Wednesday, 3 July 2013

148 Fire Support Teams

148 Fire Support Teams – the oft overlooked “elite” unit in the Royal Marine arsenal are the gunners of 29 Commando Regiment RA, and in particular 148 (Meiktila) Commando Forward Observation Battery, RA which co-ordinates fire from the guns of the Fleet and the Royal Marines’ artillery support, as well as air strikes by using covert fire support teams.    29 Commando Regiment RA is equipped with the LL118 105mm Light Gun and if Headquartered at Plymouth.      The three (3) gun batteries are each equipped with six (6) Light Guns and have three (3) Observation Posts.
The Regiment consists of:
·         HQ Battery - 23 (Gibraltar 1779–1783) Battery RA @  Royal Citadel, Plymouth
                       (Has a Radar Troop)
·         Gun Battery -   7 (Sphinx) Battery RA @ RM Condor, Arbroath
·         Gun Battery -   8 (Alma) Commando Battery RA @ Royal Citadel, Plymouth
·         Gun Battery - 79 (Kirkee) Commando Battery RA @ Royal Citadel, Plymouth
·         REME Workshop (which includes a Stores Section, RLC)
·         148 (Meiktila) Commando Forward Observation Battery, RA @ RM Poole

148 (Meiktila) Commando Forward Observation Battery is the Naval Gunfire Support Forward Observation Battery and tasked to direct naval gunfire support from Royal Navy ships, air strikes from Royal Navy, Army Air Corps and Royal Air Force aircraft and artillery fire from the regiment own guns, not forgetting mortar and multiple rocket barrages.    Most recently 148 Battery have served in the Balkans to the sands of Iraq, Afghanistan and most recently Libya.     The 148 Battery teams are expected to be able to carry out their missions after being inserted by parachute, submarine, helicopter, boat, vehicle, skis or on foot, and do much around RM Poole, and moves on the Dartmoor, where the volunteers have to yomp, read maps and navigate, take part in section attacks, abseil, and live in the field – irrespective of the weather.     The battery regularly trains overseas – in a typical year they will exercise in the USA, Malaysia, Singapore, Gibraltar, Norway and the Falklands.  Most recently 148 Battery was seen in action at the north west tip of Scotland at Cape Wrath for the first Joint Warrior Exercise of 2013, where there was live shooting from both ships off the coast.

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