79 (Kirkee) Battery
The Battery converted to the Commando role on 15th May 1962. Two years later saw the Regiment based in Singapore and serving in Borneo and Malaya where it saw action in the jungle role. The early seventies saw the battery based in Malta until it returned to The Royal Citadel in 1974. The troubles in Northern Ireland saw the Battery deployed on four Operation BANNER tours. The Battery has also served as part of the UN peacekeeping force in Cyprus on two occasions, the last in 1995.
In 1982 the Battery deployed with the Regiment on Operation Corporate, the operation to recover the Falkland Islands. Landing in San Carlos on 21 May 1982 the Battery was the first fire unit ashore and the first to fire in anger. Over the course of the war the Battery fired 2,200 rounds and the tactical group supported 42 Commando on foot throughout. Initially moving to Teal Inlet on 31 May the battery moved to Estancia House alongside 3 PARA and finally to Two Sisters within range of Port Stanley. The campaign was the ultimate test for Regiment in extremely hostile conditions which tested gunnery, men and logistics to their very limits and then further still.
The Battery took part in Operation Haven in1991 to provide a safe and secure haven for the Kurds against Saddem Hussein in Northern Iraq and three years later in 1994 it reinforeced 7 Battery with two Fire support Teams and two gun detachments for Operation Driver to block predicted Iraqi incursion into Kuwait which had echoes of the deployment to Kuwait of 1961.
Kirkee served in the Balkans in 1995 as part of Operation Lodestar (Bosnia-Herzgovina). In 2003 the Battery was split up to reinforce 7 and 8 Batteries for Operation Telic 1, the liberation of Iraq. In 2005 the Battery deployed to Helmand Province Afghanistan on Operation Herrick V returning two years later on Operation Herrick IX. The Battery’s latest operational deployment was to Afghanistan in 2011 on Operation Herrick XIV. The Battery also contributed, at short notice, to the security for the hugely successful 2012 Olympic Games in London.
Source: The Royal Artillery Association .
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