London Regiment Reservists Complete COVID-19 Testing Duties

Seventy part-time troops have spent three months running mobile testing facilities across the UK capital.

Reservists from the London Regiment are heading back to civilian life after three months as part of the Armed Forces’ COVID Support Force.

Of the 300 part-time personnel in the capital’s Foot Guard reserve ranks, 70 have put their day-jobs to one side since March.

Instead, they’ve helped man mobile testing units set out across London to bolster the UK’s coronavirus defences.

As the deployment comes to an end, a cross-section of society is able to look back and reflect on the work accomplished.

“It’s been a really good learning experience,” said Second Lieutenant Samuel Coore, 20, who is also a student at the University of Portsmouth.

“It’s almost a dry-run (for) a full mobilisation – making errors doesn’t necessarily have as big a consequence as in foreign countries.”

The London Regiment's deployment has seen reservists of with a variety of civilian roles take on the task at hand.

The Londoners work closely with the Coldstream Guards and the Welsh Guards, providing them with global operation support.

A world away from her ordinary role producing clothing for theatre and film, Guardsman Kimberly Giacomelli says the last few months have been a “far cry” from the norm.

“Within the battalion I’ve got bus drivers, tube drivers, lawyers, financiers,” said Lieutenant Colonel Steven Lowe, Commanding Officer of the London Regiment.

“They’re bringing skills they’ve already developed or started to use in civilian world.

“What we’re trying to do then is hone that and apply them to a military environment – so it’s fascinating.”

As the London Regiment says goodbye to mobile testing units across the capital, the Grenadier Guards are set to take over the facilities.