Sophie Countess of Wessex has met soldiers and officers of the Corps of the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME) based at MOD Lyneham in her role as the new Colonel-in-Chief.
The visit to Prince Philip Barracks in Wiltshire marked her first trip to REME headquarters since she received her honorary Colonel-in-Chief title in March – the role previously held for more than 50 years by Prince Philip.
Appointed by the late Queen, the Countess's new association is with the corps responsible for maintaining the equipment the British Army operates, from vehicles and helicopters to weapons and communications equipment.
Formed in 1942, the Corps of REME soldiers and officers serve as an integral element of every major unit in the British Army – artillery, infantry, Royal Armoured Corps, Royal Signals, Army Air Corps, plus others, including the Special Forces.
The visit gave the Countess an opportunity to meet officers and soldiers at the Defence School of Electronic and Mechanical Engineering (DSEME) and School of Army Aeronautical Engineering (SAAE) where she was introduced to some of the REME trades being taught on-site.
Colonel Jason Phillips ADC, Colonel REME, said: "It was a great honour to welcome our Colonel-in-Chief, HRH The Countess of Wessex, for her first visit to Lyneham.
"This has been a truly special day for the many members of the REME Family who met with and talked to HRH.
"She saw everything from recovery training to avionics repair and additive manufacturing," he added.
The Countess observed a vehicle recovery exercise on the training area and a demonstration of how a vehicle is repaired post-recovery.
This was followed by a display at 5 Force Support (FS) Battalion REME on how the technical training is translated into operational effect in the Field Army, including a 3D printing process to make functional components like tools, and the use of augmented reality.
HRH unveiled a plaque announcing a new name for the REME technical workshops and offices of 5 FS Battalion REME – 'The Countess of Wessex Lines'.
Lieutenant Colonel Edward Wigmore, Commanding Officer, 5 Force Support (FS) Battalion REME, said: "Today we've been extremely lucky to welcome Her Royal Highness to the Battalion where we've demonstrated our people's unique and specialist capabilities.
"The visit culminated with HRH naming our new home 'The Countess of Wessex Lines' and completes our unit move to MOD Lyneham, the home of the Corps of Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers."