Monday, 21 April 2014


We were tasked by the Regimental Operational Support Officer, Captain Mak Singh MBE, to assist on Exercise Midlands Speer.  This event ran over four weeks by 143(West Midlands) Brigade to show what life is like within the military.  It is held in conjunction with the Job Centre Plus, Job Enterprise Training and Stoke-on-Trent College. 

The Catering Troop was tasked to feed 40 individuals at the end of March with a lunch, on only a £1.50 a head budget.  We also provided a nutritional lecture to the assembled students and of course emphasised that we do catering en-masse but also fine dining for Mess events and other special occasions, giving Chefs a chance to show off their skills.

We arrived at 4 Mercian’s unit lines in Stoke on the Wednesday afternoon to give a brief to the students on calorie intake and then they went off to get their own lunch.  We then analysed their choices and gave them feedback on how good or bad their choices were.   For a bit of added pressure we had the team from BBC 1(One Show) filming us too!

The lecture went well and after they told me what they had eaten and drank that day and we broke down their meals by nutritional values, showing how unhealthy/healthy it was - most of the students had been going to McDonalds so you can guess the results.

On the second day, after setting up the kitchen, Staff Sergeant Morries, from 237 West Brom Squadron, proceeded to make a healthy lunch for the students as I gave the presentation on Nutrition.  

 We also took a look at the Operational Ration Pack that we now use on operations around the world and the nutritional value that it gives our troops.  The lunch which was served consisted of pasta, minced beef bolognaise, jacket potatoes, salad, vegetables, fruit and yoghurt.  The students were utterly amazed at what we have to work with on £1.50 for a lunch meal.

The feedback from the students looking to join either the Armed Forces or Reserves is looking good.  Let’s hope these students materialise as soldiers and officers, maybe even some Chefs, of the future!

If you're interested in gaining valuable qualifications as Chef and want to try something different then search online for Army Chef, or pop in to your nearest Army careers centre or Army Reserve centre, for more information.

Saturday, 12 April 2014


Welcome to the fourth edition of the Barbarian Blog, whether you are reading this through the military intranet or the Internet, I hope that you enjoy this insight into the recent activities undertaken within 159 Supply Regiment RLC.


Since I last wrote to you the Operation HERRICK 19 cohort have continued their deployment with 27 Regiment RLC and are now thinking of home.  All Rest and Recuperation, mid-tour leave, has been completed and the 24 Reservists will be home in April.  Invitations for their medal parade, on Saturday 26th April, will be despatched by 27 Regiment in the near future.

Our Operation HERRICK 20 cohort are currently in Gutersloh with 1 Logistic Support Regiment conducting their Mission Rehearsal Exercise; the final piece in the pre-deployment jigsaw.  The Adjutant, Captain Statham, is in Gutersloh working with our superior headquarters, HQ 102 Logistic Brigade, as part of the validation team. He and their Troop Commander, Lieutenant Sam Walton, have reported that spirits and enthusiasm remain high and our Reservists have been warmly welcomed by the 1 LSR Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Lee Daley RLC, and his team.

We also continue the Force Generation process for our final Reservist cohort to mobilise with 6 Regiment RLC.  Due to the excellent work done in Afghanistan to set the conditions for a timely withdrawal, there remains some uncertainty over the scale of 6 Regiment’s committment.  However we must continue to march to our last orders, namely the training, selection and mobilisation of one officer and 23 soldiers to deploy with 6 Regiment.  The first selection weekend was an unmitigated success and there are two more before the final selection event, the HERRICK Battlecamp, in Sennelager during the Annual Deployment Exercise in May.


Our recruiting teams remain busy, not just out on the streets attracting potential recruits or at the National Recruiting Centre liaising with the Candidate Support Managers, but also in our Squadron lines mentoring the hopeful candidates that we have successfully attracted.  Our attraction levels remain high and the maintenance of interest in potential recruits has been excellent – please keep up the hard work.  Our numbers will only grow through continued effort from all of us, so never be shy of “selling our brand” to those who are interested.  Our Regiment’s achievements, be they sporting or operational, are boast-worthy.



You will all be aware of the Regiment’s twitter feed (@159SupRegt) and I hope that you are finding it a useful and positive tool to find out more about what is happening and planned.  To enhance the Regiment’s profile we have established an Internet based blog via blogspot.  It is called “159er” and can be accessed from the following link:

If anyone has a desire to be published on the web or has something that they would like to share then please contact the Adjutant via email:  159SUP-RHQ-ADJT@MOD.UK

Around the Houses

216 (Tynemouth) Squadron

Congratulations to the Permanent Staff Instructor Staff Sergeant Banks and to Lance Corporal Tambin who have recently welcomed new additions to their respective families; babies Thomas and Paul are welcomed to the 159 family.  The Squadron’s most notable recent success has been the high number of volunteers who attended the Regiment’s shooting concentration.  Every person who attended has been selected for the team and kudos to Privates Rudman, Warbrick and Ryan who were singled out for some excellent shooting.

237 (West Bromwich) Squadron

As well as hosting a visit from the RHQ command team and a REME Colonel to advise the Regiment on the future of the REME in the Army Reserve, the Squadron has been busy supporting skiing as socialising – a hard old life!

The OC and SPSI were at the helm for the Regiment during Ex SKI RLC in Bavaria, overseeing some quality skiing but sadly one or two minor injuries.

On the social front it isn’t quite what it seems.  The PSAO organised a cultural evening out for the Sqn and we visited Wolverhampton theatre and saw “The two worlds of Charlie F”  great production with a military theme which we highly commend to everyone linked to the services or otherwise.

243 (Coventry) Squadron

A big welcome to our newest recruit, Pte Curtis and to our latest transfer-in Sgt Milnes, we hope you both enjoy long and successful careers in the Regiment.  Our congratulations go to WO1 Withers who was recently awarded a Commander Land Forces Commendation for his outstanding service to 243 Squadron and the Regiment in recent years.  Such commendations are rare and WO1 Withers is fully deserving of his award.  In addition LCpl Hoskins was named as the “Armed Forces Hero” in the Pride of Coventry and Warwickshire 2013 awards’ ceremony.  Juggling his Reservist role with his voluntary ‘first-responder’ role, LCpl Hoskins was accompanied by his grandfather at the awards, read more here:  (insert link to blog article).  And finally the Squadron deployed over 20 personnel on adventurous training to Anglesey, conducting rock climbing, kayaking and hill walking to name but a few; all for only a few pounds!

381 (Lancaster) Squadron

381 Squadron continues to grow and is finally seeing the arrival from the NRC of some new recruits. We welcome the following soldiers: Cpl’s Judd, Monaghan and Fry; LCpl’s Shepherd, Hall, Davidson and Walsh.  New recruits who will begin their training in April 14 will include Pte Cox (British Olympic Judo Squad) Pte Morton and Pte Walker.

We welcome back Cpl Whyte who had decided to leave but tells me she missed the life too much and has withdrawn her termination.  An excellent NCO we look forward to benefitting from her and the other NCOs’ enthusiasm and experience.

This new training year will see fresh challenges as we are asked to support various World War One remembrance activities here in Lancaster and the surrounding areas.  Armed Forces Day in June promises to be bigger than ever and we have been asked to host elements of the crew of HMS Lancaster. 

Monday, 7 April 2014

A Reserve Officer's Perspective of Mobilisation for Deployment - Lieutenant Sam Walton RLC

My journey began in September 2012 when I first met my CO.  Having just commissioned his first question to me was, “So, how would you like to go on tour?” 18 months later I find myself finishing Mission Specific Training (MST) about to deploy to Afghanistan.  My path has changed slightly, from originally commanding a Transport Troop drawn from my own Regiment, 160 Transport Regiment, to commanding a Troop of Suppliers from 159 Supply Regiment.  I now command Materiel Troop of 1 Logistic Support Regiment (1LSR) who deploy as the Theatre Logistic Group for Op HERRICK 20.

The first stage of MST was the 159 Regiment Battle Camp.  The Regiment has a strong history of providing supply capability, deploying a troop of 23 soldiers to Afghanistan every six months since 2011.  The camp was an excellent introduction to the Regiment for me and allowed me to have an input into the selection of the lucky soldiers who were capable, robust and dedicated to deploy on operations.

 The next step was to travel to Germany and join 1LSR.  Due to the changing nature of Op HERRICK 20, the Reserves were divided across the Regiment, with only 12 under my command in the General Support (GS) Squadron.  Day One set the tone for the ethos of the ‘First Regiment’, with an ‘orientation’ run around the airfield – the first of many!

The first week with GS Sqn included the Squadron Sergeant Major’s (SSM) parade ‘under the flags’.  1 LSR, and the GS Sqn particularly, contains soldiers from all over the Commonwealth and flags from each country represented are displayed on the hanger wall.  I spent the majority of the week learning the ropes from the Technical Warrant Officer and practiced issues and receipts whilst asking lots of questions.  Gaining an idea of what each department did, enabled me to ask the right questions during the hand-over with the outgoing Troop Commander.  I felt fully prepared for the Field Training Exercise (FTX).

 The FTX was held at the Supply Training Facility (Germany) (STF(G)), a facility designed to test suppliers on the technical aspects of their trade.  The Reservists had quickly gelled with the Regulars and there was little to tell them apart as soldiers and the previous training gaps were quickly identified and remedied; both through hard work from the Reservists and from excellent teamwork and tutoring from the Regulars.

The FTX stretched everyone with a high volume of supply activity to be completed – mirroring the current operational tempo in Afghanistan.  The FTX wasn’t just about trade skills though and there were plenty of ‘kinetic’ serials throughout to keep everyone on their toes.  


The next few weeks flew by, with leave and courses before the Mission Rehearsal Exercise (MRX).  So here I am now at STF(G), on the final step and looking forward to the hot summer ahead.  With many of my NCOs already or about to deploy, the remainder have had an opportunity to step-up and work in other roles, pushing themselves professionally than many had thought likely.  As a Troop Commander my main priority is ensuring that my troops are ready to deploy in the best possible manner.  The mobilisation process, from selection to MRX, has been challenging and rewarding.  The pre-selection work ensured we arrived at 1 LSR with the right people to do the job and represent the Reserve Army on operations.  The work done since has honed our skills, including mine, and been a positive experience which will see all of the Reservists deploy in as good a state as possible.