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IST or ISnT it working?

No they don't is another simple answer :)

That's not to say the IST members don't work, it's the concept that doesn't.

How can an undermanned REME Bn provide effective support to an undermanned LAD? It isn't rocket science.

The fact that REME Bns spend more time being 'trained to support' than they do 'supporting the training' means that they can give an excellent combat estimate and patrol like Infanteers but can't actually fix broke stuff.

But I am an old cynic, so don't listen to me....
The Corps is in serious sh!t with undermanning, sorry - understaffing for the PC amonst us... 24% understaffed, or 76% effective. Re-organise by all means, but for fcuck's sake sort out the recruitment!
Have to agree with Nige on this one, no they don't work,

The concepet was that they would help LAD's and reduce bottle-necks, the LAD I was with asked for some VM's to help get ready for a range period, and we had to specify each individual task pack-lift etc or we didn't get the help and if it was a task that didn't have any training value, again we got turned down. I can sympathise with the Bn's because they got stiffed a bit by absorbing all the gapped post's from first line, but some Bn CO's are missing the point and trying to turn the Bn into the SAS, rather than helping out the first line units. What also hasn't happend quick enough is WFM units are still full of kit without the manpower to repair it. Get the troops back to first line where they want to be and were they can have the most effect.

Well thats my opinion
Spot on Nige.

The REME tradesmen from 2nd Line are busy writing Fragos and warning orders and not working on equipment.

They are good at the 'conceptual' but have lost the 'practical'.

JNCO's doing the 7 questions before they fart mate. What is that about ?

Too many ex-DCOS in command I think
I agree its gone pete tong, Ive just supplied a reverse IST to a Bn as they dont have the tradesmen qualified to inspect MBTs????? whats that all about then??
Nige said:
No they don't is another simple answer :)

The fact that REME Bns spend more time being 'trained to support' than they do 'supporting the training' means that they can give an excellent combat estimate and patrol like Infanteers but can't actually fix broke stuff.

But I am an old cynic, so don't listen to me....
Not so Nige, I have had the pleasure of nearly 6 years in Bn's and can honestly say that apart from the yearly battle camps Inf Ex's etc were way down on the "to do" list.

Now if you were to mention demo's, displays and recruiting fairs.....
Are we asking too much of our second line tradesmen?

ISTs can be a great help to first line - they may not be as immediately up to speed with the kit as the Fitter Section they are supporting (which is just a familiarity issue) but it means that capability can be put where it is needed (this is what the rest of the Army has called TaskOrging for many years). First line will only ever have a "limited" (time, resources) capability.

What about nights out of bed? Are the ISTs being pulled in too many different directions? This is my concern - if IST follows Ex follows IST, are they working harder than the units they are supporting? If so, should this mean more rebalancing or less? Answers on a postcard...
Got to wade in on the side of linking ISTs. I have used them extensively, in barracks and on ops. Highly useful, and they supported us well.

I feel that sometimes we misunderstand the "Soldier First" mentality - talking of Inf Ex's etc. There is always the need to have our fighting skills practised - but you've got to retain a sense of perspective - we aren't infantry, but we must be able to defend ourselves robustly.

As for the whole IST/Rebalancing/WFM repairing, it really is a bit of a buggers muddle at the moment. You could argue that if we didn't go on ops for a bit, we would be able to sort things out properly, and enter a kind of steady state. The reality is that we will not benefit from WFM for a long time, as we are providing the maintenance manpower that was expected to be provided by civvies.

It kind of raises the issue of further rebalancing - should we working at all at first line, especially when 1st line units only have 1/3 of their equipment at any given time.
We tried at X Bn before they wer called that and before the concept had been heard of outside of a HQ DEME(A) think-tank. The CS Coy ASM got all the LAD ASMs and CS Coy tiffies/Qs in the Coy conference. The ASMs were asked what they wanted, the tiffies ofered up what they could provide, which was everything, and everybody was happy. Apart from some of the tradesmen.

Working a week here, three days there, two days somewhere etc, added up to 15-20 days out of own bed per month. None of these days were weekends and nobody was realistically fucked about, but there was an awfull lot of LSSA that should have been claimed but could't be. UK ECI teams and some other posts are entitiled to a special LSSA which reflect the fact that they work 160 out of 200 days a year away from the office but will never be away for the 10 day qualifying period. Our ISTs MUST be on something like this if life is to be anything close to fair on them.
Which units only have 1/3 of their kit? Weve had pretty much all of ours all the time. A local Inf Bn has just been given it's kit from WFM - 50 odd turrets to inspect but most of the blokes are in Canada until Leave, then straight onto OPTAG Trg. The ASM asked around for help:
REME Bn no Cl 1 Armrs - no IST. Most Bde Units are in Canada, an assortment of tradesmen from the area have had to be mustered to do the inspections, with the Sgt (once he'd done his SCLM). Rebalancing my arrse.

And another thing - we've just had 17 TUMs from TFSU and others, 10 were VOR. WFM my arrse.

Cynical? me? nah ;)
You've got to ask who has been putting equipment into TFSU in such a state - if it is VOR coming out, that ain't right.

Regt I have just come from had nearly no kit at all - until 3 months prior to deploying on TELIC. Then, we got all the kit that other units couldn't be bothered to fix. IST's came in from local Bn and worked a treat, in conjunction with our blokes.

Trouble is that no-one is holding Regtl CO's to account for the state of their equipment. Their feet should be held to the fire until every single piece of equipment is 100% fit for use, whether that is being put into CHE/WFM, or handed over to another unit. We found all sorts in the bottom of turrets, and it was swiftly covered up - me, I would have sent photos to the GOC.
Maj_Boothroyd said:
So why didn't you? If you've got DII, POD's email address is in Global address list...
DII sounds like some wizardry to me!!!!! Were just going back to FEMIS, but the bus is not around now, apparently some nurses nicked it as theres broke down outside Guildford!
The FEMIS bus is no more; there is an Administrators training suite at the REME arms school. If you speak nicely to them they might let your unit administrator use it to train up your troops.


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