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Historic Brigade reforms at Yorkshire barracks

July has seen the reformation of the 19th Light Brigade, the Army’s first Reserve Brigade since World War Two, in a ceremony at York’s Imphal Barracks.

To mark the occasion, a parade of 200 service personnel was formed in front of the new commander, Brigadier Lyttle MBE, TD, VR, while the inspecting officer was Lieutenant General Skeates CB, CBE.

Cavalry units within the Brigade include the Queen’s Own Yeomanry and the Scottish and North Irish Yeomanry while the infantry is represented by battalions from the Royal Irish Regiment, Royal Anglian Regiment, Yorkshire Regiment, Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment, The Rifles, and the Royal Regiment of Scotland.

This new Brigade provides an opportunity to make a major contribution Brigadier Lyttle

Brigadier Lyttle said: “This is an exciting development for the Army Reserve. It provides a Reserve-focused platform to improve capacity, capability, the ability to deploy, and utility.

“This new Brigade provides an opportunity to make a major contribution to the evolution of the Army Reserve.”

Part of the 1st (UK) Division, also based at Imphal Barracks, the establishment of this new headquarters marks a major step for the Army’s transformation programme, Future Soldier.

Many of the units in the city already have a strong connection to the local community.

Earlier this year, both 2 Signal Regiment and the Queen’s Own Yeomanry, exercised their freedom of the North Yorkshire city by marching through its streets, while Royal Gun Salutes regularly take place in Museum Gardens.

The 19th Brigade has a proud heritage stretching back to the Boer War, but this latest incarnation will deliver Army Reserve combat units to the front line, either at home or overseas.

While the primary task of the Army Reserve is its dedicated warfighting role, units from the  Brigade will also be expected to deliver on operations in the UK, such as support to the NHS, local authorities, and emergency services when required.

As an example, personnel from the Brigade will provide support to the organisers of the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

As well as being deployed at home, troops from the Brigade will also make a significant contribution to the British Army’s deployments overseas.

Later this year, a Company group from the 4th Battalion, The Yorkshire Regiment will deploy to Oman alongside the 2nd Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Scotland, training and operating alongside soldiers from the Royal Army of Oman.