What is Cassino Squadron?

Introduction

Cassino Squadron is the first ever British Army Regular-Reserve hybrid squadron.

Operational Command

The squadron operates under the command of the 1st The Queen’s Dragoon Guards.

Background

Since the spring of 2017 the UK has been providing a rotating reconnaissance element for the Enhanced Forward Presence Battlegroup Poland, under command of the US 2nd Cavalry Regiment, a Germany-based Stryker Brigade formation.

Reserves from The Royal Yeomanry and 103 Battalion, Royal and Electrical Mechanical Engineers (REME) had a lot to prove as they deployed on Op Cabrit at the end of September 2020.

For this deployment, some 130 British troops would serve alongside counterparts from the US, Polish, Romanian and Croatian forces. Approximately 80 of the British contingent were Reservists, with roughly three quarters of those supplied by The Royal Yeomanry and the rest from 103 REME, along with 152 and 167 Regiments of the Royal Logistic Corps (RLC).

The Reservists provided personnel for three sabre troops and individuals for the headquarters, whilst the Regulars took on certain specialist roles, for example anti-tank because no Reservists were qualified in these roles (six Reservists completed the course at Swanton Morley and went out a month later).

There was a lot of uncertainty and concerns around the tour, particularly in force generation and preparedness – concerns that were not unreasonable. This had never been attempted before and as a mounted force on the Jackal and Coyote platforms there were some obvious capability gaps that needed addressing before they got to the ‘start line’.

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