I must warn you all that the ORBAT described and visualized in this article cannot, for a whole range of reasons, be definitive. The Review of the army reserve has not yet been announced, for example, so we don't yet know the identity of the TA formations and, even if the roles and general positions have been announced, there might still be changes to come. There are also some residual uncertainties about the regulars, of course: for example, while it has not yet been clearly stated, i do not think that the Foxhound-mounted battalions will deploy to Cyprus with their vehicles, as someone suggests after reading the documents released so far by the MOD. I think the Foxhound vehicles will remain in Catterick and Cottersmore, and will be used by the battalions posted to the two garrisons.
Other uncertainties regard the integration of some regular and reserve elements into hybrid formations (details to follow later) and, of course, late changes to plans: for example, 299 Signal Squadron (Special Communications) had been announced as part of the restructured 11 Signal Brigade, but at the end of the day it was actually resubordinated to 1 Signal Brigade instead. There might be more rethinks to come.
However, thanks to the good source documents i used, i believe that this ORBAT is the most accurate currently available outside of the Army's restricted circles.
This ORBAT includes the Reserve units, which, under Army 2020, are no longer kept in separate Brigades and Divisions but, as we know, are integrated into the Regular structure. The ORBAT also includes the Army units deployed overseas, the forces of the overseas territories (Bermuda Regiment, Royal Gibraltar Regiment, Falklands Islands Defence Force) and the army units commanded by other HQs (air defence units, for example, which are under the control of Air Command). Reserve units can be identified by color and, of course, by the indication (Volunteers) or (V).
Excluded from the ORBAT are the training units such as 14 Regiment Royal Artillery, or 11 Regiment Royal Signals (Royal School of Signals). I took the decision to exclude these formations because the ORBAT looks already crowded as it is. In addition, admittedly, i've been trying to work out the exact chain of command for the training units but i've not yet quite managed to work it out. While most Army training units report to the 3-star Commander Force Development and Training at Andover, there are exceptions and complications due to "jointery" of various nature: for example, the Royal School of Signals (11 Signal Regiment) reports to No 22 (Training) Group Royal Air Force as part of the Defence College of Communications and Information Systems (DCCIS).
Thanks also to how horribly outdated the MOD's websites usually are, map out the changes and restructurings and draw on paper the current structure is, if you ask me, immensely complex.
NOTES TO THE ORBAT:
16 Close Support Medical Regiment is the only medical regiment directly assigned to a brigade. It looks almost certain that it will maintain 144 (Parachute) Medical Squadron (Volunteers) as part of its structure.
The Scots Guards will be in the Heavy Protected Mobility role (mechanised infantry mounted on Mastiff) in the Reaction Force "at least until 2019". The idea is that the rotation of the Guards battalion is organised so to enable a battalion to spend a full six years in the Heavy Protected Mobility Role. At any one time, two more guards battalions are assigned to 11 Infantry Brigade (Adaptable Force), with one of them mounted on Foxhound (Light Protected Mobility). The remaining two battalions, posted to Windsor and Hounslow, are engaged in Ceremonial/Public Duties and respond to London District HQ (2-star).
The London Regiment (TA) is shown under London District. Take this with more than a bit of salt, because i suspect it will actually respond to 11 Infantry Brigade, but could not find anything in support of my guess, for the moment.
16 Air Assault Brigade used to be under Joint Helicopter Command, but all documents released by the MOD suggest that it will be now resubordinated to 3rd (Reaction) Division.
The two Logistic Brigades (101 and 102) are assigned to the Divisions, with the Logistic Support Brigade (104) assigned to Force Troops.
The assignment of the TA infantry and cavalry to the different brigade HQs is currently only my educated guess. For sure we only know that 4 PARA will respond to 16 AA brigade, with the remaining 13 infantry battalions assigned to the Adaptable Force. The ORBAT shows a likely structure, based on geography and on the long-standing assignment of the battalions to the various regional brigades.
The reserve Medical Squadrons in 102 Logistic Brigade are currently shown as indipendent units, but i actually think they are likely to be assigned to 2 and 3 Medical Regiments.
We are also told that there will be four reserve Close Support engineer squadrons in the Adaptable Force. Apparently, they will be assigned to 21 and 32 Engineer Regiments, which will each lose a regular squadron, giving them a 2-regular, 2-reserve squadrons structure.
The Reaction Force logistic brigade is to include 2 reserve REME Force Support battalions. I've guessed their identity, and i'm relatively confident that 104 REME is going to be in the Reaction Force. But, again, it is a guess.
Added to 5 Force Support REME battalion (regular), the 2 reserve battalions cover the whole of the 3 Armoured Infantry brigades of the Reaction Division. There are also going to be 3 Transport Regiment of the RLC TA component.
102 Logistic Brigade will have 4 reserve Force Support REME battalions, 2 supply and 2 transport regiments, plus a Fuel Support regiment, widely expected to be 152 (Ulster) Transport Regiment, properly reconfigured.
A number of TA Transport Regiments are set to disband, apparently, since there are currently 9, and the future requirement is given as 5 plus the Fuel Support Regiment.
The reserve artillery units are located, alongside the regulars, under 1st Artillery brigade. There will be two Light Gun regiments (down from 3), 1 STA regiment (Honourable Artillery Company, i'm betting) and 1 GMLRS regiment (will it continue to include STA batteries as well?).
There is also going to be a reserve Air Defence regiment (106 RA), almost certainly to be directly subordinated to Joint Ground Based Air Defence, under Air Command.
My guess for the reserve UAV regiment (104 RA) is that it will follow the regular units with the same role and resubordinate under the Intelligence brigade.
The Air Defence Units are all relocating to Thorney Island, and the command is consolidated under RAF Air Command. Included in the Joint Ground Based Air Defence force is the 49 (Inkerman) Battery, in charge of the LEAPP (Land Environment Air Picture Provision) system. As of early 2013, the battery is manned jointly by army (roughly two thirds) and RAF. A quick overview of LEAPP is available, among with other information regarding the artillery, in this older article.
8 Force Engineer brigade's structure is tricky. There is little available information about its future shape. My guess is that the current Groups (12 (Air Support), 29 (Land Support) and 170 (Infrastructure) will all remain.
29 Group is mostly known for being the EOD centre of excellence, but it will likely take on 36 Regiment (Force Support) and one or more of the TA regiments in the Force Support role.
39 Regiment, the second force support regular regiment, is notoriously the Air Support formation, so it is under 12 Group, but under Army 2020 there is a possibility that its land support role will expand too. Currently, two TA regiments are in Air Support role (71 and 73 regiments), which means having two thirds of the TA Force Support element dedicated to airfields: i wouldn't be surprised if this changed.
29 Group will command 11 (EOD) Regiment RLC and the Military Working Dogs regiment as well. The reserves are expected to contribute with 4 Search squadrons and 2 Military Working Dog squadrons, probably integrated into the relevant regular regiments.
My guess is that a new Group will be formed as the Close Support engineer regiments are moved into the brigade. Once, there were Divisional Engineer Groups: under the 1998 SDR, for example, the assumption was that 1st and 3rd Division would each have an Engineer group comprising one Force Support regiment (28 and 36) and a Close Support regiment for each brigade.
Now, i expect that all Close Support regiments will be grouped together under a new Group.
The Royal Engineers will also contribute 42 Engineer Regiment (Geographic) to Joint Forces Command. The regiment will be an integrated formation, including the reserve squadron 135.
The formation will transfer to Wyton, under the command of the 3-star Joint Forces Intelligence Group (one of many components of Joint Forces Command), which also controls the Joint Services Signals Organisation, which includes some 200 Royal Signals posts. The Army also contributes to the Defence HUMINT unit.
A similar path has been chosen by the Royal Signals, in fact, with 11 Signal Brigade: as the signal regiments move in, the brigade will be divided in two Groups (7th and 2nd), with the first holding the five regular Multi-Role signal regiments and the second comprising the specialist regiments and the TA formations.
4 TA Signal Regiments are planned, a reduction from the current five. 251 Squadron (V) will be taken into 10 Signal Regiment.
There will also be 3 TA Specialist Technical Support Signal Squadrons.
The number of Military Intelligence battalions in the reserve will double, from 2 to 4. There will also be a Special Military Intelligence company.
The Medical Brigade will benefit froma substantial reserves contribution: 3 medical regiments, 10 field hospitals, 1 hospital support regiment and the MEDEVAC Group.
The Security Assistance Group's structure is not yet set entirely in stone, but it is currently planned to include the Military Stabilisation Support Group, the 15 Psychological Operations Group and the Defence Media Operations Group.
The Military Police brigade will command all provost companies, which will be centralised in three homogeneous regiments comprising a TA contribution of 3 MP companies.
Doubts in this area include the fate of 156 Provost Coy, the Military Police unit of 16 Air Assault Brigade. I think it might well remain were it is, judging from what happened with all other brigade support elements: all maneuver brigades lost their CS and CSS elements to Logistic and Force Troops brigades, but 16AA retained its signal squadron, its artillery, its medical, REME and Logistic support formations.
Another doubt is about the position of the Military Provost Staff units: initially it seemed like the new Military Police brigade HQ would somehow include the 1-star Provost Marshal HQ, but now it seems both 1-star posts will continue to exist, with the MPS and MPGS units assigned to the Provost Marshal and the RMP to the Police Brigade. The Provost Marshal will also control the Special Investigation Branch RMP and the Special Operations Unit RMP.
104 Logistic Support Brigade will include several TA elements, such as the Catering support regiment and the reserve Port & Maritime Regiment (165 Regt).
It will also have an integrated Postal Courier & Movement regiment, which suggests that the current 88 P&C and 162 Movement Control regiments will merge.
The Pioneer regiment is set to share the fate of the last regular Pioneer regiment and disband, becoming history.
Another mistery is the effective role, usefulness and stance of the 2-star "UK Support Command" created after the SDSR to replace the Regional Division HQs.
This HQ is the son of a plan which pre-dates the 82.000 regulars figure introduced in the summer of 2011: it was originally part of a plan which called for 94.000 regulars in five multi-role brigades (plus 16AA brigade) in two regular Divisions and up to 10 regional brigades in support, controlled by the UK Support Command.
Inside Army 2020, this command now seems redundant, but apparently it remains planned. HQ London District also remains, and Cyprus stays as a 2-star command as well. In my opinion, none of this is actually necessary.
|The Roles of the TA under Army 2020 as disclosed so far by the Army|
Anyway, as always, i will work to keep this article and you all up to date about the next moves and changes. I also plan to eventually put together an "alternative Army 2020" plan showing how i would have organised things had i been in general Nick Carter's place, because on several aspects i do disagree with this plan.
Official document showing basing, roles and subordinations of the regular army units: http://www.aff.org.uk/latest_news_information.htm#rebasing