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24 Regiment RLC a Final Farewell

24 Regiment paraded for the final time on 30 January 2014 bringing an end to their long association with Germany, nearly fifty years after formation. Under A2020 the Regiment has disbanded. The Staff decision was taken as a result of the impending withdrawal of British Forces from Germany. 30 Postal and Courier Squadron and the UK Movement and Liaison Staff (Europe) (UKMLS (E)) have merged into 69 Postal Courier and Movement Control Squadron to provide firm base support until British Forces finally leave Germany in 2018. 99 Postal Courier and Movement Control Squadron have become the “on call” task Squadron in Germany for 29 Regiment RLC, and continue to prepare for their forthcoming tour of Afghanistan, and other worldwide taskings after Op HERRICK 20.

The Final Salute was taken on the Disbandment parade was taken by the Deputy Colonel-in-Chief, His Royal Highness The Duke of Gloucester. The following attended: GOC BFG Maj Gen J M R Henderson CB; Comd 104 Logistic Support Brigade, Brig S McMahon MBE; and the Corps Colonel. As the Regiment marched onto the parade square the surrounding streets were lined with the children from the local school; many with parents in the Regiment. With 13 Officers and 178 Other Ranks on parade and a crowd of 200 watching, the parade itself could not have gone better. The crowd were treated to the band of The Royal Logistic Corps playing the Corps March, On Parade, amongst other appropriate musical pieces. The day itself was one of mixed feelings. Lt Col RC Smith OBE, Commanding Officer of 24 Regiment RLC, stated:

“So today be proud of the Regiment and of yourselves, be proud of our predecessors and all their achievements and as we march off parade for the last time as a Regiment ‘ look to the future ‘ it remains exciting, challenging and as demanding as ever.”

What Now? The future of the Squadrons is by no means a quiet one. 30 Squadron will see no immediate change in size or tasking. The British Forces Post Offices (BFPOs) will continue to run as usual, dealing with 40,000 bags of mail and 900 tonnes of parcels. However, by the end of this year Hameln (BFPO 31) will close and, as the drawdown continues, reduce further to leave only Bielefeld (BFPO 39) and Paderborn (BFPO 22). The soldiers will either be re-tasked to other BFPOs or will return to the UK. UKMLS(E) by contrast will only get busier. With an increasing number of German-based exercises including Reservists, coupled with the withdrawal of BFG, the workload has increased to its highest yet seen. The result is an increase from 33 other ranks to 49 and the introduction of Privates as permanent members of the Squadron for the first time.

The next year sees UKMLS(E) assisting with exercises in Jordan, France, the Falkland Islands, Germany, and Canada, while also being involved with operational deployments. All of this in addition to the regular three trooping flights a week, 1 container ship a month from Marchwood, and the Relief in Place of 7 Brigade by 20 Brigade in Afghanistan; [ the first time that German based Brigades have handed over to one another.] 99 PC & MC Squadron deploy on one final tour of Afghanistan and the wider Middle East.

The history of 24 Regiment is a rich one indeed having had a number of tasks including Movement Control, Transport (both civilian and military), Tank Transporters, Engineer and Ambulance Support, Railway Sqn and Postal and Courier.  Deployed on and supported every operation over the last 48 years. The unit were highly successful at sport and most recently won the Thorne Trophy for the most outstanding contribution to sport by a minor unit in Germany ‘ for the 8th time in the 25 years it has been awarded. As a reflection on a job well done by all of the military and civilian staff who served and in the Regiment, they leave behind a great legacy. The Corps an all be justifiably proud of ‘ well done 24 Regiment!

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