The Company Today
Today the Regiment has an exacting role, deploying patrols in the forward battle area to gather intelligence and identify targets for long-range weapons. Its Regular Army counterpart is 4/73 Battery of 5th Regiment Royal Artillery (a specialist ‘stay behind’ Observation Post [OP] unit). The link between the Regiment and 4/73 Battery is strong and many HAC personnel have deployed with this battery to Afghanistan.
Operationally, the Regiment has been busy since the mid-1990s when HAC officers and soldiers were first deployed to the Balkans. Individuals were mobilised for operations in Iraq (Op TELIC) between 2003 and 2010; in 2004 and again in 2005 a ‘formed’ HAC troop was deployed to the same area. Numerous HAC soldiers have been mobilised since 2007 for operations in Afghanistan (Op HERRICK). The last two theatres have introduced a more challenging dimension for the Regiment, as the Territorial Army has been formally obliged to supplement the Regular Army.
Between the mid-1990s and 2012 over 250 personnel deployed on these overseas operations. The roles these individuals have performed have been diverse, ranging from linguists, through engagement with local woman and communities, to supporting the Royal Artillery and Guards battalions. On 4th December 2007, whilst serving with 4/73 Battery, Trooper Jack Sadler became the first HAC soldier to be killed on active service since 1945.
Even more recently, although not cap-badged HAC, Lieutenant Edward Drummond-Baxter was a member of the HAC’s Veteran Company when he was killed commanding soldiers of the 1st Battalion, Royal Gurkha Rifles, in Afghanistan in October 2012.
In 2012, 45 officers and soldiers were mobilised for Op OLYMPICS, the Armed Forces’ contribution to security for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.