Army

New Ranger Regiment: What makes it 'partly special'?

"Better equipment", "more selected" and "more independent" will set the Ranger Regiment apart, the Defence Secretary says.

The Defence Secretary has outlined a number of things that will make the British Army's new Ranger Regiment "partly special".

Ben Wallace told MPs how better equipment and "more selected" troops will form a key part of the Rangers.

The regiment, set to be stood up next week, will be routinely deployed alongside partner forces as part of the newly established Army Special Operations Brigade.

Mr Wallace said in the House of Commons that "we have already started spending the money to equip them to be, if necessary, more independent".

"The reason they are partly special is they will often have to deploy without the usual sort of logistical huge amount of support that [goes] in for a normal, conventional unit, so they're going to have to be a more selected cadre of people, with better equipment to be able to be more independent and more 360 in their integration."

To begin with, the new regiment will be made up of personnel from the four current Specialised Infantry Battalions: 1 SCOTS (which will become 1st Battalion, Ranger Regiment), 2 PWRR, 2 LANCS, and 4 RIFLES (4th Battalion, Ranger Regiment).

Forces News has also exclusively revealed new information about the selection process for the Ranger Regiment.

Responding to a question from SNP MP Douglas Chapman about how the Government is making sure the Ranger Regiment is compatible with NATO nations, Mr Wallace said: "We envisage that a large proportion of their time will not necessarily be with NATO allies, they may be in Africa or the Middle East or further afield."

Watch: Earlier this year, the head of the Army said the Ranger Regiment will match 'brainpower with firepower'.

He added: "They may well be, right alongside an African country with a very lesser capability in its communications.

"But that is part of what we are trying to do – is help those countries by sometimes being their enabler, giving them support in signals, or helicopters, or intelligence and surveillance so that they can actually help understand what's coming.

"In anticipation of NATO's requirements, we will be plugged into the NATO Special Operations Force to make sure that we are aligned where we can be."

Mr Wallace said earlier this year that the regiment's first deployment is likely to be in east Africa to tackle Islamist extremism.

Plans for the Ranger Regiment were announced in March 2021, detailing how troops will be able to carry out roles usually handled by Special Forces personnel.

It stated a share of £120m is to be invested into the regiment over the next four years.

4 RIFLES is to be the first battalion to move into the Ranger Regiment.

The Ranger Regiment's cap badge has now been revealed, with it said to have taken "inspiration and spirit from the peregrine falcon; the most geographically dispersed bird of prey globally".

All personnel serving in the regiment will wear the metal badge, regardless of rank, with a gunmetal grey also chosen for the regimental beret and stable belt.

The new details were released as the British Army unveiled Future Soldier – its most radical transformation in more than 20 years.