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British Forces Germany (BFG) is the name for British service personnel and civilians based in Germany.[1] Disbandment of the British Army of the Rhine (BAOR) and Royal Air Force Germany (RAFG) following the end of the Cold War reduced the personnel strength of the British Armed Forces in Germany by almost 30,000.[2] The BFG is concentrated in North Rhine-Westphalia and Lower Saxony.

Once consisting of I (BR) Corps and three divisions, the BFG is a considerably reduced entity since the Options for Change defence review in the early 1990s, although it is still the major concentration of UK armed forces permanently stationed outside the UK.[3] Since the 1990s, the British presence has centred around the 1st Armoured Division, its three brigades, and supporting elements.[1] The divisional HQ is located at Herford, near Bielefeld, with garrisons at Gütersloh, Hohne, and Paderborn.[4] A further garrison at Osnabrück was closed in 2009. Additionally, the Rhine Garrison area contains Rheindahlen Military Complex and HQ Allied Rapid Reaction Corps.[1][5]

Administrative support for British service personnel in Germany and across Continental Europe is delegated to United Kingdom Support Command. The four Army garrisons in Germany are under the direct administrative control of UKSC.[1] The General Officer Commanding UKSC also functions as head of the British Forces Liaison Organisation (Germany), which is responsible for liaising and maintaining relations with German civil authorities.[6]

Approximately 56,000 people are associated with British Forces Germany, with only about 23,000 in the army, itself, and about 2,200 civilians posted in Germany. The 1st Armoured Division is currently equipped with Challenger 2 MBTs, Warrior IFVs, AS-90 Braveheart howitzers, Multiple Launch Rocket Systems, armoured personnel carriers, Gazelle and Lynx helicopters.[1]

During the height of "the Troubles" in Northern Ireland, the IRA targeted personnel in Germany between 1988 and 1990. The attacks resulted in the deaths of 9 people, including three civilians, and many wounded.

According to the BBC, the BFG presence contributes 1.5 billion Euros annually to the German economy.


Major Units as of 2009


7th Armoured Brigade (The Desert Rats)

20th Armoured Brigade (The Iron Fist)

1st (UK) Armoured Division - Divisional Units

102nd Logistics Brigade


  1. ^ a b c d e British Forces Germany,
  2. ^ BBC News (2004), From occupiers and protectors to guests, Accessed 11 February 2006.
  3. ^ Chandler (2003), The Oxford History of the British Army, p360
  4. ^ House of Commons Hansard,
  5. ^ Headquarters Structure,
  6. ^ United Kingdom Support Command,

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