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Operation Telic order of battle

This is the Operation Telic order of battle, which lists the British forces that took part in the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

British Forces Middle East HQ - Air Marshal Brian Burridge

Table of contents
1 Maritime Forces
2 Air Forces
3 Ground Forces
4 Joint Assets
5 1st Roulement
6 2nd Roulement

Maritime Forces

Air Forces

27 helicopters were also sent to the area, a mixture of Pumas and Chinooks, although the breakdown of types within that number is yet to be determined. Beyond the Hercules aircraft that were based in theatre, virtually the whole of the rest of the Hercules fleet, the C-17 fleet, and those Tristars and VC10's that had remained based in the UK were involved in transport operations to and from the Persian Gulf. Please help to fill in any gaps in the information as new material comes to light.

Ground Forces

Joint Assets

It should be noted that when a battalion is referred to as a battlegroup, it is not purely made up of units from the parent unit, but is an integrated team, combining armoured units with tanks, and mechanised infantry with infantry fighting vehicles. Also, whilst 16 Air Assault Brigade is apparently the only fighting brigade listed with its own organic helicopter support in this order of battle, 3 Commando Brigade had the helicopters on board Ocean and Ark Royal to call upon, and 7th Armoured Brigade wasn't really air mobile as a formation. There were also the RAF Pumas and Chinooks mentioned above for transport purposes. Finally, 3 Commando Brigade had a United States Marine Corps unit, 15th MEU under its command in the intial stages of the war. This went back to American command around 25 March.

1st Armoured Division remained in theatre, controlling UK ground forces until June 2003, when 3rd Mechanised Division's HQ arrived in theatre to take command of British forces. 3 Commando Brigade was the first of the warfighting units to return to the UK, followed by 16 Air Assault Brigade. 7 Armoured Brigade remained in theatre until they handed over to 19 Mechanised Brigade in June.

In November and December 2003, a second rotation of British forces occurred, with 3rd Division's HQ being replaced by a composite divisional HQ. 19 Mechanised Brigade was replaced with 20 Armoured Brigade.

1st Roulement

2nd Roulement