WAR ON TERROR: COUNTDOWN TO INVASION: MERSEYSIDERS ON FRONT LINE; THE Countdown to War Continues and EMMA GUNBY Details the Regiments with Soldiers from Merseyside - Ready to Go into Action

Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England), March 19, 2003 | Go to article overview

WAR ON TERROR: COUNTDOWN TO INVASION: MERSEYSIDERS ON FRONT LINE; THE Countdown to War Continues and EMMA GUNBY Details the Regiments with Soldiers from Merseyside - Ready to Go into Action


Byline: EMMA GUNBY

A BRITISH land force of 30,000 soldiers - including more than 4,000 from the north west - was today preparing for imminent invasion of Iraq.

Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon has sent in 26,000 troops,including detachments of Paras and Desert Rats along with 4,000 Commandos.

The massive land force is joining 100,000 US troops waiting for the order to cross the border.

War will start with massive air strikes on strategic targets,but a huge troop movement through the desert is expected to follow almost immediately.

Britain's deployment is in Kuwait preparing to cross the border for the 350-mile race to Baghdad.

The deployment includes Headquarters 1(UK) Armoured Division, with support from 7th Armoured Brigade, better known as the Desert Rats, along with 16 Air Assault Brigade and 102 Logistics Brigade.

There are around 6,000 front-line combat troops equipped with 120 Challenger 2 battle tanks,Warrior armoured personnel carriers, AS-90 self-propelled guns and light weapons along with a number of other reconnaissance and other vehicles.

The 7th Armoured Brigade detachment will include battle groups from the Irish Guards, 3rd Royal Horse Artillery, the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards, 2nd Royal Tank Regiment,1st Battalion The Black Watch and 1st Battalion Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, with support from 1st Battalion Irish Guards,1st Battalion Light Infantry, 3rd Regiment Royal Horse Artillery and 32ndArmoured Engineer Regiment.

Forces sent from 16 Air Assault Brigade will include 1st Battalion Royal Irish Regiment,1st Battalion Parachute Regiment, 3rd Battalion Parachute Regiment, 2nd Parachute Regiment Royal Horse Artillery, 23 Engineer Regiment, a squadron of the Household Cavalry and 3rd Regiment Army Air Corps, equipped withhelicopters.

Britain's largest naval task force since the Falklands is led by the aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal, supported by our adopted warship HMS Liverpool. …

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