1st Regiment Royal Horse Artillery returned to Helmand province in March 2013.
The regiment deployed in support of 1st Battalion The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers and the 2nd Royal Tank Regiment, as part of 1 Mechanised Brigade. In addition the regiment provided an armoured, warrior mounted Fire Support Team (FST), the Brigade Reconnaissance Force FST and the Brigade Advisory Group, which will train and mentor the Afghan army and Police forces.
In October 2009 1st Regiment Royal Horse Artillery deployed to Afghanistan as members of the International Security and Assistance Force (ISAF).
The Regiment's core responsibility was to protect soldiers on the ground with artillery and air support. This was done by firing nearly 3500 rounds from the Light Gun, over 100 of which were from the direct fire 'Dragon Gun'. However, this was tempered by a need for 'courageous restraint', only firing when we really needed to in order to more easily win the support of the Afghan people.
The Regiment developed over 500 targets, many of which were struck. We also generated two temporary infantry force protection platoons during the operation to allow more infantry to deploy on the ground. In addition, we set up the brand new Helmand Police Training Centre for new police recruits. The Regiment returned in April 2010.
The regiment is committed to the training and development of all its officers and soldiers.
During the build-up for operations the Regiment is very busy. There are a number of courses running including operational specific vehicles, weapons, language and cultural awareness on top of the usual career and education courses.
Training is conducted both at the regiment, using our experienced and qualified soldiers and also at specific sites such as the Driver School of Transport (DST) in Leconfield.