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Army 2020

Army 2020 is the transformation of the British Army for the 2020s and beyond, in response to the strategic challenges it is likely to face in the future.

The background

Army 2020 is the Army’s response to the Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR), published by the Government in October 2010, which laid out the commitments expected of the UK Armed Forces.

A study, completed in July 2012, developed from first principles a proposition for delivering required levels of military capability within given manpower constraints and taking account of other changes such as the return of Army from Germany to the UK. The outcome is a design for the future British Army that will be more adaptable and flexible to undertake a broader range of military tasks at home and overseas.

The integrated Army

This future Army will, for the first time, fully integrate Regulars and Reserves within a whole force, consisting of some 82,000 Regular personnel and 30,000 trained Reserves – i.e. an integrated Army of around 112,000.

Reserves will be used routinely, rather than in extreme circumstances, for defined tasks including providing troops for lengthy stabilisation operations and Defence Engagement overseas.

The future structure

The future Army will be made up of a Reaction Force and an Adaptable Force, supported by Force Troops:

  • Reaction Force. The Reaction Force will provide a force that will undertake short notice contingency tasks and provide the Army’s conventional deterrence for Defence. It will be trained and equipped to undertake the full spectrum of intervention tasks and will provide the initial basis for any future lengthy operation.
  • Adaptable Force. The Adaptable Force will be used for a wide range of tasks, including providing headquarters and units for lengthy operations, standing commitments (e.g. Cyprus and the Falkland Islands), overseas Defence Engagement (working with partner nations) and UK civil engagement.
  • Force Troops. Supporting the Reaction Force and Adaptable Force will be specialist Force Troops, which will provide a wide range of capabilities from a centralised pool of Regular and Reserve resources, such as artillery, logistics, military intelligence and signals.

Transition to Army 2020 structures

The main changes at Divisional, Brigade and Unit level will occur largely within the mid-2014 to mid-2015 window. Unit moves back from Germany will take place over the course of this decade, dictated partly by when accommodation in the UK is ready for occupation.

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