29th Commando Regiment Royal Artillery

29 Commando, Royal Artillery is the Commando-trained unit of the British Army's Royal Artillery, based in Plymouth. The regiment is under the operational control of 3 Commando Brigade, to which it provides artillery support and gunnery observation.

29 Commando Royal Artillery
Active1947 – Present
Allegiance United Kingdom
Branch British Army
RoleField artillery, Special Reconnaissance
Size5 Batteries
430 personnel[1]
Part of3 Commando Brigade
Garrison/HQRoyal Citadel, Plymouth
Nickname(s)The Commando gunners
EquipmentL118 Light Gun


The regiment was established in 1947 by the redesignation of the 25th Field Regiment.[2] In 1951, it was renamed as the 29th Medium Regiment Royal Artillery and was based at Brancepeth Camp in Durham.[2] In 1957, it was deployed to Cyprus.[2]

In 1962, it re-roled and became 29 Commando Light Regiment, Royal Artillery. At that time, each battery consisted of four 105mm pack howitzers (Italian Mountain Gun).[2]

In the 1970s, batteries from the regiment completed operational tours in Northern Ireland.[3]

During the 1982 Falklands War, 29 Commando Regiment accompanied the Royal Marines, providing much needed close support with their L118 Light Guns.[4]

In 1996, the honorary Freedom of the City of Plymouth was conferred on the regiment (with the unanimous support of Plymouth City Council).[5]

The regiment conducted numerous operational tours in Afghanistan to provide artillery support during operations against Al Qaeda and Taliban militants.[6]


Practice firings by 7 (Sphinx) Commando Battery on exercise near Cape Wrath in Scotland.

The regiment consists of a HQ battery, three gun batteries, a Naval Gunfire Support Forward Observation battery and an attached Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers workshop, which includes a Royal Logistic Corps stores section. The gun batteries are equipped with six L118 105MM light guns and three Observation Posts each. The batteries are as follows:[7]

  • 7 (Sphinx) Battery Royal Artillery – Commando trained L118 gun battery based at RM Condor, Arbroath. Slated to lose its guns under Army 2020.[8]
  • 8 (Alma) Commando Battery Royal Artillery – Commando trained L118 gun battery based at the Royal Citadel, Plymouth
  • 23 (Gibraltar 1779–1783) Commando Battery Royal Artillery – The Headquarters Commando Battery, and Radar Troop, for 29 Commando Regiment are based at the Royal Citadel, Plymouth
  • 79 (Kirkee) Commando Battery Royal Artillery – is a Commando trained Tac Battery based at the Royal Citadel, Plymouth. It is also responsible for preparing soldiers and officers for attendance of the All Arms Commando Course.
  • 148 (Meiktila) Battery Royal Artillery – The battery, which is based at RM Poole, has the primary role of a Naval Gunfire Support Forward Observation (NGSFO) battery. Tasked to direct naval gunfire support from Royal Navy ships, air strikes from Royal Navy and Royal Air Force aircraft and artillery fire from the regiment's gun batteries, when landed in support of 3 Commando Brigade
  • 29 Commando Regiment Workshop Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers – Workshop main HQ is based at the Royal Citadel, Plymouth, with battery fitter sections permanently attached to, and based with, each battery.
Memorial to member of the regiment killed in Afghanistan

See also


  1. "Army – Question for Ministry of Defence". p. 1. Retrieved 14 December 2020.
  2. "29th Regiment RA". British Army units 1945 on. Retrieved 10 May 2014.
  3. "3 April 1973 → Written Answers (Commons) → DEFENCE". Hansard, UK Parliament. 3 April 1973. Retrieved 12 August 2009.
  4. Fairhall, David (21 May 1982). "Why British invasion will be risky affair". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 12 August 2009.
  5. "House of Commons Hansard Debates for 1 Feb 1996 (pt 18)". Hansard, UK Parliament. 1 February 1996. Retrieved 12 August 2009.
  6. Gall, Carlotta (6 May 2002). "From Hilltop Perch, British Troops Watch for Holdouts". The New York Times. Retrieved 12 August 2009.
  7. "29th Commando Regiment Royal Artillery: Batteries". Ministry of Defence. Archived from the original on 29 August 2014. Retrieved 10 May 2014.
  8. "Notice Board". Commandogunner.co.uk. Retrieved 27 November 2016.

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