Thursday, May 21, 2015

Royal Army Medical Corps in Army 2020

A FOI answered this month allows us to take a look into the Army 2020 structure planned for the Royal Army Medical Corps.

As already happened with the RLC list, there are some discrepancies. At least one squadron seems to be missing from the list: for all i know, in fact, 3 Medical Regiment also includes 251 Sqn (Reserve) in its structure. In the FOI document, 251 does not appear, for whatever reason.

The regular / hybrid medical regiments are as follows:

2 Medical Regiment  (Hybrid) – move from Hohne to North Luffenham in July 2015
2 Medical Regiment is part of the 1UK (United Kingdom) Division’s Adaptable Force Medical Group

29 Medical Squadron
22 Support Squadron
222 Medical Squadron (R)
250 Medical Squadron (R)

3 Medical Regiment  (Hybrid) 
3 Medical Regiment is part of the 1UK (United Kingdom) Division’s Adaptable Force Medical Group


64 Medical Squadron (R)
251 Medical Squadron (R) - does not appear in the FOI list, but probably just a mistake
12 Medical Squadron
18 Medical Squadron

4 Armoured Medical Regiment
July 2013 re-organization with Bulldog, support 12 Armoured Infantry Brigade  

11 Medical Squadron
4 Medical Squadron
36 Medical Squadron
13 Medical Squadron

5 Armoured Medical Regiment.
1 September 2014 the Regiment was reorganized as Army 2020 armored medical unit for 1st Armoured Infantry Bridade.

35 Medical Squadron
39 Medical Squadron
7 Medical Squadron
24 Medical Squadron

1 Armoured Medical Regiment
1 April 2014, assigned to 20 Armoured Infantry Brigade

30 Medical Squadron
31 Medical Squadron
28 Medical Squadron
14 Medical Squadron

16 Medical Regiment
19 Air Manoeuvre Medical Squadron
23 Air Manoeuvre Medical Squadron
127 Medical Squadron - mentioned in the FOI, but not sure about this. 127 used to be the forebear of the current 23 squadron.
81 Air Assault Medical Support Squadron 
144 Parachute Medical Squadron (Reserve)  

Reserve medical regiments: 

225 (Scottish) Medical Regiment (Reserve)
RHQ and 174 Support Squadron (Dundee)
152 Evacuation Squadron - Glenrothes.
153 Medical Squadron and - Dundee
154 Medical Squadron – Stirling

253 (North Irish) Medical Regiment
Regimental Headquarters and 110 Support Squadron -Belfast
107 Medical Squadron - Belfast
109 Squadron - Belfast
108 Medical Squadron - Limivady and Enniskillen

254 (East of England) Medical Regiment
Regimental Headquarters and 163 Support Squadron (Cambridge)
161 Squadron (Colchester)
162 Squadron (Hitchin)
220 Squadron (Ditton) - Not listed in the FOI, but appears elsewhere included in document about Reserves 2020 reorganisation. FOI answer incomplete...?

On Field Hospitals, there again is an element of confusion as the 2013 "Summary of Army 2020 Reserve Structure and Basing Changes" identifies the squadrons with letters, and several Field Hospitals have more than three squadrons as the FOI suggests. Specifically:

204 has A, B, C and D squadrons.
205 has A, D, E, G and I squadrons.
207 has A, B, C and G squadrons. (but with B and G merging by December 2014) 
243 and 256 Field Hospitals also have each a fourth squadron.

I'm not sure how the difference is explained. The FOI seems to identify the squadrons by role, and it is possible that two recruitment squadrons in two different locations form part of the same role-squadron. But it is just a guess.

Moreover, the FOI unfortunately does not identify the squadrons in the other regiments by role (Evacuation Sqn, Area Medical Sqn, etcetera).

As a result of these discrepancies, the RAMC's structure in Army 2020 remains somewhat mysterious.


  1. The three regular Field Hospitals aren't mentioned

  2. They do appear in the FOI document. They are 22, 33 and 34 Field Hospital.

  3. The three regular Field Hospitals are mentioned in the FOI answer. Each is allocated two squadrons-one described as 'Clinical Squadron' and the other as 'Support Squadron,. Described as 'part of Force Troops Command but expected to provide support to the Reaction Force'

  4. I wouldn't get too hung up on Field Hospital Squadrons in the reserves. The lettered squadrons are nothing more than geographical administrative niceties. When deployed they tend to be organised into a clinical squadron and a support squadron like the regulars. In reality they'll operate on a hospital basis - ie an reception, Emergency Dept, a Lab, an Imaging Section, hospital control cell, operating theatre, ITU beds, 2x or more wards, pharmacy and primary health - sometimes with dentist and mental health sections added on. On HERRICK they were subsumed into a JF Med Gp which had an A forward support squadron, a B support squadron and a Hospital Squadron which fell in on the R2(E) at BSN. Often the Hospital Squadron was generated from a reserve Field Hospital.

    Medical Units especially tend to operate quite differently from their administrative peacetime organisation.

    1. I suspected the difference in squadron listing might be due to that. However, it would be nice if they were able to provide a list at least of the administrative entities, to at least keep track of what is still there and what is not. Since cuts in the silence have been frequent in recent years.

      Puzzled by the absence in the FOIA of 220 and 251 squadrons, as well... but both should be there. 251 was most definitely active in 3 Medical Regiment exercises in January, that i know for sure.
      Do you have any ideas about 127 Squadron, 16 Regiment...? Can't find any real mention of it anywhere else. It seems 127 later became 23 Para Ambulance, and then the current 23 Squadron. Either it is a mistake, or perhaps a squadron for the Special Forces medics...? I know 16 Regiment used (uses?) to provide medical elements for the special forces; might that be the answer?

    2. The Field Hospitals in the reserve are still I believe scaled to generate 25x beds and have been for about 10 years or more.

      Not sure about 127 squadron, don't remember it when I served with 16, just 19, 23 and 81 MSS. You're probably not far off in your hunch.

  5. Gaby

    Thanks for all that information.

    I am interested in equipment as well as formations/units. For instance, only one of the Armoured Medical Regiments is listed as being re-organized with Bulldog. What will the others be using? Still with the old FV432s?

    Moreover, I have seen a document which states that Ridgback will provide the ambulances in company and regimental aid posts in the Heavy Protected Mobility Battalions. Would not have thought it was ideal myself.

    Also, is there any news at all yet on the Future Battlelfield ambulance? I suppose we shall have to wait for SDSR 2015 to hear news of that?

    Many thanks for all the help you can give.

    1. The armoured medical regiments should all be on Bulldog. In the future, since a tracked armoured ambulance is not on the way, the hope is probably to re-equip with an 8x8 wheeled ambulance from FRES UV, if that ever delivers. As for HPM battalions, it is likely. There is also a Mastiff ambulance variant, so it'll be a mix of the two. Since Mastiff is almost certainly more roomy, Ridgback might be more for the evacuation part, with Mastiff more on the treatment side. As for the new battlefield ambulance, it is a programme the army tried to launch, among some others... but SDSR, budget and all that will determine which survives and which dies. Maybe DSEI in september will provide news.

  6. Gaby

    Many thanks for that information. Yes, you understood what I meant about Ridgback and maybe it is more of an evacuation rather than treatment vehicle.

  7. 127 sqn at 16 med regt is the replacement for med troop (msw), part of uksf med group. Some head shed decided they wanted to change the name.


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