The 1st Battalion, The Royal Irish Regiment is to become part of the 16 Air Assault Brigade Combat Team. That’s the headline-grabber in the first round of rejigs to be delivered under the Army’s Future Soldier plan, which sets out the bold and ambitious vision for modernising the Army.
In addition, 12th and 20th Armoured Infantry Brigades are to be re-designated 12 and 20 Armoured Brigade Combat Teams, while 104 Logistic Support Brigade and 1 Signals Brigade are to be resubordinated to the Allied Rapid Reaction Corps.
Brigadier John Clark, Head of Strategy, explained that these were the first steps on the path to the Army of 2025. He also said more announcements would follow in the autumn around structures and basing and their delivery across the whole Force. “We will drive hard to increase our persistent engagement around the globe, including by redesignating the Specialised Infantry Groups as the Army’s Special Operations Brigade in August, and establishing the new Ranger Regiment to its initial operating capacity by December,” he added. “11 Brigade will redesignate to 11 Security Forces Assistance Brigade in October. We will continue to develop our regional hubs in Oman, Kenya and Germany, as part of our contribution to defence’s global network. We know we need to constantly learn and improve to ensure that our capabilities remain at the cutting edge. By 2025 we must restructure the Army – Regular, Reserve and civilian – to ensure that it can meet the challenges of the next decade. We will become more agile and technologically capable. We know that the Regular strength must reduce to 72,500 by 2025, so the Army Reserve will become intrinsically more important to our outputs. We also need to examine the size and shape of the civilian workforce. We will continue to invest in our people to ensure the Army succeeds and maximises everyone’s potential.”
Soldier. (2021) First Glimpse of ‘Future Soldier’. Soldier: Magazine of the British Army. August 2021, pp.14.