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British Army provides Guard of Honour for POTUS Windsor visit

Troops from the British Army’s Household Division provided a socially distanced Guard of Honour for the President of the United States of America at Windsor Castle this afternoon.

President Biden was welcomed to Windsor by Her Majesty The Queen and invited to inspect the Guard of Honour, accompanied by Major General Christopher Ghika, the General Officer Commanding London District.

The Guard of Honour, formed by the Army’s most senior regiment of Foot Guards, the Grenadier Guards, gave a Royal Salute and the Band of the Regiment played the US National Anthem.

No two countries work more closely together on defence

Our armed forces have fought together for over a century and no two countries work more closely together on defence cooperation. 

In April, the Army worked with US allied forces to complete the largest Warfighter exercise for 30 years.

The exercise was declared ‘World Class’ by a US General James McConville, Chief of Staff of the US Army.

The Warfighter exercise, run by the US Army, tests the ability to plan and conduct large-scale modern combat operations in a realistic multi-domain simulation.

More than 1,300 soldiers from the 3rd (UK) Division as well as the 7th Infantry Brigade deployed to two military bases in Texas; Fort Hood and Fort Bliss. They were joined by troops from 3e Division of the French Army and 1 (United States) Armoured Division.

“It’s quite an achievement […]” said General James McConville, Chief of Staff of the US Army. “This is one of the largest exercises we’ve ever done of this type in the United States, and we had two countries coming to the U.S. during this challenging period.”

“I’m very proud of what they did. They overcame some significant obstacles to include COVID and because of their untiring efforts they were able to produce a world class exercise that makes us a stronger Army; and quite frankly makes us a stronger ally and partner with two very important partners and allies.”

They were able to produce a world class exercise that makes us a stronger Army General James McConville, Chief of Staff, US Army

Army Commandos joined US Marines in Experimental UK-US Exercise 

More recently, British Army specialist commandos worked closely with US Marines during Exercise Fleet Battle Problem, an experimental exercise designed to shape future operations.

The Army’s elite reconnaissance strike teams, from 148 Commando Forward Observation Battery (148 Battery), called in precision guided rockets to defeat ‘enemy’ Air Defence from deep behind ‘hostile lines’. This included guiding the United States Marine Corps High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS).

The Exercise was alongside the Royal Navy and Royal Marines.

Among the impressive firepower and tech at the disposal of the observers were the USMC Osprey tiltrotors, drones, mobile rocket systems and the deep reconnaissance teams from the US Marine Corps Force Recon. 

Lieutenant Colonel Glendenning said: “Fleet Battle Problem examined the complex issue of winning the fight to get to the fight, whereby deliberate tactical action can defeat the strategy of an adversary.”

Working alongside US troops: Grenadier Guards

During the President’s visit to Windsor, The Band of the Grenadier Guards, conducted by Captain Ben Mason, played a programme of traditional British and American military marches, featuring the US Service Marches as well as popular tunes such as ‘Shenandoah’.

The Foot Guards are world famous for their excellence on State Ceremonial occasions such as the Queen’s Birthday Parade and on routine public duties, which includes the iconic Queen’s Guard at Buckingham Palace.

Members of the 1st Battalion, Grenadier Guards have also worked closely alongside US troops in Iraq to deliver training to the Iraqi Security Forces as part of Operation Inherent Resolve.

The 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards has completed four operational deployments to Afghanistan in the modern era. As a US led Coalition mission, this saw Grenadiers working closely with their American counterparts. 

The Guard of Honour was commanded by Major James Taylor, The Captain of The Queen’s Company. He has worked closely with the United States Marine Corps’ 1st Anglico and 1st Tank Battalion on two tours of duty in Afghanistan, in 2009 and 2012.

This gave him the opportunity to develop an understanding of the tactical and operational capabilities of his American partners.

The UK and US have a special relationship that benefits us both. We do more together than any two nations in the world and we cooperate across the board on a wide range of hugely important issues.  

As close allies in NATO, Permanent Members of the UN Security Council and leading nuclear powers, that cooperation is vital to international peace and security.