THE INTEGRATED REVIEW
LT GEN SIR ANDREW GREGORY KBE CB DL MASTER GUNNER ST JAMES’S PARK
Today, the Secretary of State for Defence has announced the conclusions of the Government’s Integrated Review and outlined how it will affect the Royal Navy, the British Army and the Royal Air Force. The Integrated Review has set the British Army on a course for radical transformation. Under the ‘Future Soldier’ programme, the Army will become more agile, more integrated and more expeditionary. In the future, we will operate on a battlefield that has evolved very rapidly. It will be harder to hide, and weapons will destroy with greater accuracy, lethality, range and precision. Identifying the challenges of this future operating environment, the ‘Future Soldier’ programme has placed the Gunners at the forefront of a transformed Army, with ‘FIND’ and ‘FIRES’ firmly at the centre of its force design and a clear shift from the ‘Close’ to the ‘Deep’ battle.
Even though the Integrated Review sees the Army reducing its current workforce by 11%, the size of the Royal Regiment will be maintained broadly as it is now; importantly there will be no loss of any units nor reduction in the number of batteries. We will, however, have to reorganise to facilitate new capabilities. The most significant organisational change is that the 1st Artillery Brigade will become the heart of the new Deep Reconnaissance and Strike Brigade Combat Team. This will be a formidable ‘FIND’ and ‘STRIKE’ capability, integrating the Surveillance & Target Acquisition capabilities of AJAX, Mini and Tactical-Uncrewed Air Systems, weapon locating radar, special observers, and pan-domain sensors with AS90, Multiple Launch Rocket System, electronic attack, and attack helicopter effectors.
Most of our regiments will remain unaffected in both geography, laydown and capability, but there will be some significant, singular changes at regimental and battery level. Changes to battery titles and roles will be informed by the Royal Artillery Heritage Committee and endorsed by my Committee for announcement in early 2022. In summary, the major changes are as follows, noting that all Regiments retain their headquarters batteries:·
- 1st Regiment RHA will gain an AJAX tactical group battery.
- 3rd Regiment RHA will re-role to the Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS), with two batteries equipped with M270 launchers, one of which also has a JACKAL tactical group. A third M270 battery will be provided by 101st Regiment RA on deployment.
- 4th Regiment RA will gain a gun group, building on what is currently a tactical group battery.
- 5th Regiment RA will resubordinate to the Deep Reconnaissance & Strike Brigade Combat Team.
- 7th (Parachute) Regiment RHA will gain a gun battery, including a tactical group, and a tactical group battery.
- 19th Regiment RA will gain an AJAX tactical group battery.
- 26th Regiment RA will become a three battery MLRS Regiment, with two batteries equipped with M270 launchers, one of which also has an AJAX tactical group, and an AJAX tactical group battery. A third M270 battery will be provided by 101stRegiment RA on deployment.
- 32nd Regiment RA will retain its third MUAS battery and gain a fourth MUAS battery.
There are also positive changes regarding our Reserve Regiments:
- 101st Regiment RA will now provide a formed battery each to 3rd Regiment RHA and 26th Regiment RA, having previously provided individual M270 detachments and reinforcements.
- 103rd Regiment RA will be aligned to Light Brigade Combat Team 2 and be expected to deploy as a fully constituted regiment, reinforced by 104th and 105th Regiments RA where appropriate.
- 104th Regiment RA will provide individual reinforcements to 1st Regiment RHA and 19th Regiment RA in the Deep Reconnaissance & Strike Brigade Combat Team.
- 105th Regiment RA will provide formed detachments as guns 7 & 8 in each gun battery of 4th Regiment RA who are supporting Light Brigade Combat Team 1.
- 106th Regiment RA will continue to provide individual reinforcements to 7th Air Defence Group.
- A Battery HAC will provide formed detachments as guns 7 & 8 in each gun battery of 7th (Parachute) Regiment RHA.
- Patrols Squadron HAC will provide Special OP patrols to the Army Special Operations Brigade and continue to provide patrols to 4/73 Bty RA.
You will note that going forward, our Reserve regiments will remain integral to the Warfighting capability of the Regiment. Significantly, the Integrated Review seeks to transform the Reserve by giving them a fully established Warfighting role. Force generating this capability will be challenging, but I am confident our Reserve regiments will respond to the re-invigorated purpose this provides.
As these changes are implemented, every effort will be made to minimise disruption to officers, soldiers and their families. When reassignment is necessary, we will endeavour to seek volunteers first and to ensure that adequate notice of posting is given.
In summary, we owe a debt of thanks to all of those from the Regiment involved in this review. The Royal Regiment has proven robust and resilient, and the Army has realised that it needs its Gunners, across all our disciplines, more than ever. As a Regiment, we will be ready to step up and deliver; I have every confidence that we can do that.
25th November 2021