5 Year Tours

#2
Five year "tours" would be a terrible idea for combat troops, but I don't see a problem with sending HQ staff out for that long. If they're based in the major camps, it will be no different from deploying for that length of time to a country that isn't 'at war'.
 
#3
DeltaDog said:
Five year "tours" would be a terrible idea for combat troops, but I don't see a problem with sending HQ staff out for that long. If they're based in the major camps, it will be no different from deploying for that length of time to a country that isn't 'at war'.
Apart from not being able to leave the camp without FP and spending half a decade with a shite standard of life, I agree completely.
 
#4
DeltaDog said:
Five year "tours" would be a terrible idea for combat troops, but I don't see a problem with sending HQ staff out for that long.
It may only be a rumour but I have heard that people outside of 'combat troops' may have families, and indeed may even be married.


Unless they're suggesting building quarters in Afghan, which is possibly the craziest idea I've ever heard.
 
#6
spaz said:
DeltaDog said:
Five year "tours" would be a terrible idea for combat troops, but I don't see a problem with sending HQ staff out for that long. If they're based in the major camps, it will be no different from deploying for that length of time to a country that isn't 'at war'.
Apart from not being able to leave the camp without FP and spending half a decade with a shite standard of life, I agree completely.
There are plenty of embassies where leaving the compound is a big deal. As for a sh*t standard of life, many American camps put good hotels to shame.
 
#7
spaz said:
DeltaDog said:
Five year "tours" would be a terrible idea for combat troops, but I don't see a problem with sending HQ staff out for that long. If they're based in the major camps, it will be no different from deploying for that length of time to a country that isn't 'at war'.
Apart from not being able to leave the camp without FP and spending half a decade with a shite standard of life, I agree completely.
Not to mention the odd rocketing.
 
#8
How many members with families would discharge altogether, rather than try to contend with such a prospect? (cue FSJ appearing and telling everyone to cop it sweet)
 
#10
jimmys_best_mate said:
DeltaDog said:
Five year "tours" would be a terrible idea for combat troops, but I don't see a problem with sending HQ staff out for that long.
It may only be a rumour but I have heard that people outside of 'combat troops' may have families, and indeed may even be married.


Unless they're suggesting building quarters in Afghan, which is possibly the craziest idea I've ever heard.
Make it an accompanied posting.
Just when you think things can't get any worse, "what time dya call this then. Out all night playing soldiers. And don't you come near me with THAT until it's washed". :D
 
#11
The article is utter nonsense. The 912 posts refer to the attempt to recruit individuals who would repeatedly deploy to Afghanistan in key positions as Afghan specialists. They would rotate 6-12 months or more frequently and they would return to the same jobs in DC etc when not in theatre. The programme is known as "Afghan Hands" and its uptake has not been too well received by those that think it will adversely reflect their careers. It is a pet project of Gen McCrystal and the CJCS. The Yanks might be mad but 5 years is overstepping it!
 
#12
jimmys_best_mate said:
DeltaDog said:
Five year "tours" would be a terrible idea for combat troops, but I don't see a problem with sending HQ staff out for that long.
It may only be a rumour but I have heard that people outside of 'combat troops' may have families, and indeed may even be married.
How are we ever going to win a war with that attitude? If 5 year tours are needed to ensure consistency, then they need to happen.

My point is that combat troops literally cannot operate for 5 years straight. An officer in a comfy HQ post can.
 
#13
DeltaDog said:
jimmys_best_mate said:
DeltaDog said:
Five year "tours" would be a terrible idea for combat troops, but I don't see a problem with sending HQ staff out for that long.
It may only be a rumour but I have heard that people outside of 'combat troops' may have families, and indeed may even be married.
How are we ever going to win a war with that attitude? If 5 year tours are needed to ensure consistency, then they need to happen.

My point is that combat troops literally cannot operate for 5 years straight. An officer in a comfy HQ post can.
BAH! It was good enough during t'war! Long-haired layabouts these days...
 
#14
auscam said:
How many members with families would discharge altogether, rather than try to contend with such a prospect? (cue FSJ appearing and telling everyone to cop it sweet)
I think that's the issue, rather than any genuine operational problem. You'd have to recruit volunteers, boost their pay and guarantee them leave.
 
#15
DeltaDog said:
How are we ever going to win a war with that attitude? If 5 year tours are needed to ensure consistency, then they need to happen.

My point is that combat troops literally cannot operate for 5 years straight. An officer in a comfy HQ post can.
We're probably not going to, however long the tours are.

I'd imagine that putting tours up to 5 years will end the problems with the Defence budget in a couple of hours though, because we'd be down to a couple of the best equipped battlegroups in the world as quickly as JPA can be booted up.

We may have had long 'tours' in the 1940s and 50s when it just wasn't practical to have roulemonts every 6 months, but these days the chances of someone volunteering to do a 5 year tour are practically zero (there'll always be some who will) and the chances of anyone staying in the Army if they're ordered to do it are probably even less.

Besides which, you'd do one tour and be entitled to almost 30 weeks of post op leave when you got back, your career will be four years behind your peers (you'll probably have missed at least one career course of some form in that time) and you'd probably need a personal AGC det to sort your admin out for you.
 
#16
DeltaDog said:
auscam said:
How many members with families would discharge altogether, rather than try to contend with such a prospect? (cue FSJ appearing and telling everyone to cop it sweet)
I think that's the issue, rather than any genuine operational problem. You'd have to recruit volunteers, boost their pay and guarantee them leave.
Agreed. However, continuity is an issue and if you are serious about solving the problem, then it can't be done on 6. 9 or 12 month rotations amongst the strategic elements, with the plan changing every year and all the national elements giving it a good stiff ignoring. As with Templar in Malaysia, someone needs to be told to get out there and commit to the problem until it is solved (this is the level I would imagine the US are aiming at with this proposal).

For info there are NATO civilians on 5 year contracts in Afghanistan. Not sure what UN are on, but I would imagine it is something similar at least. Of course they are amply rewarded for the commitment.

As for US bases which put hotels to shame - not sure about that. There are some somewhat more cushy places and ISAF HQ is undoubtedly the plushest in theatre in terms of services available, but that's still not an accurate reflection.
 
#17
5 years seems extreme, but 2 to 3 years could work for HQ and OMLT types, with associated leave. It would also send the message that we are there for as long as the mission takes, and would be enough to solve our continuity problems. I'm sure people could be attracted to the posts if offered enough compensatory pay. It probably won't happen for the US though, and British forces would never even consider it.

As for shipping families out there, it wouldn't work unless we decided to turn Afghanistan into a mini Cold War Germany. Which we can't and aren't, and in any case would be unnecessary to achieve our goals.
 
#18
jimmys_best_mate said:
DeltaDog said:
Five year "tours" would be a terrible idea for combat troops, but I don't see a problem with sending HQ staff out for that long.
It may only be a rumour but I have heard that people outside of 'combat troops' may have families, and indeed may even be married.


Unless they're suggesting building quarters in Afghan, which is possibly the craziest idea I've ever heard.



There were Quarters being built for the yanks in KAF when I was there a few months ago...
 
#19
davyskuller said:
jimmys_best_mate said:
DeltaDog said:
Five year "tours" would be a terrible idea for combat troops, but I don't see a problem with sending HQ staff out for that long.
It may only be a rumour but I have heard that people outside of 'combat troops' may have families, and indeed may even be married.


Unless they're suggesting building quarters in Afghan, which is possibly the craziest idea I've ever heard.



There were Quarters being built for the yanks in KAF when I was there a few months ago...
Yep my mate works there and he told me the same
 
#20
The 5 year posting will not appeal to the thrusters and careerists. However they would appeal to those of us who like "that bit" of the Army more than we liked courses, administration-in-barracks and Wednesday afternoon off for sport!

There are a lot of people on the Reserve or indeed in the TA whose CRs reflect an affinity for operations over one for proper soldiering. The idea of old blank (insert imperial trouble-spot of choice) hands is a fundamental principle of our success as an empire. You would obviously get the various visiting chaps, come out to earn distinction. These would listen to the old blank hand, do exactly the opposite and add another glorious British military disaster to the roll of honour. Elphinstone has been mentioned in this context on here quite correctly.

It is a good idea but the proof of its value would be in the execution. The trouble is that the status quo will still be loitering in the background and flexible stuff like this idea never look as good from Horseguards as they do from the Djebel al Bollox...yet it is in the dear old Djebel that the idea is absolutely spot on!
 

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