Biggest problem that keeps rising is who are they going to replace Ammo Techs with?
It's taken over 10 years just to qualify the trade for civilian recognition.
At the moment the trade suffers from its own success, with the same number of established posted now as there was in the early 90's before SDR (or was it Options for Change, which ever was first) in which the Land Army was over 30% more than it is now.
Can't see it myself, especially just after the work in the Gulf, with the largest deployment of Ammo Techs in modern history.
Most of the Ammo Techs hated 3 BAD as well. When the CO announced its closing the military cheered and civies cried.
As for pay, you canât really complain about pay in the army. Not when taken into account subsidised food, accommodation, transport, non contributory pension, education grant, paid leave etc.
The trade has shot its self in the foot with rapid promotion though. Posting T2 LCpls into T1 Cpl slots. Promoting LCpl to Cpl who have never touched a box of ammo since graduation and having substantive Sgts who have less than 4 years experience in the army. The trade is loosing credibility on this aspect.
I was at bract in 1972 when still 3 BAPD and the depot was just mainly sand tracks and IG Shalters - What a hole! Worked in SATO department and shared 8 man room with 6 AT's & stereos! All had cars of course. Being a poor Storeman at the time (No Sup Specs yet) of course had neither!
Got transfered to B Company, and what did they do? Promote me and put me in charge of the RAG sheds. More fecking AT's - I spent more time in ammo units than in any other type of ordnance unit. I may as well have been one!!! Apart from the fact I had a regimental entry which barred me from selection at the time (Lucky me)
P.S. We 'Lost' a Clark Ranger (Rear Wheel FRT before Eager Beavers) by hiding it in an IG Shelter with row of empty ammo boxes in front. (RAG also did Ammunition Empties then) Took MT a week to locate it! LOL only found it becouse someone told them where it was. I think the CATO was getting a little "We are not amused" Cannot remember why the MT driver had left it unattended!
3 bad hadnÂ´t changed much then. I was there 95-96 and what a shithole.
Dirt tracks were still there and I havenÂ´t a clue what the shelter thingies were called! I was in the MT and I loved doing the post run, kept me outta harms way!
The accomodation hadnÂ´t changed much (so the civis said) and working there was a real dive, after all, before that I was down in Viersen... that effing place closed with me being last man there as well..
Before that, 6 ord became 6 regt and we handed over Richmond bks over to the erics and moved up to GÃ¼tersloh...
Ever had the feeling of being permanently evicted... well I did!
Down the FIs I was posted in to ammo troop.... they said I had done the course - never had.. but they struck a deal with the boss down in stores and at least I was in my element there... Wish it would have been MT, now thatÂ´s something I did understand!
So, as a B1 sup-spec they expect you to know everything, ammo as well, look after baby ATs cpls as well and smile when issueing ammo to ungrateful grunts!
Feckin poor show... lucky I was a dvr rad-op for my last two!
Getting back to the original question if I may (Never having served at Bracht I don't really know/care what you're on about!), recent gossip has it that DRLC/ATRA/DEMSS -or somebody else up on that pay scale plans to run 6 (yes SIX) AT courses at the AS of A in one year, in the very near future (i.e. within 2 years) because the trade is so under manned (alright personed now that Doris' try and do the job). Going on the current sucess rate, of 7 out of 16 still on the current course I believe, that will give the Corps(e) another 15 or 20 ATs, eventually!
Who exactly are they planning to fill these courses with?, I don`t think there are enough Driver No2`s to fill 16 slots per course... Plus the rest of the Corps will be v pissed off at the amount of retrades.
However, the numbers of T2 ATs will rise, because apparently failing at least 8 of the mandatory exams does not prevent you from successfully completing the BASIC course.
As for standards, we only have to look at Acting Sergeants in the Regiment who due to their poor knowledge and lack of experience (less than 5 years) try to insert 120mm Tk Inert filled projectiles into civilian ladies who are walking their dogs.
Everyone is allowed an opinion, but we are now even more dispised due to the ongoing plan to man the trade with fast promotion to make up for the mismangement of courses and promotions from the early nineties.
Two sides to that. I heartily concur that standards arent what what they once were. However, the chain of command (bless their little shoulder pips) have noticed and there are moves afoot to return to a three year gap between T2 and T1 courses.
However, without bums on seats, all these new posts announced under SDR and FAS will be meaningless. If we can't fill the places THEN the trade will be in trouble. You pays your money, you takes your choice.
Have just heard today (from a reliable source!), that new ATs will no longer be subjected to Psycometric testing - to save money! Looking at some of the people who have allegedly passed it, the ones who failed must have been completely barking. The AT trade needs more mentally unstable people like a hole in the head (or more likely some innocent by-standers head!), unless of course it is all part of theDRLCs' plan to eliminate the trade? Just because you're paranoid it doesn't mean they're NOT out to get you
The intention is to not do psychometric testing until just before training as an IEDD No 1. All to do with training at the point of need. Which is exactly what we did when testing was first introduced.
However, they started doing psychometric testing at the start of a soldier's career and IEDD training early on because if you were one of those who can't do IEDD either through being of the wrong temperament (psychometric) or without aptitude (you are a useless fcukwit and repeatedly fail everything), Sgt or SSgt was a bit late to find out. Of course, in those days, they also used to throw you out of the trade, rather than promote you. So we have reinvented the wheel, but the new one isn't round.
There are also murmurs about making IEDD operators of the other services, as well as other team members do psychometric testing. I have no idea if this will come to pass though.