British Forces Germany
British Forces Germany (BFG), is the name for British Armed Forces service personnel and civilians based in Germany. It was first established following the Second World War as the British Army of the Rhine (BAOR).
Although much smaller than the BAOR, it is still the largest concentration of British armed forces permanently stationed outside the United Kingdom. With the end of the Cold War and the Options for Change defence review in the early 1990s, BFG has been considerably reduced. Since the 1990s, the British presence has centred on the 1st Armoured Division, and supporting elements. BFG is concentrated in North Rhine-Westphalia and Lower Saxony.
First established following the Second World War, the forces grew during the Cold War, ultimately consisting of I (BR) Corps and four divisions, 1st Armoured Division, 2nd Armoured Division, 3rd Armoured Division and 4th Armoured Division (which provided the covering force.
Disbandment of the British Army of the Rhine (BAOR) and Royal Air Force Germany (RAFG) following the end of the Cold War reduced the personnel strength of the British Armed Forces in Germany by almost 30,000. The garrison at Osnabrück was closed in 2009.
The BFG is concentrated in North Rhine-Westphalia and Lower Saxony. The divisional HQ is located at Herford, near Bielefeld, with garrisons at Gütersloh, Hohne, and Paderborn. Additionally, the Rhine Garrison area contains Rheindahlen Military Complex. The BFG presence is estimated to contribute 1.5 billion Euros annually to the German economy.
Administrative support for British service personnel in Germany and across Continental Europe was delegated to United Kingdom Support Command (Germany). The four Army garrisons in Germany were under the direct administrative control of UKSC. The General Officer Commanding UKSC also functioned as head of the British Forces Liaison Organisation (Germany), which is responsible for liaising and maintaining relations with German civil authorities. HQ BFG was formed in January 2012 replacing the United Kingdom Support Command (Germany) (UKSC(G) and the Germany Support Group (GSG).
As of August 2012 there are 21,500 British soldiers in Germany and along with families and civilian component the total number of people is around 40,000. The 1st Armoured Division is currently equipped with Challenger 2 MBTs, Warrior IFVs, AS-90 howitzers, Multiple Launch Rocket Systems, armoured personnel carriers, Gazelle and Lynx helicopters.
In 2013, BFG vacated the JHQ at Rheindahlen base.
Off duty life
During the height of "the Troubles" in Northern Ireland, the IRA targeted personnel in Germany between 1988 and 1990. The attacks resulted in the deaths of 9 people, including three civilians, and many wounded. As a result, vehicles owned by personnel ceased to have distinct registration plates, which had made them easily identifiable.
Under the 2010 Strategic Defence and Security Review, the British Army in Germany will be reduced by half by 2015, and permanent deployment will end by 2019, although some training will still be undertaken with regards NATO capability.
as of 2013.
7 Armoured Brigade ("Desert Rats")
- HQ: Hohne
- The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards (Carabiniers and Greys) (Armoured)
- 3 Battalion, The Mercian Regiment (Staffords) (Armoured Infantry)
- The Highlanders, 4 Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland (Armoured Infantry)
- 2 Battalion, Royal Regiment of Fusiliers (light role)
- 9/12 Royal Lancers (Prince of Wales's) (Formation Reconnaissance)
- 3 Regiment Royal Horse Artillery (Self Propelled Artillery)
- 32 Engineer Regiment, Royal Engineers
- 207 Signal Squadron, Royal Corps of Signals
- 2 Battalion, Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers
- 2 Medical Regiment, Royal Army Medical Corps
- 2 Logistic Support Regiment, Royal Logistic Corps
- 111 Company, Royal Military Police
20th Armoured Brigade ("Iron Fist")
- HQ: Sennelager
- The Queen's Royal Hussars (The Queen's Own and Royal Irish) (Armoured)
- 1st Battalion, The Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment (Armoured Infantry) (PWRR)
- 5th Battalion, The Rifles (Armoured Infantry)
- 1st Battalion, The Yorkshire Regiment (Prince of Wales Own) (Light Role)
- 1st The Queen's Dragoon Guards (Formation Reconnaissance)
- 26th Regiment, Royal Artillery (Self Propelled Artillery)
- 35th Engineer Regiment, Royal Engineers
- 200th Signal Squadron, Royal Corps of Signals
- 3rd Battalion, Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers
- 1st Medical Regiment (based in Hohne)
- 110th Company, Royal Military Police
1st (UK) Armoured Division - Divisional Units
- HQ: Herford
- 1st Regiment, Army Air Corps (Lynx)
- 12th Regiment, Royal Artillery (Air Defence)
- 1st Logistic Support Regiment, Royal Logistic Corps
- 1st Regiment, Royal Military Police
- 1st (United Kingdom) Armoured Division Signal Regiment
- HQ: Gütersloh
- 662 Signal Troop, Royal Corps of Signals
- 6 Theatre Logistic Regiment, Royal Logistic Corps
- 7 Theatre Logistic Regiment, Royal Logistic Corps
- 5th General Support Medical Regiment, Royal Army Medical Corps, located in Preston, UK.
- 5th Regiment, Royal Military Police
- 102nd Military Working Dog Support Unit, Royal Army Veterinary Corps
Commanders have included:
General Officer Commanding United Kingdom Support Command (Germany)
- 1994-1995 Major-General Scott Grant
- 1995-1997 Major-General Christopher Drewry
- 1997-2001 Major-General Christopher Elliott
- 2001-2003 Major-General John Moore-Bick
- 2003-2006 Major-General David Bill
- 2006-2009 Major-General Mungo Melvin
- 2009-2012 Major-General Nicholas Caplin
General Officer Commanding British Forces Germany
- 2012–Present Major-General John Henderson
- "British Forces Germany". Ministry of Defence. Retrieved 2012-03-02.
- Chandler (2003), The Oxford History of the British Army, p360
- All British army bases in Germany to close by 2019 with 20,000 troops returning to UK
- "Defence review ends Iraq-sized ventures". Ft.com. Retrieved 2010-10-22.
- BBC News (2004), From occupiers and protectors to guests, news.bbc.co.uk. Accessed 11 February 2006.
- Headquarters Structure, arrc.nato.int
- House of Commons Hansard
- From occupiers and protectors to guests BBC News
- United Kingdom Support Command
- HQ British Forces Germany website
- British Army (Germany) Rugby ARU website, accessed: 29 March 2010
- Secret squad sent in to track down IRA killers, Glasgow Herald, May 3, 1988
- Half of Britain's troops in Germany to leave by 2015
- Amy commands
- British Garrison Berlin 1945 -1994, "No where to go", W. Durie ISBN 978-3-86408-068-5
- HQ British Forces Germany - on British Army official website
- BBC News: Army to scale down Germany troops, 2006-07-24
- BBC News: From occupiers and protectors to guests, 2004-07-20
- British Forces Germany (BFGNET website)