Army's Brecon Beacons base saved in Wales troops move

Image source, MOD/Crown Copyright

The main Army headquarters in the Brecon Beacons has been saved from closure and more troops will move to Wales, the UK government has said.

The Queen's Dragoon Guards is currently based in Norfolk and will move to the newly revamped Caerwent Barracks, near Newport, from 2028.

The reserves base in Wrexham will also expand as part of the government's £8.6bn Future Soldier programme.

In 2019 the government planned to close the two main military bases in Wales.

Although Brecon Barracks will remain as the main Army headquarters in Wales, Cawdor Barracks in Pembrokeshire will still close, although this has been delayed until 2028. It was originally planned to shut in 2024.

The decision has been welcomed by the local MP, Fay Jones who has lobbied ministers on the issue since being elected in 2019.

"Securing the Barracks for the future is an immense achievement and I want to thank everyone who put their name to the campaign.

"We are extremely proud of our military community and I am overjoyed they have a permanent home in Brecon. Today is a superb day for the Army, for Wales and above all, for Brecon."

Welsh Liberal Democrat leader Jane Dodds also celebrated the news.

"The Barracks has a long and proud military history and has been an important part of the local community and local history in Brecon and Wales as a whole for over 200 years," she said.

"Brecon and Radnorshire Liberal Democrats, myself and Kirsty Williams had continuously pressed for the Barracks to remain open and want to thank all those involved in securing its future."

The restructuring is part of the UK governments to transform the way it fights its battles - both on the ground and also in the form of cyber warfare.

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
The Welsh Guards will continue to be based at Windsor for their ceremonial duties such as Trooping the Colour

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace, said: "Future Soldier is reinforced by the ambition outlined in the Defence Command Paper to transform the Army into a more agile, integrated, lethal, expeditionary force.

"We have underpinned this generational work with an extra £8.6bn for Army equipment, bringing the total investment to £41.3 billion.

"Our Army will operate across the globe, equipped with the capabilities to face down a myriad of threats from cyber warfare through to battlefield conflict."

The new base for reserve soldiers will open in Wrexham for part of the 3rd Battalion The Royal Welsh. This regiment will take on the main responsibility for homeland protection operations and will maintain its warfighting role alongside regular soldiers.

Head of the Army in Wales, Brig Andrew Dawes CBE, said: "We will welcome the Welsh Cavalry (Queen's Dragoon Guards) and an additional infantry unit to a new, purpose-built barracks in South Wales as well as a new sub-unit of 3 Royal Welsh in Wrexham.

"These adjustments strengthen our presence across Wales and underlines the importance of Wales to the Army and to the wider UK."

The government has also said the Welsh infantry soldiers "will remain at the heart of the Army's warfighting capability with the 1st Battalion, The Royal Welsh receiving the Army's new Armoured Personnel Carrier, Boxer".

They will continue to be based on Salisbury Plain, Wiltshire forming a crucial part of the Army's high-end warfighting division, the government added.

The Welsh Guards, based out of Windsor, Berkshire will continue its ceremonial and protection duties of the Royal Household alongside its light Infantry role.

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