Future structure and establishment

Discussion in 'Strategic Defence & Spending Review (SDSR)' started by whitecity, Aug 6, 2011.

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  1. Lots of posts and threads on ARRSE dealing with bits of this issue, but nothing I can see looking at the broad context.

    Current Army establishment is 102,000. This is to reduce to 95,000 by 2015 according to SDSR2010 as announced last year. More recently, it was announced last month (stemming from the FR20 study) that this number will fall to 82,000 by 2020.

    Structure-wise, the Army will retain 16 AA and 5 x multi-role brigades (MRB). This is effectively a reduction of 1 deployable brigade (19 Light Bde) from current status.

    In simplistic terms, the loss of 19 Light Bde produces a draw-down of about 5,000 troops. But the numbers now indicate a draw-down of 20,000. Where the hell are they going to come from?

    In the RAC section, one thread suggests the RAC are going to get off fairly lightly. The assumption being they will maintain both a tank regt AND a recce regt in each MRB. Undoubtably, the RA/RHA will be maintaining an arty regt in each MRB too and probably fighting the RAC for command of that (kharki) recce regt. No MRB will last 5 mins without CSS. The experience of the last few years has demonstrated that the current LSR is about the minimum size possible to support anything greater than light in numbers and light in weight and within arms reach of the PoE. Any weight in the MRB and you need a full REME btn too.

    Where are these other 15,000 troops cut coming from?

    The loss of 3 regional div HQs, the downgrading of 1 deployable division and the remanning of the 10 regional brigades will undobtably free up some breathing space.

    Sigs, it seems, could be hit hard as their support for ARRC is known to be reducing.

    The non-brigaded RA units (12, 16, 5, 32, 47 & 39) look ripe, but shhhuuurrrlllleeeeeyyyyyy these capabilities have to remain somewhere. The ISTAR stuff must surely be competing with RAC to take the lead on the MRB recce element.

    What about the div level logs in 101 and 102 Log Bde. Also looking ripe for the cull, but thus leaving the army unable to deploy much beyond the perimeter of the Port of Entry. Also ripe are the theatre level units in 104 Log Bde. I'm sure we can do without a P&M capability. Francise it out to RFA perhaps!

    I don't think we can remove the RE regt from the MRB if we have an intention of doing post conflict work. The non brigaded regiments are looking vulnerable. Especially the two regiments allocated to RAF air support if the RAF has no aircraft to play with and the RN are providing the aviation base. :wink: But still....

    Still having trouble finding where the addition 15,000 cuts are coming unless we look at the infantry with a very hard glare and a very sharp knife. 36 battalion you say to feed boots for just 6 brigades!!!!!

    We currently have 3 battalions in each brigade except 16X and 19X which have 4. Also one in 3X. That's 24. The other 12 are divvied up between London (3), Cyprus (2), Brunei (1), LWC (1) and non-brigaded other (5). I can see the grim reaper with a twinkle in his eye for about 10 battalions there. But still, that's only 7,000 tps! And what a bunfight that will generate as the wegiments go into overdrive publically to save their belts, buckles and funny hats from extinction.

    And then there's the other option. Sounds daft at first, but when you consider the might of the wegiment effect, you see it has mileage. The RAC are believed to losing one of their sabre squadrons in each of the 5 CR2 regiments. Keep the number of regiments, but reduce the combat power by 25%. Aha! I can see it now, not only will the infantry lose battalions by finite numbers, but I can also see each remaining battalion losing a rifle company to suspended animation to be filled by our illustious part-time volunteers in time of need.


    Discuss.
     
  2. Rumour has it that every unfilled PID in the Army is being culled. That effectively gets rid of 20000 "Shadow" troops. Who will eventually rejoin under a proposed Stab "Ghost Bde". Just a rumour...
     
  3. And feel free to remove every bit of "double counting" with Royal - we pay for them, not you!
     
  4. The army being fundamently smaller, it requires a fundamentally smaller staff to support the operational forces. That is unequivocally true. But whether a small number of large 'large-corps', or a greater number of small 'small-corps' staffs is appropriate is open to question. At some level, an armoured section/department needs to exist discrete from infantry, artillery, engineer, aviation and so on. Perhaps RA and RAC could combine as a combat support corps given that half their current tasks are no longer core. But...
     
  5. One possible solution is to emulate the Canadians and form a communications and electronics branch (similar to the RAF equivalent). Merge REME techs with their R Signals counterparts. Of course, it would mean that the REME would be even smaller and potentially up for absorptioninto the RLC. Also, both the RE and R Signals maintain an electrician trade - again, this is ripe for a merger.
     
  6. msr

    msr LE

    Or return to the fold, depending on the length of your historical perspective :)

    msr
     
    • Like Like x 1
  7. REME is RLC bound and has been for years. They reckon the REME are going to pick up all the L1 (MT type stuff) tasks to further justify its existence wherever they are posted.
    There was talk of REME being "pooled", under a Whole Fleet Management scheme; so when you book the vehicle you also book the VM/tech nosh/gun polisher etc....
    Oh and I reckon the 9 month tour is a goer too.........
     
  8. Interesting...

    Plenty of opinion or thought going into corps level amalgamations and eliminations, which is normal in the British military. Keep nitpicking over the problem of a mouse in field opposite to avoid discussion of the elephant(s) crowding the room.

    So, we get rid of three or four capbadges to save 3 or 400 hundred non-pointy staff appointments and cause irrevocable turbulance in morale. Bravo! You can save most of those by simple downgrading all of the staff appointments to a lower rank and still keep all the various badges. Does DRAC need to be 1-star, for example?

    Where are the other 19,600 redundancies coming from?
     
  9. Yeah, but as a little guy in the main scheme of things what can you do?
    Form a trade union?
    Take part in a coup?
    Blow up BAE?
     
  10. A number of these points are covered here: http://download.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/sdsr/factsheet7-british-army.pdf

    although they do raise a range of further questions!


    Re-structuring and re-equipping to be relevant for the 21st CenturyFact Sheet 7: Future Force 2020 –British ArmyBy 2020, the Army will be structured to provide:
    •a contribution to our standing commitments including defending the South Atlantic Overseas Territories and UK tasks such as bomb disposal;
    •light, specialist forces for short-duration interventions;
    •sufficient multi-role forces to provide flexibility for larger or more complex intervention operations or to undertake enduring stabilisation operations; and
    •the ability to command UK and coalition forces at up to theatre level.
    Multi-role forces for complex interventions and enduring stabilisations
    We will restructure the Army around five multi-role brigades, keeping one brigade at high readiness available for an intervention operation and four in support to provide the ability to sustain an enduring stabilisation operation.Key to the utility of these multi-role brigades is their “building-block” structure, allowing greater choice in the size and composition of the force that might be deployed, without having to draw on other elements from the rest of the Army as has been the case in recent times. With suitable warning time, the brigades could be combined to generate a larger formation.The multi-role brigades will include:
    •reconnaissance forces to gain information even in high-threat situations;
    •tanks, which continue to provide a unique combination of protection, mobility and firepower; and
    •infantry operating from a range of protected vehicles. The brigades will be self-supporting, having their own artillery, engineer, communications, intelligence, logistics and medical support. Territorial Army personnel will be fully integrated into the new structures, in both specialist roles and reinforcing combat units.
    Specialist Brigade
    In addition to the multi-role brigades, 16 Air Assault Brigade is a high-readiness, short-duration intervention capability, organised and trained for parachute and air assault operations, with its own supporting units. This Brigade, along with 3 Commando Brigade, is trained and equipped to be one of the first ground forces to intervene in a new conflict.

    The Army will have a range of other capabilities:
    •we will retain the ability to command operations at very senior level through the UK-led Allied Rapid Reaction Corps (ARRC) headquarters (part of NATO). We will also retain the capacity to deliver one UK, fully deployable, senior level (divisional) headquarters, and the ability to regenerate a second deployable divisional headquarters;
    •a range of intelligence, surveillance, target-acquisition and reconnaissance (ISTAR) capabilities including: unmanned aerial vehicles; man-portable and vehicle-fitted electronic warfare equipment; deployable surveillance to protect forward operating bases and a force protection system to protect against indirect fire such as artillery and mortars;
    •precision Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS) rockets that can strike targets up to 70 km away and Loitering Munitions able to circle over a battlefield for many hours ready for fleeting or opportunity targets;
    The Apache helicopter
    In order to meet the Future Force 2020 structure, the Army will:
    •reduce by around 7,000 to c.95,000 personnel by 2015, but with no changes to combat units involved in Afghanistan;
    •reduce our holdings of Challenger 2 tanks by 40% and our heavy artillery by 35%;
    •reduce by one the number of deployable brigades, as we restructure to five multi-role brigades;
    •significantly reduce our non-deployable regional administrative structure;
    •rationalise our deployable headquarters by reducing the communications and logistics support to Headquarters ARRC and convert the second of our operational divisional headquarters to a force preparation role.
    Helicopters will continue play an important role:
    •we are buying an additional 12 Chinook support helicopters to give a total of 60. This will increase battlefield mobility, using Chinook heavy lift and Merlin and Puma medium lift helicopters to move personnel and equipment over long distances.
    •armour -holdings of heavy armoured vehicles will be reduced but still sufficient to conduct operations in high-threat situations. A new range of medium weight armoured vehicles will be purchased, including the Terrier engineer vehicle and Future Rapid Effects System reconnaissance and utility vehicles;
    •protected support vehicles to move logistic supplies around the battlefield will replace unprotected versions.

    Helicopters will continue play an important role:
    •we are buying an additional 12 Chinook support helicopters to give a total of 60. This will increase battlefield mobility, using Chinook heavy lift and Merlin and Puma medium lift helicopters to move personnel and equipment over long distances.
    •we will also field 67 Apache attack helicopters able to provide precision firepower and ISTAR in support of ground forces, and Wildcat helicopters for reconnaissance, command and control, and escort duties.
    •the future helicopter force will be more effective; we are retiring older, less adaptable aircraft such as the SeaKing and Gazelle and reducing the number of fleets to increase efficiency.It will have even greater lift capacity than today, and will be based on more capable, modern helicopters better able to support ground forces.

    In order to meet the Future Force 2020 structure, the Army will:
    •reduce by around 7,000 to c.95,000 personnel by 2015, but with no changes to combat units involved in Afghanistan;
    •reduce our holdings of Challenger 2 tanks by 40% and our heavy artillery by 35%;
    •reduce by one the number of deployable brigades, as we restructure to five multi-role brigades;
    •significantly reduce our non-deployable regional administrative structure;
    •rationalise our deployable headquarters by reducing the communications and logistics support to Headquarters ARRC and convert the second of our operational divisional headquarters to a force preparation role.
     
  11. WC, (how appropriate!) what I have posted is the broad context of the plan. I accept that the detail is missing and indeed that your questions are amongst those that will need consideration. The fundamental is that although Future Force 2020 has a basis in logic, that logic is not fully explained anywhere.
     
  12. It's a piece of political fluff that may keep a few of the chattering classes chattering but does absolutely nothing to inform the military community.

    Moreover, I began the thread looking beyond the elements detailed there. Or, to put it more bluntly, FF2020 is supposed to do all that is in that 'factsheet' but with 82,000 troops not the 95,000 it details. How?

    FF2020 is looking like a rerun of Options for Change and Front-line First where support arms were sacrificed to keep the delusion of military might and to mollify the wegimental wailing. Then, almost immediately, the regular army was struggling to support a single battalion in Bosnia! Since then, the Army has gradually had to rebalance the front to the back to keep the missions from collapse. The numbers seem to suggest we're going to completely undo that and make our 'intervention' forces almost undeployable.
     
  13. WC, I actually agee with you and the powers that be need to get their shit in a sack before they let this cat out of the bag.
     
  14. Lets hope the RAF does not return to the fold!:)