39th Regiment Royal Artillery

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39th Regiment Royal Artillery
Active 1947 to 20 Feb 2015
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Branch  British Army
Type Artillery
Garrison/HQ Albemarle Barracks, Northumberland
Nickname(s) The Welsh Gunners
Equipment M270 Multiple Launch Rocket System

39 Regiment Royal Artillery is part of the Royal Artillery. Its name is pronounced "three nine", The Regiment is one of the Depth fire units of 1st Artillery Brigade, part of the British Army. It was formed in 1947, and placed into suspended animation on 20th February 2015. The Regiment is based at Albemarle Barracks in Northumberland.[1]

As of 2011, the regiment was equipped with the Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS). They will be the first unit to deploy the new Fire Shadow loitering munition; training has already begun and they were planned to take it to Afghanistan in 2012.[2] The regiment recently deployed Batteries on Op Herrick and have fired the first GMLRS rounds in theatre.

Under Army 2020, the regiment is being disbanded and its GMRLS launchers transferred to the other regiments and the Territorial Army. The regimental flag was lowered on 20 February 2015.[3]


A stick of soldiers from 39 Regiment Royal Artillery rush to get onto a Wessex helicopter during an exercise in Cyprus in which the regiment practiced operating in the infantry role

The history of the regiment is as follows:[4]

  • 1977 - Redesignated 39 Field Regiment with H Bty, 132 & 176 Btys
  • 1977 - 43 Bty joined Regt. equipped with Blowpipe
  • 1980 - On 15 Mar 1980 granted Freedom of the City of Paderborn, Germany
  • 1982 – Redesignated 39 Heavy Regiment was joined by 56(Olpherts) Bty RA, 34(Seringapatam)Battery and 76(Maude's)Battery. H Battery was placed into suspended animation and 132 Battery together with 176 Battery departed for the Royal School of Artillery at Larkhill.
  • 1985 – 132 Battery and 176 Battery rejoined the Regiment with the M110 Self Propelled Gun role and 56 Battery converted to a special weapons battery, equipped with the M109 Self Propelled Guns.
  • 1989 – 39 Heavy Regiment took delivery of the MLRS, and was given a year to convert, complete training and become operational. The Regiment deployed to Saudi Arabia as part of 1st Armoured Division on Operation Granby. In a visit for VIPs it spectacularly failed to hit an island, during a demonstration of its firepower.
  • 1993 – The Regiment was joined by 57 (Bhurtpore) Battery Royal Artillery, who were to be equipped with the Phoenix UAV, and deployed to Cyprus, as the British detachment in UNFICYP. This tour saw the Danish and Canadian Contingents leave, with only the Austrians and the British left. Argentina then sent a force to control Sector One, the Austrians were in charge of Sector Three and the British in charge of Sector Two. This was the first time that British and Argentine army units had met since the Falklands war in 1982.
  • 1995 – 39 Regiment left Dempsey Barracks, and moved to Albemarle Barracks in Northumberland.
  • 1996 – The regiment deployed again to Cyprus in support of UNFICYP. The island experienced some of its highest tension along the buffer zone in 30 years, and two of the Regiments soldiers were shot and wounded by Turkish Troops.
  • 1998 – The regiment deployed to Northern Ireland.
  • 2001 – The Regiment supported MAFF, in the North-East of the UK, during the Foot and mouth outbreak,
  • 2003 – 57 Battery deployed to Kosovo to carry out UAV flights, and this was followed in 2003 with the Battery moving to 32 Regt RA, which was reorganised as one of the Royal Artillery Surveillance and Target Acquisition Regiments with its focus on UAVs 74 Bty (The Battle Axe Company) joined 39 Regiment and it was formed as the only Depth Fire Regiment in the British Army. 101 Regiment is the Territorial Army Regiment of MLRS, and is based in Newcastle.
  • 1998 to 2004 – 39 Regiment has completed several tours of Northern Ireland from 1998, as the Urban Reinforcement Battalion. It continued to support operations in the province, until the end of Operation Banner in 2007
  • 2002 to 2007 – Soldiers of the Regiment have deployed to Kuwait and Iraq as part of Operation Telic.
  • 200435 Bty RA joined 39 Regiment after the disbandment of 22nd Regiment Royal Artillery. The Regiment is now also equipped with GMLRS.
  • 2007 to 2014 – The Regiment continues to deploy soldiers to Afghanistan to support Op Herrick
  • 2015 – 39 Regiment was disbanded on 20 February 2015 at Albemarle Barracks in Northumberland.[5]

Recruiting Areas[edit]

39 Regiment changed its recruiting area to cover Wales, and is now known as "The Welsh Gunners". Before this they were known as the Northumberland Gunners, and prior to 1995 the Birmingham Gunners.


The regiment's batteries are as follows:[6]


  1. ^ "39 Regiment - The Welsh Gunners". British Army. Retrieved 20 February 2014. 
  2. ^ "After Libya, Europe Eyes Precision Arms". 23 September 2011. 
  3. ^ "Gunners in Northumberland bid farewell". Ministry of Defence. 20 February 2015. Retrieved 10 June 2015. 
  4. ^ "39th Regiment Royal Artillery". British Army units 1945 on. Retrieved 10 May 2014. 
  5. ^ "Albemarle Barracks bids farewell to the Welsh Gunners as flag is lowered for final time". Evening Chronicle. 20 February 2015. Retrieved 10 June 2015. 
  6. ^ "39th Regiment Royal Artillery: Batteries". Ministry of Defence. Retrieved 10 May 2014. 

External links[edit]