FAS - brigade structure????

Discussion in 'Infantry' started by whitecity, Jul 29, 2005.

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  1. It's my first post on ARRSE, so please don't mock too loudly my ignorance... :)

    Alot's been written about FIS & FAS - most of which is still unknown and undecided.
    But can anybody shed any light on what's going to happen at the (operational brigade)
    structural level?

    We've been told that Catterick is now home to 19 Light Brigade. Which I guess in
    time means that the warrior btn in Bourlon will rerole to light (KINGS move out, ??
    light btn move in???). Does that mean we lose a armd inf btn from the orbat?

    What's happening over at 7 Armoured Brigade? 2 RANG are said to be moving to
    Celle in 2007 as a LIGHT infantry component of 7 Armd Bde! (see here:
    http://www.army.mod.uk/poachers/battalion_update.htm) Does that mean our
    'armoured' brigades will now consist of 1 x tank regt, 1 x armd inf btn and 1 x light
    inf? Or, has somebody learned from Iraq rotations that the armoured brigades need a
    3rd inf btn (to make up the numbers!) This could be the case if an armd inf btn
    moves into Lumsden behind 2 RTR.

    We've been told that Munster/Osnabruck is to be home to 4 Mechanised Brigade.
    When (maybe 'if') it comes on line, it's assumed that FRES will be the main
    equipment of the inf btns. But will it be configured the same as 1 and 12 Mech: 1 x
    warrior and 2 x saxon (then FRES) or remain as a 2 inf btn brigade? KINGS (to be 2
    LANCS) are to move from Catterick to Osnabruck some time in the near future
    (2007?). Will they re-role first to saxon and then FRES, or stay with warrior then get
    FRES? Will SG rerole to saxon? (Remember 2 btns worth of the beloved saxon are
    being freed up in Catterick!!) Does this mean we lose ANOTHER 2 armd inf btns
    from the orbat? Does one stay as armd inf and a 3rd (unknown) btn added to the

    If all of the operational brigades are to have 3 inf battalions, the where (& who) are to
    be added to 20 Armd Bde and 4 Mech Bde (see above)?

    Is it correct that RDG, KRH and 2 RTR are each to convert 1 x CR2 sqn into CVR(T)
    sqn - in addition QRL going from 4 x CR2 to 3 x CVR(T) - or are they just
    downsizing from 4 to 3 sabre squadrons?

    I know it seems like alot of Qs for a first post, but many of them are rhetorical...

    I'm slowly putting together a picture of what's becoming of the army after FIS & FAS
    and these are (some of) the conundrums I am left with.

  2. I would've thought brigades would be made up pretty much like:

    Brigade Headquarters
    3x Infantry Battalions (3x rifle coys, 1x support coy, 1x HQ coy)
    1x Cavalry Regiment (4x sabre sqns, 1x HQ sqn)
    1x Artillery Regiment (4x gun btys, 1x HQ bty)
    1x Combat Engineer Regiment (4x sapper sqns, 1x HQ sqn)
    1x composite unit of support troops from Division, ie: fd eng sqn, med sqn, sig sqn, log sqn, admin & specialist sqn
    plus any other supporting forces from Division/other, as the situ demands (ie: an Apache flight, EW det perhaps)

    As for vehicles I know that it is Armoured or Light for the whole brigade, as in Armoured Brigade, the inf will have Warrior, cav will have Challenger 2 and the arty will have AS90. And Light Brigade, inf have 4 tonners, cav have Scimitars and arty have 105's. Although I can't say what will happen with these new "Medium weight forces" Hoon wanted in, and FRES.

    I know the Spams are going through a pretty big reorg of their brigades, to "units of action", whatever that means!

  3. Engr Regts in Germany will remain with 3 x Armd Sqns and 1 x HQ Sqn. The Lt Inf Bn will not be given a CS Engr sub-unit as a default setting unlike the Armd & Armd Inf BGs.
  4. Not quite Gook, Armd Bde and Mech Bdes have Fmn Recce Regts too. Lt Bde has a Fmn Recce Sqn.
    Armd Bdes have 2 Armd Inf Bns. There are no plans for light inf Bns in Armd Bdes.
  5. Gook,

    If only it were that simple.....


    This is my take based on the evidence so far.

    Although there is still alot of mud swilling around, some things have been announced load and clear. RAC are losing 7 CR2 squadrons; a reduction from 25 to 18. This means that the 2 regts in armd bdes (currently RSDG and QRH) keep 4 CR2 sqns each. The 3 regts in mech bdes (currently RDG, 2RTR and KRH) will reduce to just 3 CR2 sqns. The last CR2 sqn is A Sqn 1RTR - the 'opfor/demo' sqn. Some say that RDG, 2RTR and KRH are converting this 4 sqn from CR2 to CVR(T), some say it is just being done away with. Which is it? That's one of my questions. Since there are few, if any, redundancies expected to be forced upon RAC (unlike arty), it seems likely that this conversion is going ahead.

    The net result (eventually) for FR is thus:
    1 regiment to be based in Hohne (currently 9/12L) under cmd 1 (UK) Div - with 3 CVR(T) sqns.
    1 regiment to be based in Catterick (currently QRL) under cmd 19 Light Bde - with 3 CVR(T) sqns.
    1 regiment to be based in Bovington (currently QDG in Osnabruck) under cmd 1 Recce Bde (non-deployable) - with 3 CVR(T) sqns.
    1 regiment to be based in Swanton Morley (currently LD) under cmd 1 Recce Bde (non-deployable) - with 3 CVR(T) sqns.
    1 regiment to be based in Windsor (currently HCR) under cmd 1 Recce Bde (non-deployable) - with 4 CVR(T) sqns.

    Then, if the above assumption/rumour is accurate, there will be a further 3 CVR(T) sqn in 2RTR for 1 Mech Bde, RDG for 4 Mech Bde and KRH for 12 Mech Bde. This gives a grand total of 19 CVR(T) sqns - up from the current 13. Some say QDG, LD and HCR will each also come under (direct) cmd of 1, 4 and 12 mech bde respectively (except D Sqn HCR which is 'allocated' to 16 AA Bde). This has been rumoured in the context of mech bdes becoming 'recce' bdes until FRES comes along!!! However, this makes little or no sense. Who's going to be the recce for the rest of the army when the mech bdes already have their 'own' sqn within the CR2 regts - do they need 4 recce sqns each???? 19 Light Bde is still in the experimental stage, and the individual CVR(T) sqns of QRL will each be allocated to an inf btn as their 'armour' protection when deployed expeditionarily.

    It's also been announced that each of the operational (ie deployable) brigades will get their own loggie regt. In effect this means 1 & 4 GS and 2 & 3 CS Regts RLC are being butchered into producing 6 smaller regts - one each to 1, 4, 7, 12, 19 and 20 Bdes. 3 Cdo and 16 AA Bde already have a dedicated loggie regt.

    It seems the goal is to produce something like this in a 'war' fighting situation:

    Heavy Weight - 4 possible BGs
    7 and 20 Armd Bde each to be able to deploy 2 armd BGs.
    Each armd BG having 2 sqn CR2, 2 coy warrior, 1 bty AS-90, 1 armd eng sqn, sigs, loggies etc etc supporting. 7 and 20 rotate readiness state of the 4 BGs amongst themselves. 1 CVR(T) sqn (from the 3 at Hohne) to be 'ready' to support a BG deployment or a larger bde level deployment. Where the new light btns to be allocated to 7 and 20 Bdes fit into this scheme of things is not really known. However, experience learned - on more than one occasion - is that you need plenty of troops for rear area duties whilst the heavies are slogging it out up front!

    Medium Weight - 9 possible BGs
    1, 4 and 12 Mech Bdes each to be able to deploy 3 mech BGs.
    Each 'mech' BG having 1 sqn CR2, 1 coy warrior, 2 coy saxon/FRES, 1 bty AS-90, 1 armd eng sqn, sigs, loggie etc etc in support. The CVR(T) sqn (from the CR2 regt) to be 'ready' to support a bde level deployment or a BG level deployment if 'in turn' - see relationship between D Sqn HCR and 16 AA Bde as an example of this. This gives a total of 9 'mech' BG which rotate readiness.

    Light Weight
    3 Cdo Bde to be able to deploy 3 BGs: CVR(T) to be provided by a sqn drawn from 1 Recce Bde.
    16 AA Bde to be able to deploy 4 BGs: 1 para capable, 2 air assault and 1 aviation - D Sqn HCR to provide armd recce capability.
    19 Light Bde to be able to deploy 3 BGs: Each 'light' BG having 1 sqn CVR(T), 3 inf coys, 1 bty LG (or the new whizz bang), eng, sigs loggie etc etc in support.
    Any of the other 15 remaining light inf btns (when not on public duties or any other such distraction) can be deployed as a BG. Armd recce capability (and protection!) being drawn from 1 Recce Bde (ie LD, HCR or QDG).

    There seems to be a need for only 7 warrior battalions (2 each in 7 and 20 Armd Bdes, 1 each in 1, 4 and 12 Mech Bdes) - which is a reduction of 2 from the current level. However, it also seems likely that the current part-armoured btn (demo) at Battlesbury will be made into a full armd btn when, as expected, 3 YORKS (DWR) moves in. The actual 'demo' btn will rotate among the 3 warrior btns based around Salisbury Plain (Battlesbury, Mooltan and Lucknow/Candahar).

    This to me is the biggest let down in the FAS. Throughout the 90s, warrior btns rotated through Bos coz it was too risky for light inf - and that was supposedly a 'peace' operation, not warfighting. Saxon was sent to Gorazde because there wasn't any more warrior btns to go around - thank the stars that the 4th and 7th Corps VRS didn't target them in the same way that they are being targeted in Iraq!! The same is now going on in Iraq where effectively up to 2 btns of armd inf tps are needed, even though the full complement of warriors is not present! (Currently, there is just 1 btn PLUS 1 coy of armd inf) Is 8 btns of warrior sufficient? Can we assume that FRES will be able to do the same job?

    Also for Gook,

    It has also been announced that the AS-90 is being drawn down, 40 Regt RA coverting to LG then new whizzz bang, and all other regt will have more than 3 btys (some had 4!). In addition to the other draw downs in arty, RA can expect a 'redundancy programme' as was announced by General Jackson.

  6. Merkator,

    No warrior Bn in Gorazde as the Serbs and the Croats refused anymore Heavy Armour in theatre. The Serbs were very insistant that nothing more than Sp Weapons were allowed in the Safe Havens. I remeber being in Bosnia at the time with us moving Lt Gun around in ISO containers so that the locals didn't know we had them. I also remember the longest traffic jam in the world when the 432's that had been brought in for 19 Regt to use were held out side GV for 2 weeks by the Croats as they were not happy with the UN having any more armour.
  7. As far as I know 19 (Light) Brigade will only get a Combat Services Support Bn, based on the old 5th REME Bn. Whilst the Armoured and Mech Brigades get a new Log Regt each and keep their existing REME Bns.

    As for brigade sizes, the number of Inf Bns in deployable brigades is to go up from 19 to 23. So all those brigades will have at least 3 Inf Bns of some kind or another. Two will have 4, almost certainly 16 AA and 19 Light (whose web site already lists 4 http://www.army.mod.uk/19mechbde/index.htm )

    An interesting question is what happens to the other infantry brigades (2, 8, 39 and 52) and their 13 light role Bns. Will those Bns have the same establishment and equipment as the light roled Bns in 16 and 19?

    In the RA, the manpower from the 3 batteries losing their AS90 gun groups is meant to go to the UAV and MLRS regiments. Cutting firepower to 3 batteries in each brigade whilst they have 4 BGs to support looks like another risky decision made to save money.

    Replacing a CR2 squadron with CVR(T) in each Mech brigade, saying it is to prepare them for FRES, is another daft idea. FRES won't be around for a very long time, and there cannot be enough CVR(T) in the inventory to cover the requirement. Unless they buy back a lot of sold off kit, or use WFM to disguise the lack of vehicles.
  8. The current scheme of manouvre is in the future for 19 Lt bde to move either to Edinburgh or Lisburn. When 4 armd becomes 4 mech they will move into catterick...the idea is to move the HQ 19 so where will the BG move to?. 19 isnt a light bde in the true sense as we have the warrior (1 KINGS) as discussed .This isnt likely to change in the forseeable future. 1 BG airmobile currently the PWO in pinzgaur and the light roles being the newly formed DDLI. and RGJ (currently on spearhead Btn) integral log support fm 3 LSR and ES from 5 Bn REME.
    The Bde takes on NRF next year and we will just have to wait and see what else materialises from that but with one BG being warrior which i would presume would arrive in theatre by boat the whole bde i suggest isnt as rapidly deployable as a Bde such as 16 AA.
  9. Any news on signals units changing? more independant sqns or still regiments?
  10. Hmmmm! Interesting.
    Here's the quote from the CGS himself: "... provide a new logistic support regiment to each deployable brigade which will provide integral
    combat service support for medium scale operations".
    I assumed "each depolyable brigade" included 19 Light Bde. Maybe I'm wrong.

    Yes, one of the probable outcomes I've concluded. But everyone I've spoken to at 16AA is adament that they're only having 3 inf btns! So the conundrum remains on that one.

    Good question. Well presented. Now guess what the next part is.....

    Not so. Two btys from 22 AD Regt RA (now disbanded) have already been reroled into MLRS and UAV btys - 35 and 53 spring to mind. AS-90 are being dropped from the orbat, and redundancy notices are being compiled.

    No. Each armd bde is only 'expected' to form 2 BGs (not 4), so an arty regt of 3 btys should still do the trick.

    Downsizing the heavy forces is not a 'preparation' for FRES, it's to make them more deployable. Here's the theory behind the idea - and I personally don't subscribe to it. It is 'better' to insert a smaller, but credible, force as early as possible in a 'preventative' capacity than deploying a much larger force - much later - to sort out the mess! That's why the FAS is happening now and not waiting for FRES to come along - if it ever does!!!! It is planned (hoped would be a better word) that a 'medium weight' BG consisting of 1 CR2 sqn, 1 warrior coy and 2 saxon/FRES coys etc etc, will be able to be airlifted quickly to any troublespot (see the word 'think'?) and will thus scare off any possible threats and avoid the deployment of a full (square) armoured brigade (which they will almost never be able to reconstitute again!!!). Exchanging a sqn of CR2 for CVR(T) dovetails with this theory on 2 points: CVR(T) is lighter than CR2 and, it provides the medium (mech) bds with organic FR and thus more 'freedom' of choice. Moreover, with only 3 nominal BGs to constitute, the medium bds only 'require' 3 CR2 sqns. :)
    To answer your second point. The CVR(T) operational requirements (Scimitar and Sabre only) outlined in my previous post are as follows:
    19 x FR sqns each with 12 CVR(T) = 228
    8 x armd inf btns with 8 CVR(T) = 64
    6 x mech inf btns with 8 CVR(T) = 48
    Total requirement 228 + 64 + 48 = 340

    Alledgedly there are about 315 Scimitar and 136 Sabre in the inventory (total 450ish). So, if that's true, there's plenty to go around!


    Very interesting. Thanks!

    Although the question begs to be asked - why didn't 19 Bde remain as a mech (medium) bde and 4 bde just go straight to light and move to Edinburgh/Lisburn??? Not sure the latter will go down too well with the old foe!

    As I understood it, KINGS (2 LANCS) are planned for Osnabruck in a couple of years time - after they've completed another tour on Telic 8!!!


    True. But not the 'full' story. Although the HVO were a bit fearful of the ABiH 'stealing' some decent kit from the Brits and then turning it on them, the VRS was all hot air in that respect. In respect to Gorazde, HVO comments meant sweet FA. It was all a game of political bluff and double-bluff. VRS said it didn't want heavy equipment (big guns and IFVs) into safe-havens expecting one of the these results:
    1. HMG would back down, saying Warrior or nowt, and UNPROFOR would thus send a less capable btn in - the Bangladeshis maybe!!!
    2. Having had their ears bent, they would 'grudgingly' let the Warriors in and then hope the ABiH nicked them - thus giving them (the VRS) a perfect pretext to assault Gorazde!!! This was relayed to me privately by a senior VRS officer.
    Had HMG pressed the point, they would have got anything into Gorazde they wanted. Simple truth is, they didn't press, and out-bluffed the VRS by getting a Saxon btn in which suited everybody except the VRS - until it became time to bomb from above and Riley's boys had to make a dash for Serbia!

    Pheewwwww!!! Hope that covers it all.

  11. Merkator, re the FR regiments:
    Each Armd and Mech Bde will have an FR regt of 2 Sqns plus a C&S Sqn
    Each Light (incl. Cdo and AA) Bde will have an FR Sqn (The UK based FR Regts will provide one of the 3 Sqns they have to the Light Bdes.)

    1 Recce Bde is the OPCOM for all FR regiments at presdent, the Bde is deployable under ARRC.

    Re the CVR(T) numbers, there is no need to fully equip all units with CVR(T) as we are only planning to run 2 deployments at a time. There are plenty of CVR(T) to go round.
  12. Thanks Nige. That's really useful.

    However, I'm not 100% sure on precisely how this will play out. Can you fill in the blanks?

    After FAS, there will be the 5 FR regts: Hohne, Catterick, Swanton Morley, Windsor and Osnabruck/Bovington(?), and each have just 2 FR sqns. So there will be just 10 FR sqns in total (but also 5 shiney new C&S sqns to join the fray). Will the CR2 regts in the mech bdes covert a tank sqn to CVR(T) too giving a grand total of 13 - exactly the same as under SDR?

    Also, for the UK based regts, I'm really not sure how it will pan out if half the FR component of each regt is allocated to the parent brigade and half to one of the light brigades. Did I understand that part correctly. I read that the FR regt CO's a couple of years back all requested to be "organic to a formation, whether at brigade or divisional level in order to realise training and support requirements". Well, this implies that they will be organic, but partly to the parent unit and partly elsewhere. That really doesn't make alot of sense.

    many thanks
  13. The UK FR Regts have 3 Sabre Sqns, one is OPCON a light Bde. Basically the FR Regt administers the Sqn for the Light Bdes.
    That gives the 13 FR Sqns. This cleas the last paragraph too I tink.

    The CR2 Regts are converting one Sqn to Interim Armd Vehs (CVR(T) :) ) in prep for FRES. I think this Sqn is for the Light Bdes too - eventually.

  14. Aha!

    Sorry! Got thrown off track by your last post;
    Did you mean to write: Each Armd and Mech Bde will have an FR regt of 2 Sqns plus a C&S Sqn organic to to the parent brigade, but the Mech Bdes will have an additional 3rd sabre sqn which is opcom one of the light bdes - or something similar that came up with the same result? If you did, then all is klar!

  15. Yup, that's about it mate, sorry for lack of clarity ;)