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Subject: British Army to increase in size
Exemplo Ducemus    12/31/2006 12:45:59 AM
Wishful thinking perhaps but in a recent interview with The Times Des Browne, Secretary of State for Defence, stated that an increase in the size of the Army may be necessary to cope with Britain's long-running overseas military commitments and that operations in Iraq and Afghanistan were affecting the ability of the Army to maintain "core capabilities" because of a lack of time for training. Browne said that he may have to review the "basic assumptions" underpinning military planning on which the Army's manpower requirements are based. "Then we will have to consider increasing the size of the Army," he said. The Ministry of Defence later put out a statement to the effect that the Secretary had been misquoted, however, what do SP posters believe should be the right size for the British Army? My own thoughts are for the following deployable brigades: 1 Para Brigade with three organic parachute trained battalions 2 Airportable Brigades possibly with one formed from the Brigade of Ghurkas and both properly resourced with sufficient helo lift capability 1 Mountain Brigade 3 Armoured Brigades each comprising two Challenger 2 armoured regiments, two armoured infantry battalions and one armoured recce regiment 3 Mechanized Brigades each comprising 2 mech inf bns, 1 armd inf bn, 1 armd regt and 1 armd recce regt You will see that the deployable brigades increase from the current seven to ten. Hopefully this will address the present strain on the training/operation/rest and refit cycle. My instincts are to remove the Para bns from the current 16 Bde and reform them as a proper Para Bde allowing them to concentrate on their core skill of vertical envelopment. I would stand up two Airportable Brigades including one composed entirely of Ghurkas. I have included a Mountain Brigade in the ORBAT as present and future conflicts may include such terrain and the Army appears to have withdrawn from this role. All these brigades could be formed under a separate Rapid Reaction Force divisonal grouping. I have not included SF or the Cdo Brigade. What are your thoughts
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interestedamateur       12/31/2006 4:57:27 AM
The MoD have indeed issued a retraction to Des Browne's supposed statement. They basically accused the The Times of inventing the comment. So don't expect any increase soon!
Neutralizer can probably give you the formal way that the military conducts its planning, but I guess it would include these types of issues:
1) What do you want it to do? The current army is basically sized for one medium (Bde sized), and two small (Btn size) operations simultaneously, plus enough standby troops to do the same in short term interventions. 
2) Cost / manpower issues. Realistically you can't suggest major increases in both, partly because the manpower doesn't exist for major rises in personnel, and there are no threats necessitating major army expansion.
3) Once you've decided how many operations you want to be able to cope with at any one time, then think in terms of "5's". One brigade is resting, one is undertaking small unit training, one is undertaking major unit training, one is on standby, and one is on operations.
4) What types of operations is the army likely to conduct? Are we talking heavy armoured warfare, peacekeeping, amphibious assualt, parachuting or what?
So my answers to these questions would be:
1) Two medium sized operations and one small operation, plus enough standby troops to do the same in temporary interventions.
2) Increase in defence budget to 3%, plus another 10,000 troops. Neither is partuicularly unrealistic if a government decided to adopt a more interventionist policy.
3) 5 Mechanised Brigades (each 1 x Armd, 2 x Armd Inf, 1 x Mech), 1 x Cdo Brigade (4 x Cdo), 3 x Air Assault (1 x Para, 3 x Light Inf), 1 x Mtn Brigade (4 x Mtn), 1 x Training Brigade (5 x Light), 1 x Special Forces Brigade.
4) Mix of all different types of units. Less emphasis on tanks since heavy armd combat is rare. Mtn brigade acts as backup to Cdo brigade and receives amph training. Para btns split between different Brigades so that some are always based in UK as standby. FRES cancelled and new CV90, Panther, Vector, Viking and Mastiff vehicles purchased instead. Cost is half the price! Remaining sums spent on drones, helicopters, upgrading squaddies accomodation etc.
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