General Sir Patrick Sanders as Chief of the General Staff

Alamo

LE
Off topic from the original thread title but I think part of the problem with Ajax started when the Front Line Commands wrested greater control of procurement from DE&S a few years ago.

Talk about kids in a toy shop, shiny things being looked at galore and touched but very little professional procurement expertise or experience in the FLCs. I expect attention to the boring stuff like safety and/or vibration went a long way down the list, relative to shiny capability demos. Of course, the 'warfighter' knows better than a bunch of stupid loggies or vibration specialists right?

There have been some spectacularly bad procurement decisions made by the other services too, as a result of this change, but less well known than Ajax. Several from the light blue side, including at least three training projects.

I dont get the impression up coming procurements are any different, lots of drooling at shiny stuff, a scary level of procurement and project delivery experience and a 2 year posting cycle contributing to pie in the sky requirements and 'want that one' type approach. The latest trend seems to be trying to turn MOD into a tech company just in time for the second dot com bubble in both private and public markets.

DE&S has had its critics but it was effectively sidelined in a lot of this stuff and it is coming back to bite Defence.
I agree to a point. But when I was (briefly) in the game the DECs and DE&S were too close and the FLCs were invited to take what they offered as opposed to what they wanted/needed. Got to the point where a particularly memorable AD at DInf summoned a meeting with the RM and RAF Regt counterparts and stated ‘I’ve had enough of being told to f**k off back to Warminster and smell. We (the customers) are going to start fighting back!’
 
The much publicized gang bang was, I suggest, the straw that broke the camel's back.
One can’t begin to imagine what it did to the poor camel’s toe!?
 
I agree to a point. But when I was (briefly) in the game the DECs and DE&S were too close and the FLCs were invited to take what they offered as opposed to what they wanted/needed. Got to the point where a particularly memorable AD at DInf summoned a meeting with the RM and RAF Regt counterparts and stated ‘I’ve had enough of being told to f**k off back to Warminster and smell. We (the customers) are going to start fighting back!’
I don't doubt its worked well when buying COTS equipment or things like uniform, small arms etc, but there are many examples of where big and complex procurements have gone not so well.
 
The not-so-secret internal opinion was that exactly these kinds of project failures would force the Services to face up to their own complicity and responsibility for them, wherever that might lie.
I wait, breath bated, for the day that squadron of pigs overflies my home in the Shire, manoeuvring in precision formation, trailing skilfully interwoven skeins of red white and blue smoke as it travels ever onward . . . .
 
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Sarastro

LE
Kit Reviewer
I wait, breath bated, for the day that squadron of pigs overflies my home in the Shire, manoeuvring in precision formation, trailing skilfully interwoven skeins of red white and blue smoke as it travels ever onward . . . .
Let me put it another way: once the Services had control of their own budgets, when things went wrong, it would be much easier for the MOD to say: "your fault, your responsibility, you fix it".
 
Let me put it another way: once the Services had control of their own budgets, when things went wrong, it would be much easier for the MOD to say: "your fault, your responsibility, you fix it".
I'm starting to come round to another way of thinking.
Much like some developing countries where there is a class that thinks it should be in charge, but it would be a disaster if they were; i think a feature of defence is it takes potentially catastrophic people out of the loop and gives them something to do.
The RN and RAF have to not crash or sink things, and the Army just has to spend stuff with little result.

Yes, there is an existential requirement to lay down lives for greater good (definitions vary), but realistically keeping most of the uniformed hierarchy away from important levers like the economy, law, management and business seems worthwhile.

It probably explains the old adage about the best ones leaving at Capt/Maj, as they are.
Maybe standing militaries are a societal adaptation to a less warlike age with more dangerous weapons, when fighty genes need to be put somewhere safe and kept busy?
 
I'm starting to come round to another way of thinking.
Much like some developing countries where there is a class that thinks it should be in charge, but it would be a disaster if they were; i think a feature of defence is it takes potentially catastrophic people out of the loop and gives them something to do.
The RN and RAF have to not crash or sink things, and the Army just has to spend stuff with little result.

Yes, there is an existential requirement to lay down lives for greater good (definitions vary), but realistically keeping most of the uniformed hierarchy away from important levers like the economy, law, management and business seems worthwhile.

It probably explains the old adage about the best ones leaving at Capt/Maj, as they are.
Maybe standing militaries are a societal adaptation to a less warlike age with more dangerous weapons, when fighty genes need to be put somewhere safe and kept busy?

Why do we expect competence of our officer class, when all they’ve had to do is complete an attendance course in using the correct cutlery at the posh school in Sandhurst?

Their military skills training is severely lacking, never mind the business acumen required to budget, conceive, negotiate and deliver our procurement needs.

Is it any wonder we have our pants pulled down every time?
 

Truxx

LE
Why do we expect competence of our officer class, when all they’ve had to do is complete an attendance course in using the correct cutlery at the posh school in Sandhurst?

Their military skills training is severely lacking, never mind the business acumen required to budget, conceive, negotiate and deliver our procurement needs.

Is it any wonder we have our pants pulled down every time?
There is much in what you say.

Particularly the second paragraph.

Even now, the idea that an officer can be multi-skilled by the simple expedient of being a good chap and a gifted amateur abounds.

There are good, able and gifted folks around, and there is training and education.

But the principle of promoted to a level of incompetence applies. Individuals are selected as a result of their performance.ance in the positions that they were in. Having been selected they then get thrown the jobs list (Lt Col-Brig). The requirements of those jobs do not feature in the selections for promotion, only the totals

Thus there will be X selections for X jobs, but that does not mean that the people selected for promotion are those best suited for the jobs coming up.

So that particular anomaly is pasted over with the idea that a good all rounder will be fine.

Do that 2 or 3 times, to Lt Col to Col and to Brigadier and it is no surprise that even if a the training and experience were available out in the group, those people might not get promoted, and if they don't they don't get to do what is needed.
 

Alamo

LE
There is much in what you say.

Particularly the second paragraph.

Even now, the idea that an officer can be multi-skilled by the simple expedient of being a good chap and a gifted amateur abounds.

There are good, able and gifted folks around, and there is training and education.

But the principle of promoted to a level of incompetence applies. Individuals are selected as a result of their performance.ance in the positions that they were in. Having been selected they then get thrown the jobs list (Lt Col-Brig). The requirements of those jobs do not feature in the selections for promotion, only the totals

Thus there will be X selections for X jobs, but that does not mean that the people selected for promotion are those best suited for the jobs coming up.

So that particular anomaly is pasted over with the idea that a good all rounder will be fine.

Do that 2 or 3 times, to Lt Col to Col and to Brigadier and it is no surprise that even if a the training and experience were available out in the group, those people might not get promoted, and if they don't they don't get to do what is needed.
The Army’s obsession with year groups, and promoting and posting in blocks really does not help in this regard.
 
The Army’s obsession with year groups, and promoting and posting in blocks really does not help in this regard.
But makes logical sense if you apply the filter that these are bloodstock groups that need a protected well resourced environment to survive to the next generation?
Think of Carter's £10k carrot to transfer to the reserves as a controlled release scheme?
Then when senior officers go and visit AR units you have some weird 'Born Free' recreation with former WO&SNCOs recognising the old master and wanting belly rubs?
 
Let me put it another way: once the Services had control of their own budgets, when things went wrong, it would be much easier for the MOD to say: "your fault, your responsibility, you fix it".
That might well be true, but in the absence of fundamental change (like not rotating out of post every coupla years the nominal 'owners' of programmes with 20(+) year life-cycles) it just gives MOD a licence to point the finger of blame: it does nothing to establish a culture of accountabilty. Rather, it would seem to be a great way instead to instil one in which blame-dodging would be a key, and commonplace, talent . . . .
 
Was there not a case a few years back of some Herefords being sacked after a video was made? Some 'night in' which got a bit frisky. The video did the rounds and was common currency 'within' until an officer got hold of it and blew his stack.

The woman involved was subsequently interviewed in the News of the World, and was quite unashamed; one of the ex-Blades was interviewed anonymously and quoted as saying that he'd been reduced to labouring on building sites.
It was 21SAS. A couple of decades ago The blokes were kicked out by the CO for OPSEC reasons. One of them threatened to take it to an Employment Tribunel according to the papers but they had only been kicked out of SAS(V) so they were free to join another TA unit.

SASR have recently also had a 'stripper versus the blokes' video surface. (I have to say, she was far more attractive than the lady from Colchester...)
It was two strippers in the Gratwick club in Campbell bks, Swanbourne. You can see the footage by putting into the search engine Strippers at the Gratwick Club which will bring up the ABC report and numerous other hits. The Gratwick club is their private bar.
 
It was 21SAS. A couple of decades ago The blokes were kicked out by the CO for OPSEC reasons. One of them threatened to take it to an Employment Tribunel according to the papers but they had only been kicked out of SAS(V) so they were free to join another TA unit.


It was two strippers in the Gratwick club in Campbell bks, Swanbourne. You can see the footage by putting into the search engine Strippers at the Gratwick Club which will bring up the ABC report and numerous other hits. The Gratwick club is their private bar.

Don't the Army hire strippers anymore ?
 

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