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Our Own ‘Tigers’ to Form Army’s Special Ranger Battalion

Published on: 24 Mar, 2021
Updated on: 26 Mar, 2021

PWRR soldiers on a training exercise

By Martin Giles

A battalion, around 700 soldiers, of the South East’s infantry regiment is to become one of the newly announced “Ranger” battalions under the Integrated Defence Review.

The second battalion of the Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment (The Tigers) will be with three other newly designated units.

Their role will be to complement the expertise of the SAS and take on “high threat” missions overseas.

A retired regimental officer said: “This is a very exciting phase of our history as 2 PWRR continues under the PWRR cap badge and the Tiger flash. There are no changes proposed to the structure of 1 (regular), 3 and 4 PWRR.”

Over the next four years, a share of £120-million will be invested into the unit, enabling it to undertake roles traditionally performed by Special Forces. They can be expected to be involved in collective deterrence such as training, advising, enabling and accompanying partner forces.

Alongside special operations, a further Security Force Assistance Brigade will be established to provide guidance and training to allied partner nations and draw expertise from across the Army.

Elements of each brigade will be routinely deployed across the globe to assist partner nations in delivering defence and security.

Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment (The Tigers) Cap Badge

In addition to the Rangers, the Security Force Assistance Brigade will provide guidance and training to allied and partner nations. It will contain specialised infantry units with the ability to draw personnel and expertise from across the Army.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said: “The best way to prevent conflict and deter our adversaries is to work alongside partners to strengthen their security and resilience. These Ranger battalions will be at the vanguard at a more active and engaged armed forces.”

Chief of the General Staff, General Sir Mark Carleton-Smith, said: “The Army Special Operations Brigade is designed to operate alongside both regular and irregular partners and proxies in high-threat and hostile environments.

“Consisting of four specialist battalions, the Army Ranger Regiment will be the vanguard of the Army’s global footprint.

The Integrated Review, out this week, is the most comprehensive articulation of a defence, foreign and national security approach published by a British government in decades.

As part of the review, the Army will modernise to form a more agile and integrated force able to exploit a defence network across the globe, delivering vital capabilities in the most-contested environments.

But some high-ranking former officers have expressed disappointment and concern that the size of the army is to be reduced further to 72,000, less than half of the size it was in the 1980s.

The Paschal Lamb badge of The Queen’s Regiment until the 1950s.

Historical note: The Queen’s Regiment originally formed in 1661, was designated the local regiment for West Surrey in the 19th century when its depot was constructed in Stoughton. It retained the name Queen’s Regiment until 1992 when, having in the 1960s, already merged with other famous regiments such as The Buffs and the “Diehards” (Middlesex), they amalgamated with the Hampshire Regiment to become the Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment. The regiment recruits from Surrey, Kent, Sussex, Hampshire and Middlesex and is still England’s senior infantry regiment.

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