Gulf war regiments receive honours

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BATTLE honours were yesterday awarded to Army regiments and Royal Air Force squadrons which fought in the 1991 Gulf war. But some troops critical to the allied victory are ineligible for honours - an anachronism which could be changed retrospectively, as has been done for the Army Air Corps, which yesterday received the battle honour for the 1982 Falklands war, writes Christopher Bellamy.

Those units judged to be in contact with the enemy between 17 January and 28 February 1991, will emblazon the honours 'Gulf 1991' or 'Wadi al Batin' on their colours.

But only one regiment has the honour 'Western Iraq' - the SAS, which operated far inside Iraqi territory, locating and sometimes directly attacking Scud missiles. The SAS also gets the 'Gulf' honour.

The Royal Signals and support troops - Ordnance, Pioneers and Transport, now fused together in the new Royal Logistic Corps - receive no battle honour. The Army said they 'do not go in as direct combat troops'. But with the Royal Signals responsible for electronic warfare, these rules look obsolete.

Eleven regiments, including the Royal Scots, the Staffordshire and the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers - the key infantry battalions, bear the 'Wadi al Batin' honour, along with Armoured regiments and the Army Air Corps. About 21 RAF squadrons emblazon honour 'Gulf 1991' and 22 which flew Air Defence fighters or support aircraft receive it but will not put it on their colours.

Gazette, page 29