The armed forces community within Hertfordshire is made up of men and women currently serving in the regular and reserve forces, veterans from the British Army, Royal Air Force and Royal Navy along with their immediate families, working or living in Hertfordshire.
Hertfordshire is not a garrisoned county but is home to a few military units.
These are supported by cadet organisations from all three Services, and organisations such as the Royal British Legion, the Royal Naval Association, the Army Benevolent Fund and the Royal Air Force Association, all of which represent the interests of Military veterans within Hertfordshire.
Northwood is a permanent joint headquarters in Southwest Hertfordshire, which accommodates over 2,000 service personnel from all three services.
The Base has been used by the British Armed Forces since 1939. It was home to the RAF Coastal Command during WWII but is now the UK’s principal military HQ site and home to 4 Operational HQs. These are Joint Forces Command HQ, Permanent Joint Headquarters, the Commander Allied Maritime Command (one of NATO's three major Commanders) and the Royal Navy’s Maritime Operations Centre. The site itself was almost completely rebuilt between 2006-11, resulting in a purpose-built HQ site for 2000 personnel.
HMS WILDFIRE is a reserve unit of the Royal Navy and is based at Northwood Headquarters. It has been operating for over 50 years with reservists from Middlesex, Hertfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Berkshire.
162 Medical Squadron
162 Medical Squadron is 1 of 6 sub-units that make up 254 Medical Regiment, a Reserve Army unit based in East Anglia. 162 Medical Squadron is based in Hitchin. The Squadron recruits and trains doctors, nurses, medics, environmental health offices, drivers, chefs and military clerks. All of them are volunteers who give up their spare time to train in case they're needed to support the Regular Army. Several members have served in both Iraq and Afghanistan.
Royal Anglian Regiment – 6 Platoon as part of 3 Company
The Royal Anglian Regiment is the East of England’s premier Infantry Regiment with two Regular battalions and a Reserve battalion based in the East of England. Primarily recruiting from Hertfordshire and 9 other counties across the East of England, all three Battalions retain very strong links to the counties they represent.
The Regular Hertfordshire Regiment was amalgamated with the Essex Regiment in 1958 and then into the Royal Anglian Regiment in 1964, though the Hertfordshire Regiment remained with the Territorial Army until 1967 where it ultimately became the 7th (Volunteer) Battalion, Royal Anglian Regiment in 1971. In 1999 the Hertfordshire Territorials became part of the East of England Regiment, until 2006 when they were renamed to the 3rd Battalion Royal Anglian Regiment, taking the nickname “The Steelbacks”.
From 2006 Hertfordshire Territorials and Army Reserve Soldiers have been involved all over the world supporting wider Regular Army deployments, regularly mobilising soldiers to deploy to Iraq and Afghanistan, and at one point providing 8 of a 30 person platoon from across 3 Royal Anglian, commanded by the Hertford Platoon Commander in 2009. In 2011 they were deployed as part of the 3 Royal Anglian deployment to Cyprus, again with a strong contingent from Hertford following their new Platoon Commander.
6 Platoon as part of 3 Company, 3 Royal Anglian continues to support the Army on wider deployments and exercises all over the world and is based in Hertford, Hertfordshire.
There are about 45 Cadet forces detachments in Hertfordshire across the combined Cadet Force, Sea Cadet Corps, RAF Air Cadets and Army Cadet Force. Over 2 young people in Hertfordshire belong to one of these military-sponsored youth organisations, led by around 400 adult volunteers.
Army Reserve Centres
The Army Reserve units train out of one of two Army Reserve Centres in Hertfordshire, Hitchin and Hertford. Both Army Reserve Centres and most of the Cadet buildings in Hertfordshire are owned and maintained by East Anglia Reserve Forces’ and Cadets’ Association on behalf of the Ministry of Defence.
Visit the East Anglia Reserve Forces and Cadets Association website for a map of Cadet Forces and Army Reserve Centres locations.