Unit History: Royal Horse Artillery

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Royal Horse Artillery
The Royal Horse Artillery (RHA) is a regiment in the British Army. "A" and "B" Troops of the Royal Horse Artillery were raised in January 1793 at Goodwood in Sussex by the 3rd Duke of Richmond, who was Master-General of Ordnance, to provide fire support for the cavalry. They were joined by two more troops in November 1793. All RHA personnel were mounted - a departure from the prevailing British practice under which the guns were served and drawn by different groups, which restricted tactical mobility.
 
Today, the RHA is operationally part of the Royal Regiment of Artillery (Royal Artillery) order of battle; there are currently four separate regiments that wear the cypher (cap badge) of the RHA:
 
   * King’s Troop, Royal Horse Artillery is primarily a ceremonial unit and uses vintage 13-pounder guns for firing salutes. However, it also has an operational role as part of the territorial defence of the United Kingdom. The King’s Troop is located in St John’s Wood, convenient for firing gun salutes in Hyde Park.
   * 1st Regiment Royal Horse Artillery
   * 3rd Regiment Royal Horse Artillery (The Liverpool and Manchester Gunners)
         o Both 1RHA and 3RHA are armed principally with the AS90 155-mm armoured self-propelled gun.
   * 7th (Parachute) Regiment Royal Horse Artillery - this was formed in 1962 from the 33rd Parachute Light Regiment Royal Artillery and served until 1977 as the artillery regiment of 16th Parachute Brigade. After a spell in Germany as a non-airborne unit, it returned to Aldershot where it joined 5th Airborne Brigade and once again assumed the airmobile role. It is currently part of 16th Air Assault Brigade based in Colchester, armed with the L118 105-mm light gun which is air-droppable from the C-130 Hercules.
 
Within the Royal Artillery structure, posting between the RA and the RHA is fairly common. However, the Royal Horse Artillery regiments are perceived as elite, and a posting to an RHA unit is regarded as a significant career advancement.
 
The Royal Horse Artillery has provided the Queen’s Guard on three occasions:
 
   * 1 RHA - January 1979
   * 7 RHA - March 1989
   * King’s Troop - April 2007
 
The King’s Troop provides the Queen’s Life Guard in Whitehall for three weeks in August each year while the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment goes away for summer training.

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