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Joint Rapid Reaction Force

Volume 472: debated on Wednesday 5 March 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence which brigade forms the Joint Rapid Reaction Force (JRRF); whether it is fully equipped; whether the JRRF is deployed; and when the future JRRF will take over. (190670)

The Army commitment to the Joint Rapid Reaction Force (JRRF) is normally centred on the Spearhead Land Element (SLE), the Lead Airborne Task Force (ABTF) and the High Readiness Mechanised or Armoured Brigade. Due to 16 Air Assault Brigade’s impending deployment to Afghanistan the ABTF was replaced by the Small Scale Focused Intervention Battlegroup (SSFIBG) on 15 February 2008 and will not be re-established until January 2009.

The Army elements of the JRRF that are currently held at high readiness are the SLE and SSFI BG. The SSFI BG is based on a Light Infantry Role Battlegroup, provided by The Black Watch, 3rd Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Scotland until 19 May 2008. The SLE is based on 2nd Battalion The Royal Gurkha Rifles until 30 March 2008.

For non-discretionary JRRF tasks, equipment holdings exist to ensure mission success. However, some equipment might need to be re-apportioned from supporting training for operations or from operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, depending on the task, to ensure that appropriate quantities are available.