With the 1st and 2nd Royal Tank Regiments due to formally merge with a parade on August 2, the program to refurbish the Fuchs CBRN Area Reconnaissance vehicles is picking up momentum. The vehicles will be assigned to Falcon Sqn, The Royal Tank Regiment, which will stand up specifically for the CBRN Area Reconnaissance role. Falcon Sqn will start to assembly in Warminster and eventually take over Harlem lines barracks from what used to be A Sqn, Armoured Demonstration Squadron, 1st Royal Tank Regiment. The rest of the regiment will be based in Tidworth as a Type 56 tank formation comprising the armoured squadrons AJAX, BADGER and CYCLOPS, each with 18 Challenger 2 tanks, plus DREADNAUGHT as Command and Reconnaissance Squadron, and EGYPT as HQ Squadron.
Falcon squadron might also claw back the Multi-Purpose Decontamination System (MPDS) vehicles from the 20 Wing Defence CBRN, RAF Regiment, in a real U-turn away from the 2011 plan to disband the Joint CBRN regiment, withdraw the Fuchs from service and maintain a lighter CBRN capability in the RAF Regiment only.
A contract notice has been put up for the refurbishment and re-commissioning of the Fuchs training simulator. The contract also includes a Train-the-Trainer service and a 5-years support package.
Earlier contracts have been let out to purchase systems for the refurbishment of the 11 Fuchs themselves. A contract covering their reactivation, almost certainly going to be awarded to Rheinmetall, will follow.
Meanwhile, Army 2020 restructuring continues. Today, 1st and 12th Mechanized Brigades have formally changed their titles in Armoured Infantry Brigades as they work towards taking the shape mandated by Army 2020.
The King's Royal Hussars is the first tank regiment to assume the new Type 56 structure, and is preparing for taking up the tank battlegroup role within the Lead Armoured Battlegroup, with its turn at readiness beginning in October.
The 1st Royal Irish is instead undergoing a 9 months training and reset program to become the first fully operational Light Protected Mobility Infantry battalion.
Change in the Royal Engineers continues, as well. 25 Close Support Group, the sub-command inside 8th Engineer Brigade that will control the close support engineer regiments, will stand up on the 1st of August.
The 29 EOD & Search Group is also undergoing internal restructuring. After the stand-up of 821 EOD Sqn, which provides 2 Commando and 2 PARA EOD troops, 350 RE Sqn (Reserve), re-roled to EOD, came under the command of 33 Engineer Regiment (EOD).
33 Engineer Regiment (EOD) is particularly aligned with the Reaction Force, with 101 aligned primarily with the Adaptable Force. The responsibility for the provision of Search support to UK Military Aid to Civil Powers (MACP) has transferred to 11 EOD Regt RLC alongside the establishment of a total of 135 RE posts.
The EOD Group restructured to comply with Army 2020 plans has an IOC target set for April 2015, with FOC in 2019 with the structure shown in the table below.
|Colored names denote Reserve unit.|
170 Infrastructure Support is also restructuring:
|170 Group before Army 2020: the grey units have been disbanded. Yellow is for Reserve|
|The current structure.|
|The final Army 2020 structure towards which the Group is working. In blue the heavy, specialized teams which are due to be grouped together under 66 Works Group.|
75 Engineer Regiment (Reserve), the unit which is taking up the Wide Wet Gap Crossing capability from the disbanding 28 Regt, will re-subordinate to 12 (Force Support) Group on August 1st.
The diagram in full resolution showing the final Army 2020 Royal Engineers structure is available in my Army 2020 Pintrest gallery.