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Subject: A new brigade for the army?
BRoger    1/30/2007 7:39:33 AM
According to an article written by the respected defence correspondant Robert Fox, the UK is mobilising a new brigade (52nd Brigade) for deployment in Afghanistan. "The plan is that the newly mobilised 52 Brigade from Scotland should deploy four fighting battlegroups of 1,000 men each in late summer, ­three groups in Helmand, plus a fourth for training the Afghan army. This is almost three times the fighting power of the Commando Brigade which leaves in March." According to the MOD website, the UK has 7 deployable brigades in two divisions (1st Armoured and 3rd Mechanised) and none of these are the 52nd Brigade (which appears to be a training brigade). Has the British Army quietly managed to up its number of brigades by one, or is this just a poor piece of journalism? Also, the article suggests that with four 1,000-man battlegroups, the brigade will pack 3 times the offensive power of the Royal Marines currently deployed. With two commando's out in Afghanistan (each of which is bigger than an infantry battalion) surely the replacement force isn't 3 times as powerful? Anyone got any light they can shed on this article?
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interestedamateur       1/30/2007 3:05:00 PM
The next Brigade to go out in Spring 2007 is 12 Mechanised Brigade. Rumour has it that the Brigadier requested armoured support (tanks) but was denied.
There is no information which brigade will follow this one (which would indeed be around late summer 2007). It is therefore possible that it will indeed be 52 Brigade. I find it slightly hard to believe as it has no attached units (i.e no signals company, no medics, no artillery, no engineers, no logistic regiment etc) but Robert Fox could be right.
Considering that 52 Brigade is made up of light battalions, the force won't be three times as powerful.
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Yimmy       1/30/2007 7:16:10 PM
"You will have everything you ask for" (Blair)
"I want tank support" (Brigadier)
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neutralizer       1/31/2007 2:36:38 AM
It's unusual for reputable journalists to write total fiction.  However, this story stretches credulity.
'1000 man' would imply an all arms battlegroup (1000 man bns haven't existed since WW1, and they had vrtiully no support weapons then, 4 rifle + support coy bns in WW2 were around the 800 mark).  If 1000 man inf bns are going to reappear then the age of miracles is with us.
52 bde's role is training lt bns that can be provided to other bdes if needed or sent on single bn tasks, I think 2 bde might be going the same way.  However, these bdes have a 'bde HQ' that is non-deployable, ie it is notpart of a 'bde HQ & sigs sqn' that provides its comms, field vehicles, etc.
Then there's the small matter of the other arms in the battlegroup, the only place these can come from is one of the 7 deployable bdes (8 if you include 3 Cdo). If 52 bde was going to be raised to a full deployable bdes it would have been announced with more noise than the second coming.
My guess is that 52 bde may be going to provide a bn to the Afg TF, perhaps for force protection of the PRT, Camp Bastion and other odd spots.
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