|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a Mountain Brigade in the ORBAT as present and future conflicts may include such terrain and the Army appears to have withdrawn from this role.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