A More Flexible Army - The Hoon Speech

Discussion in 'Staff College and Staff Officers' started by Ramillies, Jun 27, 2003.

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  1. Much of what SofS said in his speech has been doing the rounds for some time in Army circles and also in some topics in this forum. For those who did not hear the speech, a version is here:

    http://www.rusi.org/cgi-bin/public/view.cgi?object=obj113&uniqueid=PR00016

    To condense his speech to a couple of points:

    - We need a more a flexible and deployable medium force.

    - There is no more money. Therefore what are we going to cut to fund it ?

    I have to say that I agree with much of what SofS says. It is logical and based on our experience to date. If we want to influence then the best way to do it is to stay with the US and influence them by being a partner.

    I am very anti cutting more Regiments - because once done they can never be replaced and we also lose some flexibility.

    There is no doubting that the future Army will have to be very deployable. Operational tours abroad will now be the norm rather than a rarity. This can only be good for the Army and the nation.
     
  2. Simple...start with:

    Immigrants
    Prisoners
    'Looney schemes'
    Quangos
    Foreign Aid
     
  3. Add

    Jobs for the boys
    Research spending padding
    Software companies that couldn't be trusted to make Noughts and Crosses work on the Spectrum, never mind develop a Multi-Million pound JIT system
    Closer scrutiny of supplier costs
    Sack one Supercarrier
    Political spending/Buying votes on worthless projects
    Contract overspend with no penalties or clawbacks
    Greed and corruption.
     
  4. OK - thanks for the replies. Lets say - nothing from the RAF or Navy and the money must come from the Army budget. There is going to be pain whatever is cut but for starters how about the foll in priority order:

    - UOTCs - do we really need them ?

    - TA Inf Bns - reduce again ? TA specialists have real utility but do we really need all the TA Inf Bns ?

    - MRAV ?

    - one Inf Bn and one RAC Recce Regt
     
  5. Leave it all alone and 'dismantle' all the wasteful crap in civvy street...
     
  6. I'm sorry Ramilles, but I have to disagree with most of what you said.

    I can't see how they can reduce our numbers and make us more flexible.  If I understand this correctly, they want us to have more 'medium' capability - wouldn't that be the first thing adversely affected if we lost 1 Inf Bn and 1 RAC Recce Regt?

    If operational tours abroad 'become the norm' and not a rarity (had to chuckle at that, as they've seem to have been pretty normal since aboutr 1992!), cutting TA Inf Bn's makes no sense, as that is often the source of manpower for understrength units going on those tours in the first place.

    The simple truth here is that the government, whilst recognising the need to increase our capability, will NOT increase our funding accordingly.  This is a very strange attitude for a government which has developed a habit of deploying its military on operations since it came to power.  

    It is also thoroughly mind boggling that they can talk of being more flexible whilst cutting the numbers available to actually provide that flexibility. In civvy street they call it 'doing more with less', in the military we generally recognise as overstretch, or in extreme circumstances, being outnumbered!

    You would think that with us recently having been recently stretched pretty much to breaking point (Firemans strike / Iraq / publicly pi55ed off CGS etc) the government might have realised this.  I guess they are a lot more stupid than I gave them credit for! (Hark, do I hear Options for Changes 2 approach?!)  ???
     
  7. Ramillies said:
    How come Defence is always the one to get cuts? Health, education and even the fekking railways and car industries get millions thrown at them, so they can hire more managers/heads/ wasters.

    I would say that mostly "cuts" are made to increase profits.cut losses etc. but seeing we (MOD)are not in it for profit, it does not make sense to me? If manpower is short why are we still in the Balkans,Falklands, Cyprus et al, maybe we as a nation should keep our noses out of other nations problems. :'(

    As for optiion for change, The HMG and MOD have not really learnt their lessons since the Falklands and before
     
  8. E_G,

    Thanks for the reply and comments. I like you and no doubt all of us here, know that of course we want more money for defence and there is every justification that we deserve more.  However we are also all well aware of the dire financial situation we are in as an Army and as a nation. Afford some of the impending estate and eqpt programs is taxing many in the corridors of the MOD well into the night !

    We want more capability through better eqpt and technology but we have no additional money to pay for it. Therefore what do we do. Continue as we are or through radical reform, get us to an end state where we have this additional military capability. Yes it will hurt and yes there will be an outcry, but unless we do it, no additional capability.

    Lets have some ideas in this forum as to what we can cut. I have mentioned some - cutting some areas which do provide benefit but perhaps do not impinge on our core tasks, and reducing or delaying some of our eqpt programs. I agree that reducing Regiments is the last thing we should do but if this means more Regiments fully manned and through savings, a more deployable Army, then it is worth thinking about.

    As far as TA Inf Bns are concerned - yes they provide augmentee manpower but compare the strength of the TA Inf and then the numbers of augmentees they provide against the no of TA specialists augmentees(RAMC, RE or R SIGNALS) against their strength, and it can be seen that the TA Inf provide a very low %.

    Far better we decide the measures to take then to have the scrutineers or bean counters decide for us.  :)

    Anyway - food for thought
     
  9. E-Dvr,

    Yes with you and with all the points you make. However we are where we are. Only by us making the decisions about making best use of our meagre resources, can we hope to continue to make our Army the best in the world.
     
  10. Ventress

    Ventress LE Moderator

    So you want to know what to cut-

    a. Parachute Regiment- They wont jump in anywhere anymore- that what the 101st and 82nd AB Divs are for. So just make them Light Inf Role and save millions on the training etc.

    b. DMS- We are already cut to the gristle so sell off Keogh Bks and 2 of the Med Regts in the south- that should save millions. Disband all the Regular Fd Hosps and make them a Sqn of a CS/GS Med Regt. Disband the TA AMS and put the one you want into a big specialised Unit like 306 and cherry-pick what specialists you need as you need them. Do away with TA Cbt Med Techs as they have no role in the Regular RAMC.

    c. Use other NATO countries Medical assets on deployment, like in Bosnia and Kosovo- Dutch, US and Canadian. In Iraq- US facillities.

    d. Stop MMA claims for car travel and issue rail warrants every time.

    e. Stop Boarding school allowance.

    That should save BuffHoon some cash.
     
  11. That question has been revisited at just about every defence review, and all 19 are still standing.

    So, that's a "yes, they're useful". Not just for persuading doubters to join the green machine, but also to provide the future captains of industry with some understanding of the Army other than that provided by Hollywood or Ultimate Farce.

    As for TA Inf, well our local Bn has just seen 140ish off to TELIC, and a sensible way of looking at it might be to say:

    "look at the %age takeup for FTRS, and the %age FFR for mobilisation. Look at the strength of the Regular Infantry, compared to WFE. Compare one with other, do some multiplication, arrive at how big the TA Inf needs to be to provide warm bodies at the desired rate for PSO and the occasional war."

    Last I heard, that one resulted in the current figures.

    Finally, the TA Inf provides probably the cheapest Army presence in areas of low population density (e.g. line_grunt's recruiting area) because all you need at worst case is a Portakabin, a PSI, and some rifles/PLCE. No big DROPS wagons, Engr plant, huge maintenance efforts, or crypto issues.

    Unless, of course, you want the large swathes of country beyond Catterick to have little or no connection to the Forces, with the attendant drop in recruiting for an arm still suffering.....
     
  12. GB,

    Some excellent points made and I don't disagree with any of them.

    However we still have a problem as there is no money to fund the medium force. Now if I was a betting man and without being too specific . . .

    - disband 2 x RAC Regiments incl the CR2s or Recce Vehs with them.

    - disband 2 x Inf Regiments (in particular the poor recruited ones from low population density areas of the UK)

    Not that I agree with this but with some other reduction measures in the eqpt programme and the associated RN and RAF cuts, we really are now talking about the type of savings required as Hoon mentioned.
     
  13. Couldn't the R Sigs 'White Helmets' go...?

    Do we need the AWS?

    Couldn't the RMP/RAF(P)/Navy Regs combine...?
     
  14. White Helmets are self financing and would save little.

    AWS - legally bound to provide

    RMP etc - yes possible.. but little savings.
     
  15. Ramillies,

    1. - Fairy 'nuff, but still think they serve little purpose except comedy value when crashing into each other (and the crowd) at the RASS (like the last show)

    AWS a legal requirement - not ALS?

    Combined Service Police - I disagree.  Some 4000 service personnel, same training cente/school/ IT / etc should surely save a few quid?

    Drop in the ocean I know, but 'look after the pennies...'