C (KSY) Squadron is one of the Royal Yeomanry's 6 Squadrons . The Royal Yeomanry is a Light Cavalry Regiment. The unit is roled to provide a strategically deployable light reconnaissance capability which is employable across a wide range of operations from Peace Support Operations through to stabilisation interventions, to enabling roles in major combat operations. In addition to this role the RY provides individual replacements as required to augment RAC regiments on operations.
History of Recent Events
From 1967 until 1995 C (KSY) Squadron and its parent regiment the RY enjoyed several decades of operating armoured reconnaissance vehicles, from Saladin’s and Ferrets through to the iconic Fox armoured car.
In 1995 the Royal Yeomanry was re-roled from an armoured reconnaissance regiment to become the UK’s NBC Defence Regiment. As the UK’s only NBC defence Regiment the Royal Yeomanry enjoyed a considerable scaling of advanced equipment including the specially built and impressive six wheeled armoured FUCHS. In 1999 a new Joint NBC Defence Regiment was formed in the regular army between the RAF Regiment and the Royal Tank Regiment and nearly all of the specialist equipment was handed over by the RY.
At this point 2 of the RYs 5 Sqns remained in the NBC role in support of the new regular Joint CBRN Regiment but C (KSY) SQN was re-roled back to a core RAC function as a Challenger 2 Main Battle Tank (CR2) replacement crew sub-unit. The Sqn did not receive a training compliment of CR2 but operated a training program using Land Rovers for collective training and sending individuals to Bovington to train as Loaders, Driver’s and Gunners.
In 2003 with the invasion of Iraq a whole new era began for most of the Territorial Army’s Combat Arms. Initially the two NBC (now CBRN) Sqns of the RY, plus a few individuals from C (KSY) SQN were compulsorily mobilised as an 116 strong additional Sqn for the Joint CBRN Regt, this lasted from February until May 2003 but gained the RY the Iraq Battle Honour (the only battle honour to be won by a TA Regt since WW2). It was not long after this that the combined stress of the UK’s campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan began to wear heavily on the Regular Army and the MOD looked to the TA as a source of IRs (individual replacements). In early 2004, 60 members of the RY were mobilized to augment the Queen’s Royal Lancers who were deploying to Iraq on Op Telic 4 in a dismounted role. The largest component of this tranche was provided by C (KSY) SQN who provided 32 of the 60 RY mobilised personnel (the 32 were drawn from the then current C Sqn effective strength of 65). In particular a complete formed troop of the Sharpshooters was mobilized and though small this complete troop was significant against a policy backdrop of the TA only being used for individual replacements as opposed to deploying formed units.
Following the return of the bulk of C (KSY) SQN RY from Op Telic 4, TA mobilisations of individuals for Operations became the norm, although at a reduced level.
In 2005 Regimental Headquarters of the RY moved from the Duke of York’s HQ to join C (KSY) SQN in Croydon. In 2006 the Royal Yeomanry was homogenized with a new single RY cap badge replacing C (KSY) SQN’s historic Kent and County of London Sharpshooters badge.
In 2006 under FAS TA the RY was again re-roled to become the CBRN Recce Regiment. As the CBRN Recce Regt the RY was tasked to provide CBRN manoeuvre support to the formation reconnaissance regiments. The RY embraced the role with gusto, creating specialist training courses and career paths for its personnel and building up a fairly impressive pool of expertise. All along this path the RY and C (KSY) SQN have simultaneously continued to provide individual replacements in support of Regular Army units on operations.
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