600 more TA soldiers for Iraq

#1
From The Guardian:

600 more reserves called up for Iraq

Richard Norton-Taylor
Friday June 24, 2005
The Guardian

A further 600 reservists are to be called up to support British military operations for Iraq, the government announced yesterday.
The call-up means that more than 10,000 part-time service personnel will have been deployed in Iraq since the invasion in March 2003.

Adam Ingram, the armed forces minister, said the soldiers would be replacing existing reservists on activities including medical support. Forces in Iraq have also had to rely on reserves for communications and intelligence specialists, and engineers.

Mr Ingram said deployment would begin in October and most of those called out could expect a 10-month period of mobilisation. He added in a written statement to MPs that not all of those called up would necessarily serve in Iraq and said the move was "routine management" of troops.
However, the Liberal Democrats said it was further evidence of strains in the armed forces. Michael Moore, their defence spokesman, said: "This further highlights the degree of overstretch in the British armed forces."

Meanwhile, Sir Menzies Campbell, Liberal Democrat foreign affairs spokesman, demanded an explanation yesterday from the government about the sudden rise in RAF bombing of Iraq in the spring of 2002, almost a month before the invasion.
Full story is here.

Add this to the imminent enhanced deployments to Afghan, plus various shenanigans elsewhere, and this is shaping up nicely.

Critical mass, anyone? :D
 
#2
Darth, might sound like a strange question, but has anyone in your neck of the woods asked where they're going to get them all from? Or are we not going to stretch out to 1 in 5 after all?
 

OldSnowy

LE
Moderator
Book Reviewer
#3
This isn't really news. Each of the TELICs since around 4 have needed 600 or so TA.

What WILL be tricky is when HERRICK ramps up next year as well.......

We have been warned off as being liekly to have to supply a composite Company, from 4 Bns. Doesn't sound like much, but as virtually eveyone below the rank of Major who could go alreadyh has, and as the recruit trianing system take sso long now, my Unit for one will be entirely dependent on people 'volunteering' to be mobilised again, within the 3 - let alone 5 - year period.
 
#4
Abacus,

The whole Commitments issue is causing young men to age prematurely, and older men to pray for brown envelopes...and it is also a subject that cannot be commented on definitively here (I'll PM you!) :D

The fact that these guys are being warned for 10 month tours at this stage in the game is indication enough that this issue is larger than just Iraq - it's about manpower budgeting for the whole spread of Operations worldwide. We need another 5000 for Afghan, 3 Cdo are elsewhere so they're out of the frame etc etc etc, in addition to our chaps in Cyprus, NI, Balkans etc - all these places consume Bn size elements with abandon.

Perhaps we should be more like the Canadians, and pick and choose our deployments more carefully?
 
#5
The beauty of it all is that they will soon be looking to implement FIS (TA) which will see the TA Inf cut. The powers that be appear to have made some critical errors in the planing assumptions including not allowing for enduring Ops to effect the size of the TA Inf. In the opinion of the top brass, the TA Inf must be capable of supporting LSDI. From this they have decided on a trg risk and a mobilisiation risk, both of which are too low in my opinion and this has given them their final head count. Sheer lunacy. There appears a real dependence on people volunteering to go as often as they can. Fine, if the bloke wants to go then good on him. However, we surely cannot base our defence establishment on good will alone?
 
#6
OldSnowy said:
my Unit for one will be entirely dependent on people 'volunteering' to be mobilised again, within the 3 - let alone 5 - year period.
Same deal for ours. I must confess to being concerned as an employer as well. Telic 4 we had a lad volunteer to be mobilised and then came to me as his employer asking if I would appeal. We didn't - because my Board are fabulously supportive - mind you, my HR Manager took some amount of grief from the lad's mother.

I reckon I must employ about a Company's worth of reservists across the whole organisation (total payroll 7,500) in both Scotland and England. (I know of 6 in the Liverpool area alone!)

One or two asking us to appeal and being f***ed off is one thing, all of them saying, "But boss, this is the second time in less than 5 years!" might make it a bit hard for me to keep the Board as on-side as they have been up till now.

And regulars please don't take this the wrong way but Reg COs in Comd of TA Regts must find it difficult - if not impossible - to get inside the head of a TA soldier-employer-employee and I know (from bitter experience) that a Regular of any description sat in front of a non-military Employer is seen as just one more Establishment Robot trying to make it hard for him/her to turn an honest profit. (Some are Establishment Robots of course, but they probably don't contribute much to ARRSE so don't shoot the messenger folks.)
 

OldSnowy

LE
Moderator
Book Reviewer
#7
Agree with all the above - but would like to add that the TA Infantry - of whom I have great experience - probably have it slightly easier than the Corps, at least in the short term.

In the Inf you have a lot of young lads who are not yet settled into a career, and who are able to do more than one Op Tour without too much employer - or family - grief.

My guys here tend to be older; the average age of the composite Coy on TELIC 2 was over 29 - and therefore mostly well involved in career, young family, etc.

I'm not saying it's easy for the Infantry, just probably slightly easier. mind you, after two mobilisations, they''ll be in the same state as us!
 
#8
Darth_Doctrinus said:
The whole Commitments issue is causing young men to age prematurely, and older men to pray for brown envelopes...and it is also a subject that cannot be commented on definitively here (I'll PM you!) :D
Cheers Darth,

I understand. And am very well connected with a certain Personnel Establishment north of the Border (abacus, a member of the clan McAbacus fae Glesca).

Just wondered if there was as big a disconnect between the planners and the doers as some would suggest - your post indicates not so relief of sorts.


OldSnowy,

think the main difference between Inf and Corps is the speed at which we can produce a Class 3 Soldier. Not going to expand here - anyone in uniform knows what that means.

You make a very good point on "After 2 mobilisations..."
 
#9
All this is linked to the cutting of the Inf - well planned Govt policy .... not.

I have every sympathy for the TA employers who are being asked to allow their employees to go away AGAIN - I also have sympathy for the TA guys who are asked to do it, want to go and are put into a difficult position by the Government’s incompetence.

This whole FAS stuff is far too short sighted. The Government needs to stop practising expeditionary warfare - we are at overstretch and have been since the end of the Cold War
 
#10
The real problem here is that most of the people who joined the TA some time ago joined an organisation that would be called up only in times of National Emergencies, ie when Ivan was knocking at the Doors of Hanover or when Granny McKie needed rescuing from the floods in Perth. They didn't know they were joining the subs bench for the 1st Team and that they would get a Premiership match place every couple of games! The same is true for many employers who were supportive of the annual camp once a year and enjoyed the advantage they got from such well trained staff, even the very occasional 6 month tour but 10 months, thats a lifetime in industry. No small business can sustain that for long.
 
#11
Some of the 'potential' problems presumably come down to an understandable misapprehension of the meaning of 'WER' amongst the employers. Most were more than happy to allow/not appeal for release for the warfighting phase - on patriotic grounds if not a general agreement about the prosecution of the war - what they are less convinced by is the reservists' PCEER ('Peace Keeping/Enforcement Establishment Role' [sic.]).
Is this not the Regular Army's job, and if so,
D_D said:
Perhaps we should be more like the Canadians, and pick and choose our deployments more carefully?
Or at least establish both the regular and reserve forces on a suitable scale for the commitments which we as a nation choose to undertake.
 
#12
OldSnowy said:
This isn't really news. Each of the TELICs since around 4 have needed 600 or so TA.
Granted, but refer back to the sense of my original post. I am concerned that these guys and gals are being warned now for 10 month deployments in a theatre we are told is calming down, so say nothing of HERRICK et al. My post expressed concern at manning levels and sustaining those levels, with no attendant loss in overall capability at the same time.

Apologies if that wasn't clear - note to self - less waffle. :D
 
#13
"Is this not the Regular Army's job..."
Yup, I think it is.
I believe that the shabbiest thing about the continuing mobilisation of reservists is that we are now at the stage where soldiers' loyalty is being tested to the detriment of their careers, by being asked to volunteer for OPS because there are not enough troops, and RFA 96 is too "restrictive" for the current tempo.
When an employer finds out that you lied to them, in that your last deployment was by "choice" rather than "obligation", would they ever trust you again? Also, what would they think of a system that encourages its part time, sorry casual, employees to break their "contracts" in the knowledge that a third party (the employer) is the only one who loses out when you go away. Not very honest is it? My employer made up my salary, guaranteed my death in service benefits and continued paying my pension because they beleved that they were "doing their bit". Not sure they would now.
 
#14
It actually said 10 month period of mobilisation- pre-tour training, integration, pre-tour leave, deployment, post-tour leave. I personally see it as sensible- we had a couple of guys who had been in green (desert actually) for two weeks and then came out with us. At EOT they were spirited back to Chilwell and back in 1 (UK Civ) Div shortly after, which isn't conducive to preparation or recovery. Once they are spammed (aside from being spammed) it is actually fairer, on the TA soldier and the regulars he will work with, to make their mobilisation longer.
 
#16
What's even better is that troops are being asked for to go on TELIC on FTRS(FC) if they have already fulfilled their mob service liability. That'll be attractive as there's no call-up gratuity etc!
 
#18
Ahh, I remember the good old days when a few weekends and a recruit camp meant I could look forward to participating in my Inf Bn's war role of guarding rear areas! Although most of my time at that stage was spent pan-diving or standing immediately inside the Bn HQ door to repel intruders! :twisted:

At the risk of sounding unpatriotic I would suggest that TA soldiers who have a job do not volunteer for mobilisation as I suspect that this would leave them wide open to later unemployment without the topcover of compulsory mobilisation under the RFA 96. I suspect the tolerance of employers will only stretch so far (with arguments like "if you want to join the Army, then join the Army - here's the P45") and, as pointed out earlier, HMG cannot rely upon the goodwill of reservists to underpin unsustainable military tasks.

I suppose that, if you volunteer and lose your job, then you can always volunteer again to earn a living! Soldiers without pensions - just what the MoD wants. :evil:
 
#20
Once they are spammed (aside from being spammed) it is actually fairer, on the TA soldier and the regulars he will work with, to make their mobilisation longer.
How? I'm interested to know Cynical-Subbie . How is this better for the TA soldier? Oh don't get me wrong, I can see the benefits to the Regulars right away .

The ten month period being spoken of is: 2 month pre-deployment training - 6 month tour - 2 month leave
Really? You believe that do you , 2 months beatup training?

Let's try one month's beat up, 8 MONTH tour . 1 month's POTL . Oh but let's not forget the 2 weeks leave in the middle .

So I guess we can forget short tours then? Because at 10 months, it is easy to slide this out to 13 months , just so Slimy Toady can say to George 'Hey our reservists do 13 months too , but we don't have to pay them pensions or make sure they're ok for work when they get back, or help them rebuild their businesses '

So at 13 months the sweetner will be 6 months in the GSFA , and another 6 months back in UK or BFG 'accompanied' to enable regulars to be freed up for tours?

10 months? Ram it. It'll be 12+ . Even at 10 months, the self-employed, and those with families and career committments will have to be thinking very hard about remaining in the TA.
 

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