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Army engineers big change for Terriers.

Byline: By Linda Richards and Bill Jacobs

The North East is to get a new regiment under a major shake-up of the Territorial Army.

Armed Forces Minister Adam Ingram said the new group, 72 Engineer Regiment, will be based in Gateshead.

The TA barracks, at Napier Armoury, Alexandra Road, Gateshead, now occupied by the 101 Regiment Royal Artillery, will become home to the new regiment.

Brigadier Richard Dennis, senior military commander in the North East and Yorkshire, said: "There is a lot of positive news for the region in this reorganisation with the formation of new units and the strengthening of roles and regimental links with many of our existing ones."

The changes mean less infantry soldiers but more engineers, air corps members and intelligence personnel being recruited.

Territorial Army rebalancing will bring the roles of the TA closer to those of the regular Army and make it a more integral part of the UK's defence forces.

In the North East, the majority of the 29 TA centres, occupied by 2,540 volunteers, will remain unaffected. The 101 Regiment Royal Artillery will move to Kingston Park, in Newcastle.

Other changes include disbandment of a platoon of B Company of the old Tyne Tees Regiment in Coulby Newham, County Durham. The Tyne Tees Regiment is reorganised to become the new 5th Battalion Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, based in Gilesgate, Durham City. It will continue to have companies in Ashington, Newcastle and Bishop Auckland. The current Middlesbrough company will transfer to the new 4th Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment.

Changes will take place over several years. The TA's current national manpower of around 42,000 soldiers will remain the same.

There are now 496 places available at TA centres in the North East. For details, log on to www.army.mod.uk and look at TA.
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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Mar 24, 2006
Words:303
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