Int Corps (V) annual camp

#1
A fun two weeks in Norn Iron or a top heavy jamboree?

I thought the whole idea of the 3/5 split was that we didn't have to associate with the Lahndeners any more.
 
#2
Hairy_Maclary said:
A fun two weeks in Norn Iron or a top heavy jamboree?

I thought the whole idea of the 3/5 split was that we didn't have to associate with the Lahndeners any more.
Doesn't 5 still have an outpost of Lahndeners, cor blimey?
 
#3
Look, it's the Int Corps (V) and that means that annual camp is shit. It's about the only tradition we have. My advice ? - do whatever you have to, sleep with whoever you have to, but get a camp doing something else.

Besides, having turned one understrength Bn into two very, very understrength Bns running separate camps would border on the farcical.
 
#4
Last time 3 (V) MI Bn went to an island they started digging up the camp site for bodies a few years later (Haute de la Garenne (Sic and sick))...
 
#5
So when did One_of_the_strange actually last go to an Annual Camp? There were faults, cock-ups and mistakes without a doubt, but there was a huge amount of effort put into the whole shebang, and with the resources available I owuld challenge you to do any better.

A bit of constructive criticism, please. What would YOU do to improve it?
 
#6
Simple. More resources. Only that's not going to happen, and the regs are in the same boat as we are - One Army in action. Hence my advice to do something more worthwhile. Luckily our capbadge means we can do stuff others can only dream of, if there's a better range of opportunities open to anyone I'd be surprised.

You've also illustrated nicely why criticism is seldom heard. No-one is having a go at the individuals concerned and their work level, but any whiff of criticism and the AGAI bus can be heard revving up from the next county as people take things personally, cue everyone diving for cover and people just vote with their feet. There's a reason it was made compulsory to attend one every three years you know ....
 
#7
I didn't hear any AGAI bus being started up. I am quite sure that all of the individuals concerned can take an amount of criticism.

Your reply simply reinforces my point, however. So far we have had:

It's Annual Camp run by the Int Corps (V) so it is shit

Throw more resources at it

Our cap-badge could do things "others could only dream of."

So be constructive. What are these other things that others could only dream of? How do we allocate resources more effectively or obtain more? It seems that Int Corps (V) personnel were trained in skills relevant to their potential deployments and practised in the skills required to turn Info into Int. There were holes; there were gaps; there were mistakes. The personnel present are being trained to mobilise and deploy, and those doing much of the training are mates of the people with whom the Int Corps (V) will deploy - so if things can be done better I'm sure that they want to know. "It was shit" doesn't really help.
 
#8
Enlightenment said:
So when did One_of_the_strange actually last go to an Annual Camp? There were faults, c***-ups and mistakes without a doubt, but there was a huge amount of effort put into the whole shebang, and with the resources available I owuld challenge you to do any better.

A bit of constructive criticism, please. What would YOU do to improve it?
Hopefully being constructive - One option would be for 3 and 5 MI Bns to scope 2 MI Bn's twice yearly PDT to evaluate how they are training their troops. 2 MI Bn, with difficulty, secure resources, instructors and trg areas and continue to deliver troops appropriately trained and fit for task.

Suggestion - Liaise with 2 MI Bn. Do they have the capacity to train additional soldiers? What reciprocal instructor/range staff/DS/OPFOR/Linguistic support would this potentially require? Could 3 and 5 meet this?

Ball back in your court - 2 MI Bn seem to be doing their day job and preparing troops for deployment quite nicely.
 
#9
I have a better idea. I'll dodge it again and avoid being told at length how it's not a decade's worth of underfunding of Defence that's the problem, it's me. I'll do something that benefits the Corps and my skills and that I actually enjoy. I'll avoid the whole "we have an Annual Camp because we always have an Annual Camp" self licking lollipop. (By the way, I can take advantage of the exceptionally good opportunities offered to us because I go and talk to the PSI every now and again and read my emails.)

Besides, everyone concerned knows exactly what we need -
Equipment issues so we can train as we fight;
100% manning;
Full complement of instructors.

But the regs don't have that and neither do we. But hey. no doubt recruiting is my fault too as I can't think of a way to counteract the incompatibility of TA demands with most employers and the whole two really unpopular wars thing.

Still, wait another five years and we'll probably doing something completely different. I hope it's Russia again, I was good at that whole operational art thingy.
 
#10
One_of_the_strange said:
I have a better idea. I'll dodge it again and avoid being told at length how it's not a decade's worth of underfunding of Defence that's the problem, it's me. I'll do something that benefits the Corps and my skills and that I actually enjoy. I'll avoid the whole "we have an Annual Camp because we always have an Annual Camp" self licking lollipop. (By the way, I can take advantage of the exceptionally good opportunities offered to us because I go and talk to the PSI every now and again and read my emails.)

Besides, everyone concerned knows exactly what we need -
Equipment issues so we can train as we fight;
100% manning;
Full complement of instructors.

But the regs don't have that and neither do we. But hey. no doubt recruiting is my fault too as I can't think of a way to counteract the incompatibility of TA demands with most employers and the whole two really unpopular wars thing.

Still, wait another five years and we'll probably doing something completely different. I hope it's Russia again, I was good at that whole operational art thingy.
Possibly time to leave then??
 
#11
pointyhead said:
One_of_the_strange said:
Old man rant snipped.
Possibly time to leave then??
Why ? Because I want to do something that improves my skills and that I enjoy rather than two weeks of amateur hour hell ? Well, a bit harsh that one, perhaps ill-equipped mostly untrained learning as we go but changing all the faces so we do the same next year hell is nearer the mark. I'm too old to think that 10/10 for effort and enthusiasm makes the sucky bits not suck.

One last thing, if you think that camp is the pinnacle of your TA career in terms of skills, operational training and relevance to ongoing ops ... you have failed. Join the rest of us for something fun, go on, you know you want to.
 
#12
One_of_the_strange said:
pointyhead said:
One_of_the_strange said:
Old man rant snipped.
Possibly time to leave then??
Why ? Because I want to do something that improves my skills and that I enjoy rather than two weeks of amateur hour hell ? Well, a bit harsh that one, perhaps ill-equipped mostly untrained learning as we go but changing all the faces so we do the same next year hell is nearer the mark. I'm too old to think that 10/10 for effort and enthusiasm makes the sucky bits not suck.

One last thing, if you think that camp is the pinnacle of your TA career in terms of skills, operational training and relevance to ongoing ops ... you have failed. Join the rest of us for something fun, go on, you know you want to.
But it comes back to the point made above - if you don't attend how can you make constructive critiscism that will help improve the camp? If 2 MI Bn are getting their trg within resources so can the TA - it takes imagination - something I know they have despite rumour to the contrary. Possible as one who clearly has had soooo much fun and experience with the firm in other ways, why are you not contributing instead of whinging? :roll:
 
#13
The whole "we always have an Annual Camp" thing is laid down for a good reason, (and it would be above the heads of TA Int Corps Bns to decide not to have one) it allows personnel to meet each other and get an idea of working with each other - esprit-de-corps is an element of the morale component - and is important. As for the idea that One-of-the Strange is being told that it is all his fault - well there are issues from either the person saying it - or from O-O-T-S.

Twinning up with the regular Bns is already done - they all prepare their troops well - but there ain't the slack to do the TA as well. The training delivered on this camp was of a very high stndard, and constant bitching about Annual Camp ALWAYS being S*** (OK I'll edit meself - sorry!) is simply reinforcing a stereotype which is not helping the excellent younger generation who are now joining the TA.

The attitude of dismissal is - what was the phrase - "a self licking lollipop" - if you decide it will be rubbish, you get nothing from it. Nobody is blaming you for anything - your intensely negative attitude is damaging to those who feel that things ought to be improved however, and discourages those who are not as senior as you from attending what is actually excellent training. It may not be the pinnacle - but if you do not have the sense of identity to attend once in a while, are you of any use to a formation.

You keep alluding to more fun, more operational experience, opportunities others can only dream of - you need to be a little more explicit. I reitertae - WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE DONE ON ANNUAL CAMP?
 
#14
Look, how is going on camp to train to do a job better than getting an attachment to do the job for real ? That's what I push juniors towards; that and the foreign exchanges we run, the excellent trade courses available (basic and specialist), instructors quals and so on. In my view no other cap badge gets the same opportunities as us.

Besides, you'll find that the juniors think it's bonk as well. We lose so very many of them post tour these days, and some of it is down to the fact that we cannot - for well understood and perfectly valid budgetary reasons - train them as they fought in theatre. Just browse a few threads in the TA forum on this subject, it is a TA wide problem. And those that do try as you suggest soon get disillusioned. Cpl X gets back after spending six months using software package Y; tries to set up some training, and finds out that:
No IT available;
No software licences available;
No money to buy either of the above.
Then he goes to camp and gets to do everything the old-fashioned way.

Train as we fight ? Not a bloody chance. So in my view the key to retention is getting the lads and lasses off to stuff they feel is worthwhile and fun. And retention is key, the current lack is killing us.

As to why we have an Annual Camp at all ? I have no idea. As a Corps we deploy in small numbers all over the place, work with soldiers from other capbadges and radically different backgrounds - not all pile out to the middle of nowhere in one big homogenous lump for a love-in.
 
#15
One_of_the_strange said:
Train as we fight ? Not a bloody chance. So in my view the key to retention is getting the lads and lasses off to stuff they feel is worthwhile and fun. And retention is key, the current lack is killing us.
Volunteer for an op tour then...
 
#16
O-O-T-S has some valid points about the nature of training conducted by the TA on Annual Camp - I would maintain however that the training conducted was as good (resourcing constraints permitting) as much of the training supplied by regular Bns.

Nobody gets to train on the most important piece of software that is then used on Operations - namely a full Int database - because, unbelievably, we don't have a centralised deployable database. (this is for another thread: Moving the Int Corps into the late 20th Century. How to proceed?),

Surely the important point is to give as much experience of the processes and procedures used as possible in an attempt to take some of the surprises out of deployment when it comes. You won't get an attachment to "do the job for real." A 15 day CQE attachment may well be instructive, may well be interesting and demanding, may well be useful - but a TA soldier MUST do exercises that will train and test the basic knowledge of the Int bike, the principles and staff work associated with it. The attachment that will achieve this is a rare thing indeed. Trade courses, absolutely, must be done. Instructors quals ditto. None of these things will give the practice of applying what is learned; fostering esprit-de-corps; exercising trade skills; reinforcing basic skills; pushing trade skills past the limitations of OPMI-1 with 24 hour mentoring and guidance.

Maybe it is a bit of audience self-selection; but I disagree fundamentally with what you say about Juniors thinking it is bonk. They are generally much more positive and constructive, realise that there were mistakes which can be learned from and points to take away, but also that there were many opportunities to learn, improve and practice.
 
#17
I'm fed up with watching juniors come back off ops, complain that we're not even in the same book, let alone on the same page in terms of training and leave. If I went to Annual Camp I'd feel the same way. My advice to them is always to do the sort of stuff that will make them stay. But don't believe me, look at retention rates post tour. Something isn't working, and unless they're all lying to me camp is part of the problem.

As for "You won't get an attachment to "do the job for real." " then you're just plain wrong. Or someone so crap you're not pointed that way, or maybe just someone who has an awful lot to learn. I hope the latter.
 
#18
One_of_the_strange said:
I'm fed up with watching juniors come back off ops, complain that we're not even in the same book, let alone on the same page in terms of training and leave.
I think you've answered you're own question. They deploy on Ops with the Regular Army and then return to your care and sign off??

Enough said............
 
#20
Strange,

If you are so right and have the statistical evidence (rather than just selective hearsay from a small group) have the balls to get down on paper in a coherent form and provide proper solutions. You are obviously senior enough to hold some sway with the juniors - instead of gobbing off in front of them have the courage of you convictions and voice your concerns to the CO (ask for an interview). You seem to have nothing to loose - you are probably not fussed about promotion and have a 'proper job'. You might be suprised by the reaction of the hierarchy if you approach the issue in an adult manner.

Many soldiers leave after op tours simply because they have acheived what the want to do in the Army - go to war and test themselves in that environment, others to concentrate on their civy careers for a while. Putting the outflow down to being pi@sed off with camp is bearly credible. Any decent PSI (and you have a few) will be tapping the operational experience of returned troops and using them for the training at the TA Centre as well as contributing to camp. As for the IT issue - get a life - it is a tool to assist intelligenc analysis. We will not always be on ops where we can plug in. To be frank learning to do the cycle, IPB etc on a fag packet and no budget is better training in today's financial climate (Hell the government will not give HM a few bob to fix a leaking roof, what hope do we have in a run up to an election?).

You are a stuck record - get a new audio device and compile a decent track for the collective IPOD.
 

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