A?NEW commanding officer is settling in at Monmouth’s Great Castle House, the home of the Royal Monmouthshire Royal Engineers, (Militia).

Lt Col Joe Gossage has spent the last 12 months embedded with the BBC as an army external placement, offering advice on his expertise in risk management.

Lt Col Gossage was commissioned into the Royal Engineers in 1999. He has previously served on operations in Afghanistan, Iraq and the Balkans. His last role was in the Army Corporate HQ which took him to the BBC on a year long placement. While at the BBC he also helped out on the DIY SOS Grenfell Special and BBC Horizon. He is delighted to be taking over as the commanding officer of the Royal Monmouthshire Royal Engineers (Militia) and is keen to maintain the strong community links forged by his predecessor. He is married to Angela and they have three young boys.

Speaking to the Beacon on Monday, 3rd September, he explained that he spent the time with the BBC looking at the similarities and the differences between the organisations: “You would be surprised how similar the two organisations can be.

“The BBC, although it’s a corporation, still uses public money and is quite engrained in civil service ways,” he added.

He is replacing Lt Col Scott Spencer who has called Monmouth his home for the past two years and nine months.

Scott began his career as a sapper with the 108 (Welsh) Field Squadron (Militia) based in Swansea in May 1989.

“29 years on, I am still enjoying it, it’s still keeping me on my toes,” he told the Beacon.

Although 108 was disbanded in September 2014 as the army reshaped various elements, the soldiers continued to parade under the command of 100 Field Squadron (Militia) based out of Cwmbran.

“One of the highlights of my tenure in Monmouth was relaunching 108 squadron that I joined as a soldier which was canned under the army review a few years back.

“Other achievements include rejigging some of the training and rebuilding the regiment and tackling the infrastructure challenges in these budget-conscious days”.

He will be travelling for the next six to nine months but keeping an eye on the quarterly jobs bulletins with the Army. “There is always the possibility of a six month tour as the Army always has something going on throughout the world, at the present moment, the regiment has 10 soldiers on operations out in South Sudan.

“The whole thing for me has been 30 years spent in one of the best regiments in the British Army,” he added.