20% cuts to Army personnel - smallest since the Boer War

#1
Evening standard suggests that Dr Fox is going to make cuts in the Army...as he thinks that's where we can loose some fat.

Evening Standard Article

Softening people up for the SDR ? Evening Standard's line is that Fox prefers the Navy as it is better able to protect the UK's strategic interests (shipping lanes, able to project power etc) and that - after Herrick is said and done - the Army will be old hat. The thought is that we will be heading for the smallest Regular Army establishment since the Boer war

Thoughts ?

Edited for link mistake. I am a mong.
 
#2
dergeneral said:
The thought is that we will be heading for the smallest Regular Army establishment since the Boer war

Thoughts ?

Edited for link mistake. I am a mong.
And what of the reserve?

msr
P.S. I have already asked my PSI ;)
 
#5
Hopefully he'll a) axe reserves first (sorry stabs, but you guys have got other jobs to go back to) and b) put them back when times brighten up. Eventually there'll come a point where we want more soldiers as an electorate. Or we'll get invaded by China and THEN the army's secure
 
#6
Fezzick said:
Hopefully he'll a) axe reserves first (sorry stabs, but you guys have got other jobs to go back to) and b) put them back when times brighten up. Eventually there'll come a point where we want more soldiers as an electorate. Or we'll get invaded by China and THEN the army's secure
You won't get b) if you do a)

msr
 
#7
An interesting article - firstly its important to note that no decisions have yet been taken - we're still staffing the SDR work, which is only a few weeks old. I suspect we're starting to see some single service briefing already though.

The second question, and one worthy of debate is whether this cut in manpower isn't necessarily a bad thing? At present with an army of 105,000, we're really struggling to sustain 9500 on the ground in Afghanistan. Is this because we're short of manpower, or because we're not using our manpower intelligently enough - given the prepondorance of SO2 Paperclips, or NCO I/C Crayon Drawers occupying posts out there still, I suspect we're clinging to a lot of posts which need a good culling.

The issue too is whether we need to accept that HERRICK represents the realities of what we, as a nation, can commit ourselves to in terms of operations from now on. Don't get me wrong, very few nations out there can support a very high intensity conflict, rotating nearly 1/5th of their armed forces through every year, over 5000 miles from home and do so on an almost indefinite basis. However, if we know that this is the maximum we can sustain,then this is the chance to do some unthinkable thinking - lets start looking at the ORBAT - particularly in terms of Bdes and Divs and see if we can reconfigure ourselves to sticking one or two bdes in the field and sustaining that.

We've got to a situation where the UOR process has delivered us a two tier army - the very well equipped force in HERRICK, and the legacy force elsewhere. We know full well that there is no cash to bring the whole army up to HERRICK TES standards, so I suspect a deal will be struck with HMT whereby we get sufficient cash to turn the UOR standard into a package of maybe 3 Bdes worth of kit, in order to allow us to deliver a HERRICK capable force to sustain either 1 x Div for short term warfighting, or a sustainable Bde for long term ops. We can then slim down other Bdes, keeping maybe a small reserve for contingent ops and national tasking.

Ultimately we know any major warfighting is going to be done with the US - we also know they want our SF, ISTAR, Staff skills, Base access, J2 and some limited boots on the ground. I suspect that if we told the US our package would be `1 x Bde and a full on package of wider ISTAR / Int / SF support, plus HNS, then they'd be far happier with that than with getting 3 Bdes of troops with no enabling assets and a pre-HERRICK kit out.

This is going to be an immensely difficult and emotional time for a lot of us - however, I think if we can look past our capbadge and service loyalties and try to be as purple as possible, there is a slim chance that we can get the funding to make the transition from a post cold war force, to a truly 21st century enabled 'raiding force' which continues to deliver the UK with real influence and power.

We can either embrace the realities of the HERRICK laydown and make it permanent, or we can go back to what we were in 03 and watch as our influence and ability whithers and dies.
 
#8
It's hardly been a secret this might be a reality but I agree it's concerning, figures of 82,000 have been circling for a while, prioritising where the cuts will be the toughest for any DefSec to implement.
 
#9
I have heard stories about the previous round of brown envelopes back in the day.

How would it work? If the Army cut 18,000 personnel who is usually first to go?

I assume Medics are safe as are Pilots. Which Corps takes the brunt?

Downgraded personnel are first on the chopping block. Then I assume Chefs as PAYD is outsourced more and more. Bin the MPGS (or a part thereof) and return guard duty to the ranks or RMP's.

Lose an infantry battalion or 4? 8O

Excellent - more tours for everyone :roll: which leads to more signing off....
 
#10
msr said:
Fezzick said:
Hopefully he'll a) axe reserves first (sorry stabs, but you guys have got other jobs to go back to) and b) put them back when times brighten up. Eventually there'll come a point where we want more soldiers as an electorate. Or we'll get invaded by China and THEN the army's secure
You won't get b) if you do a)

msr
Meaning was unclear. I meant that if they decide (say) to disband a Rifle battalion then they put it back when the economy picks up, so that we're not stuck with a crappy undermanned army forever. I assume that's the point of things like F Coy in the Jocks and the RM FPG having colours (originally belonging to 43 Cdo)
 
#11
Jim - a very sound post. We can only hope that people see this as an opportunity not just a threat. Single Service briefing has already started. Wait out for once the Corps get going, and as for the "3rd Loamshires Regtl Association..." ...all v depressing.

REMF - as for what goes, I think stand by for bad news if you're Armour, Arty....

On the other hand, if you are SF, ISTAR, J2....as Jim says, rest easier.

Reserves ? Small I imagine. Just as long as they keep providing IRs and watchkeepers......
 
#12
jim30 said:
This is going to be an immensely difficult and emotional time for a lot of us - however, I think if we can look past our capbadge and service loyalties and try to be as purple as possible, there is a slim chance that we can get the funding to make the transition from a post cold war force, to a truly 21st century enabled 'raiding force' which continues to deliver the UK with real influence and power.
Absolutely excellent post

Right up to the point where you asked the lunatics to step outside the asylum. Cap Badge/Service survival is paramount to some. Unfortunately the vast majority of those 'some' are in senior posts in the various A&SD’s :D
 

OldSnowy

LE
Moderator
Book Reviewer
#13
Just a quick aside - the matter of "Who will be the Reserve" is easy!

Exactly as happened after SDR, the highly-trained (if not necc motivated) Regular Reserve will increase dramatically! All those who take the money and run will be Reservists, like it or not, until their time expires.

Regs reduced, reserve increased, win/win all round. at least, that's how it will be sold....
 
#14
REMFQuestions said:
I have heard stories about the previous round of brown envelopes back in the day.

How would it work? If the Army cut 18,000 personnel who is usually first to go?

I assume Medics are safe as are Pilots. Which Corps takes the brunt?

Downgraded personnel are first on the chopping block. Then I assume Chefs as PAYD is outsourced more and more. Bin the MPGS (or a part thereof) and return guard duty to the ranks or RMP's.

Lose an infantry battalion or 4? 8O

Excellent - more tours for everyone :roll: which leads to more signing off....
Do we still pay for such things as the Royal Gibraltar Regiment? If so, that might be a good place to start.

I feel sorry for the chaps at the sharp end - extra tours for them and no money being put into proper training to give them a break and to ensure that the replacements are up to speed enough to avoid needless casualties.

Bin the carriers, bin half the MoD (especially Jock Stirrup's brown nosers, etc, etc), bin 3rd tranch of Typhoon, bin the huge number of media ops people across the board.

And thin out the highly paid and useless top brass at ISAF HQ in Kabul.
 
#15
well goin by what my dad says there are plenty of "fat ******* who can't pass a single PFT, who don't do fuckall but sit around on their ass".... 8O
 

Alsacien

MIA
Moderator
#16
When they start talking about outsourcing it to Serco, then you have to be worried. As someone posted, this is a ground softening exercise.
 
#19
Let us hope that HERRICK is not the basis of our planning because it might not last - or at least we may not stay - as long as some seem to expect.

...and what are the odds that the next engagement will be against an armoured force with fast air and a blue water navy...and who might also have a "special relationship" with the US. "We'll only engage in war-fighting as part of a coalition with the US" makes us a huge hostage to fortune.

Apart from the Argies who else might we need to square up against on our own or as part of another grouping ? Europe vs N Africa ? A resurgent Russia ? Saudi post-Revolution ? The French ? ( One can hope...)

....but in the meanwhile I fully agree with the cull of non-jobs required. Non Jobs and non value added processes all need binned. Bye Bye RF Divs for a start, to be closely followed by about 50% of RF Bde staff too.
 
#20
In my simple way
Cut The Army
Cut The Commitments.
No more
"We, therefore, here in Britain stand shoulder to shoulder with our American friends in this hour of tragedy, and we, like them, will not rest until this evil is driven from our world. "

but more of

"Mine is the first generation able to contemplate the possibility that we may live our entire lives without going to war or sending our children to war. "

john
"quotes by one Phoney Blur"
 

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