ONE of the army’s major infantry battalions is coming back to Catterick Garrison and bringing with it one of the force’s latest state of the art weapons, an armoured vehicle that can be used anywhere in the world

1st Battalion Scots Guards are often seen in their ceremonial role in the red tunics and bearskin hats standing outside Buckingham Palace but they are also at the forefront of the army’s mechanised infantry, launched into the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan in the past 15 years.

Now they are being deployed as part of the Army’s new Strike Brigade and will be using the latest Boxer vehicles a £2.8b Ministry of Defence investment designed to put them at the forefront of forces across the globe for the next decade.

Major Miguel Holloway said: “This is the most advanced armoured vehicle you can find, it carries and protects troops and delivers the punch we need. It is the future. It has no track and can be used in urban and rural terrain.

“It can go by road, air or ship anywhere it is needed. The Boxer enables us to fight in the way we want to fight. With new technology drones can be used and cyber warfare but ultimately if there is a conflict and boots are required on the ground then this is the way to do it, it’s more mobile, it gives us protection and has the armaments.

“It also means we will be coming back to Catterick and everyone is incredibly excited to be returning here, we will be in the forefront of operations in the next ten years and we are coming back to where we call home, the troops are ecstatic.”

Recruitment officer Captain John Craib said the 1st Battalion Scots Guards has a huge recruitment area across Scotland and the North of England with up to 50 per cent of the 600 troops coming form the North-East.

He said: “We are all really keen to come back to Catterick where we are going to be based at Somme Barracks from this summer. We had been based here before being moved down to Aldershot but there is a real buzz about coming back. and with the Boxer it is going to be a really exciting time for the Battalion.”

Youngsters from Darlington Military Preparation Centre who are working towards joining the armed forces were invited to see the new Boxer when it was brought to Catterick this week.

One 17 year old said: “You can see why the troops are keen on coming back here I would rather be at Catterick than Aldershot. I am not sure if I want to join the Scots Guards yet but if we get to use the new Boxer that’s an added attraction, only if you can be the gunner though, that’s what everyone wants to do.”

The Army is getting 500 Boxers – 27 have so far been produced in Germany with the rest being made in the UK.

While the Battalion is coming back to Catterick, they are due to go to Iraq and Estonia at the end of the year to help train troops. With the current heightened tensions that could change at any time.

”At the end of the day we don’t know where we are going to end up, that’s the thrill of being in the army,” added Captain Craib.