Future of the RAC

Discussion in 'RAC' started by Gassing_Badgers, Nov 8, 2010.

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  1. As suggested elsewhere, a thread on topic of future RAC direction, so as not to bore or highjack the interests of potential recruits.

    Potential points for discussion:

    1) Is Combined Arms warfare the hardest art we have to master, and should this be the default setting for doctrine, equipment and training?
    2) Should the RAC train at a more generic and flexible level?
    3) Should Armoured and Recce be viewed as distinct niche roles?
    4) Is medium armour a role or a task?

    Fire away! :)
  2. It may be helpful if someone could list current regts. and roles so that we start on right foot and avoid I thought this or that.

    The Germany question is one that will cause most difficulty for the RAC (along with Armd Inf, Armd Eng and SP Arty). UK does not have enough facilities (or local support, most people in UK still call anything with tracks a tank) for heavy armour, so a withdrawal from Germany will spark a problematic debate of where do we put all the returning armour?

    The cost and local impact of building and equipping the correct facilities may be offset by use of redundant RAF bases (and these are not always ideally situated for army use) but still expensive to convert.

    Sadly the points made by G_B above may be secondary to the logistic problems. So I tend to agree with the 2015 timeline as being very relevant to the debate.
  3. As I understand it (and in in no order of precedence):

    Armd Regt x 5
    Scots DG

    Armd Recce Regt x 5

    CBRN she-woman cat-type thing
  4. AlienFTM

    AlienFTM LE Book Reviewer

    1. It's an art we'd mastered 30 years ago.
    2. We (they, if you prefer) are far better trained to be flexible for an asymmetric war than we were for a high-intensity mobile armoured war.
    3. They should be viewed as distinct roles. Not a niche, because they can and do fulfil the role of infantry in Afghanistan as well their day-to-day recce or armour tasks.
    4. It's a misnomer. It's an excuse to cut back on CR2s and replace them with recce vehicles.

    There, that wasn't difficult, was it?
  5. According to Army public website they are based as follows, please correct any errors:

    Armd Regt x 5
    RDG - UK
    2RTR - UK
    KRH - UK
    Scots DG - Germany
    QRH - Germany

    Armd Recce Regt x 5
    QRL - Germany
    QDG - Germany
    HCR - UK
    LD - UK
    9/12L - Germany

    CBRN she-woman cat-type thing
    1RTR(-) UK, 3 Sqn CBRN and 1 Sqn CR2

    Based on above does not take the brains of an arch bishop to work out what will potentially be chopped, with planned reduction of 40% CR2 and proposed withdrawal from Germany. The question is is how will the axe fall and what will be left and what will they be equipped with. I see little appetite or money to relocate 2 CR2 Regts. back to UK. As for what appears to be a a top heavy recce element we may be faced with a reduction of 2 from this also.

    Simple way is to count DG, H, L and T and the answer becomes relatively straight forward, if pretty awful. One has to assume that HCR will survive come what may but maybe with reduced sabre sqns. LD were clever and changed name out of the equation but not sure that will work when the axe swings.

    My best guess is that we are looking at 10 becoming 6 with HCR making 7.

    Unless we can justify some new and important roles PDQ, such as WR or similar crewing, maybe too late for Apache (but you never know, Air Cav just may be a solution, with AAC taking over SH from RAF, dreams). One thing is for damned sure lateral thinking is required. And RAC have 4 years in which to do it.
  6. I think one of the things the RAC has lost out on has been the evolution of BRFs in Afghanistan.

    Up until relatively recently, we have maintained that the manned ground-based recce support to a Formation would consist of the FR Regiment - and therefore composed of crews trained on and equipped with CVR(T) - regardless of the type of Brigade supported. It was not suprising therefore when some of the Herrick-roled Bdes wanted something lighter.

    Maybe survival of the Corps will depend on greater flexibility, with a trade structure based around the ability to man a greater range of platforms in wider scenarios? Maybe we need to box clever around the whole ISTAR thang - perhaps collaborating with other Arms to generate a more capable unit that can deliver a coherent 'find' function to the supported formation.
    As you say, some lateral thinking required - perhaps even the unthinkable that it a Chally 2 might not even be a completely inappropriate platform to be included within a recce unit? :)
  7. Firstly QRL are also in UK! Secondly what do you think the RAC has been up to the last couple of years? For example my own Regt had a Sqn on TELIC 9 equipped with CR2, on TELIC 10 we had a Sqn on CR and another manning WR, on the same TELIC a Sqn from KRH were manning Bulldog (432 on steroids)!While all this was going on we also had a Sqn in Afghanistan on HERRICK 8 crewing Mastiff and we also arms plotted back to the UK!!! Now bringing us up to date that very same Regt is out there again with Sqns manning three different platforms and that will be pretty much the norm for Armd Regts until this conflict comes to an end.
    As for cutting the numbers of CR2 well that has already happened with the introduction of WFM (Whole Fleet Management) where a unit only gets enough vehs to train on and only gets it's full compliment when it goes on operations, that said I still think an Armd Regt will lose a Sqn and the ORBAT will be 2 x CR2 Sqns and 1 MA and in an ideal world have a pool vehs that are currently used out in Afghanistan to keep the lads up to speed.
  8. It is always great to see discussions like this in the RAC forum...how long before it becomes a slanging match between various old 'n bold?

    To dispel any rumours about reductions in Regiments (if that is what is important to people) then it should be remembered that both the PM and CDS have commented that there will not be reductions in 'Combat units' - we can safely assume that we are covered by that. Also in the fact sheets following SDSR the following is specifically quoted:

    "By 2020...we will restucture the Army around 5 multi-role brigades....the multi-role brigades will include: reconnaissance forces...tanks...infantry operating froma range of vehicles"

    Given that we have 5 Armd and 5 FR Regts the HCAV & RAC would seem to be unusually well placed to meet the demands of the Army in the future; there's a first!
  9. To return to the OP's questions:

    1. Asking whether Combined Arms warfare is the hardest art we have to master in the COE is a slightly perverse question. It is very difficult to see a situation to any military problem being provided by any one Arm or Service and therefore everything that we do must be seen as Combined Arms....I'm not trying to be difficult! If by Combined Arms the OP was referring to 2:2 BGs thundering across the Canadian prairie in preparation for the Russian hordes then i would contend that whilst that was tricky at times it presents nothing like the problems that we are faced with in the COE and the (by necessity) Combined Arms solutions that we are coming up with. Combined Arms warfare training is difficult and testing and therefore an excellent way to maintain skills and test and prepare future generations of leaders for dealing with complexities whilst under pressure. Sadly it is also bloody expensive and resource heavy...It shouldn't be the default setting for doctrine but we must have the doctrine to support it, equipment is required in order to conduct it but that equipment must be flexible and it should be amongst the comprehensive package of training that is required AT THAT TIME.

    2. The RAC is already training at a more generic and flexible level. Asking whether we should we be more generic and flexible is like asking whether we should be better at our jobs in my book - of course we should...again not trying to be difficult but it is a slightly bone question. Of course we can take being generic and flexible too far and lose our core competencies but I think that is unlikely.

    3. Armoured and Recce shoud be seen as different roles but there is no reason why they cannot be conducted within one Regiment...it would take some amendments to RACES and a more flexible approach from within the OR community but it would probably lead to an increased professionalism. However having 'done the math' with the regiments above maybe it is not what we want to be doing if keeping Regiments is important to us! I would suggest that it shouldn't be.

    4. Medium armour is an equipment type...

    Sorry - ran out of steam!
  10. Thanks for the update on QRL location, website was not very clear.

    Well aware of what RAC has been up to for last couple of years, just read latest update from 2RTR, huge range of roles and responsibilities and as the update states RAC is proving its flexibility and adaptability as ever.

    But as noted elsewhere they are not deployed on either of the main platforms that they are trained on. So the question remains; what is the future of the RAC.

    AAC are deployed using their platforms, Inf and RM same (that is their feet), even arty has their guns deployed, we on the other hand are deployed on UOR fleets in role (just) but off platform.

    BRF is one role that we, in the future could claim as our own (or is it just an AFG requirement, as stated each Bde has different views on what it does and platforms required), and all those UOR (if not sold) will need a home, but all this does is potentially undermine justification for other platforms.

    If whole fleet management is the way forward what will the regiments be doing all day once AFG is over?

    We know what we are doing now but I for one do not believe, with good historic reasons, what the PM and CDS are saying today.

    Finally if you reduce sabre sqns to 3 why not just reduce number of regiments thus saving on infrastructure, cost and overall manning.
  11. No problem, if they reduce the amount of Regts you can guess which ones will bear the brunt!
  12. Way I see it is that there will be
    HDG x 2 (QDG and Scots DG, regional reasons)
    LD (RDG and LD, maybe called Royal Light Dragoons)
    L (QRL and 9/12L, cant think of a name))
    H (KRH and QRH, maybe just RH but confusing as old name)
    T (just RTR)

    all very logical but as ever it will not be what anyone wants.
  13. AlienFTM

    AlienFTM LE Book Reviewer

    Didn't stop KRH using another regiment's title the last time (see my last).
  14. DRAC spoke with various units after SDSR was announced and stated that the RAC would lose 2 x Sqns worth of personnell bust.
  15. ''All very logical...... '' If your talking about regimental names and thats where the logic stops. Tanks regiments and FR regiments forming up together, not going to happen.

    DRAC has missed boat ref Forward Air Controllers. Seeing as ISTAR is a vital part of FR and ISTAR is the mainstay of FAC, you would think someone at Bovvy would have put 2 and 2 together instead of letting the RA attempt to grab the lot.