The Prime Minister David Cameron and the Secretary of State for Scotland Danny Alexander paid tribute to the bravery and commitment of UK troops as they visited The Black Watch, 3rd Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Scotland (3 SCOTS) at their Fort George base.
Visiting after the Prime Minister’s meeting with the First Minister in Edinburgh, were met by 51 Brigade Commander Brigadier Allfrey and Battalion Commander Lt Col. Ed Fenton before being given an overview of 3 Scots who recently returned from Afghanistan where they took part in Op Herrick 10.
Part of the briefing was on members of the battalion who excelled in their duties whilst on operational duty. 3 SCOTS did well in the Operations Honours list issued in March, with the then Commanding Officer Lt Col Stephen Cartwright, receiving an OBE, four others receiving Military Crosses and another seven (including Acting Sergeant Sean Binnie posthumously) being mentioned in Dispatches. A further seven personnel received Joint Commanders Commendations.
The Prime Minister and Secretary of State went on to have an informal meeting with serving soldiers and their families.
Following the visit, Danny Alexander said:
“It is always a privilege to meet the serving men and women of the Black Watch. It was especially good to see that so many had received commendations during their recent operational tour in Afghanistan. Our country owes them a deep and constant debt of gratitude for the dangers they face in protecting our country.
“As the local MP, it was good to hear from families about the wonderful support they receive from the community in Inverness whilst the troops are on active service overseas. They deserve nothing less while their loved ones are away sacrificing so much. Scotland has a long and very proud military history and this is embodied in The Black Watch and their achievements in their most recent deployment.
“I was particularly pleased to welcome the Prime Minister to the Highlands as part of his first official visit to Scotland.”
The Black Watch, 3rd Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Scotland (known as ‘3 SCOTS’), is part of the Royal Regiment of Scotland. It is an Infantry Battalion whose primary role is close combat and it comprises three rifle companies, a fire support company and a headquarter/logistic element.
The current unit strength is 530 and its members are recruited centrally by the Regiment from across Scotland, although it retains strong links with its traditional antecedent heartlands of Perthshire, Fife and Tayside.