Army shuts down for Xmas!!!


War Hero
From the M.O.S
The cash-strapped Ministry of Defence has sent home 10,000 soldiers from barracks for nearly three weeks to save on heating and lighting bills.

The shutdown - a week longer than the usual Christmas break - means that Army bases all over Britain have only a skeleton staff to protect them.

Soldiers not required for operations were sent home on Tuesday and will not return until January 8.

While they are away, the MoD will save tens of thousands of pounds on electricity, gas, food and accommodation bills because the power will be turned off.

The closures, which include the Army's HQ Land Command at Wilton, near Salisbury, Wiltshire, come less than a fortnight after Home Secretary John Reid warned that an attempted terrorist attack during the Christmas period was 'highly likely'.

Dr Reid said: 'We know the number of conspiracies of a major type are in the tens - 30, or round about that.'

The UK threat assessment posted on the Home Office and MI5 websites is currently 'severe - the second-highest level'.

Tory Homeland Security spokesman Patrick Mercer, a former Army infantry commander, said: 'Only days ago, the Home Secretary was telling us how likely it was that we would be attacked by terrorists.

'Now, we discover that our garrisons are closed for business, just to save a few more quid out of the heating and lighting budget.

'What a state we're in. We may as well hang a sign outside our Army bases saying, 'Please don't invade us until next year.'

The order to close the barracks was issued by the Commander Regional Forces, Lieutenant General John McColl.

The shutdown comes as troops in Afghanistan have complained that they have run out of mortar and machine-gun ammunition.

The Army now has fewer than 100,000 troops - the lowest figure in post-war years.

Senior officers claim that at least 15,000 more soldiers are needed to solve 'overstretch', problems caused by the scale of operations in Iraq and Afghanistan and by other commitments around the world.

A cost-saving drive by the MoD has resulted in RAF jets being overworked, plans to mothball six warships, sub-standard military housing, plus reductions in training exercises and adventure training.

The MoD insisted that there was 'nothing unusual' in Army units and headquarters in the UK standing down at this time of year.

A spokeswoman said: 'This has nothing to do with saving money, nor will it impact on operations. People supporting operations are still working, as they always do.'

Crikey pity the lads and lasses stuck behind on duties, No power or food.??
Then again sounds like a lazy journo to me.....


Got to pay for the 60% pay and allowances increase for our overworked underpaid MP's somehow you know.
While all those at home get an extended xmas, I wish all those currently on operations this xmas, away from their family and friends, a safe xmas and new year.

My thoughts are with the families of those this xmas whose loved ones paid the ultimate price (RIP).

We will remember them.


War Hero
They won’t save squat in the long run.....

Ok maybe a bit on the lights, but most would be on leave anyway and the rest staging on!

Heating? No save. It has to be kept on, albeit on a temperature maintenance point of view. If that was turned off then we would get pipes bursting all over the place cos they have frozen up. The secondary damage that will cause will cost thousands to put right, far more than the savings.

Then there’s the stored hot water issue and legionella.... let the temp drop in the calorifiers and piped DHW systems for three weeks and you are asking for problems, the wee little bugs will have a field day and breed like mongs.... on return and before use the systems will need testing and dependant on the results either chemical treatment or boiling! Neither is cheap to do on the scale required.

To all you singlies.... On return to the block BEFORE leaping under that lukewarm shower or using the hot water in the sink... Run it for 10 to 15 MINS or so at a temperature of around 50 degrees C + to flush it and kill the wee legionella bugs.


A spokeswoman said: 'This has nothing to do with saving money'

How do they get away with such a blatant lie? I'd like to think that maybe the spokeswoman in question just hasn't been told that we've been sent home for an extra two weeks leave so that the QMs can turn the power off with the direct aim of saving money. Just a disconnect between the MoD press people and Commander Regional Forces office...

Sadly I think they just lie
Back in 1999, RAF fast jet squadrons were given an extended stand-down, for cost-saving reasons. They had the choice of extra days either before or after Christmas. The choice was split, which meant that the extended stand-down promised to my support unit was scrubbed! It was a nice try though.

It is pleasing, on those rare occasions, when the cost-cutting of the bean-counters results in a benefit.


War Hero
A spokeswoman said: This has nothing to do with saving money, nor will it impact on operations.
It must be a retention incentive, giving troops longer leave then :eek: .

Nothing like putting a positive spin and deflecting the real purpose of the closedown. :x

In 24 years in the military I have never seen "something for nothing".
snapper said:
To all you singlies.... On return to the block BEFORE leaping under that lukewarm shower or using the hot water in the sink... Run it for 10 to 15 MINS or so at a temperature of around 50 degrees C + to flush it and kill the wee legionella bugs.
Unless you're at 30 Sigs where you'll get Legionnaire's Disease in your block every six weeks whatever happens...


FieldDiscipline said:
Chris_2oo6 said:
there savin loads on food an accomodation coz we're still gettin charged for it!
I've told you once already sprog, you'll get that back in January.
Bizzarely enough we were told we couldn't put a leave pass in for 15-22 Dec or 2-8 Jan, "Just don't come to work", so we won't be getting that back in January, however I will be challenging that in the new year.
I thought thirty had nice new blocks?
chocolate_frog said:
I thought thirty had nice new blocks?
They have some very nice new jerry built blocks with randomly working hot water and heating, fire alarms that go off every couple of hours through the night and three or four outbreaks of Legionnaire's that I can remember in the last few months.
Extra days off FREE so you can use your leave entitlement during the year, and your still moaning about accommodation charges?

I pay mortgage charges and council tax on my house even on the days I do not live at home. So welcome to the real world.
How do the press get away with printing this stuff?

Is anything covered by the official secrets act anymore?

or am I just being daft?


War Hero
Not to run the party line here, but I did some digging on this. The journo has made a nonsense story out of a good news story. The governor of which ever establishment this was quoted from said that he wanted to make sure everybody took the leave that they were entitled too. So to aid this he stated that they would turn off the power to ensure nobody could spend ridiculous hours snebbing and actually go and have a break.

So what we actually have is the powers that be trying to look after the boys and girls and having it thrown back in their face. Chill Winston, everything is going to be alright, have a Merry Christmas!!!
So is it just me that leaves his light on if they are going to be charging me for accomodation then i will dam well use it when im not there.

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