Westminster - details of next Iraq roulement

Secretary of State, House of Commons. 10 Oct, HANSARD SOURCE.

Dr Reid also informed the House that the warrants issued by Basra authorities ref 2 british personnel had been withdrawn.

Let me therefore turn to the details of the next routine troop rotation of UK forces in MND(SE), which begins this month. 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 King's 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 what will be a very 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, such as static security or guard duty. A company of 1st Battalion the Royal Highland Fusiliers will deploy for a few weeks while that rotation lasts.

The total numbers of troops in Iraq following the deployment of 7 Armoured Brigade will be around 8,000. That 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 affect the activities being carried out by United Kingdom forces.


Book Reviewer
Good post Hack - it's worth viewing S of S' words rather than the soundbites which will appear in the Press. Quite liked this line:

Indeed, I would go further and say that the biggest obstacle now to our leaving Iraq in view of the build-up of the Iraqi forces' capability is the actions of the terrorists themselves. Terrorist activity only delays our leaving Iraq; it does not hasten it.
Sounds so reasonable really...sort of...."stop fighting us and we'll go away"

Be interesting to see who else takes this line.....

Hmmmmm......verdict not in yet on Doc John.....

Le Chevre
The Lords also had a short debate on the statement which can be found at Lords Hansard

It is worth a read as it picks up different points from the Commons debate, and also deals with the air transport problems for troops on roulement.

Skip the opening statement by Lord Drayson if you have already read Dr Reid's version in the Commons Hansard. They are identical.


Book Reviewer
Thanks for the heads-up to the HoL Hansard. THer eis no doubt that you always get a better informed audience there, as it consists of a number of people who have actually done the business in the past, or been in the UK making the decisions.

Interesting comment on the Reserve Forces there. The big questionsregarding these are, which Trades/Cap Badges are being deployed now and for future TELICs, how many are deploying again within the 5 years of the RFA Rules, and who will be able to deploy to Afghanistan if called for next year?

If I was in the HoL, I would certainly ask for a Written Answer to the first two points, no point asking about the third.

Hint, hint....
I agree, several interesting points in that House of Lords Hansard.

I noticed that wef 8 Sep there were 650 reservists in the Iraq theatre. (Not forgetting that reservists have been amongst recent British casualties).

Was also mentioned that the Attorney-General might be planning a visit to Iraq.


Book Reviewer
Couple of other quotes from the Commons speechifying:

Doc John said : I am being shouted at. I do not know what is being said, but I commend the remarks made this morning by President Talibani, who said:

"Similarly, those who attack mosques and churches, who murder schoolchildren and labourers, who behead foreigners and who kidnap humanitarian workers are not engaged in 'resistance'. Those sabotaging Iraq's first democracy bear no resemblance to the resistors of foreign occupation in wartime Europe. Rather, they are, in their ideology and record, contemporary representatives of the fascism that wreaked such havoc 60 years ago in Europe. They are supremacists and racists, as worthy of our contempt as those who practised apartheid in South Africa."
The other one which caught my eye was a brief intervention from the Plaid Cymru guy representing Conway who said:

Mr. Elfyn Llwyd (Meirionnydd Nant Conwy) (PC): I agree with the Secretary of State that any troop withdrawal will have to be events-led; it is plain that that is the case.

Having been out to Iraq in March, I fully commend what the Secretary of State says about the professionalism and dedication of the servicemen and women, but might I ask him one thing? We are led to believe that the Attorney-General is at this moment on his way to Iraq to look at the judicial authorities and the way in which things are working or not working. My plea is on behalf of my late constituent, Lance Corporal Tom Keys, who was one of six military policemen murdered at al-Majaar al-Kabir. I ask the Government to ensure that the perpetrators of that awful crime are brought to book fairly swiftly.
I was in Iraq when these guys got chopped....HEAR BLOODY HEAR !......remember them when you stand by the Cenotaph this year....

Le Chevre

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