Life support - How the hell did we get that?

#1
How on earth did the Royal Corps end up providing life support to HQ formations? At the risk of having missed the point, perhaps if the Sigs could crack on with communications related activities rather than baby sitting staff offrs through life, the most tecnical and (one of the) most highly trained Corps could actually provide the functionality they are capable of.
Down with life support! (and make your own f*&^%$ brew you uselesss w*&^%$)

Ahem.
 
#3
Unfortunately, jobs like life support (or command support when people are trying to make it sound more interesting) make people sign off. Hence why the Signals face an ongoing retention problem and not a recruitment problem.

There is a plan for the RLC to take on the life support role by the formation of an RLC support sqn in each Div Sig Regt. It remains to be seen if it will ever happen......
 
#4
But it would take a really good salesman of an SoinC to sell the idea of life sp in an HQ. Come on, who in their right mind would take that role on voluntarily....I've seen SO1's throw tracks because some silly little detail had been missed during set up. The RLC know that it is really their role but no way are they going to take it on board. Unfortunately it is something we have got stuck with and somehow I cannot see how we will manage to off-load it.
 
#5
Umm! So what is actually involved with this life support. :?
 
#6
Here is a useful posting on the subject from DangerMouse:

DangerMouse said:
Personally, I feel very comfortable about the prospect of serving in a Corps which has devolved its G4 functions, and associated manpower, to the RLC and REME, and its EW functions, and associated manpower, to the INT CORPS. I would go further and suggest that task b, The deployment, administration and close defence of division and brigade field HQs. is inappropriate for an organisation which aspires to exclusively recruit and train intelligent, IT-literate, highly-skilled professional CIS engineers. I suggest that the examples of ARRC and 264 Sig Sqn should be used as role models (ARRC Sp Bn, and 22's HQ Sqn providing the 'jif jobs'/labour support tasks for their respective HQs - relieving highly trained R SIGNALS soldiers of that responsibility). This unfortunately, I suspect, will only happen if our leaders and masters are prepared to forfeit the nebulous 'influence' which they currently feel that the 'life support' function gives them with the staff. (Hopefully our more visionary senior officers will look to the US Army’s experience and realise that the leverage that digitisation and NEC will give the Corps should encourage the passing of the NTT/PVR-enhancing tents/stags/pan bash/jif jobs task.) This may one day be driven by O&D demands, if digitisation reduces the R SIGNALS manpower requirement at HQs to a level where the ‘jif job’ aren’t sustainable with the ‘slack manpower’ present by virtue of the CIS-driven establishment. I suspect however that inertia, and a lack of awareness at higher levels of how 'jif jobs' are felt to be incompatible with our role by many junior officers and soldiers, will hinder such a shift in attitudes.
http://www.arrse.co.uk/html/modules...start=15&sid=defa29771f6c47d9316863efa78c1a2c

msr
 
#7
Have to agree with DM's (msr's) post.

We've been doing life support for my 13 years, why the sudden fuss? The fact that we deploy, and can look after ourselves and those around us as necessary is something to be proud of, will we still be capeable of it in 10 years, not too sure :?

Theres a vast difference between being employed on life support and being mis-employed wicked. Specify your gripe mate.

Boney
 
#8
boney,

I have heard of a case where a Sigs Sqn OC got it big time in the neck because of the location of portaloos, and of course this went downhill thru his chain, imagine Sig X thinking "didn't I join the army to do comms?" as he assists in moving the plastic loo 17 metres to the left...
 
#9
Would loosing the 'life support' role be good for operator SNCO's. In units where we provide life support an ED/Liney can easily go into the RD SSgt post but when its comms orientated that post becomes more comms focused. If your providing G1/G4 to comms assets your gonna need a fair amount of comms knowledge (excluding support trades from SSgt except as an SQMS)
 
#10
Just remember that when you're working at a HQ, ensure that you carry a bog roll on your person at all times.

This will help when a staff officer with their trews round their ankles finds you and says "Can you help me, signaller(sic)!"
 
#11
So what is the real gripe?

Having to provide a logistical and administrative support as part of our overall mission.

Or

The fact we get jiffed to put a sentry to the entrance of the 1* or when the HQ deploys we have to put up tents and yes move portaloos 17m to the left.

Sounds like gripes about soldiering to me. How inflexable you must be, unable to do routine fatigues in the field.

I know there is no Staff officer in "TEAM" but jiff jobs a part of deployment, once the flurry of set up is done things become calmer pretty quick then you can go back to reading books and watching DvD`s during your quiet shifts.

:roll:
 
#13
bullshit said:
boney,

I have heard of a case where a Sigs Sqn OC got it big time in the neck because of the location of portaloos, and of course this went downhill thru his chain, imagine Sig X thinking "didn't I join the army to do comms?" as he assists in moving the plastic loo 17 metres to the left...
Bullshit,

I agree with the sentiment of your post. Yes Sig X did join the Corps to do comms, but there is alot that goes alongside Comms. Life support is one of those things. We dont deploy with a labour force to do the humping and dumping these days, the bone jobs still have to be done. I'm sure Sig X will appreciate the portaloo, probably on a daily basis :wink:

More than ever we have a responsibility to ourselves in the field, we're not going to have the luxuary of pioneer dets, or inf Plt to do the guards, and like the spanker says, its usually only on ex when its a pain in the arrse. Staff tend to grow up a bit on Ops :wink:

Boney

p.s. Where was the Sgt Maj/SQMS while the OC was getting a portaloo bollocking? Dragged away from the birdtable to discuss shitters, bet he was well chuffed!!!
 
#14
Apologies for dropping in to your forum, but as a chap who works in HQ's a lot I've often wondered why the siggies do life support. I also wondered when I deployed why the sqn providing comms for my little bit were still working on two men to a det, when war manning is three. Grief! I had to dig me own scud scrape.

I suppose the simple answer is that the Sqn OC is the man in charge of the workings of the HQ. It's just a shame that he doesn't have the manpower to do the jobs he's got to do on deployment (ex or op).

Without any attempt at being patronising, I am, as a TA watchkeeper. always very impressed with the boys and girls in the sqns. In fourteen years of doing my job I have only ever come across one member of your corps that I have had to have a word with about attitude. Well done folks you are appreciated.
 
#16
Mushroom, thanks for the appreciation - but somehow I feel that you may be in the minority.

The simple thing of life support is that even if you jetted in the staff officers via a private leer jet, had pole dancers on the tables and gave them a 5 course meal every evening they would still complain and never say thanks. It is like being a chef or a clerk, a totally thankless job.

The main issue is not credit, but employing people who join the army to be CIS Professionals. These professionals, due to life support have to:

set up all of the tentage for work, admin and sleeps.
Suppy the staff with all of the G4 elements of keeping a bde/div, ie food, med etc
Securing the compound
general upkeep of the compound.

Now somebody did say that this is soldiering - how??? Soldiering to me is most certainly not portaloos, arranging sleeps and ensuring Maj X has a fresh supply of water for his morning wash. Apart from the defense element it sounds like pure G4 to me. In addition, we do sell the Royal Signals to these young lads and lasses that they wuill be doing CIS, most certainly not OIC burco boiler!

Take a look at Sp Bn ARRC, they have RLC drivers, cooks, chunkies etc etc and it is the only time the Sigs guys can really concentrate on their real business - CIS!!!
 
#17
bullshit said:
set up all of the tentage for work, admin and sleeps.
Suppy the staff with all of the G4 elements of keeping a bde/div, ie food, med etc
Securing the compound
general upkeep of the compound.
Does seem a bit too much, maybe a large amount should be moved away. If we followed the infantry signal pln model we'd:

Setup the command post complex (not the admin/sleeps except our own)

Med, food etc would be done by others

Compound secured by Sig Pln OC but normally CSM/RSM running the show with RP's. Sigs would look after their own part of the HQ, digging their own trenches plus the OC/CO and 2IC's.

Look after the upkeep of the command post only and own area


I find it strange we in 2 Sig Bde seem to follow the infantry model more the the regular Bde, we just bolster the G6 cell and supply CIS, the regional Bdes do the rest. I think the TA Ptarmigan units have a similar role but I was never on a exercise in role to see if thats true or not.
 
#18
polar said:
I think the TA Ptarmigan units have a similar role but I was never on a exercise in role to see if thats true or not.
Polar,

You have just hit the nail on the head here - my TA Ptarmigan unit has never provided comms for anybody on a weekend exercise that I can recall....

msr
 
#19
msr said:
You have just hit the nail on the head here - my TA Ptarmigan unit has never provided comms for anybody on a weekend exercise that I can recall....
You'll have missed the enjoyment of seeing your YoS/OC getting their head chewed off by the Bde Comd!
An officer in my unit placed the G6 cell, G1/G4 support and the majority of comms assets with an Inf Bn and sent a Rear Link detachement to Bde HQ on a CCRF Ex.
 
#20
Doh! come on chaps.

The last time I went on ops the Sigs sqn set up the complex and dug their own slit trenches. The staff set up their own sleeps and dug their own slits/scud bunkers. We didn't have the manpower to do otherwise.

The sqn provided food, even if it was just boiling water in which to heat our ORP. All ranks below Major took turns on stag (I have a photo of SO3 Legal on guard) and well remember saying to some Brigadier on the ptarmigan that the Dals chap was on guard and would be available for his learned opinion in an hours time.

And for my morning wash I had to walk the 300m or so, fill two jerrycans with water and walk back with them. I searched (oh how I searched) for someone to do it for me but never could find the fellow.

I can't remember anyone whingeing (well not more than the ordinary). Perhaps we should have done, WE is WE so why did the MOD expect an HQ to go to war on PE. The job that I do calls for 3xWkpr per day and 2xWkpr nights. There was me and his lordship doing the lot. My qualifications are as good as if not better than most people in your corps, but when I was there I said f+ck it and got on with the job. As did everyone else in the HQ.

I have long thought that each Bde HQ requires a TA inf coy as its guard force. One pl with Alpha HQ, one pl with Bravo HQ and one pl as POW pl. The Coy HQ officers could double as wkprs/lo's. Likewise a TA Bn could provide Oscar, Papa and DSG HQs with their guards and still have a coy left to provide the Div POW cage.

Likewise I see no problem in every Sigs sqn having an RLC pl, again TA and Div HQ having an RLC coy. The only problem is getting someone to pay for it.

I have worked in HQs for longer than I care to remember, certainly longer than most people called Cpl have been alive. I and my fellow wkprs have nothing but respect for the siggies.
 

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