Military Affiliations
In the past, the Company’s role within the City involved the provision of arms and soldiers as and when required.  At times it kept a store of arms and gunpowder in Drapers’ Hall.  From the 17th century, with the formation of London’s trained armed forces, this role ceased but the link with the military is perpetuated through affiliations.


HMS Monmouth
 
An affiliation between the Company and ship was established in 1994.  HMS Monmouth is a “Duke Class” frigate and the 7th to bear the name, the first being an 8-gun yacht in 1666.  Launched in 1991 she was designed primarily for Anti-Submarine Warfare. 
 
Following an extensive refit which finished in September 2015, HMS Monmouth is fitted with the latest weapons and sensors available to the Royal Navy’s fleet of Type 23 Frigates which will see her continue to operate well into the next decade.  Since then, she has been put through her paces (along with her crew!) conducting Anti-Submarine Warfare training in Norway, a full multi-threat warfighting training package just off the South coast of the UK, more Anti-Submarine Warfare exercises near Canada and Scotland and then finally some rest over Christmas 2016!  A top-up training package after Christmas put the finishing touches on HMS Monmouth’s preparedness to respond to any threat, and she is now deployed on Operation KIPION in the Gulf of Aden, Gulf of Oman, Indian Ocean and the Arabian Gulf.  To help cover such a large operating area, she is working alongside ships from the US, Australia, France, Japan, South Korea and doubtless many more by the time she returns to the UK just in time for Christmas at home.

 

HMS Monmouth has always been known informally as the ‘Black Duke’ after James Scott (the Duke of Monmouth, and illegitimate son of Charles II) who led an unsuccessful rebellion against his half brother James II and was executed in the Tower of London on 15 Jul 1685 as a result.  In reference to this heritage, the ship is unique in the Royal Navy as the only ship to fly a black flag and have black, as opposed to, red name plates.
 
The Black Duke has most recently been in the news for interdicting a fishing dhow (a wooden boat which is commonly used in the Indian Ocean) which was carrying drugs estimated to be worth £65 million.  265kg of pure heroin and 455kg of cannabis resin was destroyed by her crew not only preventing the drugs from making it to the street, but also striking a significant blow to Organised Crime.

 

The Commanding Officer is Commander Ian Feasey Royal Navy.

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The 1st Battalion Welsh Guards

The affiliation between the Company and the Welsh Guards was formed in 2007.
Currently, the 1st Battalion Welsh Guards is a Light Mechanised Infantry battalion, based in Elizabeth Barracks in Pirbright and equipped with the armoured Foxhound vehicle. Having successfully completed its training for operational readiness earlier this year, the Battalion is now on very short notice to deploy to crises across the world with both U.K. and NATO task forces. 
 

Whilst at high readiness Welsh Guardsmen will maintain their war-fighting and peace support skills by conducting multinational and combined arms exercises in Eastern Europe, Canada, Belize and the US.  In early 2018 the Welsh Guards will deploy on its third tour to Afghanistan, this time as part of NATO’s Resolute Support mission.

Alongside their combat roles Welsh Guardsmen are trained in leadership and management and gain qualifications in trades such as driving, communications and logistics . Sport is also a significant part of life in the Welsh Guards and the Battalion's football, rugby, boxing, enduro, polo and cross county running teams have all been successful in both military and civilian competitions.

The Welsh Guards was formed on 26th February 1915 by order of King George V. The Regiment saw active service in the trenches of the First World War and in Europe as well as North Africa during the Second World War. Since 1945 the Welsh Guards has served in Palestine, Egypt, Aden, Cyprus, Germany and Northern Ireland, and fought in the1982 Falklands campaign. In recent years the 1st Battalion has completed tours of Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan.
 
The Regiment is very much a family unit and maintains strong links with Wales. More than 90 per cent of its soldiers come from the Principality. Its motto is ‘Cymru am Byth’ (Wales forever).
 
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71st (City of London) Yeomanry Signal Regiment

 
An affiliation was established with the Regiment in 1982.  The Regiment was formed in 1969 and for the past 48 years it has provided communications for UK operations in London and the South East of England.  It is part of 11th Signal Brigade.  The Regiment is made up of five distinct parts with the Regt HQ based in Bexleyheath, Kent.  There are also four subordinate squadrons:  265 Sp Sqn,  co-located with RHQ in Bexleyheath; 31 Sig Sqn based in Uxbridge and Coulsdon; 36 Sig Sqn based in Colchester and Chelmsford; and 68 Sig Sqn, based in Lincoln’s Inn and Whipps Cross.

 

 
 
In recent years the Regiment has had reservists deployed on active duty in Afghanistan and the Falkland Islands.  Many others have been deployed in over the years to Iraq, Bosnia and Kosovo. The Regiment played a significant role in providing security to the London Olympic Games in 2012 and more recently has provided support during several high profile UK operations.
 
The Commanding Officer is Lieutenant Colonel Hervey Scott MBE.
The Honorary Colonel is Colonel Ray Wilkinson QVRM TD VR, who is a Liveryman of the Drapers Company.


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RAF Shawbury

The Company’s affiliation with RAF Shawbury began in 2007.  RAF Shawbury’s mission is to provide a safe, efficient, and effective airfield base environment; to enable and support commanded, lodged and parented units; and to deliver wider Defence and RAF tasks as directed.




 
In the course of a typical year around 1000 students from across UK Defence and international partners are trained to meet the challenges of military service. The Defence Helicopter Flying School trains aircrew for all three military services and the Central Flying School (Helicopter) delivers the next generation of helicopter instructors. The School of Air Operations Control (SAOC) trains RAF and RN air traffic controllers, delivers specific pre-deployment training to those about to deploy on operations and trains selected personnel as instructors. The Flight Operations Training Squadron, part of SAOC also trains RAF and Army personnel. The training delivered at RAF Shawbury ensures that personnel are robust and resilient as well as technically second to none; a ‘whole force’ of military, civil service and contractor personnel work together daily to deliver Shawbury’s output safely and efficiently.
 
The Station Commander is Group Captain R S Norris MA RAF