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3 Yorks and families stay in Warminster
Soldiers from 3rd Battalion the Yorkshire Regiment will stay based at Battlesbury Barracks in Warminster, and are to become the regiment’s 1st Battalion.
The name change is the result of a merger between the two battalions. 3 Yorks had been expecting a posting, but now most of the Warminster-based soldiers and their families will stay here.
The 2nd Battalion the Yorkshire Regiment, who had been expected to replace 3 Yorks at Battlesbury, are now to move from Munster to Cyprus later this year.
South Wilts MP Dr Andrew Murrison said: “It’s good for our area as Salisbury Plain is designated as one of the locations for returning troops. They will be most welcome.
“The withdrawal from Germany was inevitable and although the army is reducing in size, Wiltshire will not notice as much of the rebasing is to the county. I think the announcement will reinforce the army presence in the area.
“I am pleased the 3 Yorks will remain here under a new name as they are very much a part of the local scene and I expect the town will also be glad.”
Defence Secretary Philip Hammond announced last week that about 70 per cent of the Army will be brought back to the UK from Germany by the end of 2015, with the final 4,300 back by the end of 2019. 3 Yorks will become 1st Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment (Armoured Infantry Role), part of Reaction Force 12th Armoured Infantry Brigade.
The change will see Salisbury Plain home to the largest number of troops, 15,000, in the UK by 2020 and the Ministry of Defence will spend about £850 million to develop Army bases in Wiltshire.
Councillor Jane Scott, leader of Wiltshire Council, said: “This is excellent news for the whole of Wiltshire. I’ve always said we’re very proud to be a military county.
“This news will lead to more families putting down firm roots in our communities and I, on behalf of this council, welcome them to Wiltshire.
“The military is growing significantly in this county and we will continue to work closely with our military partners to make sure the right services and infrastructure are in place to support this growth.”
Tidworth will become the home of The Queens’ Royal Hussars (The Queen’s Own and Royal Irish) from 2017, as well as two new medical units and a REME unit by 2020.