I have corrected and completed the Army 2020 ORBAT published early on these pages, to include the data relating to the Reserves. This is, at the stage, the planned full Army ORBAT, reserve units included.
Analysis, further info and comments to follow.
Among the most interesting changes, the expansion of 6 Regiment Army Air Corps is significant. Two new squadrons will stand up after april 2014:
675 Squadron, centered around Taunton and Yeovilton, will be mainly targeted at supporting the Wildcat helicopter force destined to to airbase.
678 Squadron will stand up with centres in Milton Keynes and Luton.
677 Squadron, already existing, sees its activities consolidated at Bury St Hedmunds.
A bit of a mystery for me is constituted by 679 Squadron, given as already existing and centered at Middle Wallop. I can find no mention of 679 Squadron AAC anywhere: Middle Wallop is the base to the reserve squadron 655 (Scottish Horse), as far as i'm aware, and the British Army website agrees. Of course, the website could well be not updated, but i never heard nothing suggesting a re-badging at Middle Wallop. Either it is planned now (but not properly explained in the documents) as the squadron expands gaining a new foothold in Portsmouth, or the document is wrong, or 655 changed identity very silently and away from the spotlight.
UPDATE: i'm told that the squadron indeed is 655 (Scottish Horse). It is re-badging to 679 Squadron as it expands taking over a TA centre in Portsmouth. The Reserve army air corps regiment will thus have, possibly already by the end of next year:
675 Sqn, in support of the Wildcat helicopter force.
677, 678 and 679 (newly renamed 655) squadrons in support of the Apache force.
The Royal Engineers element of the Reserve will provide the Army's wide gap river crossing capability with the M3 rigs, following the disbandment of 28 Engineer Regiment.
The Wide Gap crossing capability will pass to 75 Engineer Regiment (Reserve), which will have two squadrons (107 and 202) plus an Amphibious Engineer Training Cell.
75 Engineer will be paired to the regular Force Support regiment, 36 Engineer.
71 Engineer regiment (Reserve) will also be in the Force Support pool. It will maintain the squadrons 102 and 124 in the Air Support role, while losing 236 Sqn, withdrawn from the order of battle. In exchange, the regiment takes command of 591 Field Squadron, the only RE squadron left in Northern Ireland.
72 and 73 Engineer regiments will be withdrawn from the ORBAT.
With a decision that, in my opinion, is badly wrong, 299 (Parachute) Squadron Royal Engineer and 131 Independent Commando Squadron RE are both moved into Hybrid regular/reserve regiments.
Instead of trying to better bring together 299 (PARA) Sqn with 23 Engineer Regiment (Air Assault), the Army decided to assign the formation to 21 Engineer Regiment.
Similarly, instead of trying to make the reserve Commando squadron work more closely with the lonely, regular 59 Independent Commando Squadron RE, the Army moves 131 Sqn under 32 Engineer Regiment.
21 and 32 and the two Hybrid regiments assigned to the Adaptable Force pool: they will have two regular and two reserve field squadrons each (103 Sqn and 299 (PARA) Sqn for 21 Regiment ; 106 Sqn and 131 Commando Sqn for 32 Regiment).
At the same time, they will also be composed by two engineer squadrons which are clearly meant to support the High Readiness reaction brigades, 16 Air Assault and 3 Commando. In my opinion, there are too many conflicting loyalties and requirements in this part of the plan.
The Royal Monmouthshire Royal Engineers (Militia) loses one squadron (108 Field Squadron, withdrawn from the army's ORBAT), but retains the other three and its RHQ, and moves under the 170 (Infrastructure Support) Engineer Group, along with 65 Works Group. Reserve elements also make up the other Works Group in the force, which are all hybrid formations.
135 Geographic Squadron ceases to be independent and moves, sensibly, under 42 Engineer Regiment (Geographic).
33 Engineer Regiment (EOD) gains 350 Field Sqn, in addition to the already present 217 Sqn.
101 (City of London) Engineer Regiment (EOD) also has two reserve squadrons in its structure: 221 and 579.
12 (Air Support) Engineer Group becomes 12 (Force Support) Engineer Group and takes charge of both 39 and 71 regiments (Air Support oriented) and of 36 and 75 regiments (Land Support oriented). Included is 20 Works Group (Air Support).
The close-support regiments are grounded under a new group, 25 (Close Support) Group, while 29 Group becomes EOD & Search, and takes control of the EOD regiments (11 RLC included) and of the Military Working Dogs Regiment.
2 (101 and 105) out of five squadrons of the Military Working Dogs Regiment move to the Reserve.
170 (Infrastructure Support) Engineer Group retains the Works Groups and gains the Royal Monmouthshire Royal Engineers (Militia) regiment.
In the Royal Artillery it must be underlined that the batteries meant to support 16 Air Assault brigade and 3 Commando brigade are both lost: as 100 Regiment RA is moved into suspended animation, the 201 (Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire Yeomanry) Parachute Battery is lost, while 266 (Gloucestershire Volunteer Artillery) Battery Royal Artillery, which used to support 29 Commando Royal Artillery regiment, will now resubordinate to 104 Regiment RA (Reserve) and re-role into a mini-UAS bty.
Another decision that in my opinion does not seem adequate to the army's needs is the retention of 101 Regiment RA (Reserve) as the GMLRS formation. It made perfect sense when the regular GMLRS component was based close by, at Albemarle Barracks, with 39 Regiment RA. But now that 39 Regiment disbands and the regular rocket batteries move south to Salisbury Plain to join the Reaction Force artillery regiments (19 RA, 26 RA, 1 RHA), it makes little sense to plan to have four reserve GMLRS batteries around Newcastle, Blyth and Leeds.
In addition, 101 Regiment RA is meant to be paired with 3 Royal Horse Artillery, based at Abemarle Barracks. Geographically, it makes sense. Operationally, it is a bit hard to see what real benefit can come from pairing a GMLRS reserve formation to a regular Light Gun regiment!
106 Regiment RA, in the air defence role, will have three batteries. 265 (Home Counties) Battery will employ the lightweight, triple-launcher Starstreak missile launcher, while 295 (Hampshire Yeomanry) Battery [new battery to replace 210 (Staffordshire) Battery, which moves into 103 Regiment and re-roles to Light Gun] and 457 (Hampshire Yeomanry) Battery will employ the self-propelled, Stormer-mounted Starstreak variant.
This allows the regiment to mirror the structure of the regular vSHORAD regiment, 12 RA, which has 12 Bty armed with the Lightweight LML (12 Bty's main role is provide air defence for high readiness reaction forces, particularly from 16 Air Assault brigade) launcher and two batteries on Stormer.
Despite reports in 2009 / 2010 that the Stormer HVM would be retired, the system is still going strong and it is one of the most interesting bits of kit around. Following the modernisation, it has built-in training simulation features, a new Thermal Imaging sight and the capability to employ the LMM missile together with / in replacement of the normal Starstreak.
The multi-role LMM missile, if brought into Army service (for now it is only on order for the Royal Navy as an anti-FIAC weapon for the Wildcat helicopter), would make the Stormer HVM a powerful multi-role platform capable to strike ground targets at long range. The new Thermal Sight also makes it useful for reconnaissance and surveillance roles.
12 Regiment has two batteries of 12 vehicles each (in two troops of 6), and 106 Regiment should have the same structure, even if it'll normally work with just an handful of vehicles for training purposes.
Not directly related to the Reserves, but important, is the news that 7 Royal Horse Artillery, the artillery regiment supporting 16 Air Assault Brigade, is restructuring on just 3 batteries, down from 5.
Manpower levels and guns will be retained: this suggests that the HQ and TacGroup batteries will be merged, and the guns will be given to two larger batteries instead of three smaller ones. This reflects the reduction of the brigade to just two regular PARA battalions.
The Royal Armoured Corps is re-badging a regiment, transferring the RHQ of the Royal Mercian and Lancastrian Yeomanry to Edinburgh and renaming it to The Scottish and North Irish Yeomanry.
The "new" regiment will be paired to the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards.
The Queen's Own Yeomanry and The Royal Yeomanry are the other two light cavalry formations.
The Royal Wessex Yeomanry is confirmed as the Armoured Resilience Regiment. It is restructuring on HQ plus three Sabre squadrons, to reflect the new Type 56 structure used by the regular tank regiments. The Reserve formation is expected to provide Challenger 2 crews on 90 days and a formed Sqn on 180 days.
Philip Hammond is still replying to questions in the House of Commons regarding the White Paper for the armed forces reserves restructuring. The White Paper itself, along with supporting documents, is available on the MOD website.
Information on the "hundreds" of changes to units and sub-units within the newly renamed ARMY RESERVE is still very lacking to say the least (what a surprise), but the following changes are already official:
Changes to Army Reserve:
Royal Mercian and Lancastrian Yeomanry HQ moves to Edinburgh, takes command of yeomanry units in Scotland and Northern Ireland, becomes Scottish and North Irish Yeomanry.
Existing RMLY squadrons stay where they are, get re-subordinated to the english light cavalry regiments.
The following units will be withdrawn from the ORBAT, with their sub-units will either be withdrawn, re-roled or re-subordinated to another unit in the Army Reserve’s Order of Battle
100 Royal Artillery
72 Royal Engineer
73 Royal Engineer
38 Royal Signal
88 Postal and Courier
The following units re-role / change:
152 Transport regiment becomes, as expected, 152 Fuel Support Regiment
155 Transport regiment re-roled, re-badges and becomes the new 165 Port and Enabling Regiment
156 Transport regiment becomes 156 Supply Regiment
The REME get:
Intelligence Corps get two new battalions:
The above information is contained in the ministerial Written Statement.
There is still a lot of holes in the coverage of this huge reform programme: even the House of Commons is revolting against the lack of information, as the documents related to the brief and undetailed oral statement have not arrived or have been distributed only very late in the debate.
New or re-opened Reserve sites:
Site summary: New or re-opened Reserve Sites:
|Kinnegar Bks||Belfast||N Ireland||Army|
|Batley TAC||Bradford||Yorks & Humbs||Army|
|Redford Cav Bks||Edinburgh||Lowlands||Army|
|St George's Bks||N Luffenham||East Midlands||Army|
|Rochester Row TAC||Westminster||London||Army|
|Carver Bks||Wimbish||East Anglia||Army|
|RAF Woodvale||Formby||North West||RAF|
|RAF Cranwell||Sleaford||East Midlands||RAF|
Reserve sites to be vacated:
Site Summary: Surplus Sites
|Armagh TAC||Armagh||N Ireland||Army|
|Ashington TAC||Ashington||North East||Army|
|St John's Hill TAC||Battersea||London||Army|
|Berwick-upon-Tweed TAC||Berwick-upon-Tweed||North East||Army|
|Eden Armoury TAC||Bishop Auckland||North East||Army|
|Belleview Bks||Bradford||Yorks & Humbs||Army|
|Coltman House TAC||Burton-upon-Trent||West Midlands||Army|
|Myrtle St TAC||Crewe||North West||Army|
|Bothwell House TAC||Dunfermline||Highlands||Army|
|McDonald Rd TAC||Edinburgh||Lowlands||Army|
|Stanney Lane TAC||Ellesmere Port||North West||Army|
|Carmunnock Rd TAC||Glasgow||Lowlands||Army|
|Newport TAC||Isle of Wight||South East||Army|
|Keighley TAC||Keighley||Yorks & Humbs||Army|
|Kidderminster TAC||Kidderminster||West Midlands||Army|
|Townsend Ave TAC||Liverpool||North West||Army|
|Argyll Road TAC||Llandudno||Wales||Army|
|Ardwick Green TAC||Manchester||North West||Army|
|Stockton Road TAC||Middlesbrough||North East||Army|
|Northallerton TAC||Northallerton||Yorks & Humbs||Army|
|Redhill TAC||Redhill||South East||Army|
|London Rd TAC||Romford||London||Army|
|Seabrooke House TAC||Rugby||West Midlands||Army|
|New Broad Street TAC||Stratford upon Avon||West Midlands||Army|
|Swaffham TAC||Swaffham||East Anglia||Army|
|Walsall TAC||Walsall||West Midlands||Army|
|Washington TAC||Washington||North East||Army|
|Ubique Bks||Widnes||North West||Army|
|Duncombe Bks||York||Yorks & Humbs||Army|
|RMR HENLEY||Henley-on-Thames||South East||Navy|
|HMS SHERWOOD||Nottingham||East Midlands||Navy|
More updates to follow as information is released.
Among the changes and re-roling, there are impressive changes:
307 Battery, 100 Royal Artillery regiment will be absorbed by 4 (East of England) Company, 4th MERCIAN infantry battalion.
D Coy, 3 Princess's of Wales Royal Regiment will have an even more impressive change of heart, as it will make way for a new reserve Army Air Corps squadron, 679 Sqn, part of 6 Regiment AAC.
SABRE.co.uk has a series of useful infographics showing what the White Paper is about.
Thanks a million to Benjamin of Wight for finding and linking the document containing the whole restructuring plan.
This same document (possibly along with others?) is expected to become available tomorrow on