KFOR Welfare Internet Scrapped

Discussion in 'The Intelligence Cell' started by Purple_Flash, Nov 24, 2002.

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  1. Purple_Flash

    Purple_Flash LE Moderator

    Never, ever, believe anyone who tells you what a great operational welfare package you are going to receive.  We have been here two weeks and after being promised a serviceable if not wonderful internet service to keep in touch with friends and loved ones we find that 1)  It is frequently down and 2) (just to keep morale high for the Christmas Season), the contract runs out tomorrow and they haven't managed to get anyone to provide a replacement service.  A case of Arrse     inks.  

    If anyone would like to raise this issue on our behalf with the press, we shall be very grateful.  Obviously pressure needs to be exerted from elsewhere as we poor people on tour are not allowed to grumble in case it upsets Mr Hoon and our careers end as spectacularly as the CDS's.

    Why is it that other countries have so much better welfare provision than us?  Irish troops down the road get two loads of R&R of two weeks in the six months, they get UN pay (about $50 a day extra) and they have 30 days off after the tour.  They have an internet connection that works and they get a 90 minute welfare phone card to ring home for six, yes folks, count them, six Euros, and they can buy as many as they like.

    Obviously I would love to be able to read people's views on this, but I won't be able to because we get cut off tomorrow.

    And before anyone starts saying 'We didn't have internet in the trenches in my day!', neither did I for either of my two previous Balkans tours, but when you are promised it and have organised your contacts, banking and futher education on the basis that you will have access to it for your six months away, it really     es you off to find that you were lied to!!  And it is not just us it affects, it is the wives and children who use it to keep their family life with those who are deployed together in some sense who suffer as well.  So, less morale, more welfare problems for commanders and another rubbish Christmas on tour, thanks to our beancounting friends.   :mad:
  2. Gutted to hear you are to lose your Internet facility, hopefully a new contract will be in the offing shortly.  Just want to clarify one point that you made, and is often made by those not in the know.

    "Why do we not get additional pay for tours of duty etc"

    The Army pay includes an element called the "X" Factor.  By that our annual pay is assessed as one amount then an additional amount (I think 12%) is added onto this to cover for our way of life, e.g. deployments, separation etc.  Check with the Irish Army and you will find that they are on a lesser pay than you are.   If enough people shout loud enough I guarantee the system will change to meet your needs.  Instead of receiving the X Factor 365 days a year, future recruits will receive a lesser pay with bonuses for deployments - just like the Irish.  In the meantime those on the present rate will mark time until they catch up.  Trust me, this has happened far too many times in my 28 years of service.

    As is often the case those that shout loudest about perceived injustices often get their way to the detriment of others.  I don't mean to sound bolshy about it, but as a result of singlies complaining about pads having extra warrants in the 80s it resulted in parity across the board..... Not!  Result we all lost our bloody warrants.

    Boarding School Allowance when I had 3 kids in boarding school - frozen for 5 years, cost me an arm and a leg.

    Pay as You Dine.  Sounds good on paper, you only pay for the meals you eat.  Brilliant, to a soldier what a good deal that is.  However in reality at the moment they pay less than the price of a Big Mac for 3 meals a day.  Come the day Pay as You Dine kicks in they will find that while they only pay for the meals they eat, the cost of contractorisation is going to more than triple the cost.  Mark my words, I know I'm right.

    Just three examples of how whinging brings about change, but never in the way that you might think.  OK, you've done the trench bit, frigging hell we sympathise with your plight, but why bring in the papers and stir up more shite.  I am sure that those in command (let's face it they want Internet access as much as you do) will be busting their guts to put it right.

    In the meantime let off steam, scribble graffiti in the long drops then get on with it - it's what we do.
  3. Purple......

    Have you guys thought of building your own Internet link? Just get on google and type "wi-fi"

    Essentially, the same satellite dish that receives piccies from BFBS or Sky, can also receive Internet at up to 5 MEGABYTES a second and beyond. Believe me, it's not beyond the wit of your average tech scaley to put together. To send you'll still need a phone line (uplink) as far as I can see

    "How to" is here http://www.qsl.net/n9zia/wireless/

    .....you may have a chance, if you submit it under the....."How to stop squaddies being bored/work for idle hands on tour/Soldier will do a nice write up"

    Kit is surprisingly inexpensive, and it must be a doddle, because I'm putting one together at the moment  ;D
  4. Really sorry to hear this P_F.

    Is oyur chain of command that shite that they cannot speak out to HQ Land?  Normally requests from theatres are dealt with PDQ.

    Try e-mailing CGS's briefing team (if you can of course!)

  5. Purple_Flash

    Purple_Flash LE Moderator

    Thank you for the reminder about the X Factor, something I should have remembered as I have cause to explain it to my troops from time to time!  However I was carried away by sheer anger and the fact that the welfare computer is of such good quality that it takes 10 seconds before typed text appears on the screen makes it hard to present a cogent, let alone well typed arguement.  I am aware that other nation's troops will quite possibly have lower pay, but it is the 'tax free' status of operational pay that most of them seem to get that really gets my goat.  The point I was driving at however is that many other nations do seem to organise their operational welfare better; I can't imagine many other countries being unable to organise an internet connection in a city that has loads of broadband internet cafe's.   We claim to be widely acknowledged as the most professional army in the world, but honestly, I cringe when other nations see our resources - in KFOR Main there is a street that contains the 'PX's' of several nations in a row.  The EFI conatins a tiny amount of stock at almost invariably much higher prices and then we wonder why it makes sod all money.   We have a compassionate system second to none, why can't we have a welfare system to match it?  ???  Still, musn't grumble, war time spirit, etc.  Harumph!
  6. Purple_Flash

    Purple_Flash LE Moderator

    Thanks for the tip PTP, I will ask some Sigs people about it, but we really shouldn't have to go to that trouble, after all the internet cafes down the road have broadband.  It just requires someone to pull their finger out ref finance and contracts as far as I can see.  Too many civil servants working to their own comfortable timescale and agenda     inks.  Or possibly staff officers in MOD.  Or most probably both.  Grrr!  Come the revolution can we put the Chancellor against the wall first? Perhaps it might be a 'prudent' use of resources to save money by withdrawing his right to a blindfold as well?  :D  Gosh, that thought has cheered me up no end...
  7. Yet again, UK Armed Forces get the
    Award! ;D
  8. P_F,

    Is it true about the rumour that if you ask to use the bathroom in the CD store on the corner, outside of KFOR Main that that is the signal for "extra service"??!!

  9. Purple_Flash

    Purple_Flash LE Moderator

    I really don't know, but something did seem odd there last week, I was waiting for my driver to be called forward to the checkpoint and as we were idling away in the old GS, we happened to have stopped outside said emporium.  The 'basement' door opened and two chinese type gals came out, faffed about for a bit and I could see Chinese style decor inside.  Aha,I thought,  A Chinese Restaurant, but then I saw that there was no sign, you know the sort of thing, 'The Happy     roach' or somesuch that you expect to see outside...  And they did smile at me and wave in a way that would suggest that they were not waitresses....

    Draw your own conclusions....
  10. Have you not just had the CGS Briefing team over?

  11. Purple_Flash

    Purple_Flash LE Moderator

    Yes we did, and they left just before we got the glad news about the internet, which as you can see is still running; perhaps because some kind high ranking soul took notice of our plight?  ;)  Or maybe the Sword of Damocles is yet to fall...

    I eschewed the delights of the briefing team, I have had that pleasure in the past and I did not think that what I had to say would have any impact - not that I didn't for a moment believe that it would not reach the CGS and be taken note of, but because most of what I would have had to say would involve the disbursement of money and that would not be forthcoming from Mr Prudent's Treasury so it would have generated paperworkfor no good reason and just wasted some poor Staff Officer's time.  Sorry to be so cynical, but there you have it!
  12. Purple_Flash

    Purple_Flash LE Moderator

    We have just been told that our internet isd to be saved - hurrah!  Thank you to whatever kind person sat on the appropriate J1 bod to squeeze a new contarct out in time for a seamless transfer!

    There are many, many troops now erasing names that had been carved on bullets!! :D
  13. Well done to who ever had anything to do with the change..... maybe the chancelor took notice when he logged on to check out what was happening with the FF strike...... then? Maybe not :)
  14. Well. it would be nice if the Army Rumour Service had something to do with it...

    ...I guess we'll never know.

    But to the kind soul if he/she is here, a true super-hero can never reveal their identity  ;)
  15. Purple Flash for Prime Minister I say........