|British Armed Forces|
The tri-service badge
|Service branches|| Royal Navy|
Royal Air Force
|Commander-in-Chief||HM Queen Elizabeth II|
|Secretary of State for Defence||Rt Hon Des Browne MP|
|Chief of the Defence Staff||Air Chief Marshal Sir Graham "Jock" Stirrup|
|14,607,724 males, age 15–49,|
14,028,738 females, age 15–49
|12,046,268 males, age 15–49,|
11,555,893 females, age 15–49
|Active personnel||195,900 (April 2006) (ranked 26th)|
|Reserve personnel||191,300 regular reserve (April 2005)|
42,300 volunteer reserve (April 2005)
|Budget||FY 2008-09 - ranked 3rd|
GBP £33. The Royal Navy of the United Kingdom is the oldest of the British armed services (and is therefore known as the Senior Service) The British Army is the land armed forces branch of the British Armed Forces. TalkCommonewalth realm.--> The monarchy For the ship see RMS Queen Elizabeth 2 Elizabeth II (Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Context States headed by Elizabeth II The Secretary of State for Defence is the senior United Kingdom government minister in charge of the Ministry of Defence. Her Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council is a body of advisors to the British Sovereign. The Rt Hon Desmond Henry Browne MP (born 22 March 1952 commonly known as Des Browne, is a Scottish Labour Party Politician. A Member of Parliament, or MP, is a representative elected by the voters to a Parliament. The Chief of the Defence Staff ( CDS) is the professional head of the British Armed Forces. Air Chief Marshal ( Air Chf Mshl or ACM) is a senior Air officer rank which originated in and continues to be used by the Royal Air Force (RAF Air Chief Marshal Sir Graham Eric Stirrup GCB, AFC, DSc, FRAeS FCMI RAF (born 4 December Year 2006 ( MMVI) was a Common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. This is a list of countries sorted by the total number of active troops where the military manpower of a country is measured by the total amount of active troops within the command Year 2005 ( MMV) was a Common year starting on Saturday (link displays full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. A fiscal year (or financial year, or sometimes budget year) is a period used for calculating annual ("yearly" Financial statements in Businesses This is a list of countries by military expenditures using the latest information available The Pound Sterling ( symbol £; ISO code: GBP) subdivided into 100 pence (singular penny) is the Currency 6 billion 
|Percent of GDP||2. 2% (2007)|
The armed forces of the United Kingdom, commonly known as the British Armed Forces or Her Majesty's Armed Forces, and sometimes legally the Armed Forces of the Crown, encompasses a navy, an army, and an air force. For the military meaning see Armed forces. For the Soviet sports society see Armed Forces (sports society Armed Forces The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom, the UK or Britain,is a Sovereign state located The Royal Navy of the United Kingdom is the oldest of the British armed services (and is therefore known as the Senior Service) The British Army is the land armed forces branch of the British Armed Forces. With a reported personnel strength of 429,500 in 2006 (195,900 regular force, 191,300 regular reserve, and 42,300 volunteer reserve), the British Armed Forces constitutes one of the largest militaries in Europe, though only the 26th largest in the world by number of troops.  The British Armed Forces however have the third highest expenditure (only behind the U.S. and France) of any military in the world. The United States of America —commonly referred to as the  Their Commander-in-Chief is the British monarch, HM Queen Elizabeth II and they are managed by the Defence Council of the Ministry of Defence. A commander-in-chief is the Commander of a nation's Military forces or significant element of those forces TalkCommonewalth realm.--> The monarchy For the ship see RMS Queen Elizabeth 2 Elizabeth II (Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Context States headed by Elizabeth II The Defence Council of the United Kingdom is the body legally entrusted with the defence of the United Kingdom and its overseas territories and with control over the The Ministry of Defence ( MoD) is the United Kingdom government department responsible for implementation of government defence policy and is the headquarters Consistent with longstanding constitutional convention, however, the Prime Minister holds de facto authority over the armed forces. The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is the political leader of the United Kingdom
The British Armed Forces are charged with protecting the United Kingdom and its overseas territories, promoting Britain's wider security interests, and supporting international peacekeeping efforts. The British Overseas Territories are fourteen territories that are under the Sovereignty of the United Kingdom, but which do not form part of the United Kingdom Her Majesty's Government, or when the monarch is male His Majesty's Government, is the title used by the Government of the United Kingdom, based at  They are active and regular participants in NATO and other coalition operations. The North Atlantic Treaty
Recent operations have included wars in Afghanistan and Iraq (2001 and 2003 respectively), intervention in Sierra Leone (2000), and ongoing peacekeeping responsibilities in the Balkans and Cyprus. Afghanistan /æfˈgænɪstæn/ officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan ( Pashto: د افغانستان اسلامي جمهوریت, For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic Iraq topics. Sierra Leone, officially the Republic of Sierra Leone, is a country in West Africa. Cyprus (Κύπρος transliterated: Kýpros,; Kıbrıs officially the Republic of Cyprus (Κυπριακή Δημοκρατία Kypriakī́ Dīmokratía Overseas garrisons and facilities are maintained at Ascension Island, Belize, Brunei, Canada, Diego Garcia, the Falkland Islands, Germany, Gibraltar, Kenya, and the Sovereign Base Areas (Cyprus). Ascension Island is an island in the South Atlantic Ocean, around from the coast of Africa Belize (bəˈliːz formerly British Honduras, is a country in Central America. Brunei Darussalam, (bruːˈnaɪ in English officially the State of Brunei Abode of Peace (Negara Brunei Darussalam Jawi: برني دارالسلام Country to "Dominion of Canada" or "Canadian Federation" or anything else please read the Talk Page Diego Garcia is the largest Atoll, in terms of land area in Chagos Archipelago, part of the British Indian Ocean Territory. Germany, officially the Federal Republic of Germany ( ˈbʊndəsʁepuˌbliːk ˈdɔʏtʃlant is a Country in Central Europe. Gibraltar (dʒɨˈbrɒltər is a British overseas territory located near the southernmost tip of the Iberian Peninsula overlooking the Strait of Gibraltar The Republic of Kenya is a country in East Africa. It is bordered by Ethiopia to the north Somalia to the northeast Tanzania to the south The Sovereign Base Areas are military bases located on territory in which the United Kingdom is sovereign but which are separated from the ordinary British territory Cyprus (Κύπρος transliterated: Kýpros,; Kıbrıs officially the Republic of Cyprus (Κυπριακή Δημοκρατία Kypriakī́ Dīmokratía 
British military history is long, complex and greatly influential in World history, especially since the 17th Century, but it seems to have had rather simple origins. As a means of recording the passage of Time, the 17th Century was that Century which lasted from 1601 - 1700 in the Gregorian calendar Many today attribute the foundation of the first native armed forces in Britain to Alfred the Great. Alfred the Great (also Ælfred from the Old English Ælfrēd ˈælfreːd (c Important conflicts in which the British took part later on in history include the Seven Years' War and the Napoleonic Wars of the 18th Century/early 19th Century, the Crimean War of the mid 19th Century, and the First and Second World Wars of the 20th Century. The Seven Years' War (1756&ndash1763 involved all of the major European powers of the period causing 900000 to 1400000 deaths The Napoleonic Wars (1803-1815 involved Napoleon's French Empire and a shifting set of European allies and opposing coalitions The 18th century lasted from 1701 to 1800 in the Gregorian calendar, in accordance with the Anno Domini / Common Era numbering system The 19th century of the Common Era began on January 1, 1801 and ended on December 31, 1900, according to the Gregorian calendar The Crimean War, also known in Russia as the Eastern War (Восточная война Vostochnaya Vojna) (March 1854–February 1856 was fought World War I (abbreviated WWI; also known as the First World War, the Great War, and the War to End All World War II, or the Second World War, (often abbreviated WWII) was a global military conflict which involved a majority of the world's nations, including The twentieth century of the Common Era began on The British Empire, which reached its apogee in the 1920s, was the largest empire in history; almost a third of the World's population were subjects of the British Crown and it controlled a quarter of the World's total land area (and arguably its seas). The British Empire was the largest empire in history and for over a century was the foremost global power. The 1920s is sometimes referred to as the " Jazz Age " or the " Roaring Twenties " when speaking about the United States and Canada TalkCommonewalth realm.--> The monarchy
The current structure of defence management in the United Kingdom was set in place in 1964 when the modern day Ministry of Defence (MoD) was created (an earlier form had existed since 1940). Year 1964 ( MCMLXIV) was a Leap year starting on Wednesday (link will display full calendar of the 1964 Gregorian calendar. The Ministry of Defence ( MoD) is the United Kingdom government department responsible for implementation of government defence policy and is the headquarters Year 1940 ( MCMXL) was a Leap year starting on Monday (link will display the full 1940 calendar of the Gregorian calendar. The MoD assumed the roles of the Admiralty, the War Office and the Air Ministry. The Admiralty was formerly the authority in the United Kingdom responsible for the command of the Royal Navy. The War Office was a former department of the British Government, responsible for the administration of the British Army between the 17th century and 1963 when The Air Ministry was formerly a department of the British Government with the responsibility of managing the affairs of the Royal Air Force.
Post-World War II economic and political decline, as well as changing attitudes in British society and government, was reflected by the Armed Forces' contracting global role.  Britain's protracted decline was dramatically epitomised by its political defeat during the Suez War of 1956. The Suez Crisis, also referred to as the Tripartite Aggression, (أزمة السويس - العدوان الثلاثي Crise du canal de Suez מבצע קדש Kadesh  The 1957 Defence White Paper decided to abolish conscription and reduce the size of the Armed Forces from 690,000 to 375,000 by 1962. The 1957 White Paper on Defence (Cmnd230 was a British White paper setting forth the future as seen of the British military  Seeking an inexpensive alternative to maintaining a large conventional military, the government pursued a doctrine of nuclear deterrence. Mutual assured destruction ( MAD; sometimes written as mutually assured destruction) is a Doctrine of military Strategy in which a full-scale  This initially consisted of free-fall bombs operated by the RAF, but these were eventually superseded by the submarine-launched Polaris ballistic missile. The Polaris missile was a submarine-launched two-stage solid-fuel nuclear-armed ballistic missile ( SLBM) built during the Cold War by Lockheed for While assurances had been made to the United States that Britain would maintain a presence "East of Suez", a process of gradual withdrawal from its eastern commitments was undertaken in the 1960s, primarily for economic reasons. The phrase East of Suez is used in British military and political discussions in reference to imperial interests beyond the European theatre (sometimes including sometime excluding  By the mid-1970s, Britain had withdrawn permanently deployed forces from Aden, Bahrain, Malaysia, Mauritius, Oman, Sharjah, and Singapore. Aden (ˈeɪdən Arabic: عدن) is a city in Yemen, 170 kilometers east of Bab-el-Mandeb. The Kingdom of Bahrain (in مملكة البحرين,, literally Kingdom of the Two Seas) is an Island country in the Persian Gulf For the biogeographical region see Malesia Malaysia (məˈleɪʒə or /məˈleɪziə/ is a country that consists of thirteen states and Mauritius (pronounced məˈrɪʃəs L’île Maurice /il mɔ'ʁis/ Mauritian Creole: Maurice) officially the Republic of Mauritius, République Oman, officially the Sultanate of Oman ( Arabic: سلطنة عُمان) is an Arab Country in Southwest Asia on the southeast Sharjah ( Arabic: الشارقة,, pronounced /'ʃɑɹdʒə/ in English) is one of the emirates of the United Arab Emirates (UAE Singapore Agreements with Malta (expired 1979) and South Africa (terminated 1975) also ended.
With a permanent presence east of Suez effectively reduced to Hong Kong (up to 1997) and Brunei, the Armed Forces reconfigured to focus on the responsibilities allocated to the services during the Cold War. British Forces Overseas Hong Kong consisted of the elements of the British Army, Royal Navy and Royal Air Force. The Royal Brunei Armed Forces is the military of the nation of Brunei. Cold War is the state of conflict tension and competition that existed between the United States and the Soviet Union (USSR and their respective allies from the  Substantial forces were thus committed to NATO in Europe and elsewhere; by 1985, 72,929 personnel were stationed in Continental Europe.  The British Army of the Rhine and RAF Germany consequently represented the largest and most important overseas commitments that the British Armed Forces had during this period. There have been two formations named British Army of the Rhine (BAOR The former Royal Air Force Germany ( RAFG) was a command of the Royal Air Force and part of British Forces Germany, consisting of those units  The Royal Navy's fleet developed an anti-submarine warfare specialisation, with a particular focus on countering Soviet submarines in the Eastern Atlantic and North Sea. Anti-submarine warfare (ASW or in older form A/S is a branch of Naval warfare that uses surface Warships Aircraft, space craft or other Submarines The North Sea is a marginal, Epeiric sea of the Atlantic Ocean on the European Continental shelf.  In the process of this transition and due to economic constraints, four conventional aircraft carriers and two "commando" carriers decommissioned between 1967 and 1984.  With the cancellation of the CVA-01 project, three Invincible-class STOVL aircraft carriers, originally designed as "Through-Deck Cruisers", became their ultimate replacements. Origin In the 1960s the Royal Navy was still one of the premier carrier fleets in the world second only to the US Navy which was in the process of building the 80000 Development The Invincible class has its origins in a sketch design for a 6000  ton, guided-missile armed helicopter carrying escort cruiser intended as STOVL is an acronym for S hort T ake O ff and V ertical L anding An aircraft carrier is a Warship designed with 
While this focus on NATO obligations increased in prominence during the 1970s, low-intensity conflicts in Northern Ireland and Oman emerged as the primary operational concerns of the British Armed Forces. Northern Ireland (Tuaisceart Éireann Ulster Scots: Norlin Airlann) is a Country within the United Kingdom, lying in the northeast of  These conflicts had followed a spate of insurgencies against British colonial occupation in Aden, Cyprus, Kenya, and Malaysia.  An undeclared war with Indonesia had also occurred in Borneo during the 1960s, and recurring civil unrest in the declining number of British colonies often required military assistance.
Three major reviews of the British Armed Forces have been conducted since the end of the Cold War. The Cold War period of 1985 to 1991 began with the rise of Mikhail Gorbachev as Soviet leader and ended with the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 The Conservative government produced the Options for Change review in the 1990s, seeking to benefit from a perceived post-Cold War "peace dividend". The Conservative Party (officially the Conservative and Unionist Party) is a Political party in the United Kingdom. Options for Change was a restructuring of the British Armed Forces in 1990, aimed at cutting defence spending following the end of the Cold War. The peace dividend is a political slogan popularized by US President George H  All three services experienced considerable reductions in manpower, equipment, and infrastructure.  Though the Soviet Union had disintegrated, a presence in Germany was retained, albeit in the reduced form of British Forces Germany. British Forces Germany (BFG is the name for British service personnel and civilians based in Germany Experiences during the First Gulf War prompted renewed efforts to enhance joint operational cohesion and efficiency among the services by establishing a Permanent Joint Headquarters in 1996. The Permanent Joint Headquarters ( PJHQ) is the British tri-service Headquarters from where all overseas military operations are planned and controlled 
An increasingly international role for the British Armed Forces has been pursued since the Cold War's end.  This has entailed the Armed Forces often constituting a major component in peacekeeping missions under the auspices of the United Nations or NATO, and other multinational operations. Peacekeeping, as defined by the United Nations, is "a way to help countries torn by conflict create conditions for sustainable peace The United Nations ( UN) is an International organization whose stated aims are to facilitate cooperation in International law, International security The North Atlantic Treaty Consistent undermanning and the reduced size of the Armed Forces has, however, highlighted the problem of "overstretch" in recent years.  This has reportedly contributed to personnel retention difficulties and challenged the military's ability to sustain its overseas commitments. 
The Strategic Defence Review – described as "foreign-policy-led" – was published in 1998. The Strategic Defence Review (or SDR was a policy document produced by the Labour Government that came to power in 1997.  Expeditionary warfare and tri-service integration were central to the review, which sought to improve efficiency and reduce expenditure by consolidating resources.  Most of the Armed Forces' helicopters were collected under a single command and a Joint Force Harrier was established in 2000, containing the Navy and RAF's fleet of Harrier Jump Jets. Joint Helicopter Command ( JHC) is a tri-service organisation uniting Military helicopters of the British Armed Forces Joint Force Harrier is the British military formation which controls the STOVL Harrier aircraft of the Royal Air Force and WikipediaWikiProject Aircraft. Please see WikipediaWikiProject Aircraft/page content for recommended layout A Joint Rapid Reaction Force was formed in 1999, with significant tri-service resources at its disposal. 
The first major post-11 September restructuring was announced in the 2004 Delivering Security in a Changing World: Future Capabilities review, continuing a vision of "mobility" and "expeditionary warfare" articulated in the SDR. Events 9 - The Battle of the Teutoburg Forest ends 506 - The Bishops of Visigothic Gaul The 2003 Defence White Paper, entitled Delivering Security in a Changing World sets out the future of the British military, and builds on the 1998  Future equipment projects reflecting this direction featured in the review, including the procurment of two large aircraft carriers and a series of medium-sized vehicles for the Army. The Future Rapid Effect System ( FRES) is the UK Ministry of Defence’s programme to deliver a fleet of more than 3000 armoured vehicles for the British Army Reductions in manpower, equipment, and infrastructure were also announced. The decision to reduce the Army's regular infantry to 36 battalions (from 40) and amalgamate the remaining single-battalion regiments was controversial, especially in Scotland and among former soldiers.  Envisaging a rebalanced composition of more rapidly deployable light and medium forces, the review announced that a regiment of Challenger 2 main battle tanks and a regiment of AS-90 self-propelled artillery would be converted to lighter roles. FV4034 Challenger 2 is a Main battle tank (MBT currently in service with the armies of the United Kingdom and Oman. A tank is a tracked, Armoured fighting vehicle designed for Front-line combat which combines Operational mobility and tactical The AS-90 (Artillery System for the 1990s is a lightly-armoured self-propelled artillery piece used by the British Army. 
According to 2007 CIA estimates, the UK has the second largest military expenditure in the world, after the United States. It is also the second largest spender on military science, engineering and technology.  Despite Britain's wide ranging capabilities, recent defence policy has a stated assumption that any large operation would be undertaken as part of a coalition. Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq (Granby, Desert Fox and Telic) may all be taken as precedent – indeed the last large scale military action in which the British armed forces fought alone was the Falklands War of 1982. Operation Granby was the name given to the British military operations during the Gulf War in 1991 The December 1998 bombing of Iraq (code-named Operation Desert Fox) was a major four-day bombing campaign on Iraqi targets from December 16 - December 19 Operation (or Op TELIC is the codename under which all British operations of the 2003 Invasion of Iraq and after are being conducted The Falklands War (Guerra de las Malvinas/Guerra del Atlántico Sur also called the Falklands Conflict/Crisis, was fought in 1982 between Argentina and the
The Royal Navy is the second largest navy in the world in terms of gross tonnage, with 91 commissioned ships. The Royal Navy of the United Kingdom is the oldest of the British armed services (and is therefore known as the Senior Service) This is a list of active Royal Navy ships, complete and correct as of July 2008 The Naval Service (which comprises the Royal Navy and Royal Marines) had a strength of 35,470 in July 2006 and is charged with custody of the United Kingdom's strategic nuclear deterrent consisting of four Trident missile submarines, while the Royal Marines provide commando units for amphibious assault and for specialist reinforcement forces in and beyond the NATO area. The Naval Service is the Naval branch of the British Armed Forces, which includes civilian agencies under the control of the Navy Board. The Royal Marines ( RM) are the marine corps and amphibious Infantry of the United Kingdom and along with the Royal Navy The United Kingdom was the third state to test an independently developed Nuclear weapon in October 1952 Design The Vanguard s were designed from the outset as an unlimited-range nuclear powered ballistic missile submarine unlike the previous ''Resolution'' class According to the same source, the British Army had a strength of 100,010, while the Royal Air Force had a strength of 45,210. The British Army is the land armed forces branch of the British Armed Forces. This puts the total number of regular Armed Forces personnel at 180,690 (not including civilians), nine percent of whom were women. This number is supported by reserve forces, including over 35,000 from the Territorial Army. The Territorial Army ( TA) is the principal and Volunteer reserve force of the British Army, the land armed forces branch of the United Kingdom The total number of serving personnel, including reserve forces, is therefore in the region of 225,000 (taking into account Navy, Marines and Air Force reserves).
As head of state, the British monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, is nominally the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces. Head of state is the generic term for the individual or collective office that serves as the chief public representative of a Monarchic or Republican Nation-state TalkCommonewalth realm.--> The monarchy For the ship see RMS Queen Elizabeth 2 Elizabeth II (Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Context States headed by Elizabeth II  Longstanding constitutional convention, however, has vested de facto executive authority in the office of Prime Minister and the Cabinet. The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is the political leader of the United Kingdom In the Politics of the United Kingdom, the Cabinet is a formal body composed of the most senior government ministers chosen by the Prime Minister  The Ministry of Defence is the Government department and highest level of military headquarters charged with formulating and executing defence policy for the Armed Forces; it employed 103,930 civilians in 2006 The department is controlled by the Secretary of State for Defence and contains three deputy appointments: Minister of State for the Armed Forces, Minister for Defence Procurement, and Minister for Veterans' Affairs. The Ministry of Defence ( MoD) is the United Kingdom government department responsible for implementation of government defence policy and is the headquarters Her Majesty's Government of the United Kingdom contains a number of Ministers and Secretaries of State. The Secretary of State for Defence is the senior United Kingdom government minister in charge of the Ministry of Defence.
Responsibility for the management of the forces is delegated to a number of committees: the Defence Council, Chiefs of Staff Committee, Defence Management Board, and three single-service boards. The Defence Council of the United Kingdom is the body legally entrusted with the defence of the United Kingdom and its overseas territories and with control over the The Chiefs of Staff Committee is composed of the most senior Military personnel in the British Armed Forces. The Defence Council, composed of senior representatives of the services and the Ministry of Defence, provides the "formal legal basis for the conduct of defence".  The three constituent single-service committees (Admiralty Board, Army Board, and Air Force Board) are chaired by the Secretary of State for Defence. For the Admiralty Board of Imperial Russia see Admiralty Board (Russia. The Army Board is the senior single-service management committee of the British Army: Army Board members The Secretary of State for Defence The Air Force Board of the Defence Council is responsible for the management of the Royal Air Force.
The Chief of the Defence Staff is the professional head of the Armed Forces and is an appointment that can be held by an Admiral, Air Chief Marshal, or General. Admiral is the rank, or part of the name of the ranks of the highest Naval officers Air Chief Marshal ( Air Chf Mshl or ACM) is a senior Air officer rank which originated in and continues to be used by the Royal Air Force (RAF Before the practice was discontinued in the 1990s, those who were appointed to the position of CDS had been elevated to the most senior rank in their respective service (a 5-star rank). An officer of 5 star rank is a very senior commander in many of the armed services holding a rank described by the NATO code of OF-10.  The CDS, along with the Permanent Under Secretary, are the principal advisers to the departmental minister. The three services have their own respective professional chiefs: the First Sea Lord, the Chief of the General Staff and the Chief of the Air Staff. The First Sea Lord is the professional head of the Royal Navy and the whole Naval Service. The Chief of the Air Staff is the professional head of the Royal Air Force and a member of both the Chiefs of Staff Committee and the Air Force Board.
The Naval Service consists of the Royal Navy (including the Submarine Service and Fleet Air Arm) and the Royal Marines. Background The UK had sought to procure the ships in collaboration with 7 other NATO nations under the NFR-90 project which later collapsed Construction and launch Daring' s construction began at the BAE Systems Naval Ships yard (now BVT Surface Fleet) at Scotstoun on the The Naval Service is the Naval branch of the British Armed Forces, which includes civilian agencies under the control of the Navy Board. The Royal Navy of the United Kingdom is the oldest of the British armed services (and is therefore known as the Senior Service) The Fleet Air Arm is the branch of the Royal Navy responsible for the operation of the aircraft on board their ships The Royal Marines ( RM) are the marine corps and amphibious Infantry of the United Kingdom and along with the Royal Navy  As of 21 May 2008, a fleet of 88 vessels (including an aircraft carrier in reserve) is maintained by the Royal Navy, assisted by 22 vessels of the civilian Royal Fleet Auxiliary. Events 878 - Syracuse Italy is captured by the Muslim sultan of Sicily. 2008 ( MMVIII) is the current year in accordance with the Gregorian calendar, a Leap year that started on Tuesday of the Common This is a list of active Royal Navy ships, complete and correct as of July 2008 The Royal Fleet Auxiliary ( RFA) is a component of the Naval Service that keeps the Royal Navy of the United Kingdom running around the world 
Referred to as the "Senior Service" by virtue of it being the oldest service within the British Armed Forces, the Royal Navy had a strength of 39,440 in April, 2007.  The Navy has been structured around a single fleet since the abolition of the Eastern and Western fleets in 1971. The British Eastern Fleet (also known as the East Indies Fleet and the Far East Fleet) was a fleet of the Royal Navy during World War II The British Western Fleet was a fleet level command in the Royal Navy.  Command of deployable assets is exercised by the Commander-in-Chief Fleet, who also has authority over the Royal Marines, and the civilian Royal Fleet Auxiliary. Commander-in-Chief Fleet ( CINCFLEET) is the Admiral responsible for the operation resourcing and training of the ships submarines and aircraft and personnel of  Personnel matters are the responsibility of the Second Sea Lord/Commander-in-Chief Naval Home Command, an appointment usually held by a vice-admiral. The Second Sea Lord and Commander-in-Chief Naval Home Command ( 2SL/CNH) commonly just known as the Second Sea Lord ( 2SL) is one of the most senior 
The United Kingdom's nuclear deterrent is carried aboard the navy's Vanguard-class of four nuclear ballistic-missile submarines. Design The Vanguard s were designed from the outset as an unlimited-range nuclear powered ballistic missile submarine unlike the previous ''Resolution'' class The surface fleet consists of carriers, destroyers, frigates, amphibious assault ships, patrol ships, mine-countermeasures, and miscellaneous vessels. An aircraft carrier is a Warship designed with In naval terminology a destroyer is a fast and maneuverable yet long-endurance Warship intended to escort larger vessels in a fleet, Convoy For the bird see Frigatebird. A frigate /ˈfrɪgɪt/ is a warship An amphibious assault ship (also referred to as an amphibious assault carrier or commando carrier) is a type of Helicopter carrier employed to land A patrol boat is a small naval vessel generally designed for coastal defense duties A minesweeper is a Naval Warship designed to counter the threat posed by Naval mines The dedicated purpose-built minesweeper first appeared during A submarine service has existed within the Royal Navy for over 100-years. The Royal Navy Submarine Service is the collective name given to the Submarine element of the Royal Navy. The service possessed a combined fleet of diesel-electric and nuclear-powered submarines in the early 1990s. Following the Options for Change defence review, diesel-electric submarines were withdrawn and the "hunter-killer" fleet is now exclusively nuclear-powered. Hunter-Killer is a Military term traditionally used to describe an entity in which the roles of "sensor" and "shooter" are separated
The infantry component of the Naval Service is the Corps of Royal Marines, which had a reported strength of approximately 7,400 in 2006.  Consisting of a single manoeuvre brigade (3 Commando) and various independent units, the Royal Marines specialise in amphibious, arctic, and mountain warfare. 3 Commando Brigade is a commando formation of the British Armed Forces and the main manoeuvre formation of the Royal Marines. Arctic warfare or winter warfare is a term used to describe armed conflict that takes place in an exceptionally cold weather usually in Snowy and icy terrain sometimes Mountain warfare refers to warfare in the Mountains or similarly rough terrain  Contained within 3 Commando Brigade are three attached army units; an infantry battalion (from April 2008), an artillery regiment, and an engineer regiment.  The Commando Logistic Regiment consists of personnel from the Army, Royal Marines, and Royal Navy. The mission role of the Commando Logistic Regiment, Royal Marines is to provide second line Combat Service Support to Headquarters 3 Commando Brigade and Royal 
The regular British Army had a strength of 106,200 in April, 2007, while its reserve component, the Territorial Army, numbered 38,500. The structure of the British Army is broadly similar to that of the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force, being divided into two Commands as top-level budget FV4034 Challenger 2 is a Main battle tank (MBT currently in service with the armies of the United Kingdom and Oman. Tank classification is a Taxonomy of identifying either the intended role or weight class of Tanks The classification by role was used primarily during The British Army is the land armed forces branch of the British Armed Forces. The Territorial Army ( TA) is the principal and Volunteer reserve force of the British Army, the land armed forces branch of the United Kingdom  The British Army is undergoing a restructuring programme envisaged in the 2003 defence white paper, Delivering Security in a Changing World, and the subsequent announcement of the Future Army Structure (FAS). The 2003 Defence White Paper, entitled Delivering Security in a Changing World sets out the future of the British military, and builds on the 1998 
The army consists of three TLBs (Top Level Budget): United Kingdom Land Command, HQ Adjutant-General, and HQ Northern Ireland. Land Command (or 'HQ Land' is a military command and part of the structure of the modern British Army. HQ Northern Ireland is the command formation responsible for the administration of all British Armed Forces stationed in and around Northern Ireland.  Deployable combat formations consist of two divisions (1st Armoured and 3rd Mechanised) and eight brigades. The 1st Armoured Division is an armoured division of the British Army. The British 3rd Infantry Division, known at various times as the Iron Division, 3rd (Iron Division or as Iron Sides, was originally formed in 1809  Within the United Kingdom, operational and non-deployable units are administered by three regionally-defined "regenerative"" divisions (2nd, 4th, and 5th) and London District. London District is the name given by the British Army to the area of operations encompassing the Greater London area 
The core element of the Army is the 50 battalions of regular and territorial infantry, organised into 17 regiments. The FV510 Warrior tracked vehicle family are a series of British armoured vehicles originally developed to replace the older FV430 series of armoured The British Army 's Infantry comprises 51 Battalions of Infantry, from 19 Regiments Of these 37 battalions are part of the 'Regular' army and the  The majority of infantry regiments contains multiple regular and territorial battalions. Modern infantry have diverse capabilities and this is reflected in the varied roles assigned to them. There are four operational roles that infantry battalions can fulfil: air assault, armoured infantry, mechanised infantry, and light role infantry. An Air Assault is a Tactical or Operational manoeuvre of an Infantry unit Airlifted by Helicopters usually to fulfil an Aerial Mechanized infantry (or "mech infantry" are Infantry equipped with Armored personnel carriers (APCs or Infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs Mechanized infantry (or "mech infantry" are Infantry equipped with Armored personnel carriers (APCs or Infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs Traditionally light infantry (or skirmishers) were soldiers whose job was to provide a Skirmishing screen ahead of the main body of Infantry, harassing
Regiments and battalions exist within every corps of the Army, functioning as administrative or tactical formations. Armoured regiments are equivalent to an infantry battalion. There are 11 armoured regiments within the regular army, of which five are designated as "Armoured" and five as "Formation Reconnaissance". A tank is a tracked, Armoured fighting vehicle designed for Front-line combat which combines Operational mobility and tactical The Formation Reconnaissance Regiment is one of two organisations currently provided by Cavalry regiments of the British Army. The 1st Royal Tank Regiment uniquely forms a component of the Joint Chemical, Biological, Radiation and Nuclear Regiment. The 1st Royal Tank Regiment ( 1 RTR) is an armoured regiment of the British Army. The Joint Chemical Biological Radiological and Nuclear Regiment is a specialist expeditionary unit of the British armed forces. With the exception of the Household Cavalry, armoured regiments and their Territorial counterparts are grouped under the Royal Armoured Corps. The term Household Cavalry is used across the Commonwealth to describe the Cavalry of the Household Divisions a country’s most elite or historically The Royal Armoured Corps (RAC is currently a collection of ten regular Regiments mostly converted from old horse cavalry regiments, and four Yeomanry regiments Arms and support units are also formed into similar collectives organised around specific purposes, such as the Corps of Royal Engineers, Army Air Corps and Royal Army Medical Corps. The Corps of Royal Engineers, usually just called the Royal Engineers ( RE) and commonly known as the Sappers, is one of the corps The Army Air Corps is a component of the British Army, first formed in 1942 The Royal Army Medical Corps ( RAMC) is a specialist Corps in the British Army which provides Medical services to all British Army 
Consisting of both fixed-wing and rotary aircraft, the Royal Air Force has a large operational fleet that fulfills various roles. According to a House of Commons written answer made by Armed Forces Minister Adam Ingram, the RAF had in its inventory an estimated 1,046 aircraft of all types in March 2006. Adam Ingram may refer to Adam Ingram (Labour politician (born 1947 Scottish politician Adam Ingram (SNP politician (born 1951 Scottish  A personnel strength of 45,360 was recorded in April 2007, though the RAF is undergoing a programme of reduction that will give it a projected trained strength of 41,440 by April 2008.  Frontline aircraft are controlled by Strike Command, which is organised into two groups defined by function: 1 Group (Air Combat) and 2 Group (Air Support). The Royal Air Force's Strike Command was the military formation which controlled the majority of the United Kingdom 's combat aircraft from 1968 until Group is a term used by different Air forces for an element of Military organization. Number 1 Group of the Royal Air Force is one of the two operations groups in Air Command. Number 2 Group is a Group of the Royal Air Force which was first activated in 1918 served from 1918-20 from 1936 through the Second World War to 1947 from 1948  Training aircraft are organised into 22 Group, a component of Personnel and Training Command. Number 22 Group is one of only three groups currently active in the Royal Air Force falling under the responsibility of Deputy Commander-in-Chief Personnel Personnel and Training Command ( PTC) was one of two commands of the Royal Air Force (the other being Strike Command) that were merged to form  Deployable formations consist of Expeditionary Air Wings and squadrons – the basic unit of the Air Force. Wing is a term used by different Air forces for a unit of command A squadron is a small unit or formation of Cavalry, armour, Aircraft (including Balloons) or Warships Army  Independent flights are deployed to facilities in Afghanistan, the Falkland Islands, Iraq, and the United States. A flight is a Military unit in an Air force, Naval air service or Army air corps 
The Royal Air Forces operates multi-role and single-role fighters, reconnaissance and patrol aircraft, tankers, transports, helicopters, unmanned aerial vehicles, and various types of training aircraft. An unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV is an unpiloted Aircraft. UAVs can be remote controlled or fly autonomously based on pre-programmed flight plans or more complex dynamic  Ground units are also maintained by the Royal Air Force, most prominently the RAF Police and RAF Regiment. The Royal Air Force Police ( RAFP) is the Military police branch of the British Royal Air Force. The Royal Air Force Regiment ( RAF Regt) is a specialist Airfield defence Corps founded by Royal Warrant in 1942 The Royal Air Force Regiment essentially functions as the "ground fighting force" of the RAF.  Roled principally as ground defence for RAF facilities, the regiment contains nine regular squadrons, supported by five squadrons of the Royal Auxiliary Air Force Regiment. The Royal Auxiliary Air Force ( RAuxAF) is the volunteer reserve part of the Royal Air Force. By March 2008, the three remaining "Air Defence" squadrons will have disbanded and their responsibilities transferred to the British Army's Royal Artillery. The Royal Artillery, is the common name for the Royal Regiment of Artillery, is an Arm of the British Army. 
The British Armed Forces are supported by civilian agencies owned by the MoD. Although they are civilian, they play a vital role in supporting Armed Forces operations, and in certain circumstances are under military discipline.
The MoD owns two civilian naval agencies which are not part of the military Naval Service. The Naval Service is the Naval branch of the British Armed Forces, which includes civilian agencies under the control of the Navy Board. 
The Armed Forces mainly recruits within the United Kingdom, and normally has an annual recruitment target of around 24,000.  The minimum recruitment age is 16½ years (although personnel may not serve on operations below 18 years); the maximum recruitment age is 32-years. The normal term of engagement is 22 years, however the minimum service required before resignation is 4 years.  Low unemployment in Britain has resulted in the Army having difficulty in meeting its target, and in the early years of the 21st century there has been a marked increase in the number of recruits from other (predominantly Commonwealth) countries. 
Citizens of Commonwealth countries, the Republic of Ireland, and dual-nationals are eligible to join the British Armed Forces. Ireland ( Irish: Éire, ˈeːrʲə is a country in north-western Europe.  In 2005, the proportion of foreign nationals in the Armed Forces rose from a 2004 figure of 7. 5 to almost 10 percent. While the Army has been the destination for the majority of recruits, large contingents exist in the Navy and Air Force.  Excluding the Brigade of Gurkhas and the Royal Irish Regiment, 7,155 personnel were recorded as being of foreign nationality in 2005. The Brigade of Gurkhas is the collective term for British Army units that are composed of Nepalese soldiers For the regiment of the same name disbanded in 1922 see Royal Irish Regiment (1684-1922 The Royal Irish Regiment (27th (Inniskilling 83rd  The largest tri-service national groups recorded in 2005 were Fijian (2,040), Jamaican (1,030), South African (710), Zimbabwean (590), Ghanaian (590), and Irish (335).  Smaller contingents were drawn from countries such as Australia (110) and Canada (105), and islands nations with relatively small populations.  A Grenadian, Lance Corporal Johnson Beharry, was awarded the Victoria Cross in 2005 for actions in Iraq. Lance-Corporal Johnson Gideon Beharry VC (born 26 July 1979, in Grenada) of the 1st Battalion Princess of Wales's Royal See below the section "Separate Commonwealth awards" Note that since 
Specific initiatives to develop female and ethnic minority representation in the Armed Forces has yielded percentage increases of 3. 4 and 4. 5 since 1997.  In 1997, there were 14,830 (5. 7%) women and 2. 184 (1. 0%) personnel who identified as an ethnic minority.  This had increased to 17,870 (9. 1%) and 10,180 (5. 5%) in 2006. A higher percentage of personnel have attained higher-rank since 2000. Notably included among these officers are Rear-Admiral Amjad Hussain, Air Commodore David Case, Commodore Carolyn Stait, and Squadron Leader Nicky Smith. Rear-Admiral Amjad Hussain is a high-ranking officer in the Royal Navy. Air Commodore David Case is the highest ranking black officer in the Royal Air Force of the United Kingdom and at the age of 47 is the highest ranking black officer  Women have been fully integrated into the British Armed Forces since the early 1990s; however, they remain excluded from primarily combat units in the Army, Royal Marines, Royal Air Force Regiment, and the submarine service. The Royal Air Force Regiment ( RAF Regt) is a specialist Airfield defence Corps founded by Royal Warrant in 1942  Since 2000, sexual orientation has not been a factor considered in recruitment and homosexuals can serve openly in the armed forces, unlike in the United States armed forces for example, the army actively recruits at Gay Pride parades. The United States Armed Forces are the overall unified military forces of the United States
There were over 30,000 members of the British Armed Forces deployed abroad in January 2007, serving in various capacities.  Peackeeping, humanitarian aid, and disaster relief tasks have increased in recent years, many under the auspices of the United Nations and NATO.  The Armed Forces most recently contributed to the international humanitarian and reconstruction efforts that occurred in the aftermath of the 2004 tsunami and 2005 earthquake in Pakistan. The 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake was an undersea Earthquake that occurred at 005853 UTC on December 26 2004 with an Epicentre off the west coast of The 2005 Kashmir Earthquake (also known as the South Asian earthquake or the Great Pakistan earthquake) was a major earthquake centred in Azad Kashmir Pakistan () officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, is a country located in South Asia, Southwest Asia, Middle East and 
Within the United Kingdom, there were approximately 140,000 personnel stationed in England, 13,200 in Scotland, 7,000 in Northern Ireland, and 6,200 in Wales.  The conflict in Northern Ireland has required the Armed Forces to provide "Military Aid to the Civil Power" since 1969, with a presence that peaked at over 20,000 regular personnel in 1972. Military aid to the civil power (MACP (sometimes to the Civil Authorities) is assistance by the armed forces to the police in maintaining law and order  Sectarian and paramilitary violence has subsided since the Good Friday Agreement was signed in 1998. The Agreement, most often referred to as the Belfast Agreement (Comhaontú Bhéal Feirste Belfast Greeance or the Good Friday Agreement (Comhaontú Aoine an  The IRA declared an end to its campaign in 2005. Operational support for the Police Service of Northern Ireland, known as Operation Banner, officially ended on 1 August 2007 and result in the reduction of the miliary presence to the size of a peacetime garrison. The Police Service of Northern Ireland is the Police service that covers Northern Ireland. Operation Banner was the operational name for the British Armed Forces ' campaign in Northern Ireland between August 1969 and July 2007 Events 30 BC - Octavian (later known as Augustus enters Alexandria, Egypt, bringing it under the control of the Roman Year 2007 ( MMVII) was a Common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. 
Personnel are based in a number of overseas territories, though internal security for the majority is provided solely by small police forces. A dependent territory dependent area or dependency is a territory that does not possess full political Independence or Sovereignty as a Garrisons and facilities exist in Ascension Island, Diego Garcia, the Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, and the Sovereign Base Areas in Cyprus.  These deployments accounted for over 5,000 personnel in 2006.  Locally-raised units are maintained in Bermuda (The Bermuda Regiment), the Falkland Islands (Falkland Islands Defence Force), and Gibraltar (Royal Gibraltar Regiment). Ba (officially The Bermuda Islands or The Somers Isles) is a British overseas territory in the North Atlantic Ocean. The Bermuda Regiment is the home defence unit of the British Overseas Territory of Bermuda. The Falkland Islands Defence Force ( FIDF) is the locally maintained volunteer defence unit in the Falkland Islands. Though their primary mission is "home defence", individuals have volunteered for operational duties. The Royal Gibraltar Regiment has recently mobilised section-sized units for attachment to regiments deployed to Iraq.