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6th [United Kingdom] Division Reborn

The new 6th United Kingdom Division flag is prepared to be raised as its commander, Maj Gen James Bowder OBE, and Lt Gen Ivan Jones CB look on [Crown Copyright: Cpl Ben Beckett]
Yesterday, 1st August, Headquarters Force Troops Command was re-designated Headquarters 6th [United Kingdom] Division at Upavon in Wiltshire.

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To mark the occasion of the re-designation of Headquarters Force Troops Command to Headquarters 6th [United Kingdom] Division, a formal flag raising ceremony took place at the flag pole in front of the HQ building at Upavon in Wiltshire, with Lieutenant General Ivan Jones CB, Commander Field Army (CFA) in attendance.

Following a short address by CFA, the FTC flag was lowered and the new 6 [UK] Division flag was raised. This occasion marked the rebirth of a Division which served throughout the First World War and during the Second War. More recently, the Division was reactivated, between 2008 and 2011, and deployed to Afghanistan as Headquarters Regional Command (South).

The reborn 6th Division will include: 1st Signal Brigade; 11th Signal Brigade; 1st Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance Brigade; 77th Brigade; and the Specialised Infantry Group. This last brigade-level formation, first announced under SDSR 2015 and which it has recently been confirmed will have a Special Operations Capable role, will include: 4 RIFLES, 1 SCOTS, 2 PWRR, 2 LANCS and 3 RGR.

At a recent briefing on British Army restructuring, given to a small number of defence correspondents in MoD Main Building by a very senior officer, it was explained: “There is a gulf that exists between what our conventional forces are able to deliver and what out Special Forces are able to deliver. That is a void that needs to be filled.”

We asked if the Specialised Infantry Group, part of the Unconventional Warfare capabilities of the new Division, is in effect Special Operations Capable and were told: “It is. Able to conduct Special Operations. We have I think traditionally, certainly in this country, directly aligned Special Forces with Special Operations and if you go to many other nations they see the gambit of Special Operations as far wider and some of the things you talk today about cyber, information operations, they would categorise these as Special Operations. That is the world that we need to get into.”

Lt Gen Ivan Jones CB, watches on while the FTC flag is lowered [Crown Copyright: Cpl Ben Beckett]
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