AN ARMY battalion staying in the town for another six years is hoping to build stronger links with the community.

The Coldstream Guards, based at Victoria Barracks, in Sheet Street, were due to be stationed in Windsor until the end of the year when their two-year cycle would come to an end and they would move to Aldershot.

However, they received news from the Ministry of Defence last month that they will now be based at the barracks until 2019.

The 1st battalion of the Coldstream Guards, consisting of around 600 soldiers, has been based at Victoria Barracks since late 2011. The battalion has been rotating barracks with the Irish Guards every two years for the past ???? years.

Captain Gerald Johnstone, adjutant at Victoria Barracks, said: "It's really good for the families as they can settle in and get their children into the local schools and they can make Windsor their home.

"I know our families love being here." The battalion is also hoping to foster tighter links with the Windsor community now their longer stay in the town has been confirmed.

Coldstream Guards are a regular sight on the streets of Windsor - participating in the Changing of the Guard every day - but the battalion is keen to increase its presence by building links with schools and scouting groups.

Capt Johnstone said: "We want to get involved in the community. We already support the mayor in numerous functions and we are already strongly involved with occasions such as Armed Forces Day and Remembrance Sunday.

"We want to build on that and to build up links with local schools and local scout groups." The battalion was last deployed on active duty in October 2009 in Operation Herrick 11 in Afghanistan and returned to the UK in April 2010.

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