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Defence chiefs are launching a new multi-million pound SAS-style “Ranger Force” which will be deployed deep within foreign militaries and rebel troops.
Hundreds of crack “Army special operations” soldiers will be deployed all over the world in small numbers as part of a new UK military strategy, the Mirror reports.
The elite rangers will be part of the UK’s biggest defence overhaul since the Cold War and will free up special forces for even more global counter-terror and war missions.
Sources have told the Mirror some Special Operations Rangers will be fully-trained and ready for deployment by the end of this year and eventually they will be 1,000-strong.
Four 250- strong ranger battalions will be modelled on US special forces “Green Berets” and have been funded with a £120 million over four years launch package.
Typically rangers could be used in operations like the western- backed Kurdish forces attack on ISIS, embedding in the local military and using their skill to amplify the effect of an attack.
The ranger regiment will be the core of a Special Operations Brigade and comes amid sweeping new changes in UK defence, which may include regular Army battalions being axed.
A large number of battle-hardened non-commissioned Army officers will be taken into the ranger regiment to take advantage of their experience.
The ranger regiment was announced as the Royal Marines revealed their new look as Britain’s Future Commando Force, showing they could work alongside rangers and foreign armies.
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A new defence Command Paper will be unveiled on Monday outlining the biggest overhaul in British defence post Cold War and a new “leaner and meaner” Army.
It is feared four Army infantry battalions of up to 800 troops each will be axed. Other soldiers from elsewhere in the Army and large numbers of tanks and war-fighting vehicles are also likely to be cut.
Chief of the Defence Staff General Sir Nick Carter, asked if a ranger deployment might have been used in the recent war against ISIS in north Iraq, said: “Yes, it is possible.
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“As a highly trained and skilled force the rangers would have a huge effect on an enemy if operating with partner forces, whoever they are.
“These are soldiers who would typically be working with partner forces abroad to great effect and, if required, great lethality.”
Typically handfuls of UK rangers will join and mentor foreign forces in fighting Britain’s enemies in what is known as a “force multiplier,” meaning their skill and equipment will magnify the force’s deadliness.
On Friday the Mirror observed the new-look Royal Marines, Britain’s Future Commando Force, practising lethal attacks and ambushes on “high value targets,” along with foreign forces.
Sporting new camouflage kit, C8 Diemaco assault rifles – dubbed “the jihadi stopper” and Glock 17 pistols they were also trying out chest worn tablet style communications kits.
The tablet allows troops to locate their comrades during a battle and real-time maps of assault targets.
- British Army
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