1947 - 2015
5th August 2015
You Know ?
39 Regiment RA was one of
the last 'Honest John Missile Regiments RA' to be place in suspended animation on 20th of February 2015, from
the 3 original Missile Regiment's - 24th 39th & 50th Missile Regiment's Royal Artillery, they are all now in suspended
39 Regiment RA was the only Active Regiment with direct links to
the 3 Missile Regiments which served in B.A.O.R Germany with the Honest John Missile. 1960-1977.
The Honest John Missile on the Launcher
39 Regiment Royal Artillery is part of
Its name is pronounced "three
nine", The Regiment is one of the Depth fire units of 1st Artillery
Brigade, part of the British Army.
It was formed
in 1947, and placed into suspended animation on 20th February
is based at Albemarle Barracks in Newcastle, Northumberland.
As of 2011, the regiment was
equipped with the Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS). They will be
the first unit to deploy the new Fire Shadow loitering
munition; training has already begun and they were planned to take it to
Afghanistan in 2012. The
regiment recently deployed Batteries on Op Herrick and
have fired the first GMLRS rounds in theatre.
Under Army 2020,
the regiment is being disbanded and its GMRLS launchers transferred to the
other regiments and the Territorial Army.
flag was lowered on 20 February 2015.
39th Regiment RA is as follows.
39 Regiment RA was
formed with the re-designation of 2 Medium Regiment RA. It was originally
equipped with BL 5.5 inch Medium Gun and
was first stationed in the Middle
East and Africa. The Regiment left the Middle
East in 1948 after an Emergency Tour to Palestine, where it deployed to Ayrshire and
was re-equipped with the M59 155
Long Tom Gun.
Converted to a 155mm Self Propelled Regiment.
Deployed to Cyprus to support operations against EOKA with
batteries based in Episkopi, Dhekhlia, and Jophinou. In 1960 the Regiment moved
to support the BAOR, and was based in Dempsey Barracks in Sennelager for
the next 35 years. Here its role was one of
three Nuclear Regiments, and was equipped with Honest
John Rockets and towed M115
203 mm howitzer
1967 – 75 Battery was placed in suspended
animation and was replaced by H Battery (Ramsays' Troop) Royal Artillery.
the Regiment was caught up in the Cou
d'état by Captain
Gaddaffi in Libya, and the Regiment's 2IC was
captured and held hostage, but later released unharmed.
Further reorganization with 39 Medium Regiment now using the M109
Howitzer and M110 Self Propelled Guns, and 132 Bty RA and 176(Abu Klea) Bty RA joining
H Battery. The Regiment completed four tours of Northern Ireland over the next
Changed roles once more when it became a General Support Regiment, and was
equipped entirely with the M110 Self Propelled Gun.
Redesignated 39 Field Regiment with H Bty, 132 & 176 Btys
43 Bty joined Regt. equipped with Blowpipe
On 15 Mar 1980 granted Freedom of the City of Paderborn, Germany
Redesignated 39 Heavy Regiment was joined by 56 (Olpherts)
Bty RA, 34 (Seringapatam) Battery
and 76 (Maude's) Battery.
H Battery was placed into suspended animation and 132 Battery together with 176
Battery departed for the Royal School of Artillery at Larkhill.
132 Battery and 176 Battery rejoined the Regiment with the M110 Self Propelled Gun role and 56 Battery
converted to a special
weapons battery, equipped with the M109 Self Propelled Guns.
39 Heavy Regiment took delivery of the MLRS, and was given a year to convert, complete
training and become operational. The Regiment deployed to Saudi Arabia as part
of 1st Armoured Division on Operation
Granby. In a visit for
VIPs it spectacularly failed to hit an island, during a demonstration of its
The Regiment was joined by 57 (Bhurtpore) Battery Royal Artillery, who were to
be equipped with the Phoenix UAV,
and deployed to Cyprus, as the British detachment in UNFICYP.
This tour saw the Danish and Canadian Contingents
leave, with only the Austrians and the British left. Argentina then
sent a force to control Sector One, the Austrians
were in charge of Sector Three and the British in charge of Sector Two. This
was the first time that British and
Argentine army units had met since the Falklands
war in 1982.
39 Regiment left Dempsey Barracks, Sennelager and moved to Albemarle Barracks in Northumberland.
The regiment deployed again to Cyprus in support of UNFICYP. The island experienced some of its highest
tension along the buffer
zone in 30 years, and two of the Regiments soldiers were
shot and wounded by Turkish Troops
The regiment deployed to Northern Ireland.
The Regiment supported MAFF, in the North-East of the UK,
during the Foot and mouth outbreak,
57 Battery deployed to Kosovo to
carry out UAV flights, and this was followed in 2003 with the Battery moving to 32 Regt RA,
which was reorganised as one of the Royal
Artillery Surveillance and Target Acquisition Regiments with
its focus on UAVs 74 Bty
(The Battle Axe Company) joined 39 Regiment and it was formed as the only
Depth Fire Regiment in the British
Army. 101 Regiment is
the Territorial Army Regiment
of MLRS, and is based in Newcastle.
1998 to 2004 –
39 Regiment has completed several tours of Northern
Ireland from 1998, as the Urban Reinforcement Battalion. It
continued to support operations in the province, until the end of Operation
Banner in 2007
2002 to 2007 –
Soldiers of the Regiment have deployed to Kuwait and Iraq as
part of Operation
2004 – 35 Bty RA joined
39 Regiment after the disbandment of 22nd Regiment Royal Artillery. The
Regiment is now also equipped with GMLRS.
2007 to 2014 –
The Regiment continues to deploy soldiers to Afghanistan to
support Op Herrick
39 Regiment was disbanded on 20 February 2015 at Albemarle Barracks in Northumberland.UK
The Regimental flag was lowered on 20 February 2015.
The Old Report
before 2015 !
On April the 1st 1947, 39 Medium Regiment Royal Artillery was formed
following the redesignation of 2 Medium Regiment. The Regiment was equipped with 5.5" guns and was initially stationed
in the Middle East and Africa. Following an emergency Operational tour to Palestine in 1948, the Regiment left
the Middle East and moved to Ayrshire where it re-equipped with the M59 155mm 'LONG TOM' Howitzer and was joined by 180 Battery
equipped with the towed 7.2" Howitzer. After moving to Hampshire in 1952, the Regiment subsequently converted to become
a 155mm Self-Propelled Regiment in 1955.
In 1958 the Regiment
deployed on a nine month Emergency Tour to Cyprus to support operations against EOKA, with batteries
based in Episkopi, Jophinou and Dhekhlia.
1959 On return to the UK, the news was broken
that the Regiment was to move to join the British Army of the Rhine (BAOR). By February 1960, the Regiment had reorganised
in Dempsey Barracks, Sennelager to become one of the Corps Artillery's three Nuclear Regiments, equipped with two 'HONEST
JOHN' Rocket batteries and two towed 8" M115 Howitzer batteries. This was to become home for the next 35 years.
Following a period
of some stability, it was announced in 1967 that 75 Battery was to be placed in suspended animation. In an unusual parade
the Batterydrove 200 yards out of Dempsey Barracks, turned around, replaced their vehicle identification marks and drove back
into camp as H Battery(Ramsays' Troop) Royal Artillery. Two years later, whilst on exercise in Lybia, the Regiment found
itself caught up in the military coup of the then Captain Ghadaffi against the government of King Idris. During this
the Regimental 2IC was captured and held hostage, being later released unharmed.
A further reorganisation
in 1972, as 39 Medium Regiment equipped with the 155mm M109 and 203mm M110 self-propelled guns, saw 132 Battery(The Bengal
Rocket Troop) and 176(Abu Klea)Battery joining H Battery. During the next seven years, the Regiment completed four emergency
tours in Northern Ireland, the first to FortGeorge, Londonderryin 1973. In 1981, the
Regiment changed role once again, to become a General Support Regiment equipped entirely with the M110 gun. This change
of role also involved a change of organisation. In April 1982, 39 Heavy Regiment was joined by 56(Olphert's)Battery, 34(Seringapatam)Battery and 76(Maude's)Battery. H Battery was placed into suspended
animation and 132 Battery together with 176 Battery departed for the Royal School of Artillery at Larkhill.
Some five years later, 132 Battery and 176 Battery rejoined the Regiment in the conventional M110 Field Gunnery role
and 56 Battery converted to a special weapons battery, equipped with the M109 Self-Propelled gun.
In 1989, 39 Heavy
Regiment fired its guns for the last time and took delivery of the Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS), being given a year
to convert, complete training and become operational. This was curtailed with the Regiment deploying to Saudi Arabia as part of 1st (UK) Armoured Division
on Operation GRANBY. During the campaign, 39 Heavy Regiment became the first to fire MLRS
In 1993, the
Regiment was joined by 57(Bhurtpore) Battery, which became the first battery to be equipped with the Phoenix Unmanned Air Vehicle
(UAV). In the next three years, the Regiment deployed on two operational tours of Cyprus, as part of the United
Nations forces. In the latter tour, during the highest tension experienced along the buffer zone in 30 years, two soldiers
were shot and wounded by Turkish Troops.
After 35 years
in Sennelager, the Regiment moved to Northumberland, where it currently resides. In February 2001 the Regiment was heavily
committed to supporting the Ministry for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food,(MAFF), here in the North-East, during the Foot and
Mouth outbreak, earning high praise for its work during what was a tragic and emotional time for local farmers.
In 2003 57 Battery moved to 32 Regiment,
where all the Gunners UAV assets are now located, and 74 Battery (The Battleaxe Company), left 32 Regiment and joined 39 Regiment,
making 39 Regiment a single capability MLRS Regiment. The Regiment completed tour of Northern Ireland in late 2002 and continues
to support operations in the province. In addition a number of 39 Regiment soldiers deployed with 1st (UK) Division to Kuwait and Iraq as part of op TELIC.
In 2004, 35 Bty
left 22 Regiment RA, which has now been disbanded, and joined 39 Regiment at Albemarle Barracks. With the demise of 22 Regiment
RA, formerly "The Welsh Gunners", 39 Regiment changed its recruiting area to cover Wales. 39 Regiment RA is
part of 1st Artillery Brigade.
The Present Day
The Regiment is currently going through yet another busy time, recently 35 Battery rejoined the Regiment after a very successful OP Telic Tour. We currently have most of the Regiment
deployed on a United Nations Peacekeeping Tour of Cyprus. 35 Battery will be shortly undergoing BOWMAN Conversion.
On current planning the Regiment are due to deploy with 3 Batteries, 56 Bty, 74 Bty and 176 Bty,
on a UN tour of Cyprus (Op TOSCA) in October 2006. To provide a United Nations peacekeeping
35 Battery will be deploying to Germany and Poland on Exercise Uhlan
Barbara and Exercise Sheldrake Sword.
132 Battery will be trialing a new ammunition system.
The Regiment on a whole will start to convert to Bowman Communications equipment in 2007.
The next year is busy for the Regiment, training, deployments and conversions all stretch the regiment
but as usual we will rise to the occasion and do our very best.