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daftandbarmy

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Some Wavell Room thoughts on the BCT.



One question - since we originally invented the brigade group concept over a half of a century ago and since both the Americans and the British have adopted the concept but refused to accept the name and since the abbreviation for battle group and brigade group are BG, isn't it time we standardized on the term Brigade Combat Team and just get over ourselves?

:unsure:

Too 'Yank', old chap...

Then again, that whole slippery slope began with the demise of the 'start line' and the 'appreciation' IMHO ;)
 

FJAG

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I must admit, the more that I look at "Future Soldier" the more I like about it.

There are two wooly areas that I have a niggling doubt about - Deep Recce Strike and reserves primary task as homeland protection and resilience (?) operations - but those are areas where the devil is in the details and we're far away from seeing the details. The idea for deep strike is sound, it's the execution that has me wondering.

Everything else is doable and desirable and in my humble opinion is rife for copying on a downscaled version for us. The Brit Army once you add reservists and civilians into it is 100,000. Ours should hover around 50,000. While the Brits are aiming at 4 special purpose divisions (one dedicated to paras and guards 😁) We should comfortably be able to maintain two structured into one with a large Reg F / small Res F ratio to deal with day-to-day missions at home and abroad and a second one with a small Reg F /large Res F ratio to deal with emergency situations that require an aspect of mobilization.

The Brit Army's concept page answers a few questions and is here:


Let's call a spade a spade though - the Brit MOD is trading off full-time PYs for equipment (including reducing Army HQ by 40% and the infantry by 20%) That too is what is needed here (although much of the HQ reduction in our case is needed at the CAF level because of the degree of integration). That is something we too need to accept and need to convince our government to implement. All the boots on the ground are of marginal value if they do not have the weapons systems to use.

🍻
 

Kirkhill

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I must admit, the more that I look at "Future Soldier" the more I like about it.

There are two wooly areas that I have a niggling doubt about - Deep Recce Strike and reserves primary task as homeland protection and resilience (?) operations - but those are areas where the devil is in the details and we're far away from seeing the details. The idea for deep strike is sound, it's the execution that has me wondering.

Everything else is doable and desirable and in my humble opinion is rife for copying on a downscaled version for us. The Brit Army once you add reservists and civilians into it is 100,000. Ours should hover around 50,000. While the Brits are aiming at 4 special purpose divisions (one dedicated to paras and guards 😁) We should comfortably be able to maintain two structured into one with a large Reg F / small Res F ratio to deal with day-to-day missions at home and abroad and a second one with a small Reg F /large Res F ratio to deal with emergency situations that require an aspect of mobilization.

The Brit Army's concept page answers a few questions and is here:



Let's call a spade a spade though - the Brit MOD is trading off full-time PYs for equipment (including reducing Army HQ by 40% and the infantry by 20%) That too is what is needed here (although much of the HQ reduction in our case is needed at the CAF level because of the degree of integration). That is something we too need to accept and need to convince our government to implement. All the boots on the ground are of marginal value if they do not have the weapons systems to use.

🍻

Just a point FJAG.

The Union, Queens and Light Divisions, along with the Guards and Paras will never see action as Divisions. They are strictly administrative groupings.

The Army's field formations are 1 (UK), 3 (UK) and 6 (UK) with 16 Air Assault Brigade Combat Team as and independent formation.

1 is a Medium Light Division constantly on operations
3 is the Heavy Division held at readiness
6 is the Specials and Enablers

 

FJAG

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Just a point FJAG.

The Union, Queens and Light Divisions, along with the Guards and Paras will never see action as Divisions. They are strictly administrative groupings.
I understood that and understand the current operational structure under Army 2020 Refine as well. That's why I called them "special purpose" divisions. I'm not sure where its heading to but my guess is maybe as an airey-fairey force generation structure, like 2-4 Cdn Divs, which generate forces for whatever Operational divisional headquarters remain (or maybe just supplied directly to PJHQ).

I think their "adaptive force" (1 (UK) Div), "reactive force" (16 AAB and 3rd (UK) Div) and "enabling" (6 (UK) Div) structures may change somewhat. Not much, but somewhat.

If the aim of the game is to reduce Army HQ by 40% then hopefully its not by offloading that 40% into "administrative divisional HQs". I expect there's a good bit of nationalist smoke and mirrors here what with moving Welsh units to Wales and more Scot units into Scotland and I see the SNP is already making shirty noises about the "Union Division".

Referring to the new Union Division, SNP defence spokesman Stewart McDonald said on Twitter: “Attempts like this to politicise serving personnel, who choose to go into a career in uniform with a desire to protect, is a sign of how desperate the conservative government has become.
“Soldiers need a real improvement in terms and conditions, not used for political aims.”
Fellow SNP MP Douglas Chapman said Scotland still faced base closures.
Speaking at Westminster, he said: “With this statement and the complexity of it, the devil will be in the detail.”

I agree with Chapman; the devil's always in the details, so I'm looking forward to seeing the details as they start coming out.

Edited to add:


🍻
 
Last edited:

FJAG

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Interesting note from the Master Gunner of St James's Park to the Brit RA community.

A note on the "Tactical Group Battery". Under Army 2020 Refine there was a cut back in artillery and some regiments lost guns but maintained the BC and FOO parties in small TGBs. I don't have a whole lot of detail on that but in some cases I've seen a manning of roughly 30 folks forming an battle group FSCC, a BCs tac group, two FOO parties with JTACs. (So much smaller than a Canadian OP Battery which provides one FSCC/BC Tac detachments and nine FOO/JTAC detachments (There are two additional FSCC/BC Tac detachments provided by the two gun batteries for a total of three per brigade))

I'm not sure if the MLRS listed are increases over and above the 44 systems they already have (and are scheduled for upgrading to extended range) or just a redistribution. Currently there are 2 Reg F MLRS batteries (with 26 RA) and 4 Res F ones (with 101 RA). My guess is redistribution as 3 RHA and 26 RA will have to two Reg F batteries each and 101 RA will provide a third round out battery to each of 3 RHA and 26 RA. Definitely a sign of a higher state of readiness for deep strike.

261446929_4386309628133907_5826091337073116_n.jpg


Interesting.

Here's a semi accurate listing of existing RA batteries:


🍻
 

Kirkhill

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I understood that and understand the current operational structure under Army 2020 Refine as well. That's why I called them "special purpose" divisions. I'm not sure where its heading to but my guess is maybe as an airey-fairey force generation structure, like 2-4 Cdn Divs, which generate forces for whatever Operational divisional headquarters remain (or maybe just supplied directly to PJHQ).

I think their "adaptive force" (1 (UK) Div), "reactive force" (16 AAB and 3rd (UK) Div) and "enabling" (6 (UK) Div) structures may change somewhat. Not much, but somewhat.

If the aim of the game is to reduce Army HQ by 40% then hopefully its not by offloading that 40% into "administrative divisional HQs". I expect there's a good bit of nationalist smoke and mirrors here what with moving Welsh units to Wales and more Scot units into Scotland and I see the SNP is already making shirty noises about the "Union Division".



I agree with Chapman; the devil's always in the details, so I'm looking forward to seeing the details as they start coming out.

Edited to add:



🍻

Here is the preceding version of the Infantry Administrative Divisions via Wikipedia. Airy-Fairy or Ceremonial.


 

Infanteer

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isn't it time we standardized on the term Brigade Combat Team and just get over ourselves?

:unsure:
Or how about we just call it a Brigade (like everyone does in common parlance anyways) and quit with the annoying (largely US) habit of taking a common military term, adding two more words on to it, and then turning it into an acronym.

Brigade > Brigade Combat Team
 

daftandbarmy

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I understood that and understand the current operational structure under Army 2020 Refine as well. That's why I called them "special purpose" divisions. I'm not sure where its heading to but my guess is maybe as an airey-fairey force generation structure, like 2-4 Cdn Divs, which generate forces for whatever Operational divisional headquarters remain (or maybe just supplied directly to PJHQ).

I think their "adaptive force" (1 (UK) Div), "reactive force" (16 AAB and 3rd (UK) Div) and "enabling" (6 (UK) Div) structures may change somewhat. Not much, but somewhat.

If the aim of the game is to reduce Army HQ by 40% then hopefully its not by offloading that 40% into "administrative divisional HQs". I expect there's a good bit of nationalist smoke and mirrors here what with moving Welsh units to Wales and more Scot units into Scotland and I see the SNP is already making shirty noises about the "Union Division".



I agree with Chapman; the devil's always in the details, so I'm looking forward to seeing the details as they start coming out.

Edited to add:



🍻

The whole 'Brexit thing' has thrown a new light on what the UK's military is traditionally for, which is securing their Empire/ Commonwealth, and other economic interests, protected by the Navy and Air Force. The reason the RAF Regiment exists, for example, is to protect the air infrastructure enabling the successful prosecution of expeditionary air power.

That's why they've moved out into the world, and are realigning their military to support that strategic foreign affairs goal: classic power projection.

E.g.,

UK plans to beef up military deployments in Asia​

“Our ambition is to take a more persistent presence here than any other country from [Europe],” she said on board the 65,000-ton ship.
Besides the deployment of more military assets, the increased engagement will come in the form of humanitarian aid and disaster relief, Sir Wigston added.

Earlier, ships from the U.K. Carrier Strike Group participated in an exercise marking the 50th anniversary of the Five Power Defence Arrangements with Singapore, Malaysia, Australia and New Zealand.

The deployment also comes as the U.K. seeks to ink more trade deals around the world following its departure from the E.U.

In June, the U.K. started negotiations to join a wider Asia Pacific free-trade alliance known as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership.

 

FJAG

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Here is the preceding version of the Infantry Administrative Divisions via Wikipedia. Airy-Fairy or Ceremonial.

Well, that's just bloody useless, isn't it

:cautious:

Or how about we just call it a Brigade (like everyone does in common parlance anyways) and quit with the annoying (largely US) habit of taking a common military term, adding two more words on to it, and then turning it into an acronym.

Brigade > Brigade Combat Team

Once again, I think it's our fault - although someone else may have beaten us to it.

Brigades just consisted of the manoeuvre battalions in the days when the guns, engineers and log wogs all belonged to the division. Once we started giving each brigade its slice of arty, engineers and a service battalion as integral assets we called them brigade groups to distinguish them. One thing led to another.

Back in the fifties we were called X Infantry Brigade then in the sixties we became X Infantry Brigade Group then in the seventies X Combat Group before becoming X Canadian Brigade Group and finally becoming X Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group.

Don't blame the yanks. They're relative newcomers to this name game.

😁
 

Kirkhill

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The whole 'Brexit thing' has thrown a new light on what the UK's military is traditionally for, which is securing their Empire/ Commonwealth, and other economic interests, protected by the Navy and Air Force. The reason the RAF Regiment exists, for example, is to protect the air infrastructure enabling the successful prosecution of expeditionary air power.

That's why they've moved out into the world, and are realigning their military to support that strategic foreign affairs goal: classic power projection.

E.g.,

UK plans to beef up military deployments in Asia​

“Our ambition is to take a more persistent presence here than any other country from [Europe],” she said on board the 65,000-ton ship.
Besides the deployment of more military assets, the increased engagement will come in the form of humanitarian aid and disaster relief, Sir Wigston added.

Earlier, ships from the U.K. Carrier Strike Group participated in an exercise marking the 50th anniversary of the Five Power Defence Arrangements with Singapore, Malaysia, Australia and New Zealand.

The deployment also comes as the U.K. seeks to ink more trade deals around the world following its departure from the E.U.

In June, the U.K. started negotiations to join a wider Asia Pacific free-trade alliance known as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership.



Further to:

From 15 Jul 2021

Deploying special operations forces to global trouble spots before state failure would “help avoid catastrophic failure” in the future.

Speaking to The Telegraph in Fort Bragg, the home of the US Green Berets, upon which the Ranger Regiment is based, Mr Wallace outlined how Britain’s network of defence attachés would be expanded to help identify missions for the new unit.

"We’re going to invest in our defence attaché network, improve their capabilities, improve their training, improve that quality, improve how they work with the Foreign Office, and other government departments in commercial [activity],” he said.

Adding, “they have to be our eyes and ears”, he said the network would also seek to identify trade and security and defence opportunities.

"Defence diplomacy matters. We never really put our heart and soul into it, and we should do.”

He said defence’s contribution to Global Britain was to help improve resilience in fragile areas, “so conflicts don’t break out, countries don't slide into terrorism and corruption doesn’t take root”.

“Defence plays a really important role in delivering that. Kenya is really important to us and Somalia is a big challenge [with] al-Shabaab, [where] British tourists get targeted.

"It's not in our interest for our friends to come under attack."


'Emotional intelligence' key for Army's new Rangers units​

Troops hoping to join new special operations regiment will have to show personal characteristics beyond those required by regular soldiers

ByDominic Nicholls, DEFENCE AND SECURITY EDITOR25 November 2021 • 12:01am

Britain’s new special operations units will assess applicants on their “emotional intelligence”, the commander has revealed.


Troops hoping to join the Army’s new Ranger Regiment will have to demonstrate personal characteristics beyond those required by regular soldiers.

Resilience, calmness and self-awareness will be tested on a two-week assessment cadre that will include “protracted periods of time under duress,” said Brigadier Gus Fair, the first commander of the Army’s new Special Operations Brigade, has said.

Comprising four battalions, each of about 300 soldiers, the Ranger Regiment will officially stand up on December 1, and will form the core of the specialist brigade, accompanying troops from other countries into action against terrorists and hostile state threats.

Two other new brigades are expected to be announced in parliament on Thursday by Ben Wallace, the Defence Secretary, when he gives more details on Army restructuring and basing plans.

The Security Force Assistance Brigade will train partner nations’ military units, but will not go into battle with them, while a new Deep Strike Reconnaissance Brigade will use drones, artillery and missiles to destroy targets at ranges up to 100 miles.



Persistence

Defence Attaches

Security Force Assistance Brigade

Army Special Operations Brigade

Royal Marines Littoral Response Groups

Light Protected Vehicle Brigades



Reaction


UK Special Forces Group

Air Assault Brigade


Combat Aviation Brigade


Deep Strike Recce Brigade

Heavy Brigades
 

FJAG

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I've been trying to download the Uk Army's "Future Soldier Guide" from the UK MoD website but for some reason my browser won't open it despite the fact that it says it's a pdf. Is anyone else having a problem opening it?

https://www.army.mod.uk/media/14919/adr010310-futuresoldierguide_25nov.pdf

In the meantime here's another useful article:


🤷‍♂️
 

Kirkhill

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Thanks for the links. They worked fine for me.

Lots of interesting stuff there.
 

ArmyRick

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So these new British rangers will perform a role similar to US SF ODAs? Will they also be in like 12 man teams? Trained to do all the goochy stuff? Or more like an infantry battalion reduced?
 

Kirkhill

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So these new British rangers will perform a role similar to US SF ODAs? Will they also be in like 12 man teams? Trained to do all the goochy stuff? Or more like an infantry battalion reduced?

Rick: This is one of the Telegraph articles I referenced above - The Ranger units look more like SF-ODAs than regular troops. They seem to be designed to bring the Gucci kit to Freedom Fighters and tie them into support from other resources like F35s, Intelligence, Helicopters, MRLSs, Marines, Lt Brigades, Global Response Force etc. - They are a unit that will permanently tie rebel forces to western (British) support. The other new brigade, the Security Force Assistance Brigade, will do the same for friendly governments facing their own rebels.

The Marines Littoral Strike Groups will be a free-floating source of support for both the Rangers and the SFABs. 1 UK Divs Lt Brigades will supply persistent Lt Battle Groups to allies

The Paras and the Global Response Force will act as back-stop.

All will operate in support of Global Britain and the Foreign Office with Defence Attaches in the embassies and consulates supplying HumInt and Eyes-On.

3 UK Div will be held as a formed unit in the UK with kit pre-positioned in foreign training areas that act as operational hubs.

'Emotional intelligence' key for Army's new Rangers units​

Troops hoping to join new special operations regiment will have to show personal characteristics beyond those required by regular soldiers

ByDominic Nicholls, DEFENCE AND SECURITY EDITOR25 November 2021 • 12:01am

Britain’s new special operations units will assess applicants on their “emotional intelligence”, the commander has revealed.
Troops hoping to join the Army’s new Ranger Regiment will have to demonstrate personal characteristics beyond those required by regular soldiers.
Resilience, calmness and self-awareness will be tested on a two-week assessment cadre that will include “protracted periods of time under duress,” said Brigadier Gus Fair, the first commander of the Army’s new Special Operations Brigade, has said.
Comprising four battalions, each of about 300 soldiers, the Ranger Regiment will officially stand up on December 1, and will form the core of the specialist brigade, accompanying troops from other countries into action against terrorists and hostile state threats.
Two other new brigades are expected to be announced in parliament on Thursday by Ben Wallace, the Defence Secretary, when he gives more details on Army restructuring and basing plans.

The Security Force Assistance Brigade will train partner nations’ military units, but will not go into battle with them, while a new Deep Strike Reconnaissance Brigade will use drones, artillery and missiles to destroy targets at ranges up to 100 miles.

Emotional intelligence, also known as emotional quotient or EQ, is said to be the ability to understand, use and manage one’s emotions in positive ways to relieve stress, communicate effectively, empathise with others, overcome challenges and defuse conflict.
Brig Fair said that he was looking for “EQ, not just IQ” in the new force.
Drawn from across the Army, he said the Rangers would not take talent to the detriment of other units, adding: “This should have a positive pull-through effect.”
Equally, the new units will not be competing with special forces for applicants
“We’ve got an interest in continuing to prime that pump,” Brig Fair said. “In many respects, we will be one of the main feeds into the UK special forces group.”
Officers will rotate through the special operations brigade in the same way as the current special forces units, typically on two-year postings. Soldiers will be able to stay for longer and perhaps their entire careers.
After the two-week initial assessment, applicants will then have to prove a high level of soldier skills over two months.
Only then will they officially join the Rangers and be able to wear the new gunmetal grey beret, which has a cap badge based on a peregrine falcon, a bird of prey said by the Army to operate “in all environments including deserts, mountains and cities”.
After being “badged”, new recruits will undergo a further eight months of specialist training before being ready for deployments overseas.
The four infantry regiments currently acting as the building blocks for the special operations brigade will be officially renamed on December 1, as first to fourth battalions of the Ranger Regiment.
Each has been given a specific regional focus: Europe, the Middle East, and west and east Africa.
Troops from the forerunner units trained local forces in Kuwait, Iraq and Nigeria in 2018 to test the concept.

'Authority and resilience'​

Brig Fair said that the Ranger Regiment model of partnering with military, police and other security forces in areas of crisis would be different to Nato’s recent experience in Afghanistan.
In future operations, UK Ranger units will ensure they “don’t undermine sovereign ownership of the mission,” he said.
“From the outset, [Afghanistan] was a Nato mission. It became an Afghan mission [but] arguably we’d already laid the ground-work; we’d undermined their institutional authority and resilience.”
He said that the Rangers would “very firmly” ensure the host country was the “focal point”. The situation in Afghanistan evolved to the point western forces were the “supported element” with partnering seen as “incidental”.
In a letter to the Army, General Sir Mark Carleton-Smith, the Chief of the General Staff, said that the Army’s modernisation project, of which the three new brigades are a part, “is an exciting and bold blueprint for a transformed Army, making it the most capable Army of its size anywhere in the world.”

The ranger regiment​



1637790870079.jpg



Micro-drone operator
Short duration and used for over-watch of friendly forces’ home base to ensure security

Puma drone operator
Four hour’s duration, day/night camera for locating enemy forces


Dog handler with dog
Specially trained to sniff out explosives

Medic
Trained in battlefield medicine


Explosive ordnance disposal operator
With remotely operated vehicle to search areas for bombs

Vallon operator
With specially adapted metal detector to search for buried bombs

Troops in vehicle
One of whom is manning a machine gun
 

daftandbarmy

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Rick: This is one of the Telegraph articles I referenced above - The Ranger units look more like SF-ODAs than regular troops. They seem to be designed to bring the Gucci kit to Freedom Fighters and tie them into support from other resources like F35s, Intelligence, Helicopters, MRLSs, Marines, Lt Brigades, Global Response Force etc. - They are a unit that will permanently tie rebel forces to western (British) support. The other new brigade, the Security Force Assistance Brigade, will do the same for friendly governments facing their own rebels.

The Marines Littoral Strike Groups will be a free-floating source of support for both the Rangers and the SFABs. 1 UK Divs Lt Brigades will supply persistent Lt Battle Groups to allies

The Paras and the Global Response Force will act as back-stop.

All will operate in support of Global Britain and the Foreign Office with Defence Attaches in the embassies and consulates supplying HumInt and Eyes-On.

3 UK Div will be held as a formed unit in the UK with kit pre-positioned in foreign training areas that act as operational hubs.

And the 'Black Mafia' grasps on to a strategic role that will preserve them from any potential downsizing/amalgamation with the help of the CGS ;)
 
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