The Master Gunner St James’s Park, Lieutenant General Sir Timothy Granville-Chapman inspects the guard of honour. (Photo: Bdr Aaron Nicholson, Regimental Photographer)
25B, E Bty, 2 RCHA conducts an airmobile deployment with the Master Gunner looking on. (Photo: Bdr Aaron Nicholson, Regimental Photographer)
The Officers and Senior NCOs of 2 RCHA and their special guests about to enjoy a Mess Dinner at Normandy Officer’ Mess. (Photo: Bdr Aaron Nicholson, Regimental Photographer)
2 RCHA hosts Master Gunner
Posted on Thursday, July 7, 2016
On the 23rd of June, 2 RCHA hosted the Master Gunner St James’s Park, Lieutenant General Sir Timothy John Granville-Chapman GBE, KCB for a full day’s activities that included a Firepower Demonstration and a Mess Dinner. The Master Gunner is the ceremonial head of the British Royal Artillery and acts as the channel of communication between the Artillery Regiments of the Commonwealth and the Captain-General, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. This high profile and rare visit served to strengthen the historical ties that bind the Royal Canadian Artillery and the Royal Artillery and provided 2 RCHA with an opportunity to demonstrate the full range of its capabilities.
The day began with the Master Gunner and the Colonel Commandant of the Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery conducting an inspection of a 50 man honour guard on Simmonds Parade Square. Following an office call with the CO and RSM, the Master Gunner toured Petawawa’s Joint Personnel Support Unit. The Master Gunner was particularly interested to see how the Army cares for its wounded warriors, as he is also the Programme Director at the UK’s National Defence Rehabilitation Centre, a state-of-the-art clinical rehabilitation facility set to open its doors to veterans and civilians alike in 2018.
After a brief stop at the Officer’s Mess for a Curry Luncheon where he was joined by Command Teams from the other Artillery Regiments in 4th Canadian Division, the Master Gunner deployed to the field in the turret of a LAV 6.0. The Firepower Demonstration began with the handheld launch of a Miniature Unmanned Aerial System (MUAS) that promptly identified an enemy target. With the enemy located, an M777 Detachment was flown in by Chinook helicopter. The gun then came into action and engaged with direct fire on the target. Also on station was a Joint Tactical Air Controller, who called in an Alpha Jet for a simulated bombing run. With the target sufficiently suppressed, the demonstration culminated with a stab run by a LAV 6.0 that destroyed what was left of the target with rounds from its 25mm cannon.
Following this impressive show of force, the Master Gunner then viewed a series of static displays that showcased other STA and weapon systems in use by the Regiment such as the LCMR Counter-Mortar Radar, the AWLS Acoustic Weapon Locator, the 81mm Mortar, and the C16 Automatic Grenade Launcher.
That evening, the officers and senior NCOs of the Regiment donned their Mess Dress and hosted the Master Gunner and a large group of senior Artillery leadership past and present at the Normandy Officers’ Mess for an elegant Mess Dinner prepared by the Regimental Kitchen. During their respective speeches both the Master Gunner and the Colonel Commandant reflected on the length and depth of the relationship between the two Royal Regiments and expressed the mutual affinity they share for each other on both sides of the Atlantic.
All in all, it is safe to say the visit was a success with the Regiment having demonstrated its capabilities and professionalism, and the gunners of 2 RCHA a bit more aware of the family ties that connect them to gunners around the world.