GERMANY has bestowed one of its highest military honours to Hampshire’s local infantry unit for their work in keeping Europe safe.
For 13 years, troops from the 1st Battalion, Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment (1PWRR) have been based in Germany.
Nicknamed the Armoured Tigers, the squad of 750 soldiers have been operating as an armoured infantry unit, ready to fight alongside Nato allies across the globe.
Now, as this role with the 20th Armoured Infantry Brigade draws to a close, Germany has presented 1PWRR with the prestigious Fahnenband ribbon.
Inscribed with: ‘In the service of peace and freedom’, the accolade is the highest honour the Federal Ministry of Defence can present an allied unit and can be attached to the regiment’s colours in recognition of its service in Germany.
And to mark the award, 1PWRR joined a march of 1,400 soldiers through the German city of Paderborn, with bayonets fixed and colours flying.
Lieutenant Colonel Mark Nooney, 1PWRR commanding officer, told The News: ‘We are very honoured to receive the Fahnenband.
‘It provides a fitting recognition of the 13 years that the Tigers have spent in Germany and further demonstrates how we are part of the community in Paderborn.’
During their time out in Germany, the British Army has been forging closer links with its Nato and European allies.
In the past year, 1PWRR has tackled war games and exercises with the likes of the French, Estonians, Polish, Germans and Danish as well as the Americans.
Lt Col Nooney said this form of training had benefited his soldiers and Britain’s allies. He added: ‘The battalion has been at the forefront of the UK military Nato commitments and has such been held at a high level of readiness, prepared to deploy and, if required, fight.
‘Having the battalion based in Germany has allowed us to continue these relationships and develop our own bond with the numerous nations that train in Germany.
The regiment, which recruits from the Portsmouth area, is expected to move to Cyprus as a light role infantry battalion in 2019.