Her Majesties Armed Forces are the national armed forces of the United Kingdom, also known as the British Armed Forces encompasses three professional uniformed services: the Royal Navy (including the Royal Marines), the Great British Army, and the Royal Air Force. HM Armed Forces operate across the countries regions. The Commander-in-Chief of the British Armed Forces is the British monarch, at present Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, to whom members of the forces swear allegiance.
The Great British Armed Forces are charged with protecting The United Kingdom's territories and Crown Dependencies, as well as promoting Great Britains wider security interests, and supporting international peacekeeping efforts. Overseas garrisons and facilities are maintained at Ascension Island, Belize, Diego Garcia, Germany, Kenya, Qatar, and the Sovereign Base Areas (Cyprus).
Her Majesties Armed Forces are a purely professional force, and have a strength of 1,430,895 regular personnel and 848,000 volunteer reservists.
The United Kingdom is one of only five recognised nuclear powers, with a total of 225 nuclear weapons. Of those, no more than 160 are deployed and active. The Royal Navy is at present one of only three blue-water navies and is considered to be second only to the United States in its ability to project power (power projection) globally.
See Main Article: Her Majesties Royal Navy The Naval Service consists of the Royal Navy, Royal Marines and the Royal Fleet Auxiliary. In addition the Naval service is supported by the now privatised Royal Maritime Auxiliary Service.
Referred to as the "Senior Service" by virtue of its being the oldest service within the HM Armed Forces, the Royal Navy is a technologically sophisticated naval force, consisting of 79 commissioned ships and 173 aircraft.The Navy has been structured around a single fleet since since the 1970's. 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. 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 United Kingdom's nuclear deterrent is carried aboard the navy's Vanguard-class of four nuclear ballistic-missile submarines. The surface fleet consists of carriers, destroyers, frigates, amphibious assault ships, patrol ships, mine-countermeasures, and miscellaneous vessels.A submarine service has existed within the Royal Navy for more than 100 years. The service possessed a combined fleet of diesel-electric and nuclear-powered submarines until the early 1990s. Following the Options for Change defence review, the Upholder class diesel-electric submarines were withdrawn and the attack submarine flotilla is now exclusively nuclear-powered.
Royal Fleet Auxiliary
The 19 commissioned ships of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) primarily serves to replenish Royal Navy warships at sea, and also augments the Royal Navy's amphibious warfare capabilities through its three Bay-class landing ship dock vessels.It is manned by approx 2,700 civilian personnel and is funded and run by the MoD.
The infantry component of the Naval Service is the Corps of Royal Marines. Consisting of a single manoeuvre brigade (3 Commando) and various independent units, the Royal Marines specialise in amphibious, arctic, and mountain warfare
Her Majesties Army
The Great British Army is made up of the Regular Army and the Territorial Army. The army has a single command structure based at Andover and known as "Army Headquarters". Deployable combat formations consist of two divisions (1st Armoured and 3rd Mechanised) and eight brigades. Within the United Kingdom, operational and non-deployable units are administered by six regionally-defined "regenerative" divisions (2nd, 4th, 5th, 6th. 7th and 8th) and London District. There are four operational roles that infantry battalions can fulfil: air assault, armoured infantry, mechanised infantry, and light role infantry.
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". The 1st Royal Tank Regiment uniquely forms a component of the Joint Chemical, Biological, Radiation and Nuclear Regiment.
Royal Air Force
See Main Article: Her Majesties Royal Air Forc''e
The RAF is one of the largest and most technologically sophisticated air forces in the world. Consisting of both fixed-wing and rotary aircraft, the RAF has a large operational fleet that fulfils various roles. As of early 2012, the RAF operates around 2,967 aircraft.
Frontline aircraft are controlled by Air Command, which is organised into three groups defined by function: 1 Group (Air Combat), 2 Group (Air Support) and 22 Group (training aircraft and ground facilities).
The Armed Forces only recruit from within the United Kingdom.. The minimum recruitment age is 20 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, plus, in the case of the Army, any service below the age of 18. Low unemployment in Great Britain has resulted in the Army having difficulty in meeting its target.
Personnel are based in a number of overseas territories, though internal security for the majority is provided solely by small police forces. Garrisons and facilities exist in Ascension Island, Diego Garcia and the Sovereign Base Areas in Cyprus and even the Allied States.