A sort of a chuck-up....


Book Reviewer
Right you lot...form an organised huddle and administer pats on back to serving Reservist in front of you....Ready ? One, two, three...GO!

More than 12,000 UK reservists have made a "very valuable contribution" to operations in Iraq since 2003, receiving particular praise for their adaptability and high skill levels, according to a National Audit Office (NAO) report on Reserve Forces, which will be published tomorrow.

The NAO report praises the successful development of a culture in which volunteer reservists expect and want to serve on operations.
It highlights that the training between reservists and regular personnel will be brought even closer together as a result of recent restructuring. The report also acknowledges the improved management of reservists and the improved support given to them and to their families.

The NAO finds that a majority of new recruits join the reserve forces because of "a desire to serve on operations" and that 76 percent of those who deploy on operations are satisfied with their overall experience. Around 70 percent of all reservists describe their overall experience as "challenging and worthwhile" and nearly half of all volunteer reservists remain in the service for over ten years.
13 percent of those who choose to leave the reserve forces do so in order to join the regular forces.

Although reserve forces have historically been manned below their target strength, the NAO recognises that there are early signs that manning has stabilised. In recent months, manning level for Territorial Army (TA) has improved to 82%, which is a level sufficient to sustain current level of mobilisation. recruitment has improved and recent changes to reservists' terms and conditions of service have been introduced to improve retention of personnel. For comparison, the regular forces are currently at 98.3% manning.

Commenting on the report, Under Secretary of State for Defence, Don Touhig MP, said:

"I welcome this balanced and constructive report from the NAO, which acknowledges many of the lessons learned and improvements made since the early phases of Op TELIC. We will carefully consider its conclusions and recommendations.

"I value very highly the contributions the reserve forces continue to make to military operations around the world, where they continue to perform magnificently alongside our regular forces.

"The closer integration between reserve and regular forces that we have recently announced will open up new opportunities for reservists, who will continue to be a vital part of our Armed Forces and will receive the training, equipment and support that they deserve."

The Ministry of Defence will respond in more detail to the NAO report during the subsequent Public Accounts Committee hearings

BBC, take note..... are you SURE there no TA soldiers serving in Ambridge or (Gawd Elpus) Walford ? 8)

Don Cabra


Book Reviewer
and like a good operator, I burrowed a bit further...these were the Recommendations from the National Audit Office, which are published on line in the Executive Summary at http://www.nao.org.uk/publications/nao_reports/05-06/0506964es.pdf

12 The Department has set out clearly the strategic roles it envisages for Reserve Forces in the future except for the numbers of non-specialist Reservists that it would deploy on operations once its operational commitments return to planned levels. Whilst it may be some time before operational commitments diminish or Regular manning improves, it is important that Reservists understand how they will be used in the future. Having successfully established a culture of mobilisation, the Department needs to maintain it across the Reserve Forces as a whole.

Recommendation 1: The Department should clarify and communicate better its policy regarding the use of Reserve Forces when its commitment to operations is within the levels it plans for and when it nears full manning in the Regular Forces. It should develop and implement detailed guidelines about how Royal Naval Reserve personnel are to be used on enduring operations and for routine standing tasks.

13 In planning changes to the balance of roles within the Territorial Army, the Department took as its starting point that the overall number of personnel should remain the same. Within this headline figure, decisions about the size and shape of the Territorial Army infantry took into account the need to sustain a significant level of use on enduring operations. Other areas of the Territorial Army were resized to meet future requirements, particularly to mount a large-scale operation.

Recommendation 2: As and when operational commitments reduce, the Department should review the balance between the Territorial Army infantry and other areas of the force. The Department should take into account our cost analysis, recognising that the cost drivers are about the geographical distribution of the Territorial Army centres and the administrative overheads involved in managing personnel. Therefore, the marginal cost of maintaining one extra Reservist is not great.

14 The Department has made great strides in improving the processes through which Reservists are mobilised. It is crucial that the Department continues to give Reservists and their employers 28 days’ formal notice of mobilisation and additional informal early warning of possible deployment. It is also important that the Department continues to mobilise first those who volunteer for deployment where this is consistent with operational requirements.

15 Most but not all Reservists have been called out to perform roles for which they have been trained. In particular, the Department has recognised that pre-deployment training is essential for Reservists, and has increased the length of mobilisation accordingly. All Reservists receive some pre-deployment training at Mobilisation Centres. The Department agrees that, wherever possible, Reservists should also be given training with the Regular unit they are to join but this has not happened for all Reservists.

Recommendation 3: In the light of concerns raised by commanders in the field, the Department should review the standards that Territorial Army Reservists
are required to achieve at the Mobilisation Centre. In addition, the Department should undertake to provide mobilised Reservists, whenever possible, with a further period of training to enable them to integrate with the Regulars with whom they will deploy, irrespective of the phase or type of operation they are to serve on.

Recommendation 4: The Department should take steps to ensure that commanders in the field are made aware, before deployment, of the training that individual mobilised Reservists have undertaken and of any limitations in their operational capability.

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