Interesting comments on Reserve forces

#1
If you download 'Sitrep 2107' from here and have a listen to BFBS's weekly Sitrep programme when you get to about 20 mins 30 secs in there's a 5 min slot about some of the issues facing Reserves at the moment: many of the comments echoing what we often read on here.

The whole programme is 30 mins long and is quite interesting in a background-while-you-do-something-else sort of way.

S64
 
#2
For those of you that can't be ARRSEd to wait 20'30" here is a rough transcript:

"Sitrep is BFBS Radio 2's weekly defence magazine. Presented by Christopher Lee, it offers strategic insight into the world's defence and geopolitical issues.

Sitrep airs every Thursday, live on BFBS Radio 2, 4.30pm UK time."

Christopher Lee: Much of the manpower in the US and UK comes through the reserves, including the volunteer reserve. Well a Commons report this week says that the supply to all three services is in the process of drying up.

Well the Defence Editor to the Times is Michael Evans: Michael I hadn’t realised that 20% of UK force in Iraq is made up of UK reservists that’s quite a lot isn’t it?

Michael Evans: I think it is I think the involvement of the reserves the TA in particular in recent years has really gone up quite a lot, and I think their role as increased considerably in certain specific areas; medical is one of then, and I think they are feeling the strain you know they go for 6 months sometimes a little longer. They struggle to get back into civilian life and then are requested again rather like regular forces to fill up the gaps this time it maybe in Afghanistan or could be the Balkans whatever.

CL: Yes I was talking to someone in the TA t’other week who said ‘one of the problems that is happening is that we actually now don’t go out as a TA Bn or Unit we are going out individually’ to say as you put it ‘fill up the gaps’.

ME: I think what they thought one of the promised from the government when they restructured the Army was that the TA would have a more of a formed role that they wouldn’t just go out to these operational missions filling out gaps they would go out as sort of specific unit that doesn’t mean you know a large Bn sized units but they would go out in reasonable good sized units. Now although this has happened, one or two units have gone out with a decent size I think the vast majority have really gone out in dribs and drabs Plt size Coy size whatever to help fill out the regular forces. Although it gets them lots of experience it is not exactly what they had in mind.

CL: I wonder if a modern civilian or the modern army can expect a civilian to hold down a job in civilian street as well as being in the TA?

ME: I think it is incredibly difficult, when you’ve got a situation that we have today with two major operations. To expect someone in a civilian job to hold down his job to keep his job, particularly if he is running his own business, for example, disappears for 6 months comes back, find things all over the place I think it is incredibly difficult.

And incidentally, there are quite a number of employers; I mean there are a lot of employers that are really good about these sorts of things, but there are quite a lot of employers who don’t like, and don’t really support, having there employees whisking off for 6 months it doesn’t go down at all well. These guys come back and find it very difficult to get their jobs back.

CL: Yes and the promotion thing, as well, and it also for the first time or so it would seem that there are those employers who quite frankly don’t actually sign up for the Iraq conflict politically, and therefore are less likely to be happy about their employees going off into the reserves.

ME: Yes I mean it is difficult to, you know; pinpoint a lot of evidence of that. I would find it amazing if it wasn’t true, I mean everyone has a view about Iraq in this country, I should have thought, and if you’re a reasonably substantial employer, I’m sure you would have your own views about this but I doubt there is a huge amount of evidence that employers are saying ‘we don’t like Iraq war business so we are not going to allow our employees to go’ I just don’t think they like experienced employees disappearing for 6 months.

CL: But something like, I can’t remember, there are about 34,000 volunteer reservists all together 30,000 or something like that are TA, where are they going to come from because the figures are going down all the time?

ME: When you think it wasn’t that long ago when the TA was 59,000 and the government decided that that was too much and they would reduced it to 40 odd thousand. Well here we are now talking about 32 or 34 thousand and it’s slipping, I mean it’s, you know, it is dropping every year so it is getting smaller and smaller. No your right I thing it is going to be increasingly difficult for the government to be able to rely on these guys, who are really doing an amazing job, I mean holding down two job and going out to these dangerous missions and doing a really good job and, you know, I don’t know how much longer they can continue doing that.

CL: Right Michael Evans of the Times thank you very much indeed.
HTH

Nishka
 
#4
I wonder if I'm included in that 30,750 figure...

I retired from the Regs on 31 Mar 07. Been to see my new TA unit on 24 Feb 07 and been verbally accepted but still waiting on APC/DVA paperwork/clearance!!!!!

I'm starting to wonder if it is worth doing this TA thing at all!

TZA
 
#5
TangoZeroAlpha said:
I wonder if I'm included in that 30,750 figure...

I retired from the Regs on 31 Mar. Been to see my new TA unit in Feb and been verbally accepted but still waiting on APC/DVA paperwork/clearance!!!!!

I'm starting to wonder if it is worth doing this TA thing at all!

TZA
Ah well, it's up from 6 months ago. Hang on in there, you too could be on Herrick shortly.
 
#6
TangoZeroAlpha said:
I wonder if I'm included in that 30,750 figure...

I retired from the Regs on 31 Mar 07. Been to see my new TA unit on 24 Feb 07 and been verbally accepted but still waiting on APC/DVA paperwork/clearance!!!!!

I'm starting to wonder if it is worth doing this TA thing at all!

TZA
Eerrrr....no,.Its embarrassing. Bit like watching a corny shitty film at the moment.Minus the happy ending! :)

Bull**** baffles mind's.
 

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