Welsh Guards move into new London home

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Senior Non-Commissioned Officers (SNCOs) at Hounslow Barracks have moved into their new bedrooms delivered by the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO).

Working with its nationwide industry partner Debut Services, DIO has completed the sixth and final block in a two-year building project to provide living accommodation for almost 400 soldiers from the Welsh Guards at their military base.

The building provides en-suite living for 42 Senior Non-Commissioned Officers with communal kitchen and laundry facilities. The last element in a project to upgrade single living accommodation at the base, it completes DIO’s delivery of 396 new bedspaces at Hounslow.

Speaking about her new room, Sergeant Simone Barnes, said:

The new Single Living Accommodation for the Sergeants’ Mess is the best I have ever had. I have my own personal walk in shower and storage facility, the room is huge! The accommodation is a massive improvement with the provision of telephone lines and Sky TV terminals. The furniture and ‘white goods’ are also an added extra that has been welcomed. Well done!

Lance Sergeant Dewi Ahearne added:

Since we were in Wellington Barracks three years ago there has been a steady improvement in the standard of accommodation. The new Single Living Accommodation gives us our own personal space, but we can still socialise together during the evenings in the accommodation and in the Sergeants’ Mess.

Soldiers from Welsh Guards use communal facilities in new accommodation at Hounslow Barracks.
Soldiers from Welsh Guards use communal facilities in new accommodation at Hounslow Barracks. Picture: Crown Copyright/MOD 2011

The new block has been built under project SLAM (Single Living Accommodation Modernisation), which is working to improve single living accommodation for Army, Royal Navy and Royal Air Force personnel.

Commenting on the improvement in living conditions for soldiers at Hounslow, Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Dino Bossi said:

The accommodation for the Guardsmen, Junior Non-Commissioned Officers and Sergeants has improved immeasurably in Cavalry Barracks. On the verge of closure, the site has been transformed into a high-quality addition to the portfolio of barracks for the Household Division and the wider Army.

DIO project manager Jon Butler added:

Supporting our Armed Forces in preparing for operations is the top priority for DIO and it is important that frontline troops, such as the Welsh Guards have the best possible facilities.

This project was delivered on time and to cost and provides top quality living accommodation for both senior and junior ranks at this key Army base. The standard of the finished building and external areas is a credit to the project team.

Mark Norton, Project Manager for Debut Services added that the project required careful planning to ensure minimal disruption from surrounding residents, especially as some bedroom modules required night-time delivery.

Furthermore, the project is on the Heathrow Airport flight path, resulting in restrictions to crane heights. Debut had ensured the works were carefully sequenced so that these constraints did not impact on the programme.