Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Goodbye TA, welcome Army Reserve


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 It will maintain the squadrons 102 and 124 in the Air Support role, while losing 236 Sqn, withdrawn from the order of battle.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.

Original Article:

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
160 Transport
165 Port
166 Supply
168 Pioneer

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:

101 Bn
104 Bn
105 Bn
106 Bn

Intelligence Corps get two new battalions:

6 Bn
7 Bn

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:

Site Location RFCA Force

Kinnegar Bks Belfast N Ireland Army
Batley TAC Bradford Yorks & Humbs Army
Bristol Bristol Wessex Army
Redford Cav Bks Edinburgh Lowlands Army
St George's Bks N Luffenham East Midlands Army
LWC Warminster Wessex Army
Rochester Row TAC Westminster London Army
Carver Bks Wimbish East Anglia Army
Yeovil TAC Yeovil Wessex Army

Cardiff Cardiff Wales Navy
Edinburgh Edinburgh Lowlands Navy

RAF Woodvale Formby North West RAF
RAF Cranwell Sleaford East Midlands RAF

Total: 13

Reserve sites to be vacated:

Site Summary: Surplus Sites

Site Location RFCA Force

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
Caernarfon TAC Caernarfon Wales Army
Clapham TAC Clapham London Army
Myrtle St TAC Crewe North West Army
Bothwell House TAC Dunfermline Highlands Army
Dunoon TAC Dunoon 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
Keith TAC Keith Highlands Army
Kidderminster TAC Kidderminster West Midlands Army
Kirkcaldy TAC Kirkcaldy Highlands 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
Wick TAC Wick Highlands Army
Ubique Bks Widnes North West Army
Duncombe Bks York Yorks & Humbs Army

DORSET HOUSE Bristol Wessex Navy
RMR HENLEY Henley-on-Thames South East Navy
HMS SHERWOOD Nottingham East Midlands Navy

Total: 38

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. 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

DOCUMENT detailing the changes 

A wider selection of documents is available, with an useful graphic on roles and position of the Reserve elements in the Army structure, pairings included.  



    There you go Gabby

  2. Which Yeomary regiment is the MBT replacement

    1. The Royal Wessex Yeomanry, with HQ in Bovington.

  3. Gaby

    One of the documents I read had some interesting notes about the future roles of some Reserve units.

    For instance, I believe that two Royal Artillery batteries are to re-role to become GMLRS units, while one of the Southampton batteries will become a SP HVM unit (12 Regiment RA getting beefed up a little?)

    I just wondered whether you had formed any more conclusions about the future roles (as opposed to withdrawals, locations etc.) of units. The documents are short on that kind of detail, admittedly.

    I am particularly interested in the fact that one or two newspapers have mentioned that some Reserve troops will become cyber and Chemical, Biological warfare etc. experts. Any indication of the Reserves, for instance, getting the Fuchs CBRN job?

    1. For what i've seen, there's nothing in the documents suggesting that Reserves could return to man the Fuchs.

      On MLRS, it appears that all four Batteries of 101 Regiment will operate the system: the two batteries listed as converting to it have so far been working in Surveillance and Target Acquisition, supporting 5 RA. The other two batteries were already on MLRS, and seem set to stay as they are.

      75 Reserve Engineer Regiment is to become the new Wide Gap crossing authority, so it should mean operating the M3 rigs: it will have two squadrons plus an Amphibious Engineering Training Cell.

      104 RA will have mini UAVs (Desert Hawk III brought into core, then?).

      106 RA will have at least one Self Propelled Starstreak battery and one with the triple, portable lightweight launcher. I'm not sure if the third battery is self-propelled or not.
      106, in this way, will be able to fully support 12 RA, which has both lightweight and self-propelled batteries itself.
      Rapier instead seem set to exit from the Reserve's orbit.

  4. Not all Army units seem to be in that ORBAT. GBAD units are missing for a start.

    1. In which document? The infographic showing the pairings and positions of reserve units, you mean?

      That is possibly due to the fact that 16 RA, 12 RA and 106 RA sit in the Joint Ground Based Air Defence pool, which sits under Air Command. The JGBAD HQ is, in fact, at High Wycombe.

  5. Yes I thought so to. That document looks like it concentrates on pairings. Still should be able to finally put together the definitive battalion level ORBAT now encompassing the lot.

    1. Yeah, it is now possible to do a complete, official ORBAT. If i'll have time in the coming days, i'll probably correct my own and name the reserve units that i had left unidentified back then. Now we know their identity, finally. There have been a few changes to the early announced subordination of units to the various commands, but no real shock.

  6. Gaby

    Thanks ever so much for that reply. You have obviously done a lot of work on the plan already!

    Presumably we shall continue to have area defence provided by Rapier, manned by the Regulars, until CAMM comes in?

    Good news on the Wide Gap crossing capability and the fact that the M3 rigs seem to be returning. Is there to be any Regular component among those operating the rigs?

    Incidentally, and not particularly on the subject, did you see the publicity shots of a TA unit on exercise in Cyprus? They came shore from a landing craft that looked to me suspiciously like an Army Ramped Craft Logistic. It's still around then? Can they be saved?

    1. Yes, Rapier remains in 16 RA, manned by regulars. It just looks like a conscious decision was made not to have reserves involved with the system anymore. Perhaps a few posts, but there is no Reserve unit with Rapier anymore.

      I don't know if the regulars will have a unit of their own on M3 rigs. Probably no, considering the numbers of vehicles and other factors. In any case, 75 Regiment is paired with 36 Regiment, the regular Force Support (Land) engineer regiment.

      71 Regiment, at Leuchars, is paired with 39 Regiment, so it'll probably maintain its focus on Air Support.

      As for the Ramped Craft Logistic, yes, it is still around. At least one has been retired and put up for sale, and last i heard, each year one RCL would be retired. In a few years time it'll be wholly gone, unless they want to keep just a pair for Cyprus.

  7. Gaby

    Thanks very much for all that information.

  8. Are any of the reserve infantry units are mounted on Foxhound, Mastiff or other wheeled platforms?

    1. Sorry, i had replied but i see that my comment has apparently vanished into thin air for... unknown reasons. Here we go again:

      basically, no reserve battalion is officially mounted on Foxhound, less than ever Mastiff.
      The battalions which have some hopes of working with Foxhound are those paired with regular battalions in the Light Protected Mobility role. This means:

      5 RRF
      3 Royal Anglian
      4 Yorks
      3 Royal Welsh
      7 SCOTS
      2 Royal Irish

    2. That's no good. "Working with" doesn't mean they get the vehicle as part of their official TOE.

      So all the Army Reserve infantry are sort of light infantry in a way?

    3. All battalions are Light Role Infantry, yes, save for 4 PARA which is in the air assault business.

    4. So there's no replacements for the six active warrior armoured infantry battalions?

    5. Individual replacements from the reserve might still be moved around... But there is no specific reserve unit created to support the reaction force elements. The only exception is 4 PARA supporting the parachute regiment's regular battalions.

  9. According to the Orbat published on Wednesday, 3 RHA is paired as a Lt gun Regt with 105 Regt RA at Edinburgh-not 101 Regt RA which serves as backup to 1RHA, 19RA and 26RA.

    1. Actually, if you look very closely, 101 Regiment has a tiny "1" note. Reading it at the bottom of the page, it says that the regiment will be paired to 39 Royal Artillery until 31 March 2015 (good, GMLRS with GMLRS). When 39 is definitively gone, the note says that 101 will be paired with 3 RHA.

      Of course 101 is meant to support the three Reaction Force artillery regiments.
      But, and it is what i'm saying, it is going to be far, far away from them and paired to a Light Gun formation.

  10. Gabriele, your eyesight is better than mine! But the next column has 3RHA paired with 105RA as well. It either very odd or the person who compiled the table has made a mistake-which is no surprise considering the manner in which these documents were published.

    1. I don't think it is a mistake. It just looks like 3 RHA will have two paired reserve regiments.
      I think that geographical convenience has ruled the pairing between 101 and 3 RHA, even if in terms of equipment and role they couldn't be more diverse.

      The pairing with 105, of course, makes a lot more sense: there is role and kit compatibility, in addition to geography.

  11. Gaby

    " it makes little sense to plan to have four reserve GMLRS batteries around Newcastle, Blyth and Leeds."

    I know that this sounds far-fetched, very improbable indeed, but the GMLRS batteries have been increased considerably (two batteries in one Regular Regiment - total 18 launchers and then four batteries in the Reserves -don't know how many launchers per battery in the Reserves but could be as many as 24 launchers in total, even 36, so the grand total could be as large as 40, even 50 plus!) Could this possibly mean that they might be involved with other weaponry? I was thinking of weapons such as Exactor and Fire Shadow.

    A Janes' report some time ago stated that the three regular Artillery regiments supporting the Armoured Infantry Brigades would each have two (or three?) batteries on AS90 and one with precision guided weaponry and that Exactor would be in the Orbat if money could be found to bring it back from Afghanistan. The latter term ("precision weaponry") could include such weapons as those I have mentioned, couldn't it? If the Regular regiments are busy with extra weaponry, the Reserve units could provide back-up with extra GMLRS or it could work the other way around. Or does this all sound a bit barmy?

    1. With the disbandment of 39 Royal Artillery, the GMLRS is going into three regular batteries of 6 launchers each. One battery will be assigned to each of the Reaction Force artillery regiments, so one for 1 RHA, one for 19 RA and one for 26 RA.

      The same batteries would apparently use Exactor if it can be funded. Fire Shadow should fit in... somewhere, somehow.

      101 Regiment will provide reserve GMLRS capability. Even if it has four batteries, the number of launchers it has access to is going to be very limited, and i think only 36 launchers in total have been upgraded to B1 standard and are effectively useful/operative. There are also four M270 RRV recovery vehicle convertions: possibly one for each regular battery, with the fourth for the reserve regiment.

      The fact is that the regular GMLRS elements are on Salisbury plain, with little to no contact with their intended reserve "shoulder".

    2. The AS90 batteries should remain three per regiment, by the way.

    3. Daniele MandelliJuly 6, 2013 at 5:21 PM


      A massive thank you for the latest detailed updates. Getting my head round all this and tracking the changes is not going to be easy.

      Is it 6 x AS90 per battery do we know?

    4. Yes, that was the number given.
      1st Signal Squadron, about which i think we discussed time ago, is a goner: it will be withdrawn from the ORBAT.

    5. Daniele MandelliJuly 6, 2013 at 5:35 PM

      Yes, but its role is now in 299 I think.

      Any more idea of a location for 299?

      A read that they come under Bicester Garrison, I wonder if they moved from Water Eaton into regular army barracks elsewhere?

      Also 38 Signals, which we thought was safe, being the Strategic Comms regiment? Who takes that role?

    6. For 299 Squadron, apparently a wholly regular unit, i read Bletchley.

      As for 38 Regiment, 2 Squadron with its aerostats and capability stays where it is, in terms of basing, but is resubordinated to 32 Signal Regiment.
      Elements of 41 Squadron will now be part of 31 Squadron, 71 Signal Regiment.
      64 Squadron moves under 37 Signal Regiment. The capability more or less survive, but the RHQ, 41 Sqn, 1 sqn and 46 support squadron all are withdrawn from the ORBAT.

    7. Daniele MandelliJuly 6, 2013 at 6:24 PM

      Ok. Interesting on Bletchley, as that is the latest info I have too. I find it surprising that a regular unit is in a TA Centre!

      Also, I may be mistaken as have not rechecked, but I think I saw something in the latest docs on new sub units of the reserve moving in to Water Eaton, which could imply 299 moving or having moved out and the new elements taking the vacant space.

  12. Gaby

    Well, thanks for that very clear reply. All understood now.

    "The fact is that the regular GMLRS elements are on Salisbury plain, with little to no contact with their intended reserve "shoulder"."

    Yes, that does appear very bad. Seems utterly illogical, in fact.

  13. Daniele MandelliJuly 6, 2013 at 6:48 PM


    Further question.

    Is there any more news of the Base ISTAR kit and Talisman kit being retained or even given to the reserves?

    1. Unfortunately, no, for now there are no further indications about the future of that kit. Let's hope for the best, i guess...

  14. Having another look at the pairing arrangements and it seems has if the decisions have been taken with a view to keeping the existing numbers of yeomanry regiments and infantry battalions. The result is a couple of strange decisions.

    The creation of a Scottish and North Irish Yeomanry from squadrons of the Queens Own Yeomanry was expected and necessary to provide a pairing for the RSDG at Leuchars. This has been achieved at the expense of the Royal Mercian and Lancastrian Yeomanry. Surely I role could have been found for RMLY even if is meant raising the number of yeomanry regiments from three to four.

    With 15 regular infantry battalions required for the Adaptable Force brigades, and only 13 existing TA infantry battalions, there was potential gap. Two battalions remain unpaired-1 RGR at Shorncliffe and 1 Scots at Belfast. While it is no great surprise that 1 RGR is not paired, it seems very odd that 1 Scots has not been paired. This could have been done by creating a new infantry battalion [possibly even from the remains of RMLY although that would be strange mix of English and Scottish cultures]. According to comments in Scottish papers the move of 1 Scots from Edinburgh to Belfast is not popular. Would it not have been better to keep 2 Mercian in Belfast with RMLY as its pair and keep 1 Scots in Edinburgh either with a new battalion or with Balaclava Company as its reserve component? Just a few thoughts from a Scotsman living in Wales.

    1. Yes, there are unpaired infantry battalions. There were always going to be, especially with 4 PARA destined to the reaction force. And for what i heard, the comments on 1 Scots's move to Belfast were indeed not positive.

      These aren't even the only strange decisions that have been made, as the cases of 101 Royal Artillery, 131 Cdo Engineers and others do prove.

  15. How will the six Warrior Battalions Manage with no Army Reserve warrior or mounted units paired with them? Even the armoured calvary units have Yeomanry units.

    1. They will carry on as usual. There wasn't a Warrior-mounted reserve formation before, and there won't be one tomorrow. They'll have to make do.

  16. What's your view on having just three Mastiff battalions under Army 2020?

    1. It is the maximum that can be done with the vehicles and manpower available. But in the future i'd want more mechanised infantry battalions on 8x8 or 6x6 wheeled platforms.

    2. True, I'm disappointed there's no reserve Mastiff. I thought their premise was about such vehicles.

  17. Any word whether D Squadron, Household Cavalry will remain with 16th AA or be under the full Household Cavalry unit in 1st Armoured Brigade?

    1. Unfortunately, no. I heard nothing about that.

  18. In case you haven't seen it the army website has published the full lists for ORBAT spotters:


    1. Daniele MandelliJuly 10, 2013 at 3:20 PM

      I thought the 3 Yeomanry regiments in the Light Cavalry role were to be equipped with Jackal? Instead the doc says they will use RWMIK ?

      Do they seriously expect to send them to war in them?

    2. No Jackals, no. RWMIK only... and in small numbers too, according to what i heard on ARRSE. At least for now, it is not looking too hot.

      As for sending them to war in them, no. The idea is that, on deployment, they would at most form sub-units (Troops) within a regular Light Cavalry regiment, on Jackal vehicles.
      The idea seem to be that, much like in the infantry, the regular Light Cavalry regiments will only have two troops per Sabre squadron, with the third troop expected to come via reserves. In the infantry it is the same with Rifle Platoons (only two in each company, the third to come via reserves).

    3. Daniele MandelliJuly 10, 2013 at 3:33 PM

      Ok, understood.
      Yes, the hidden cuts you highlighted previously. Disgusting.

      I don't get why they cannot just equip them with their complement of Jackal to train and deploy with when they augment the regular Light Cavalry? I thought we bought several hundred Jackals in several batches?

      It appears to me Jackal is in use in UKSF, Pathfinder Platoon, RM Brigade Recc Force, and the future 3 light cavalry regiments. Have I missed any users out?

    4. I think the Jackals will be between 200 or more, but i'd have to check. Might be less.
      Plus you have to consider that some will be worn-out, others will have been destroyed on operations, and we don't know if the Army will use all Jackals or if the Jackal 1s are already considered obsolete and only the 2s are kept around.

      As for the users, i think you have the whole list.

  19. Just to confirm, will the Mastiff Battalion in 12th Armoured be rotated amongst the various Guards Division Regiments?

    1. Yes, there will be a rotation between Guards units.

    2. Is that workable? Means 12th Armoured will see a different unit every few years.

    3. It should be workable. What i don't really understand yet is how manpower will be managed to make it possible to bring up to strenght the battalion which moves into the Mastiff role. The planned establishment for the role is 709, but i think that the Guards battalion will have a standard establishment more akin to the Light Role battalions, which number less than 600.

  20. Gabriele

    Why is 3rd Bn Royal Welsh in 11 Brigade and not in 160th Welsh Brigade?

    Also, are the 6 Foxhound Battalions losing a platoon from each company like the Light Battalions?

    I dislike the mess they have made in 1 Division and feel we could have had 4th, 7th and 51st Brigades, all with great history, all having a balanced force each of 1 x recc, 1 x L Gun, 2 x Foxhound, 2 x Light Bn, 1 X REME, Logistic and Medical Regiments, plus the TA additions, giving a proper Light Division to go with our "Heavy" Division.

    I'd also like a Gurkha Battalion put with 16AA as it used to be with 5th Airborne as 2 Para Battalions is too few.

    1. I'm afraid the Foxhound battalions also miss one platoon in each company, yes. Their establishment is slightly larger (i'd say 20 men at most, on memory), but considering that they are supposed to be working with more vehicles, this is of course to be expected. Indeed, to have the companies at full strenght, the manpower figure would have to be much more consistent.

      As to your observations on the ORBAT, i do share them, as you know. I'm absolutely unconvinced by many aspects of this thing.

    2. Thank you.

      I'm also fascinated by this SIB "Regiment" as at the moment the SIB is split into numerous dispersed sections and does not form a "Regiment" in my understanding.

      Is this an attempt to make the army look bigger by calling dispersed units "Regiment" so it looks like we have more?! Looks ridiculous.

    3. I hope it is more about achieving efficiencies by bringing things together... but unfortunately your suspect is pretty valid too.

    4. I guess it at least may give them more "Identity" as the British Army loves its regimental traditions, so maybe it is not a bad thing.

      I think you may be correct with efficiencies as SIB is split into SIB UK and SIB Germany so with the withdrawal from Germany they can be combined.

      I also assume the " Special Ops" unit RMP is based on the exisiting RMP Close Protection unit at Longmoor.

    5. Yes, i think that is definitely the case.

      The only real growth in the police sector is the number of provost staff, which is increasing by 89 or so posts. The rest is, you guess it, reducing or at most keeping levels roughly on par.


    General Peter Wall explains the numbers of personnel in each type of unit

    1. Yeah, i know. He doesn't reveal much in terms of real detail. The strenght of the infantry and cavalry units was revealed quite some time ago already, and i've reported the numbers in multiple articles:

      729 armoured infantry battalion
      709 mechanised infantry battalion
      561 Light Role Infantry
      581 Foxhound-mounted infantry
      567 Gurkha
      660 PARA
      587 Challenger 2 tank regiment
      528 FRES SV reconnaissance regiment
      404 Jackal-mounted light cavalry regiment

      The only new figures in that text are the two very rough indications of 600 men in the Reaction force engineer regiments vs 500 for the Adaptable ones, and the artillery (600 and 400).

      Wall fails, once more, to tell in his evidence about the missing platoons and troops in the regular formations assigned to the Adaptable force.
      One is left to hope that they told the Committee in private, but the suspect is that the defence committee has, quite simply, not been told about that factor.

    2. I can't seem to find the parliamentary source for that list of figures. If you have could you post it?

      The committee questions was just yesterday

    3. There you go, Written Answer by minister Nick Harvey, 03 september 2012:

      Regarding 5 SCOTS turning into a ceremonial company, it has been very recently revealed that it will be Balaklava Company, with an establishment of 103.

    4. Yeah...

      What about the feasibility of having 1 RIFLES to work with 16th AA? I fail to see the need for 160th Brigade except that of course Wales needs to have some "Army Footprint". 1 RIFLES after all used to work with 3 CDO. 160th is the dubious Adaptable Force Brigade--what does it do?

    5. 160th brigade is a container for (very few) units that it will (eventually) make available to contribute to the formation of more realistic brigades to deploy abroad.
      Otherwise, the HQ "works as point of contact for the region" and commands and controls activities in Wales, including, (let's hope no) disaster relief such as interventions during floods.

    6. I suppose the size of 160th is smaller than the other six adaptable force brigades? I wouldn't see the efficiency of having a brigadier there.

    7. Sennybridge training area and the HQ Infantry Battle School / Infantry Training Centre at Brecon would in my mind mean so many troops will pass through there in training a Brigadier would be in the area.

      I agree though as a Brigade it is pretty pitiful.

  22. Gabriele

    Where in the revamp of the TA do the "FANY" PRVC sit?

    They are not in your graphic, and even though are not "officially" part of the army were attached to 2 Signals Brigade and do undertake some interesting military training.

    1. I don't think there was any information in the documents, so at the moment i really wouldn't know.

    2. Can I send you a link by private email please?

    3. Sure, you can mail me at

    4. Cheers. Sent.

  23. Gaby

    “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.”

    Your speculation some time ago about possible new roles for Stormer looks as if it might possibly have some basis in fact. If you look on the Arrse website under the “Just TA" section of the Forum, there is a thread entitled: “New roles in the Army Reserve”. The second comment down contains some interesting points and mention of rumours (unconfirmed!)

    The correspondent mentions how an LML (if they get that missile) Bty may become Air Assault and also how if the Army does bring in LMM, then the SP role could change from an AD (Anti-Aircraft) to an Anti-Aircraft/Anti-Tank/Anti-Structure. Also mention of a recce role.

    Only rumours but very much along the lines of what you have been saying for some time. Would be good if it were true!

    1. A Mini artillery system manned by reservists?

    2. A very flexible fire support system used by both regulars and reservists, if it went ahead...!

  24. With 1 WELSH Guards as a Foxhound battalion, does it mean it won't rotate with 1 SCOTS Guards as the Mastiff regiment?

    1. All guards battalion will rotate into the various roles, i think possibly every three years or so once the mechanism is fully operational.


    3RHA CO confirming it will be a light gun regiment part of the adaptable force, apparently all batteries will remain

  26. In light of therecent deaths of two ta soldiers on a training exercise for the sas reserve. How important are these 2 reserve battalions to british special forces operations? And would you have any indication how many ex parachute reg make up sas numbers

    Many thanks, Sellers

    1. I believe the reserve special forces battalions are quite involved in operations abroad. However, despite this, there are insistent rumors that the reserve SAS battalions could be moved into the standard infantry or merged into one as part of additional "restructurings" (read cuts).

      As for the number of ex-paras in the SAS, i have no idea. The commonly heard thing is that Marines and PARA are the main suppliers of manpower to the Special Forces, but i have no idea of the exact numbers and don't even know if the government would ever want to disclose that data!

    2. We should maintain OPSEC over Special Forces talk.

    3. Oh, i'm not breaking any OPSEC here. The cuts / merge proposals for the special forces have been in the press for a long while now. The damage (if any has effectively been caused) is already done, and certainly not because of me.

    4. Agree. That 21 & 23 are often on ops abroad is not revealing any secrets at all! And any book will tell you traditionally the Parachute Regiment and especially Pathfinder Platoon provide men to take the next step.

      It is interesting that the move of 21 & 23 into something akin to the HAC and not part of DSF has not been announced, so maybe it will not happen.

      I do not think it will myself.

      The press reports may have been speculative scaremongering, or a deliberate leak to the Telegraph.The SFSG was slated for reduction, not removal, and so was the SRR, so I think both will continue. Quite rightly too as they are needed.

    5. In fact, it was later reported that most cuts "proposals" to the regular SF elements had been turned down (SBS to retail all squadron, Marines company in SFSG to stay, SRR to stay). Apparently there is still some fight going on in the reserve SF elements.

      I wonder if it is because the Army wants to claw back two reserve infantry battalions to pair them with 1 SCOTS and with at least the british based Gurkha battalion, since both of these are currently unpaired but nonetheless destined to lose 3 platoons each...

    6. Daniele MandelliJuly 18, 2013 at 4:05 PM

      I would leave 21 & 23 as they are, the guys in them did not go through hell to be paired with anybody as part of the regular TA infantry!

      All UKSF should be left alone, and money made available to improve their enablers, such as more helicopters, V22 Osprey, retained C130J's.

      Some chance.

  27. I'm confused--is 2 YORKS disbanding or not? Or did they relent and keep in along with 1 and 4?

    OPSEC is OPSEC. Ex soldier here.

    1. 2 Yorks is disbanding as it is "absorbed" by the rest of the regiment. But it is the colors of the 3rd battalion that get laid up.

    2. Documents in the wild after 3rd July! Read documents... From Documents : "EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE UNTIL 1230HRS 3 JULY 2013" so no OPSEC.

  28. RIP RE Plant Operator Mechanics (POM's) in the East Midlands in the infamous 2020 white paper. Another SDR. Stuffed, Dumped or Re-roled. :(

  29. Can any one tell me where in Scotland 155 Recover Company will be located.

    1. Glasgow, according to the MOD documents released so far.

  30. Any idea where in Glasgow, large recovery vehicles, trailers etc.

  31. Thanks, if you get to hear please post here.


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