Army 2020: What are the Challenges?

Discussion in 'House of Commons' started by DOT, Jun 5, 2013.

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  1. DOT

    DOT Old-Salt SME

    The MoD’s Army 2020 publication states that “the delivery of Army 2020 will involve a long period of transformation as far reaching as the Army has undertaken in decades”. It sets out the following targets:

    · Manning: Army 2020 will create an integrated Army of 112,000 personnel by 2020: 82,000 Regulars by 2020 and 30,000 trained Reserves by 2018.

    · Army Reserves: Army 2020 will deliver a committed and transformed Army Reserve, manned, trained and equipped as part of the whole Force. There will need to be a change in the relationship between the Army, its Reservists and their employers.

    · Basing: The Reaction Forces will be centred on the Salisbury Plain Training Area and the Adaptable Force Brigades in seven centres across the UK.

    · Equipment: This will include the Warrior Capability Sustainment Programme and a commitment to an armoured vehicle programme that will see the delivery of Scout for the Armed Cavalry Regiments and Utility vehicles across the Army. There is confirmed investment in the helicopter fleet, complex weapons, modern communications and electronic countermeasures.

    Question: From your experiences, what are the challenges to achieving these Army 2020 targets? And how could these be overcome?
  2. Morale needs to seriously improve in the interim. The cloud that is hanging over the army at the moment seems insurmountable in my eyes.
    The 18 month cycle of tour and MST then looking to the future of restructuring is pretty much breaking people and they will vote with their feet compacting manning issues.
    The unknown change in pension will be the straw that breaks the camels back, where is the incentive any more
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  3. All very well and good for the Army Reserve/TA to have the same types of equipment their regular brethren have, but if you can't get the civilian fitters in unit lines on the appropriate courses in order to maintain it, what chance have the Reserve/TA tradesmen got?

    My last unit has still not been able to get a civvy mechanic or TA tradesmen from any of it's four locations in England or Scotland on a MAN equipment course and the majority of qualified drivers for the MAN are permanent staff who cooked the books to avoid the onerous training requirement laid down by the RLC.

    Again with the lack of MTD's for the TA what chance do the majority have to get qualified on equipments' when the bulk of their MTD allocation is given to MATTs and specific core trade training? Medics, REME, Infantry, Yeomanry, Artillery all need to have qualified drivers and there is nowhere near enough MTDs to allow TM's/PSI's/PSAO's to plan this in!
  4. Manpower.The TA offer is just not good enough. Its too difficult to a. join b. become a trained soldier c. get a trade d. anything else you can think of. The hoops an officer has to jump through are ridiculous, check how few POs are actually going through the system.Lots of regulars are just waiting for redundancy to be out of the way and a few green shoots in the economy and they wil be off. Whatever people say this has not been factored into the redundancy targets. This will cause huge holes that will take a very long time to sort out. It is already happening in my cap badge.Recruiting at the moment is very poor despite the ressesion. This is partly short term due to the faliure of the new recuting system. However again as the economy picks up we will notrecruit to targets.Too much change at one one time is undermining morale. Whilst the need for the restructuring is gnerally accepted (although the Army has been cut to much, most peopleseem to accpet that now) there is lots of unnessesary change being imposed Phase 0 training being the latest one to come across my desk.In summary as the economy picks up the offer, both regualr and TA will not be good enough.
  5. Two main challenges.

    1. Changing TA TACOS and employer support culture to ensure the attendance of the TA soldiers we need, when we need them and for the duration we need them. This applies to foundation collective training as much as it does to operations.

    2. Training areas. The Salisbury Plain Training Area (SPTA) is already over stretched. As integrated (Regular/TA units) will be forced to train at weekends and during the "summer holidays" to accommodate the TA component, SPTA and others will be insufficient to accommodate the demand for training areas at these most busy times. Training on private land (TOPL)can bridge some of the gap, but the use of vehicles in TOPL is normally heavily restricted, often negating the value of the training.
  6. Main challenge is to quickly sort out the proposition for the reserve, once I know how I am to be forced into "mandated" training I can decide if I stay or leave.
  7. · Manning: Army 2020 will create an integrated Army of 112,000 personnel by 2020: 82,000 Regulars by 2020 and 30,000 trained Reserves by 2018.
    Having 23 years experience in the Territorial Army I can safely say you will not get 30,000 trained Reserves. This figure should be investigated soonest. To overcome this? let's set the Regular Army figure up to over 90,000 minimum.
  8. The four challenges:

    Geographical - proximity of Barracks/Garrisons to significant civilian populations sizes and reasonable public transport links, then the overlay of TA unit areas and its real estate. Distances matter in time and costs.

    Work regime - mapping the predominantly evening and weekend availability of TA against the Regular Army working week. Using more regular facilities outside of current work hours will significantly increase large scale utility bills and reverse green/cost saving initiatives

    Communications (a potential single point of failure)- the majority of day to day work is conducted on an internal secure communication system that ties the chain of command to the office. Admin and organisation of TA personnel outside a barracks environment takes places on personal phones and emails.

    A modest proposal - To preserve IT Sy and improve communications, the issue of a DII Blackberry to all personnel (Regular and TA) will close this gap.
    (And also mirror the current more smartphone oriented working practises of successful commercial hybrid organisations)

    Knowing the individual. If greater use of civilian skills is proposed, then actually having an efficient database of those would be a good start. Centralised access and utility can follow - but it needs the data collation first to work. There is JPA, however see point 3 above re DII access, and also the civvie skills bit is a little of a friday job.
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  9. Problems I know of are as follows: Career courses are few and far between as are promotion prospects for junior soldiers.
    Previous experience is not taken into account nearly as much for TA - I personally would be happy to have several trades which would make me more deployable. Reserve personnel skills are not utilised fully.

    Personnel carrying out minimum for bounty payment but are not operationally ready nor effective.
    Personnel issues mean numerous TA are non-deployable.
    Regulars who run the TA are not always motivated because they are basically waiting to get out of the army. The good ones with loads of experience and loads to offer leave for good jobs.
    As an individual having other commitments mean that the rigid approach of tues and wkds can be difficult - possibly needs to be much more flexible in order to achieve success, i.e running training at other times?
    I have heard that potential recruits are being turned down for medical issues such as bunions-how can manning seriously get up to strength if this is the case?