Distribution of forces

The following are connected to or based within Sussex:

  • B Company, 3rd Battalion, The Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment
  • D Company, 4th Battalion, The Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment
  • D Detachment 256 (City of London) Field Hospital
  • 16th and 12th Royal Artillery Regiments
  • HMS Shoreham, a Sandown class mine countermeasures vessel, enjoys close affiliations with the Sussex town, Shoreham.
  • Crowborough Camp is the county’s main training area, that is used by units based across the South East, and houses the Sussex Army Cadet Forces weekend training centre.
  • Southwick Park – Defence College of Policing with its world beating Forensics Training Facilities
  • Thales UK is Britain’s second largest defence company and it is based in Crawley

In the county of Sussex there are approximately:

  • 900 Regulars
  • 250 Reserves
  • 3500 Cadets
  • 580 Cadet Adult Volunteers

Royal Air Force
British Army
Royal Navy

The following are connected to or based within Kent and Medway.

Army

  • Royal Regiment of Artillery
  • 3rd Prince of Wales’s Royal Regiment (Infantry) Battalion - Area HQ. C Company
  • Corps of Royal Electrical and Mechanical - 103 REME Battalion
  • Army Medical Services - Army Medical Reserves - 254 Medical Regiment - 220 Medical Squadron
  • Royal School of Military Engineering Regiment - 1 RSME Regiment, Professional Engineer Wing
  • 259 Field Squadron - 101 Engineering Regiment
  • 36 Engineer Regiment (Hybrid)

Royal Navy

  • Hawke Division (Medway) Reserve
  • The Royal Marines Reserve unit in London (joint training with Hawke Division)

Royal Air Force

  • Defence Fire Training and Development Centre Manston (previously RAF Manston)

In the county of Kent and Medway there are approximately:

  • 360 Reserves
  • 5500 Cadets
  • 860 Cadet Adult Volunteers
  • 29 Combined Cadet Force Units
11th Infantry Brigade and Headquarters South East

11 Brigade is the Army regional point of contact for the 8 counties in the South East of England. Along with having four regular and two reserve battalions, 11 Brigade also promotes a greater understanding and awareness of the Armed Forces community within public authorities and local communities. Ensuring that the aims of the Armed Forces Covenant are embedded within a network of Civil Military Partnership Boards across the South East.

Sussex

  • Royal Navy (RN) None in Sussex
  • Royal Marines (RM) None in Sussex
  • Royal Air Force (RAF) None in Sussex
  • Army: 16 and 12 Royal Artillery Regiments, Thorney Island

With the exception of the two Artillery Regiments on Thorney Island there are no regular forces stationed within Sussex, however, will also be a number of individuals who will have settled their families in the county, but will still be serving in units outside of Sussex, who when returning home on leave may require access to NHS services.

The families of these individuals will come under the NHS for their medical needs, although the individuals' unit should look after both the individual and their family's welfare needs. However, those families living away from the unit home base tend to turn to the local authority for assistance, and the unit will link them in appropriately. Not all will be living in private housing, so there will be a mix of social housing and some living with family.

Kent and Medway

Chatham, Brompton Barracks
1 Royal School of Military Engineering (RSME) Regiment trains our Royal Engineer soldiers in construction, engineering and watermanship. The school normally provides the third and final phase of a Sappers training package before they are posted to their first Regiment.

Maidstone, Invicta Park Barracks
36 Engineer Regiment has soldiers from 21 different nationalities serving within it, including two Gurkha Field Squadrons (69 and 70 Gurkha Field Squadrons), with their own cap badge for Queen’s Gurkha Engineers. A Force Support Engineer Regiment that provides specialist engineer solutions. It is always ready to deliver theatre entry, indirect support to combat operations, military-civil transition and recovery to the Land, Logistic and Maritime components on current and future operations.

Shorncliffe, Brigade of Gurkhas
The Royal Gurkha Rifles Regiment are a unique unit in the Army with a reputation of being amongst the finest and most feared soldiers in the world. All Gurkha soldiers are recruited in Nepal with British Officers recruited from across the UK and Commonwealth. There are 3 battalions of the Royal Gurkha Rifles:

  • The First and Third Battalions, The Royal Gurkha Rifles are located in Kent.
  • The Second Battalion of The Royal Gurkha Rifles is located in Brunei.

Other Regulars
As in Sussex, there will also be a number of individuals who will have settled their families in the county, but will still be serving in units outside of Kent and Medway, who when returning home on leave may require access to NHS services.

British Army Reserves
There are various units within the British Army Reserves including Infantry, Special Forces, Army Air Corps, Royal Engineers, Royal Signals, Royal Artillery, Royal Logistics Corps, Army Medical Services, Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, Intelligence Corps. Visit the British Army website for up to-date details of placement of units and more details of what the different units do.

579 Field Squadron (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) Royal Engineers
579 Field Squadron (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) Royal Engineers, are based at Tunbridge Wells as part of 101 (City Of London) Engineer Regiment with Regimental Headquarters based in Saffron, Walden, Essex.
The Regiment’s role is to provide Bomb Disposal and Specialist High Risk Search support to the Defence and Government Departments. The Squadron has three troops in: Reigate, Rochester and Tunbridge Wells.

63 (UKSF) Signal Squadron
The role of 63 (UKSF) Signal Squadron is to provide:

  • Individual and collective augmentation to the Regular Communications and Information Systems Component of UK Special Forces.
  • Communications and Information Systems support to the Reserve Component of UK Special Forces on exercises and operations.

The Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment
The Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment 3rd Battalion has Reserve Units in both Sussex and Kent & Medway. In Sussex, B (Royal Sussex) Company is in the heart of Brighton, with a platoon outstation located in Eastbourne. In Kent and Medway, A Company is based in Ashford and Ramsgate, C Company is based in Rochester and the 3rd Battalion and Company Headquarters are in Canterbury along with the Kohima Band. D Company for the 4th Battalion is based in Crawley. The Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment is an infantry regiment and it is proud of its record on operations, supporting all areas of conflict in recent history.

256 City of London Field Hospital
The primary role of the Field Hospital is to provide clinical support to regular army on Operational Tours in times of conflict, peacekeeping and humanitarian situations. D Detachment is based at the Quebec Barracks in Brighton has links to Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust. The Unit was also involved in supporting the NHS in creating the London Nightingale Hospital within the ExCel Arena during the Covid-19 pandemic.

103 Battalion Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME)
133 Recovery Company are based in Ashford. The REME provide equipment support, working on the latest and advanced technologies from a Tank to Weapon Systems.

151 Regiment Royal Logistics Corps
The Regiment has many bases around Greater London and across the South East of England. B Troop from the 124 Transport Squadron is based in Maidstone.

254 (East of England) Medical Regiment
The 220 Medical Squadron is based in Maidstone. It is a highly mobile medical unit that responds to incidents, report, treat and evacuate casualties from the frontline units.

Royal Navy – Maritime Reserves
The Maritime Reserves is made up of two vital, valued forces: the Royal Naval Reserve, and the Royal Marines Reserve. Together, they support the regular personnel, in its peacetime, military and humanitarian operations.

Medway Division Royal Navy Reserve
HMS President has a satellite unit, Medway Tender, based in Rochester. HMS President is the largest Royal Navy Reserve unit with a permanent presence in London on the Thames near to Tower Bridge.

Royal Marine Reserve – No units in Sussex and Kent & Medway

Royal Air Force Reserves
Royal Air Force Reserves work alongside the Regulars. There aren’t any units in Sussex and Kent & Medway but there are Reservists whose units are external to these counties.

South East Reserve Forces' and Cadets' Association (SE-RFCA) is one of 13 RFCAs UK-wide, SE-RFCA is a Ministry of Defence (MOD) Crown body, responsible to the Defence Council, but separate from military chains-of-command. SE-RFCA gives support to the Reserve Forces and Cadets from the Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force in the Counties of Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Hampshire, the Isle of Wight, Kent, Oxfordshire, Surrey, East and West Sussex. The majority of the Association comprises volunteers, presided over by the Lord-Lieutenant of each County, ranging from high-ranking serving and retired military Officers, through local Councillors to enthusiastic locals, with no military experience, but with a will to support the Armed Forces and Cadets; so it can be seen that the Association has close links with the Community because it is part of that Community. In short, the main roles of SERFCA are:

  • Managing the volunteer estate (Reserve, Cadet and Training Centres). through building new Centres, maintaining current Centres to the required legal standard and ensuring that all sites are kept in good condition, fit for purpose and secure.
  • Encouraging support for the Reserves and Cadets This includes giving support to, in particular, Reservists by engaging with Employers and supporting Employers of Reservists who seek more information or who have Reservist Employees deployed on operations.
  • Supporting Cadets both cadets and adult volunteers in the Combined Cadet Force, Sea Cadet Corps, Army Cadet Force and Air Training Corps.

Combined Cadet Force (CFF)
There are CCF contingents in 29 secondary schools and colleges within Kent and Medway and 10 in Sussex, offering young people a broad range of challenging, exciting adventurous and educational activities. Their aim is to enable the development of personal responsibility, leadership and self-discipline, Each CCF is an educational partnership between the school and the Ministry of Defence. CCF’s may include Royal Navy, Royal Marine, Army and Royal Air Force sections.

Sea Cadets and Royal Marine Cadets
Whether at sea or on land, the Sea Cadets offers young people across the UK amazing opportunities for personal development - by learning new skills and working in teams - they offer an environment where young people find new confidence and inspiration. Established in 1856 the Sea Cadets was created by communities wanting to give young people instruction on a naval theme. Traditionally old seafarers provided training while local businessmen funded the unit building.

Kent and Medway Army Cadets
Kent Army Cadet Force has 38 detachments covering the whole of Kent and Medway. Divided into 3 Companies (East, South and West) and a RE Squadron (North Kent & Medway)

Sussex Army Cadets
Sussex Army Cadet Force has 27 detachments covering the whole of East and West Sussex as well as Brighton and Hove. Divided into 4 Companies they also have a Corps of Drums, Signals and Kitkar teams. Their Headquarters is at Highcroft House, in Brighton - an old building, built within the grounds of the Army Reserve Centre on Dyke Road, and it is home to the Head Quarters staff team.

Royal Air Force Cadets
Both the Kent Wing of the Air Training Corps and the Sussex Wing Air Training Corps are open to all young people between the ages of 12 and 18 who are in school year 8 or above; offering young people a broad range of challenging, exciting adventurous and educational activities. Their aim is to enable the development of personal responsibility, leadership and self-discipline. Every year Air Cadets and Volunteer staff take part in exciting and challenging events all over the country.

It is harder to quantify the number of ex-service personnel across Sussex and Kent & Medway as there is no official monitoring of their placement once they have left the Armed Forces. This makes them a hard to reach community and is why organisations have to ask the question "have you served in the British Armed Forces?" This will enable that organisation to ensure the individual and their family receive the appropriate support.

Sussex and Kent & Medway

 

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