Fantasy Armed Forces

Glad_its_all_over

ADC
Book Reviewer
#1
So here's a challenge. Sketch out the size, shape and configuration of the British Defence Force post-2014, keeping it all under around £30Bn annually. Ignore sacred cows, be radical and revolutionary. Feel free to play with reserve/regular balance, high/medium/low readiness forces.

For the purposes of the exercise, use these assumptions:

  1. No political appetite for foreign wars unless vital to UK national interest
  2. No significant UOR procurement - i.e. come as you're caught
  3. Configure for entire spectrum - general war to MACC
  4. Capabilities to maintain:
    • Deploy SF abroad at tp/sqn strength and maintain on ops indefinitely at immediate notice to move
    • Project Coy+ abroad and maintain on ops for 90 days at 7 days' notice to move
    • Project BG+ abroad and maintain on ops for 90 days at 28 days' notice to move
    • Stand up and deploy Bde+ for general war inside 180 days
    • Stand up and deploy Div+ for general war inside 270 days
  5. Maintain nuclear deterrent
  6. Maintain ability to project self-defending naval task group to protect UK interests
 
#4
You work for Ed Milliband and I claim my $32.67
 

Glad_its_all_over

ADC
Book Reviewer
#5
Heh. You may not be wrong, at that - with respect, though, I was hoping that we'd get some half-way serious thinking. I nurture no great hope that someone who matters will read this thread and be the Haldane of the 21st Century, but there's a great deal of military expertise and knowledge around here and I'm interested to see what folk come up with.
 

FORMER_FYRDMAN

LE
Book Reviewer
#7
#9
All seperate HQ's would be disbanded. A lot of staff level officers would have twitchy bums as compulsory redundancy would be on its way for most officers who aren't employed to actually command real units of staff (Not imaginary paper ones).

I'd personally scrap the regimental system in its current form and go for a USMC style make up of multiple brigades.

Standing by for incoming on that one though.

I'd merge RAF aircraft small enough to be flown off a carrier with the navy and The Air Force would effectively be divided into strategic bombing/ICBM etc and air transport roles.

The reserves would be used to bring their civvy skills to the army in all cases other than inf where they would in essence be a temping agency of BCR's and small deployable units of not greater than plt strength.
 
#10
Amalgate all SF into "them",have 2x AAB`s one one standby the other for training etc, centralise HQ`s one for the whole of country.Reservists to do 3years on active register (then be absorbed into the defence force). Because of the monetary hiccup atm!!we would have a "defence" force only,everyman/woman ( and i mean everybody regardless of standing!! ie mp`s shitty offspring, put them in EOD/latrines for the use of servicing and maintenance battalion :) ) would be obligated to do say 5 years and then a 2 week refesher course every year;seeing as how we would only have ourselves to worry about.To get rid of the regimental system we have (as someone suggested!) would be a further erosion of our identity and pride.......
this is only fantasy and not to be taken at all seriously because i know it would not work in reality
 
#11
Glad its all over, what sort of Expeditionary Air Wing capability do you wish to retain? And at what state of readiness and what is the likely duration of task? Also, what about UK Ops and emerging threats/capabilities e.g. cyberdefence? It strikes me that there are another three assumptions there and the pot of £30Bn hasn't got any bigger.
 
#12
Glad its all over, what sort of Expeditionary Air Wing capability do you wish to retain? And at what state of readiness and what is the likely duration of task? Also, what about UK Ops and emerging threats/capabilities e.g. cyberdefence? It strikes me that there are another three assumptions there and the pot of £30Bn hasn't got any bigger.
Well, proceed on the assumptions and make some of your own in terms of deployable airpower. Specifically, I'd be interested to hear an informed opinion on the CAS/Air Superiority/UAV split and how much firepower we need to deliver to support the capabilities outlined.

As to cyber, beyond an ability to protect our own information space, does the military actually need to play in that space or are there other agencies, separately funded, who would be better suited?
 
#13
If you wish to alllocate deployed air power to land-oriented tasks then it sounds to me like you are advocating the USMC's concept of an Air Combat Element within a Marine Expeditionary Unit/Brigade/Force dependng upon the required scale-of-effort. This would be augmented by AAR, ISTAR, AT, etc. as and when necessary. The CAS/Air superiority split is an almost artificial distinction - surely the answer here is that we have to operate a multi-role fast jet platform that can perform both roles and, if necessary, carry a mix of ordnance to allow both roles to be undertaken in a single sortie. I cannot comment on UAVs. Finally re. cyber, if the MoD does not maintain a capability which encompasses CND, CNE and CNA, then we will be sorry when the agencies decided that a crisis on our part does not constitute an emergency on theirs, an old adage I know but having spent three years working up in 'town' in that environment, I think that I can safely make that assertion.
 
#14
As to cyber, beyond an ability to protect our own information space, does the military actually need to play in that space or are there other agencies, separately funded, who would be better suited?
There is. however, they have a "Make Me Money" mind set.
 

FORMER_FYRDMAN

LE
Book Reviewer
#15
I'd have an aircraft carrier with no aircraft - leave the enemy in no doubt he's up against a real nutter who's capable of anything.
 
#16
Why don't we bring the forces more in line with what the public think they are.

Here's your force structure 2015:

Army:
35 regiments of "Them"
1 Parachute regiment
1 armoured division

RAF:
2,000 spitfires
1,000 lancasters
1,000 harriers

Navy:
9 full sized grown-up aircraft carriers with 35 F35C on board tooled up and waiting to give JF a jolly good shoeing.
plus "Some other boats"
 
#17
All we need is to train Croydons wonder Warrior how to fly a microlight and get him a canoe. Mobility on land sorted as he can use his Shortt-Mobile© providing the missus isn't doing the big shop in it.
 
#19
There'll be five of us and a hirecar.
Not exactly. More like five of you and a 4 seater Yugo Sedan with the following features:-

- bought on PFI so it ends up costing over 100 grand by the time it's scrapped

- back seats ripped out to allow for wheelchair access

- NVG compatible instruments invisible at all times unless you are wearing NVG

- positive pressure NBC filter eventually blows the windscreen out if left on long enough

- all occupants die of the bends/explosive decompression when windscreen blows out

- brakes removed to save weight and cost

- giant ring bolt fitted to roof to facilitate helicopter transportation

- axle snapping Bowman radio fitted as standard in the front passenger seat
 
#20
No idea at the regiment/unit level, but here's my two bob:

GET RID OF THOSE FECKIN' TRIDENT SUBS. Seriously, what a waste of cash; they're not weapons, they're political tools (and the Navy said so itself, trying to push the costs onto Treasury). I mean, who really would bother nuking the UK anyway? Not worth the effort. And couldn't the same deterrent effect be achieved by maintaining a small stock of air/sea launched Tomanukes? Feck.

Otherwise, keep the Navy up to date. More helo and VTOL platforms (HMS Ocean type stuff, not this overblown Elizabeth-class nonsense). Keep mitts off Marines.

Army - fewer troops, better troops. Despite the lunacy (IMHO) of Iraq and Afghanistan, it must have packed the force with a generation of top-shelf tough cnuts by now. Keep them on good pay to train and lead the next generation. Keep SAS, but build more so-called 'tier two' commando and other door kicker units.

Airforce. A shitload more whirlybirds. Do like the kiwis (on a much larger scale obviously) and buy up lots of cheap civvy-origin light transports (RNZAF - The Agusta A109 Helicopter in RNZAF Colours) for the politicians to swan about in. Fewer fighters, more drones. Shitloads more drones.
 

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