, a key step in RAF Gibraltar’s upgrade to its Air Traffic Management systems. The fragile equipment was flown to the Upper Rock by experienced aircrew from 28 Squadron, RAF Odiham.

The air operation was in support of Programme Marshall, UK Ministry of Defence’s (MOD) programme to upgrade and support air traffic management capability across 65 units in the UK and around the globe. RAF Gibraltar’s Air Traffic infrastructure at Rock Gun will benefit from this investment, with an enhanced air traffic picture and improved system monitoring and remote management.

The four underslung loads that the Chinook delivered were components of the new STAR-NG Radar, including radar units and drive mechanism. Also flown to the top of the Rock was a new navigational beacon.

RAF Gibraltar’s Station Commander, Wing Commander Nel Doherty, paid testament to the skill of the teams involved in the successful lift.

“I am genuinely delighted at the manner in which this difficult task has been achieved. As always, the Rock poses its own set of unique challenges, which makes a like-for-like replacement trickier than normal.”

“However, a talented and very broad team have ensured that all safety considerations were in hand, and that disruption to the people of Gibraltar was minimised. I’d like to thank them for their patience. We expect that today’s activity will be remembered by many for quite some years to come.”

It is hoped that the radar will be operational in September 2022 after a period of verification and testing. Controllers will continue to use the Watchman radar until then.

Recently, 28 Squadron has provided tactical air transport to front-line troops in Afghanistan. The Squadron operates the Chinook helicopter, an extremely capable and highly versatile support helicopter. It can carry up to 55 troops or up to 10 tonnes of mixed cargo.

RAF Gibraltar personnel were supported by specialists from the UK, including those from the Joint Air Delivery Test and Evaluation Unit who prepared and tested the underslung loads. Overseeing the various teams were the Project Officers from Aquila and Thales, who form part of the delivery team for Programme Marshall.


The Royal Navy Gibraltar Squadron was delighted to have taken full ownership of HMS Cutlass.

HMS Cutlass has been in Gibraltar since November 21 and has been undertaking key sea trials in order to be presented to the RNGS.

Cutlass, built by Merseyside-based Marine Specialised Technology, is a smaller, faster and more agile patrol boat that has been specifically designed with Gibraltar and BGTW in mind. The vessel can reach 40 knots compared to the previous 20 knots from HMS Dasher and HMS Pursuer. Cutlass has modern optical and infra-red systems, enabling her to identify and track potential threats at range. Unlike Dasher and Pursuer, many of the systems on board are autonomous which aids the Crew in her operation, maintenance and response to any unforeseen incidents.

“We are delighted that HMS Cutlass has proven her capability during the manufacturers trials and she is now ready to begin the Royal Navy safety and readiness checks,” said the ship’s first Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Commander Adam Colman.

“She increases the Squadron’s capability in providing maritime security and demonstrating UK sovereignty of British Gibraltar Territorial Waters”.

The Royal Navy Gibraltar Squadron will begin a series of trials, exercises and training supported by Flag Officer Sea Training in order to generate the vessel and her crew to full operational capability in the Spring.

A spokesman for MST said, “Marine Specialised Technology is extremely honoured to have been asked to deliver the Royal Navy Patrol Launch project. This is the first project to be launched which is a result of MST’s partnership with BMT Global Limited who assisted in the design phase of these two prestigious states of the art crafts, and everyone is delighted with the results.”

“The transition of Cutlass to the Royal Navy is an extremely proud moment for MST and all of its employees who have worked very hard to ensure this project has been the great success it is.”


Defence Guard Security Officer Paul Hazell was lost for words when he was asked to head into the training wing for a routine meeting and was awarded a Chief of Police Commendation from Rob Allen in a recent ceremony.

Paul, father of three, was in the North Barrier Patrol room in the early hours of the morning when he noticed an individual driving onto the airfield. He quickly called the Airfield Mobile Unit who immediately attended and detained the individual.

Chief of Police Rob Allen said, “His professionalism and exemplary service delivery whilst on duty at the Airfield during the early hours of the morning, when his alertness and swift response led to the apprehension of an individual who had trespassed onto the Airfield.

“That is exactly what we want from the Defence Guard Service and it is a perfect example of your professionalism.”

“It has come as a tremendous surprise”, commented Mr Hazell. “I don’t know what to say. This award means a great deal to me.”

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