Royal Armoured Corps


Royal Armoured Corps

The Royal Armoured Corps (RAC) is currently a collection of ten regular regiments, mostly converted from old horse cavalry regiments, and four Yeomanry regiments of the Territorial Army. It provides the armour capability of the British Army, with vehicles such as the Challenger 2 Tank and the Scimitar Reconnaissance Vehicle.

History

The RAC was created on 4 April 1939, just before World War II started, by combining the cavalry wing (cavalry units that had mechanised), and the Royal Tank Corps (which was thereupon renamed the Royal Tank Regiment within the new corps). As the war went on, many other units became mechanised and joined this corps. In 1944, the RAC absorbed the Reconnaissance Corps.

Units

The Royal Armoured Corps is divided into those regiments that operate main battle tanks (armoured regiments) and those that operate reconnaissance tanks (formation reconnaissance regiments). Of these, three regiments are designated as Dragoon Guards, two as Hussars, two as Lancers and one as Dragoons. The remaining two are the two regiments of the Royal Tank Regiment. In the regular army there are five armoured regiments and five formation reconnaissance regiments:
*Regular Army
**1st The Queen's Dragoon Guards - Formation Reconnaissance
**The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards (Carabiniers and Greys) - Armoured
**The Royal Dragoon Guards - Armoured
**The Queen's Royal Hussars (The Queen's Own and Royal Irish) - Armoured
**9th/12th Royal Lancers (Prince of Wales's) - Formation Reconnaissance
**The King's Royal Hussars - Armoured
**The Light Dragoons - Formation Reconnaissance
**The Queen's Royal Lancers - Formation Reconnaissance
**1st Royal Tank Regiment - NBC and training/demonstration
**2nd Royal Tank Regiment - Armoured

The 1st Royal Tank Regiment forms approximately two thirds of the regular establishment of the Joint CBRN Regiment.

The Household Cavalry Regiment (consisting of the Life Guards and the Blues and Royals) is not part of the RAC; instead it is part of the Household Cavalry, which is classed as a corps in its own right. However, for operational purposes, the Household Cavalry Regiment is considered to be part of the RAC and constitutes the fifth formation reconnaissance regiment.
*Territorial Army
**The Royal Yeomanry - CBRN Reconnaissance
**The Royal Wessex Yeomanry - MBT crew replacement
**The Royal Mercian and Lancastrian Yeomanry - MBT crew replacement
**The Queen's Own Yeomanry - Formation Reconnaissance
*Role Affiliations - The four TA regiments are affiliated to the regular army regiments by role:
**RY - SCOTS DG, QRL, RTR
**R WX Y - RDG, KRH, RTR
**RMLY - QRH, RTR
**QOY - HCR, QDG, 9/12 L, LD

Deployments

Regiments of the Royal Armoured Corps are deployed primarily in the UK and Germany:

UK regiments

*Tidworth - Armoured Regiment (12 Mechanised Brigade)
*Catterick - Formation Reconnaissance Regiment (19 Light Brigade)
*Windsor - Formation Reconnaissance Regiment (1 Armoured Reconnaissance Brigade)
*Swanton Morley - Formation Reconnaissance Regiment (1 Armoured Reconnaissance Brigade)
*Honington - NBC Reconnaissance Regiment (1 Armoured Reconnaissance Brigade)

Overseas regiments

Armoured regiments:
*Münster - The Royal Dragoon Guards (4th Mechanised Brigade)
*Fallingbostel - The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards (Carabiniers and Greys) & 2nd Royal Tank Regiment (7th Armoured Brigade)
*Sennelager - The Queen's Royal Hussars (The Queen's Own and Royal Irish) (20th Armoured Brigade)Formation reconnaissance regiments:
*Osnabrück - 1st The Queen's Dragoon Guards (20th Armoured Brigade)
*Hohne - 9th/12th Royal Lancers (Prince of Wales's) (1st Armoured Division)

Bands

The Corps of Army Music is responsible for the administration and training of the two RAC bands:
*The Heavy Cavalry and Cambrai Band - this band represents the regiments of Dragoon Guards and the Royal Tank Regiment, and was formed in 2006 by the amalgamation of the Band of the Dragoon Guards and the Royal Tank Regiment Cambrai Band.
*The Light Cavalry Band - this band represents the regiments of Light Dragoons (classed as hussars), Kings Royal Hussars, Queens Royal Hussars, Queens Royal Lancers and 9th/12th Lancers, and was formed in 2006 by the amalgamation of the Band of the Hussars and Light Dragoons and the Band of the Royal Lancers.
*In addition, there is a TA band within the RAC, the Regimental Band (Inns of Court and City Yeomanry) of the Royal Yeomanry.

Reorganisation

The reorganisation of the army announced in 2004 led to significant changes to the Royal Armoured Corps. Reorganisation that began in 2003 would see three armoured regiments removed from Germany to the UK, with one re-roled as an FR regiment. In addition, three Challenger 2 squadrons will be converted to "Interim Medium Armour Squadrons", while each FR regiment will gain a Command and Support Squadron.

Future deployments

As part of the reorganisation, postings will be realigned:

UK regiments

*Catterick: Armoured Regiment (RDG) (4th Mechanised Brigade), Formation Reconnaissance Regiment (QRL) (19th Light Brigade)
*Tidworth: 2 x Armoured Regiment (2RTR, KRH), Formation Reconnaissance Regiment (QDG) (1st Mechanised Brigade, 12th Mechanised Brigade, 3rd Mechanised Division)
*Windsor: Formation Reconnaissance Regiment (HCR) (Theatre Troops)
*Swanton Morley: Formation Reconnaissance Regiment (LD) (Theatre Troops)
*Warminster: 2 x squadrons (1RTR)
*Honington: NBC Reconnaissance Regiment (1RTR)
*Bovington: Home of the RAC, also here is the RAC Training Regiment, Royal Marines Armoured Support Coy, and The Light Cavalry Band (CAMus)

Overseas regiments

*Fallingbostel: Armoured Regiment (SCOTS DG) (7th Armoured Brigade)
*Sennelager: Armoured Regiment (QRH) (20th Armoured Brigade)
*Hohne: Formation Reconnaissance Regiment (9/12L) (1st Armoured Division)

Order of Precedence

Related units

This unit is allied with the following:

* Royal Canadian Armoured Corps
* Royal Australian Armoured Corps
* Royal New Zealand Armoured Corps

* Kor Armor Diraja (Royal Armoured Corps) - Malaysia

ee also

*Structure of the British Army

External links

* [http://www.army.mod.uk/armoured/armoured.aspx Royal Armoured Corps homepage]
* [http://www.royalcorpsnews.co.uk Royal Armoured Corps News]


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