21 Air Assault Battery

21Bty - 47 Regiment R.A

21bty21 Air Assault Battery has seen conflict in many theatres of war, many campaigns in the far corners of the world and defended the country and its’ peoples from many different enemies. From the origins of Wedell’s Company, The Great Siege of Gibraltar, WWI & WWII, the streets of Northern Ireland, Falkland Islands or the streets of Afghanistan and Iraq. We would like to thank the current Battery for their continued support of the 21 Association.

21 Battery have seen four tours in Afghanistan two using Desert Hawk Unmanned Air System on operation, and this is now permanent with continuation training and readiness at their new home of Horne Barracks, Wiltshire.

Stepping back a few years into 21 Battery’s recent history we find them assigned to the 1990 Gulf Conflict, providing air defence for RN vessels, before being equipped with SP HVM and LML HVM and operations with 24 Air Mobile Brigade. With the expansion of 47th Fld Reg R.A. in 1993 and the full conversion to a dedicated Close Air Defence Regiment and being based back in the UK.

During the 90s tours of Northern Ireland were intermingled with postings to Bosnia, 1995, a full Regimental tour of Cyprus in 1998 serving with UNFICYP, before being attached to the newly formed 16 Air Assault Brigade in 1999. This move saw a number of changes, ‘P-Troop’, the airborne air defence troop of 5 Airborne Brigade, joined 47 Regiment as a party of 31 (HQ) Bty and then subsequently 21 Battery.

21 Battery Horne Barracks Wiltshire

21Bty converted to HVM in 2000, in 2001 was awarded its’ new title of 21 (Gibraltar 1779 – 83) Air Assault Battery and deployed in late 2001 to Afghanistan, part of Op Fingel, which later became part of the bigger Op Herrick tours. Deploying with 16 Air Assault Brigade as part of ISAF in Kabul. With subsequent tours and in particular in 2006 they saw some of the fiercest fighting UK troops had seen since the Kosovo War sustaining two casualties and fired over 12,000 rounds during fire fights with the Taleban.

 

In 2008 21Bty deployed simultaneously to Op Telic and Op Herrick providing Surveillance and Target Acquisition to both 7 Armoured and 16 Air Assault Brigades using the Desert Hawk Mini Unmanned Aerial Vehicle.

Lt Joe Tilley

“After commissioning in August 2009 and completing the RA Young Officers Course, I was posted to 47 Regiment RA 21 Air Assault Battery, where I was launched straight into a frenetic period of mission specific training before deploying on Op HERRICK 13 in October 2010. Throughout the tour I was employed as a M-UAS Troop Commander and for the majority of my deployment was attached to A Company, 3 Para based in Khaamar, Nad Ali North.

As a Troop Commander on Operations, I had 4 detachments who were in direct control of Mini Unmanned Air System (M-UAS) gathering Full Motion Video of the battlefield. My role was to provide subject matter expertise to the Company Commander. A considerable amount of time and effort was spent with the Ops Officer gathering intelligence and surveillance on compounds and routes so that accurate target packs could be produced. Commanding soldiers on Operations was a hugely rewarding experience and I felt that we were able to make a significant contribution to delivering wider success.

My focus now is very much on commanding and training my Troop of 23 soldiers as part of the Airborne Task Force, providing the UK’s contingent capability ready to move at short notice anywhere in the world. I am also running a Potential NCO Cadre, to prepare and qualify Gunner’s for promotion and this will be followed by representing the Regimental Snowboarding Team in Austria. I find being a Troop Commander in the Royal Artillery immensely enjoyable and rewarding, due to the variety, responsibility, the quality of the soldiers and the many and varied opportunities available; from Afghanistan to Austria!”

October 2nd 2015

16 Air Assault Brigade

British and French Mini Unmanned Air Systems (MUAS) are training together for the first time as part of a major exercise to improve the two armies’ interoperability.

The British Desert Hawk 3 (DH3) and the French Drone de Reconnaissance au Contact (DRAC) are flying in the skies over the STANTA ranges in Norfolk as part of Exercise Eagles Amarante. Both MUAS – operated by 21 (Air Assault) Battery, 47 Regiment Royal Artillery and 35e Regiment d’Artillerie Parachutiste respectively – are designed to give commanders an ‘over the hill’ view of the battlefield.

The two units started the two-week exercise by learning about the capabilities of each other’s equipment and tactics. They then progressed to flying joint missions in support of troops on the ground.

MUAS interoperability is one element of joint working across the exercise, which has seen 1,800 troops from 16 Air Assault Brigade and 11e brigade parachutiste training together. The force – built around 2nd Battalion The Parachute Regiment and 1er Regiment de Chasseurs Parachutistes – has been challenged with a simulated mission to restore stability to a troubled region.

The two units started the two-week exercise by learning about the capabilities of each other’s equipment and tactics. They then progressed to flying joint missions in support of troops on the ground.

MUAS interoperability is one element of joint working across the exercise, which has seen 1,800 troops from 16 Air Assault Brigade and 11e brigade parachutiste training together. The force – built around 2nd Battalion The Parachute Regiment and 1er Regiment de Chasseurs Parachutistes – has been challenged with a simulated mission to restore stability to a troubled region.