Welcome to this Winter edition of LZDZ. I hope that these articles help to paint a good picture of what the Command has been up to recently.
The JHC has risen to yet new challenges in 2012. The first of these has been to regenerate the Army’s main high readiness crisis response unit, comprising the Airborne Task Force and headquarters elements of 16 (Air Assault) Brigade. This team has been working hard over the last few months to hone key deployment skills and has now been declared fully operational. ABTF’s role is to be ready, at the drop of a beret, to deploy anywhere in the world to help contain an emergency. This requires not just the best of military skills from our soldiers, but also very agile and intelligent staff work from those in the headquarters. Brigadier Giles Hill and his team at Colchester have done a great job in pulling everything together so quickly, and I congratulate everyone involved.
Our other big challenge this year is to prepare to support Defence’s contribution to the Olympic Games. This is a once-in-a lifetime task for our helicopter crews and soldiers, and the public will rightly expect us to perform well in what will likely prove Britain’s biggest ‘at home’ parade for a generation.
But I close with the thought that while the Olympics will understandably be the focus for many at home, we are still holding a very difficult brief in Afghanistan at a time when much is changing as we proceed towards the end of combat operations, and at a time too of considerable tension elsewhere in the world. We would be wise in JHC to assume that 2012 will prove a particularly challenging year. Hey Ho!