21 (Gibraltar 1779-83) Air Assault Battery
Battery Birthday - 1 January 1758
The battery was raised at Woolwich as Webdell's Company on 01 Jan 1758 for service against the French in the battle for domination of the North American continent. This makes the battery one of the senior batteries in the Royal Regiment of Artillery. Eleven years after its formation the battery was sent to Gibraltar in 1772 under the command of Capt P Martin and there it played a pivotal part in the 1779-83 siege by the French and the Spanish. Specifically, on the night of the 27 Nov 1781 the battery took part in the now famous Sortie against the French and Spaniard lines to relieve the pressure on the Garrison from the landward side of the Fortress of Gibraltar. The operation was an outstanding success which inflicted heavy casualties on the enemy and destroyed all of their artillery. For this the battery was awarded its honour title and the 27 November is still celebrated annually as Sortie Day in commemoration of this action.
In Sept 1999 21 Battery was assigned to the newly formed 16 Air Assault Brigade and adopted its current title of 21 (Gibraltar 1779 - 83) Air Assault Bty. Since its formation 21 (Gibraltar 1779 - 83) Air Assault Battery has been heavily involved in supporting 16 Air Assault Brigade. The battery deployed on Operational Tours in Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan outside its primary employment role of Close Air Defence. In 2008 the battery was re rolled to DH3 (Miniature Unmanned Aerial Systems) as part of 16 Air Assault Brigades ISTAR element, a role that the battery is continuing to deliver.