Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Gibraltar - Royal Gibraltar Regiment 2008

Royal Gibraltar Regiment

The desire of the Gibraltarians to defend their homeland alongside the Garrison dates as far back as 1755 when the Genoese Guard mounted pickets at the land frontier. The Gibraltarians stepped forward again for the two World Wars, first as the Gibraltar Volunteer Corps and later the Gibraltar Defence Force (GDF). The GDF comprised artillery batteries and specialist sub-units. It was retained after the war to serve as a training establishment for National Service, becoming the Gibraltar Regiment in 1958. In 1971 HM The Queen granted Colours to the Regiment and on the same day the Regiment received the Freedom of the City of Gibraltar. In 1991 the Gibraltar Regiment took over duties as the resident battalion and was re-roled as an infantry unit. On Regimental Day in 1999 HM The Queen granted the Royal Title. The Regiment is responsible for the defence and security of Gibraltar, with tasks including Force Protection, offensive operations and assistance to civil powers in areas such as Public Order and Counter-Terrorism. The Regiment trains annually in UK and Morocco, working closely with the Joint Helicopter Force. Commitments in Africa have increased recently, with the Regiment providing training teams in Gambia, Senegal and Nigeria. The Regiment’s soldiers have served in every major British operation since 1991 including the first Gulf War, the Balkans, Northern Ireland and Sierra Leone, with soldiers currently in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Technical Description:

Illustrations: Jonathan Pointer
Design: Stephen Perera
Printer: BDT Security Printers, Ireland
Process: Offset Lithography
Stamp size: 26 x 48mm
Values: 10p x 3; 42p x 2; 44p x 2; 51p x 2; £2 /
Issue date: 11 November 2008

0.10 Gibraltar Poundsterling - Gibraltar Volunteer Corps, World War I
On the outbreak of hostilities in Europe in 1914 Gibraltarians were quick to step forward to serve in defence of Gibraltar, Britain and its allies. The Gibraltar Volunteer Corps paraded for the first time in John Mackintosh Square. It remained active until its disbandment in 1920.

0.10 Gibraltar Poundsterling - Gibraltar Defence Force, World War II

Well before the start of World War II, the Gibraltar Defence Force (GDF) was raised in 1939 by the Governor, General Ironside, in response to a popular desire among Gibraltarians to defend their homeland. The GDF's 3.7 inch Anti-Aircraft batteries (depicted on the stamp during a night attack on the rock) repelled attacks from Italian and Vichy French bombers.

0.10 Gibraltar Poundsterling - National Services, Buena Vista Barracks

National Service continued in Gibraltar until 1972, with young Gibraltarians men serving six months (later reduced to four months) with the Gibraltar Regiment. Thousands of Gibraltarians have fond memories of the Buena Vista parade square and the Buffadero Training Area on the southern end of the rock.

0.42 Gibraltar Poundsterling - Gibraltar Regiment, Infantry Company 1958-1999

Until its reorganisation as an Infantry Battalion in 1991 the Gibraltar Regiment maintained an infantry company as well as an artillery component. On the stamp, riflemen guard a Point of Entry (Hay's Level is situated in the Upper Rock area, near the Moorish Castle) while their company practises clearance of Gibraltar's unique tunnel system.

0.42 Gibraltar Poundsterling - Gibraltar Regiment, Thomson's Battery 1958-1991
Since its information in 1939 until its reorganisation in 1991, the Gibraltar Regiment maintained a battery of field artillery. Here, Thomson's Baterry fires a practise on the 105mm Light Gun, firing from Brewery Crusher to a target out at sea.

0.44 Gibraltar Poundsterling - Gibraltar Regiment, Air Defence Troop 1958-1991

As well as its baterry of field artillery the Gibraltar Regiment maintained an Air Defence Troop until becoming an infantry regiment in 1991. The Regiment's Blowpipe detachments (depicted on the stamp watching over the Strait of Gibraltar) were mobilised on Operation Clover in 1986, defending Gibraltar against possible Libyan air attacks.

0.44 Gibraltar Poundsterling - Royal Gibraltar Regiment, Guarding the Rock
The Royal Gibraltar Regiment's primary role remains to ensure the security of its homeland. This is rehearsed often in realistic exercises. Here, a soldier from G Company observes approaches to Middle Hill Signal Station, one of the highest points on the Rock, during Exercise Barbary Shield in 2007.

0.51 Gibraltar Poundsterling - Royal Gibraltar Regiment, Training African Peacekeepers

Since 2000, the Royal Gibraltar Regiment has fostered relations in Africa, notably by its annual exercise with Morroco's Royal Armed Forces. Recently the Regiment has sent training teams throughout West Africa. Here a Royal Gibraltar Regiment Lance Corporal teaches mine clearance drills to Gambian soldiers preparing for peace keeping operations in Darfur.

0.51 Gibraltar Poundsterling - Royal Gibraltar Regiment, Operations in Iraq

Since involvement in the coalition's intervention in 2003, the Royal Gibraltar Regiment has contributed to the normalisation of Iraq. Here, a Lance Corporal of the Royal Gibraltar Regiment wins "the Battle for Hearts and Minds" by chatting to local children as he patrols Basra in 2006.

0.51 Gibraltar Poundsterling - Royal Gibraltar Regiment, Operations in Afghanistan
As well as operations in Iraq, many Royal Gibraltar Regiment Soldiers have served in Afghanistan, often in key appointments among British forces there. On the stamp, a Royal Gibraltar Regiment Private helps to reassure a villager of Nowzad while operating against Taliban in Helmand province in 2007.

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