The end of 1969 saw the unit firmly established in Norton Barracks, Worcester with 602 Signal Troop. Only 647 Signal Troop remote being based at SRDE, Christchurch, the Force Rear Link role became the total focus of the Regiment.
The total manpower (excluding 602 Signal Troop) at the end of March 1970 was:
Officers – 26
Other Ranks – 324
The manpower establishment was reduced with the issue of a new Establishment that became effective on 1st January 1970. As at 30th September 1970, manpower was now
Officers – 24
Other Ranks – 290
The planned organisation of the Regiment is shown below.
A & B Troops – SR D13/R234
These troops continued to fulfil the Spearhead role alternating responsibility generally on a monthly basis.
S & T Troops – UK TSC 500
In February 1970 the second UK TSC 500 (M-TWO) was collected by T Troop from GEC-AEI at Stanmore and began trials and demonstrations. The first station (S-Troop, M-ONE)) was returned to GEC- AEI for a complete refurbishment lasting until the middle of July. Before collecting the refurbished S Troop members spent 2 weeks at Stanmore carrying out acceptance tests.
S Troop spent most of the remaining year carrying out wind trials at Verne Radar Site, Portland; involved in HQ 90 Group, Communication Satellite Orbital Test Programme (CSOPT) Trials. SRDE and SKYNET link trials at Worcester No official demonstrations were carried out until 1971
The T Troop station was involved in high profile demonstrations at the Regimental Open Day (May 1971), Royal Signals 50th Anniversary Celebrations coupled with HRH The Pricness Anne visit to Blandford in June closely followed by the Military Show (Ex. NEW ENVOY VIII) at Aldershot. Also in June. CSOPT tests were carried out at every oprtunity plus air portability trials at Old Sarum and an SRDE trial at Oakhangar.
In August 1970, T Troop was despatched to Singapore for Ex. Surf (Unfortunately the period September 1970 to 31st March 1971 is ‘missing’ from my current copy of Regimental History – OM)
On 1st May 1970 the Regiment was authorised by the City of Gloucester to display the shield from the City Coat of Arms on service vehicles belonging to this Regiment, as a mark of the long connection between that City and the Regiment. This device which was mounted on the doors of such vehicles is shown below
This badge was only displayed until all the operational vehicles, cabins and platforms were re-painted in 1971 from olive green to non-reflective camouflage drab in late 1971.
E Troop Cabin 1 -Ex Vulcan, Nassau – displaying Gloucester badge
Although the Historical Records for this period show 1 Squadron with three troops – A, B and C, this never actually came into effect. As a result of experience, coupled with the necessity for man power cuts throughout the Corps, the Regiment reduced from three to two radio squadrons. By 31st March 1971 the actual organisation was for two balanced squadrons each comprising of a D11/R230 & D13/R234 troop, an E21/R241 troop and a TSC 500 troop.
The unit manpower total had been reduced by 40 over the space of 1 year and as at 31st March 1971 stood at
Officers – 24
Other Ranks – 276
Unlike the time before the move to Worcester, the limited manpower meant that the Regiment was no longer able to host any in-house military courses which meant that soldiers had to be away from Norton Barracks to gain military qualifications and upgrades. Additionally, due to the uniqueness of several of the units’ equipment, associated technical courses away from the Regiment also put pressure on manpower resources.
Awaiting completion -Orph