Military Affiliations

The Company is proud to be associated with the following Armed Services:-

A - 101 (City of London) Engineer Regiment (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) (V)

www.army.mod.uk/royalengineers/units/852.aspx

The Regiment is a hybrid Regiment consisting of both TA and Regular Squadrons working side by side. Regimental Headquarters and the Regular Squadrons are based at Carver Barracks, Wimbish, Essex with the TA Squadrons based in London and across the South East.

The Regiment consists of 5 Squadrons:

22 HQ & Support Squadron (EOD)
17 Field Squadron (EOD)
21 Field Squadron (EOD)
221 Field Squadron (EOD) (V) based at Catford / Rochester
579 Field Squadron (EOD) (V) based at Tunbridge Wells / Reigate / Brighton

B - HMS LANCASTER

Commander Peter Laughton MBE Royal Navy assumed command of HMS Lancaster, the fourth of the Royal Navy’s Type 23 frigates, in November 2013.

MOD Announcement here.

‘Nec Aspera Terrent - Difficulties be Damned’

www.royalnavy.mod.uk/The-Fleet/Ships/Frigates/HMS-Lancaster

HMS Lancaster was built by the Yarrow yard (today BAE Systems) on the Clyde as the fourth of 16 Type 23 frigates and joined the Fleet in Portsmouth back in 1992. Typically when on deployment, you’ll find her either in the Caribbean drug-busting or east of Suez ensuring freedom of the seas. On returning from those deployments she is greeted, wherever possible, by a Lancaster bomber of the RAF Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, which provides a fly past over Portsmouth Harbour.

A précis in the life of The Queen’s Frigate as she emerged from refit and back into the Fleet

HMS Lancaster

Since HMS LANCASTER emerged from refit in March 2012, we have continued to train ourselves to regenerate into an operational warship.  This has entailed the Ship’s Company re-familiarising themselves with the equipment and procedures that have not been familiar due to the refit period.  We have combined this training with some very important, but equally enjoyable European visits.  Firstly, the Ship visited Falmouth, where we were able to provide a full capability demonstration to the local business community.  The capability demonstration is designed to provide a wider regional engagement with the community in showing them a snapshot of what HMS LANCASTER can do in various scenarios, including a very loud and intimidating Operations Room during an air attack and a firefighting demonstration should the enemy’s weapons successfully engage the Ship.  These demonstrations are key to keeping the Royal Navy in the public eye and it was a pleasure to show our capabilities to the 150 guests.

We then sailed to La Coruna in Northern Spain for a similar visit, but one which coincided with Her Majesty The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.  Whilst in La Coruna, a group of sailors from the Ship visited and tidied a Cemetery for the sailors of HMS SERPENT.  Lost in 1890 during a terrible storm off the North Coast, there were only 3 survivors from the Ship’s company and, having made it ashore, they raised the alarm.  The survivors were the only members of the Ship’s Company wearing lifejackets and this tragedy led to the personal issue of lifejackets to all members of the Royal Navy at sea, which is still a requirement today.

Following a short period in Portsmouth, HMS LANCASTER sailed to the Netherlands for the first of two visits to the country.  Firstly, the Ship visited the extremely busy port of Rotterdam.  This was in support of the GREAT campaign, which sought to celebrate British endeavour in 2012 on the international stage.  With the Diamond Jubilee and the Olympics grabbing the headlines, it is clear that there is a great deal to be proud of, and we helped to convey that message.  The visit to Rotterdam included a Capability Demonstration to the British Ambassador and Dutch military and civilian dignitaries.    

Our second visit to Holland was to the port of Den Helder.  As the home of the Royal Netherlands Navy, it is the venue for their Navy Days, allowing public access to the Ships and a plethora of exciting demonstrations from abseiling from helicopters and Search and Rescue to weapons and boat-handling.  LANCASTER was one of only 3 non Dutch ships represented, along with a German minehunter and a Russian Frigate. During the course of the weekend, the Ship had in excess of 25,000 eager visitors, including the Commander in Chief of the Netherlands Navy.

Once we returned to Portsmouth, we were put back into dockyard hands as we began another period of maintenance to align our engines.  We took an early summer leave break and sailed in September to undertake an intense period of Operational Sea Training that fully tested our readiness for warfighting and proved that we are now ready to deploy anywhere in the world to continue maintaining British interests at sea.

Following the Operational Training period, LANCASTER then undertook a period of advanced navigational training around the Western coast of Scotland where specialist navigators were fully tested in their ability to sail the Ship in confined waters extremely close to land. Perhaps the most notable part of this training period was visiting Scapa Flow, the home of the Grand Fleet in WWI and WWII, where HMS ROYAL OAK was sunk by a German U-Boat in 1939 resulting in the loss of 833 lives and sailing under the Isle of Skye Bridge with only a few feet clearance. During this period, LANCASTER paid a short visit to Belfast prior to returning to Portsmouth for Christmas for the Ship’s Company to take some well earned leave.

HMS Lancaster

HMS LANCASTER passing under the Isle of Skye Bridge – 27 November 2012

The New Year will see LANCASTER sailing once again, this time to undertake specialist sea training which will fully prepare us for our Caribbean deployment in May 2013.  The 6 month deployment will see LANCASTER based in the Caribbean, protecting our overseas territories and tasked with providing disaster relief during the hurricane season and assisting in drugs deterrent operations with the US Coastguard.

On Thursday 1 December 2011, Commander Steve Moorhouse RN hosted 4 members of the Worshipful Company of Constructors for lunch and tour of the Ship.

The Master of the Company, Mr Doug Barrat was accompanied by Mr John Trussler, Mr Stephen Rigden and the Clerk of the Company, Mr Kim Tyrrell.

Whilst visiting the Ship, the Master, Doug Barrat presented a Gas Barbeque to the Ship as a gift from the Company.

C - 5001 Squadron RAF

THE ROYAL AIR FORCE - AIRFIELD CONSTRUCTION Regiment based at RAF Wittering

History

5001 Sqn was originally formed in March 1941 as part of the RAF Works Service, later to become the RAF Construction Service.  Originally tasked to repair bomb damage to RAF Airfields the service grew rapidly and undertook the construction of airfields within the UK and overseas. By 1942 the service was 30,000 personnel strong and had postings within Egypt, Iceland, Gibraltar, North and West Africa and the Far East.  Following the end of WWII the Sqn was disbanded, only to be reformed in June 1953 to operate as a light airfield construction in the Suez Canal Zone. Eventually, the RAF Construction Service, including 5001 Sqn, was disbanded in March 1966, with responsibilities transferring to the Royal Engineers (Army).

In October 1999, the Strategic Defence Review recognised the need for a focus on Expeditionary Warfare, as appose to the previous Cold War model.  In Mar 2000, 5001 Sqn was reformed with the responsibility for delivering expeditionary airfield capabilities. In 2005 the Sqn also acquired Environmental Conditioning responsibilities.

What We Do

Within the construct of expeditionary warfare, it is highly unlikely that host nations will be able to provide the complete array of support facilities that the RAF require to operate, maintain and support highly complex combat aircraft. 5001 Sqn are responsible for delivering the following capabilities to allow an austere airfield to be utilised for Combat Operations:

Portable Aircraft Arrestor Gear (PAAG).  PAAG provides a facility for Fast Jet aircraft to ‘hook’ an arrestor cable in the event of an aborted take-off or landing difficulties. PAAG Units are used in pairs (one either side of the runway) and can be mounted on concrete plinths or staked into the ground where conditions allow.

Temporary Working Environment (TWE). TWE is primarily designed for support of Fast Jet and Rotary assets but is increasingly being used as a general purpose building where normal construction times are too long.  Structures can vary from sun-shades to fully enclosed environmentally controlled structures. 

Environmental Conditioning. 5001 Sqn support specialist environmental conditioning equipment used to condition TWE and also used directly for aircraft cooling.

Recent Activity

Op HERRICK (Afghanistan).  Provision of large storage buildings to accommodate expansion at Bastion.  The buildings were specialist built, working closely with civilian contractor support, with dimensions approximately 100x25m.  Each was built in approx 3 weeks. (Picture included)

Op ELLAMY (Libya).  The Sqn deployed a large contingent to provide Sun Shades and fully enclosed temporary structures to support Operations from Italy. 

Olympics.  In support of the Quick Reaction Alert Typhoon aircraft based at RAF Northolt, 5001 Sqn provided 4 fully enclosed TWE shelters and PAAG.

D - 14-Company, South West London Army Cadet Force

armycadets.com/county/greater-london-south-west-sector-acf/

The Master takes great pride is meeting with the Commanding Officer and all those fine personnel involved in these great service organisations.

14-Company, South West London Army Cadet Force

 

14 Company South West London Army Cadet Force

 

 

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