800 reservists for Iraq

Discussion in 'Army Reserve' started by Barrack Room Lawyer, Dec 7, 2005.

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  1. 'Over-reliance' on TA as 800 volunteers called up for Iraq
    By Thomas Harding, Defence Correspondent
    (Filed: 07/12/2005)

    The Government yesterday announced the call-up of 800 Territorial Army soldiers for service in Iraq amid fears that the regular military is becoming dangerously overstretched.

    The Tories said the mobilisation demonstrated an over-reliance on the reserves while four regular Army battalions are being cut to save money.

    Already facing the largest demand for troops in the past year, the TA will come under further strain when another call for several hundred reservists is expected for the substantial British deployment to southern Afghanistan next spring.

    The TA, which has suffered five deaths out of the British forces' total of 98, has been haemorrhaging troops since the Iraq war began with resignations running at three times the level before the conflict.

    There are worries that with more than 12,580 reservists having already served in Iraq, the heavy operational pressures on the TA will have an adverse affect on recruitment as the mobilisation papers for the latest batch of troops go out before Christmas.

    The Government has conceded that 6,000 part-time soldiers have quit in the past year, leaving the TA with just 35,000 troops, its lowest ever manning level.

    The announcement came in a Commons written statement from the Defence Secretary, John Reid, who said the military was looking for 700 soldiers to bolster 20 Armoured Brigade when it deploys to Iraq next April.

    "We and our multinational force partners will consider, in the months ahead, the levels and dispositions of forces required in Iraq to continue to build the capability and capacity of the Iraqi Security Forces and support the government of Iraq," he said.

    Gerald Howarth, the current shadow defence minister, criticised Tony Blair's "crass stupidity" in scrapping four infantry battalions "at the behest of the Treasury".

    "This announcement illustrates that this Government is placing over-reliance on reservists at the expense of maintaining an adequate standing army," he said.

    The Army said that there was no crisis yet in getting enough reservists to volunteer for operations.

    The number of troops has been kept below 1,000 to prevent a situation in which the "pot of reserves" would become empty. TA soldiers can legally only be called up for 12 months every three years.

    "We have not yet got to the stage where we are forcing people into call-ups - they have all volunteered," an MoD source said. "The crisis will come if we mobilise so many people that legally we cannot call up any more."

  2. We have not yet got to the stage where we are forcing people into call-ups - they have all volunteered," an MoD source said. "The crisis will come if we mobilise so many people that legally we cannot call up any more."

    Brilliant - just what employers want to hear! We struggle to get enough volunteers as it is, let alone now when the MOD spokesman stated that they are all volunteers. We jump through so many hoops over 'intelligent mobilsation' and now this.

    I can't see 20 X Bde going with 700 reservists now!!!!
  3. "We have not yet got to the stage where we are forcing people into call-ups - they have all volunteered," an MoD source said.

    I don't remember anything about volunteering.
  4. The goal posts have moved. You only mobilise now if you want to - bust.

    Funny old thing - use, abuse, refuse.
  5. I’ve heard rumours that we’re not far off that stage.
  6. Keep your eye out for a positive piece about the TA in the next few days. Being run in The Torygraph. Probably Friday. It shows a very positive angle on TA soldiers serving on Ops.

    Don't ask me how I know - Have my sources.

    Will start a thread on its apperance!
  7. Torygraph - Friday - Sources

    Sounds like a conspiracy theory to me !

  8. sounds to me they are prepared to keep tearing the arrse out of the TA until they meet their " crisis ". if the ***** want to use the TA like the national guard then at least have the decency to invest into it..
    employer renumeration, free dental, no MTD limits, same kit as regulars, employee protection, welfare support ( during and post op ), higher bidding priority on training areas then cadet units, the list could on until the site crashes..... :wink:
  9. So each Bde deployment needs 700 TA, so two Bdes would need 1400 and what if you added ARRC on top of that .....
  10. Has anyone considered how it would work if, instead of infilling under-strength Reg Bns with TA Soldiers for Ops we infilled under-strength TA Bns with Reg Soldiers for Ops.?

    That would let the Govt Mobilise TA SNCOs and Officers, allow the TA to demonstrate conclusively that it either can (or can't) do as good a job as the Reg Army and perhaps stop disaffected SNCOs and Offrs leaving because they do not have a clearly defined role. Might also let the Reg Army keep it's 1st 11 players in the UK to allow them to focus on their own recruitment and bridge the gap between establishment and actual for them too.

    Just a thought. 8O
  11. Bloody hell Abacus. Shhhhhhhhh!

    That would be far too "out of the box".

    But cracking thought though.....

    Just out of interest, I know that some TA units were called up wholesale in the early Telics, but does anyone out there know if they served as a formed unit entirely made up of TA, or were they distributed out to other regular units in need ?
  12. Novel idea, but falls foul of realism.

    1) There are so many trench dodgers in the TA that you'd have more Regulars in the TA unit, than TA.
    2) Would you really want to mobilise with some of the biffs in your unit? I wouldn't.
    3) Have you seen some of the old and bold Seniors and Officers? Some couldn't run a bath, let alone an operational unit.
    4) Wouldn't do very good for Reg/TA relations.
  13. So the medics can do it (Field Hospitals on a few Telics), infantry can send subunits but the rest of us can't do it.
  14. By sub-units, I assume you mean composite squadrons/companies? In that case you've answered your own question. The members are picked for availability and ability.

    Medics? Hardly tough decisions on the ground, when under fire. :roll:
  15. Higher bidding than cadet units wow since when have cadets had higher bidding? this is stunning news