Armed Forces - a4a3 - British Army - The Household Cavalry & Royal Armoured Corps - Formation Reconnaissance Regiment



During the past decade Formation Reconnaissance was re-organised to provide five regular regiments. Four of these regiments have three sabre squadrons and a command and support squadron, whereas the Household Cavalry Regiment (HCR) has a fourth squadron which is specifically affiliated to 16 Air Assault Brigade.

Formation Reconnaissance Regiments are usually under the direct command of a formation headquarters (divisional or brigade). Their more usual task in a defensive scenario is to identify the direction and strength of the enemy thrusts, impose maximum delay and damage to the enemy's reconnaissance forces, while allowing main forces to manoeuvre to combat the threat.

They would be assisted in such a task by using their own organic long-range anti-tank guided weapons and other assets that might be attached, such as anti-tank helicopters (Lynx with TOW and perhaps Apache Longbow (WAH-64D)).

In support would be the indirect fire guns (AS 90) and Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) of the divisional artillery and an air-defended area (ADA) maintained by Rapier and Stormer HVM air-defence missiles.

The basic task of Formation Reconnaissance is to obtain accurate information about the enemy and develop an intelligence picture in their areas of responsibility for their superior commanders in the chain-of-command, as quickly as possible. However, Formation Reconnaissance Regiments are now capable of providing armour support to infantry on operations in  Afghanistan.

Formation Reconnaissance Regiments outline structure

(1) The Brigade Reconnaissance Force (BRF) operates a squadron sized unit using protected vehicles to identify and if necessary strike hostile elements.
(2) Expect the Command and Support Squadron to include a ground surveillance troop, a TACP/FAC party and an NBC protection troop in addition to the normal command and control elements.

Full wartime establishment is approximately 600 all ranks.

In war, each Formation Reconnaissance Regiment could receive an additional reconnaissance squadron from the TA Yeomanry.