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1st (United Kingdom) Division

2015 is an exciting time for 1st (United Kingdom) Division as it continues rebasing from Germany to UK, and transforms from an armoured division into the light-role Adaptable Force (AF), taking command of seven Infantry Brigades and 102 Logistic Brigade. The Adaptable Force is one that is optimised for the challenges of today and the future, with a new integrated structure of Regulars and Reserves working closely together, in order to achieve ‘light-role excellence’.

On 18 July 14, as part of the A2020 restructuring, 1st (United Kingdom) Armoured Division dropped the ‘armoured’ title and redesignated to 1st (United Kingdom) Division, signifying the initial operating capability (IOC) of the Adaptable Force. As the Division assumes full operating capability (FOC) on 1 August 15, and moves to its new home in York, it will command seven infantry brigades and 102 Logistic Brigade.

The brigades which now form 1 (UK) Div are:

  • HQ 4th Infantry Brigade and HQ North East (Catterick)
  • HQ 7th Infantry Brigade & HQ East (Chilwell)
  • HQ 11th Infantry Brigade & HQ South East (Aldershot)
  • HQ 38th (Irish) Brigade (Lisburn)
  • HQ 42nd Infantry Brigade and North West (Preston)
  • HQ 51st Infantry Brigade and HQ Scotland (Stirling)
  • HQ 160th Infantry Brigade & HQ Wales (Brecon)
  • HQ 102nd Logistic Brigade (currently Gutersloh, Grantham July 15)

These brigades will also provide ‘firm base’ functions and the ‘regional points of command’ for civil engagement and homeland resilience tasks working to General Officer Commanding Support Command.

Globally, 1st (United Kingdom) Division units are currently committed to several operations, as well as maintaining forces at readiness and contributing to Defence Engagement tasks around the world. Major General Giles Hill CBE will take over as the next General Officer Commanding the Division in April.

So, what is the Adaptable Force and how has it come about?

As part of the Army 2020 reforms led by Lt Gen Carter in 2012, his study team redefined the purpose of the Army, which is to be capable of:

  • Contingent capability for deterrence and defence
  • Overseas engagement and capacity building
  • Civil Engagement and the military contribution to homeland resilience.

Against this backdrop, a new integrated structure of Reserves and Regulars, which could meet these three requirements was designed, and the result was an Adaptable Force and a Reaction Force supported by a pool of specialists, such as engineers and signallers, in Force Troops Command.

1st (United Kingdom) Division – the Adaptable Force – a division built on light role excellence

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