Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by top_soldier, May 14, 2010.
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Be even worse if they decide to add three or four infantry Bns, think of some of the 'luxury' units that will need to be chopped.
" a number of contracts need to be looked at, one of which is the air-to-air refuelling contract which was a shameful one, a very, very expensive one, two years ago."
Too bloody right!
Bit of a given really, as far as Hy Armour & Guns are concerned. Park them up in Ayrshire Barracks & re-allocate the crews, big savings in maint bills, spares & fuel.
Western - my immediate thought on reading your post was some of the ceremonial units, Kings Tp, HCMR etc, please correct me if I'm wrong. In reality they've got very powerful guardians in the corridors of power and will almost certainly survive untouched.
I think that some of the AS90 and CR2 regiments are likely to reduce in numbers with the remainder being whole fleet managed as neither asset is employed in Afghanistan. Conversely, light gun and CVRT Regts (or FRES replacement) might increase? Additional Inf Bn's are a must have I think. Some of the more isolated outstations should close and Units move to locations that make it easier to train, deploy from. I'm thinking of Fort George and Cawdor Bks at Brawdy (14 Sigs) initially.
In the RAF, the last tranche of 140 eurofighters have to be prime candidates to be cancelled or sold. The 20 extra chinook will have to come into service as must the A400 (or a suitable substitute) and new tankers; possibly even extra RAF Regt (stands by for incoming). The RAF may also have to offer up the Tornado air defence squadrons for early disposal to free up funds and manpower for all this.
I don't know enough about the RN to comment on them.
I wonder if that is really sustainable any more? The State Opening of Parliament and other events do tend to look a bit OTT nowadays with a rather inflated ceremonial contingent. I'd say that we could begin a slow drift across to non-regular types such as Beefeaters, Pikemen, etc and a toned-down MoD presence; reduced HCR, Kings' Tp, etc. I know there's a raft of jolly nice chaps wearing knickerbockers and named after sticks who will champion ceremonial until the cows come home but we're at war FFS.
Frankly, there's a rump to the MoD that's now too large to warrant the spend and the supporting arguments are increasingly weak. Once we've culled enough Civil Servants from MoD then the Rev'd would be wise to tell his new (or not so new ) masters to seriously look at:
RAFAT (Red Arrows)
'LonDist' ceremonial scalings (and quite a few RO sinecures).
This would force an open justification for their continued existence and might make it easier to see the departure of a further wave of distinguished RAC and RA Regiments with good grace?
Be careful what you do because I know politicians in France will model future cuts on what the UK is just about to do...don't do anything stupid please....culling fast jets is OK with me though !
I'm all for stopping public duties, I'd much rather be a real soldier all the time instead of 50% of the time.
I'm not convinced that stopping ceremonial duties would save the MOD much money. You'd still have 2 Bns and 3 incremental companies based in London District. 3 camps (with at least one being upgraded as we speak).
We still deploy on Ops from London anyway so it wouldn't free up blokes for tours either.
As for the other ceremonial units Kings Tp, HCMr etc I don't know enough about them so I can't comment.
41 Major Generals
Ketchup or mayonnaise for that chip on your shoulder sir?
Well if we are talking extra fat then how about the 690 Grade B1 CS and the 300 "Senior Civil Servant" grades then ?
What was it Bomber Harris asked the CS - " So what are you doing to retard the war-effort today then ?"
Last Tranche for the RAF was 88. Contracts have been signed for 40 (Tranche 3A) of these. The other 48 probably won't be bought.
24 of the 40 signed for (thus hard to cancel) are replacements for the Tranche 2 airframes which the Saudis bought and which we were meant to buy a similar number of replacement T2 airframes . That means that the RAF Tranche 3 buy currently stands at 16 aircraft. If Tranche 3B is purchased in full, then the RAF will get a maximum buy of 208 aircraft overall, but is likely to sell off most/many of the 55 Tranche 1 airframes, giving an overall fleet size of about 130-140.
Cut any more and we have below the minimum safe number of air defence aircraft for QRA/Falklands and face a gap in air-ground capable aircraft available for CAS on ops (because the number of GR4s is only going to decrease, and the point where there won't be enough to sustain an Afghan-style op will be reached a while before the last squadron of GR4s is replaced and before there are enough JSF - if we get them - to take up the slack). We also run into the real risk of the partner nations demanding compensation and/or workshare rebalancing, which would be extremely costly and not realise as much saving as might be thought.
Difficult - there's only one F3 squadron left at the moment, currently meant to go at the beginning of 2011 (if it goes before, we have nothing - and I mean nothing - to do Northern QRA).
Magic Mushroom's suggestion of a few years back that the answer is to buy the Typhoons and retire the GR4 fleet early (with large cost savings) looks ever more sensible. Overall, that would achieve Gen Dannatt's cut in FJ, but would (if done properly) leave capability pretty much unchanged.
The B1 grade is designed to provide a niche grade for the deep specialists, such as our scientists, engineers and other assorted folk who we can't promote to SCS, but whom we need their skills to support Defence. Essentially its a bunch of people who tend to be rocket scientists, and who to get their knowledge and skills as consultants would cost a hell of a lot more than the B1 Salary which is about Â£60k pa (roughly same as a Lt Col).
There are some B1s out there who aren't specialists, and who could be potentially downgraded, but the B1 is a fairly rare beast outside of some fairly niche areas.
I fully expect the CS will be hit badly in the next cuts, but the CS is not the cost sink people think it is - to make real savings, you have to cut military staff numbers due to their much higher salaries, allowances, accommodation, pensions etc. The capitation rates for Mil staff are huge compared to civvy (some figures I've seen put it at twice - three times as high), and we need to be realistic and accept that mil / CS are likely to be cut to solve the black hole.
But think of the productivity gains
Sure sure, I'm joining HCav, so call me biased if you wish. But anyway, culling ceremonial troops would probably lose as much money as it saves. Think of it from a tourism point of view, when people visit London what do they do? Top of their list is Buck House, and to see the guard regts. It's so British and unusual that that is where the tourists flock. Then all of the horse shows, etc etc (I'm no expert..yet) would raise a lot of money.
Someone mentioned ceremonial duties not being a high priority as "we're at war ffs".... Horse Guard has been in effect for 350 years, I'm fairly certain we've been at war a number of times in that period
Anyway, I could go on and on. There are many other areas that could be pruned and save a hell of a lot more money than they would by cutting back ceremonial regts.
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