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Roger Williams welcomes Queen's Dragoon and the Royal Welsh to Westminster

June 18, 2012 10:53 AM
Originally published by Roger Williams MP

QDG in Westminster- From Left to Right- Peter Wisher Roger Williams MP Lord Elton Alfie Corfield and Huw LongmoreWILLIAMS WELCOMES QUEEN'S DRAGOON GUARDS AND THE ROYAL WELSH TO WESTMINSTER

The fight continues to stop the amalgamation of the Queen's Dragoon Guards. With them came the news of a new battle for survival, as rumours within military circles suggested that one of the Royal Welsh battalions may also be part of the MOD's planned cuts. As officers representing both battalions suggested, this comes at a highly inappropriate time as the 1st Bn Royal Welsh is currently on active service in Afghanistan.

With no announcement yet from the Ministry of Defence or Downing Street, Roger, along with Jenny Willott MP joined discussions with serving and retired officers of both cap bags, to help save these two fine units that make up the majority of Wales' contribution to the British Army's combat arm.

After the discussions, Roger concluded:

'It is essential that the future interests of the British Army are understood and its capabilities matched appropriately. This is where these two regiments come in- what is required is a strong domestic force spread equally throughout the UK and the capability to perform internationally at the high standards the British forces have historically set, albeit on a smaller scale.

Scrapping the QDG would mean losing one of the most used and valuable assets the army has, having completed numerous tours in the past two decades in varying theatres, whilst also providing a regional armoured recruitment option for young Welsh men. The same applies to the Royal Welsh, who are one of the most popular regiments within the UK in terms of recruitment, it is almost unthinkable that their future is currently in doubt whilst at a midpoint of their tour to Afghanistan.'

Fears also surround the future of 39 Artillery Regiment, who traditionally recruit from Wales. With troop numbers set to be reduced from 102,000 to 82,000 many regiments remain on edge, with these two highly regarded Welsh units falling into the firing line.

Finally Roger added:

'Having been present for the amalgamation of the Royal Welch Fusiliers and the Royal Regiment of Wales in 2006, it appears that we in Wales are in a constant fight to protect military jobs. These cuts will compound the problems of unemployment in Wales by reducing the opportunities available to young people. Loss of either Battalion in the Royal Welsh or the QDG would also be a tremendous loss to the British Army operationally and in the diversity both bring to it.'