Ben Wallace and General Sir Mark Carleton-Smith at Fort Bragg

Ranger Regiment: UK and US plot new Army unit's future

Ben Wallace and General Sir Mark Carleton-Smith at Fort Bragg

The future of the British Army's new Ranger Regiment has been discussed by the United Kingdom and the United States.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace and Chief of the General Staff General Sir Mark Carleton-Smith have been at Fort Bragg, home of the Green Berets, as part of a visit to the US.

The new Army unit will have similarities to the American Green Berets and will be part of a new special operations brigade, and will carry out roles usually handled by Special Forces personnel.

Mr Wallace has told the Telegraph the Ranger Regiment's first deployment is likely to be in east Africa to tackle Islamist extremism.

The British Army has maintained a presence on the continent, including being part of missions in Mali and security agreements with Kenya and Somalia.

Watch: The Chief of the General Staff told Forces News the new Ranger Regiment will match 'brainpower with firepower'.

The Defence Secretary warned in the newspaper of the danger from the Islamist al-Shabaab group and said we now had to "help Somalia [and] we have to help Kenya be resistant".

He added that a larger network of defence attachés would be involved in devising missions for the new Army regiment.

A defence spokesperson said: "The Ranger Regiment Brigade will be rapidly deployable across the world to tackle our enemies wherever they pose a threat to the UK.

"They will be able to operate in complex, high-threat environments - supporting our allies and giving our political leaders the option of switching from training and assisting to accompanying and fighting alongside our global partners."

Where the Ranger Regiment fits into the Army's future

The British Army announced it was forming a new 'Ranger Regiment' earlier this year, saying it would be at the heart of an also new Special Operations Brigade.

The thousand-strong Ranger Regiment will be established by August 2021, and will be "open to anybody in the Armed Forces", according to the Chief of the Defence Staff, General Sir Nick Carter.

The new Special Operations Brigade will replace the existing Specialised Infantry Group, and the Army hopes to be able to deploy it by 2022.

It will see soldiers take on roles usually carried out by Special Forces personnel, operating in high-threat environments to train, advise and accompany allies.

Cover image: MOD.

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