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Army gets new top brass

PUBLISHED: 00:04 06 February 2003 | UPDATED: 16:15 24 February 2010

IT'S all change for 16 Air Assault Brigade and the Garrison in Colchester with the arrival of both new Brigade and Garrison Commanders.

Col Tony Barton, 49, takes over as the Commander of Colchester Garrison and Wattisham Station, from Col Julian Lacey who retired in November 2002, after five years in the post.

IT'S all change for 16 Air Assault Brigade and the Garrison in Colchester with the arrival of both new Brigade and Garrison Commanders.

Col Tony Barton, 49, takes over as the Commander of Colchester Garrison and Wattisham Station, from Col Julian Lacey who retired in November 2002, after five years in the post.

And Brig Jonathan (Jacko) Page, 43, takes over from Brig Barney White-Spunner(crrct) as commander of the air assault brigade. Brig White-Spunner has moved to the tri-service Permanent Joint Headquarters, based in Middlesex - after nearly two years in the post, which included overseeing successful tours to Macedonia and Afghanistan.

Col Barton joined the Army in 1973 serving for five years as a troop commander in General Transport Regiments in Germany.

In 1978 he returned to the UK as second-in-command on 47 Air Despatch Squadron Royal Corps Transport, completing an operational deployment supporting the Commonwealth Monitoring Force overseeing the transition of Rhodesia to Zimbabwe.

In 1988 Col Barton was the Deputy Chief of Staff of the Berlin Infantry Brigade, involving organising logistic support to resettlers from the East and the first influx of people into the West following the collapse of the Berlin Wall.

He has also commanded 1 Squadron Royal Corps of Transport during the Gulf War and spent a year in the Balkans as part of the NATO implementation force.

Col Barton's last post was at Headquarters Land Command in Wilton, responsible for logistics in support of Army units deployed on operations throughout the world.

Living in Colchester, he is married to Jenny and they have four children.

His interests include basketball, motorcycles, music, military history and reading.

Brig Page joined the Army in 1981 as an officer in the Parachute Regiment, serving with the 2nd Battalion the Parachute Regiment as a platoon commander, company second in command, and company commander. He completed operational tours in the Falklands, Belize and South Armagh.

In 1989 he was seconded to The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards to command a Challenger equipped armoured squadron in Germany. He deployed with it to the Gulf in 1990.

Brig Page was chief of staff of 24 Airmobile Brigade at Catterick and moved with the Brigade to Colchester in March 1993. He has served in Sarajevo and immediately prior to this appointment, had been working in the Ministry of Defence (MoD) in Whitehall on the strategic planning staff.

He said: “It is a great privilege to be given the opportunity to command 16 Air Assault Brigade. Having previously served both in 5 Airborne Brigade, and then 24 Airmobile Brigade, it is a particular honour now to command the successor formation, 16 Air Assault Brigade.

“16 Air Assault Brigade is the Army's premier rapid reaction formation in which considerable defence investment has been made and plans to further enhance the brigade have been laid.

“That the brigade is based in East Anglia is for me a particular bonus. I am delighted to be returning to Colchester. My family and I have very happy memories of our first tour here.”

He is married to Dee and they have two children.

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