Is the Army as overstretched as Des Browne?

Discussion in 'The Intelligence Cell' started by drabolive, Jul 3, 2007.

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  1. It's one of his 'Scottish' days

  2. He's embarrased by his 'stretched but not overstretched' chat

  1. Big(ish) splash in the media regarding the parliamentary committee's findings that the forces are overstretched and undermanned.

    No need for the Secratary of State to bother to respond, he's got a Twigg to do all the PR stuff on this one.

    So where is Des?
  2. Is he asleep in an important briefing? Or was that buff-Hoon?
  3. The Twigg response:

    The Committee of Public Accounts is appointed by the House of Commons to examine "the accounts showing the appropriation of the sums granted by Parliament to meet the public expenditure, and of such other accounts laid before Parliament as the committee may think fit".

    The latest report identifies a number of conclusions and recommendations. These include shortfalls of personnel in all three Services, an increasing frequency of deployments on overseas operations and time away from home all being factors causing people to leave the Armed Forces. The report also suggests that there are indicators of overstretch in specific areas, such as the severe shortfalls in personnel in some specialist trades.

    In addition the report highlights that recruitment in some areas has improved in 2006-07, that operational deployments are a positive factor for some and that the MOD has not dropped its overall standards of entry to the Armed Forces.

    Responding to the report Mr Twigg said:

    "We welcome the Public Accounts Committee report and will look at the recommendations and respond to them fully in due course. We will consider the report carefully, however, there are a number of points that I want to make in advance of a more detailed response.

    "The Government recognises that the current high tempo of operations is putting pressure on our people, but they are responding magnificently and I thank them for that. Since this Committee heard evidence last November, the Chief of Defence Staff himself has said that the Armed Forces are very stretched but can sustain what they are currently doing. With the drawdown of troops in Bosnia, Northern Ireland and the reductions already made possible in Iraq, some of the pressure should soon start to ease.

    "I accept that there are manning challenges and shortages in some specific areas, but we are taking action. We have a Service Personnel Plan to deal with key issues affecting recruitment and retention, and we are adjusting our policies accordingly.

    "The significant steps we have taken include the recently increased Operational Bonus of £2,320, the pay rise of 9.2 per cent for junior ranks - the biggest rise in the public sector, Financial Retention Initiatives, and the Rebalancing Lives Schemes, all of which seek to improve working lives and help us recruit the right people. I am committed to ensuring our efforts in these areas will result in future improvements in recruitment and retention.

    "Recent independently verified manning statistics show that recruitment into the Armed Forces remains strong against a buoyant economy, particularly for the Army Infantry. The latest Army figures show a 12 per cent increase in Army recruits since last year. The National Audit Office report last year highlighted that the Armed Forces have recruited 98% of their target since 2000."

    The report suggests that numbers leaving early have risen for the past two years and are now at a ten-year peak for Army and RAF officers and RAF other ranks. This is not correct. It is fair to say that the number of RAF officers leaving is up by 0.1 %. However Army officers and RAF other ranks early leavers are actually down on the peak position of December 2005.

    "It is not the case that there are increasing shortages of personnel," Mr Twigg continued. "In 1997 there was a 4.2% shortage compared with today's figure of 3%. It is also inaccurate to say that more people are leaving and that we are experiencing a 'peak' in outflow. The number of people leaving has remained broadly stable and compares favourably with the retention rates in the public and private sector.

    "It's important to recognise that future restructuring plans aim to deliver improved capability and flexibility in our Armed Forces and will mean that we need fewer people. We are working hard to ensure that current or improved rates of recruitment and retention will meet future requirements.

    "Our Armed Forces have magnificently risen to the challenge. I want to re-emphasise that the Government is committed to listening to our people, responding to their concerns and recognising and rewarding their considerable talents and efforts."

    I have highlighted some text in blod because it confuses me.

    We have been recruting at 98% of our requirement since 2000. So for 7 years in a row we have recuited 2% less people than we need: isn't there some kind of compound interest rate thing going on here?

    He says that figures for Army and RAF Officers are wrong, but then agrees that figures have risen for RAF officers.

    Is it prudent (to use a Boonism) to issue in the response that the Armed Forces will need fewer people? Is that really the message he wants to get out?

    Sorry, but couldn't see the smoke and mirrors for all the smoke. They must be using red phos at Main Building now.
  4. And wtf is a 'Rebalancing Lives Scheme'? Something for MB civil servants only I suspect.
  5. I would hazard a guess that this is utter bollox.
    Pay rise is good if you are Pte buttfcuk but if you are an experienced Jnco/Snco/WO then your fcuked dont even think i noticed my pay rise this year what with everything else going up in sequence as it does with the pay rise.
    Spouting that sh1te about the shortfall of numbers compared to 1997 is a good line, doesnt seem that bad, but then you only have to look at the units that have been scrapped and reshuffled etc. to see that it is a complete and utter load of w4nk as army is a bit smaller so doesnt seem so bad now with the losses we have.
  6. Is that were we get our social lives rebalanced into operational deployments?
  7. Ah, yes, the FRI. Don't recall ever recieving any of those in my time. Perhaps they only work for those that actually get them and have the opposite effect on those that don't (the majority).

  8. Twigg has said "I want to re-emphasise that the Government is committed to listening to our people, responding to their concerns and recognising and rewarding their considerable talents and efforts"

    But he didn't mention that the government commitment to listen is only a part time one - clearly the Forces concerns will have to be deconflicted with those of the Scottish. Perhaps the scottish regiments could get a half day out of Des when he's on a Scottish day!
  9. You mention the 'Army' and 'Des Brown' in the same sentence. How very fecking dare you!!

    Saturday's Times assessed Brooon's Cabinet, describing our Des as :

    Limited. Slow. Wooly. Boring/ safe. Unadventurous. Self-satisfied/loyal, under the general headings of Intellectual Capacity, External Appearance and Effect.
  10. i think that might be those 3000 quid self-rebalancing chairs..sorry leather spinal comforting devices that Main Bdg bought in!!!
  11. During PMQ's a tory backbencher ask weather the PM thought that the appointment of a Sec of Defence was as a part time job! The only one who seemed surprised at the answer of no was Des. FAF, a quality piece of camara work
  12. I thought that there was only the one left. Half a day ought to be sufficient, then...