British Army: 2300AD
British Joint Overseas Command
BJOC is an administrative command controlling all British ground and air forces deployed on Earth outside of the British Isles that do not have a deployment force tasking. This includes all garrisons, training commands and liaison missions. Many of these commitments have political implications and date back many years. Listed below are the major deployments but the British have a surprising number of Military Liaison and Training Teams deployed around the world and most of these are not listed.
Britain has substantial trade interests in Bombay along with other parts of South Asia. A small force is stationed here and is mainly engaged in training the Bombay Army and in supporting British interests on the sub-continent. This is a prestigious deployment, often found from the Brigade of Guards, and the resident battalion has plush barracks and latest equipment. It is often used to demonstrate British made equipment to potential clients in the region.
British Bombay Training Mission - Queen Alice Barracks, Bombay
Brazil is Britain's major ally in the South Atlantic due mainly to their mutual antagonism with Argentina. The Royal Navy has played a major role in keeping Brazil's maritime lines of communication open in all three Rio Plato Wars, and in the last war a British armoured brigade fought under Brazilian command and was on the verge of all out war with Argentina. Today the British have a substantial Liaison Mission at Brasilia whose role is to ease communications should a 4th Rio Plato War break out.
British Military Liaison Mission Brazil
BMLMB is dominated by officers from the Royal Navy but also has a large contingent of British Army personnel. Their role is to exchange information, intelligence and keep Britain up to date on Brazilian military thinking. Of equal importance is the personal links built up between commanders. In the years before the Kafer War those British officers destined to command II Corps or 3rd Armoured Division are assigned to BMLMB before taking up their commands to increase their knowledge of their likely theatres of operation.
Another remnant of the 2nd British Empire are the British Indian Ocean Territories centred on the tiny island of Diego Garcia. Diego Garcia was an island tinged by tragedy, first depopulated by the British to make way for an American airbase it was the recipient of a nuclear attack during the 3rd World War. Reclaimed by elements of the Royal Navy and the Middle Eastern Field Force it developed into a staging post for the British in the 21st century and burgeoned again in the 22nd with the British naval renaissance.
It remains a sizeable base and is often used to keep tabs on the Indian States when fighting again blights the sub-continent. It is home to the British Far Eastern Squadron and can play host to large numbers of aircraft. Its defence is in the hands of a company of the Royal Naval Brigade but contingency plans for reinforcement by 16 Air Assault Brigade and other formations are in place. Diego Garcia is also home to one of the UK's reserve space ports.
The British conduct their Jungle Warfare training alongside the French Centre d' Entraînement de Commandos de Guyana in the South American country of Guyana. A British light role battalion is present alongside three French Marine and Légion Étrangère battalions to provide training and demonstration teams. The resident battalion also conducts training and exercises in the Caribbean on islands with British links.
The British South Atlantic Territories are still the major point of tension for the British on Earth. It is here the 'Cold War' with Argentina is at its hottest, inspired by a mixture of nationalist and Tantalum politics. The cluster of British governed islands off the coast of South America have become immensely wealthy over the years and today have a population of around 100 000 souls.
The Falklands are at the heart of the defence of the region and are heavily militarised with HMS Canopus in Falkland Sound providing the base for the Royal Navy's substantial presence in the region. To give depth to the defence of the area the island of South Georgia has also become home to several secretive defence facilities. The Antarctic territories proper are still heavily disputed with Argentina. Although there has been no direct assault for over 150 years, during the 3rd Rio Plato War Brazilian warships were sunk in Falklands waters and the RN clashed with its Argentine counterparts. Still every year planes or small craft from both sides go missing in the region and soldiers die or are maimed in nameless clashes in the deep south.
6th (South Atlantic) Division - Port Stanley, East Falkland
6 Division is the main British force deployed to the South Atlantic. It is a composite force composed primarily of regular British forces rotated in for 6 month tours from the northern hemisphere. The exception is in the locally raised FIDF and the 49th Independent Armoured Group which are permanent fixtures in the region. The division is tasked with the defence of the British Antarctic Territories.
5th Armoured Brigade - Mount Pleasant, East Falkland
The Falklands Roulement Armoured Brigade is drawn in rotation from the 1st and 2nd Armoured Divisions in the UK and is a heavy armoured force. Its equipment is located on the Falklands and is handed over from unit to unit as they rotate every six months. Due to the Falklands not being suitable for heavy ground tanks the brigade Heavy Tank Regiment is retained in the UK for OPFOR duties. The remaining units are formed into Battle Groups throughout the deployment. With the commitment of part of 1st Armoured Division to the Kafer War their are rumours that a TAVR brigade from 19th or 20th Mechanised Divisions might be mobilised in this role.
3 Commando Brigade, Royal Marines - Fox Bay, West Falkland
The Falklands Roulement Light Brigade is drawn from the Commando or Light Divisions or sometimes a Gurkha Brigade. It provides the Division with rapid reaction force and a patrolling presence throughout the TAOR, the brigade also has its forces available to deploy to Antarctica proper at short notice.
Falklands Islands Defence Force - Port Stanley, East Falklands
The FIDF is the locally recruited element of 6 Division and includes a mixture of regular and volunteer forces. The FIDF, although supported by the UK MoD has its own sources of income through the Falklands Island Government and so often has different equipment from the British forces. The main advantage it has over the British units is local knowledge.
The FIDF is a light mechanised force equipped with the highly mobile Wellonese Redkat all-terrain armoured vehicle. 131 RA is a mixed regiment including air defence and anti-shipping batteries and a single light battery. The South Atlantic Regiment is responsible for the defence of South Georgia and the other smaller islands. It should be noted that a large proportion of the regulars of the FIDF are ex-British servicemen serving on contract, or having settled on the islands.
49th Independent Armoured Group - Sir Vivian Fuchs Barracks, Ross Island, British Antarctica
This unit is a specialised arctic trained hover-mobile armoured force, trained and equipped to defend British facilities in Antarctica proper. Although nominally a part of 6 Division it is primarily an independent force capable of planning and undertaking its own operations without aid from the Division. 49 IAG is frequently in contact with its counterparts from the Argentine Corps of Marines although shooting incidents are relatively rare at the moment this has not been the case in the past. The unit has a high priority within the British Army.
Canada is one of the closest international allies the UK has, and inter-military links have always been strong. Canada has long been the home of Britain's manoeuvre warfare training establishment as the huge open areas of the Prairies offer space to operate rapidly moving hover armoured units that crowded Britain just can't accommodate.
Joint Commonwealth Battle School
JCBS is located near Medicine Hat in Alberta and is in constant use by British, Canadian and other units. British units rotate through from I Corps, UKRF and mechanised elements of UKDF. The enemy is provided by a battle group from the Royal German Legion, whilst nearly a brigade's worth of specially modified equipment is maintained at the location for the use of rotating units.
The Mediterranean island of Cyprus has long had a troubled history caused partly by its strategic position in the Eastern Med. During the Twilight War the conflict between Greek and Turkish communities flared up once again and aided by intervention by troops from the Turkish mainland escalated to new heights of atrocities.
British troops withdrew from the western area to concentrate on the defence of the western area around Akrotiri and brought the numerous UN peacekeeping units under command. The British commander extended protection to the nearby city of Limassol and its swollen population of refugees from across the island. This enclave in the south of the island became the only oasis of calm on an island wracked by violence.
Today the island has a central government which controls a patchwork of highly autonomous, and heavily armed, communities. The British remain under the terms of the agreement that gave Cyprus independence in the 20th Century and act as honest brokers in dealings on the island.
Cyprus Garrison - Episkopi/Akrotiri Base Area
The Cyprus Garrison is responsible for 10% of the area of Cyprus located around the Akrotiri peninsular and was expanded after WW3 when the eastern sovereign area was abandoned. The area is home to a major airbase as well as electronic espionage facilities and the RN Mediterranean Squadron is a frequent caller to the area. The Sovereign Base Area is frequently used for training by UK based unit. The resident battalion is a light role formation and is usually found by the Brigade of Gurkhas.
Gibraltar has been in British hands since it was seized by British and Dutch Marines in the 1700's. The colony has been attacked numerous times by the Spanish amongst others but most devastatingly by the Soviets who nearly destroyed the colony during WWIII. However the salvation of the colony was in the Rock and the many kilometres of tunnels that lay within it which sheltered nearly half of the population from the worst of the attack. It took the Gibraltarians a long time to get on their feet, trading on both sides of the Straits whilst staving off Spanish warlords and pirates from the Mahgreb.
Fully self governing for centuries the 'colony' (the Gibraltarians insisted on retaining the title) today thrives on the industries of data banking of dubious legality, acting as a trade conduit between Spain and North Africa through the Gibraltar Bridge and supporting the Royal Navy's Mediterranean Squadron. Fiercely proud of their status the Gibraltarians have staved off a sovereignty compromising 'accommodation' with their Spanish neighbours with whom relations have been mainly good over the last 100 years.
Gibraltar Garrison Brigade
The garrison consists of one regular British Army infantry battalion and a locally raised battalion. The Royal Gibraltar Regiment consists of an even mix of regular and volunteer soldiers and includes an infantry battalion and an artillery battalion including air defence, anti shipping and field elements. The infantry units are trained in both fighting in Gibraltar's close urban environment and the tunnels of the rock that provide the colony's citadel.
Greenland is one of the more contentious British overseas deployment. Although officially a part of the Scandinavian Union the arctic territory has been an Anglo-Canadian Protectorate for most of the 300 years since World War III. The continued presence of British and Canadian troops complicates the usually good relations both nations have with the Scandinavian Union
During WWIII with the strategic US bases destroyed by small nuclear blasts and colonial master Denmark almost ceasing to exist as a nation, Greenland was on its own. The remaining population declined and those survivors of the small towns mostly reverted to an Inuit lifestyle. The first outsiders to return were British and Newfoundland fishermen seeking to feed their battered homelands, followed soon after by the Canadian military and Royal Navy fisheries protection vessels. Anglo-Canadian co-operation started from there and has been solid ever since.
Greenland's coastal towns developed as the fishing industry grew and Anglo-Canadian co-operation began to dominate the North Atlantic. Greenland was developed as a military air, communications and sensor base as well bringing some much needed revenue in from mineral exploitation. The Greenlanders, although under military protectorate, were responsible for their own self-government. The recovering Denmark began to renew ties, mostly cultural, although neither Danish or Greenlanders wanted a return to the old political relationship.
However the discovery of the significance of Tantalum changed all that. Greenland's reserves were exploited by the Anglo-Canadian Greenland Corporation under a deal with the Greenland Authority. It provided the backbone of the colonial efforts for both nations. Denmark on the other hand became apoplectic and demanded reparations based on its pre-Twilight War rule of Greenland, however there was little they could do about the situation. The Greenlanders became very rich (Inuit Arabs was one derisive nickname used) through the deal and for a time had one of the highest standards of living in the world. The population also climbed markedly with the influx of miners.
Political problems continued with local Anglophone, Danish and Inuit communities sometimes clashing. This was mirrored by the wider international politics between the British and Canadians and the newly formed Scandinavian Union (partly formed as a response to the Scandinavians lack of 'clout' in the international arena) some of whose leaders used the Greenland situation to bind the new political union together. The SU included Greenland as 'a territory of Denmark' a situation that had not been true for two centuries. Playing both sides off against each other was the Greenland Authority which accepted associate membership of the SU whilst retaining important links to Britain's interstellar markets for her powerful commercial financial sector. Greenland institutions had invested heavily in Wellon.
The British and Canadians maintain a garrison on Greenland to protect both the military installations and the mining concerns (some of which still occasionally hit a lode of Tantalum) as well as retaining responsible for the protection of Greenland in general. Service on Greenland is quite popular, with the sophisticated towns of Nuuk and Upernarvik being close to the bases and readily available for the soldiers. Arctic warfare training is a main raison d'être for the garrison and a major training establishment is located here, through which soldiers destined for the Antarctic pass.
The Greenland Authority has a small police force and the SU has been lobbying strenuously for its troops to take over the defence of Greenland, indeed some troops are based on Greenland. The Greenland Authority is fairly steady in pursuing its course between the two powers in spite of political agitation from English and Danish speaking communities. Tension between SU and Anglo-Canadian militaries is more driven by political rhetoric than genuine hatred but the possibility for clashes still remains.
Commonwealth Greenland Brigade
The Greenland Brigade is a joint British and Canadian formation that is responsible for the defence of Anglo-Canadian assets and key Greenland establishments. The Brigade is lightly equipped and well trained for arctic operations. Command of the brigade rotates between British and Canadian officers and the HQ is multi-national.
Hong Kong is a small British protectorate on the southern coast of Canton close to the capital of Guangzhou. Its presence is an anachronistic hold-over from pre-Twilight War colonial days which has proved a boon to both Britain and Canton, and is the centre of British commerce in the Far East.
Hong Kong had been due for handover back to the China in the last years of the 20th century, but unfortunately the Sino-Soviet War that became World War III intervened. Hong Kong became both a port of entry for Western military aid and a major war munitions manufacturing centre in its own right. This status brought the colony to the edge of disaster when the docks were subjected to a small nuclear strike that devastated the city. Only the return of large numbers of Gurkha troops from the fighting in the north of China saved the city from complete collapse.
China did collapse however, lapsing into a state of warlordism, but Hong Kong survived and even expanded to include the Chinese border city of Shenzhen. Refugees flooded towards the recovering colony and were kept from flooding the enclave only by the ferocious Gurkhas guarding the border. HK once again became a major economic centre, aiding the recovery of the area and becoming an oasis of calm in southern China.
When the state of Canton began to emerge many of its leaders wanted to purge its territory of any western influences. This gave rise to border clashes with the enclave over a number of years. Eventually however the Cantonese leadership began to realise that the presence of HK could work for them. They could gain from its trade and economy whilst using it as a sink to isolate itself from western commercialism and culture. So a new 'Bamboo Curtain' grew up again, permeable to trade but less so to people and ideas, although no longer as obvious today these attitudes still exist.
Local Hong Kongers, a cosmopolitan mix, see themselves as superior to their Cantonese cousins over the border and are proud of their unique 500 year history as commercial and cultural innovators bridging East and West. Their government is elected locally, as is their Governor. Political links with Britain are minimal, enough to avoid breaching agreements with Canton but no more. Economic links are much more important and the real heart of the relationship. HK has also proved a gateway for emigration to British colonies, especially Wellon, where many Hong Kongers, Cantonese and Indochinese have settled.
Military threats to Hong Kong from Canton are fairly minor, and most of the border presence is used to limit the influx of unofficial migrants into the area. Defence plans for HK in case of a serious breakdown of relations are based on rapid reinforcement by air and an influx of the Royal Navy's seaborne tactical air power. Internal threats come from pro-Cantonese reunification parties and Indochinese terrorists based in HK's large Vietnamese community who target Cantonese economic targets. Indonesia is another possible threat but one not take very seriously by most.
Hong Kong Defence Force
The HKDF is a divisional sized organisation and thanks to Hong Kong's formidable wealth is very well equipped and consists of a Gurkha and a Hong Kong Brigade as well as air and naval arms . It is a force with a strong mercenary character as few locals find military careers suitably financially rewarding. Consequently Gurkhas and British soldiers are found in many nominally HK units whilst the Hong Kong Border Regiment has a strong presence of soldiers recruited from Kiangsu in rural China. The exception is the volunteer 3 RHKR which finds many of its soldiers from the social elite of the colony.
In addition to the fighting brigades there are two independent units. The Royal Hong Kong Police Special Intervention Unit is a very advanced paramilitary force which also has a secondary role in urban warfare in addition to hostage rescue and other tasks. The last major unit is a company of the Royal Naval Brigade responsible for the security of the Naval base, HMS Tamar, which is home to a squadron of RN Narwhal submarines as well as elements of the RN Far Eastern Squadron and the Hong Kong Maritime Service.
2nd Gurkha Brigade
Hong Kong is still the centre of the Brigade of Gurkhas with most serving here at some in their careers and all passing through the training depot here. The Gurkhas' fearsome reputation is a potent weapon either on the border or on the streets in times of civil disturbance. The two Gurkha brigades rotate through Hong Kong every few years. However with the deployment of the 1st Gurkha Brigade to the Kafer War the Gurkha Depot is training recruits at a rapid rate whilst the 2nd Gurkha Brigade has been providing troops to peacekeeping deployments. The brigade is a conventionally organised Light Role Brigade.
Hong Kong Brigade
The local Hong Kong forces consist of three differing formations. The RHKR is mainly recruited from the 'Old Colony' part of the city. Whilst the HKBR, initially a PRC Border unit, is recruited from the 'Newer Territories'. The brigade also includes an Independent Gorkha unit hired from Nepal. The brigade is a light formation highly trained in urban warfare.
Cunningham Company, Royal Navy Brigade
Special Intervention Unit, The Royal Hong Kong Police
Britain has links to Nepal going back 500 years and is most noticeable in its employment of large numbers of Nepalese in its Gurkha units. However Nepal is an increasingly isolationist state, dominated by its Manchurian neighbour and British access has become restricted. This has not effected recruitment as the Nepalese economy would be badly damaged if the flow of foreign currency from Gurkhas soldiering overseas dried up. While some elements within the Nepalese Republic use the British influence as a counter to possible Manchurian annexation. There are also a large number of Nepali expatriates living in British colonies off world. Since the Kafer War recruitment of Nepali soldiers into the British and Independent units has surged dramatically.
British Gurkha Forces Recruiting Centre
The British recruit their Gurkhas through a single centre based at Pokhara. It is a high tech centre mostly run by ex-Gurkha Nepali personnel as restrictions on movement of British personnel are quite stringent. Pokhara is the centre for Mountain Selection, which it runs four times a year. Those successful candidates are then sent on the Brigade of Gurkhas Depot in Hong Kong. At the centre of the compound is a well equipped hospital which is open for the use of the surrounding people and Gurkha veterans.
Britain is actively involved in peacekeeping duties, and has participated in numerous missions in recent years including deployments to Flanders and Vogelheim. Currently only one unit is so employed, as part of the peacekeeping mission in the Central Asian Republic.
Copyright 2009, D Hebditch