Appendix 8: Note by Mr Garth Whitty, Specialist Adviser
to the Committee - Military Support
Military Support is provided to government departments,
the civil powers and the civil community under the auspices of
MACA (Military Aid to the Civil Authorities). There are four categories
of military support potentially available.
- Dedicated assets - military
capability that will be provided on request through the appropriate
channels by specialist units. The most obvious example is bomb
- Non-dedicated assets - local or specialist military
units that subject to commitments may be available on request.
Volunteer and Reserve Forces
- Dedicated assets - Civil Contingency
Reaction Forces of 500 volunteer personnel in each region. Not
- Non-dedicated assets- local Royal Navy Reserve,
Territorial Army and Royal Air Force Reserve units that may be
available on request.
Reaction Forces (from SDR: the New Chapter)
- A Reaction Force of, on average,
some 500 Volunteer Reserves would be established in each region
- in principle giving a total of some 6,000 or so Volunteer Reserves
in Reaction Forces nation-wide.
- We would use the Army's regional brigade areas
for this purpose, since this corresponds to the system of Government
Offices for the Regions and to the Devolved Administration structure.
- Reaction Forces would comprise only individuals
who agree to take on this additional commitment, drawn from all
Volunteer Reserve units within the regional brigade area.
- The organisational framework for Reaction Forces
would be provided by an existing major Volunteer Reserve unit
in each region - most probably a Territorial Army infantry battalion.
- The decision to deploy a Reaction Force would
follow a request from the civil authorities for military assistance.
A recommendation to deploy a Reaction Force would then be made
by the regional military commander with responsibility for home
defence and security, who would exercise his judgment as to which
of the forces at his disposal, including the Reaction Force but
also Regular Forces, best match the requirements of the situation.
- To avoid holding up the deployment of Reaction
Forces pending the issue of an appropriate mobilisation order,
initial reporting would be on a voluntary basis. To give the Volunteer
Reservist the necessary employment protection, the Government
would expect to initiate mobilisation procedures after 36 hours,
under the Reserve Forces Act 1996.