Yes mate - totally true . They've decided that with the surplus of troops in today's army and there being absolutely no need for comms in that theatre the best use of these highly-skilled tradesmen is in washing out the rigid action-socks of their comrades.
They count themselves lucky though.....on Telic there is equally no fcuking use for comms so the lads are charged with doing sexual favours for the infantry. Hoops oozing manfat, ring-dhobi and lock-jaw appear to be the order of the day.
Edited to add a - in case he doesn't understand sarcasm
if you arent on shift you are ready for spamming of shit jobs. its how it works and has always worked. so if you take 30 blokes and only 10 are required for shift then the others are ready to get jiffed ala the road marking party of telic 3 and the spam troop on telic 8.
im sure there are other examples but i was witness to those two
Typical within the Corps Complete mismanagement of the troops. No wonder so many people sign off or constantly look pissed off.
Isnt the corps wonderul for that.
I can understand jiff jobs like driving or guards but not sorting out laundry.
My personal opinion is that the CIS and Life Sp elms of the Corps Mission should be split, with the latter devolved to the RLC. This would require a commensurate transfer of manpower liability, but in principle SOinC(A) and Director RLC were content with that idea, according to discussions with the SOinC(A) during 3 DSR's Exercise IRON TRIANGLE, one of the trial exercises for Project ROBERTS (future Div HQ structure) in Feb 06. The question of "Laundry on HERRICK" is less to do with doctrine and more to do with the reality of manpower shortages and high operational tempo...
Some background information:
Regional Command (South) (RC(S)) is the multinational HQ controlling southern Afghanistan. It was a 1-star HQ under the Canadians, during the period May - Nov 06, then the Dutch took over during the period Nov 06 - May 07, upping it to a 2-start HQ, and now it is UK-led, until it moves (I believe) in Nov 07 to a composite HQ, with the posts of Comd, DComd and COS rotating between the three lead nations.
The HQ is fixed, and has *far* fewer comms requirements than any comparable UK Bde or Div HQ. Thus, the comms task can be performed by a Tp, and in fact was, during the Dutch Army's tenure. The weight of the support tasks thus fell to the "HQ Support Company" (as the Dutch called it), among whose functions included mail, stores resupply, and laundry. These tasks have been deemed to be military tasks, and not suitable for Locally Employed Civilians, probably for security reasons. Just as the Canadians and Dutch before us had to use their personnel for this, the British Army had to deploy *someone* to do it.
Assuming you're not arguing that the job is "too good for the British Army", and that only foreigners should be doing it, the question then leads on to *who* in the British Army does it? Hypothetically, consider three options: Infantry, RLC, or R SIGNALS:
- Infantry, while [for argument's sake only] the 'least well train/educated' troops are grossly over-stretched because we are sustaining two Medium-Scale operations (TELIC & HERRICK), contrary to Defence Planning Assumptions, and thus already have pitifully short tour intervals.
- RLC are also maxed out. The nature of both theatres mean that specialist RLC regiments such as 14 Port & Maritime, and 11 EOD are incredibly over-worked, and the 'mainstream' RLC - the Transport and Supply, and Log Sp regiments are desperately trying to support both theatres. Abingdon Barracks is currently empty because 3 and 4 Log Sp Regts are on TELIC and HERRICK respectively. Their counterparts, 1 and 2 Log Sp Regts, in 1 (UK) Armd Div, have recently returned, and will have to redeploy shortly themselves. 23 Pnr Regt is currently deployed in the infantry role on both TELIC and HERRICK, conducting front line infantry tasks OPCOM infantry battlegroups. The RLC, contrary to ill-informed assumptions, is not therefore an option for the Regional Command (South) support task.
- So where then does the R SIGNALS fit in? Both TELIC and HERRICK are relatively mature theatres, with fixed HQs and in the case of the former, contractorised comms (Synergy). Both SMBR(I) in Baghdad, and HQ NSE (as was), at Shaiba, were run with a Tp (-). This is on one hand a success - we have avoided the debacle of Op GRAPPLE/ LODESTAR/ PALATINE/ OCULUS where we had R SIGNALS operators and technicians stranded on mountain top rebro/relay stations for relentless six-month tours. This does however mean that, person-for-person, R SIGNALS has among the best tour intervals for the the entire Army: we are being hammered less than most. Since R SIGNALS personnel need to be deployed to RC(S) to provide comms, and the rest of the regt in question (2 Sig Regt) are also deployed on other tasks, then why not use the personnel available in the sqn that is already providing comms, and use them to undertake the other support tasks - however "beneath you" you may think they are. No one disagrees that they are boring jobs, R SIGNALS is the least-worst placed to do them.
The question is not 'Why are the R SIGNALS' doing this, but 'Who would be more suited to this, who is available to be deployed? Unfortunately, it's not the RLC, much though I agree that would be preferable for [R SIGNALS] morale/retention purposes.
"Life support" I have always thought that is a bit of sweeping generalisation, catching all manner of jobs. And note, it is also a role of the R Signals that never really sees that light of day in the adverts.