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A Battery (The Chestnut Troop)

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A Battery (The Chestnut Troop ) is part of 1 Regt Royal Horse Artillery (1RHA)[1]

History The 1st Regiment Royal Horse Artillery was formed in 1936 and since has seen active service in the North African desert, Aden, Northern Ireland, Kosovo, Iraq and are currently deployed in Afghanistan.

Artillery Fire The Regiment is equipped with 155mm self-propelled Artillery pieces (AS90). It has re-roled to the 105mm Light Gun to meet the requirement in Afghanistan. Artillery fire from guns is observed and controlled by Fire Support Teams (FSTs). The FSTs find the enemy and the gun batteries provide the firepower for the strike. They can operate from a variety of vehicles and on foot. The FST has Forward Air Controllers (FACs), Mortar Fire Controllers (MFCs) and artillerymen trained in the technical and tactical firing of all artillery assets.

OPS The Regiment has been affiliated to 11 Light Brigade since June 2008. 1RHA supported numerous Brigade level planning exercises and Battle Group exercises throughout the UK. The Regiment conducts special-to-role training at both Otterburn and Salisbury Plain training areas.

Each of the gun batteries deployed on three subsequent exercises in Kenya, Exercise GRAND PRIX. These Exercises were vital in aiding our integration with the Infantry Battle Groups and in developing our low-level soldiering skills.

Pre-deployment training for the Regiment started in April 2009 and has included many specialist courses ranging from team medic courses to deployments in Arizona working with the combat aircraft of our coalition partners.

Approx 360 members of the Regiment have deployed to Afghanistan with just over 100 soldiers remaining in Tidworth, ready to support the Regiment and continuing with the day to day life of a unit in a busy Garrison.

The Batteries A (The Chestnut Troop) Battery, B and E Batteries all have AS90 Guns. L (Néry) Battery is manned by trained observers and known as the Tactical Group. O/Headquarters Battery (The Rocket Troop) is the Command Group.



Soldiers from Chestnut Troop, 1st Regiment Royal Horse Artillery get their Op Telic medals in Sheffield [Picture: Chris Barker]

The Chestnut Troop, which recruits from across South Yorkshire but maintains a very strong bond with the city of Sheffield and holds an honorary Freedom of the City, returned from a seven-month tour of duty in Iraq in 2008.

During their deployment in Iraq, the Chestnut Troop operated the gun line to defend the UK base at Basra Airport, and also worked with Iraqi security forces to help improve the safety and living conditions of local people. Major Edward Dawes, Battery Commander of the Chestnut Troop said: "We were deployed in Iraq at a turning point in the campaign when we delivered the city of Basra, and the Province, to Iraqi control and we are immensely proud of that."

"The Chestnut Troop has answered the call of duty and done vital work for our country in Iraq. This was our opportunity to say welcome back and recognise the Troop’s service and sacrifice for Queen and country."

As well as the parade, the Chestnut Troop also presented the city with two fully restored English cannons dating from 1795, which were bought by the city of Sheffield at the turn of the 19th century to defend the city against a possible French invasion.

During the 20th century the cannons had a chequered history and fell into disrepair. They were removed from the city in the 1950s and were returned in the 1990s. They were being held in storage in the Don Valley when they were severely damaged during last year’s floods.

"There is a very long and rich association between Sheffield and artillerymen and restoring the cannons to their former glory will be a lasting contribution to the city and its heritage."