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Balaklava Coy ready for royal duties

12 February 2014

Balaklava Coy on parade. Image by Cpl Richard Cave.Balaklava Company, formerly 5th Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Scotland (5 SCOTS) recently performed a successful validation parade consisting of a Guard of Honour and street-lining demonstration at Howe Barracks in Canterbury, enabling them to conduct State Ceremonial and Public Duties (SCPD) commitments in Scotland this year.

Balaklava Coy will shortly move from Howe Barracks to Redford Calvary Barracks in Edinburgh. They will provide Holyrood Palace and Edinburgh Castle Guards for Her Majesty The Queen during ‘Holyrood Week’ in the Scottish capital as well as the Royal Guard for her summer stay at Balmoral.

Light-role infantry

Officer Commanding Balaklava Company, Major Oliver Dobson, said: “It will be an honour for us to guard Her Majesty The Queen during her time in Scotland. Just as we train hard for our combat role, the Company has been putting in the necessary hours of practice on the parade ground in order to perform these high profile ceremonial duties to Her Majesty’s exacting standards. Today is a culmination of that hard work.”

Balaklava Company retains its light role infantry skills, honed over 10 years with 16 Air Assault Brigade, proving its capability in this role last summer on a tour to the Falkland Islands.

Maj Dobson said: “Before we depart for Edinburgh we will be busy polishing our infantry skills with a live firing exercise on Otterburn Ranges later this month in conjunction with the Royal Irish. We are also set to take part in a large scale military exercise later this year as part of the Army contingent involved in Exercise JOINT WARRIOR in Scotland.”


The Senior Officer present at the parade was Major General James Cowan CBE DSO. His operational role is General Officer Commanding 3rd UK Division, but he will also assume the honorary position of Colonel of the Regiment for The Royal Regiment of Scotland later this month.

The Commander of 16 Air Assault Brigade, Brigadier Nick Borton DSO MBE was another distinguished guest. The validating party consisted of the Brigade Major, Lieutenant Colonel Simon Soskin and Warrant Officer Class 1 (Garrison Sergeant Major) Mott, from London District.

Balaklava Coy was formed on 29 June 2013 by the reorganisation of 5 SCOTS in accordance with the Army 2020 restructuring plan. Her Majesty the Queen is the Colonel-in-Chief of The Royal Regiment of Scotland.

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