Unit History: Independent Commando Squadron
131 Independent Commando Squadron RE (Volunteers) is an Army reserve unit of the British Territorial Army which is affiliated to 24 Commando Regiment Royal Engineers. It supports 3 Commando Brigade Royal Marines and is the largest Territorial Army Commando unit.
First raised in 1947 as an Airborne Engineer Regiment, it once fielded over 1000 trained parachute engineers. Since 1978 the unit has been an independent Squadron of Commandos providing engineer support to the Royal Marines.
As a Commando unit the majority of personnel have completed the TA All Arms Commando Course, run by the Royal Marines at Lympstone. This demanding course is the foundation for all further training.
As an engineer unit the Squadron trains for a variety of tasks from demolitions to construction. The unit has its own chefs, clerks and mechanics to sustain personnel and equipment alike.
The unit frequently deploys on tasks with, or to support, the Regular Forces in both the UK and abroad. In recent years the Squadron deployed personnel to Iraq, Afghanistan, Oman, USA, Norway, France, Malawi, the Falkland Islands, Romania and Egypt on exercises and training with 3 Commando Brigade units.
131 Squadron has sent teams to the annual Exercise Cambrian Patrol competition held at the Sennybridge Training Area and has won the Courage Trophy competition a record five times (1977,1978, 1992, 1993 and 1994). Over the last 15 years the unit has also built up a strong cross-country skiing pedigree, winning several races in the UK Land Command and TA Ski Championships.