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More active service likely for squadron

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JERSEY’S military reservists will have greater opportunities to deploy to active operations as the Island regiment has moved under the command of the British Army’s Iron Division.

Victoria College CCF Cadets meet 2nd Lt Henry Jeffers and 2nd Lt Perry Campion from the Prince of Wales Royal Regiment

The Jersey Field Squadron, also known as the Royal Militia of the Island of Jersey, was subordinated last week to the command of 25 Close Support Engineer Group, which assists the 3rd (UK) Division.

The division provides the majority of the UK’s active troops and is currently involved in a number of operations.

‘The move will provide more opportunities for reservists from Jersey, trained as Royal Engineers, chefs or medics to deploy on operations,’ a Field Squadron spokesman said. ‘[These include] Operation CATAN – a UN mission in Somalia, Operation TRENTON in South Sudan or Operation SHADER in Iraq, as well as support mission critical training in Canada, Kenya or Cyprus.’

The 3rd (UK) Division was formed by the Duke of Wellington during the Napoleonic Wars and nicknamed the Iron Division after fierce fighting in the First World War.

As a result of the subordination, the Jersey Field Squadron, which was previously under the command of 12 Force Support Engineer Group, is looking to bolster its numbers and provides opportunities for reservists to develop skills as combat engineers, communication specialists, military chefs, medics and plant operators.

There is also an enlistment bonus of £300, a further bonus of £1,000 for completing basic training and a daily rate starting from £37.47, with a minimum expected commitment of 27 days per year.

Meanwhile, a trio of platoon commanders from the regiment which recruits from Jersey visited two Island secondary schools last week to promote interest in military careers.

Second Lieutenants Luke Lordon, Henry Jeffers and Perry Campion, of the Princess of Wales Royal Regiment, spoke to members of the Victoria College Combined Cadet Force and pupils at Grainville secondary school.

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‘We want to increase our presence in our recruitment areas and let them know if they are interested in joining the infantry to get in contact with us,’ said Lt Campion.

‘We are certainly trying to enhance our links with these areas. The Princess of Wales Royal Regiment was formed in 1992 and recruits from the south east and the Channel Islands.’

He added that opportunities have expanded for women to join the military this year, which was explained to students at Grainville school.

‘We told them that females can join the infantry for the first time from this year,’ he said.

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While in the Island, Lts Lordon, Jeffers and Campion attended a memorial service at the Jersey War Tunnels marking the anniversary of the liberation of the Bad Wurzach internment camp, where more than 600 Islanders were held during the war.

Tributes were paid in the Garden of Remembrance to those who lost their lives in the camp.

More details about the Princess of Wales Royal regiment can be found online at army.mod.uk, while information about the Field Squadron can be found on their Facebook page.

Ian Heath

By Ian Heath
author

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