Camp amenities for troops face axe

What does anyone think of this article I found in the local paper?

Camp amenities for troops face axe


21 September 2007 09:00

Troops preparing for the frontline in Iraq and Afghanistan are to lose morale-boosting facilities providing refreshments and entertainment as part of the latest overhaul to hit the forces.

Thousands of servicemen and women training at two camps in Norfolk are to be left without immediate access to food and groceries, as NAAFI - the military's official trading organisation - is to close down at least two of its facilities in the county.

The move follows a decision by the organisation to withdraw from the UK after 80 years of serving the British Armed Forces.

At least 11 people are to lose their jobs as the leisure facility in East Wretham and the sub bar at Bodney will close at the end of October. There are fears that five more similar outlets at RAF Marham and RAF Honington will follow suit.

Last night officials at the organisation said the facilities near Thetford had to shut, but refused to explain the exact reasons of the closure.

Heather Bird from Thetford, one of the 11 employees working at both restaurants said the move will “hammer our boys.”

“East Wretham and Bodney are some of the most difficult training camps in the country. This is where troops train before they are posted to Iraq or Afghanistan. It's very hard work and the boys are overexerted. The facilities were there to offer welcome respite, food and entertainment after a long day of training,” the 43-year-old mother of three said.

“I am truly worried about what will happen to our boys who will be absolutely hammered. They don't deserve this treatment. They are about to leave for one of the most difficult jobs in the world and some of them may not even come back. Giving them some food and entertainment is the least we can do,” the cleaner explained.

NAAFI which operates more than 500 leisure and retail services in 17 countries is to withdraw from the UK, following a decision by the MoD to put in place multi-activity contracts which include the provision of retail and leisure facilities for armed service personnel -with commercial contractors in the country.

Last night Andrew Ellis, head of UK and ROW Operations said the UK establishments were gradually being handed over to contractors under the new multi-activity contracts. However, he refused to comment as to why the two facilities at East Wretham or Bodney will close down rather than be handed over to new contractors.

Keith Simpson, mid Norfolk MP, added: “If you have an alternative facility on the camp or are very close to a supermarket or grocer's shop, that's not too bad. But to leave no choice at all, that's wrong.”

Last night a spokesman for the MoD confirmed that NAAFI facilities throughout the country were being let out to commercial contractors.

However, she added: “There needs have to be assessed and only after a full investigation is carried out a decision will be made regarding their future use.”
What???? Naafi, the mainstay of British Troops, being forced out out of the Uk, by yet another MOD cheapo contractor, that has no clue, will increase pricing, provide a crap service etc etc.

Also, to leave 2 primary training areas with no recreational or shopping facilities stinks of Government penny pinching, as they will say that there is no justification to provide full time services to a part time training area, that is not always in constant use. Even though, we all know in the current climate, this is utter crap.

Boils My Blood

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NAAFI is just another commercial contractor. Don´t make the mistake of believing that they are warm, cuddly troop loving charity workers. If the service is going out to tender, the level of service will be defined in the scope of work, which is written by the MOD or possibly DE. There is no reason to suppose that it will propose a lower level of service than NAAFI provides at present. And it´s highly likely that the new contractor will take on all the existing NAAFI staff.
I dont see why another contractor cant come in and do a better job TBH. To say that NAAFI still supports the forces is like saying Brown supports the forces
Never saw it open unless a Bn was in. No great loss.
How to kick the servicemen and women and make it hurt.Who are these faceless people who make these pathetic decisions? the shiney arse brigade as usual.
NAAFI have been making a significant loss for years on a number of shops/bars, particularly in the UK at smaller units. The profits generated in Germany propped up NAAFI as a whole, the drawdown of forces in Germany has hit NAAFI's profits hard and the whole enterprise is no longer financially viable, hence why NAAFI is being wound up.

At the same time the PAYD project team was experienceing difficulty attracting commercial partners to run PAYD on units, hence they offerred them the opportunity to take over NAAFI shops/bars to make the package more attractive. Trouble is take up of PAYD meals is low, the ex NAAFI shops and bars aren't commercially viable on a small scale or when you have a town next to the Unit. Ultimately when PAYD contracts run out PAYD will fold and the shops/bars will close because the contracts aren't viable.
It's about time Naafi got a kick in the slats and faced up to a bit of competition, typical though when they realise there's no money to be made they bail out.............................TWWWWAAAAATTTTSSSS!!! :x
soprano54 said:
It's about time Naafi got a kick in the slats and faced up to a bit of competition, typical though when they realise there's no money to be made they bail out.............................TWWWWAAAAATTTTSSSS!!! :x
This tends to be my view of them, together with the sentiments expressed furthur there ^^^. Their perceived attitude has always been "You play ball with us, or we'll stick the bat up your arrrse."
Notwithstanding, I have come across some excellent employees over the years, but the management...
NAAFI did pay a rebate to the PRI which went to the Jr Ranks Mess/xmas piss ups etc which at my unit ammounted to 9 grand a year, not a massive ammount but enough for 2 good pisups a year. I have been told this week that the rebate has stopped.

I can't ARAMARC or whoever gets the contract pushing that the way of the PRI!
Battalions on training exercises run their own canteens in any case. I have never set foot in the NAAFI on STANTA, despite having spent too many weeks of my life there. Its a nice sentiment, but no loss and no impact on troops under training.

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