End of annual camp - official!

#1
I know its been discussed on here as a rumour/ possibility/ idea but having searched I can't find anywhere where it has been confirmed so appologies if I have missed it...anyhow here it is officially.

At our unit (infantry) last night we were told by our Coy 2 IC that this years annual camp would be the last of its kind for the forseeable future in its current format and, from here on in, we will be deploying with regular units attached to their exercises when we as individuals/ sub units can get time off work.

Good thing or bad thing? What does everyone else think?
 
#2
have not heard anything from my lot, but then again they are still on atp.

so we should hear something within the next month or so.
 
#3
I've been out of the TA loop for some time now but my impression is that TA soldiers generally deploy on OPs these days in small numbers or even singly, attached to regular units on ops, and depending on where their skills fit in to gaps in the establishment.

Whilst this new system will probably be more relevant, as the possibility of an entire TA unit deploying is very small these days, I must admit it's a worrying development in terms of unit cohesion, command, and camaraderie. How for example are SNCO's and Officers going to gain experience of commanding larger numbers of soldiers?

I could be wrong about how the TA deploys these days though. Like I said, it's been a while.
 
#5
The_Seagull said:
Whilst this new system will probably be more relevant, as the possibility of an entire TA unit deploying is very small these days, I must admit it's a worrying development in terms of unit cohesion, command, and camaraderie. How for example are SNCO's and Officers going to gain experience of commanding larger numbers of soldiers?quote]

Interesting times and well made observations in my view. I can see big advantages for the Army as a whole in our unnoficial 'new role' as battlefield replacements, but I can also see problems as outlined above for the more senior ranks. The logical extension of this policy is that we get rid of senior ranks within the TA and have the TAC's run by civvies who are there simply to do our admin and send us on courses (if there are any MTD's days left to do them :x )
 
#7
MemSec said:
Looks like time to revise TA Regs (again). :)
As MSr has said on here before (I think :oops: ); time to rip them up and re-write them in their entireity methinks!
 
#8
Can't say i'm sad... I haven't done an Annual Camp in years. I've always found a course-in-lieu to be more worthwhile, both for me and my unit.
 
#9
TopBadger said:
Can't say i'm sad... I haven't done an Annual Camp in years. I've always found a course-in-lieu to be more worthwhile, both for me and my unit.
Just re-joined so I haven't done a new style annual camp (last one I did was in in 2000), however, from previous experience I would agree with you for the majority of the camps I attended - my courses were far more use to me/ my unit/ the army as a whole. However, we also had some excellent camps where we really started gelling as a cohesive unit by the end of the two weeks which were extremely effective if we were ever to deploy as a unit or sub unit. As that probability now seems to have faded intot eh sunset, I believe that courses/ exercises with the regulars is a far better way forward; 'plus ca change' as I believe certain cheese eaters are known to say...
 
#10
I think it can only be a good thing, if done in a proper manner. Individuals coud be attached to various sections and NCO's will be given an opportunity to practice newly found skills. This would be the one army concept. Hopefully the unit they train with is the one to whom they will be attached on ops.
 
#11
oldcolt said:
I know its been discussed on here as a rumour/ possibility/ idea but having searched I can't find anywhere where it has been confirmed so appologies if I have missed it...anyhow here it is officially.

At our unit (infantry) last night we were told by our Coy 2 IC that this years annual camp would be the last of its kind for the forseeable future in its current format and, from here on in, we will be deploying with regular units attached to their exercises when we as individuals/ sub units can get time off work.

Good thing or bad thing? What does everyone else think?
My bold - we, 4 PARA, have been doing this for a number of years now, obviously subject to an individual's availability and the Regular Battalion being able to accommodate them within their orbat. With regard to relevant courses in lieu, places on training courses - particularly those of Support Weapons - are regularly offered by the Regular Battalions to 4 PARA.

This is a mixed model and largely dependant on an individual's availability as many exercises / courses are longer than 2 weeks so, personally, i think that the 2 week camp still remains a relevant and viable option. For instance, our current camp is a 'battle' camp and is the first stage of training (pre pre-deployment training) for those deploying with the Regular Battalions on Op Herrick 13.
 

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#12
Taffnp said:
I think it can only be a good thing, if done in a proper manner. Individuals coud be attached to various sections and NCO's will be given an opportunity to practice newly found skills. This would be the one army concept. Hopefully the unit they train with is the one to whom they will be attached on ops.
At what point does the TA 'stop' and the regular element take over? If all the TA soldier becomes is a replacement then how are you going to bring on TA soldiers to fill NCO slots- do you think regular battalions will give up slots on theirt JNCO courses? I don't think so. If a soldier has not had the opportunity to attend proper potential JNCO courses leading onto junior rank how can they be prepared for Junior & Senior Brecon?

There has to be a form of a unit with it's natural rank structure to allow soldiers to learn their trade at various levels to enable them to slot in as Bn replacements. This will require a formal structure to be in place to facilitate this and allow the neccessary experience to be gained. Otherweise all the TA will come down to is supplying people who will be trained to work in a section. After a while these people will become disaffected as there will be no career structure for them. Will the recruiting slogan of the TA then become "Join the TA and stag on" ?
 
#13
Good for some, not so good for others. Annual camp as said by others is good for unit cohesion and spending time with your TA mates, a reason which encourages some to join. My unit is RAC and covers a wide area and is affiliated to several cap badges. So who are we to choose? Which regular unit gets first shout and will the TA bods assigned get used effectively or will they be seen as a two week embuggerance?

That said it will be good for TA to Regular relations and will help to bridge the gap and forge stronger links between affiliated units.
 
#14
I can't help but think that the average Regular unit will be somewhat bemused by the appearance of a few buckshee TA bods for two weeks at a time. Aspirations of fitting into an exercise etc sound good on paper - but in reality what will happen ? I'd suggest that every bone detail and shite job will fall to them ? If nothing else it will be damn difficult to timetable.

Strange enough for basic jocks. How would this work for more senior ranks ? Anyone see the Quarty handing over his store for two weeks ? What role would they give a young Captain posted in for two weeks ? Bn 2ICs brew bitch, Press Officer ?? - Guarenteed he's not getting the Recce Pln.

I'd be interested to hear how units like 4 Para find it ? I'd guess that the boys tend to go to the Regular unit for more than a basic two weeks and are going with mobilisation in mind so both sides are keen to develop a relationship ?

I'm NOT against the idea - It could be very very good - IF the Regular unit and the TA unit can bond around a forthcoming tour etc and are geographically close enough that they can train together regularly. Sending formed platoons or Coys on Regular Ex would be a steep learning curve but potentially great experience. Sadly my experience says that the Regular-TA link is normally over-strained to achieve more than a single visit and an invite to the cocktail party. The cultures are - at least currently - too different. Reg Ex and courses are all too long for the TA, the TA trains at weekends, the Regulars are keen to get some down-time etc etc. Add in the frenetic pace of life in a Reg Bn and the last minute changes to the diary....

That said and strangely enough this idea might suit some of the least prized members of the TA quite well - I can see "camp" with the Regular MT & QM Plns being seen as a great idea by some of the long-term unemployed "enablers" who haunt the TAC looking for work. "Advance Party ? Yessir, and I'm available for the rear party too...."
 
#15
If everyone was mortar-trained, everyone would be useful.


Gluck_ABs gang have the right idea ( ungrits teeth, wanders off for a lie-down... )
 
#16
Mortar trained ?? Up here we will soon need 2 Star approval to strike a match. Rumour has it that it will need a Queens Order in Council to fire 5.56mm.
 
#17
saladin said:
I can't help but think that the average Regular unit will be somewhat bemused by the appearance of a few buckshee TA bods for two weeks at a time. Aspirations of fitting into an exercise etc sound good on paper - but in reality what will happen ? I'd suggest that every bone detail and shite job will fall to them ? If nothing else it will be damn difficult to timetable.

Strange enough for basic jocks. How would this work for more senior ranks ? Anyone see the Quarty handing over his store for two weeks ? What role would they give a young Captain posted in for two weeks ? Bn 2ICs brew bitch, Press Officer ?? - Guarenteed he's not getting the Recce Pln.

I'd be interested to hear how units like 4 Para find it ? I'd guess that the boys tend to go to the Regular unit for more than a basic two weeks and are going with mobilisation in mind so both sides are keen to develop a relationship ?

I'm NOT against the idea - It could be very very good - IF the Regular unit and the TA unit can bond around a forthcoming tour etc and are geographically close enough that they can train together regularly. Sadly experience says that the Regular-TA link is normally over-strained to achieve more than a single visit and an invite to the cocktail party. The cultures are - at least currently - too different. Reg Ex and courses are all too long for the TA, the TA trains at weekends, the Regulars are keen to get some down-time etc etc. Add in the frenetic pace of life in a Reg Bn and the last minute changes to the diary....

That said and strangely enough this idea might suit some of the least prized members of the TA quite well - I can see "camp" with the Regular MT & QM Plns being seen as a great idea by some of the long-term unemployed "enablers" who haunt the TAC looking for work. "Advance Party ? Yessir, and I'm available for rear party too...."
My bold - by management of expectations. The majority of blokes who went on Op Herrick 8 last year were junior ranks and, in the main, they filled slots that needed filling particularly in the Rifle Companies. Others filled jobs that were perhaps not as ally but important - in the bigger picture - all the same and which their pre-deployment training reports indicated them more suited for. For the Officers, i think a number of them fulfilled watchkeeper roles, some did liaison jobs and one excelled in a CIMIC role (which is an area in which the 'softer' skills a TA soldier might have from his civilian job would be relevant and useful).

Management of expectations, particularly of the TA soldier, is very important to making this work. There are obviously certain posts that require a depth of experience and training that, in the main, a TA soldier is unlikely to have, and such posts will naturally go to those who have chosen the Army as a full-time career.

The most pressing requirement last year was for riflemen and 4 PARA provided a large number of those, with our pre-deployment training geared to get the blokes to a standard by which they could integrate as seamlessly as possible with their Regular counterparts. Specialists slotted in where a need existed on a case-by-case basis and where that individual met the requirements for the post.

Unfortunately there comes a point where the differences in terms of depth of experience and training between a TA and Regular soldier become more and more apparent, and appointments / posts become fewer and fewer, but that does not preclude a job being found for the former that enables them to contribute in a meaningful and relevant way.
 
#18
GluckAB are you SURE you are a Para'? :? Those were well constructed paragraphs formed around a cohesive and plausible argument!!!!!! 8O :lol:

Seriously though, points taken and well made. The fact remains though, as has already been said, that as long as this works well; all well and good BUT, I can see an awful lot of units making a complete f#ck up of it, not to mention the whole reason behind why many join the TA in the first place which is not to be a fill in for the sh!t jobs that the regs don't want to do (a broad generalisation, but you get my point)

Edited to add. If those units do make a f#ck up of it/ the lads get dicked for all the sh!tty jobs for a tour or two, they will soon leave and act as a very loud anti-recruitment poster causing BIG problems down the line when recruitment will not be as strong as it currently is.
 
#19
Auld-Yin said:
Taffnp said:
I think it can only be a good thing, if done in a proper manner. Individuals coud be attached to various sections and NCO's will be given an opportunity to practice newly found skills. This would be the one army concept. Hopefully the unit they train with is the one to whom they will be attached on ops.
At what point does the TA 'stop' and the regular element take over? If all the TA soldier becomes is a replacement then how are you going to bring on TA soldiers to fill NCO slots- do you think regular battalions will give up slots on theirt JNCO courses? I don't think so. If a soldier has not had the opportunity to attend proper potential JNCO courses leading onto junior rank how can they be prepared for Junior & Senior Brecon?

There has to be a form of a unit with it's natural rank structure to allow soldiers to learn their trade at various levels to enable them to slot in as Bn replacements. This will require a formal structure to be in place to facilitate this and allow the neccessary experience to be gained. Otherweise all the TA will come down to is supplying people who will be trained to work in a section. After a while these people will become disaffected as there will be no career structure for them. Will the recruiting slogan of the TA then become "Join the TA and stag on" ?
A good point.

The benefits would be that TA units would work alongside units who have experience and not someone instructing who has gained his experience from youtube.

The disadvantages however are as you stated. Assume that a TA unit is paired up with a regular unit. When their two week attachment comes, many posts will be duplicated. If this is the way forward then I cannot foresee a TA SNCO with a course behind him and a few weeks experience running the MT or any other dept.

Does this then herald the abolishment of many SNCO posts within the TA ?
 
#20
This can only be a good thing.

I have only ever done 1 "TA Camp" in ten years. The rest has been filled out with Courses (trade and mil), overseas ex's with the Regular Army, and deployment

There are to many TA soldiers out there scared of joining the big scary regular Army on ex because its out of their Regimantal/Squadron comfort zone. I especially include NCO's and Officers in this. Big fish, small pond senario.

I'm sure some will say that it won't aid unit cohesion. Possibly but if you get a small group from the same Sqn joining in on an ex if the ex is good it can only be positive. Ten blokes coming back swinging the lamp in the bar giving it the big 'un from ex will enourage others to break out of the comfort zone and do the job they were trainied for in a proper mil environment, not with the Cubs.

Another positive for both sides. Once a TA soldier goes on ex with a Regular Regiment a couple of times he should feel part of the team he would surely be more likely to want to deploy with said regiment and the regiment would know what they are getting with the augmentee.
 

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