How Low can you go?

#1
Following headlines like this:

Army to shrink to smallest size since Boer war while reservists' role bolstered
• Regulars to fall from 100,000 to 84,000 after 2014
• £1.5bn earmarked to beef up reserves and fund equipment

What is the irreduciable minimum number of personnel in the Regular Army?
 
#3
That would all depend on what you want them to do in the future!

Absolute minimum.....I'd say the number of people it takes to guard Buckingham Palace.
 
#4
They should be careful. if they keep this up, they'll lose that carefully cultivated public image of being the military's top bezzers.

They'll shout to all and sundry across the commons that there are not enough helicopters when in opposition, then when it's down to them theres no bloody people, a single aircraft carrier with no jets and budget, bargain basement replacements when kit does need replacing.

It's all well and good blaming the state of public finances, but this goes beyond that and its very bad news....
 

udipur

LE
Book Reviewer
#5
Who would want to be in the Royal Platoon of UKShire anyway?
 

Auld-Yin

ADC
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Reviews Editor
#6
What do we need the Armed Forces for anyway? After all it is not as if we ever take aggressive action and we all know that the whole world just loves the UK.
 
#10
They should be careful. if they keep this up, they'll lose that carefully cultivated public image of being the military's top bezzers.

They'll shout to all and sundry across the commons that there are not enough helicopters when in opposition, then when it's down to them theres no bloody people, a single aircraft carrier with no jets and budget, bargain basement replacements when kit does need replacing.

It's all well and good blaming the state of public finances, but this goes beyond that and its very bad news....
I think that the position of the conservatives being the natural party of the armed forces vapourised last year with the SDSR, not that I see this particular government as being in any way conservative.
However, its easy to forget that the previous government made rock solid commitments to purchase some equipment (carriers etc) with very damaging cancellation clauses, along with total mismanagement of the MOD procurement system. If you are looking for someone to blame it all goes back to a certain G Brown MP.
 
#11
When was the last time the Tories actually were "the natural party of the armed forces "? As I joined it was Options for Change making the headlines, under a Tory government, and they didn't have the excuse of following a Lab "scorched earth" seeing as they had been in Gov for 11 years by then.
 

Mr_Fingerz

LE
Book Reviewer
#12
I think that the position of the conservatives being the natural party of the armed forces vapourised last year with the SDSR, not that I see this particular government as being in any way conservative.
However, its easy to forget that the previous government made rock solid commitments to purchase some equipment (carriers etc) with very damaging cancellation clauses, along with total mismanagement of the MOD procurement system. If you are looking for someone to blame it all goes back to a certain G Brown MP.
I think that you'll find that the notion that the tories are the natural party of the armed forces vapourised in 1981.


Just before the Argentinians decided that Las Islas Malvinas would look really nice as theirs on a re-drawn map of the South Atlantic.

Some lessons are never learned.
 
#13
Now lets sit back and wait to see how much TA shrinks .Most of em are only weekend warrior.Not to denigrate the ex regular who join
 
#16
The TA is due be expanded.
Army Cull As 19,000 Troops Are Set For Chop. The Defence Secretary is expected to announce a major reduction in the size of the Army - shrinking the regular force to its smallest size in 110 years.

Liam Fox will tell MPs that numbers will drop by 19,000 to 82,000 as the military increases its reliance on the reserves.

But following "protracted" discussions with the Treasury, the beleaguered department has secured a rise in the defence equipment budget of 1% year-on-year from 2015 to 2020.

Sources say this will ensure big spending projects will continue to completion, such as the new aircraft carrier and the Joint Strike Fighters it will carry.

It will also put the Ministry of Defence's budget on an even keel for the first time in living memory.

Dr Fox will announce in the Commons that an additional £5bn of uncosted spending has been found in the MoD's budget - on top of the £38bn black hole already identified.

He believes the MoD's finances will be balanced by the end of the decade, bringing to an end years of overspending and financial mismanagement.

But critics will doubtless focus on the size of the cuts to the regular Army and suggest again that strategic decisions are being taken for fiscal reasons.

The Defence Secretary told Sky News the changes are designed to bring the ratio of regular to reserve forces in line with that of international allies.

The United States has 35% of its force strength from reservists, as does Canada.

"In Britain, we have a much bigger ratio of regulars to reserves than other countries and we've seen our reserves, sadly, rundown and neglected in recent years and I want to see that trend reversed," Dr Fox said.

"When we look at countries like the United States and Canada and Australia, where the ratio is very different, I think we should be closer to that kind of position.

"However, if we're going to do that we have to put substantial amounts of resources into the reserves.

"That's money for training, money for equipment and potential re-rolling of the reserves to give them more specifically-defined responsibilities.

"That again would be closer to the experience in other countries and something I want to see."

The changes will mean around 30% of Britain's strength will come from irregular forces.

Additional funding for the reserves is also expected to be announced.

"We're pleased to have come to an agreement with Number 10 to fill the gap", said one senior defence source.

"Following protracted, lengthy discussions with the Treasury we will see the departmental black hole wiped out by 2020.

"This is the first time in the modern age the books will have been balanced."

Mr Fox also said on Sunday it was "offensive" to refer to reserve soldiers as "Dad's Army", insisting they had played a vital role in Afghanistan.

It comes as MPs warned Mr Fox of the perils of a premature withdrawal of British troops from Afghanistan
 
#17
Why don't we all get sent on semi-perminant summer leave? Just tip up for a few weeks to do MATTS and check emails. Then if nothing's going on just bugger off home again.
 
#18
Other than the US Navy, name another that could defeat the RN in a full on, knock down, drag out fight.
Anyone that had an aircraft carrier or conveniently near friendly bit of land to operate from.

On a more serious note.... the last time we started getting a bit cocky like that, the deficiencies in Sea Slug, Sea Wolf, and aluminium skinned vessels were shown up most embarrassingly. Any suggestion that requires self-justification is highly suspect. Example: Cameron's expert statements regarding the Challenger MBT. All well and good until you engage an enemy that still possesses MBTs. Until there is a "mass production anti-tank solution", armour terrorises infantry. Dont say "Apache", as we dont have sufficient Apache, and fighters trump helicopters

All Dave and friends have done since they took over is U-turn after U-turn. I'm not against U-turns in principle - good of politicians to admit they are wrong every so often. But what they have done here is diabolical. They are backtracking on every major staffing cut. Cue the Forces, they KNOW there will be an outcry if they try mass cuts, they know the public will object as HMF can't strike. They want to distance themselves from the accusation that SDSR was budget-driven, so find another bunch of high-ranking officers to produce another strategy document (no doubt all will be on an honours list, or promoted soon), to justify the same result; cut the Forces and try to Defence 'on the cheap' - the justification that for the price of 1 Regular battalion we can have 5 TA is barefaced financially motivated.

Angry.
 
#19
The fact we get as much as we do from the TA is pretty ****ing amazing its done on the
cheap
.
 
#20
The fact we get as much as we do from the TA is pretty ****ing amazing its done on the
cheap
.
You are right, but whilst the TA are good and without them Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq and ISAF would have happened, if we place too much reliance on them we create a serious risk of failure, as they cannot be expected to be at full time readiness.
I think the sensible thing would actually to have a proper defence review, analyse capabilities against ambitions and set National Defence Priorities - I mean does anyone, outside a very small clique, fully understand what the UK National Defence Priorities are? - do we actually have them written down? or are they simply a half mumbled statement of the blindingly obvious? -- Blah Blah .. national interests blah blah.
It really is about time that the Politicos and our senior leadership got their shit in sack over this.
 

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