The British Army is to establish a new Special Operations Brigade to carry out missions in “high threat” environments overseas, the Ministry of Defence has announced.
Under the plans, four infantry battalions will be absorbed into a new Ranger Regiment enabling them to undertake roles traditionally carried out by Special Forces – the SAS and SBS.
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said they would be at the forefront of a more “active and engaged” armed forces following the publication earlier this week of the Integrated Review of foreign and defence policy.
A share of £120 million will be invested in the unit to enable to take part in “collective deterrence” such as training, advising, enabling and accompanying partner forces.
At the same time, a new Security Force Assistance Brigade will draw from specialised infantry units to provide further guidance and training to allied forces.
Mr Wallace said: “The best way to prevent conflict and deter our adversaries is to work alongside partners to strengthen their security and resilience.
“These Ranger battalions will be at the vanguard at a more active and engaged armed forces.”
The Chief of the General Staff, General Sir Mark Carleton-Smith, said the Special Operations Brigade was designed to operate alongside “both regular and irregular partners and proxies in high-threat and hostile environments”.
“The Army Ranger Regiment will be the vanguard of the Army’s global footprint,” he said.