1st Battalion Update - December 2012
This has been a busy period for the 1st Battalion in which we have recovered from operations, conducted our post-operational “reset” and then begun to regenerate capability.
This has been conducted in only five months instead of the usual fifteen to achieve the correct collective training level.
1 YORKS is now the highest priority for recruit inflow, and this manpower is filling the rifle companies so that by April the Battalion will exceed full manning. There has been a high level of churn: every Company Commander and Sergeant Major, all the Battalion Headquarter staff officers and Quartermaster element, turned over in one four week period.
The following appointments took place:
- Major M WALKER appointed Battalion Second in Command (2IC)
- Major R CARR a appointed Officer Commanding A Company
- Major T MILLER appointed Officer Commanding B Company
- Acting Major C WHITTING appointed Officer Commanding Support Company
- Major D PREW appointed Officer Commanding Headquarter Company
- Captain A BREACH appointed Adjutant
- Warrant Officer Class One (WO1) M CLARKE appointed Regimental Sergeant Major (RSM)
Operations and Training
Summer 2012 was hugely rewarding, ensuring that 1 YORKS was publicly recognised for its successes on Operation HERRICK 15 (Afghanistan). Two serials stood out. Firstly, the medals parade on 22 June, followed by a superb all-ranks celebration for 1500 people. The second was the Freedom Parades conducted in late June through seven cities. All of us who marched were struck by the immensely proud reception we received for those who had served in Afghanistan.
A normal post tour period would see three months for “readjustment”, and then around fifteen months to a collective training exercise. 1 YORKS has just five months from the end of that readjustment period to our major exercise in Kenya. Following a brief series of study, the officers and seniors moved to Lydd Training Area for a 3-day study exercise. A strong performance at Combined Army Staff Trainer (CAST) followed, highlighting not only the willingness of the young officers to throw themselves into any role, but also to experiment.
Our support platoons have run cadres to train, revise and relearn some of the more conventional skills, as well as ensure they are all in the right place to build up to Kenya. The rifle companies have conducted a series of low level exercises which have refreshed our knowledge of how to live and operate in the field and ensured that commanders have a clear understanding of the role.
The Battalion has maintained a high tempo for an extended period of time against some significant challenges. The prospect of a more predictable life in Cyprus this summer as the Theatre Reserve Battalion (TRB) is enticing.