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16 Air Assault Brigade is a unique formation within the British Army due to the combination of airmobility and multinational links. Nationally it is administered by 4th Division. Operationally it is one of the Corps Troops elements of the Allied Commander Europe's (ACE) Rapid Reaction Corps (ARRC), and can also be used as an Air Manouevre Brigade within 1 (UK) Armoured Division or 3 (UK) Division. Overall, however, it is under full command of HQ Land Command and can thus be tasked nationally to meet British operational commitments.


(Allied Rapid Reaction Corps)


The ARRC is the land component of NATO's Rapid Reaction Corps under the permanent operational command of the Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR). It is  multinational and comprises staff, assigned military formations and representatives from 17 contributing nations. It is trained, prepared and ready to deploy within days anywhere as directed by SACEUR to undertake combined joint military operations ranging from Peace Support Operations (PSOs) to High Intensity Warfare. For any particular operation, the ARRC will be allocated Combat, Combat Support (CS) or Combat Service Support (CSS) troops by contributing nations. These will be a mix of Attack and Support Helicopters, Artillery and Air Defence Brigades, Recconnaissance Brigades, Engineer Brigades, Communications Brigades, Logistic Brigades, Intelligence and Targetting Assets and Special Forces. It is the potent mix of Combat Support assets that make the ARRC truly capable of undertaking high intensity combined war fighting operations.




Peacetime command and control of the Brigade is provided by the Joint Command (JHC) which was formed as a result of Strategic Defence Review on 1 October 1999.  This joint headquarters is commanded by a two star commander.  It is under full command of HQ LAND Command, and is situated with it in Wilton, in Wiltshire. The role of the JHC is to deliver and sustain effective Battlefield Helicopter and Air Assault assets, operationally capable under all environmental conditions, in order to support UKs defence missions and tasks.  The JHC is responsible for the Commando Helicopter Force (CHF), all Army Aviation Units, RAF Support Helicopter Force, 16 Air Assault Brigade, the Joint Helicopter Force Northern Ireland and the Joint Helicopter Command and Standards Wing (Army).The JHC provides a unified command structure for the integration of Battlefield Helicopters and Air Assault combat, combat support and combat service support units. This enables doctrine, structures, training, support and working practices to be harmonised across the three Services.