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Delivering Security in a Changing World

The 2003 Defence White Paper, entitled Delivering Security in a Changing World sets out the future of the British military , and builds on the 1998 Strategic Defence Review (SDR) and the 2002 SDR New Chapter which responded to the challenges raised by the War on Terror.

Table of contents

Key points

The White Paper, following on from the Strategic Defence Review, outlined the following posture for the UK armed forces:

  • The ability to support three simultaneous small to medium scale operations, where at least one is an enduring peace-keeping mission (e.g. Kosovo). These forces must be capable of acting as lead nation in any coalition operations.
  • The ability, at longer notice, to deploy forces in a large scale operation while running a concurrent small scale operation.

Most of the reforms listed below were announced as part of the Delivering Security in a Changing World: Future Capabilites review, published on July 21 2004.

The review also mentioned "significant" classified enhancements of British special forces, including strength increases and investment in new equipment.

Financially, in a Treasury spending review announced the week before, the budget would rise by 3.7bn pounds, from £29.7bn in 2004/2005 to £33.4bn in 2007/2008. The review also mentions £3bn to be invested into procuring new helicopters over the next ten years.

Future Army Structure

The future regimental structure of the British Army, after changes were outlined in the review was announced in December 2004. Significant changes included:

  • Conversion of an armoured regiment to formation reconnaissance
  • All single-battalion infantry regiments to be merged into existing or new regiments.
  • Conversion of 4th Armoured Brigade to a mechanised brigade
  • Conversion of 19 Mechanised Brigade to a light brigade (19 Light Brigade).
  • Conversion of a single battalion of the Parachute Regiment to a tri-service specialist special forces support battalion.
  • Reorganisation of the Territorial Army into 14 battalions that are attached to regular regiments of the British Army.
  • Reduction in number of British infantry battalions from 40 to 36.
  • Reduction in number and size of military bands across the Army.
  • Reduction in numbers of Army Air Corps helcopters based in Northern Ireland.
  • Creation of the Defence HUMINT Unit.
  • Creation of a new commando engineer regiment.
  • Creation of a new signals regiment

See also

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