Army

Operation MOBILISE: Army's new primary focus

The programme is aimed at meeting threats and will require "ruthless prioritisation", the head of the British Army has said.

The Chief of the General Staff intends to mobilise the British Army to "deter Russian aggression" and "prevent war" as part of new plans for the service.

Speaking at an event at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) defence and security think tank on Tuesday, General Sir Patrick Sanders said Operation MOBILISE will be the Army's primary focus over the coming years.

The Army chief remarked that NATO's Article 5 will remain "the cornerstone" of national security, which states that an attack on one alliance member is an attack on all alliance members.

"This principle is at the heart of Op MOBILISE: Russia knowing that they cannot gain a quick localised victory – that in any circumstances and any timeframe they will lose if they pick a fight with NATO," he said.

What does Op MOBILISE mean for the Army?

To mobilise the Army, the operation will focus on four key lines of effort.

The first focus of Op MOBILISE will look at boosting readiness of UK troops.

General Sanders said this will involve picking up the pace of combined arms training and majoring on urban combat.

Stockpiles will be re-built and the deployability of the vehicle fleet will be reviewed.

The second area of Op MOBILISE will focus on accelerating the modernisation outlined in Future Soldier, "the most ambitious transformation of the British Army in a generation".

This will see the Army seek to speed up the delivery of planned new equipment – including long-range fires, attack aviation, persistent surveillance and target acquisition, expeditionary logistic enablers, GBAD, protected mobility, and "the technologies that will prove pivotal to our digital ambition: CIS (Communications and Information Services) and EW (Electronic Warfare)".

"This will start now – not at some ill-defined point in the future," the Chief of the General Staff (CGS) said.

WATCH: The Army's radical Future Soldiers.

Discussing the third focus area of Op MOBILISE, General Sanders said "we will re-think how we fight".

This shift in how the Army fights will involve doubling down on combined arms manoeuvre and devising a new doctrine "rooted in geography" and "integrated with NATO's war plans".

Finally, Op MOBILISE means the CGS would be prepared "to look again at the structure of our Army".

Speaking about the programme, Gen Sanders said: "We are already a busy Army. But today is about mobilisation, and to mobilise effectively we will need to suppress our additive culture and guard against the 'tyranny of and' – we can't do everything well and some things are going to have to stop; it will mean ruthless prioritisation.

"From now the Army will have a singular focus – to mobilise to meet today's threat and thereby prevent war in Europe."