Our Affiliations in 2021

HMS St Albans



HMS ST ALBANS (STAL) has been in HM Naval Base Devonport undergoing a major upkeep period since Nov 2019. Despite the most invasive engineering upgrade of the Unit since it entered service, during a very challenging period we expect the first members of the new Ship’s Company to begin joining from March 2022 onwards in preparation for the regeneration to Fleet Time and front-line operations in early 2023.

All constructive work is now complete and here at the Refit Support Group, we are in the process of taking back ownership of each compartment within the ship from the Waterfront Service provider. This is a meticulous evolution ensuring all contracted work has been completed correctly and any remaining defects are both captured and rectified to ensure the ship is in the best possible state for the new staff when they arrive.

We continue to work closely with the Waterfront Service Provider (Babcock) and although there remain a significant number of challenges to manage moving forward the project currently remains on track for the next major milestone in the upkeep period when STAL undocks from the Frigate Support Centre and is once again afloat.

Re-entering Fleet Time in 2023, having had forty-five major equipment upgrades during the upkeep along with rejuvenated power distribution system and the four main diesel generators renewed. Armed with the latest surface to air missile system, upgraded communications, combat system and sonar, STAL will be the most enhanced, current, and capable Type 23 Frigate in the Royal Navy.


The Regiment has seen a period of churn over the last few months with 1 PWRR returning to the UK after 14 years of overseas service in Germany and Cyprus.  They are now based in Woolwich and are looking to a full programme of overseas training exercises and domestic support to the Regiment.  2 PWRR have consolidated their role as a Specialised Infantry Battalion support many overseas nations with training.  As I write, 2 PWRR transition to become 2 RANGER in December 2021 and will head up the new RANGER concept.  Both Regular battalions laid up their Colours in Winchester and Southwark cathedrals respectively. Please feel free to have a look if you are in the area.  Both events are supported brilliantly by our veteran community.  

3 and 4 PWRR remain the steady presence and influence within our recruiting area and it is worth noting that all four battalions are now situated in our recruiting area.  Both Reserve Battalions were heavily involved in the Government’s response to COVID and indeed still have soldiers mobilised in support and have continued to spearhead the Regiments recruiting efforts.

In 2021 we bade farewell to Lt Gen D M Chalmers DSO OBE who handed over the role of the Colonel of the Regiment to Maj Gen James Martin DSO OBE MC which was confirmed after the Royal audience with the Colonel in Chief in Denmark in December 2021.  Finally, we would like to congratulate Lieutenant Tommy Edgar on being awarded the Haberdashers prize for best Young Officer 2020- 2021.








Top: St Albans 9 metre level
Above: St Albans starboard nameplate
  Top: training in Cyprus
Above:  illumination

F Company


IX Squadron (B) RAF

F Company has continued to develop and thrive in 2021 after 2020’s disruption by the pandemic. Rfn Smith went on EX RATTLESNAKE in Fort Polk, Louisiana, a major exercise with the Irish Guards and the US Army. During his preparation and deployment Rfn Smith was able to fire Javelin and NLAW live whilst representing the company on the IG’s Javelin cadre, bringing a new skill set to F Company. Training has continued to be successful with several Battalion- and Company- led training weekends taking place, as well as in-person training at Princess Louise House on Tuesday nights. 

Members of F (Rifles) Company have developed significantly over the calendar year. Sgt Spence was promoted, and Cpl Sexton completed the Section Commanders’ Battle Course in Brecon with a strong pass, followed by promotion to Corporal. Five members of the Company successfully completed the Combat Infantryman’s Course in Catterick. We continue to develop the officers in the company with 2Lt Male recently passing his Module Charlie at RMA Sandhurst for his probationary commission and 2Lt Westlake completing the Platoon Commanders’ Battle Course in Brecon in October. 

There is now a Battalion focus on urban operations training, so the Company has recently focused Tuesday night training on developing the skills and tactics in preparation for Battalion field weekends. The training in the upcoming months will attempt to teach and expand on the riflemen’s knowledge of urban operations training with both theoretical and practical lessons on training nights and the field weekends. 

Finally, F Company represented The London Regiment at the Lord Mayor’s Show in November, with a patrolling section on the streets of London. The section displayed the Company’s capabilities to the nation’s capital to great effect. 


Number IX (Bomber) Squadron is delighted to give you an update on our activities this past year. Undoubtedly the highlight was our first operational deployment since re-equipping with the Typhoon aircraft in 2019. We participated in Operation BILOXI for just under six months, deploying four FGR4 Typhoons, pilots, engineers and support personnel to Mihail Kogălniceanu Airport in Romania under command of Number 121 Expeditionary Air Wing. This was a NATO enhanced Air Policing mission, complementing the Romanian Air Force’s own Quick Reaction Alert Force. We were well prepared for our first live scramble in June when we intercepted Russian SU-24 Fencer and SU-30 Flanker fighters which were tracked entering the area of international air space controlled by Romania. The Russian aircraft had not previously filed flight plans or contacted air traffic controllers, but ended up leaving before our pilots came into visual range with them. Training has been continuing back in Princess Louise House since July, but we have maintained a hybrid online and physical training program to facilitate challenges our Riflemen may encounter due to COVID 19.  

Outside of operations, our bread-and-butter is providing an Aggressor (or Red Air) service for other units to train against, providing a highly capable threat to test RAF (and RN) fast jet pilots in a mix of scenarios. One such example was the quarterly Exercise POINT BLANK run by the United States Air Force. Over 26 UK fighter aircraft took part, alongside USAF F15E fighters, and B1 and B52 strategic bombers, demonstrating the UK’s ability to operate in a highly contested environment. Next year will undoubtedly be just as busy, but as ever we’re excited at the prospects and challenges, made all the easier knowing we have the support and backing of the Haberdashers’ Company. Thank you.



Top:  section of F (Rifles) Company parade through Central London during the Lord Mayor’s Show;
Above: F (Rifles) Company march towards a Remembrance Service at Shepherd’s Bush Green


Top: Typhoon GR4 on Operation BILOXI
Above:  IX (B) Squadron at Mihail Kogălniceanu Airport, Romania