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Hoon plans to announce MOD lands deal during his Gibraltar visit

The defence secretary Geoff Hoon plans to announce the MOD lands deal during his visit to Gibraltar next week. 

The chief minister Peter Caruana said yesterday that "the government very much looks forward to concluding this deal during the Secretary of State's forthcoming visit."

The handover of lands and buildings is being described as substantial.

Although the more land the MOD hands over the more obvious it becomes that their already limited presence is further diminishing, the question of surplus MOD land being handed over to the local government at no cost has been an aim of policy of successive governments.

It is not known if the lands question is to be linked with reductions in the Royal Gibraltar Regiment, as the Opposition has suggested.

Meanwhile, the government has rejected that it is to become responsible for housing military personnel as Mr Bossano has intimated.

No truth in Chilton Court claims by Opposition, says Government

The government says in a statement that there is "absolutely no truth" to statements by the GSLP/Liberal Opposition that there is an intended deal under which MOD houses in Chilton Court would be transferred to Government with serving soldiers as sitting tenants, who would then become tenants of the Government. Nor is there any truth to the Opposition’s statement that housing Gibraltar Regiment soldiers will become the responsibility of the Gibraltar Government. Accordingly, remarks made in this respect by Mr Bossano are entirely inapplicable and therefore irrelevant since they are not based on reality. The opposite is the case, said the government. 

The statement added: Throughout the lands negotiations with MOD, the Government has been careful to ensure that the Regiment should not be deprived of its ability to attract recruits by being able to offer housing as at present. Indeed, in consultation with the Regiment and its Council of Colonels, the Government has sought to ensure that current housing entitlements of present and future Regiment personnel are guaranteed indefinitely into the future. The intended deal secures this in manner that the Regiment considers totally satisfactory.

Commenting on the matter a GOG spokesman said: - “It is not clear why the Opposition think that it is proper for them make incorrect statements in order to then comment on their own inventions. The Opposition’s statement that the Chief Minister wants an official residence (they even name a house) falls into exactly the same category. Pure invention. The Government can assure the Opposition of what the Regiment itself already knows from past Government actions, namely, that the Government is totally supportive of the Regiment and would not agree to anything that threatened a fundamental interest of the Regiment. 

The intended lands deal is a major benefit for Gibraltar as a whole in respect of housing, the economy and development opportunities. For many years Gibraltar Governments have been pursuing MOD to release surplus lands and properties. This deal achieves this on a significant scale, without affecting the size or level of MOD activity or jobs in Gibraltar. The Government very much looks forward to concluding this deal during the Secretary of State’s forthcoming visit. It is not clear why the Opposition should think that there is a need to "sell the idea to the public". The lands agreement represents excellent news for the public and is something towards which the Government has been working for years.”

Zapatero makes no reference to Rock

If there was no reference to Gibraltar in the inaugural speech of prime minister elect Rodriguez Zapatero to the Spanish parliament yesterday, what does it mean? It could mean that a new way of doing things is to emerge, because it cannot mean that Gibraltar is no longer important to Spain. But it might be less important!

He summarised his foreign affairs as follows: A European vision; the immediate approval of the European Constitution; preferential attention to Latin America and the Mediterranean; respect of international legality, and the UN as guarantor of international peace and security.

Garcia seeks place for Gibraltar in EU committee of the regions

The Leader of the Liberal Party Dr. Joseph Garcia has made preliminary enquiries from the European Union into the role of the Committee of the Regions in relation to Gibraltar. Dr. Garcia intends to investigate the matter further through Liberal contacts in Brussels after discussing the issue with them.

The Committee of the Regions was set up by the Treaty of Maastricht in 1992 and it has an advisory role within the structures and institutions of the European Union. It is made up of 222 members representing regional and local authorities throughout the European Union. The Committee is not directly elected but its component members hold elected office. The United Kingdom, for instance, has 24 seats on the Committee and its representatives include the First Minister of Scotland, members of the Welsh, Scottish and Northern Ireland Executives, as well as district, county, and municipal councillors.

The Spanish representation, as a matter of interest, includes the Prime Ministers of the Basque Country, Galicia and Andalucia.

IDEAL

Dr. Garcia said: "I remember advocating as far back as 1992, when the Treaty of Maastricht set up this Committee, that it provided an ideal framework for a future Europe of the Regions and that it was important that a place for Gibraltar should be found in it. The matter was taken up with the United Kingdom Government, and as so often happens, Gibraltar was sidelined by the UK on this issue as well."

In his written representations, Dr. Garcia makes the point that Gibraltar is a distinct region of Europe, being the only territory to be part of the Union by virtue of article 227(4) of the Treaty of Rome having joined "as a European territory for whose external affairs a member state is responsible."

UNIQUE

"This in itself makes us unique and distinct as a region and there is a view to be had that this strengthens the argument for our own representation," he said.

The Committee of the Regions was expanded after the Treaty of Nice to 350 seats to allow for the new accession states to the European Union to be able to send their representatives.

Dr. Garcia explained: "Its powers have also increased. Originally they covered economic and social cohesion, trans-European infrastructure networks, health, education and culture. The Amsterdam Treaty added five more areas being employment policy, social policy, the environment, vocational training and transport. These are very relevant to Gibraltar in a local and EU context."

The Liberal Leader said that through Liberal contacts in Brussels, and by making direct enquiries, he hopes to establish the exact state of affairs with regard to the position of Gibraltar. He explained that the matter had come up at European political conferences attended by the Liberal Party of Gibraltar and that it was therefore useful to take the issue further.

Regiment to fire Royal Salute in London

As part of the Tercentenary celebrations, the Royal Gibraltar Regiment has been granted the honour of firing a 62 Gun Royal Salute from HM Tower of London on 21 Aprilon the occasion of HM The Queen's Birthday. 

This is the second time the Regiment is granted the privilege to fire a salute from the Tower and are the only unit other than the Honourable Artillery Company (HAC) to do so.

The salute will be fired by Thomson's Battery The Royal Gibraltar Regiment with the gun detachments made up of members from G, I, B and HQ Company.

The battery will consist of 4 x 105mm saluting Gun manned by a detachment of 5 men under the command of a sergeant. A total of 34 member of the Regiment will be in London for the event.

The parade commences at Finsbury Bks (home of the HAC) where the battery will form up and be inspected by the Regiment's Honoury Colonel, Lt Col (Ret'd) EA Guerrero OBE JP who will then take the salute as the battery with guns on tow drive out of Finsbury Bks. 

Under Police escort the battery will parade through the City of London and arrive at the Tower at appox 1230hrs.

On arrival at the Tower the battery will bring the guns into action and await the arrival of the reviewing officer, the Constable of the Tower, General Sir Roger Wheeler GCB CBE. 

At 1300hrs the 62 gun salute will be fired.

On conclusion of the salute the battery will bring the guns out of action and return to Finsbury Bks.

Local and UK dignitaries have been invited to watch the salute which will be followed by a reception within the Tower of London.

Parade Personalities are:
Battery Commander (BC): Maj Colin Risso
Battery Captain (BK): Capt Dominic Collado ED
Battery Sergeant Major (BSM): WO2 Darren Davis
Recorder: CSgt Herbert
Parade Adjutant: Maj (QM) Wilfred Jurado
Parade RSM: WO1 S Victory

Whilst in London the members of the regiment will be staying at Royal Artillery Barracks in Woolwich.

A programme of visits has been arranged for the personnel around the rehearsal including the viewing of the Generals rehearsal for the gun salute fired by The Kings Troop Royal Horse Artillery at Hyde Park, visit to the Royal Mews, Tour of the Tower of London and The ceremony of the Keys in the evening.

Members of the Regiment will return to Gibraltar on Fri 23 April.

Where were the Tories when Gibraltarians were fighting for their rights in Europe?

LIBERAL DEMOCRATS
issue Press Release about Gibraltar and say that truly representing the wishes of all Gibraltarians is surely “more important than a few hours of handshaking by Michael Howard.”

Commenting on remarks made by Richard Graham, a Conservative candidate for the European Parliamentary Election in June, that his leader, Michael Howard, may visit Gibraltar during the Election Campaign the Liberal Democrat candidate, Tony Welch, said today, "I am amazed that Mr. Graham so underestimates the political sophistication of the Gibraltarian electorate that he believes that a flying visit by Tory Grandees will not be seen for what it is - just grandstanding.”

His assertions that the Conservatives have supported the people of Gibraltar's wishes over the last few years ring rather hollow. Where were the Tories when Gibraltarian were fighting for their rights in Europe during the last Conservative Government? The Liberal Democrats were the first political party to formally support Gibraltar's call for its citizens to be granted the right to vote in European elections in 1997. In 2002 they adopted a resolution calling for Britain and Spain to ensure that the welcome granting of voting rights to Gibraltar was not clouded by the two countries ongoing dispute over the sovereignty of the territory. During all this time the Conservatives remained silent. In addition, he seems to have forgotten that it was the Tories who started the run down the Dockyard and the Armed Forces on the Rock, Mr. Welch added.

He adds: At least Mr. Graham is honest about his views on a visit by Mr. Howard; he hopes that it will get him, sitting in the fourth place on his Party's list, elected. If he is elected does he intend to set up a constituency office on the Rock? Does he intend to visit regularly and truly represent the wishes of all Gibraltarians? This, surely, is more important than a few hours of handshaking by Michael Howard.

Mr. Graham states that his background in tourism, foreign affairs and finance make him a good choice as a MEP for Gibraltar. Surely Gibraltar has many home grown experts in tourism, foreign affairs and finance. What is needed is a strong voice in the European Parliament speaking out for Gibraltar. In Graham Watson, Chairman of the European Liberal Democrat and Reform Group, you have exactly what Gibraltar needs; influence and strength in the Parliament. In addition, I have twelve years experience of the workings of the EU in the front line of its diplomatic efforts.

Perhaps Mr. Graham needs ask Mr. Howard's office if he really is coming to the Rock in the next few weeks. Or is it all just more wishful thinking?"

The quickest way to cross the frontier is by going under the actual fence...

SECURITY RISK AT FRONTIER
by PANORAMA reporter

It may be the quickest way to cross the frontier, but this is no joke. It is a serious security risk.

On Easter days when an armed presence was visible at the frontier gates, it emerged that people were breaching security by coming and going into Spain via Western Beach.

A civic-minded person, Joseph Soiza, says that he was in his car returning to the Rock at the end of the Easter break.

It was 7.05pm on Monday. And he could not believe what he saw from the Spanish roadside.

First, he saw someone lifting part of the fence at the northern end of Western beach - and gaining access into Spain. He then saw a similar incident, but of another person entering Gibraltar.

The next day, Mr Soiza contacted No.6 Convent Place about what he had seen. He was told his observation had been noted.

He then went to the office of the Gibraltar Security Police in Rooke. He was told this was a matter for the RGP.

Mr Soiza then went to the police station in Irish Town and told them about it.

Not content with that, he also telephoned the Provost Marshal and was told this was a civilian matter.

He also telephoned a police/security office in Europort. The message from there was that it was a matter for Customs.

Last but not least, he told PANORAMA about it!

Will the authorities look into this matter, which is an example of how security can be breached whilst those concerned display their arms, their dogs and other paraphernalia at obvious entry points such as the frontier.

Government denies Chief Minister wants Loquat House as his official residence

The government has denied that the Chief Minister plans to acquire Loquat House in the South District as his official residence. It follows suggestions yesterday in an Opposition press release about the planned handover of MOD building and lands.

The Opposition said it had received information that "the Government wishes to make Loquat House the official residence of the Chief Minister."

They went on to say that they do not support, nor see the need for an official residence for the Chief Minister "and trust that this rumour will turn out to be unfounded as the one about The Mount previously was."

Questioned about it, the Government was emphatic that this was not the case.

A spokesman said: "Like almost the entirety of the Opposition's statement, the suggestion that the Government is contemplating any official residence for the Chief Minister is pure fabrication on the part of the Opposition."

Opposition against soldiers being housed by Govt and not by the MOD

Caruana 'wants house with garden as his official residence'

In the January meeting of the House of Assembly, the Opposition tabled questions on MOD release of land, the MOD budget and employment levels. There was no indication from the Government's replies that any major changes in the MOD establishment or land holdings were in the pipeline.

There are currently widespread concerns about the future of the Royal Gibraltar Regiment and the number of civilian jobs in the MOD, linked to the release to the Gibraltar Government of a number of individual villa type houses and some housing estates. It is inconceivable that this should be about to happen and that the visit of the Secretary of State Geoffrey Hoon next week should be programmed to announce these developments and that the Government should have known nothing as recently as January of this year. It suggests that the Secretary of State's visit is intended to present a housing release to the Gibraltar Government as a major benefit for Gibraltar in order to sell the idea to public opinion.

The Opposition adds that it does not agree with the apparent intended deal under which MOD houses, in Chilton Court would be transferred with serving soldiers as sitting tenants, who would then become the tenants of the Gibraltar Government. It is the responsibility of the MOD in UK and elsewhere to house its military personnel and therefore that is the position that has applied to the Royal Gibraltar Regiment until now, and the one that should continue. The GSLP Government signed an agreement with the MOD in January 1991 to ensure that regular soldiers of the Regiment would not be prejudiced in obtaining Government housing at the end of their military career. The housing of regular soldiers of the Regiment has, in Gibraltar's difficult housing market, always been an added attraction in recruiting members of the permanent cadre and to remove the provision for housing for future entrants is bound to have a detrimental effect.

Nor does it seem to make sense, when the whole of Europe is particularly sensitive to the need for higher security for potential military targets. To have our soldiers being housed in future within the estates where the rest of the civilian population lives, would appear to make it more difficult to provide adequate security. The Opposition is completely against the housing of our soldiers becoming the responsibility of the Gibraltar Government.

This is going to be accompanied by a reduction in the size of the Regiment affecting both regular and TA units of the order of 40% of its present strength. It is difficult to understand how the Regiment can be expected to undertake the workload it currently has, and therefore the logical suspicion is that the move now underway paves the way for the eventual disappearance of the Royal Gibraltar Regiment.

Clearly, the removal of the accomodation responsibility and the contraction of the estate means a reduction in civilian support levels, which allied to the outsourcing plans which have not been abandoned by the MOD, can only lead to a reduction in the number of civilians employed. It also appears that some of the civilian jobs are being militarised, reversing the trend of the last thirty years when the process has been one of civilianisation and localisation.

The release of property to the Gibraltar Government includes individual homes with gardens which is not going to help those on the waiting lists since such property is going to finish up at the luxury end of the market, or be retained by Government. Indeed, it will be recalled that at one stage there were very strong rumours that the Government wanted to make use of The Mount, when it was released to them, as the official residence of the Chief Minister. This was subsequently denied by the Government. Now it is said that the Government wishes to make Loquat House the official residence of the Chief Minister. This property is the former residence of the Regional Director of PSA which is at the back of what is now the Police Headquarters and used to be the PSA/DOE Headquarters.

The Opposition does not support, nor sees the need for an official residence for the Chief Minister of Gibraltar and trusts that this rumour will turn out to be unfounded as the one about The Mount previously was.

Main Street closed in Cathedral bomb scare

by PANORAMA reporter

Central Main Street was deserted yesterday afternoon. At one point there was just a policeman and a few pigeons on sight.

For nearly 3 hours the area in front of the Cathedral of St Mary the Crowned, and stretching to the Piazza, had been cordoned off at every entry point. Bars and shops were closed and other premises also evacuated.Doors were locked.

A suspicious parcel had been found just inside the cathedral. 

The doors to the cathedral were closed just before 3pm and people were told they could not get in. Initially, there was a police vehicle and two policemen outside the cathedral. Later, other services arrived and the whole area was cordoned off and cleared.

Many onlookers gathered outside the cordoned-off area to ask what was happening, and to wait and see what developed.

The suspicious parcel was got rid of by a controlled explosion by the bomb disposal unit. It was getting on to 5.40pm. People in the area heard the bang. It was a tool box.

Then, it was all over. Another bomb scare.

Spanish policy of "wooing" the Gibraltarians could come with new socialist government

by Our Political Correspondent

As the socialist PSOE begins to take over power in Spain, sources within the party are expressing hope that relations with Gibraltar will improve.

Gibraltar is not seen as a source of confrontation with the UK, said Trinidad Jimenez, who handles international afffairs in the party.

This is because they feel that there is willingness by both governments to negotiate, to bring to an end what both see as an anachronism which makes them seek
a way out.

Their view is that there is no sense that in the 21st century there should be a colonial enclave, and this has to be brought to an end. The more they say, the more obvious it seems that each side is viewing the issue from different perspectives, unless the PSOE is to accept self-determination for Gibraltar and a solution that is in accord with the joint-sovereignty referendum.

REGRETS

The spokeswoman recalls what she terms the "advances" made when they were last in government, with Felipe Gonzalez at the head, and regrets that a final solution has not yet been found.

What emerged at the time was the Brussels Agreement, under which Britain and Spain negotiated on joint sovereignty.

With internal frontiers having disappeared in the EU, the anachronism of Gibraltar cannot be sustained. That is their thinking.

Meanwhile, senator Jose carracao from Jimena forecast that relations are to improve. He has always taken an optimistic view on the issue, and thinks the Gibraltarians have to be treated nicely to win them over to Spanish thinking.

If such initial soundings materialise as formal government policy in Madrid, a policy of 'wooing the Gibraltarians' could well emerge, which is what London has been telling Spain to implement since time immemorial.

IMPATIENCE 

At least such a policy might remove tensions, but if one week is a long time in politics, for the impatient Spanish character it can seem like a century! That was the recent case of socialist Rafael Estrella when a foreign affairs spokesman for the PSOE. He came to Gibraltar one year and urged that sovereignty be put to one side; when he came the next, he was saying something else...

A driving force behind local links with the Rock

KEVIN KELWAY has been
nominated for a South 
West Award for Determination in saving Tinside Lido on Plymouth Hoe. And for leading the campaign in the region to link up the Rock with the Westcountry in a new Euro seat. And building community relationships with the British enclave, says the Golden Hinde association.

BBC SW, The Western Morning News, Unique Communications, and Flybe Airlines are sponsoring the awards for local champions across the peninsula.

The categories are for courage, enterprise, love, heroism, generosity, determination, innovation, inspiration, selflessness, compassion, and creativity.

Mr Kelway's determination for Gibraltar and Tinside Lido has resulted in him being nominated for the Premier South West hero competition.

For over five years Kevin Kelway campaigned for the famous Plymouth landmark of Tinside Lido to be restored to its 1930's glory.

He successfully fought for the site to be Grade Two Listed and protected by the Government. 

Last year nearly £4million was invested to revamp the Art Deco complex. Soon to be featured on BBC 2 on the Restoration programme. Mr Kelway set up the Tinside Action Group in 1998 and planned a long national campaign to peruade heritage, Government, and local councillors to reburish and re-open the famous lido.

The Plymouth leader of the Golden Hinde Association has also been nominated for his obsession for the people of Gibraltar.

• Especially for helping to raise 32,000 signatures to keep the Rock British.

• Leading the campaign in the SW for the Colony to be linked with the Westcountry in a new Euro seat this June.

• Organising conferences to build on community, tourist, commercial, and political links with the region.

• And especially, the campaign for the people of Gibraltar to receive the George Cross.

Kevin Kelway said today: "I am very honoured to be nominated and proud of Tinside, it looks beautiful and what an image of Plymouth to the outside world".

"But, especially the great job local volunteers are doing in promoting our proud links with the people of Gibraltar".

"Radio 4 has commissioned a program that will be broadcast nationally next week talking about our very special links with the Rock and South West".

GB Airways profits take the plunge

Pre-tax trading profit of GB Airways has gone sharply downhill, with the latest available figures showing a decrease of more than half the previous accounting year.

The pre-tax trading profit for the financial year ending March 2003 was £5.19million compared with £12.91 million the previous year.

The company says that 'general uncertain economic conditions, the Iraqi conflict and its build-up and ongoing terrorist threats have all contributed to passenger uncertainty and a downturn in higher yield traffic.'

The sharp downtrend in pre-tax trading profit has arisen despite the airline carrying more passengers, having additional revenue in seat-kilometres and an increase in turnover.

The directors recommended a dividend for the year of £1.30 million.

£1 NOMINEE SHARE 

According to the register maintained as required under the Companies Act 1985, no Director held any interest in the share capital of the company, with the exception of Mr Joseph J Gaggero who holds one ordinary £1 share as nominee of GB Airways UK Holdings Ltd.

At the year end Mr Joseph J Gaggero (who is their President) and Mr James P Gaggero (who is the Chairman) were also directors of fellow group undertakings incorporated in Great Britain which are required to keep a register of directors' interests. The directors were not therefore required to notify their interests in the shares of the fellow group undertakings to the company.

A note to the Profit and Loss Account says: 'There have been no recognised gains and losses attributable to the shareholders other than the profit for the current and preceding financial year and accordingly, no statement of total recognised gains and losses is shown.'

The accounts are signed by Mr James P. Gaggero on behalf of the Board of directors.

The company has 8 directors, with Mr J. Patterson being the managing director. Sr Guillermo Serrano, with an address in Madrid, was appointed in January 2003. The other directors are British.

The accounts for GB Airways UK Holdings Ltd, which show identical pre-tax profit and dividend to that of GB Airways Ltd, has three directors, the Gaggeros and Mr J.C. Hawkins who appears in both companies as director and also as secretary.

REGISTERED IN UK 

The airline has long ceased to be a Gibraltar company. Its registered office is at the Beehive Building in West Sussex; its bankers are in Horley, Surrey; its solicitors are in London and its auditors are in Crawley.

GB Airways is a franchisee of British Airways

Who ultimately controls the airline?

There is a web of companies related to GB Airways Ltd, the directors saying that the company's ultimate parent company and controlling party is Jargo Holdings Ltd, which is registered in Guernsey, Channel Islands.

Meanwhile, the parent undertaking of the largest group of undertakings for which group accounts are drawn up and of which the company is a member is Bland Group Ltd, which is registered in Jersey, Channel Islands.

The accounts of Bland Group Ltd and Jargo Holdings Ltd are not publicly available.

In the year ended 31 March 2003, GB Airways Ltd made no payments in respect of aircraft subleases to its intermediate parent undertaking, GB Group Ltd, and owed £472,000 to GB Group Ltd.

The company has paid £112,500 in management fees to Bland Group Ltd, described as its ultimate parent, and also £774,000 in office rent to the same company.

Included within direct operating costs are charges of £256,000 from a fellow subsidiary, Airside Services (Gibraltar) Ltd. There was £25,000 owed to Airside (Gibraltar) Ltd.

Another fellow subsidiary, Cadogan Travel Ltd, received a standard industry commission on tickets sold by the company at a value of £2.67 million. These transactions were conducted on normal commercial terms. Nil outstanding.

Bland Ltd, a fellow subsidiary, also received a standard industry commission on tickets sold by them at a value of £2.34 million. The company was owed £91,000 by Bland Ltd.

The company has paid £29,000 in pound-for-pound payment for group tax relief in respect of losses transferred from Cadogan Travel Ltd, a fellow subsidiary. At 31 March 2003 the company was owed £7,000 from Cadogan Travel Ltd.

The company says it has taken advantage of the exemption in Financial Reporting Standard No.8 not to disclose transactions with its immediate parent undertaking GB UK Holdings Ltd.

Defence Secretary to visit Gibraltar

by PANORAMA reporter

The defence secretary Geoff Hoon is to visit Gibraltar. The visit is imminent.

Mr Hoon has endeared himself to the people of Gibraltar particularly at the time of the Anglo-Spanish negotiations which pointed to joint sovereignty.

It will be recalled that he resisted plans to share the control of the military base with the Spaniards. A letter from Mr Hoon was leaked at the time, where he warned that it would go against the National interest if Britain did not retain exclusive control over military matters.

Given the utterances Gibraltar has grown to endure from people like Peter Hain and Jack Straw, plus the milder but still off-the-mark remarks by Tony Blair, the stand taken by Mr Hoon stood out a mile.

It could well be that the subsequent 'red' line on defence helped to thwart the planned deal on joint sovereignty.

As the Gibraltar referendum showed, 99% of the people are against any sharing of sovereignty with Spain, not only on defence matters, but on other matters as well.

Mr Hoon's action at the time was well received in Gibraltar because it clearly coincided with the Gibraltar view.

As he prepares to visit the Rock, we should prepare to give Mr Hoon a true Gibraltarian welcome. For, if anyone in the British cabinet specially deserves it, it is Mr Hoon.

Royal Gibraltar Regiment recruit passing out parades

All recruits in the Royal Gibraltar Regiment undergo the same Basic training as the rest of the British Army (Infantry). Dependent on their age they have the option to attend the Army Foundation College (AFC) which is an Army youth scheme or the Infantry Training Centre (ITC) in Catterick. For those recruits attending the AFC Harrogate the syllabus is to provide the training and education that will enable all recruits to become a first class soldier and leader in the fighting Army. The course is 42 weeks long with a further 9 weeks training at the ITC. The course at the ITC Catterick is 6 months long with a slightly different syllabus concentrating more with the basics required to become a fully qualified soldier. During any of these long hard courses all recruits mature and become very independent.

The Royal Gibraltar Regiment have had four recruits complete and pass out in the last year from the two locations mentioned above:

Fortunato K - ITC - 24 weeks - completed course Mar 04 Pte Navarro J - ITC - 24 weeks - completed course Mar 04All the recruits found their courses challenging and demanding. This gave each and everyone of them a great sense of achievement on completion, by doing this on their own.

As an idea of the commitment given by such individuals Pte Fortunato K finished 1st in his platoon to receive the Best Recruit award for his intake.

As it stands the following recruits from the Regiment are currently training in the UK:

Pte Celicia J - AFC since Sept 03
Pte Pozo N - AFC since Sept 03 
Pte Ives A - ITC since Jan 04 
Pte Wright - ITC since Feb 04 
Pte Flegg C - ITC starting Apr 04 
Pte Jones P - ITC starting Apr 04

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