Armed Forces - a3a7 - British Army - Formations - Battlegroups and Company Groups - Task Group



A Division usually consists of two or three Brigades. These Brigades are further sub-divided into smaller formations known as Battlegroups. The Battlegroup is the basic building brick of the fighting formations.

A Battlegroup is commanded by a Lieutenant Colonel and the Infantry Battalion or Armoured Regiment that he commands provides the command and staff element of the formation. The Battlegroup is then structured according to task, with the correct mix of infantry, armour and supporting arms.

The Battlegroup organisation is very flexible and the units assigned can be quickly regrouped to cope with a change in the threat. A typical Battlegroup fighting a defensive battle on the FEBA (Forward Edge of the Battle Area), and based upon an organisation of one armoured squadron and two mechanised companies, could contain about 600 men, 16 tanks and about 80 armoured personnel carriers.

The number of Battlegroups in a division and a brigade could vary according to the task the formation has been given. As a general rule you could expect a division to have as many as 12 Battlegroups and a brigade to have up to three or four. The following diagram shows a possible organisation for an Armoured Battlegroup in either 1(UK) Armoured Division or 3(UK) Division.

(1) Armoured Squadron

(2) Armoured Company (in a Mechanised Company the vehicles will be Saxon)

(3) LLAD - Low-Level Air Defence - HVM

(4) LRATGW - Long-Range Anti-Tank Guided Weapon
(5) Engineer Detachment


Each Battlegroup will operate with smaller organisations called task groups or company groups. These groups which are commanded by a Major, will be allocated tanks, armoured personnel carriers and supporting elements depending upon the aim of the formation.

Supporting elements such as air defence, anti-tank missiles, fire support and engineer expertise ensure that the combat team is a balanced all arms grouping, tailored specifically for the task. In general a Battlegroup similar to the one in the previous diagram could be expected to form three company groups.

Expect a Group organisation to resemble the following diagram:

(1) Forward Observation Officer (FOO - usually a Captain) with his party from the Royal Artillery. This FOO will be in direct communication with a battery of six/eight guns and the Artillery Fire Direction Centre. The MFC (Mortar Fire Controller) is usually a sergeant from an infantry battalion mortar platoon who may have up to six mortar tubes on call. In most Combat Teams both the FOO and MFC will travel in close proximity to the Combat Team Commander

(2) Possibly 2 x Spartan with HVM
(3) Possibly 2 x Scimitar