Historic Army squadron to disband

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An Army squadron which can trace its history back to 1806 will be disbanded at RAF Leeming next week.

The 10 Field Squadron, Royal Engineers, will disband at RAF Leeming, near Northallerton, on Wednesday with family and friends looking on.

A spokeswoman for RAF Leeming said yesterday: “10 Field Squadron, Royal Engineers, first came into being by Royal Warrant when the Corps of Military Artificers were given in the numbers.

“This corps in turns owed its origins to the raising in 1722 of the two special companies of the Military artisan at Gibraltar for engineering work carried out during the siege.

“Since then 10 Field Squadron has contributed to British Army efforts in the Crimean War, China War, Abyssinian, Suakin Campaign, Boer War and both World Wars.”

The squadron has been disbanded more than once, and was reformed as 10 Field Squadron (Air Support) at RAF Leeming in February 2004. Personnel of the current squadron have seen service in the Falkland Islands, Sierra Leone, Iraq, Kenya and Afghanistan.

On Wednesday, the squadron will parade through RAF Leeming, witnessed by station personnel, family and friends, for its seventh disbandment as part of a major Government reorganisation, a programme of swingeing cuts to the structure of the Army.

By 2020, the Army will drastically reduce in size, with the number of soldiers set to fall from 102,000 to 82,000.

The reduction will mean the Army will be about half the size of the Cold War era – in 1978 it had more than 163,000 troops

Defence Secretary Philip Hammond has said that the changes are needed to create a “balanced, capable and adaptable force”.

“Army 2020 will create a more flexible and agile Army. Unlike the past, it will be set on a firm foundation of men and material, well trained, well equipped and fully funded,” the Defence Secretary has previously said.