New barracks for the Army’s Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME) units have been named after Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh this week.
At MOD Lyneham, Wiltshire, The Duke of Edinburgh officially opened the base for the Royal Engineers on Thursday. He unveiled a plaque to mark the occasion, joking about his experience with the job.
“I hope you realise what you’re about to see now is the world’s most experienced plaque unveiler in action,” he quipped as he opened the curtains.
‘The Prince Philip Barracks’, as the centre is now known, was named after the unit’s Colonel-in-Chief at the former RAF base. It has undergone a £230 million facelift, making it a state-of-the-art military training facility.
Prince Philip, 94, toured the barracks visiting the technical training building to view the facility and meet soldiers who will all the base home. The Duke stayed for roughly three hours, and was described as being on ‘top form’.
Major Rebecca Macklin, of the newly formed 8 Training Battalion REME, said the trainees of the unit were excited to be showing off their skills in front of the former Naval captain during some demonstrations.
“He had a lot of interest in our training programme and the facilities we have. It’s really the best you can get anywhere in the world. We have a state-of-the-art Man engine truck simulator – which can be programmed with various faults which trainees have to try and find and repair,” she said.
“The new training battalion is fantastic because it brings together two different units from Arborfield and Bordon under one roof.
“His Highness was really impressed and everyone was surprised by how chatty he was. We didn’t expect for him to spend the amount of time talking to us as he did. He had lots of questions about where people were from and their training.”