Is TA still Revelent in 21st Century British Defence policy

Is TA Revelent to the 21st Century UK Defence

  • Yes, it still

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Yest, but major reform is need for today need

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • No, let sack the whole lot

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    0
#1
After a rather interesting discusion on another thread "The Fourth Will Rise Again...RGJ leaving Londons and RRV" and the kind sugestion from Mr McKay.

A question are raise is TA relvelent to modern British defence? as Everyone aware, The TA have been thought a lot of change thoughtout the 100 years of it existence. It is an organisation formed to deal with a major war in Europe when it first start, and it see thought the very kinds of conflict it suppose to deal with Twice in the 20th Century and was the maintain that role thoughtout the Cold War. Since the Cold war, we have been though the SDR, option for change, CCRF and latest use as gap plugging for the regular Army. Which is an expensive options for the government when it done on a regular bases. In the same time a lot of units are facing possible disbandment, manning crisis and low turn-out and recuits diffcultity. And above all what is TA suppose to be after the forcoming cut?Is the current structure which at least in infantry more suit for a mass mobilsation and to fight the world war 3 actually providing the "goods" for the taxpayer?
 
#2
Greyman said:
Which is an expensive options for the government when it done on a regular bases.
Why expensive? Keep 1 regular Sqn/Coy undermanned and then maintain 1 TA Pln/Trp to support them, TA cost is 1/7th of a regular during peacetime or non mobilised periods, how can this be expensive (note I'm excluding the Londons lawyers, solicitors from the equation)

But looking if we consider defending this country, then the TA is far more viable- cut 1 regular Div and get 7 TA Divs in place. The amount of warning we'd get to an attack would allow the TA to get trained up very high standard.

Is the main aim of the army defending this country or enforcing its foreign policy?
 

OldSnowy

LE
Moderator
Book Reviewer
#3
The last round of reforms did for the Infantry in large parts of the UK, and would have done for damned near them all if a strong rear-guard action hadn't been fought.

Whether this was a good thing, I can't say - but face it, apart from the Company on TELIC, it's not Infantry the Regs want or need. (I won't go into this in too much detail, as the rabid Regimentals will be baying for my blood - but note that I was in a County Regiment for longer than almost all posters on this site, and successfully re-roled/traded/cap-badged, along with plenty of other Inf).

I think the balance is still weighted far too heavily towards Infantry, and what we need are more Enablers. I am sure that the next round of FAS(TA)/SDR/Options For Change/Whatever will go a long way to changing things in this direction.

The Army certainly get value for money out of us. We cost very little to train and maintain, provide quiet 2 years postings for Offfrs/SNCOs in a stable environment (i.e. less chance of a Tour) and have shown we can do the business.

So, summing up - TA = good VFM, but there's still too many PBI Units, nad not enough Logisticians.
 
#4
Snowy,

Is it thou, my current corps has mobilised about 50% of the JNCO's but not many else (20% in total) but the Infantry it must be about 33% at least. The TA Inf seem to be the main part of the TA that came back with glowing reports but that may be the nature of the job (u can remember all the AMS bitching on here can't u?)

If back filling is to be the norm in future (and no formed units - unless teeth arms) then we ain't at end stage yet.

p.s. I thought SDR was all about teeth arms doing the back fill roles and support arms forming units???
 
#5
Polar, I think the role of Army thoughout the British history is enforcing foreign policy, defence always left for the Navy & Air force. If the Army are defencing this island, then something must have gone really wrong. And the figure of 1 to 7 between regluar and TA, may I ask where is it from? Also, with the exception of 1968 the British Army are deployed in operation every year since 1945. How the maths for peacetime going to work. Under the current mobilisation regime a £100 per day private is rather common in a few infantry units. And how can we justify paying 1 TA private the wage of 3 regluar one. That haven't include the £40k that his employer can claim from the government! Under-manning again led to problem especaily for the commanders who end up with no experience in doing his job. What the point of having Majors when you only have a platoon of men? And centainly the amount that a mobilisated TA battalion from the South-East and London can easily buy us a full armour division from Poland. Also if the regular army only need men not unit why should we brother with all the regiment and cap badge, why not just turn the TA into a Army training regiment like Pribright or Catterick?

I think Snowy is right to say there is not enough Logisticans, and same is go for medics, engineer and everyone beside the infantry, Gunner & tankee.
 
#6
OldSnowy said:
So, summing up - TA = good VFM, but there's still too many PBI Units, nad not enough Logisticians.
Funny how Chilwell is always wanting more drivers and yet I've been told for that past 'x' (where x is considerably greater than 1) years that there is no money for driver training and that if a TA soldier needs a class 'y' license he will get the appropriate training at RTMC. Marry this up to the UK haulage industry estimates of a shortfall 12,000 C+E drivers (HGV1 in old money) due to the reduction in (regular) military driver training and you have a supply/demand equation that the MOD cannot compete with.

"Cause" and "Effect" two words a staff officer cannot get in the same paper let alone the same paragraph.
 
#7
Greyman's profile says "Occupation: Accountant/Infantry".
Says it all, really. :wink:
 
#8
I dont think the history of the TA stops at WWI. The TA provided formed units for the Boer War and a large percentage of troops deployed to Flanders to reinforce the BEF. I also think the HAC would probably give you a good run for your money in terms of relevance to defence policy over at least a couple of centuries. Citizen forces provided the backbone of this countries defence before there even was a formed army. So the TA, in it's modern form, is merely an extension of that.

21st Century UK Defence policy does not exist in a vacum(?). I think a more relevant question following from that is - Is UK Defence Policy relevant in the 21st Century? You have only to see from the contents of all the threads on this site what a wide difference of opinion there is around that issue.

There also seems to be an implication that TA solidiers get something for nothing. I certainly feel that after 18 years my account is just about even and I am sure a lot feel the same.

I would agree that there is room for reform. Yes maybe more loggies, technicians and the like, but people still want to join teeth arms, so how do you cater for them?

As to the expense. Well what does your average nuclear sub cost? Why continue to spend billions on something we never intend to use? What about the massive expense on government consultants and overseas aid (that never reaches those truly in need)?

I think the TA is a pretty good value for money organisation that punches well above it's weight and is criminally undervalued by this country. But hey that is only my opinion.
 
#9
Someone mentioned the C (Chilwell) word. Chilwell is to the TA what Glasgow is to the Regulars (though as a Territorial I get more sense out of Glasgow). Chilwell has been trying to set itself up as the experts on the TA, when in reality it was unable to successfully mobilise the troops for Telic 1 and look after them.
 
#10
TA = VFM.

end of story.

try being a TA CO and then compare that to the cost of a regular CO.

TA CO = MTDs

Regular CO = private school for the kids, domestic assistance to assist wifey, free accommodation, staff car on constant call, loads of claims, etc etc bl**dy etc.

Oh, and they both have the same liability and command.

...........don't start me on this one.
 
#11
stab said:
TA = VFM.

end of story.

try being a TA CO and then compare that to the cost of a regular CO.

TA CO = MTDs

Regular CO = private school for the kids, domestic assistance to assist wifey, free accommodation, staff car on constant call, loads of claims, etc etc bl**dy etc.

Oh, and they both have the same liability and command.

...........don't start me on this one.
and..................from another thread - draw your own conclusions.

'A regular CO is sent trained soldiers from a slick and well tried trg org within the wider Army. His job is to use their skills to best effect in pusuit of his mission, retain them and their interest, and keep the Regiment on the straight and narrow. He has a well established command structure that is available 24/7 and he doesn't have another job.

A TA CO has to advertise, engage, retain, recruit, retain, attest, retain, train, retain, trade train, retain, then use their skills to best effect in pusuit of his mission, retain them and their interest, and keep the Regiment on the straight and narrow. He does not have a well established command structure, only small elements of which are available 24/7 (assuming their mobiles are switched on), and he has another job.'
 
#12
And that is so ture that people still want to join the teeth arm while the nations need is not, and many of those are actually more experts in other areas and can contribute more to the forces then being man with a rifle. So isn't it back to the issue that it is a taxpayer funded hobby that like our nuclear sub that one day may be useful to the nation (And mine come a couple years ago).

A citizen force that debateable given that we are queen subjects to start with. And is a citizen force/militia/voluteener organisation serve the defence & foriegn policy requirement? or would it be better done by a full time force that can be always deploy in short-notice. And would the employment of foriegn troops such as Gurkha, Fujian, Romanian etc be more economical and less disruptive? Isn't it that the bulk of the British Army in India were sepoy?

The massive expense on consultants that is criminal, especial the amount MOD have spend on it instead of soldiers and equipment.
 
#13
Greyman said:
Isn't it that the bulk of the British Army in India were sepoy?
No, the vast majority of the British Army in India were British and Irish. You are thinking of the Indian Army, which still had a sizeable contingent of European troops.
 
#14
No longer in the Army at all, and Ex Reg and TA, so no axe to grind.

This thread poses the bonest question I have heard in a long time.

What proportion of the TA have been deployed on operations in the 21st century?

A far bigger proportion than Regular soldiers have been deployed for long periods in the past. To suppose there is no role for the TA is like presuming we don;t need a Regular Army if we are not at war.

Sure that size and shape will change, it always has, but fundementally the cheapest reserve forces are the ones you either don't pay or those you pay only for a limited amount of hours.
 
#15
Is there a need for Britain to maintain a reserve of part trained soldiers?

If the answer is no, you have more confidence in this Governments ability to seek political solutions than I do.
 
#16
No need for the TA or reserve?
The answer to that has got to be yes, or at least in certain areas and trades, a good example of this is OP Telic 1 to 3 mobilisation for the AGC. Of the available man power from the AGC(V) the following had been mobilised and was either on tour or had completed a tour:

AGC(SPS) 60%
AGC(RMP) 75%
AGC(MPS) 100%
AGC(ALS) 75%

From a provost point of view during Telic 2 over 50% of the manpower in theatre was reserve. If the TA is not needed who is going to make up the shortfall required for Ops? I can't see Mr Brown putting his hand in his pocket for more regulars and I can't see 'tall tales' Tony refusing to back up Bush whenever he asks for help.
The TA provides value for money and important skill sets on Ops, Telic has proved this time and time again. The down side however is the reserve in its current for is not a bottomless pit of manpower and civvi employers are not going to put up with thier workforce having 9 months leave every couple of years just to keep the goverment happy. If anything they need to increase the size of the TA and train the guys to the standards required for thier trade regardless of corps or regiment. If the TA is going to be used on Ops, great. But spend some money and make sure they are trained to do the job they are expected to do.
 
#17
I suppose, I have ask the wrong question then.

The right question should have been whether current TA structure, organisation & training meeting the current defence need?
 
#18
Greyman said:
And that is so ture that people still want to join the teeth arm while the nations need is not, and many of those are actually more experts in other areas and can contribute more to the forces then being man with a rifle.
Yes very very true but who'd want to do it? A sizeable number on this site started and got hooked on the TA in the Infantry, if they couldn't do that would they still be in?

Not sure where I got the 1/7th figure from but I think it was being used during SDR during the attempt the save the TA Infantry units. I think the maths works out as a huge TA (3+ Corps) could meet the current operational requirement but would only be slightly cheaper but during peace its far cheaper (and wouldn't be as well trained).
 
#19
polar said:
Greyman said:
And that is so ture that people still want to join the teeth arm while the nations need is not, and many of those are actually more experts in other areas and can contribute more to the forces then being man with a rifle.
Yes very very true but who'd want to do it? A sizeable number on this site started and got hooked on the TA in the Infantry, if they couldn't do that would they still be in?

Not sure where I got the 1/7th figure from but I think it was being used during SDR during the attempt the save the TA Infantry units. I think the maths works out as a huge TA (3+ Corps) could meet the current operational requirement but would only be slightly cheaper but during peace its far cheaper (and wouldn't be as well trained).
The right question should have been whether current TA structure, organisation & training meeting the current defence need?



No - of course not and this has been the tenet of a number of my recent posts.

The point is though whether the current rebalancing proposals are the answer. I would suggest not.

My main concern is one of culture. The detail will always get in the way of a good argument but I see it as this:

Up until GW2, the TA were regarded by the regular army as a ‘nice to have’ but in no way essential. That created a culture of empathy and moral support but at no time were the resources available from the TA included in planning or resourcing the Regular Army. Not least because the regular force was still big enough to sustain it’s various operations. RFA 96 came along as a knee jerk from GW1 to allow the regulars to call-up as and when dire shortages of specialists were identified but it was always regarded as a last ditch effort and thus the legislation was clumsy and inadequate. Still, it convinced the powers at be that there was a safety valve available if the sh*t hit the fan.

In the last five years, the Army has shrunk to 102,000 whilst at the same time re-organising to accommodate the changing threat and the demands of PSO. GW2 comes along and against their better judgement, they are forced to call up and rely on the TA. Initially expecting it to be difficult to integrate TA units and personnel, they soon realised that with a bit of beat-up training, the TA soldiers brought enthusiasm, ability, additional talent and at the end of the day, fitted in rather well. They still couldn’t get their heads around formed units but IRs were a roaring success. Suddenly, in a blinding flash, the capability presented by the TA became all to clear. No longer were we viewed as a vague pain in the arrse, but a real source of ongoing reinforcement. Options opened up that had never been thought of, shortages in regular pinch trades and numbers suddenly evaporated, and the future looked bright.

However, there was a flaw. Whilst the TA soldier was capable of being an IR, there were doubts over availability, speed of response, fitness and medical health generally, and consistency of support in the long term. But worse, there was a major concern…..wait for it…….the Regular Army didn’t control the TA!. The TA did. Bad news.

So, when the opportunity to change the status quo came along (FAS), they grasped it with open arms. Here was a legitimate basis for re-organising the TA to achieve the regular aims. Thus we have rebalancing. The believe that TA needs to be trained to mobilise, that the legislation is being changed on the quiet (see various enhancements to pay and employer compensation), and as such, the whole culture of the TA is to be irrevocably altered focused entirely as a conduit to deliver IRs on an ongoing basis. We are to become a glorified IR delivery organisation with the sole aim of aligning the TA soldier as closely to his regular counterpart as possible to achieve a one for one swap as required.

So, organisations need to be changed, mission and aims need to change, Fitness needs to change (see TA Fitness Policy in draft), in fact everything is to change in order to facilitate the Regular view. In doing so they have, in totality, ignored the very essence of the beast. We joined not to mobilise but to learn a new skill, do something different, and meet new people. As I stated in the TA Manning thread:

What they (the MOD et al) fail to recognise is that despite the draughty drill halls with inadequate facilities, despite the passed over Trg Major, and the old vehicles, the regulars would come and go whilst the long term TA attenders would prevail. The esprit de corps and loyalty to the Sqn/unit and their mates would ensure that the tradition and momentum of the unit was always safe. The TA attended not because of pensions, mobilisation opportunities or pay as such - they came in because they belonged to something of which they were proud and wanted to be part of it on an ongoing basis. There were highs and lows but overall, it was fun and rewarding.

This is not what we are now facing. The TA will be very different in future. People will join in the expectation that they will be mobilised. Promotion may depend on having completed an operational tour. The whole tone will be one of preparation of IRs and their deployment. It is the concern about the lack of potential IRs that is driving the various recruiting initiatives – not a wider concern about manning.

They have missed the point that we don’t need to do it – we have to want to do it. If the only focus is being mobilised then only people who want to be mobilised will join and stay. Over time, we will lose the old and bold, the experienced and the motivators. The movers and shakers will flit leaving only the Fit for Deployment (FFD) cadre.

The question is whether the new proposals will facilitate a culture of mutual support and fun that we have enjoyed over the last 25 years that, after all, created the 20,000+ IRs that they have already taken in the last 4 years and fostered retention

It wasn’t broke but they are fixing it anyway.

Time will tell whether rebalancing has crossed the Rubicon and lost the very essence of the TA, lost the very glue that stuck it together.
 
#20
May be the end-product from the FAS is that the TA aren't going to be TA anymore, but body of soldiers employed on part-time and temporary contact similiar to what you got in civic street. I recalled that was one senior officers (above the Regimental level) once mention that idea about 2 years ago.
Or may be the nation should re-introduct National service to man this beast that going to be created?
Also in such case what is the incentive for Regluar soldiers stay in the regluar army, or even more radical though, do away the majority of the Regluar Army and employ soldiers on part-time base with a few exception like SF and Senior Officers?
 

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