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UK light mechanised brigade to lead NATO VJTF

Supacat Jackal reconnaissance vehicles. (Crown copyright)

A British Army light mechanised brigade is to provide the framework lead of the NATO Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (Land) (VJTF(L)) in 2024, the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has told Janes.

VJTF(L) 2024's UK contingent is to comprise two light mechanised battalions equipped with Foxhound patrol vehicles, a light cavalry regiment with Jackal patrol vehicles, and an artillery regiment equipped with 105 mm towed Light Guns, the ministry told Janes on 17 February.

According to the ministry, the 7th Light Mechanised Brigade will have the 2nd Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment and the 4th Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland, as its infantry component, along with the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards, 4th Regiment Royal Artillery, 32 Engineer Regiment, 6 Regiment Royal Logistic Corps, 1 Close Support Battalion, Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, and 5 Medical Regiment. These units have a normal combined strength of about 3,000 personnel.

All the units assigned to the 7 Brigade for its NATO mission are drawn from the 1st (United Kingdom) Division, which the British Army says is its lead formation for the “delivery of land operations outside the Euro-Atlantic area” and operations on NATO's flanks.

A UK MoD spokesperson told Janes, “NATO continues to recognise the UK as playing a leading role in the alliance, and we will take over the land component of NATO's Very High Readiness Joint Task Force in January 2024 as planned. Any suggestion otherwise is completely untrue. There is no set requirement from NATO on how this task force is composed and other nations frequently provide light mechanised infantry, such as France.”

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