Future of the RAF Regiment

Discussion in 'The Intelligence Cell' started by barbs, Nov 13, 2008.

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  1. Really interesting conference this afternoon presided over by a couple of stars. An item raised was the future of the RAF Regiment in the light of the drawdown of the RAF Regiment from each of the big theatres: Cyprus, Germany, Northern Ireland, and soon somewhere else. There appears to be some serious discussions about what to do with the SRDG.

    I suppose the problem starts when one has to accept that the RAF manning liability has been capped and the RAF are being asked to continue to increase their key enabler and ISR capabilities.

    Some second order issues are filtering slowly to the top. Firstly, HQ DRA has formed the opinion that is gaining some traction in town that GBAD should fall to LF to meet. Secondly, DGSyPol has expressed a concern that a large amount of confusion reigns about where Sy sits between the three services: particularly in the Land environment (is it an Int or Police thing or is it a more general FP issue?). Thirdly, DRAC is pushing for ownership of more organic terminal attack control. And, fourthly, and I suppose most relevant, is the massive concern raised in PORs about battespace deconfliction between the services, again in the Land environment. There is a real conflict between a failure to disguise unit boundaries on the one hand, and avoiding crossing boundaries on the other. Transiting through different battlespaces is becoming an issue for even the noblest and finest system managers, since I am sure you know switching from one net to another but not being entirely sure that the system won't kick you off is having an impact on user confidence.

    Anyway to the meat. The proposal is such that the RAF Regiment, because it doesn't contribute to the OCP in the same way as LF and FLEET units do, is the target of the next round of rationalisation in PR09. Quite frankly it is fairly low-hanging fruit.
  2. Sorry too big for one post!

    How will this manifest itself?

    - Internal transfer will be permitted from the RAF Regiment to stay within the RAF in ISR roles; imagery analysis &c; RAFP and P&SS.

    - External transfer will be encouraged between the RAF Regiment and the Field Army, particularly to the RA and Line Infantry.

    - Rank, pay and seniority will remain an issue, but when rank and responsibility are realigned, it will be easy to overcome these issues. The introduction of the LCpl rank into the RAF Regiment is the first step to rationalise the rank/role issue.

    - Naturally the Guards Division will be available on a case-by-case basis.

    - Those who are qualified will be entitled to request transfer to The Parachute Regiment.

    - TAC qualified pers will not automatically be transferred to FR for obvious reasons but will probably find a home in SFSG and Bde TACPs, badged GSC on a legacy basis or until natural wastage takes its toll.
  3. Again, too big for a single post:

    Why is the RAF Regiment such low hanging fruit?

    - The funding lines between DE&S, FLEET, LF and AIR are becoming more and more of an issue. There is, admittedly, an economy of scale to be found in the procurement process, but the cadrisation of skills and penny packeting of kit and equipment to the extent that there isn't enough kit for MRX and other PDT is becoming political dynamite.

    - The RAF Regiment does a bit of a lot. That is not being obnoxious, it is a objective issue: a little bit of PD, a little bit of DF, a little bit of Sp Wpns, a little bit of this, that and the other. So what? Funding lines again. AIR and LF are coming ionto conflict over the small things, and one of those small things is the cost of courses: negotiations with AIR over SLAs start with the premise that AIR will only pay for the 'actuals' or 'consumables' but not the full costs of courses. LF are being expected to increase accn and other infra costs for more and more courses which are being used by AIR pers but AIR are not footing the bill.

    - OAR. Polling data suggests that the RAF Regiment is mistaken for other aspects of the Army on a routine basis by potential recruits. Many are being turned off, it is assessed, when they are told that they are not going to be in the Army: in fact there are even some suggestions that the RAF Regiment recruiting campaigns ahve been in breach of advertising regulations for some time.

    - FAS and FIS. Unsurprisingly Ministers are feeling mighty iffy about FIS, still. The fallout has been considerable in Scotland, to a lesser extent in Wales, and surprisingly high in NI. Ministers have one eye on the next General Election and anything that can be done to avoid the political implosion that was FIS is welcome.

    - TA. TA 100 and the latest SAS Reserve issues have put Ministers off the idea of reducing the TA. The perception had been that if TA 100 was flat, then getting rid of the TA could be quite an easy move. It had been mooted as a potential option when the OAR had been introduced - draw up the manpower and drawdown the TA infra. Again, politically, a hot potato. A surprisingly high percentage of LLs and DLs have TA links; RFCAs are still powerful organisations and their assets usually are untouchable.

    - RM. Royal is untouchable... and significantly they are playing a very clever game by having a unit on the LF OCP, even if 3 Bde were not the 'bonus ball'.

    Anyway, food for thought.
  4. Will the liabilities transfer to another TLB/FLC, or will they just be taken as a saving?

    Edited - Roger. Seen above.

    If such rationalisation is afoot - what about the Para Cdo Bde?
  5. Surely to have a future, the RAF Regt need to have a past? :roll:
  6. I understand that the liabilities will be taken as a corresponding saving within AIR to allow for development of ISR and other key enabler posts. The system is creaking, and bearing in mind RAF Op Tour lengths of 4 months, there is an issue with inter-tour gaps, if not the actual number of days spent on tour. They really need to attract more people as movers and other ground crew roles.
  7. It did not come up as an issue, and certainly wasn't discussed.

    I would think that there are two issues to be addressed: the first is that 3 Bde and 16 Bde are distinct assets that, although to many in the Field Army are developing towards a two-tier service are extremely attractive strategic assets. PM announcing deployment of 16 Bde in one direction, but still having 3 Bde in the hole, is really important.

    The second issue is that of incorporating the RM officer corps into the Army. Call me old fashioned, but do you really think that the majority of Lt Cols and Colonels will relish the thought of competing for Army E2 posts against the latest crop of RM officers?

    Having said all that the RN did shoot hemselves in the foot by offering Fry 2SL rather than 1SL. By having a RM First Sea Lord they really would have been making a astatement about how far the RN has gone towards becoming the delivery system for the RM.
  8. i think the RAF Reg should be poured into the Infantry. At the end of the day, Having worked with them they could do with the training!!!
    • Like Like x 1
  9. Shouldn't the RAF look into rationalising it's Log Sp function as well?
  10. You're kidding arent you? I wouldnt have them loosas in the inf with me. Theyd simply let the Army down.
  11. I think the RAF Regt should be re badged to someting a bit tri-service. Something where their skills and experience would be of value and enable them to maintain their traditions and with the minimum of additional training required.

    MPGS !

    Barrier Goes Up ! Barrier Goes Down ! :muhaha:
  12. Believe me, they'd fvck that up.
  13. Barbs, have to ask before I start adding to the record unemployment numbers, were the RAF and or RAF Regt represented at this meeting?
  14. How many RAF Reg are there vs the FE@R levels required to deploy? Given the move towards only needing them in one airbase (KAF) plus BAS till we draw down, it doesnt seem that many are required to do their primary role?

    If we can shift away from airfield defence as a primary role, and instead dual hat an infantry btn to do it - effectively stick another 72hrs NTM tasker on some pooor overcommited unit, what does this free up? How would it best be integrated into the army and the Infantry OCP? If we split up the units and penny packet distribute them to balance out manning, we'd lose a lot of people who feel disenfranchised from the RAF. if we keep them as a formed set of Bns, Coys etc, then is there a danger of keeping the sense of RAFness a bit too long? More to the point, how long would it take to get a Regt unit ready to operate as a regular infantry unit - given the different requirements for vehicles etc?

    Finally, are we the last unit in NATO to have an airfield defence regiment in our air force?
  15. Mr Happy

    Mr Happy LE Moderator

    RAF Regt is a needless creation, an abonimation perhaps, and should be gotten rid off.

    Airfields, in reality, only need protecting overseas and I don't see much point in having a specific guard force for this. In many countries local CivPol or ForMil will do it. And why we are still operating airfields in conflict zones when we could or should be using full proper size carriers to sorte fighters out of.