Secretary of State for Defence John Reid has announced the next routine troop rotation of UK Forces in Multi-National Division (South East), which begins this month.
Speaking in the House of Commons Mr Reid gave details of the units that will take over in Iraq in the coming weeks. Mr Reid said:
"The lead UK formation in Iraq, currently 12 Mechanised Brigade, will be replaced by 7 Armoured Brigade, which will take over command of UK forces in early November.
"In addition to 7 Armoured Brigade's Headquarters and Signals squadron, the following major units will be deployed to replace those currently in Iraq: 2nd Battalion The Parachute Regiment, 1st Battalion The Highlanders, 1st Battalion The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, 9th/12th Royal Lancers, 1st Battalion The Kings Own Royal Border Regiment, the Scots Dragoon Guards, 3rd Regiment Royal Horse Artillery, 32nd Engineer Regiment and 2 Logistics Support Regiment.
The Territorial Army units involved in this roulement are a single company from the 4th Battalion The Parachute Regiment, and a composite company from the West Midlands Regiment and the Royal Welsh Regiment.
"During this busy period of troop movements I have also decided to deploy one Company from the Cyprus-based Theatre Reserve Force to relieve the rotating troops of some routine security tasks. A company of 1st Battalion the Royal Highland Fusiliers will deploy for a few weeks whilst the rotation lasts.
"The total numbers of troops in Iraq following the deployment of 7 Armoured Brigade will be around 8000. This is about 500 fewer than at present, reflecting the closure of two small bases in Basra, the transfer of some training tasks to the Iraqi Security Forces and structural differences between the two brigades. These are relatively minor adjustments, however, and will not effect activities being carried out by UK forces."