British Army - Combat Service Support - The Royal Logistic Corps (RLC) - a10a2 - Armed Forces


The Royal Logistic Corps (RLC) is the youngest Corps in the Army and was formed in April 1993. The Corps was formed from an amalgamation of the Royal Corps of Transport, the Royal Army Ordnance Corps, the Army Catering Corps, the Royal Pioneer Corps and the postal and courier element of the Royal Engineers.

As at late 2015, the RLC makes up almost 15 per cent of the Regular Army, comprising  about 14,000 personnel, serving across approximately 800 different units. About 60 per cent of officers and soldiers serve within RLC units, with the remaining 40 per cent serving throughout the Ministry of Defence. The RLC Reserve component makes up about 15 per cent of the total Reserve strength.

The RLC is formed of 12 major regular units, and 12 major reserve units. RLC Regular and Reserve units are listed in the following tables:

Regular Unit



1st Regiment RLC Close Support Bicester
3rd Regiment RLC Close Support Aldershot
4th Regiment RLC Close Support Abingdon
6th Regiment RLC Force Logistic Regiment Dishforth
7th Regiment RLC Force Logistic Regiment Cottesmore
9th Regiment RLC Theatre Logistics Hullavington
10th Queens Own Gurkhas Regt RLC Theatre Logistics Aldershot
11 EOD Regiment Explosive Ordnance Disposal Didcot
13 Air Assault Support Regiment Air Assault Close Support Colchester
17 Port and Maritime Regiment Maritime Support Marchwood
27 Theatre Logistic Regiment Theatre Logistics Abingdon
29 Regiment Postal, Courier & Movements South Cerney


Reserve Unit


Sqn Locations
150 Transport Regiment Hull Hull, Leeds, Doncaster.
151 Transport Regiment Croydon Brentwood, Maidstone, Sutton, Barnet, Southall.
152 Fuel Support Regiment Belfast Londonderry, Coleraine, Belfast.
154 (Scottish) Transport Regiment Dunfermline Dunfermline, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Irvine.
156 Supply Regiment Liverpool Salford, Birkenhead, Lancaster, Bootle.
157 (Welsh) Transport Regiment Cardiff Queensferry, Cardiff, Swansea, Carmarthen, Haverford West.
158 Transport Regiment Peterborough Bedford, Ipswich, Colchester, Loughborough, Lincoln.
159 Supply Regiment Canley Telford, Tynemouth, West Bromwich, Coventry
162 Postal Courier & Movements Regiment Nottingham Swindon, Nottingham, Coulby, Newham.
165 (Wessex) Port & Enabling Regiment Plymouth Plymouth, Southampton.
166 Supply Regiment Grantham Banbury, Grantham, Aylesbury.
167 Catering Support Regiment Grantham Grantham.
2 Operational Support Group Grantham. Grantham.


Close Support Regiments
Every Close Support Regiment (CSR) is affiliated to a deployable Brigade within the Army. A CSR is comprised 1 x General Support Squadron which looks after the supply function and 2 x Close Support Squadrons which execute distribution. On operations each CSR also deploys up to 6 x Logistic Support Detachments (LSDs) who work with the formation Battlegroups and form the logistic link back to the CSR. 13 Air Assault Support Regiment and the Commando Logistic Regiment perform the same role as the CSRs for their specialist Brigades, 16 Air Assault Brigade and 3 Commando Brigade respectively.

Force and Theatre Support Regiments
Force and Theatre Support Regiments undertake more specialist roles, such as the control and distribution of supplies and materiel moving in and out of the theatre of conflict and specialist transport and distribution requirements, for example movement of heavy equipment over land. On operations they retain responsibility for these areas and may also encompass contractor management, the management of logistic support at unit level and the deployment and command of Logistic Support Teams, working with forward based sub-units from Battlegroups in the Brigade. The specialist Medical Supply Squadron is also within the Theatre Logistic Regiment.

The final group of major units within the RLC are the ‘enablers’. The enablers consist of 11 Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Regiment, 17 Port and Maritime Regiment, and 29 Postal, Courier and Movement Regiment. The majority of these units come under the command of 104 Logistic Support Brigade, with the exception of 11 EOD Regiment. These regiments provide specialist support from the home base and elements are routinely deployed to the theatre of operations. Some niche capabilities have personnel deployed on operations continuously, such as the Ammunition Technical officers and soldiers from 11 EOD Regiment, Movement Controllers and Postal and Courier operators from 29 Regiment.

Due to the ever changing nature of conflict, the RLC doctrine undergoes constant review and remains flexible to suit the requirement of the fighting force. Supplies are held both within supply areas across the theatre of operations, and on wheels, ready for rapid deployment forwards to the operational area. This is facilitated by intelligent, computerised provisioning and forecasting, allowing movement of materiel and combat supplies as needed, removing the requirement for vast stores of equipment and supplies at the forward edge of the battle. Where urgent supplies are identified, or a short notice replenishment is to be undertaken, the RLC has the ability to move stocks forward to the fighting troops through combat logistic patrols on the ground or by air, using the air despatch capability.

The Army do not just use the RLC for movement of supplies and materiel for our own force – the protected distribution capability has also been used for infrastructure re-building for nations such as Iraq and Afghanistan. For example the movement of the Kajaki Dam equipment in Afghanistan was completed by an RLC combat logistic patrol.

Due to the specialist nature of many aspects of the RLC and the importance of logistics within an armed force, the RLC have also become involved in the training and mentoring of a number of foreign armies, including the Afghan National Army. This has included training in the provisioning and accounting of stores, distribution through logistic patrols and specialist functions such as counter-Improvised Explosive Device (c-IED) work with 11 EOD Regiment.

With the threat from improvised explosive devices prevalent in operational theatres the RLC are developing vehicles and equipment to combat the threat. Protected mobility platforms are driven by the RLC for the command and control of convoys using platforms such as PANTHER and RIDGEBACK, with convoy protection being delivered by RLC soldiers from the standard armoured infantry wheeled vehicle such as MASTIFF.

For distribution, the RLC use the MAN Support Vehicle EPLS (Enhanced Palletised Load System) which has replaced the previous DROPS load carrying vehicle. The MAN Support Vehicle also comes in a standard 15 ton variant with loads greater than the capacity of the MAN SV carried on the Heavy Equipment Transporter (HET). For liquid loads, such as water and fuel, the Close Support Tanker provides protection and mobility to allow replenishment forward to the fighting troops.

Although many of the vehicles operated by the RLC are common to all arms, RLC units are in the main the majority users.

The Central Army Post Office (APO) is located in London and there are individual British Forces Post Offices (BFPO) wherever British Forces are stationed, plus Postal and Courier Squadrons with 29 Regiment (UK)


The primary roles of the RLC are supply, distribution and specialist logistic functions. Within these functions, soldiers are employed within trade groups, known as Main Trades For Pay. These RLC functions and the list of soldier trades are as follows:

Roles and Functions of the RLC
Role Function Trade
Supply Materiel
Combat Supplies
Medical Stores
Logistic Specialist (supply)
Petroleum Operator
Vehicle support specialist
Distribution Road
Air Despatch
Maritime – littoral
Driver Tank Transporter
Driver Air Despatch
Driver Communications Specialist
Specialist Explosive Ordnance Disposal
Postal and Courier
Movement Control
Port and Maritime
Labour Support
Systems Analysis
Contract Management
Ammunition Technician
Postal and Courier Operator
Movement Controller
Marine Engineer
Port Operator
Systems Analyst