Army

Strike Brigade: Army's Newest Concept Completes First Test On Salisbury Plain

The Strike Brigade is set to become operational by 2025 and will offer more freedom to move, by operating ahead over a wider area.

The British Army’s newest concept, the Strike Brigade, has completed its first test on Salisbury Plain.

Described as "warfighting fit for the future", it is designed to offer more freedom to move by operating ahead over a wider area.

The Brigade is set to become operational by 2025 but the first Strike handbook will be published in December, giving a first look at new tactics.

Exercise Iron Strike 3 was conducted on Salisbury Plain as an experiment to put theories about how the brigade will function to the test.

Under the exercise, four main areas were being covered, including understanding strike tactics, enhancing strike lethality, understanding agile command and control, and exploring options for intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition, and reconnaissance (ISTAR).

Exercise Iron Strike 3 on Salisbury Plain Credit BFBS 30.10.19
The exercise was used to develop the Brigade's future tactics.

Colonel Dickie Taylor, Commander of the Strike Experimentation Group, said from the exercise they're collecting data on "how effectively" and "how fast they've been moving".

"Now they're packing up and going home our real work begins because we're going to spend the next six weeks looking laboriously through all of the data to turn subjective observations into objective insights," Col Taylor added.

Those insights will help develop the Strike Brigade's future tactics and capabilities, and the training needed to deliver the agile, flexible force.

Col Taylor described what they're looking for from the troops: "You look at the situation, you evaluate all the options, you understand precisely what the other force is expecting you to do and then you do something completely different - that's the innovation we've been exploring."

Ex Iron Strike 3 Credit BFBS 30.10.19.jpg
The soldiers are having to adapt to a new mindset.

For the exercise, 3 RIFLES were pitched against the Household Cavalry and were given assets they wouldn’t usually have at this level, including Gun batteries, Apache, Wildcat and UAVs.

They were told to experiment, innovate, take risks and importantly, feel safe to fail.

"Everyone's had a chance to try and do different things, see what works and try to think outside the box," said Major Paul Chiswick from D Squadron, Household Cavalry.

Over the next five years, the brigade will receive its new vehicles, including Ajax.

Currently, the soldiers are using Scimitar, and the Mastiff and Jackals they used in Afghanistan.