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Armed Forces: Army Regional Command Structure

Volume 687: debated on Wednesday 29 November 2006

My right honourable friend the Minister of State for Defence (Adam Ingram) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

I am today announcing a number of changes to the Army's regional command structure.

The command of garrisons across the UK is inconsistent, with a variety of commanders from different chains of command holding garrison command responsibility. Responsibility for administration, both within the Army and with external organisations, can at times be unclear. To address these anomalies:

from April 2007, garrisons should be commanded by the local regional forces brigade commander; and

if there is no deployable brigade commander in the garrison, command will fall to the senior officer with most troops in that garrison.

RF Brigade and Division Structure

Changes to the regional brigade and divisional structure are proposed in order to bring Project Allenby-Connaught under a single general officer commanding and improve alignment to regional prime contractors. These changes will also enable the army to develop the super-garrison concept and ensure an even distribution of the potential future super-garrison sites. The changes will entail:

43 (Wessex) Brigade moving under command 4 Division, so 4 Division comprises all the southern brigades (43 (Wessex) Brigade, 145 (Home Counties) Brigade and 2 (Infantry) Brigade) on 1 April 2007.

49 (East) Brigade moving under command 5 Division, so 5 Division comprises the central formations (160 (Wales) Brigade, 143 (West Midlands) Brigade and 49 (East) Brigade) on 1 April 2007.

38 (Irish) Brigade (which will form from 39 Inf Bde and 107 (Ulster) Brigade) moving under command 2 Division and, simultaneously, 42 (North West) Brigade moving to come under command 5 Division. No date is yet set for these changes, as it will be dependent upon the rate of the Northern Ireland normalisation process.

The single point of accountability for the Colchester PFI transferred to the general officer commanding 5 Division (Major General Farquhar) when the GOC 4 Division retired in May 2006. General officer commanding 4 Division will assume responsibility for Allenby-Connaught from Commander Regional Forces during 2007.

The maps showing these changes will be placed in the Library of the House.