Experts in dismounted close combat, 2 YORKS have set the Army standard for Light-Role Infantry capability, proving themselves after deploying to Afghanistan in 2019 for the second time in as many years and being some of the last soldiers to leave Kabul on Op PITTING.
Appointed as the British Army’s only Enhanced Light Force Battalion, 2 YORKS are pivotal to a 3-year, £10M programme that will transform how future light-role, infantry forces will operate and fight. based in Chester, 2 YORKS are at the heart of Land Warfare Centre’s Experimentation and Trials Group.
The Battalion has concluded its two year tour of Cyprus, returning to Chester to assume its role as the Army’s first and only Experimentation Battalion. Reflecting upon the Battalion’s contribution over that time, it is one marked by continuous operational output. With four distinct operations conducted, delivered in four different countries, and always in a Joint and multinational context, the Battalion returns to the UK with an unparalleled pedigree of operational and professional experience. It has also imbued the Battalion with an ambassadorial role representing the Regiment, the Army and the UK overseas. Whether that has been on the sports field with the Battalion retaining its title as the champion sporting unit in British Forces Cyprus, in the boxing ring, or on the parade square receiving awards and operational medals, the Battalion has repeatedly showcased itself to a Tri-Service and international audience.
These qualities and its hard-won reputation, reinforced by a series of testing exercises experimenting with cutting edge technologies and capabilities, sets a solid foundation for future success. And so it has proved already. Despite still being in our recovery phase following our return from Cyprus, 2 YORKS were selected to provide the controlling headquarters for Op BALLAM – the military’s stewarding contribution supporting the ceremonial events in London following the death of Her Majesty the Queen. Co-ordinating nearly 3,000 troops across London during such a historical national event was a distinct honour for the Battalion.
Looking to the future and the Battalion’s new role, it will undertake three major exercises in the US, Germany and Portsmouth – all this autumn – representing as the Army’s premier experimental force. With this undertaking, it is fortuitous that the Battalion receives an almost entirely new command team taking it forward with a bold new vision. With a change of Second-in-Command and Regimental Sergeant Major, I want to thank Major Henry Bowden and WO1 Lightowlers for their tireless commitment. And to my successor, Lieutenant Colonel Mike Wade-Smith, I wish the very best knowing that the Battalion is in brilliant hands. Finally, to the soldiers and officers of the 2nd Battalion over the last two years, Claire, our children and I, offer you all our deepest thanks. You have looked after us every step of the way.
‘Fortune Favours the Brave’
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