169 Coy REME Barnet

Julezee001

Swinger
I found out today that I am no longer REME LAD attatched to a unit in London District, but have now been absorbed into the above unit. Has anyone else had this happen today?

It's not entirely a surprise as the "bang to splash" time has been close to 3 years. From initially being told by the OC of the proposed Coy at the time that it was done and dusted to; it might happen; it won't happen, it will happen, and all other variations between.

Having served in different Coy of the parent Battalion for 2.5 years, I am not shocked by the state of the admin in this process.

Does anyone affected think this merger of all the Londist LAD's is a good idea?

Jules
 
E

EScotia

Guest
It's not just London, it is across the whole of the REME Reserve. As for the piss poor admin, it does not surprise me one bit.

At least in Londist you have excellent public transport and road links making it fairly easy to get to the Coy lines. Here in Scotland they've created the REME Reserve Bn and located it in the Central Belt (basically a line drawn from Glasgow to Edinburgh) and as a result severely limited the potential to recruit anyone more than a stones throw from the 2 main cities and that's an awful lot of Scotland with no REME representation. I'd also have thought that with closer working between the Regular and Reserve components of the Corps being one of the stated aims of this re-organisation, now 2 Bn is about to move to Leuchars then they should have based the Reserve component there, at least the RHQ or training dept.

You say the "bang to splash" time has been 3 years, possibly, but during that time so little accurate and timely information has reached individual REME Reserve personnel that they may as well not have bothered. The Col REME Reserve makes the points that several articles have appeared in the Craftsman magazine over this period and he himself has given briefings across the UK. I can't argue against this but I do not know anyone from my last unit that has attended or even been invited to any of his briefings and, lets be honest here, if these briefings are being given to the REME NRPS that had been told their jobs were going can you really and honestly expect them to get engaged in the process when their livelihood is being ripped away from them?
 

Julezee001

Swinger
Thanks for the reply. I'm amazed at how little information there is out there. We certainly haven't been briefed by a Colonel, which would be overkill for an LAD of 7 people. We have the ASM and an officer turning up on 10 Dec, after the event to give us details, but I think they will leave every bit as disappointed as we are.

Being an LAD we rarely encounter other LAD folk so haven't had a chance to discuss the general feeling. If our unit is anything to go by, there will be a serious manning crisis in REME reserves almost as soon as the policy goes through. My travel time on a good day is 1 hour 40 mins. Yesterday, fog and an accident made it 2 hours 40 mins. By the time I have to attend Barnet, a good run might be 3 hours, all for less than £20 for a drill night. I can only guess that it's even more of an issue for those North of the border!?

What I found bizarre today is that the only mention of 169 Coy I have so far found on the net is...this thread. Nothing on 103 Bn website, Facebook. The lack of discussion and information is going to lead to a very predictable train crash, and the loss of an enormous amount of experience, and knowledge built up over years.

I suppose someone actually believes it's all going to improve the training of REME, and will save money. Ha! Ha!
 
The cynic in me thinks this restructuring is REME's contribution to the regular army's head shed sabotaging of the TA (sorry, reserves). The other arm directors now need to up their game to carry out their part and match this disaster.........
 
It's a ploy to make sure reserve recruiting fails and former TA leave so the Regular Army can increase in numbers to compensate.
What REME Colonel wants to have a command full of reservists who may or may not turn up for him to play with?
 
E

EScotia

Guest
Big article by Col Joy in this months Corps magazine. Although I'm not sure he fully understands the impacts of restructuring across the Reserves particularly as he states 106 Bn are based at Leuchars whereas the A2020 Reserve Structure lists them being at East Kilbride (BHQ & HQ Coy), Glasgow (155 Recy Coy), Belfast & Lisburn (157 Fd Coy), Edinburgh & Dunfermline (152 Fd Coy) and Grangemouth (153 Fd Coy). Mind you there may have been some changes since publication, I'd have thought they would have received wider publication.

I do think his team in Army HQ that is delivering Personnel Policy & Capability seriously needs to revisit their Policy on NRPS/FTRS job specifications and mapping as people currently in the middle of it within the Reserves do not appear either supportive or informed. That's not just those NRPS being dumped at 1st & 2nd Line units or replaced and denied reasonable opportunities to map across (The TSS who posts on here has been treated appallingly in this regard).

He also mentions the review of CEG training and the closer aligning of regular and reserve training. Whereas I do believe it rapidly needs bringing into the 21st Century I have no doubt it will be designed by regulars with little no concept of how reserve training impacts on the lives of volunteers. I'm currently struggling to understand how moving all REME reserve personnel to 2nd line will afford the time for equipment training, military training or military and Corps systems knowledge and still maintain the interest of the soldiers!

There is also an article from one of the regulars at 106 Bn which, being a staunch cynic, I have to say smacks of a positive message of "the changes to the reserves will be promoted and you Staff will write an article for the magazine". I have no doubt that the TM and ASM are excellent at their jobs (Doughie S having served as a PSI in their AOR and he was very good at his job), but to state every person wanting a place in their Bn will stay for the foreseeable future is a bit of a howler. It also hides the fact that all key posts will already have been taken by Bn personnel already on their books and the excess will be in dead mens shoes for years, let alone what competencies do you train individuals for and how do you provide any semblance of a career path for anyone?
 

Julezee001

Swinger
Quote

"He also mentions the review of CEG training and the closer aligning of regular and reserve training. Whereas I do believe it rapidly needs bringing into the 21st Century I have no doubt it will be designed by regulars with little no concept of how reserve training impacts on the lives of volunteers. I'm currently struggling to understand how moving all REME reserve personnel to 2nd line will afford the time for equipment training, military training or military and Corps systems knowledge and still maintain the interest of the soldiers!"

Having been to Bordon on a B vehicle electrics course a couple of years ago, something certainly needs to be updated. Whilst the principles are all taught really well, the training equipment for diagnosing vehicle electrical fault was for Leyland DAF, Bedford MJ, Landrover 90/110, all out of service, and Wolf pre-Bowman. Tried to get on a MAN course, but the loading at the time was only for in theatre troops, and at 8 per course. The waiting list was around 1000 long (over 10 years). I can use MANCAT, but ours hasn't been updated for 3 years so no longer works.

In the past we had lots of hands on experience, not only fixing vehicles in the field, but recovery in the field, and recovery back to unit. All counted as great training for any role. These days we hold no spares (bean counters saving money?), so on exercise there is very little chance to fix stuff, and other than getting vehicles to the edge of a training area, little recovery experience. We're very good for stagging on though as we seem to have so little to do! It doesn't affect me too much as I work on vehicles for a living, but many REME TA don't, and could do with as much time as possible getting hands dirty.

I don't believe merging the LAD's will benefit anyone for trade training (small fish, big pond syndrome). Having been part of 103 Bn in the past there was very little to do for lots of mechanics on a trade weekend, and unless there has been a huge change recently, even less actual "trade training". Obviously the expectation is that the TA will train (and have to travel further) for more days every year to "bridge the gap" to regulars. Ok if you don't have a life elsewhere, have a very understanding employer, wife, customers etc.
 

spaz

LE
@Julezee001 Ref your MANCAT you need to be subscribed through your BIN number to get it updated. You should receive the discs through the mail and then update it yourself.
 
E

EScotia

Guest
Quote

"He also mentions the review of CEG training and the closer aligning of regular and reserve training. Whereas I do believe it rapidly needs bringing into the 21st Century I have no doubt it will be designed by regulars with little no concept of how reserve training impacts on the lives of volunteers. I'm currently struggling to understand how moving all REME reserve personnel to 2nd line will afford the time for equipment training, military training or military and Corps systems knowledge and still maintain the interest of the soldiers!"

Having been to Bordon on a B vehicle electrics course a couple of years ago, something certainly needs to be updated. Whilst the principles are all taught really well, the training equipment for diagnosing vehicle electrical fault was for Leyland DAF, Bedford MJ, Landrover 90/110, all out of service, and Wolf pre-Bowman. Tried to get on a MAN course, but the loading at the time was only for in theatre troops, and at 8 per course. The waiting list was around 1000 long (over 10 years). I can use MANCAT, but ours hasn't been updated for 3 years so no longer works. - a Few years ago I sent a TA LCpl VE on his 2-1 and he was trained on eqpt that had gone out of service before he had even joined! There are still civvy mechanics that have not been able to get on MAN courses.

In the past we had lots of hands on experience, not only fixing vehicles in the field, but recovery in the field, and recovery back to unit. All counted as great training for any role. These days we hold no spares (bean counters saving money?), so on exercise there is very little chance to fix stuff, and other than getting vehicles to the edge of a training area, little recovery experience. We're very good for stagging on though as we seem to have so little to do! It doesn't affect me too much as I work on vehicles for a living, but many REME TA don't, and could do with as much time as possible getting hands dirty.

I don't believe merging the LAD's will benefit anyone for trade training (small fish, big pond syndrome). Having been part of 103 Bn in the past there was very little to do for lots of mechanics on a trade weekend, and unless there has been a huge change recently, even less actual "trade training". Obviously the expectation is that the TA will train (and have to travel further) for more days every year to "bridge the gap" to regulars. Ok if you don't have a life elsewhere, have a very understanding employer, wife, customers etc.

I believe the expectation you describe is one of the things behind the cunning plan, hope rather than factually based. In reality though, unless the additional MTDs required are budgeted for on a personal basis and not just divided up between the good attenders then you'll probably get a Reserve that is far from technically or militarily competent. Bear in mind also that MTDs will need to be provided for all the equipment and career courses and licence acquisition and currently the new Bns are heavily over bearing, that's an awful lot of money to find. Expect a massive cull and/or extending list of non-attenders over the next couple of years until the Bns have sorted themselves out.
 
E

EScotia

Guest
@Julezee001 Ref your MANCAT you need to be subscribed through your BIN number to get it updated. You should receive the discs through the mail and then update it yourself.
Aye, and the civvy mechanic at my last unit has been told to take it home and plug it into his internet to update it rather than plugging it into the unit's one. No prizes for working out what answer he gave the unit :)
 

Julezee001

Swinger
@Julezee001 Ref your MANCAT you need to be subscribed through your BIN number to get it updated. You should receive the discs through the mail and then update it yourself.

Taking it home to do it has been suggested as the Army net isn't fast enough supposedly. I have no idea why it seems to be so difficult to do as I've seen the updating discs piled up with old AESP's at another workshop. We must just be out of the loop?
 

spaz

LE
Don't bother connecting it to the internet, that just uploads all the diagnostic info you've gathered back to the boxheads. Just update your software from the discs provided.
 
I'm with 150 recovery company also part of 103 Bn and we are moving to Croydon in a few weeks but have had no news or updates from HQ ... oh the joys.... but hey welcome to 103
 

Julezee001

Swinger
I'm with 150 recovery company also part of 103 Bn and we are moving to Croydon in a few weeks but have had no news or updates from HQ ... oh the joys.... but hey welcome to 103

You missed out the "back" between "welcome" and "to"! Sad to hear you're moving from Redhill. I grew up very close to the your TA centre, and never expected at the time to become a bod in 103. Good blokes overall, just the admin, or lack of, that made my decision to move on. Gutted to find I'm being forced into this backward move.
 
Guys realy surprised by all of the issues you have raised. The formal release and update on the main web will take place on FOC date, 1 Dec 14. I am aware that there has been a degree of confusion and I'm sure an element of frustration as to the planned re-org. This said the CO has presented to all of the major LADs in London in respect of the plan,. Maybe you were not present at this particular one, if so do speak to your CoC to confirm the content of the pres. At the same time as the formation of 169, we have a move into London by 150 (I have spoken to the PSAO and his Staff and the entire Coy have recieved regular updattes!) as well as the management of the close down of the National TA. With this degree of movement there are of course going to be some teething problem, but do communicate all this to us or the CoC.

On another note I register the distance you travel, give me a call on 01293 586404 to discuss some options.

Paul
 
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EScotia

Guest
Guys realy surprised by all of the issues you have raised. The formal release and update on the main web will take place on FOC date, 1 Dec 14. I am aware that there has been a degree of confusion and I'm sure an element of frustration as to the planned re-org. This said the CO has presented to all of the major LADs in London in respect of the plan,. Maybe you were not present at this particular one, if so do speak to your CoC to confirm the content of the pres. At the same time as the formation of 169, we have a move into London by 150 (I have spoken to the PSAO and his Staff and the entire Coy have recieved regular updattes!) as well as the management of the close down of the National TA. With this degree of movement there are of course going to be some teething problem, but do communicate all this to us or the CoC.

On another note I register the distance you travel, give me a call on 01293 586404 to discuss some options.

Paul

I fail to see why you should be surprised by people airing questions and/or problems with the current destruction of REME Reserves and enablers at 1st Line and the subsequent increase in REME Reserve Battalion strength (Power Base building, little else from what this call sign can see or has heard).

REME has always been poor at communication both in the Regulars and Reserves, it shouts down the CoC and puts it's fingers in it's ears coming back up the CoC. Obviously this CoC believes all it takes to get the Idea and Implementation Plan across is for a senior officer to brief Major LAD's in your AOR and ignore or pass the buck on briefing the smaller units (that's committment from your CoC isn't it!). It also wouldn't surprise me one bit if those that weren't present at this or any other briefings weren't updated either on their next attendance.

I do hope giving your name and phone number wasn't an attempt to stifle comment on this topic by personnel in your AOR.
 
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I appreciate your comments but please take mine as they are meant. If we haven’t got the word out far and wide then we need to look closer at the problem, we have briefed at both top and bottom level, but as you will appreciate you will never capture 100% of the target audience, therefore we must be reliant on the respective LAD CoC to communicate the message down to capture those we miss. I can also assure you that we view the IP for this major change as our principle priority at this time of change, we have to major moves afoot and a closure of 4 Coys. This work load has been occupying the Bn Staff so some time, so yeh its important to us as well!!
I feel your frustration but you also have to look to individuals to acknowledge that these changes have not been driven from Bn level but on high.
As far as you final comment, really! I put my details on so the individual concerned that is travelling extreme distances can discuss travel options direct with his new unit in an effort to help, but definitely not as you suggest to stifle discussion.
 

Julezee001

Swinger
As far as I'm aware the Army has never been run democratically, so someone has to make changes as they deem fit. When these changes are well thought through usually by having some sort of consultation process, almost everyone will benefit.

Forms were sent out earlier this year to those within the Londist LAD's concerned, almost 2 years after the then designated OC of the new company had said that it was a done deal. I have to wonder whether they ever got read? I seemed to remember they asked about amount of service, trade skills etc, which in our unit between 6 of us is over 100 years service, and 9 trades, The final question was "What are your intentions when the changes (move to Barnet) takes place? The answer from all of us was to leave. How many others have the same intentions? Obviously HQ 103Bn should have a fairly good idea?

People joint T.A. units because they are convenient, or they have some connection with the unit. Whilst I consider myself REME through and through, I have no intention to ever travel to Barnet. It is probably well located for less than 20% of REME in Londist. Moving SEME to Lyneham is a totally different consideration as people go there to train for a weekend minimum, or any longer period, so it's location is relatively unimportant.

Needless to say our PSI was briefed last week, and either did or didn't understand what he was told, causing a certain amount of confusion when passing on the information. As I have pointed out before I am not in the slightest bit surprised at the state of this re-org, and I predicted it, with my reasoning to the OC 3 years ago. To find out the absorption of the Nationally recruited REME, and movement of 150 Coy is happening at the same time is ........... I'm lost for words.

As to "extreme" distance travelled. I have served with one unit for 23 of the last 29 years, travelling the same distance weekly, often twice weekly because I felt it was worth doing.

As is clear I am "old and bold", and have overall had a great time since initially joining in '85, so if I hang up my boots it's really not a drama. I feel sorry for the younger tradesmen who are being backed into a corner they don't want to be in.
 

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