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1st Close Support Battalion, Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers
File:REME cap badge.png
Active 1993–Present; 27 years, 10 months
Country  United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Branch  British Army
Type Combat Service Support unit[1]
Size Battalion, 279 Personnel[2]
Part of 102nd Logistic Brigade
Since 2008 at Catterick Garrison
Engagements Op Telic
Op Herrick
Insignia
Battalion identification badge 100px

1st Close Support Battalion, REME is a Combat service support unit[3] of the British Army's Corps of Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers.

Background[edit | edit source]

Following the end of the Cold War, a massive reorganisation of the Armed Forces took place, known as the Options for Change. Under this paper, new 'REME battalions' were to be formed by grouping previously independent REME workshops and companies within the two deployable divisions. At first all independent REME units would be grouped into these battalions, but this was later reduced to just three based in Germany.[4][5]

Formation[edit | edit source]

In September 1993, 1st Battalion REME was formed through the grouping of the following independent units: 12 Armoured Workshop HQ, 4 Close Support Company, and 12 General Support Company. The battalion was based at Mercer Barracks, Osnabrück Garrison.[4][5]

The new battalion's role was to provide second line equipment support to the 1st (United Kingdom) Armoured Division, in addition to supporting 4th Armoured Brigade, based in Osnabrück.[4][5]

From May to October 2005 the battalion deployed for the first time, to Iraq on Operation Telic VI as part of the 'National Support Element'. From October 2007 to April 2008 it again deployed, this time to Afghanistan on Operation Herrick VI. Shortly after returning, the battalion was redesignated as part of the 2003 Defence White Paper[Note 1][4] to become 1st Close Support Battalion REME. As part of this reform, one brigade, 4th Armoured Brigade, was selected to move to Catterick Garrison in 2008, and the battalion followed, settling at Megiddo Lines, where they remain today.[4]

Army 2020[edit | edit source]

Under the Army 2020 programme announced in 2010, the battalion would leave the operational command of the 1st (United Kingdom) Armoured Division and re-subordinate to 102nd Logistic Brigade. 1 Battalion REME would now work alongside 2 Btn REME to provide maintenance and technical support to the, now renamed, 1st (United Kingdom) Division. Under the reform, the battalion was paired, for the first time with a reserve unit, 103 Battalion based in Newton Aycliffe.[6][7]

The battalion's last deployment would be from November 2012 to April 2013 on Operation Herrick VII.[5][8] In mid 2013 the battalion along with the Heavy Cavalry and Cambrai Band marched through Richmond, North Yorkshire on their return from their last deployment to Afghanistan.[9][10]

Army 2020 Refine[edit | edit source]

Under the Army 2020 Refine announced in 2015, the battalion's role was again changed, now tasked with supporting what will become known as the 1st Strike Brigade. In preparation for this, the battalion is due to leave 102nd Logistic Brigade and transfer to 101 Logistic Brigade. By 2025 the battalion will either amalgamate or group with 1 Regiment RLC to provide a 'combined logistic support capability to the Strike Brigade'.[11][12][13] 102 Logistic Brigade was due to be disbanded by 2017, however as of March 2021 this still hasn't occurred, with the battalion still under command of this brigade.[14][15][Note 2]

On 26 June 2015 the battalion was awarded the Freedom of Stockton, where they were supported by members of their paired battalion 102 Battalion REME (Volunteers). This was followed by the Freedom of Richmond, granted 3 years later on 27 April 2018, this time supported by the Band of the Royal Armoured Corps.[16][10]

Integrated Review[edit | edit source]

Under the Integrated Review program, the battalion will amalgamate with 1st Regiment RLC, as previously announced, to form the 1st Combat Service Support Battalion. It is unknown which corps this new unit will sit under however.[12][17]

Organisation[edit | edit source]

As of March 2021, the battalion is based at Megiddo Lines, Catterick Garrison, where it will remain for the foreseeable future.[18][19][20][15]

1 Close Support Battalion REME is composed of the following sub-units:[16][20]

Footnotes[edit | edit source]

Notes

  1. Also known as 'Future Army Structure reform'
  2. 2.0 2.1 Following the Army 2020 Refine, a new 'Echelon Company' was formed, following the announcement that the battalion would increase in size by 76 personnel. (Watling & Bronk, p. 16.) (Information on the Army 2020 refine exercise)

Footnotes

  1. Watling & Bronk, p. 16.
  2. "Army, Question for Ministry of Defence — current Order of Battle by manpower and basing locations for the corps.". 22 November 2018. https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2018-11-22/194616. 
  3. Watling & Bronk, p. 16.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 Watson & Rinaldi, pp. 132–134, 137–138.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 "British Army units from 1945 on - Major Units". http://british-army-units1945on.co.uk/royal-electrical-and-mechanical-engineers/major-units-4.html. 
  6. Ministry, of Defence (July 2013). "Transforming the British Army an Update". http://data.parliament.uk/DepositedPapers/Files/DEP2014-0042/20140110-PQ01968B-SOames-A2020-Update-Glossy-U.pdf. 
  7. "Regular Army Basing Matrix by Formation and Unit". 2016-08-14. https://web.archive.org/web/20160814181412/http://www.aff.org.uk/linkedfiles/aff/latest_news_information/cregulararmybasingannouncementgridunclas.pdf. 
  8. "4th Mechanized Brigade to replace 12th Mechanized Brigade in Helmand" (in en). https://www.gov.uk/government/news/4th-mechanized-brigade-to-replace-12th-mechanized-brigade-in-helmand. 
  9. "1 CS Bn REME parading at the freedom of Richmond Parade.". 27 April 2018. https://twitter.com/1csbnreme/status/989828977639481344. 
  10. 10.0 10.1 "1 CS Bn REME parading at the Freedom of Richmond Parade". 27 April 2018. https://twitter.com/1CSBnREME/status/989829017367928833. 
  11. "Information on the Army 2020 refine exercise". 10 March 2017. https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/632554/2017-02130.pdf. 
  12. 12.0 12.1 "Written statements - Written questions, answers and statements - UK Parliament" (in en). https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-statements/detail/2016-12-15/HCWS367. 
  13. Watling & Bronk, p. 16.
  14. "Information on the Army 2020 refine exercise". 10 March 2017. https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/632554/2017-02130.pdf. 
  15. 15.0 15.1 "102 Logistic Brigade" (in en-GB). https://www.army.mod.uk/who-we-are/formations-divisions-brigades/1st-united-kingdom-division/102nd-logistic-brigade/. 
  16. 16.0 16.1 "British Army units from 1945 on - Major Units". http://british-army-units1945on.co.uk/royal-electrical-and-mechanical-engineers/major-units-4.html. 
  17. "Defence in a Competitive Age". Ministry of Defence. March 2021. ISBN 978-1-5286-2462-6. https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/971859/_CP_411__-_Defence_in_a_competitive_age.pdf. Retrieved 22 March 2021. 
  18. "Information on the Army 2020 Refine exercise". 10 March 2017. https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/632554/2017-02130.pdf. 
  19. "Written statements - Written questions, answers and statements - UK Parliament" (in en). https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-statements/detail/2016-12-15/HCWS367. 
  20. 20.0 20.1 "Visit to 1 Close Support Battalion, REME, Catterick". https://nearyou.imeche.org/near-you/UK/North-Eastern/event-detail?id=15839. 
  21. "Today is the Battalion LBSG study day seeing members across the Bn attend to develop and mature their understanding of key concepts associated to LBSG.". 13 October 2020. https://www.instagram.com/p/CGR_DL7BLnw/. 
  22. "As the week begins, Recovery Mechanics ( LCpl Bryson, LCpl Bevan, Cfn Bagguley and Cfn Tompos ) from 4 Coy are busy resetting the crane on the SV(R) as part of a routine maintenance post repair.". https://www.instagram.com/p/CGh58dRhULB/. 
  23. "4 CS Coy conducted a 5 Mile TAB this morning in preparation for an AFT at the end of the month.". 6 October 2020. https://www.instagram.com/p/CF_3hgtBhlb/. 
  24. "Well done to 12 Coy putting on an excellent coffee and cake morning for Winston's Wish.". 3 October 2017. https://twitter.com/1CSBnREME/status/915155593555476481. 
  25. "This morning saw CSM 12 Coy delivering a 'six section battle drills' lesson with the trainees on the LCpl ALDP.". https://www.instagram.com/p/CGkCmAlBSvC/. 
  26. "A member of 12 Coy working on a Jackal armoured vehicle.". 6 October 2020. https://www.instagram.com/p/CGARhWgha0o/. 
  27. "Here's a quick round up of October so far with Echelon Coy.". https://www.instagram.com/p/CGlCk0KBWsi/. 

References[edit | edit source]

  • Watson, Graham (2005). The British Army in Germany (BAOR and after) : an organizational history, 1947-2004. Takoma Park, MD: Tiger Lily Publications for Orbat.com. ISBN 978-0-9720296-9-8. OCLC 241300352. 
  • Jack Watling, Justin Bronk (June 2019). Occasional Paper: Strike from Concept to Force. Whitehall, London, United Kingdom: Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies. ISSN 2397-0278. 
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