Deepcut revisited

Truxx

LE
Aimed at me presumably, ack and thanks. I'll delete ' trainee ' and insert ' anyone '.
No not aimed you by any means. A number of folks have helpfully recalled their own trials and tribulations in the training machine: Deepcut was something else...
 

HE117

LE
I suspect that Depots have never been the most attractive of units as they were often the place for arrivals and departures and the location for the "don't knows", and as such would sometimes have to deal with the troubled and disturbed. There are I am sure "horror stories" to be found around all Depots from time immemorial where individuals have come up against the realities of military life and not gained from the experience..

I do not believe that the deaths of the soldiers at Deepcut were anything more than misadventure, and that there was no deliberate intent behind the events past the individual's acts of self immolation. However Deepcut was not a happy place, even given the scary reputation of depots in general..

So, if Deepcut "was something else.." was it exceptional in the time under consideration..?

From my perspective, Depots not only acted as the location where basic training took place, but also acted as the "spiritual home" of the corps or regiment, and the guardian of its values and standards. For corps, the depot also acted as a focus for doctrine and standards..

By combining five completely discrete corps and effectively hollowing out the functions and role of the Depot to the point that it was little more than a transit camp ripped the collective soul out of the forming corps. Rather than the depot being a spiritual home, it became a purgatory, full of lost souls awaiting their fate. Yes, there was a lack of resources, yes there were probably too many changes made too quickly, however it was the almost deliberate mashing together of corps and functions with almost no reference to the cultural differences and probable outcomes that leaves such a bitter taste.. I still think it was the organisational equivalent of dog fighting, with about the same level of ethical justification...!
 
By combining five completely discrete corps and effectively hollowing out the functions and role of the Depot to the point
It wasn't just the Depot that was 'hollowed out' unfortunately. The entire Corps has been undergoing a process of 'hollowing out' since 5 Apr 93. Numerous trades have been cast aside like confetti, and those that remain reduced to the LCD, by successive cohorts of senior officers determined to eliminate individuality and creativity, and produce manpower and other resource 'efficiencies', and reshape the role of the Corps, regardless of the negative impact on effectiveness.

This reshaping was amply demonstrated during the Afghanistan debacle, where the Corps seemed to turn its ME from logistic support to building ersatz FP units in the shape of CLP, and where a CO or OC heroically leading from the front and manning a machine gun rapidly became seen as normal and good practice.

Utterly delusional and we've almost reached the point where the Corps has no point. What bearing does this have on Deepcut? None, unless, of course, this woeful disregard for proper training, and emphasis on de-skilling, might just have contributed to the less-than-benign neglect experienced by Deepcut.
 
Utterly delusional and we've almost reached the point where the Corps has no point. What bearing does this have on Deepcut? None, unless, of course, this woeful disregard for proper training, and emphasis on de-skilling, might just have contributed to the less-than-benign neglect experienced by Deepcut.
Seems a bit harsh, no? The Army has a need for Logistics capability, delivering ammo, fuel, food, stores etc, at the very least. Surely that's the point of the RLC? Along with catering, postie-ing, dockie-ing and ATO-ing.
 
I would return the ownership of the supply chain back to the military and re-establish the supremacy of the military logistic chain of command from the current agency based structure.

I would finally de-conflict the three services ownership of their supply chains. They are not the same, but they can cooperate.. all that is happening at the moment is the MoD is playing one service off against the other...

The Army needs to re-learn and value how to do military logistics.. (which is NOT the same as civvy logistics!).
You're just a wee bit out of date.

The 'ownership' of the supply chain has never left the military - just ask ACDS (Log Ops), and there are few, if any Agencies left. Could you explain how you think the three Services 'own' different supply chains? They don't but as you intimate there are variations. Certainly no one service plays one off against the other when it comes to Logistic Support, ES and acquistion I couldn't possibly comment.

Military logistics isn't the same as civvy logistics - but that has for far, far too long been an excuse to under invest and ignore it. The world is different now and the MOD's strategic base is outsourced, because that is the only way to transform it.
 

HE117

LE
The 'ownership' of the supply chain has never left the military - just ask ACDS (Log Ops)
I don't think I am that out of date - I was on ops not that long ago, although I agree I have not done "big Log" for some time..

I was not saying that the three services "own" different supply chains, simply that the needs are different and that sometimes these are not recognised.. My point was that MOD staff play one service off against each other...

However this is taking the thread really off track.. and, on reflection, too armchair!

I will pull it!
 
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Possibly because they were experts who had a firm grasp and grip of all LS ammo functions, issues and requirements, something that doesn't exist today.
Precisely, DLSA was a brigadier who dealt in ammo matters alone, others were accountable for other logistic services all under DGOS.

The Various arms bleat on about how important logistics is, then runs rough shod over it.
 

HE117

LE
Essentially the management of ammunition was given to the old Navy staff at Bath (that no longer exisits..).. on the basis of the value of the stockpile. This was never a sensible basis as although the Navy had the greatest capital investment (mainly because of Trident) it was the Army that had the most complex management plot.

You need to understand that although the Navy and the RAF are both technically dependent services, they have the ability to bring their fighting platforms back to a hard base for resupply and maintenance. It makes perfect sense for these services to contract out much of their support functions, and indeed the Navy has done this since the days of Pepys.

The Army is a different beast altogether, it has to live, work and fight wherever it finds itself, independently of the local infrastructure if need be... Fundamentally it requires its integral logistic maintenance and support to survive..

The Navy shifted much of the management focus away from serving officers and into the hands of civil servants. Although this did not cause too many problems initially, the conditions in which serving officers could learn how to handle this vital commodity was lost, and the quality of senior officers placed in charge of the function was significantly weakened...

...but again we are getting away from the subject of the thread!

I do hope we can move on from the affairs of Deepcut in the 90s and learn from it... I believe that superficially things are much better now, however we do need to sort out some of the more fundamental flaws in the current structure and produce something that can be sustained into the future...
 
As should the whole issue by now, sadly!
Conversely, in a perverse way, it's good that it hasn't because it keeps us honest. Every time it hits the press it reminds the bean counters that it's not always all about savings.
 
Conversely, in a perverse way, it's good that it hasn't because it keeps us honest. Every time it hits the press it reminds the bean counters that it's not always all about savings.
The bean-counters are seldom in the chain of command and thus are not held responsible for failings. It's all down to chain of command, duty of care, leadership, values and standards; stuff well outside the prerogative or interest of the finance bods.
 
The bean-counters are seldom in the chain of command and thus are not held responsible for failings. It's all down to chain of command, duty of care, leadership, values and standards; stuff well outside the prerogative or interest of the finance bods.
Yes of course it is, that's we we have (and keep) civilianised/contractorised our training Regiments, because if it wasn't about 'value for money' we wouldn't be plagued by 37 hour a week civilians.
 
Yes of course it is, that's we we have (and keep) civilianised/contractorised our training Regiments, because if it wasn't about 'value for money' we wouldn't be plagued by 37 hour a week civilians.
Ah, so it's not really the fault of the military that so many deaths occurred, it was those nasty contractors?
 
Ah, so it's not really the fault of the military that so many deaths occurred, it was those nasty contractors?
I think what he was getting at was the waiting time for courses, driving for instance, might have been prolonged as it was civilianised and hence the long waits for trainees requiring said courses. You can only train so many people if you are working a 37/40 hr week, I know when I was a training SNCO at Catterick I sometimes worked over a hundred hours in a week.
 
I think what he was getting at was the waiting time for courses, driving for instance, might have been prolonged as it was civilianised and hence the long waits for trainees requiring said courses. You can only train so many people if you are working a 37/40 hr week, I know when I was a training SNCO at Catterick I sometimes worked over a hundred hours in a week.
100 hrs a week, luxury. All contracts placed with civilian firms by the MOD have targets the contractor has to meet, these targets are set by the MoD, supervised by the MoD and, where found to be wanting, penalties are imposed on the contractor by the MoD. Any failure in the targets set is the fault of the MoD not contractors, any failure to impose penalties on contractors is the fault of the MoD not contractors. Who feeds back information to the MoD on the success or otherwise of contracts and of course what the contract is needed for in the first place, the military of course.

I rest my case, not a failure by contractors it is by the MoD.
 
What I was actually saying is that without Deepcut and DHALI-Blake to wave a stick when the budgeteers (of whatever flavour) come calling who knows where we would be.

I know a Phase 2 organisation where 6 of 11 of the OF3 posts are C2 for example. Wonderful on paper, however, who provides pastoral cover outside of 'working' hours. Who does the Field Officer duties and the Mess committees and all the other stuff that a civil servant, quite rightly, refuses to do.

A little clue, it's not the over 60% civilians and that is the same throughout the rank structure. Corporate memory is very short in the army and there is always pressure to stand even more gaps and do more with less, it is only things like having DHALI-Blake posts that protects sometimes.

I am not totally blaming civilians,I said budgeteers, they come both in and out of uniform. But for every soldier you replace by a civilian you get second and third order consequences and that is a fact.
 
driving for instance, might have been prolonged as it was civilianised and hence the long waits for trainees requiring said courses.
Driving at Blandford was civilianised -the instructors were paid as we passed our tests.

It took most people less than a week from the first time they ever sat in a car to passing their tests. It's amazing how quickly you can memorise a test route when your instructor's pay packet relies on it...
 
Ah, so it's not really the fault of the military that so many deaths occurred, it was those nasty contractors?
The deaths where caused for varied and complex reasons but one of the holes in the Swiss cheese was under resourcing the establishment with enough people to provide welfare and duty of care to vulnerable young soldiers. I don't think anyone (who has read the Blake report) denies that.

Under resourcing is usually down to budgets, budgets are usually controlled by bean counters, hence my post:

Conversely, in a perverse way, it's good that it hasn't because it keeps us honest. Every time it hits the press it reminds the bean counters that it's not always all about savings.
 

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