The British Army’s 20th Armoured Infantry Brigade (nicknamed ‘The Iron Fist Brigade’) is based in Paderborn, northern Germany. It forms part of the 3rd (United Kingdom) Division (nicknamed ‘The Iron Division’), the Army’s primary warfighting force.
Soldiers serving with the Brigade proudly wear the insignia of a white mailed fist on a blue background as a symbol of the hard punch that this that this historic and battle-proven armoured formation can give any enemy. In 2017, the Brigade will have the privilege of providing the armoured forces held at the highest readiness to both the UK and to NATO.
The VJTF(L) is the land component of the NATO enhanced NATO response Force (eNRF). On 1 January 2017, Headquarters 20th Armoured Infantry Brigade assumed command of the VJTF(L) for a 12 month period following a year of intensive training. The VJTF(L) comprises troops from 14 different NATO nations. It has a potent blend of armour, infantry, helicopters, artillery, engineers and supporting troops held at high readiness. This means it is available to move at very short notice to ensure NATO has the right forces, at the right place at the right time.
The VJTF’s mission is to: “Assure, deter and contribute to countering threats against Alliance territory and populations, with a priority to Article 5, in order to demonstrate a collective Alliance response throughout SACEUR’s area of operations and potentially beyond”
2017 will also see 20th Armoured Infantry Brigade hold the role of the UK’s VAIB. VAIB is the UK’s primary reaction force, providing a high readiness and adaptable force that can undertake any short notice contingency tasks. It provides the British Army’s best deterrence for the conventional defence of the UK.