ARRSE-- Front page today's Daily Telegraph


Hi All,
Thought you'd be interested to know that todays Daily Telegraph, top story, front page, is based on an ARRSE thread  re roulement of field hospitals etc.
Sorry, new to this so dunno how to link to it.

250 reservist medics ready to quit over Iraq posting
By Michael Smith, Defence Correspondent
(Filed: 05/05/2003)

Half of the 500 members of an Armed Forces reservist field hospital are ready to quit after being told that they will have to stay in Iraq until September while both regular field hospitals come home.

This follows a growing dependence on the use of reservists for commitments abroad. Geoff Hoon, the Defence Secretary, announced 10 days ago that a quarter of the 5,000 troops being sent to replace units that fought in the war would be reservists.

The failure to persuade America to agree to United Nations backing for the stabilisation force will leave Britain providing a long-term force of at least 15,000 troops, putting more pressure on regular forces and leading to further call-ups of reservists.

Over-dependence on reservists is even greater in the Defence Medical Service, which cannot operate without them, despite attempts to lure staff from the National Health Service with £50,000 "golden hellos".

The members of the unit in question, 202(V) field hospital, are all NHS doctors and nurses. Many have already served in the past year and should have been exempt from further call-up. Many of the hospital trusts that employ them tried to stop their deployment because of the effect on waiting lists.

The unit's members are also angry that they did not receive anthrax inoculations until it was too late for them to be effective, despite the fact that they were ready to move last December.

By the weekend most had still not been issued with desert clothing, boots, lightweight sleeping bags or personal weapons. Members of an Army medic internet chat site said they had been told that they were to receive desert uniforms withdrawn from troops on their way home.

Since arriving in Kuwait in mid-March, 202(V) field hospital has been mainly treating wounded Iraqis. It will now take over responsibility for all allied forces in the British sector in southern Iraq.

One of the two regular medical units, 33 field hospital, was sent home last month. The other regular unit, 34 field hospital, will return home in about a fortnight.

That will leave 202(V) to cover all the British troops, as well as Iraqi civilians, until it is relieved by the other reservist unit, 207(V), also made up of people from the NHS. A unit member said that morale was so low that between a third and a half of staff had decided to quit when they returned to Britain.

The Ministry of Defence said: "There will always be some unhappy individuals. But they should be home at the end of July."
Git - lol

Actually just had a look at the Army medics Board. It appears 202 have had some serious crap happening, which may well contribute to their current state of mind.

I know this unit well, one or two members very well, having had a relationship with one for 2 years. They are a seriously dedicated bunch of boys and girls who do want to "Do their bit" They are however, highly skilled individuals, from the Junior NCO's up to the OC. Yes, their deployment must have blown a hole in PMC hereabouts.

Some of this resentment,reading their board. seems to stem from the facility to get comms back to the UK being withdrawn. Their are other gripes, but a wholesale PVR on return to the UK?