Military Affiliates Liaison Forces (MALT)
Why do we have military affiliates?
The United Kingdom has the three national security objectives of protecting our people, projecting our global influence and promoting our prosperity – and ever since the City of London became an important centre of international trade, the Livery Companies have enjoyed close relationships with the Armed Forces who have been so vital in achieving these objectives and maintaining the country’s security and economic growth.
As an industry, we have enjoyed the supply of raw materials and botanicals from around the globe for centuries, but now that the UK is outside the EU developing new and larger international markets, the need to protect our economic lifelines is even more valid.
This combined with our particular focus on charity and education means that we should make every effort to support the men and women of our Armed Forces who serve our country to protect our economy and democratic way of life.
How we manage our military affiliates?
We are therefore affiliated to four units, and in order to coordinate and communicate activities with these Military Affiliates, we have a Liaison Team – aptly called the MALT Committee, which consists of:
- A Liaison Liveryman for each unit as the single direct point of contact.
- A Court member for each of the Armed Forces to oversee policy and budgets.
- A Secretary who is the overall coordinator of all MALT activities.
MALT Committee Members
Chairman and Royal Navy – David Raines
Steve Wilson – HMS Montrose Liaison, Ewan Lacey – 825 NAS Liaison, James Higgins – London Scottish Liaison, Ken Robertson – 603 Squadron Liaison, Douglas Morton – Army, Richard Watling – Royal Air Force,
Simon Collins – MALT Secretary and Coordinator
Part of the Royal Auxiliary Air Force, 603 (City of Edinburgh) Squadron has both a distinguished service record and a vital current role in the RAF Regiment. The Squadron was formed in 1925 as a light bomber unit operating from Edinburgh’s Turnhouse airport. In 1938 it switched to fighters, receiving its new Spitfires on the outbreak of war in 1939.
Tasked with the defence of the major naval base at Rosyth, 603 Squadron was credited with the destruction of the first enemy aircraft shot down over Britain in World War Two – a German bomber downed in the River Forth. In August 1940 the volunteer “weekend flyers’ of 603 Squadron deployed to RAF Hornchurch, serving with distinction in the Battle of Britain and claiming the highest number of kills of any squadron in the battle. They were a critical element in the successful defence of the island of Malta against besieging Axis forces and took part in other campaigns around the Mediterranean and southern Europe.
In 1999 the Squadron was re-formed as a Force Protection and Operations Support squadron, part of the RAF Regiment that provides the service with protection for its bases and forward operating areas and its dedicated police service that ensures the security of RAF personnel, equipment and information.
Today, the Squadron’s volunteers may work as: RAF Police officers, countering threats from espionage, organised crime and terrorism; as RAF Regiment officers focusing on ground combat tactics and leading base support units; or as RAF Regiment gunners specialising in infantry tactics, weaponry and field craft in defence of RAF bases and overseas operations.
Since 1925, the Squadron has had its Edinburgh headquarters in the former home of distiller Arthur Sanderson of the Sanderson whisky dynasty, whose famous “VAT 69” brand continues to enjoy worldwide sales. To learn more about the Squadron, please visit: 603 Squadron
HMS Montrose is a Type 23 Duke class frigate and has been our long-standing naval affiliate since 1998. Our association remains very active with Liverymen visiting the ship both at home, and when deployed operationally overseas, as well as hosting members of the ship’s crew at Livery functions. Our affiliation with HMS Montrose and her ship’s company is highly valued by our Liverymen because we understand and appreciate the role she plays in protecting the worlds sea lines of communication which are so vital for the international trade, economy and defence of our island nation.
We actively support the welfare of all on board with an annual Distillers’ prize competition, which has evolved over the years to reflect the wide variety of operational roles undertaken by the ship’s company. Our Company also participates in events both on board ship and at its land base, HMNB Devonport, creating opportunities for crew and liverymen to spend time interacting.
HMS Montrose is currently deployed in the Gulf and, for the next 3 years, is based in Bahrain. Pioneering a new way for the Royal Navy to crew their ships, it has two crews, Port and Starboard, rotating at 6 monthly intervals. The Company continues to maintain contact with both Captains and crews, which has resulted in opportunities for Liverymen to visit the ship in the Gulf and for land-based activities at HMNB Devonport. To learn more, please visit: HMS Montrose
825 NAS Squadron
The affiliation with 825 NAS honours our links with naval aviators and the Fleet Air Arm. The Squadron is responsible for the training of the flight crew and the support teams for the front-line Wildcat helicopters which are the Royal Navy’s latest and greatest aircraft. The Wildcat deployed on frigates and destroyers, serves a vital role as part of fleet worldwide in carrying out the works of the Royal Navy. Links between the Company and the Royal Navy have been vital ever since our earliest Distillers’ wished to have their sweet nectar conveyed safely overseas to willing and thirsty markets and the presence of distilled spirits and the daily rum ration being very much part of the story. The Fleet Air Arm affiliation is very close with our Company, with one Past Master having served and a good number of Liverymen joining whilst in command of 825. Our affiliation is based on mutual respect and we honour the most outstanding young engineer in training each year with The Distillers’ Prize.
We also celebrate the lighter side of life with an annual golf match and reciprocal attendance at Company and Squadron events throughout the year. Finally, when the Squadron’s base near Yeovilton is open to the public for special events, such as the annual Air Day Celebration, the Company has been well represented both by senior members and by the petrol-heads of the Distillers’ Car Club. To learn more about the Squadron, please visit: 825 NAS Squadron
A (LONDON SCOTTISH) Company, The London Regiment
Formerly the London Scottish Regiment, A (London Scottish) Company, The London Regiment, is our longest standing military affiliation, having been officially adopted on 3rd March 1965. The London Scottish Regiment has always been a volunteer, now Reserve, unit and has seen action in many of the major conflicts in the last 100 years, with battle honours from: Messines in Belgium in 1914, where the Regiment was the first Reserve Unit to see action in WW1; the Allied invasion of Sicily in 1943; and, more recently, providing infantrymen as part of Operation TELIC (Iraq) and Operation Herrick (Afghanistan). Two members of the Regiment were awarded the Victoria Cross in WWI and one in WWII.
Reformed some years ago as a Company within The London Regiment, A (London Scottish) Company proudly retains its own identity with the distinctive Hodden Grey uniform, and cap badge featuring the Lion Rampant with the moto STRIKE SURE. The London Regiment is the only Reserve regiment in the Guards Division and provides highly trained infantry soldiers to reinforce the five regiments of the Foot Guards (The Grenadier, Coldstream, Scots, Irish and Welsh Guards) on operations all over the world. A (London Scottish) Company, led by Officer Commanding Major Jamie Barklem, is closely affiliated with the Scots Guards, and offers a range of light role capabilities, operating on foot, carrying out skirmishes and undertaking reconnaissance. With its Company Headquarters and rifle platoon located in Westminster and the specialist mortar platoon based in Catford, South-East London, A (London Scottish) Company have specialisms in both individual and support weapons ranging from the SA80 Personal Weapon and General-Purpose Machine Gun, to the 81mm Mortar. To learn more about the Regiment, please visit: London Scottish Regiment