British military forces are set to be deployed to strengthen Eastern Europe’s borders in the face of rising Russian aggression.

The British Government say in a statement that UK officials will be deployed to Brussels to finalise the details of the offer with NATO next week, and ministers will discuss the military options on Monday.

Efforts being considered include:

Meanwhile, HMS Prince of Wales is in the High North leading the NATO’s Maritime High Readiness Force. It is on standby to move within hours should tensions rise further.

British aircraft carrier ‘on standby’ if tensions with Russia rise

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:

“This package would send a clear message to the Kremlin – we will not tolerate their destabilising activity, and we will always stand with our NATO allies in the face Russian hostility. If President Putin chooses a path of bloodshed and destruction, it will be a tragedy for Europe. Ukraine must be free to choose its own future. I have ordered our Armed Forces to prepare to deploy across Europe next week, ensuring we are able to support our NATO allies on land, at sea and in the air.”

According to a statement from the Ministry of Defence:

“The Prime Minister is expected to speak to President Putin and travel to the region early this week to relay that message in person. A second trip to meet NATO member counterparts is being planned for early next month. Following the Prime Minister’s statement to the House of Commons last week, making clear the better relations with Russia was possible, the Prime Minister directed the Foreign and Defence Secretaries to prepare to go to Moscow for talks with their counterparts in the coming days. They will be asked to improve relationships with President Putin’s Government and encourage de-escalation.

The Prime Minister remains seized of the importance of pursuing diplomatic efforts in tandem, and last week joined a call with President Biden, European leaders and NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg. In that call leaders agreed on the importance of international unity in the face of growing Russian hostility and stressed that diplomatic discussions with Russia remain the first priority. The Defence Secretary is also expected to travel to meet with Allies this week in Hungary, Slovenia, and Croatia on behalf of the Prime Minister.”

Recently, British transport aircraft airlifted “thousands” of anti-armour weapons to Ukraine to help the nation defend itself.

Third day of British weapon flights to Ukraine

More on this as it develops.

George has a degree in Cyber Security from Glasgow Caledonian University and has a keen interest in naval and cyber security matters and has appeared on national radio and television to discuss current events. He also works for the NHS. George is on Twitter at @geoallison
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John Hartley
John Hartley
6 months ago

It might be more effective to threaten to confiscate every Belgravia/Mayfair/Ascot mansion that Putin’s oligarchs own. Plus go after their wealth in the City of London/Channel Islands/Bermuda/Turks &Caicos/Cayman.

Rob
Rob
6 months ago
Reply to  John Hartley

Agreed. Best thing we can do is remove the money from Putin’s mafiosi.

Matt
Matt
6 months ago
Reply to  John Hartley

Would that not have to be a surprise, otherwise they would move all the mobile wealth?

John Hartley
John Hartley
6 months ago
Reply to  Matt

What, like a football club?

Matt
Matt
6 months ago
Reply to  John Hartley

The assets that are sanctioned tend to be liquid.

Even if it is property, you can borrow against it and take the money away – so only a fraction of the value is left in London.

On football clubs, they have a fit and proper person test – a number of people have been barred, and afaik they were all Brits.

John Hartley
John Hartley
6 months ago
Reply to  Matt

Oligarch toys like superyachts are mobile too. However, not much fun if they get impounded the second they turn up in a glitzy EU resort in Greece, Italy, Spain or the South of France.

DanielMorgan
DanielMorgan
6 months ago
Reply to  John Hartley

Do that in “Londongrad” and watch the London property market collapse into chaos.

John Hartley
John Hartley
6 months ago
Reply to  DanielMorgan

Well London/South East property market is at least 30% overpriced & due a correction, regardless of Russian sanctions.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
6 months ago
Reply to  DanielMorgan

yes there’s that benefit too I guess…. At least for we mere mortals.

Matt
Matt
6 months ago
Reply to  DanielMorgan

A modest price crash of say 30-40% in London over a period of time would be an excellent thing.

However, foreign ownership is only a small fraction of the whole property base.

David Barry
David Barry
6 months ago
Reply to  DanielMorgan

Oh, affordable homes to London first… that would win a lot of voters back 😉

Steven Alfred Rake
Steven Alfred Rake
6 months ago
Reply to  John Hartley

You are right on the nail, also by tracing the money back we can see who in the Commons is sitting with their fingers in Mr Putin’s pie and it might help explain why our armed forces have been gutted over the last 20 odd years.

dan
dan
6 months ago
Reply to  John Hartley

Germany like they always do regarding defense will do the absolute minimum and depend on others for the heavy lifting. Plus Germany is in Putin’s back pocket with that giant gas pipeline and contract.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
6 months ago
Reply to  John Hartley

Well they are reportedly putting a bill together to use to threaten just that. Mind you as they have turned endless blind eyes to it for so long to supposedly boost the economy I’m not convinced much would actually happen should it be put to the test. We certainly didn’t seem keen when the EU was keen to get involved.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
6 months ago
Reply to  John Hartley

Is the point that if A happens then B is triggered with leads to C? A = British military being engaged B = kleptocratic proceeds frozen C = the kleptocracy pressures Vlad to get off their toes. Or rather A happens C engages so B is never needed? It is all in the spirit of the ex despot conundrum. Let me explain. You have a horrendous despot you need to get rid of quickly and quietly for the benefit of his people. Do you:- a) go after him and try and get him and all his assets; or b) let… Read more »

Joe16
Joe16
6 months ago
Reply to  John Hartley

We can only dream…

Andy reevesandy262@gmail.com
5 months ago
Reply to  John Hartley

Maybe the Ukrainian situation will bring home the need for anti missile defense systems to be fitted to our capital ships. The Albion s and carriers are utterly VÍTAL TO THE u.k AND NATO forces themselves. To lose. Either one would be a catastrophic. Blow. Both types of shul have more than enough space fo offensive and defensive systems. And the cost of. A vessel compared to the cost of a ship makes the argument moot.

PRJ
PRJ
6 months ago

A dreadful move. With the current lethality holiday this is a very risky move particularly for the RN and army with limited ASUW and GBAD capabilities.

Meirion x
Meirion x
6 months ago
Reply to  PRJ

Yes, To send RN vessels into the Black Sea, they would certainly need a Very substantial ASuW upgrade!

Steve
Steve
6 months ago
Reply to  Meirion x

They sent a river class vessel there, so almost zero offensive or defensive capability

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
6 months ago
Reply to  PRJ

Do you really believe that the Russians will take potshots at an RN Vessel, even a lightly armed River class just because it can?
If it did, regardless of a manufactured pretext, it would be open season on any Russian vessel or aircraft as the UK takes appropriate actions in self defence and Nato would go Article 5.
Its all chess moves and brinkmanship from all sides.

PRJ
PRJ
6 months ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

If you’re asking do they have the appetite and do they have the means? The answer is a yes. RU have consistently warned the west. Don’t forget they’ve shot down an airliner, poisoned people on our streets and invaded Crimea.
Re: lethality, the RN has neutered itself such that it lacks credible offensive capability, and so likely to give RU even greater confidence.

David Barry
David Barry
6 months ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

Rivers would never be put in harms way, who said that? They are not warships, who that? Amythyst was not in harm’s way until she got shot to pieces. Should I be one of the crew I’d be making sure my affairs were in order and without a suitable, high quality, trained ASW ship along for the party, not sure I’d like to be on the T45 either. Putin is a chess player and he can gamble and lose pieces, we lose far more with far higher value and that might include the Baltics, Moldova, a mahoosive chunk of the… Read more »

Grant
Grant
6 months ago
Reply to  David Barry

Agree with this: the Rivers are supposed to free up other assets to do the high end stuff. The problem is even with this there is not enough high end assets (reducing frigate force + ongoing issues with T45 PIP)

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
6 months ago
Reply to  Grant

Agree a better move would be to deploy QE to Eastern med with full battle group. Therefore able to overfly black sea and provide an air umbrella if needed. A type 45 and River class could be shot up in fairly quick order.
Beware poking the bear. He’s got claws.

Joe16
Joe16
6 months ago
Reply to  David Barry

Out of interst, what would you consider a suitable ASW (anti-surface warfare?) vessel- in any NATO inventory? Burkes don’t carry Harpoon anymore, and scrapped one of their Phalanx for a while- not sure if they all have one. Their Standard missile system is such that they effectively have the same number of shots as a T45 too. Is it the presence of TLAM? Because the Russians are unlikely to be too fussed about such a slow and unstealthy weapon. FREMM or one of the Euro frigate/mini-destroyers perhaps? They at least still carry heavyweight AShMs, although not sure they’ve been tested… Read more »

David Barry
David Barry
6 months ago
Reply to  Joe16

Hi Joe thanks for the question my green skin understood
ASW Anti submarine warfare and
ASuW Anti Surface Warfare.

WRT ASW a T26… yes, I know, but, any T23 TAPS asset or equivalent NATO asset.

Joe16
Joe16
6 months ago
Reply to  David Barry

Sorry, I clearly read your post too fast and conflated your reference to T45 with a surface warfare vessel. You make perfect sense.
I take your point on an ASW platform too. Agreed a T26 would be great, and T23 is plenty competitive at the moment, I’ve heard good things about the French ASW frigates too- Alsace or Lorraine or something?

David Barry
David Barry
6 months ago
Reply to  Joe16

Thank you Joe!

Grant
Grant
6 months ago
Reply to  Joe16

All of NATO have been complacent with regards to the development of AShM whilst the Russians have continued to invest (BrahMos etc.). The RN has gone with submarines for high end targets / helicopters for corvettes and below with Exocet and then harpoon as back up anti shipping weapons. however lack of subs and proliferation of SAMs should prompt a (very rapid) rethink. NSM / JSM would be a perfect interim weapon; cannister launched on ships and carried by our F35s.

John Hartley
John Hartley
6 months ago
Reply to  Grant

The Italians are spending 400 million + on a stealthy long range version of Teseo that can do land attack as well as anti ship.

Tim
Tim
6 months ago
Reply to  Joe16

Any ship in the Black Sea right now is not there to shoot. But it needs to have the best chance of protecting it’s crew if Russia wants to start a war.

A T45 with a River to pick up survivors is a good start, but I’d rather see all those CAMMs fitted first and a 57mm on top of the hangar. Also another 57mm and a Phalanx on the River instead of the 30mm and the crane.

If it’s offensive action we want to do, then I think Ukraine is a RAF job from Romania/Bulgaria with Typhoon and Meteor.

Tommo
Tommo
6 months ago
Reply to  David Barry

If Boris wins wea can all go round his place for a good old Knees up

John Hartley
John Hartley
6 months ago
Reply to  Tommo

I’ll bring cake.

Donaldson
Donaldson
6 months ago

We should be sending a CR2, Warrior, AS90 and GMLSR regiment along with Apaches, Not Paras and Marines.

Mark Franks
Mark Franks
6 months ago
Reply to  Donaldson

You forget current military thinking, The UK will never fight a major land war. Scoff scoff.

John Clark
John Clark
6 months ago
Reply to  Mark Franks

Goes right along with the famous ‘peace in our time’ speech by Chamberlain…

Talk about caught with our trousers down again, force levels lower than ever and no reserves of anything, what could possibly go wrong…..

Best start practicing my somewhat limited Russian ….

Robert Blay.
Robert Blay.
6 months ago
Reply to  John Clark

NATO as a whole has capability far beyond Russia.

dan
dan
6 months ago
Reply to  Robert Blay.

But they don’t have the will. Especially with Biden in charge of American forces. Ugh

dave12
dave12
6 months ago
Reply to  dan

What Rather than trumpski claiming the Ukraine crisis is a European problem? lol

Pete
Pete
6 months ago
Reply to  dan

With Trump just saying in last 48 hours that the troops are going to the wrong border…lol…please stop cherry picking the domestic US agenda.

David Barry
David Barry
6 months ago
Reply to  Robert Blay.

Not for an intense short war they don’t.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
6 months ago
Reply to  Mark Franks

Was that actually said by anyone?

Mark franks
Mark franks
6 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

SDSR light armoured fighting, all our eggs in one basket, The Royal Marines re roled and now a new Ranger regiment. Littoral thinking. The doctrine is special equipped light and fast forces that can deploy quickly globally and do what it has to do and then get out of dodge for tea and biscuits. Drones air and sea and land. How much of this is in frontline service? We no longer have a standing army military planners say we don’t need one. So how do we play our part in defending the Baltic States and Ukraine?

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
6 months ago
Reply to  Mark franks

Mark. There are 2 armoured BCTs in the new structure and a deep strike/recce BCT. Not everything is light.
Why do you say we don’t have a standing army – what do you think those 82,000 soldiers in the Regular army are?

Mark franks
Mark franks
6 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

76000 actually, 32000 are frontline fighting soldiers. In the 1980s the standing army alone in the BAOR was 50000. You don’t commit your entire brigades and infantry units to combat, you would have nothing in reserve inorder to rest and recuperate if a land offensive was prolonged.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
6 months ago
Reply to  Mark franks

Hi Mark, as I spent 34 years as a regular army officer and a seasoned ‘BAOR warrior’, I am very well aware that you don’t and can’t commit every soldier to combat. My comment was about your claim that we don’t have a standing army. Perhaps we need to define the term – this Wikipedia defitinion is as good as any: A standing army is a permanent, often professional, army. It is composed of full-time soldiers who may be either career soldiers or conscripts. It differs from army reserves,…

Mark Franks
Mark Franks
6 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Hi Graham, thank you for the summary on a Standing army, Im also a 25 year veteran I was Air Force Aircrew, My point is that the British army although highly trained and highly regarded, no longer does the army have the heavy armour or tracked artillery in the numbers we once had trundling across the great German plains. Under investment in upgrades and poor procurement management has seen to that. Iraq and Afghanistan saw OERs for specialist vehicles and equipment so that the army could do its job safely and effectively. SDSR set out the future fighting capability of… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
6 months ago
Reply to  Mark Franks

Hi Mark, It is no surprise that we don’t have 50,000 soldiers in Germany in a force dominated by heavy armour as the Cold War ended in 1991. We will have 2 armoured BCTs under the Future Soldier project but Ajax and artillery in the Recce/Dep Strike brigade. Only 112 CR3 tanks in two deployable tank regiments – and Warrior withers on the vine to be replaced by Boxer. I agree that this is a great deal less capability. Options for Change did not predict a long counter-insurgency war in Afghanistan, Gulf War 1, Gulf War 2 or the multiple… Read more »

John Hartley
John Hartley
6 months ago
Reply to  Mark Franks

I watched a youtube video on Russian Army myths (yes I know). While they have one year conscripts of limited use, with mummies who would be very upset if they got hurt, the fact is the contract full time soldiers have the non contact principle. i.e. The Russians will use their vast artillery, rockets & tactical ballistic missile to pulverise enemy positions, leaving no one to harm their 18-19 year olds when they later occupy those positions. It is scary how much firepower the Russian Army unit has in comparison to a British Army unit.

Jason Bannister
Jason Bannister
6 months ago
Reply to  Mark Franks

I believe Putin has now blown the opportunity, he’s been painted into a corner and, ironically, he’s the guy holding the paintbrush he thought NATO would cave in to his demands. They haven’t and he is now left with a problem;

1. Choose between a Biden and German sanctioned small scale incursion (anything more could trigger WW3)

2. Lose face with his Mafia buddies and the Russian public (accelearating his overthrow)

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
6 months ago

Jason, you think Putin wanted NATO to give in to all his demands and would then withdraw his invasion troops. I think Putin is playing a much cleverer game – and is winning.

James William Fennell
James William Fennell
6 months ago
Reply to  Donaldson

16X is the rapid response formation – will take weeks to mobilise the heavy stuff – that’s why BCT thing needed.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
6 months ago

BCT is a fancy new Americanised term for brigade – it doesn’t suddenly make everything light and quick to deploy. Many different types of BCT – as I recall 2 are armoured, 1 is recce/deepstrike, 1 is lt mech and1 is mech. Plus 16AA Bde and the Avn Bde.
It has always taken some time to move armour to Theatre – thats been the case since we first moved tanks to France in 1916, you’ve just got to get political authority in time – and all will be well.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
6 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

That’s right Graham. I hate it, we keep copying the US, even renaming our SIG as the SFAB like the US examples. Your BCT list is mostly correct, but actually even worse once the spin is removed! The Deep Recc Strike “BCT” is hardly a BCT, as it has no infantry, nor even ( as far as I’m aware as the details in the FS doc were minimal ) a dedicated logistics regiment to move the rounds! Which in BAOR was a given. Never mind the other attendant CS&CSS enablers a BCT should have. It is in effect a DAG.… Read more »

Louis
Louis
6 months ago

The army is in an appalling state right now with the new future soldier structure.
Sometimes I wish we could go back to the original army 2020 structure. At least then we had 3 armoured infantry brigades and 16 AA brigade in the reaction force and two to three deployable infantry brigades in the adaption force. That’s almost double the size of deployable brigades than now.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
6 months ago
Reply to  Louis

Yes spot on. 6 Brigades plus 3 Cdo.

They COULD have made Strike brigades out of those 2 Infantry Brigades in the Adaptable Force.
Interim Bdes with Foxhounds, then Boxer.

But they had to make cuts so our Armoured Bdes got hit again and the CS/CSS in those adaptable force bdes got removed.

Got to keep those infantry cap badges!!

Louis
Louis
6 months ago

The obsession over cap badges is ruining the army. At least five infantry battalions should immediately be converted to logistics or artillery and REME and RLC should be merged.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
6 months ago
Reply to  Louis

Bravo! I’ve been calling for this for years! Convert them to RA regiments. 1 x Reg with Brimstone / Spike NLOS type on armoured vehicle to finally give a Striker/Swingfire capability lost. This could be a RAC or a RA Reg. I recall the role was RA earlier before they became integral to RAC Regs. 1x Reg of more GMLRS or lighter equivalent. 1x Reg of AA for SHORAD vs UAV 1x Reg of additional ER CAMM for AD. 1x Reg of ISTAR ala 5 RA, whose assets are limited and in much demand. The difficulties of that regards retraining… Read more »

Louis
Louis
6 months ago

That would be amazing the only other thing is I would maybe suggest making brimstone boxers integral to infantry battalions in the anti tank platoon or maybe a whole new platoon. This would free up another regiment for close support given we have just lost 3 RHA to fire support. As to the SHORAD issue I think a vehicle with 35mm cannon and maybe four starstreak/LMM could fulfil this new regiment and 12 regiment could both be armed with this. The only issue with this is to find an airmobile vehicle that can carry a 35mm turret for the airborne,… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
6 months ago
Reply to  Louis

Yeah good points. Brimstone into the RAC Recc Regs would work, they lost their integral AT Platoons ages ago.

Current army doctrine seems to be that enemy armour is engaged by Javelin teams on foot, with the teams dropped off by Spartan, or in the LI Btns I read the kit is carried on quad bike with the poor sods in the AT Platoon running alongside!!!!

Most other nations seem happy to arm their vehicles with ATGM. Why does the British Army do it differently? Sane doctrine or are they actually demented?

Louis
Louis
6 months ago

I think a good place to start off is all boxers in sabre companies to be armed with a javelin launcher. Furthermore each regiment/ battalion should have a platoon of 8 boxers armed with brimstone/spike. In light brigades they should definitely add javelin to foxhound

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
6 months ago

Dare I mention again that we have still not got a replacement for STRIKER? As you recall it had 10 Swingfire – 5 on the roof and 5 reloads inside that could spoil the day of an enemy tank 4,000m away.
A replacement STRIKER vehicle could actually do Strike!

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
6 months ago
Reply to  Louis

What advantage is there in merging REME and RLC – they do totally different things – however this was looked at over 20 years ago and it was concluded that it created an unwieldy large Corps of 25% of the army’s strength and to no significant advantage.

Louis
Louis
6 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

You may be right just most if not all other armies do this and what is the point in having two CSS battalions per brigade. We are short enough on CSS as it is if we merged the two then at least 4 LBCT could have regular CSS and maybe 1 DRSBCT could also get one.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
6 months ago
Reply to  Louis

You may as well merge a tank regiment with an infantry battalion – they are also dissimilar.
Merging a REME (or ES) bn with a Log Bn just means you have got one huge CSS battalion – you would save a few Bn HQ posts – but create an unwieldy double-size unit. You don’t create headroom to generate CSS capability that can be deployed to 4 LBCT or 1 DRSBCT.

John Clark
John Clark
6 months ago

Spot on as ever Daniele….

I only hope this situation is a wake up call and the government finally wakes up and smells the bloody coffee!!

Louis
Louis
6 months ago

I mean the whole point of a US BCT is too make them more deployable with integral CS/CSS and British BCTs are way too large. US ones have 3 or four battalions, yet ours have 7 or 8. Ultimately we should definitely make reserve brigades similar to the US national guard. Given we have 3 reserve close support artillery and 2 reserve close support engineer regiments along with 1 of tanks, 3 of recce and multiple REME, RLC and signals we could easily create 2 to 3 reserve BCTs and keep the regular ones more streamlined. Ultimately whilst the deep… Read more »

Last edited 6 months ago by Louis
Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
6 months ago
Reply to  Louis

Nor do I, and if it is resourced properly it could work. They spin it as new, but it existed in Ok Granby in 91 and is just 1 Art Bde spun as a deployable BCT.

Totally agree about the AS90s.

Irony is pre 2010 all our armoured and mechanized brigades all had their attendant RLC Reg, RA Reg, RE Reg, REME Btn, and RS Bde Sig Sqn.

It was 2010 that split them up into pointless admin groups.

All BCT should be fully resourced with CS CSS.

Louis
Louis
6 months ago

I know yet pre 2010 we had what I think 5 armoured/mech brigades plus 19 light brigade and 16 AA brigade. All of them had RA and there were two SHORAD regiments. It’s a shame really because there was no need to reduce our armed forces in the 21st century by so much. The US didn’t even reduce theirs at all. To be honest the only issue I would’ve had with the army pre 2010 structure, other than too little light forces, is there only being one rapier regiment and one regular MLRS regiment.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
6 months ago
Reply to  Louis

Correct. 4th, 7th, 20th Armoured Bdes in BAOR, and 1st, 12th, 19th Mech Bdes in 3 Div in UK. They started fiddling with things early to mid 2000s first by making 19th Mech a light Bde, equals cuts to armour, artillery. Then moved to BAOR and made 4th armoured into 4th Mechanized, before bringing it back to the UK. That meant more cuts to armour, as the 3 mech bdes all had tank sqns reduced and replaced by Scimitars. Finally, 19th Light Bde was disbanded. People forget the cuts made pre 2010, then the Tories stabbed the dagger in, which… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
6 months ago
Reply to  Louis

7 or 8 battalions in a British BCT – really? Totally crazy. An old style division had about that number.

Louis
Louis
6 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Exactly I think 3 division will have 5 active recce regiments, 5 active infantry battalions, 2 active tank regiments, 5 reserve infantry battalions, a reserve tank regiment and a reserve light recce regiment.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
6 months ago
Reply to  Louis

5 recce regiments in one division. Are you sure? That is mad.

Louis
Louis
6 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

I’m pretty sure as there there is an Ajax regiment in each ABCT and the DRSBCT has two Ajax regiments, one jackal regiment and one reserve jackal regiment.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
6 months ago
Reply to  Louis

An entire recce regiment in a brigade (BCT) is very generous when the army is so small. However clearly they will use these Ajax vehicles in a strike role as well as a recce role.
Someone (Daniele maybe) told me a while back that Ajax will be task org’d with infantry battalions, 2 or 3 vehs to an Inf Platoon. That can only mean that we will be buying Infantry Boxers without a cannon.
These Future Soldier structures are totally ridiculous and must have been designed by very inexperienced young staff officers without sign-off from a senior officer.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
6 months ago
Reply to  Louis

You’re correct L.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
6 months ago

Thanks Danielle. You have invested more time than I on the details and you are so well informed. I wish we had a MoD definition of ‘Strike’ – this is a term that historically was applied ony to tanks but it has a different and broader meaning now, but what is it? It is clearly a term that describes offensive rather than defensive action – I had to invent my own definition because I could not find a MoD one. I think it a pity that we have downgraded the term ‘Special Forces’ merely to keep in line with the… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
6 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Morning Graham. Cheers. A few points, corrections to add. “I had to invent my own definition because I could not find a MoD one.” Nor could many of us!! I think it was just a fancy name cooked up that would grab headlines for the idiot David Cameron. How do you “Strike” in virtually un armed Boxers who’s firepower is divorced from them on Ajax, with light Guns as your RA firepower? The army has run experimentation exercises at SPTA on how this was to work but of course I’m not privy to any details. “I think it a pity… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
6 months ago

Hi Daniele, A great set of points which have helped my knowledge – I am very rusty having left the army in 2009 and only having glanced at the Defence press since. There is so much wrong with the Future Soldier structure (if that is the correct term), that it is probably unworkable. The continual rehashing of the field force stucture in recent years has been baffling. The army will really come unstuck if it came up against a peer or near-peer foe in any appreciable strength or had to respond simultaneously to multiple threats from multiple directions. It woud… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
6 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Pleasure.

Yes, one of the biggest issues is that the army has effectively been in an ongoing reorganisation since FAS around 2005 timeframe.
And one reviews list of cuts and changes are not even fully implemented before another arrives!

Jason Bannister
Jason Bannister
6 months ago
Reply to  Donaldson

There are sending a GMLRS Regt

Jason Bannister
Jason Bannister
6 months ago

They are sending a GMLRS Regt

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
6 months ago

They are? I read that as a battery of a GMLRS Regiment, not the entire regiment.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
6 months ago
Reply to  Donaldson

Paras and Marines are on high readiness – they are quick and cheap to deploy in and then deploy out when this thing is all over.

andy
andy
6 months ago

sorry but I think we should sit this one out and let the so called elite EU deal with it, how many more times do we have to keep bailing out the EU in some way at the expense of taxpayers money and the possibility of soldiers lives, and for what, since leaving the EU they pretty much hate us so let them crack on and deal with it for once..

Rob Richardson
Rob Richardson
6 months ago
Reply to  andy

Couldn’t agree more.

John Clark
John Clark
6 months ago
Reply to  andy

The EU have proven yet again to be Putin’s lap dog, utterly wet and bloody useless…

Andy
Andy
6 months ago
Reply to  John Clark

Your right there but we no longer have a military anymore and Putin knows it, like the chemical attacks he knew we could do sod all except cry and moan, because our useless governments have been to busy creating a snowflake culture decimating our armed forces at the same time.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
6 months ago
Reply to  Andy

Andy, it is too strong to say we don’t have a military anymore. The RN is the 2nd best in NATO, and much re-equipping has been done with much more imminent, and with some increase in frigate numbers in the near-term. The RN is a Level 2 bluewater navy, unlike Russia’s.

Andy
Andy
6 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

You can’t win conflicts with just a navy our army is the worst it’s been in history out of date gear only do fitness when they feel like it discipline is crap and numbers are way to low

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
6 months ago
Reply to  Andy

I am glad you accept we have a good navy.

Are you serving or retired Reg army or a Reserve?

Totally agree that most kit is out of date.

I had not heard that army fitness training is now voluntary – I am surprised and disappointed. Do you have a reference or link?

Numbers are certainly too low – reg numbers reduced to 120,000 at end of Cold War – only reason they have been cut multiple times further since 1991 is to save money – no military justification. We should have 120,000 regulars and well over 30,000 Reserve army.

John
John
6 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

The Royal navy is the best in the world no one comes close.. But unfortunately not the bigest like the rest of our arm forces top quality but so little of them SAD

Pete
Pete
6 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

In 10 years time RN has the potential to be a true L2 Bluewater navy with teeth. Today it is not. Too many capability gaps and too many single point of failure exposures. CSG with no ‘strike’ capability other than Tomahawk on Astutes. Need bk4 software to facilitate the Strike on F35 and no surface launched strike capability against peers. RN / CSG reliant on a single dry replenishment ship Strong anti submarine capability is a positive but would be stronger with UK torpedoes on P8, dipping sonar and data links on Wildcat and decent bow sonar on Type32 No… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
6 months ago
Reply to  Pete

Yes, a good summery IMO.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
6 months ago
Reply to  Pete

Thanks Pete – very much the other side of a coin you might first think is shiny and new.

pete
pete
6 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

indeed Graham. Hopefully, if nothing else, the Govt will follow through on its promises to invest in the armed forces and can get its procurement sorted out. I think Type 31 is a great proof of concept project for identify its purpose, generically and functionally spec it, invite offers (with optional kit etc), contract your choice and let it deliver without constant re-thinks and amendments to scope). Get the Type 31 Procurement model rolled out to Army for armour and Artillery etc and the wastage should start to diminish.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
6 months ago
Reply to  pete

Thanks Pete. I don’t see much wrong with procurement on naval equipment. Capability gaps exist but the money and the procurement process seems to work for the RN.
Problem is with getting modern Land equipment for the army. I hear that £5bn of FRES money (probably all of it) went to CV(F) but there is much else to uncover about why land vehicles procurement has gone wrong.
We could not deploy credible and survivable brigade(s) against a peer or near-peer opponent at present.

Last edited 6 months ago by Graham Moore
dan
dan
6 months ago
Reply to  John Clark

EU can’t do anything. on their own especially since the UK left. They will once again be begging for American and British troops to save the day.

Steve
Steve
6 months ago
Reply to  dan

Germany and France have openned talks with Russia to try and resolve the issue. If they are successful, it will be far more effective than our token force we are talking about sending, which my guess won’t amount to much more than a thousand troops or so. If we had a PM that wasn’t distracted trying to save themselves, we might also have been joining them talks.

JohninMK
JohninMK
6 months ago
Reply to  Steve

Neither us or the US were invited. The talks in Paris are a continuation of the original talk structure of the Minsk Protocol, and is called the Normandy Four, who are France, Gernany, Russia and Ukraine. The talks are concentrating on how to make the unwilling Ukraine (due to serious and militant right wing pressure based around Azov) implement the said Protocal. The biggest pressure coming from Makron, who faces an election in April and would really like to go into it as Mr Peace.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
6 months ago
Reply to  JohninMK

What has France and Germany got to do with this dispute? They are set back a way from the area of tension. Who nominated them to speak for the whole of western Europe? The EU? Or themselves? By setting themselves up as talkers, means they don’t have to be identified as military doers – so far they have sent no kit to aid Ukraine.
Macron is untrustworthy and the German Chanceller is new and inexperienced.
Not going to end well.

JohninMK
JohninMK
6 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

You have heard of the Normandy Four and the Minsk Protocols?

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
6 months ago
Reply to  JohninMK

Yes. Does not change my view as to the wisdom or rightness of France and Germany speaking for the whole of Western Europe.

JohninMK
JohninMK
6 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

They were involved back in 2014 as major countries that, along with Russia, could get Ukraine to negotiations and an agreement. No indication then they saw themselves as speaking for Europe and I’m sure that that is how they view themselves now.

Jonno
Jonno
5 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Macron is dreadful. He is only there for appearance sakes.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
6 months ago
Reply to  Steve

Germany and France seem to prefer talking to Russia to supporting Ukraine in a practical way.

Steve
Steve
6 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Agreed, just not sure which is the right solution. We know NATO isn’t going to do anything serious to protect Ukraine and the UK has ruled out sending troops. Is talking and trying to find a solution more effective than sending a token force and a few anti tank missiles. I suspect talks have a better chance of success, but we will never really know as details of any deals the EU/US do with Russia will be kept secret and so never know if the talks achieved anything or not.

JohninMK
JohninMK
6 months ago
Reply to  Steve

The serious talks started in Paris last week with another meeting next week. Neither we or the US are directly involved.

James
James
6 months ago
Reply to  andy

This isn’t an EU issue. It’s a European one and the U.K. is part of Europe. The EU nations by no definition hate the U.K, to suggest that is silly.

I’ll put it in terms that will most likely resonate with you. If Russia invades Ukraine, there will be millions of people displaced and many likely will travel to the U.K.

However, if millions of people were displaced it would be our moral obligation to help them.

There are many more reasons why the U.K. should be involved.

Meirion x
Meirion x
6 months ago
Reply to  andy

This is a NATO deployment, Not EU business.

Andy
Andy
6 months ago
Reply to  Meirion x

Most of the EU are NATO members but once again contribute little just like Bosnia

JohninMK
JohninMK
6 months ago
Reply to  Meirion x

It might be, but as we know its politicians, bless them, who actually have to sort things out. It looks now as if its all coming down to Ukraine to implement the Minsk deal from 2015, with pressure now coming on them from all sides.

Terence Patrick Hewett
Terence Patrick Hewett
6 months ago
Reply to  andy

Yes.

Cripes
Cripes
6 months ago

These are small token forces, being deployed to peripheral areas not under threat from Putin. A second batallion to Estonia, a RM Cdo batallion to the Baltic or Norway, has no relevance to the threat to Ukraine. It is a token political gesture only, spun to look like the smack of firm leadership. 8 Typhoons to Cyprus is interesting but of no real consequence, given that NATO is not planning to involve itself militarily in Ukraine. It will be portrayed as NATO reinforcing its Eastern front, but the limited nature of the reinforcements only underlines how weak NATO Europe has… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
6 months ago
Reply to  Cripes

Some might say that we are sabre-rattling, like Putin.

Rob
Rob
6 months ago

Seems a battle group (aka the northern littoral response group) is going to Norway and the Estonian British BG is to be reinforced. It’s very much not an escalation but more a doubling down on allied commitments. To be honest, with the size of army we have now, there’s not much more we can do. The key thing NATO should do is is to get many more fast jets (yes US jets) into the NATO ETO. I hope HMS POW gets a USMC F35 Sqn or it is going to be simply symbolic.

DFJ123
DFJ123
6 months ago
Reply to  Rob

Ok it’s good that the marines are going to Norway if true and not to the Baltics. If things really did kick off they’re arguably the only suitable troops for helping Norway and it would be a mess if they were stuck down in Poland.

Last edited 6 months ago by DFJ123
Graham Moore
Graham Moore
6 months ago
Reply to  Rob

How does deploying a carrier help with the Russo-Ukraine suituation?

Deep32
Deep32
6 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Evening Graham, in short it doesn’t, it’s a load of spin for the public. PoW can’t get close enough to offer help. She won’t go into the Baltic if the shooting starts, too constrained a body of water. She definitely won’t get into the Black Sea, which at best would leave her in the North Aegean!! The rough distance from Istanbul to Yalta (Crimea) is about 800 miles, so a 1600 mile round trip. F35s won’t be much use so there is very little point. It’s all style and no trousers from those in No.10. As others have posted Boza… Read more »

Pete
Pete
6 months ago
Reply to  Deep32

Limited stealth CAP and battlespace awareness for Turkish, Greek or Polish strike aircraft would be the only offering but refuelling would he required.

Deep32
Deep32
6 months ago
Reply to  Pete

Not something that would be without considerable risk to the tankers in contested airspace.

Pete
Pete
6 months ago
Reply to  Deep32

Indeed. Was wondering if the USN refuelling drones intended for carrier ops could actually be pushed fwd to work from land based airfields. Smaller fuel volumes but slightly stealthy and lower risk if picked up by johnny foreigner. Can’t imagine NATO aircraft over Ukraine but can readily see F35’s working well fwd in Romanian airspace keeping an eye on things.

Deep32
Deep32
6 months ago
Reply to  Pete

I would agree if only we had enough of them, something for the future at best at the moment, unfortunately.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
6 months ago
Reply to  Deep32

Maybe she could stoge around the Med?

Deep32
Deep32
6 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

There or off Norway I would guess. Although not entirely sure what that actually has to offer NATO! Both locations are too far removed to impact anything, and we simply don’t have the air assets to mount a meaningful response so soon after completing CSG21.
The situation will improve over time, but that’s years not months.
Just shows how limited our military options actually are….

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
6 months ago
Reply to  Deep32

Just looked at a map and you are right – eastern Med is too far away. So options for carriers are limited. But not so for army and RAF.

Meirion x
Meirion x
6 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

I think to keep shipping moving in the Black Sea, if Russia tries a blockade in the Black Sea. Ukraine is a major exporter of grain. We could see bread disappear.

Last edited 6 months ago by Meirion x
JohninMK
JohninMK
6 months ago
Reply to  Meirion x

It looks like Ukraine is passing Russia as the largest exporter of grain. It is a major source of foreign currency for them.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
6 months ago
Reply to  Rob

We should be able to deploy a brigade or two, if we wanted to. But don’t expect them to have modernised AFVs or artillery.

simon richards
simon richards
6 months ago

this is a joke both tory and labour have betrayed our armed forces ever since the end of the second world war cut after cut i really hope our boys and girls realise their political masters dont give a fuck about them and they roll up to the gates of westminster and arrest every mp for corruption russia is not the enemy china is china would probably arm argentina with weapons tanks planes ships and everything just to spite us

John Clark
John Clark
6 months ago
Reply to  simon richards

What’s needed here is an Amoured Regiment deployed to Poland with all the Necessary support, Apache, Artillery and a Typhoon squadron. I would ask the US, French and Germans to deploy the same size force each, into Poland and ready to defend NATOs borders if required. Rolled together it would provide a NATO armoured Division, extremely capable and ready to counter attack if needed. Stand shoulder to shoulder with Poland who might soon find themselves on the front line of yet another European War…. It’s time to stand nose to nose with Putin and make the ridiculous little man back… Read more »

Jonno
Jonno
5 months ago
Reply to  John Clark

I agree with that. I am not sure Putin would be so stupid to leave his flank vulnerable to a counter attack.

Jonno
Jonno
6 months ago
Reply to  simon richards

I can hear a few chickens coming home to roost and some in past positions of power glad the SHTF after they were safely out of the way. Every Naval option of FFBNW should be corrected double double quick.

PRJ
PRJ
6 months ago
Reply to  Jonno

Too true – starting with ASuW

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
6 months ago
Reply to  simon richards

China is not threatening to invade its neighbour. How does anything China does militarily really affect the UK?

Robert Blay.
Robert Blay.
6 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

In a global market. Everything is affected. If we let Putin even put a small step into Ukraine without consequences, then we might as well give China a green light to take Taiwan.

Frank62
Frank62
6 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Hi Graham, I refer you to the Chinese premier’s clear statement that he wants to retake Taiwan & the massive build up of forces to do so.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
6 months ago
Reply to  Frank62

Thanks Frank. So, do you see British forces helping the Taiwanese? I don’t.

Frank62
Frank62
6 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

I see no difference between our involvement in defending S Korea back in 1950 & defending Taiwan against the PRC trying to invade. We shouldn’t let the PRC dictate terms any more than Putin in Ukraine. Taiwan is a prosperous, productive, democratic nation. PRC has form swallowing up nations & for a state that decries our long past imperialism, should not be allowed to engage in neo-imperialism of its own or to subject the world to its dystopian autocratic one party order.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
6 months ago
Reply to  Frank62

Frank, I see quite a few differences betwen the situation in 1950 and 2022. In 1950 we still had an Empire (albeit diminishing) in SE Asia and had to defend our colonies who were not far from ‘the Red menace’, the US was on anti-Communist crusade and implored the British Commonwealth to join in, and we had huge armed forces to deploy. It would be a bad day if China invaded and annexed Taiwan, but is not something that affects Europe. Let the RN continue to sail CSGs in and around the South China Sea (FON exercises) – that’s about… Read more »

Jonno
Jonno
5 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

It would make the computer chip situation go critical in weeks. Taiwan is a major manufacturer.

Matt
Matt
6 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

It’s not really different from how it has been for centuries. We are dependent on trade, our trade routes need to be defended, and we need to make a contribution.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
6 months ago
Reply to  Matt

I can see the importance of FON deployments, such as CSG21. I don’t see more than that happening for British Forces in that part of the world.

JohninMK
JohninMK
6 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

China is important as last week their Foreign Minister restated that they and Russia were ‘closer than allies’ and stated that they supported everything Russia was doing with the US/NATO.

China is important to us economically, ask Rolls Royce and others, we upset them at our peril. What happens with Taiwan is not really our business and, even if we shipped everthing we could, its unlikely it would have any effect.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
6 months ago
Reply to  JohninMK

I certainly agree that China is an important nation, regionally and globally – she is likely to equal or exceed the US GDP within a few short years. We are very reliant on Chinese imports of manufactured goods.
However, other than Freedom Of Navigation (FON) patrols with AUKUS or other allies, in the SCS, I don’t foresee our armed forces deploying operationally in that part of the world.

JohninMK
JohninMK
6 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

I hope so. I am sure I remember an American Admiral in the Pacific last summer commenting that he didn’t need the QE task force there, it got in his way and that it should really stay in the Atlantic where it had a real role to play. We will see.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
6 months ago
Reply to  JohninMK

I am staggered and can’t believe this could be true – do you have a reference? US was very supportive of CSG21 and committed a destroyer (USS The Sullivans) to it. AUKUS is all about those countries committing forces to the Indo-Pacific region to curb China amongst other things. Strong UK comittment should be welcomed by every thinking American and Australian officer. How could CSG21 get in his way? Was he in USPACFLT? Surely naval CSGs and US fleets can do seaspace control? The Pacific and SCS are big places – room enough for all allies. What role would CSG21… Read more »

JohninMK
JohninMK
6 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

I was rather surprised at the time but I’m pretty sure I didn’t copy it at the time, I will look. I’m pretty sure that it was a comment by the Admiral in command of USN in the Pacific in the context of there being a carrier group sailing in his area of responsibility, on his side but not under his direct control, that might do something that he didn’t want or the reverse. I think he saw it as a NATO asset in the Atlantic, looking after the Russians.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
6 months ago
Reply to  JohninMK

He sounds very arrogant. It is not the sole preserve of the USN to ‘police’ the Pacific. AUKUS is all about UK and Australia sharing the burden with the US – perhaps this Admiral needs to learn about politics, AUKUS and working with Allies. It sounds like he is grossly over-promoted.

JohninMK
JohninMK
6 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

I assume its down to the USN regarding the Pacific as their ‘lake’ so to speak and that any major military assets in it should defer to them and a concern that the RN may be a bit too independent.

John Hartley
John Hartley
6 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Or how the British Pacific fleet joined the USN to bomb & shell Japan in 1945.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
6 months ago
Reply to  John Hartley

…and many of the islands held by Japanese troops in occupation.

Jonno
Jonno
5 months ago
Reply to  JohninMK

Sounds like USN Admiral King talking in WW2. He tried to freeze out the British Pacific Fleet but some subordinates came close to undermining him.

JohninMK
JohninMK
5 months ago
Reply to  Jonno

This was an Admiral speaking whilst the carrier group was still there last summer.

John Hartley
John Hartley
6 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

China shutting down its heavy industry for 6 weeks so Olympics have clean skies, is likely to make supply chain shortages worse.

Jonno
Jonno
5 months ago
Reply to  simon richards

I’ve been saying for years that the UK cupboard is so bare since Cameron, that the Top brass must be saying their prayers each night in the hope nothing serious happens in Europe.
Putin is an adventurer as we have seen in Syria. I believe he wants to conquer Ukraine for his legacy. I hope it costs him that and a lot more.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
6 months ago

Love how the PM grandstands on the world stage!

Which is correct, the UK can and should get involved in world affairs. Our P5 and G7 status demands it.

But as usual, the cuts to force numbers continue! The sheer hypocricy.

Looking at the deployment, RM and Paras makes sense as 16AA and 45 Cdo are high or higher readiness formations. And is the army even able to commit a brigade if it needed to?

26RA, 47 RA dets I assume go to Estonia with Apache to strengthen Cabrit?

Rob
Rob
6 months ago

Hi Daniele,

I think this is a Czechoslovakia moment ala 1938. If Putin invades and ignores the diplomacy efforts we are going to have to understand that only hard power matters and re-arm, like from 2.2% of GDP to 4+%. When Putin sends thousands of troops a British Btn or a half Sqn here and there really makes no difference. Short term, only the US has the ability to make meaningful deployments. Long term, if we get to long term, we need to basically double our defence output.

Last edited 6 months ago by Rob
Mike
Mike
6 months ago
Reply to  Rob

Indeed, 4% or more makes sense as the prime role of government is to ensure defence of the realm, and uk needs to rapidly rearm and re equip citizens with a belief in the UK. Alas with so many woke calls on government finances, that will be supported by social media / media lovies who actively dislike uk, and a population that contains a lot of self centred people of whom many have no ties to the uk beyond what can they financially get out of uk, we are doomed. That said, eu also needs to step up and realise… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
6 months ago
Reply to  Rob

Evening Rob

I agree. And where are Cameron, Osborne, Blair, Brown, and Major now?

It’s window dressing. But at the same time I would not rush in full pelt either, it just gives Putin the excuses he looks for re NATO aggression.

Behind the scenes contingency plans will be getting dusted off if greater deployments are needed.

1938 Czech moment? Yes, but the political class are only interested in a bloke having or not having or knowing of a party in his garden. Real Alice in Wonderland stuff.

Jonno
Jonno
6 months ago
Reply to  Rob

Correct and shirking Germany should be somehow brought into line. Quite disgraceful that they have enjoyed 75 years of peace and reconstruction at other peoples expense and go Awol when required. Never in human history has there been such an utterly nauseating nation.

simon
simon
6 months ago
Reply to  Jonno

Hardly 75 years of peace and reconstruction at other peoples expense. Germany spent between 4.9% to 3% of it GDP on defence between 1960 and 1983 which was about 1-2% less than the UK over that time

Jon
Jon
6 months ago
Reply to  Rob

Although a huge uplift in defence spending is needed, 4% is too much at the moment. We are not yet in an existential war and we have no need to match Russian defence spending alone. It would be difficult match spending at that level with a UK defence manufacturing infrastructure that will need time to regenerate. We’d end up spending the money in the US, which will have negative political ramifications, or worse, on stupid, ill thought out vanity projects. A commitment to a floor of 3% for at least ten years would be enough to send shock waves to… Read more »

Ross
Ross
6 months ago
Reply to  Jon

Quite an interesting suggestion, rearmament… But not panic. Could persuade me actually.

Ross
Ross
6 months ago
Reply to  Rob

Absolutely agree, both in terms of spending and also the Czech comparison. This could be a very serious moment for Europe, and despite some modest improvements in UK defence recently we are in a ver poor state for anything other flag waving exercises.

Matt
Matt
6 months ago
Reply to  Rob

The problem there is the timing. NATO started overall boosting defence budgets from 2014 (up by 30-40% since then but from a very low base). We never dropped as far as some, but Mr Blair worked the guts out of our forces, then Mr Cameron continued reductions, and that has gone on until recently when it has bottomed out somewhat. By comparison Finland started boosting its budget from 2005. If we had all done that then it would be OK. The timing is that it takes what 5-15 years to see a difference on the frontline. Consider that now there… Read more »

Last edited 6 months ago by Matt
Graham Moore
Graham Moore
6 months ago

The UK has always had a global perspective. I have always maintained that the government (Tory or Labour) has cut manpower and platform numbers once or twice a decade since the end of the Korean War, certainly for the army – no-one has challenged my claim yet! I agree that it makes sense to deploy the highest readiness units from the highest readiness formations (army or RM). I don’t see that they army is so over-committed elsewhere that they would find it hard to commit a brigade to eastern Europe, or (less likely) held back in the west of Germany… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
6 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

I wont challenge it, I only know post 1980. You are no doubt correct!

John Lewis
John Lewis
6 months ago

I doubt if Britain can defend Europe in case war breaks out. Britain defence capabilities are very questionable.

David Steeper
David Steeper
6 months ago

So we’re going to base another battalion in Estonia to defend them from Russia. Meanwhile we’re basing a brigade in Germany to defend Nordstream 2 from …. The award for schmuck of the century goes to ?

Louis
Louis
6 months ago
Reply to  David Steeper

I don’t think we’re basing a brigade in Germany. I’m pretty sure it will be just like BATUS with some equipment stationed there and units rotating through.

David Steeper
David Steeper
6 months ago
Reply to  Louis

It will contain the equipment for a Brigade and a training staff but your right that the personnel will rotate through.

Louis
Louis
6 months ago
Reply to  David Steeper

That’s better than I originally thought, I assumed it would just be a few dozen armoured vehicles but to hear it will be a whole brigades worth is great news.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
6 months ago
Reply to  Louis

Correct. CHE storage at Ayshire Bks I believe. And an ammo depot at Wulfen were retained to complement Senelager.

Pete
Pete
6 months ago
Reply to  David Steeper

😅I get it

Matt
Matt
6 months ago

Tend to agree. I think Boris is being a bit of a tit here – it’s not really a major deployment. Were it sold simply as a reasonable strengthening of NATO allies in places that are potentially under threat, then fine.

With the big drum roll and chest-beating – not really.

Shades of Tony Blairs Tanks at Heathrow.

Restart the naval mines production line, Sevastopol and the Kerch Strait potentially for the benefit of !

Last edited 6 months ago by Matt
James William Fennell
James William Fennell
6 months ago
Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
6 months ago

Cannot access it James.

eclipse
eclipse
6 months ago

Google “Britain activism in Ukraine rattles Paris” and it should come up without the paywall.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
6 months ago
Reply to  eclipse

Ok, just read, thank you E.

Well well, what ever changes? Britain to the fore while some in Europe sit on their hands.

Unlike France and Germany, we are 5 eyes and probably have a far greater appreciation of what Russia is up to. We are part of the greatest SIGINT alliance the world has seen. They are not. Germany is a lower partner only.

David Barry
David Barry
6 months ago

I think the Chinese have the biggest Int operation at the moment and they’re not in an alliance… just saying like.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
6 months ago
Reply to  David Barry

Yes, no doubt huge. Depends on how you measure. And I think you include IP stealing. I was thinking purely of exchanges of data, joint procedures, and scale and number of collection sites, be they FORNSAT, SIGINT, ELINT, radio, cables, internet, metadata and so on.

Ours started with the UKUSA agreement in 1946 and has spanned continents ever since. They are playing catch up, and where are their world wide spread of collection sites? I don’t think China has a comparable network yet, if ever.

DFJ123
DFJ123
6 months ago

Wouldn’t it make a lot of sense to be deploying a couple of CAMM batteries to the Baltics? Especially Poland is going to have a risk of spill over from a Ukrainian conflict where the Russian’s will be lobbing short-range ballistic missiles and long-range SAM’s. It can’t help export chances either with a bit of press.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
6 months ago
Reply to  DFJ123

Do they even exist yet? 16 RA held its official Sky Sabre “inauguration” at Baker Barracks only a few days ago. And how many and how many batteries is still murky, the usual deliberate MoD smokescreen. I’ve read of 18, I think Airborne mentioned that number too? Apparently 16 RA remains at 4 fire batteries batteries, one of which is in the Falklands, and how many have been re equipped yet, who knows? Deploying even 2 batteries removes 50% of the regiments strength, which is meant for the field armies Armoured Brigades. Of course, there was once 22RA alongside 16RA.… Read more »

DFJ123
DFJ123
6 months ago

I actually have no idea how air defence is organised in the army but it seems confusing as hell.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
6 months ago
Reply to  DFJ123

Hi DF. Sorry, was I going off on one. Admittedly keeping up with the cuts is hard and if you we’re not aware then yes, impossible to see what I was rambling on about. Present: 7 Air Defence Group: Consisting of – 16 Reg RA ( Rapier FSC Sky Sabre ) 4 Batteries plus HQ Battery. Supports the 3 Armoured Brigades ( soon 2 ) in the field and 1 battery in Falklands on roulement. It is not meant for AD of the UK and if deployed alone to the Baltics as you suggested leaves the field army bare of… Read more »

DFJ123
DFJ123
6 months ago

Thanks that’s actually hugely appreciated. Again, apologies if this is a stupid question but if we’re getting 18 batteries of Sky Sabre, where do the others go to considering 16 Reg RA has only 5 batteries? Or it’s 18 sets to fill those batteries? If so how many launch vehicles and ready missiles would a battery usually have? E.g is it just one radar vehicle, one control vehicle and one launcher vehicle or there would be multiple launchers to a single battery?

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
6 months ago
Reply to  DFJ123

I have heard from other posters it “may” be only 18 launchers. Not 18 Batteries!

On “Systems” that is launcher, radar, I’m unsure. It might be as few as 4 if the 18 is correct as then you’d have 16 in use and 2 spares for training at Larkhill with 14RA.

Hopefully it is more.

James William Fennell
James William Fennell
6 months ago
Reply to  DFJ123

The equation is NATO wide – the US has Patriot batteries in the Baltics, and there are already British and French tanks in the MNB in Estonia, as well as a Canadian-led MNB in Lithuania with armour. 16X can rapidly redeploy to Poland or elswhere as needed. It will take a while to get Sky Sabre or Challenger rgts. to threatre entry standard anyway.16X is the normal vanguard deployment – right now time is of the essence, I’m sure other capabilities can rotate in due course. There is not time to wait for weeks for a deployment – signalling is… Read more »

Last edited 6 months ago by James William Fennell
David Barry
David Barry
6 months ago

Sorry, but,
Canadians are lead in Latvia.
Never, ever, seen Patriots in the Baltics – perhaps you meant Poland?
Does 16X exist? I believe only PARA Bn on stand by.

James William Fennell
James William Fennell
6 months ago
Reply to  David Barry

There are Patrots in Lithuania – yes Latvia for Canucks my typo.https://sputniknews.com/20170711/us-patriot-missile-lithuania-1055442849.html

James William Fennell
James William Fennell
6 months ago
Reply to  David Barry

Does 16X exist? what kind of troll question is that? There is a high readiness Bn of course, but 16X BCT is now called The ‘Global Response Force’ along with the Aviation BCT and has received an extra battalion, for a reason no doubt. But if you want to be glum, you will be glum… https://www.army.mod.uk/who-we-are/formations-divisions-brigades/16-air-assault-brigade-combat-team/

David Barry
David Barry
6 months ago

Not a troll question at all; see other better informed responses as to why.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
6 months ago
Reply to  David Barry

😀 Just to add to James Fs reply. Yes, 16x exists! I think I know what you meant though. It has had its enablers reduced in the 2015 cuts but it at least has a full set of them.
As you say, 1 battalion of Para Reg will be in role as the Lead Air Assault Task Force, with other bits and pieces of the enablers to move quickly.

Needs strengthening, like everything else, and is a bit of a paper tiger firepower wise. That was from Airborne himself, and who would I be to argue.

James William Fennell
James William Fennell
6 months ago
Reply to  DFJ123

Poland and Romania have US ‘Aegis Ashore’ ABM as well as Patriot deployed.

Last edited 6 months ago by James William Fennell
DFJ123
DFJ123
6 months ago

Neither of which are going to be operational during the period of this crisis, unless I’ve read things incorrectly. I think my point still stands that the greatest security risk to NATO countries is an errant missile from a war over Ukraine ignoring a border. That could mean a ballistic missile hitting a Polish city or more plausibly a civilian airliner getting shot down like the last time Russia invaded Ukraine.

JohninMK
JohninMK
6 months ago

Poland not yet live, expected operational by the end of this year.

Ewiak Ryszard
Ewiak Ryszard
6 months ago

There’s no reason to panic. The disciples asked Jesus an interesting question: “Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign when all these things shall begin to be fulfilled?” (Mark 13:4, Douay-Rheims 1899 American Edition) He answered: “You will hear of wars and rumors of wars. Don’t be alarmed. These things must happen, but it is not yet the fulfillment [of the sign].” (Matthew 24:6) The global nuclear war, (this will be the fulfillment of the sign of Jesus), will start with an ethnic conflict: “For nation will rise against nation”, like as in 2008… Read more »

Marius
Marius
6 months ago

This is all smoke-and-mirrors shenanigans to take the spotlight off Boris’s shabby and careless style of habitation at No 10. The whole idea, even suggestion, of POW deployment to somehow bolster Eastern European borders is plain grandstanding.
A pantomime of a navalized version of the Earl of Cardigan at Balaclava.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
6 months ago
Reply to  Marius

Yes, I read he was leaving STRAP material lying around the flat where his missus journo friends might see it!
🙄

Farouk
Farouk
6 months ago
Reply to  Marius

M wrote: This is all smoke-and-mirrors shenanigans to take the spotlight off Boris’s shabby and careless style of habitation at No 10 It could be, or it could be the Uk taking up the mantle of leadership in a somewhat rudderless Europe where when clear and concise leadership is needed the EU, France and Germany have just stood about twiddling their thumbs whilst waiting to see which way the wind blows. The interesting thing to take away from this is after years of demonising the Uk to the little people, the likes of the EU, France and Germany have been… Read more »

Last edited 6 months ago by Farouk
David Steeper
David Steeper
6 months ago
Reply to  Farouk

🙄🤔😀

David Barry
David Barry
6 months ago
Reply to  Farouk

As to your 1st point, Bluffer is deflecting and needs to be hoisted on a petard, which ship has the highest in the fleet?

QEC you say? Based at Portsmouth, you say? Hang the bluffing git from that for the dishonour he did to HMQEll, you say?

I agree, string him up and let the birds peck and eat him to their fill; that charlatan is a disgrace and defiles the names of… ahem… some…. some!! good Conservative MPs.

The rest of your post is EU bashing and apologising for Bluffer.

Q. Will the Queen see the FULL report?

Steven Alfred Rake
Steven Alfred Rake
6 months ago

If you look at the body langue of the PM’s Briefing from the Joint heads of the military (now showing in the news and in the paper) they is not happy chappy’s as they have just told him “what can we do after all these years of cut backs” but like all British service personnel they will do the best with what what they have. Due to our forces having been gutted over the last 20 odd years we are going to have to look to our Nato partners to take up a lot more of the slack if things… Read more »

David Barry
David Barry
6 months ago

Gutted for 30 years both Labour and the Cons deserve opprobrium for this.

Steven Alfred Rake
Steven Alfred Rake
6 months ago
Reply to  David Barry

Hello David, I just wish they would bring back hanging for treason, we would have to start with quit a few politicians both ex and serving.

GMD
GMD
6 months ago

Hi all, first time contributing. I was wondering if it is to late to reverse in part, some of the cuts that have been recently announced. Maybe instead of reducing the army manpower from 82k to 73k, stop the reduction at 75k (I’m not sure how far the reductions have progressed)? Or return the E7 to an order of 5 instead of the current 3, return the Challenger 3 order to 228, and so on. You would do all these actions at once, you would announce them one at a time, over a period of weeks or months. It just… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
6 months ago
Reply to  GMD

Hi GMD On the 82K to 73K, people often forget we are already well below the 82K, not far off 75,000 I recall? The cut in actual people is slim, it is the establishment posts figure dropping, which will impact units and their component companies/squadrons/batteries. On the Tanks, they would have to change the stated plans for the KRH, as they are due to become Ajax regiment as armoured regiments reduce from 3 to 2. 228 Tanks is too many for just 2 Regiments unless they equip the RWY, Royal Wessex Yeomanry, who are the reserve regiment, fully. That in… Read more »

Farouk
Farouk
6 months ago

Interesting tweet for the spotters:

Opera Snapshot_2022-01-30_201802_twitter.com.png
Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
6 months ago
Reply to  Farouk

“The incoming war”

They’re sure of themselves.

Farouk
Farouk
6 months ago

The bloke who tweets is an Iranian (not loved by the Mullahs) he’s an aircraft expert and writes for the papers and defence mags, so I suppose his grasp of English (whilst better than my Farsi) does need a little work when it comes to being eloquent. But did you watch the vid.?

Last edited 6 months ago by Farouk
Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
6 months ago
Reply to  Farouk

No, I cannot as I’m at work mate.

Paul T
Paul T
6 months ago

It’s interesting how successive British Governments have made the same mistakes with defence as they did in the 30’s. History books tell a story that can’t be ignored, and I feel that our politicians have once again walked into another dangerous situation with the utmost naivety.
Who remembers those Phillip Hammond comments about our armed forces when he was that inspirational (or not) Defence Secretary.

grizzler
grizzler
6 months ago
Reply to  Paul T

Funny how Johnson likens himself to Chruchill- well apart from actually doing anything worthwhile of course- between him and Cameron they’ve done a great job,over the last 15 years absolute pair of jokers.

dan
dan
6 months ago

Meanwhile Biden is giving Putin the OK to invade. So long as it’s a minor invasion. LOL!

grizzler
grizzler
6 months ago
Reply to  dan

The Yanks have done it before (Kuwait anyone) – & will no doubt do it again.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
6 months ago

I’m amazed nobody else has commented on the B2 River being sent to a hot zone.

T45 I can understand.

T23 I could well understand as they are a complimentary pairing.

B2 with a 30mm cannon: why?

Pete
Pete
6 months ago

Agree. B2 on current configuration is a joke for this scenario. No ability to defend itself from anything incoming. ….even if stray. 57mm and 40mm minimum fit out even for simply an observation role.

Pete
Pete
6 months ago

And answer is political crap over number of warships sent. If anything happens to those crews then those that made the decision to send them (political or military) would be guilty of Gross Negligence. Proceeding with an unnecessary decision without regard to the known and probable risks faced.

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
6 months ago

It might be a good thing to accelerate the 24 x CAMM upgrade onto 1-2 or all the T45s even prior to the full Camm/Aster NG upgrade? Hope HMS Diamond has its Harpoons on board just in case might be needed. If things get worse the RN might need to purchase some latest batch Harpoons from the US (?) that can hopefully slot in easily to offer AShM and LA ability. And any time for a quick 40mm up-gunning of a couple of R2s too? Lets hope conflict doesn’t come for all sides sake but if it does that we’re… Read more »

Steven Alfred Rake
Steven Alfred Rake
6 months ago

Looks to me as though they are putting out a bit of battleship grey cheese hoping that the Russian rat take’s a chunk so that we can cry foul. I just feel sorry for the guys on the piece of cheese, and let up hope the T45 dose not have a power loss or the Russian Rat will have two piece’s of battleship grey cheese .

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
6 months ago

I don’t see this as terrible. They troops mentioned are very adaptable and I imagine will get to grips with the areas they are in, Integrate with local forces and use there skill sets to put best defences in place. This is not about going to war in Ukraine. It’s to show that Russia can go no further. NATO country is the redline. Do we not already have heavy armor in a Baltic country or was that just temporary? I’m not sure the ships to the Black Sea is a great idea or what they bring to the party. A… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
6 months ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

I have speculated before that the RB2s could be ideal for that.

Sean
Sean
6 months ago

Cue all the usual rants that the U.K. isn’t equipped to fight Russia on its own…

a) we aren’t going to fight Russia, unless Russian forces spill over the border into a NATO member (Ukraine is NOT a member)

b) in the event of (a) we won’t be on our own, we’d be with the largest and most powerful military alliance in history

🤷🏻‍♂️

geoff
geoff
6 months ago

In these situations lies and misinformation are order of the day and some of the things said and written are really Alice in Wonderland stuff! So I would ask Putin one question and bully him into giving an answer that makes any sense-why is he massing huge numbers of troops and hardware along the entire length of their common border with Ukraine? My second question for Boris-no matter how you rate the quality and training, how can you possibly justify the tiny number-70 odd thousand as the size of our standing army given we are very much a top ten… Read more »

Last edited 6 months ago by geoff
JohninMK
JohninMK
6 months ago
Reply to  geoff

May I answer on behalf of Mr Putin? The 100,000 troops currently within 100-150 miles of the eastern Ukrainian border are pretty much what is there all the time. There are exercises running much of the time which means that they move around. The Ukrainian military have confirmed this last week, saying that the don#t like it but there is nothing they can do about Russians moving units here and there. It is different on the norther border as that is a border with Belarus. Here there is a major exercise underway with the movement of around 10,000 troops with… Read more »

JohninMK
JohninMK
6 months ago
Reply to  JohninMK

The main Belarus exercise is Union Resolve 2022 on February 10-20 with full details, if you are interested at https://tass.com/defense/1395141

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
6 months ago

France at least seems to understand the urgency of getting new kit sooner rather than later.

IAV 2022: France ramps up deliveries of SCORPION vehicles
“To keep up with these delivery rates, Nexter is tripling its production capacity to 450 vehicles a year by 2025. The company expects to be supporting 5,000 SCORPION vehicles by 2030.”

https://www.janes.com/defence-news/land-forces/latest/iav-2022-france-ramps-up-deliveries-of-scorpion-vehicles

Pete
Pete
6 months ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

That is positive. The Jaguar looks like a very flexible rapidly deployable asset at @1m Eurostar each.

Well armed and a base weight of 25mt…air deployable.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/EBRC_Jaguar

Paul.P
Paul.P
6 months ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

So we can sell them our surplus ‘as new’ CT40 cannons?

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
6 months ago
Reply to  Paul.P

We most probably have!

Paul.P
Paul.P
6 months ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

😂

Steve
Steve
6 months ago

The news is reporting that we are looking to double our forces in eastern Europe, which would mean a deployment of around 900 troops. That low a number is purely a PR stunt by our government aimed at UK newspapers and nothing to do with providing any form of reassurances to our allies.

If we were serious about providing reassurances, we would be at least sending a few thousand.

Paul.P
Paul.P
6 months ago

Major deployment? “ a tale. Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,Signifying nothing.”I just finished watching the chilling Chernobyl dvds. Ukraine will not easily return to being governed from Moscow.
Apparently Gorbachev said after leaving office that Chernobyl was perhaps the real reason for the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
6 months ago
Reply to  Paul.P

I wonder if this is why the US has sent a WC-135W to monitor radioactivity in the area? Imagine the number of dust particles that would be disturbed if convoys rolled through on route to the capital.
“If Russia decides to invade Ukraine and take the shortest route to the capital, it will be through the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, one of the most radioactive places in the world.”

https://news.sky.com/story/russia-ukraine-tensions-moscow-gave-the-order-to-clear-chernobyl-now-kyiv-hopes-it-wont-be-used-to-invade-12529104

Paul.P
Paul.P
6 months ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Yep. Very smart political move. Potential for more opprobrium to be poured on Vladimir. The Chernobyl exclusion zone extends into Belarus so any Russian troop movements there could disturb radioactive sub soil.

Posse Comitatus
Posse Comitatus
6 months ago

It could also be interpreted as this : Embattled British prime minister deploying armed forces to crisis point in order to look tough on world stage and deflect from current difficulties. However, much like a near bankrupt in a high stakes poker game, the pot is virtually empty and lacks quantity. This is not to denigrate the professionalism or competence of the personnel being sent, but it is precious few. It reminds me of the quantity of infantry that were sent to Helmand. – about 500 or so, they were expected to carry out security operations in an area the… Read more »

Warren
Warren
6 months ago

We didn’t have enough helicopters for Afghanistan we got merlins destined for Denmark, which required quite a lot of work to bring them to UK spec and things haven’t got any better since, hopefully the medium helicopter replacement will deliver a decent number of cabs.

Tom Keane
Tom Keane
6 months ago

The suggested UK deployment to ‘Europe’, is merely a ‘tool’, the purpose of which is to cajole other European NATO members, into stepping up their ‘defensive posturing’, to support the Ukraine.

I do not believe the Russians will be bothered by any suggested British presence, however it should kick NATO members in the ‘slats’ and help present a UNITED NATO front to a possible antagonist.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
6 months ago
Reply to  Tom Keane

UK has already deployed troops to eastern Europe – just looking at deploying a few more. It won’t change anything, as you say.
Putin is achieving all he set out to achieve. Then one day he will recall his troops and be hailed as a peace-maker.

Heidfirst
Heidfirst
6 months ago

1st Battalion Civil Service strike fear wherever they go … 😜

criss whicker
criss whicker
6 months ago

Why is it always us ready to defend europe, they have 27 odd coubtries most with the abilty to help, and nearer than we are, .
will these euro mates/friends/ sent help to defend us in the near future if we are attacted, just asking..