British Armed Forces staff shortage crisis

#1
British Armed Forces staff shortage crisis

By Thomas Harding, Defence Correspondent
Last Updated: 1:52am BST 27/08/2007

The Armed Forces are missing thousands of specialised soldiers, sailors and airmen crucial to continuing the fight against insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan, The Daily Telegraph has learned.

New figures show an alarming shortage of vital staff, with more than a third of Army medical posts now vacant - leading to fears that lives are being put at risk.

An injured soldier is being taken to a British field hospital, British Armed Forces staff shortage crisis
An injured soldier is being taken to a British field hospital

Across the Navy, Army and RAF, experienced personnel are leaving, fed up with the demands of continuous operations and often taking up highly-paid jobs in private security.

There are now only 15 per cent of Navy Harrier pilot instructors left at a time when the aircraft is in constant use in Afghanistan.

Perhaps more worrying - given that the fighting in Helmand is as intense as any the Army has encountered since the Second World War - is the severe lack of medical staff.

One in three posts, from surgeons to anaesthetists in the Army's medical team, are vacant in a unit that is vital in providing staff both on the battlefield and for rehabilitation of the wounded back home.
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There is now a dearth of 2,065 medical staff across the services, with more than a quarter of all posts unfilled.

The figures also show a worrying shortage of bomb disposal experts, helicopter pilots and Royal Marines...
Full report - Daily Telegraph
 
#2
Bob Ainsworth, the Armed Forces minister, said the MoD was "taking active steps to address the shortfalls".
In addition to medical staffing problems, the Army has shortages of bomb disposal experts (25 per cent), intelligence operators (nine per cent) and chefs (seven per cent).

The Navy is 85 per cent short of Harrier instructors, 40 per cent short of Merlin helicopter crew and 32 per cent short of submarine warfare specialists.

The shortage of Harrier instructors means the Navy is struggling to man a second squadron, leaving the RAF with an additional burden.

The MoD said it was "taking action on recruitment and retention challenges" but there was no question of front-line units not having enough specialist support...
 
#3
quotes from related leader in today's Telegraph:
Pay soldiers more and equip them properly

A soldier is on the ground in Helmand. He calls for air support: no Harriers are available, because there are no instructors left to train their pilots. He is injured in battle: the surgeon has been on call for too long and makes a fatal error.

This is what shortages in the military can do: without sufficient personnel in key positions, the machinery seizes up; troops are left without sufficient support, and more of them are killed or injured...
We can make do and mend to a certain extent, but the reservoirs of expertise are slowly being drained. It is a vicious circle: as gaps develop in key positions, the remaining staff are worked ever harder and exposed to ever more danger.

This lowers morale and increases the temptation for personnel to move into the private sector - especially since their skills, whether medical or mechanical, will be highly sought after.

One solution is to raise salaries - our Servicemen are disgracefully ill-rewarded as it is, a state of affairs hardly conducive to attracting and retaining quality personnel. The "golden hellos" of which ministers boast are a start; but bonuses to retain experienced troops should also be a priority.

Our troops also need better equipment and support: half of our Apache helicopters in Afghanistan have been grounded this summer, for want of parts.

This support should not be limited to the front line, either. British soldiers should have the best possible post-combat care, both medical and psychological, and living conditions that do not punish them for serving their country.

Thanks to Sir Richard, soldiers' families no longer have to pay to send them care packages, but there are many other nettles to grasp: the state of the MoD's housing stock scarcely fits the phrase "homes fit for heroes".

This will involve an increase in military spending - and about time, too, given the extraordinary demands we have placed on the Services...
Comments?
 
#4
Pay to play a lead role on the world stage, or take your place in the chorus.

Simple really.

msr
 
#6
More from The Times: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/william_rees_mogg/article2332329.ece

Soldiers do not object to being sent to war as such. They do object to having to fight without the best equipment and support, and without being given clear objectives. They recognise the failure of the Government to back its strategy with expenditure. General Sir Richard Dannatt, the Chief of the General Staff, has spoken of the overstretch of the British Army, having to fight a difficult war on two fronts, Iraq and Afghanistan. The soldiers experience this overstretch in almost every detail of their lives, and on the risks they are expected to take.

msr
 
#7
It's not simply about money because they've greatly raised taxes and massively increased public spending on everything else except prisons and defence. They haven't built any more prisons because they don't agree with prison and prefer ASBOs and such. Don't agree with it but they got elected so c'est la vie.

But if they don't like or want an effective armed forces then why get involved in all these wars. They could have just slowly run them down to a defense force without all this. Makes no sense.
 
#8
hackle said:
British Armed Forces staff shortage crisis

By Thomas Harding, Defence Correspondent
Last Updated: 1:52am BST 27/08/2007

The Armed Forces are missing thousands of specialised soldiers, sailors and airmen crucial to continuing the fight against insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan, The Daily Telegraph has learned.

New figures show an alarming shortage of vital staff, with more than a third of Army medical posts now vacant - leading to fears that lives are being put at risk.

An injured soldier is being taken to a British field hospital, British Armed Forces staff shortage crisis
An injured soldier is being taken to a British field hospital

Across the Navy, Army and RAF, experienced personnel are leaving, fed up with the demands of continuous operations and often taking up highly-paid jobs in private security.

There are now only 15 per cent of Navy Harrier pilot instructors left at a time when the aircraft is in constant use in Afghanistan.

Perhaps more worrying - given that the fighting in Helmand is as intense as any the Army has encountered since the Second World War - is the severe lack of medical staff.

One in three posts, from surgeons to anaesthetists in the Army's medical team, are vacant in a unit that is vital in providing staff both on the battlefield and for rehabilitation of the wounded back home.
advertisement

There is now a dearth of 2,065 medical staff across the services, with more than a quarter of all posts unfilled.

The figures also show a worrying shortage of bomb disposal experts, helicopter pilots and Royal Marines...
Full report - Daily Telegraph
:roll: Not suprised if you have skills there is work around with good pay and conditions, and the present govts. treatment of the Armed Forces give people the feeling things will not improve, when you get kicked you retaliate the way you think is best. :x
 
B

Biscuits_AB

Guest
#9
Mr_Jones said:
It's not simply about money because they've greatly raised taxes and massively increased public spending on everything else except prisons and defence. They haven't built any more prisons because they don't agree with prison and prefer ASBOs and such. Don't agree with it but they got elected so c'est la vie.

But if they don't like or want an effective armed forces then why get involved in all these wars. They could have just slowly run them down to a defense force without all this. Makes no sense.


And with the Prison staff threatening to go on strike....who's going to be called in to replace them?
 
#10
hackle said:
Bob Ainsworth, the Armed Forces minister, said the MoD was "taking active steps to address the shortfalls".
In addition to medical staffing problems, the Army has shortages of bomb disposal experts (25 per cent), intelligence operators (nine per cent) and chefs (seven per cent).

The Navy is 85 per cent short of Harrier instructors, 40 per cent short of Merlin helicopter crew and 32 per cent short of submarine warfare specialists.
The shortage of Harrier instructors means the Navy is struggling to man a second squadron, leaving the RAF with an additional burden.

The MoD said it was "taking action on recruitment and retention challenges" but there was no question of front-line units not having enough specialist support...
Errrrrrrrrrr with everything else that's going on do we really need a full quota of submarine warfare specialists? Perhaps the remaining 68% cold be retrained as Merlin crew? :wink:
 
#11
Mr_Jones said:
It's not simply about money because they've greatly raised taxes and massively increased public spending on everything else except prisons and defence. They haven't built any more prisons because they don't agree with prison and prefer ASBOs and such. Don't agree with it but they got elected so c'est la vie.

But if they don't like or want an effective armed forces then why get involved in all these wars. They could have just slowly run them down to a defense force without all this. Makes no sense.
Ah, but then they can't pretend to still be main players in the international arena. Time someone pointed out that we're no longer a super power and haven't been for a long, long time.
 
#12
x-crab wrote:

Ah, but then they can't pretend to still be main players in the international arena. Time someone pointed out that we're no longer a super power and haven't been for a long, long time.
Yeah but that's the point. They've massively raised taxes and public spending. If they want to "be main players in the international arena" then some of that huge amount of extra cash could have gone to the armed forces.

The bit that makes no sense is that they want to play in the world games but have cut defence spending to the point where they're slowly destroying the armed forces and getting a lot of people hurt in the process.
 
#14
Deja vú! Liarbour Party and the Armed Forces - nothing really changes.

HQ BAOR, Engr Branch, late `74 - Part of my job was to collate the theatre returns on material and equipment, in this case, C vehicles (bulldozers, tractors, scrapers, graders and such like).

Wilson and his bandits had been in power for less than a year - serviceability rate ca. 60 - 70 %, VOR 30 - 40 %.

Fast forward: HQ BAOR, Engr Branch, mid ´76. I still had the same job.

Wilson and his bandits, with Healey as minister, had now been in the saddle for about 2.5 years - serviceablitiy rates on C vehicles had in the meantime fallen to ca. 30 - 40 %, VOR increased to ca. 60 - 70 %.

The boss (a Maj. Gen. who had been on the bridge at Arnhem as a Capt.) got the latest figures in his hand and went ballistic! The collation itself was henceforth published as a "Confidential" document. It wouldn`t be wise to risk Ivan discovering that we scarcely had the capacity to dig the mass graves that might/would be needed if he decided to come over the border. And if this was the state of the C vehicles, what was it like with the A vehicles?

The big problem - spare parts, and the funding thereof. Somehow sounds familiar, doesn`t it? And all those years ago, and they still haven`t learnt!

It was with that government that I also discovered exactly what a "poverty trap" is - whilst serving in NI. So, also where pay is concerned, it`s very much par for the course when Liarbour is calling the shots.
 
#15
How about for starters paying people a fair salary? the uk average is now around 23k, so is asking to much that a trained private soldier risking his life daily is paid this figure as a stating salary?
 
#16
How about for starters paying people a fair salary? the uk average is now around 23k, so is asking to much that a trained private soldier risking his life daily is paid this figure as a starting salary, instead of the derisory amount he recieves at present
 
#17
A_Brace_of_Buns said:
Deja vú! Liarbour Party and the Armed Forces - nothing really changes.

HQ BAOR, Engr Branch, late `74 - Part of my job was to collate the theatre returns on material and equipment, in this case, C vehicles (bulldozers, tractors, scrapers, graders and such like).

Wilson and his bandits had been in power for less than a year - serviceability rate ca. 60 - 70 %, VOR 30 - 40 %.

Fast forward: HQ BAOR, Engr Branch, mid ´76. I still had the same job.

Wilson and his bandits, with Healey as minister, had now been in the saddle for about 2.5 years - serviceablitiy rates on C vehicles had in the meantime fallen to ca. 30 - 40 %, VOR increased to ca. 60 - 70 %.

The boss (a Maj. Gen. who had been on the bridge at Arnhem as a Capt.) got the latest figures in his hand and went ballistic! The collation itself was henceforth published as a "Confidential" document. It wouldn`t be wise to risk Ivan discovering that we scarcely had the capacity to dig the mass graves that might/would be needed if he decided to come over the border. And if this was the state of the C vehicles, what was it like with the A vehicles?

The big problem - spare parts, and the funding thereof. Somehow sounds familiar, doesn`t it? And all those years ago, and they still haven`t learnt!

It was with that government that I also discovered exactly what a "poverty trap" is - whilst serving in NI. So, also where pay is concerned, it`s very much par for the course when Liarbour is calling the shots.
I refer You to my posts on the Gordon Brown thread which involve the inadequacies of successive Tory governments in the '80s and '90s. From You're Knott having any to the ridding Us of Our military hospitals
 

Fugly

ADC
DirtyBAT
#18
Sven said:
I refer You to my posts on the Gordon Brown thread which involve the inadequacies of successive Tory governments in the '80s and '90s. From You're Knott having any to the ridding Us of Our military hospitals
And what about the successive Liarbour governments in the 90's and 00's who have had over 10 years tosort this out, but have in actual fact mad things a whole lot worse. You can't keep blaming the Tories for everything - the government needs to get off its corrupt, morally bankrupt arrse and do something positive, instead of saying "Its not my fault teacher, a bigger boy made me do it". Unless you want to apologise for slavery yet again, whilst your wasting time.
 
#19
Fugly said:
Sven said:
I refer You to my posts on the Gordon Brown thread which involve the inadequacies of successive Tory governments in the '80s and '90s. From You're Knott having any to the ridding Us of Our military hospitals
And what about the successive Liarbour governments in the 90's and 00's who have had over 10 years tosort this out, but have in actual fact mad things a whole lot worse. You can't keep blaming the Tories for everything - the government needs to get off its corrupt, morally bankrupt arrse and do something positive, instead of saying "Its not my fault teacher, a bigger boy made me do it". Unless you want to apologise for slavery yet again, whilst your wasting time.
You obviously didn't read them or have a selective memory Fugly - I distinctly said the posts weren't made to excuse this government from anything but as a comparison.

This comparison shows that the party which is presently considered the only alternative to Labour has a history of treating Our forces badly.
 
#20
auxie said:
How about for starters paying people a fair salary? the uk average is now around 23k, so is asking to much that a trained private soldier risking his life daily is paid this figure as a starting salary, instead of the derisory amount he recieves at present
Not a very easy thing to debate due to the emotional aspect. Personally I don't think the pay is too bad for a private soldier (I may be wrong) BUT I do think the large part of thier 'wage' needs to be sorted out. This includes the living accomodation, health treatment, family support, insurance and most important the equipment to do the job. If I was on a similar contract to them on civi street (i.e. accom, health cover etc) and the standard was as it is with the MOD I would be sueing for breach of contract.

S_R
 

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