Just read a few post reports on Iraq and Afghanistan on provost portal.
It's quite worrying because it seems that we have no real role and units have to be pressed about allowing RMP to accompany on patrol etc. One report stated of a heated argument about not allowing RMP to join the patrol.

In my experience I have found similar problems on exercises. We weren't scaled into them, however we were there (that was also mentioned on a post ex report).

This is not to knock anyone because I'm sure whatever we do, we apply 100% to it, however speaking with many colleagues about their ops experiences and this appears to be the general concencus.

What's going on? :?
Will try and answer by posing a scenario.

You are a Sandhurst trained Pl Comd with, lets say 3 years in, or a Pl Sgt having completed Senior Brecon. Those you command are trained to a similar fashion. In fact, since training, the only thing they have done (as they have no peacetime roll) is train for war. They have trained world wide in peace enforcement roles; Section, Pl, Coy and Bn attacks, perhaps even at Bde level (on paper, of course) Both training and live.

They combine Sp weapons and air response, have forward artillery observors and communications on a Brigade net with well trained Ops staff incorporating trained officers from Regts/Bn's selected for their ability in response and inter agency communication. They work well together as a team and know each other's strengths and weaknesses.

Along comes a Section. Well meaning in all respects, but perhaps out of its depth in terms of training and operational reaction in a given situation. It's manpower is probally as good in terms of common sense and initiative but maybe they have not trained from enlistment for that job.

Would you object or would you risk your people or response to an incident to be polite to the desired wishes of others, well meaning as they may be? Can you trust their instincts, tactics and training to support and incorporate with your own?

The top echelons of AGC (Pro) really do have to decide what the Op role is in conjunction with the various COs'/Brigadiers/GOC's etc. We can all name 10-20 differant functions from TP's, NBC recce's, training of local police officers etc that GPD have engaged in pre and post 1990 (Op Granby) and still no resolution has been made.

Apologies to anybody who finds this crass - but where was the training and support to those that have undertaken an Infantry patrol in an Op environment without the correct equipment/training and support and have paid with their lives. Additionally, it is hard to act as an Infanteer with a policemans training and thought logic. Do you become a danger not only to yourself but to those who then need to support you - lessoning the support to their own team members.

My answer is - if an individual wishes to perform an infantry role then perhaps join the infantry and gain the training and the professionalism provided.

If the Corps wishes you to act in an inter Op roll it should train you to undertake it. (NI - 1970-1987 (Pointer/WIS/FRU/CONCO etc - pre an ex R Irish MTO of course)

The guys and girls in GPD have the ability to do most things but lack the requisites/training and support to fulfill it. If an Infanteer asked to participate in RMP job, we would answer the same way.

Only my opinion.


I have a crystal clear idea of what my job in theatre will be, as do all of my folks. We are training to do that job and that training is robust, pertinent and thorough. The infantry head shed are clear what our role is and they want us there to do that role. H4 proved that RMP JNCOs can and have done the job assigned to them and there are few out there (other than properly trained and equipped members of the RMP) who can do it.

As a Corps we constantly do ourselves down and it p*sses me off. The lessons learned from past experiences have been taken on board and apart from one or two niggling points, we are now as well balanced as most elements of the field army.


In my admittedly limited experience RMP do not go well on ops. That is not just a baseless criticism - it is a cultural thing which affects every aspect of their thinking. For example - and I mention only one thing. RMP each enjoy huge legal powers. That makes them independant thinking. Nothing wrong with that. But on operations in an infantry environment they do not work well in teams, and nor do they seem to fit in to the chain of command. They seem to think of themselves as policemen first and NCOs second. Soldiering is nowhere on the list at all. It may seem a very harsh judgement - but given the choice I would never have had them anywhere near us on the ground.
The simple answer is who wants a copper looking over his shoulder if he can possibly avoid it. Not as silly a comment as it seems, who hasn't slowed down when they see a police car, even if it's on the other side of the motorway, people have a guilt complex when they see a copper. Additionally if there is a incident who investigates it? RMP of course, you have a role which is perceived as being against the rank and file, that makes you to a certain extent "the enemy" as far as the troops on the ground are confirmed and a definite outsider. This is not a dig just trying to give the feeling of non-RMP soldiers about having a copper on the ground with you.
Fedex99 said:
If the Corps wishes you to act in an inter Op roll it should train you to undertake it. (NI - 1970-1987 (Pointer/WIS/FRU/CONCO etc - pre an ex R Irish MTO of course)
That was a sensible and balanced post. I will just add a little on the above part of it.

There was never any training for any of those roles other than FRU which was run by the Int Corps it just attracted a fair few RMP who were frustrated within the RMP role in NI.

RMP deployment to NI was as untrained individuals. So within a couple of weeks of patrolling Osnabruck in No 2 Dress you could find yourself working in S Armagh or West Belfast. Whether you were employed as CONCO, WIS, Pointer or just a general duties mong (the vast majority) was entirely dependant on your posting order and had nothing to do with qualification or experience.

On arrival in NI the NCO may or may not have undergone some form of in house training with their unit. Normally a bit of weapon handling a quick blast on the range andhours of death by view foil. Contact drills and anti ambush techniques were rarely taught.

Next you would trot of to Ballykinlar for the Individual reinforcement training which was little more. Most people on the course were HQ types whop would only ever face a broken pencil or individuals from teeth arm units with the relevant military skills.

The RMP NCO would go from this to serve two years with their unit with little or no extra continuation training and as the units were 'trickle posted' it was unlikely that any group of NCOs (they certainly weren't units) would stay together for any length of time. As for the job role? Well you just picked that up as you went along.

From what is posted here it would appear that little has changed.
I won't argue the point that some units don't take too well to living/fighting with RMP assets providing Close Support on ops. It is a fact of life that small unit cohesion is affected by adding an unknown quantity. Suffice to say that a lot of this is personality driven and if you can get the boys and girls embedded early enough, then a lot of these barriers can be broken down.

In addition most of us recognise that there needs to be a marked distinction between the Close and General Support roles in theatre. RMP and the teeth arm call signs need to know where they stand (through a combination of PDT, education, doing the job on the ground and clear direction from the CoC). RMP engaged on CS don't 'job' their life support.

Naturally some folks have had negative expereinces, but in my experience most have been pretty positive.
In part I agree with Fedex in that we have not been trained in these infantry roles and that the people at PM(A) need to think about what they are asking or voulntering us to do.

If they want us to go out on patrol with infantry multiples then prehaps we should have a little more training than a couple of weeks OPTAG and actually learn these skills as when it comes down to it on the ground if it all goes wrong, you are just another bloke with a weapon who needs to be able to dig in and help get yourseves out of the shit.

If they want me to be a garrison policeman then fine but i dont see many other corps expecting there blokes to switch roles so rapidly and with such little training. Why are we still doing exercises involving TPs when if we were to set them up in the current climate the section would be massacred. To be honest i dont believe those in the higher reaches of power are learning from previous tragic events.

Your comments may be valid for you, however the unit I am with will have completed nearly 5 months continuous PDT when we deploy. This includes MATT, OPTAG, Team Medic (50% of those deploying), Theatre Trg, Wpn skills (pistol to mortar and everything in between), Field Firing (single, pairs and Section), Pro skills, various CFX (with CS troops embedded with infantry units), more FF, MRX, Police skills (from internal and external sources), yet more FF, Arty Target, judgemental trg and ultimately RSOI.

If I am missing something, please point it out.



Unfortunatley where i am at the moment we are undermanned with those not carrying out 72 hr weeks on shift doing tank moves and attempting to clear a massive backlog of case files instead of carrying out training. You appear to be to be doing what we should be doing but cant. Can i hazard a guess that you are in the UK? and not BFG.

Yup! How could you tell! lol

Your folks out in Afghan now or going after us?

In view of all of the above, maybe then the green phase in phase 2 training needs to be modified and troops that are already in field army units need to be further trained in order to suit our current operational role. I mean how often is a young Lance Jack going to get involved in route signing and stagging on a TP operationally these days? Probably never, even on Telic 1 it was pretty limited. I do appreciate that funding will be a major issue but times and our commitments and roles have changed and therefore so must our training.
Isn't there a real case for those RMP NCOs providing close support to be posted into their respective teeth arm unit and under the command of the CO of that unit?

It seems to work for many others, RLC, REME, R Sigs, RAMC to name but a few.
jonny3979 said:

Your comments may be valid for you, however the unit I am with will have completed nearly 5 months continuous PDT when we deploy. This includes MATT, OPTAG, Team Medic (50% of those deploying), Theatre Trg, Wpn skills (pistol to mortar and everything in between), Field Firing (single, pairs and Section), Pro skills, various CFX (with CS troops embedded with infantry units), more FF, MRX, Police skills (from internal and external sources), yet more FF, Arty Target, judgemental trg and ultimately RSOI.

If I am missing something, please point it out.


While all this is going on who is doing the Police Station duties?
Western it worked for the unit that deployed to Herrick in October. They (the rear party) have been thrashed, but by the time the singing and dancing is done they (the "activated" party) will have trained and deployed for a full twelve months.

The thinking there (I am told) is that the whole unit is on ops, just some of them remained in their usual location.

Rear Party is an unsung job, but by christ people soon notice if their local RMP Rear Party are failing to fuck the monkey.

The trick, as we (corporate we :p ) are finding out, is to get the embeds in with the troops good and early, and to train together, right the way through the process, from initial range days right through to all arms attacks. It is the only way they get to see the temper of the Military Police NCO's deploying with them.

Not traditional, but then we are not operating traditionally.

Heed, pretty much what I am suggesting. I just think it would be fairer all round if the CS people were part of the posted strength of the units they supported.

Mind you I think that telling the people left behind that they are part of the deployment should qualify them for all the allowances etc that the deployed troops get or the Corps management should cough that they are just p1ss poor managers who are trying to 'spin' a lack of a good staff work.

As discussed, the Rear Party (or infrastructure policing element), is mandated under Future Army Structure (FAS(. Without going into numbers, a fair number of this unit stay behind to carry on the Garrison policing role. In that number (and it is slightly larger than the FAS mandated strength) we will have a reserve of trained bods. Being in the UK, we are relatively lucky in that the police work is manageable. I feel for my Germany based colleagues. Perhaps a review of RMP Establishments is in order to reflect this delta? Germany Pro Coys need to be bigger?

The blokes chopped to the Manoeuvre elements are done so under an established C2 arrangement. OPSEC precludes me from going into too many details, however I am satisfied that its a grown up method of losing your folks to the teeth arms. The idea of giving COs anything else negates, somewhat, the role/independence of the RMP in surety tasks.


Edited: for biffness.
OK Johnny I managed to glean some Engrish out of that. I think Heed makes a very good point about tradition. Perhaps, as always the Corps is trying to carry out too many tasks?

Personally I think that in the current operational environment (which will not last much longer) Garrison Policing is an unnecessary task. It is not applied evenly across Garrisons and is rarely effective.

Garrison policing? We can debate that one until the cows come home!

As for roles on ops, I am content that, apart from one exception (currently being worked on), the lads and lasses here have clearly defined and understood Mission and tasks. In addition, and after much thrashing of the old grey matter, each soldier should be capable of doing what is required of them in their particular sphere of operations.

If they didn't then someone in a position of responsibility is not doing their job properly!



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