Homeland Defence Force moves a step closer

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by PartTimePongo, Nov 5, 2002.

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  1. But what exactly is a "TA Signals Brigade"?

    Rapid-response reserve force will fight terrorists
    Details of a new network of reserve forces to provide a quick response to
    any major terrorist attack against Britain were given to MPs by the
    Government yesterday.  The 500-strong Civil Contingency Reaction Forces
    (CCRF) will be made up of reservists from all three services, Adam Ingram,
    the Armed Forces minister said.  New teams would also be added to military
    headquarters to provide planning and liaison - becoming part of a
    round-the-clock command structure in the event of an attack or any other
    major incident.  An existing Territorial Army signal brigade would also be
    provided with new radio equipment compatible with the emergency services to
    aid communication.  The new home defence measures - part of the Government's
    response to the September 11 attacks on the United States - will mean an
    extra 700 volunteer reserve posts.  Volunteers joining the CCRFs will get an
    extra five days of training a year, with another two added to all
    reservists' schedules to deal with the new role.
    Bruce George (Lab, Walsall South), who chairs the defence select committee,
    warned of the consequences if Britain were attacked when firefighters were
    on strike.
    "The whole system will be called into question if that attack succeeds," he
    said. "I hope to God an attack doesn't take place in a day when one of the
    three emergency services is not fully operational because the consequences
    will be truly horrendous and fingers would be pointed in many directions."
    Keith Simpson, a Tory defence spokesman, spoke of the shortfall in manpower
    in all three forces and said the Army was its own worst enemy when it came
    to overstretch.
    He said: "They often say that they have shortages of manpower, that they
    haven't got the right equipment and then they go on and carry out Government
    policy, they deliver on it and I suspect that the Treasury then says, 'there
    you are, the armed forces were crying wolf because they delivered'."
    Julia Drown (Lab, S Swindon) urged the Government to think again about its
    ethical foreign policy and arms exports. She said: "The truth is that the UK
    is a massive exporter of arms. That means our threshold for friends has to
    be very low.
    "We are friends of India and Pakistan but there are serious questions over
    selling weapons to them, given the dispute over Kashmir."
    Ian Liddel-Grainger (C, Bridgwater), a former Territorial Army officer,
    urged the Government to use the TA as a defence force. He said: "The
    Territorial Army has a unique ability to be a local defence force. It knows
    its area."
    * Later Mr Ingram urged the media to adopt a "measure of responsibility" in
    reporting of the investigation into a series of deaths at Deepcut barracks
    in Surrey.
  2. A small group of scaleys sitting in the dark going bleep, bleep and drinking tea