11 Explosive Ordnance Disposal Regiment RLC
11 EOD Regiment RLC is a specialist regiment of the British Army's Royal Logistic Corps (RLC) responsible for counter terrorist Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD), the safe recovery or disposal of conventional munitions. The regiment also has an ammunition inspectorate role supporting the Inspector Explosives (Army). The Regiment has sub units geographically based throughout the UK to provide a nationwide high readiness response capability in support of the police.
The regiments history commences in the period immediately after WW2. At the time, the regional Commands HQs across UK established Ammunition Inspectorates to oversee the drawdown of the vast stockpiles of ammunition in numerous Sub Depots across the country, much of it was still stocked alongside many of the roads in the countryside. These Command Ammunition Inspectorates, Northern Command, Southern Command etc. were eventually grouped into one unit, 1 Ammunition Inspection and Disposal Unit RAOC, (1 Ammo IDU) which formed on 15 March 1972 at Old Sarum in Wiltshire. The first Officer Commanding was Lieutenant Colonel AE Yardley RAOC. In April 1982, 1 Ammo IDU became 11 Ordnance Battalion (EOD) and was relocated to Didcot. The first Commanding Officer was Lieutenant Colonel Mike Groves RAOC. Some 11 years later the Battalion was retitled to 11 EOD Regiment RLC following the formation of the RLC on 5 April 1993, the first Commanding Officer of the newly titled regiment was Lieutenant Colonel Andy Gibson RLC.
The unit is mainly manned by Ammunition Technical Officers and Ammunition Technicians supported by Royal Signals and Intelligence Corps personnel and stores and administrative staff. The Regiment is also supported by Joint Service EOD Operators of the Royal Engineers, Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force, in responding to suspicious package/bomb calls in the UK mainland outside of London; the Metropolitan Police have their own specialist unit for the London area. The Regiment reports to 29 EOD & Search Group, part of 8 Force Engineer Brigade.
In addition to its counter terrorist bomb disposal duties in UK, the Regiment provides the high threat Bomb Disposal teams in Afghanistan (Op Herrick) and has lost 6 of its operators killed in action in Helmand Province. The Regiment provides bomb disposal teams to work with other countries EOD units and has trained bomb disposal teams in many countries.
Another major part of the units role is to ensure the safety of military ammunition and explosives in storage and in use, both in training and on operations. Teams from the regiment inspect unit ammunition storage sites annually and issue licences to store ammunition in safe storage conditions.
The regiment will also carry out technical investigations of all incidents where ammunition may not have functioned as intended, the intention being to determine if the ammunition design was at fault or whether the way the ammunition has been Stored, handled or used may have contributed to the failure.
- 321 EOD Squadron RLC, based in Northern Ireland
- 421 EOD & Search Squadron RLC, based at HQ 11 EOD Regiment
- 521 EOD Squadron RLC, based in the North of England
- 621 EOD Squadron RLC, based in the South of England
- 721 EOD Squadron RLC, based in the Midlands
The Regiment is based at Vauxhall Barracks, Didcot, Oxfordshire having moved there from Old Sarum in 1982. Due to its long and close association with the town, the Regiment was awarded the Freedom of Didcot on 17 September 2007 and were conferred "the honour and distinction of exercising all customary Regimental Privileges when parading in or marching through the Town of Didcot". The Regiment proudly exercised its right to march through the town of Didcot on 22 September 2007 led by the Commanding Officer Lt Col RL Maybery QGM RLC.
On 19 November 2010, in a ceremony at Didcot Parkway railway station, a High Speed Train locomotive, no. 43087 operated by First Great Western (FGW), was named 11 Explosive Ordnance Disposal Regiment Royal Logistic Corps. The ceremony was attended by Lt Col Gareth Bex (Commanding Officer); soldiers of the Regiment; Mark Hopwood, of FGW; Keith Mitchell, leader of the county council; and the MP for Wantage, Ed Vaizey.