Our hard-working servicemen and women should be allowed to be as close as possible to their friends, family and wider support networks when not on active service…Recent assessments of the makeup of the Royal Welsh regiment, for instance, show that 98% of recruits are from Wales, but they are forced to move to Wiltshire, Norfolk or Surrey to serve their country
That’s what the Welsh nationalist party’s leader, Hywel Williams, said as it was announced that the number of British military sites across the UK including Wales is to be cut by 10% in the coming decade. The biggest hit for Wales is the planned closure of the Brecon Barracks in 2027 which has existed since 1805.
At present the three Welsh regiments of the British Army are all based at sites in England with the Welsh Guards at Pirbright near Guildford in Surrey. 1st The Queen’s Dragoon Guards are based in Norfolk while the 1st Battalion The Royal Welsh are located at Lucknow barracks in Tidworth, Wiltshire. Williams emphasises that there are a number of suitable sites across Wales that could house the three regiments and would help provide a case for keeping the Brecon Barracks open.
However, both the Army and the MoD have said Williams’ demands are impractical and cannot fit in with the current planned structure of the Army in years to come such as the Royal Welsh Guards providing security for the Queen. They also rejected claims by Williams that Wales was being overlooked by the MoD reaffirming that the Defence Electronics & Components Agency (DECA) based at MOD Sealand in North East Wales will be significantly involved in providing maintenance, repair, overhaul and upgrade services for components of the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II.