British Army will have to rely on civilian drivers, reserves and foreign armies

#1
The British Army will have to rely on civilian drivers, reserves and foreign armies to fight wars in the future as the MoD plans a swathe of cuts to support solders.

In the most significant reforms the Army in half-a-century The Daily Telegraph has learnt that as few as five infantry battalions totalling 2,500 soldiers will be cut but a further 17,500 jobs will go mainly from logistics troops, engineers and artillery.

Military commanders have condemned the move as creating an “unbalanced Army” that will be reliant on a “Tesco’s just in time” supply tactic for campaigns.

The reforms have been forced on the Army after it was forced to reduce from 102,000 to 82,000 under defence cuts.

Typically these reductions have been annouced before any planning has been started to either implement them or to manage the effects of them.
 
#4
The British Army has had to rely on civilian drivers for a long time. It's not just the GTOs in BFG that are about 95% civilian, if not 100%. Going back to the 70s and earlier there were plenty of civvy drivers and even whole units, eg MCTGs. Even Stores/QMs have been largely civilianised a long time.
 
#5
Army? I thought G4S were going to take over? With a Platoon of "Actors" to mount guard in front of Buckingham Palace!
At least (and I don't believe I'm defending the company) since their failed takeover bid for ISS can afford to think globally, and they've yet to prove their worth within Stratford.

The Army, Services as a whole will increasingly depend more & more on civilian contribution. Please remember all the retiring Senior officers still require a job to easily move over to once their time is ended, Sodexo, BaE and Interserve will always manage to accommodate in some capacity.
 
#8
What I think is new is the way the Army has decided to create a distinctly unbalanced Regular element. Rather than chopping a fifth off everything they've sacrificed regular CS/CSS for teeth arms. That means they've saved crunchy G3 posts for future Regular careers but they can't go anywhere without the TA. This might be a feature though, as any significant trip overseas will mean large and enduring mobilisation - even more so than for a balanced force.

Trouble is, my recollection of peacetime recruitment trends pre 9/11 is that it's a lot easier to get CS/CSS trades filled than teeth arms for Regular slots. And vice versa for the TA.
 
B

benjaminw1

Guest
#9
Blimey, you can't take the long view OOTS, the critical period is the next election.
 
#11
It's the steady drip-drip of 'leaks' that starts to wear a little thin: I know I shouldn't be surprised at our leadership's inability to safeguard a confidence but this is getting silly....

[rhetorical?]I wonder what would happen if I suddenly released a stack of 'PROTECT - MANAGEMENT' to the local media? [/rhetorical?]
 
#12
Depends what sort of drivers you're talking about - the blokes doing domestic runs for the QM in the UK, or the blokes in the A1 Ech, or the blokes in the Combat Logistic Patrol. The last two, I'd rather have soldiers doing that (and regular ones as well, so I know they'll be there, ready to roll, during the initial stages of a campaign)
 

A2_Matelot

LE
Book Reviewer
#13
Isn't this but one strand of Total Support Farce; A leaner green machine going in setting up and then pushing forward, then as quickly as the situation dictates backfilled with civilian CSS elements. IF done properly you can see the logic. For instance we go into a hot sandy region we establish a BG/Bde HQ with all of its associated "6" kit, do we tie up a Sigs Sqn or multiples of or do we push in civvy contractors and let the RSigs guys push ahead? I can only speak for some parts of the "6" business but its been done in Afg and Irq and seems broadly fine, how it would work in the other CSS/CS areas I'm unsure.
 
R

really?_fascinating

Guest
#14
Great plan, keep the inf use the TA, reserves, contractors to do jobs done by people who do not have a glorious regt history to fall back on. Save pots of cash in the short term AND have an Army that still looks like it could fight somewhere other than in a taxi queue.

But whatever you do, do not deploy it for more than six months or above Bde(very -). Cos if you do, suddenly the cost of employing TA, KBR, G4S for any length of time very quickly eats up the savings you have made - amd a new generation of services will discover what 'taken at risk' means in logistic terms (it means people run out of stuff and go hungry). I have no doubt the new plan can be made to look like it works and feel hugely confident that the brains trust who have put this together will have been scrupulous in doing the devil in the detail. To mangle a hackneyed phrase, amateurs talk tactics, professionals talk logistics, hidebound idiots talk golden thread and numbers of capbadges! Of course Generals, you might actually have done it properly and created something sustainable.....

Personally I am looking forwards to taking Tranche 3's offer and sending the wife out to work again. I have no doubt there are lots of one stars lining themselves up to provide 'advice' on outsourcing capability very soon.
 
#16
I would have thought that by now every low priority, non deployable job in the armed forces had already been farmed out to lowly paid civis so that all the highly trained highly paid professionals were left to concentrate on the important jobs.
This has been the policy of the last three or four defence revues, so by now all the dead wood has already been culled.
IMHO the army is now as small as we dare let it get, any more redutions and we might as well not bother.
 
#18
The British Army will have to rely on civilian drivers, reserves and foreign armies to fight wars in the future as the MoD plans a swathe of cuts to support solders.

In the most significant reforms the Army in half-a-century The Daily Telegraph has learnt that as few as five infantry battalions totalling 2,500 soldiers will be cut but a further 17,500 jobs will go mainly from logistics troops, engineers and artillery.

Military commanders have condemned the move as creating an “unbalanced Army” that will be reliant on a “Tesco’s just in time” supply tactic for campaigns.

The reforms have been forced on the Army after it was forced to reduce from 102,000 to 82,000 under defence cuts.

Typically these reductions have been annouced before any planning has been started to either implement them or to manage the effects of them.
Old news, shurely?

Next time you watch ZULU! Remember that the Commissariat bloke who got a VC was a divvy. And next time you read a Sharpe novel, look out for the explanations of how logistics worked back then.

Our Nation likes defence on the cheap; always has, always will. The routine of Cold War soldiering, in the aftermath of WW2 is the anomaly, not the rush to reduce the size and cost of the Army.

I just wish the Army would devote more effort to figuring out how to be more capable with less, and less effort to whinging about having to change.
 
R

really?_fascinating

Guest
#20
To gain an insight into civilian business running military logistics google Crimean War. Not great having the treasury deciding who Gershwin what and when. Plus ca change...