Alan Mallinson - Army2020

Discussion in 'Strategic Defence & Spending Review (SDSR)' started by smallbrownprivates, Jan 19, 2012.

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  1. Okay - it kicks off with Gurkha redundancies (though he doesn't mention the Brigade being over establishment through raising and deploying GRCs in support of HERRICK units), but then he goes in to an interesting couple of paragraphs on how General Nick Carter is looking at multi roled brigades.

    His parallels to Haldane are interesting, especially as Carter doesn't yet have the political mandate/freedom that Haldane had

    And yes, I know its the daily rant, however it isn't behind a paywall (and i'm a cheapskate)

    Why are we cutting Gurkhas while doubling aid to their native Nepal? | Mail Online
  2. Interesting his use of the title 'Greenjacket'.

    Something I thought had long passed out of fashion, in favour of 'Green Jacket'.
  3. More interesting is his attempt to keep Inf (and other Combat Arms); it means that either a) the Army is 'pushing back' against the 82,000 figure, or b) CS and CSS are going to be cut to shreds in tranche 3 and 4.

    My money is on a)!
  4. More and smaller Bde's? I can see Carter's point, the Bde's deploying to Helmand are vast, you only have to look at the lists of major units for each deployment on the MoD website. The groundholding BG's, BRF, BAG, PMAG etc are pretty much sufficient for two 3x Bn Bde's and that's without the CS, CSS add ons.

    I can also see why they may want to disperse the units returning from Germany around the provinces rather than continue with super-garrisons - the salisbury plain area is getting very crowded. However, with so many barracks having being sold off, to small for major units with large numbers of vehicles, requiring significant rebuilds (SLAM blocks) or lacking sufficient SFA and a VERY small pot of money to go around, then for now, we will probably have to utilise ex-RAF bases (e.g Imjin Bks - ex RAF Innsworth) as the crabs move out. These are generally large sites that can accommodate more than one Unit (the example here is Marne Bks, the former RAF Catterick, now home to 1 Mercian and 5 Regt RA - arguably the largest Unit in the Army). Sites such as Lyneham (101 Log Bde anyone?), Cottesmore & others in Scotland are likely candidates. The existing hangars will be useful for parking lots of vehicles out of the rain and snow as well.

    Carter's plan must, of course, survive inter service rivalry and MOD scrutiny before it gets anywhere near the treasury and PM. Withdrawing from Germany will free up some cash, but will it be enough?

    By the way, I'm keen to read it now, does anyone have access to a copy or a link for it?
  5. Well Cake Burner I'm afraid my money is on the arch-monetarist Mr Hammond & his instinct will be certainly be b and as much of b, a & c or as anything else he can get it post May 2015.

    With the 2015 election won with 'we have bought the boys home' message & weak opposition, a Blue stonking majority is inevitable (Lib Dems having been vaporised). No need to delay then - mag to grid asp to get down to 82k and let with Brazier woffle away that they can get 30k TA to balance teh books.

    With Afghan out of the way it will be rapid & deep, no need to draw out the pain in annual Tranches with consequent adverse PR & morale.

    Recent ACGS briefing was fascinating and illuminating; one in 5 ? more like one in 3.
  6. I'd be amazed if the Army wasn't pushing back against the 82,000 figure. Trouble is, short of a military coup, that means nothing. Personally I'd be surprised if the cuts stop at 82,000. The cost savings from shifting soldiers into the Reserves are really quite substantial and the economy is going to be in a right state for some considerable time.

    The corresponding boost to the TA allows the government to claim that the UK is protected should something kick off. It's worth noting here that should the TA fail to perform it's subordination to the Regulars in current plans means that the Army will get the blame, not the TA. And by Army the politicians mean the Regulars.

    Politically though the Army is just going to have to take whatever it gets. Two failed wars of choice in the last decade and a belief in political circles that the senior echelons of the forces are spinless careerists mean that no-one in political circles is paying attention. Had someone senior told Blair what a stupid idea going into Iraq was, for instance, things could be quite different.

    Personally I see nothing to indicate that the Army understands what is going to hit it. Nor is it planning for the same. It is going to be quite unpleasant when reality does hit.
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  7. What does that mean? And is it on DII or ArmyNet anywhere?

  8. It is about time that we started on the next reformation of the Army - the current one which was started beforethe final parts of the last one were finished - is itself running out of steam, So it is about time we declared a new initiative before anyone notices that we have already screwed up the last one. Put simply, we are going down faster than an Italian cruise ship.

    UK Armed Forces Total Figures in 1981 - 320,000.
    UK Armed Forces Total Figures in 2011 - 178,000.
  9. Not keen on using Scotland anymore-Cry Freedom!!
  10. I'd put my money on CS and CSS being destroyed in Tranche 3 and 4. Who's going to look after these first class Bdes during their prep and recovery phases of the FORM cycle. What we do is inherently dangerous and takes its toll on the body. If CLF is relying on the NHS to Force Generate, then he will have a rude awakening. We're already having to backfill civi ED's in Yorkshire. I'm sure there'll be more of that to come. God help us all.
  11. CLF is going to rely on the TA to Force Generate his CS and CSS elements. The Regs do not trust the TA to provide much Infantry or Armoured capability (probably correct) but they are quite happy to see the TA provide a significant amount of what's left i.e. CS and CSS. It's hte only viable solution because, as OOTS stated above, the 82,000 figure is only going to get smaller, not larger. FR2020 listed a planning assumption for savings of a Regular Amy of 75,000 - my local MP will be more than happy to aim for this; his (simplistic) view is that a soldier is a soldier is a soldier whether they be Reg or TA (there is some truth in this - it seemed to work for the two long camps of the 20th Century) and that an Army of 120,000 is perfectly achievable if there are less Regs on the payroll.
  12. I look forward to see how you're going to create all this.......
  13. A2_Matelot

    A2_Matelot LE Book Reviewer

    This has all the makings of an epic train crash; CGS et al are all looking at the political direction they have been given which is reduce bottom line costs and in order to do that they only have one lever to pull - manpower. They know the effect this will have on the Army and its ability to meet commitments, in the beginning they may have even pushed back but now they will simply be resigned to implementing plans hoping to be able to avoid unrecoverable damage (whilst quietly praying for Iran to kick off).

    I wonder though - is is easier to generate additional Inf or CS, CSS? Common sense would suggest I could take risk on Inf because the more technically skilled CS and CSS [speaking generally] would have too long a lead time, if we needed more in a rush? Honest question posed, if you had to make cuts do you take the Army and slice and dice, pick between Inf, CS and CSS or take longer and deconstruct the whole Army and remodel it for FF20? Again, common sense you'd do the latter but as other posters have stated this is a political exercise too, needs to be done within this Governments time so they can say they brought troops home from Afghan, Germany, streamlined DE&S, reduced the EP (they may aspire to balance it but thats never going to happen) and reduced the net cost of Defence.

    So, how does LF think that the TA will miraculously step up to the plate? In the present economy if I were an employer I'd be reticent for my staff in any number to be devoting time to TA duties. I can't see the TA model being viable - hoping I'm wrong mind.
  14. I reckon you're right on the nose as to how the Army currently plans to achieve this; trouble is that their plans vis-a-vis the Reserves have been over-ridden fairly consistently lately because politicians do not trust the Army. There is a view around that the Regulars never met a TA soldier they wouldn't sack to employ a fraction of a Regular soldier and that capbadge and career considerations will trump UK national defence interests every time. It will also fail because it doesn't take account of what the TA is and why people join it.

    I am making the assumption that we will stick to the casual labour model with two weeks a year and weekends as the training time on offer. Changing this needs legislation; none is in sight; and I reckon that the current Govt won't touch it this Parliament as it involves redefining the employer-employee relationship in a fundamental way during a recession.

    So what can the TA provide easily given these constraints ? Well, look at things now - lots and lots of keen young things who stay around for a tour then leave. That can and does give you a lot of infantry. It won't give you a shedload of specialists. Just think of the offer and who it attracts - do we want 4 Para (V) or R Sigs (V) to be our TA exemplar ? And which would the Regs like to pitch up and support them ?

    There are specialist units who provide very meaningful support to ops nowadays - I'm in one. But here we will be very constrained by the number of people who can find jobs compatible with being in for the decades needed to get up to speed to fill all the tasks needed. Plus we need time to train them, assuming the extra courses etc needed get run.

    On that note, there is a huge task ahead to rationalise the training pipeline and sort out the huge buggers muddle we have at the moment. The recent TA C2 changes show this has started.

    Another problem is that if we have Reg teeth arms and TA tail then no-one is going anywhere without a mobilisation. Not even for a small deployment. And there will be no Reserves to reinforce teeth arms should the need arise. Neither of these are desirable outcomes.

    No, I can't see any way round the Army planning to shift Inf Bns and Armd Regts into the Reserves wholesale. I know this will cause apoplexy at senior levels but the alternative leaves our Regular teeth stuck in place wildly blaming the TA for not being able to go anywhere. The TA will have to be placed on the training cycle and spun up to speed to shadow the Bde on Spearhead or whatever we will be calling it post 2015 when we are not deployed anywhere in strength. That means a degree of involvement by the Regs in TA training - at weekends - that we have never seen before. Chucking the odd PSI at the TA won't cut it any more, and to be fair some have moved way beyond this already. We also need wholesale change to TA unit ORBATs, the ability to overbear to provide a units worth of trained soldiers and so on.

    Mind you, it's not just the TA who will have to change. Forget MST, forget UORs, everyone has to go back to preparing to go as they are for a badly defined pop-up threat.

    I dont yet see an Army preparing for the above. I see one clinging to HERRICK - despite reductions starting next year, trying to pretend that it's business as usual and that the TA will miraculously turn into Regulars following the passage of some non-existent legislation. Not going to happen, so let's start dealing with reality.
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  15. One to rival the derailment and nuke going off as seen on the Peacemaker with George Clooney and Nicole Kidman. The system is being designed not to work because military advice is no longer trusted; the military advice that both Blair and Brown received vis-a-vis Iraq and Afghanistan proved to be hopelessly optimistic. This is not a party political point; Cameron may have not had much time for Brown in particular, but he has no desire to be hoist on the same petard. The last time that we saw such a ruthless combination in No. 10 and the MoD was Macmillan and Sandys in 1957. Cameron and Hammond intend to ensure that we do not embark upon ventures like Iraq and Afghanistan again for a very long time. The future is Strategic Raiding a la Op ELLAMY an dto quote OOTS 'badly defined pop-up threats' being defeated (or at least contained) with whatever is available. Career management and capbadge loyalty doesn't come into it.
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