comedian onto the stage for his own impromptu set.
Tpr McRitchie admires the WILDCAT’s camera
After a chance to do something a little different on Troop Tests, the real focus became preparation for Exercise ULU RAJAH. This exercise will entail five weeks of living in the jungles of Brunei - a searching test of soldiering skill. While it might seem odd to take an Armoured Cavalry Squadron on such a long and specialised dismounted exercise, it nests perfectly with the Commanding
Officer’s intent that all Troops be able to operate silently. The jungle will demand the most rigid application of low level skills, helping soldiers to know what ‘good’ feels like and inculcating the self-discipline, robustness and agility that make Household Cavalry soldiers special. A Squadron is being reinforced by Troops from C and D Squadron, as well as a large number of enablers from Headquarters Squadron, to make a group of 150 containing six Sabre Troops under WO2 Allen RHG/D and SCpl Rosendale RHG/D newly in position as SCM and SQMC respectively. It will be a unique experience.
by Major R W Horgan, The Blues and Royals ARMOURED CAVALRY IN 2025 THE ISTAR SQUADRON What has it been used for in the past? B Squadron, the Household Cavalry Regiment has worn the mask of reccestrike well. The Squadron fulfilled a theatre-specific deep disruption task with bravery and tenacity. However, as the Command & Support (C&S) Squadron of a Formation and later Brigade Reconnaissance (FR/BR) unit it was pulled out of shape by Op HERRICK. The RAC secured the Brigade Reconnaissance Force (BRF) role for C&S Squadrons as the dismounted infantry skills that this type of squadron possessed (by virtue of Support, Surveillance and Sniper troops), combined with a reconnaissance mind-set that lent themselves to the requirement of the BRF. Therefore a squadron designed to hold Battle Group (BG) capabilities and support Sabre Squadrons became the premier strike and recce asset of FR/BR Regiments. These squadrons operated very successfully, largely in an air-mobile role during the later tours, for brigades who were becoming increasingly fixed by the
enemy and theatre policy. Focusing on Reconnaissance in Force and Raid tasks (Maj A Foden, Officer Commanding the Brigade Reconnaissance Force, (BRF) on OPERATION HERRICK 17, 09 July 2013), their tempo and employment was more akin to US 1st Air Cavalry Division operations during the Vietnam War (Stanton, Shelby, Anatomy of a Division: The 1st Cav in Vietnam). They were very effective at operating in the rear-area of dispersed insurgent groupings which used soviet era weapons. Why is it no longer required? Evolution. In Ajax, Armoured Cavalry Regiments’s (ACRs) are faced with employing the most expensive piece of land equipment ever procured by the Ministry of Defence (Defence Land Equipment Plan, Ministry of Defence, 2015). It will enter a battlefield where belligerent adversaries exploit the Electro Magnetic Spectrum (EMS) more than any time in history. These adversaries are specialising in blurring the lines between combatants and civilians in a form of legal reflexive warfare. To add to this, several of these belligerent adversaries possess
B Squadron (BRF) in contact on Op HERRICK
8 ■ Household Cavalry Regiment
near-peer or super-peer capabilities. Unlike HERRICK, Defence no longer needs Armoured Cavalry Regiments to field an air-mobile recce-strike capability. It needs solutions to modern, intractable problems based around and in support of a ground mounted ISTAR platform. What is the requirement now for B Squadron? The current and likely future requirement is for a specialist ISTAR Squadron to work inside an ACR, who can conduct technical reconnaissance, surveillance and counter-surveillance across the Electro Magnetic Spectrum (EMS). As ‘war amongst the people’ (Smith, R, ‘Methods of warfare’, International review of the Red Cross’) is likely to be a defining paradigm of modern conflict, this squadron will also need to operate in and develop an understanding of where people live i.e. the urban environment. As with the ACR in general, their tasking should be scalable from Battle Group to Division providing high-quality human and technical intelligence assurance in an expeditionary setting. Crucially, the ISTAR Squadron should focus on developing understanding forward. This understanding, in the form of intelligence ‘fusion’ and network analysis needs to happen at or near to the point of collection, where the context of the information is freshest. The goal should be to move beyond the reporting of facts and provide the customer (BG, Bde or Div) with understanding. In this way, through technical means, the ISTAR Squadron can hope to provide bespoke answers to the Commander’s Critical Information Requirements, complimenting the work of Ground Mounted Manned Reconnaissance. By exploiting the EMS, the ISTAR Squadron can hope to allow the commander/customer to make better, faster decisions.
Published on May 8, 2017