02 DEC 2016

MP meets new commanding officer

New commanding officer Lt Col Jim Hawkins takes charge of 36 Engineers

Arriving spot on time at Helen Grant's Maidstone East offices at 3:30pm Friday 2nd December the new Commanding Officer of 36 Engineer Regiment forged a firm handshake with the MP for Maidstone & The Weald, setting a solid start to their new working relationship.

Helen Grant warmly welcomed Lt Col Jim Hawkins and gave due credit to his predecessor, Lt Col Richard Walker, expressing how much she had enjoyed working with him over the past two and a half years.

Helen asked Lt Col Hawkins how long he had been in post to which he flatteringly responded 'three and a half hours to be precise, and coming to meet you was my first appointment'.

The two local leaders spent 60 minutes discussing forthcoming challenges for 36 Engineers and the Queens Gurkha Regiment and their joint involvement in the local community. Hawkins told the MP they were ever ready to help where needed with civil contingencies, being particularly mindful of flooding as an ever-present threat to the area.

Before the meeting closed Helen Grant took the opportunity to express her deep concern about the recently announced closure of the Invicta Park Barracks and how that may seriously affect Maidstone's culture and economy after over 200 years of continuous Military presence.

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