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29 Commando Regiment Royal Artillery

The batteries of 29 Commando Regiment Royal Artillery, provide artillery support to 3 Commando Brigade in the form of 105mm howitzers. 29 Commando Regiment Fire Support Teams (FSTs) deploy at the front-line and call in fire support from artillery, Naval gunfire, fast jets, attack helicopters and mortars. All members of 29 Commando are volunteers from other Royal Artillery regiments and are Commando trained.

29 Commando L118 guns
Gunners from 29 Commando pictured testing their 105mm artillery in Kuwait during the run up to Operation Telic, Iraq.
Image by LA(PHOT)HUSBANDS | © UK MOD / Crown Copyright 2003
Used under Open Government Licence

29 Commando Batteries

29 Commando RA is made up of the following Commando batteries:

23 (Gibraltar 1779 - 1783) Commando Headquarters Battery Royal Artillery
23 Battery, also based at the Royal Citadel Plymouth, provides command and control for 29 Commando. They provide signals and admin support and deploy alongside the other batteries when on operations. A radar troop from 23 is used to detect enemy artillery fire, plotting the incoming arc of fire and pinpointing the firing position. This techniques has been used to direct counter-fire against enemy mortar positions in Iraq and Afghanistan.

7 (Sphinx) Commando Battery Royal Artillery
Based at Arbroath, Angus, home of 45 commando, 7 Battery comprises 6 105mm guns and 3 Fire Support Teams.

8 (Alma) Commando Battery Royal Artillery
Also known as 'Black Eight', based at the Royal Citadel Plymouth. Alma consists of 6 105mm guns and 3 Fire Support Teams.

79 (Kirkee) Commando Battery Royal Artillery
Also based at the Royal Citadel Plymouth, 29 Battery consists of 6 light 105mm guns and 3 Fire Support Teams.

148 (Meiktila) Commando Forward Observation Battery Royal Artillery
148 Battery are highly-trained Army and Navy personnel tasked with calling in Naval gunfire in support of 3 Command Brigade operations. Apart from Commando training, 148 Bty men also undergo training in parachuting and submarine infil/exfil techniques.

more info on 148 Battery »

29 Commando Training

Volunteers for the Regiment first undergo a series of fitness tests before being assigned to specific Batteries for a pre-commando training schedule. They then progess onto Commando training where they attempt the All Arms Commando Course. Those who successfully complete Commando training are eligible to wear the Green Beret and Commando Dagger insignia. Further specialized training is then undertaken.

29 Commando Royal Artillery
Commandos with 7 (Sphinx) Commando Battery Royal Artillery prepare to fire a 105mm howitzer. 29 CDO RA use the L118 Light Gun, which can fire 6-8 rounds per minute to a range of 17km. Crucially, for Commando operations, the gun can be transported slung beneath helicopters and towed by vehicles.
Image by Andrew Linnett | © UK MOD / Crown Copyright 2012
Used under Open Government Licence

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