Man Power Shortage In The Paras

The Parachute Regiment is suffering a severe manpower shortage, defence sources said yesterday.

The problem is so bad that a battalion being sent to Afghanistan will need 100 regular infantry soldiers to bring it up to strength.

The Paras have also suffered a substantial loss of experienced soldiers to security companies.

The regiment is about 200 men, or 10 per cent, down on its full manning levels. With the 3 Bn the Parachute Regiment preparing for its challenging mission in southern Afghanistan in the spring and 1 Para about to begin operations with the SAS, recruiters are desperate to get to full strength.

There are fears that some troops from 2 Para might have to go straight from their current operation in Iraq to Afghanistan to make up 3 Para's numbers. The battalion of 640 men in Muthana province, Iraq, is already being supported by a 120-strong company of Territorial Army paratroopers.

Immediately after the 2003 conflict the Ministry of Defence decided to pause infantry recruiting in order to save money spent on the expensive operation.

With the infantry needing almost 3,000 new soldiers a year, including 450 for the three parachute battalions, this has led to a substantial decline in regimental manning at a time when the Army is cutting three battalions of infantry.

It is hoped that a new television advertising campaign, part of the Army's £11 million marketing budget, will make up the shortfall that is being felt across the infantry.

Some infantry regiments are as under strength as the Paras while others are running at five per cent below manning levels.

A large number of Paras have taken "premature voluntary redundancy" after finishing tours in Iraq to take up lucrative private security jobs, quadrupling their salaries to about £300 a day.

The Army Training and Recruiting Agency has taken steps to stem the flow of troops by offering a £650 bounty to any soldier who brings in a new recruit and by offering some former NCOs £6,000 to re-enlist.

A spokesman for the MoD said it had "increased efforts in recruiting for the infantry and these measures are starting to bear fruit".

30 October 2005: Desperate MoD offers soldiers £500 incentive to recruit mates
It seems not that long ago claims were made that the Paras were one of the very few Regiments that had no recruiting problems at all.
They can always send a recruiting team to Fiji.
Guess i am other one of these statisitics but i aint gonna be doing the dash for cash
Even the "120 strong paratroopers" of the TA coy isnt quite what it says either. Of that only about 35+ are para trained (the rest being none para trained or out of date) and about 30-40 of the 120 are other regiments.



Hardly surprising considering that it was the 3rd mobilisation (Telics 1,3 and7) and with the Afghan trip being suggested. Hardly likely to leave anyone but the newest recruit and the old and bold(?). Not suggesting that 4 Para are unique, just a reflection on the level of demands on TA units nowadays.


It was obviously a great idea to get rid of 10 Para and 15 Para wasn't it! Nothing like a bit of foresight in defence reviews.
Yeah most of the guys left were on Telic 1 or 3 and toms wise most are straight from P coy. On another point some of the toms out there are what we would class as recruits because they havn't passed P coy but have passed CIC and therefore classed as trained soldiers and sent out. Not fair on them IMHO.

Not had a guy ring the bell for getting his wings in a while, actualy cant think of the last time one of the blokes got their wings. Last para course before Christmas (great time for jumping btw) not one jump was done in the 2 weeks there, thats including the regs who came back from the sandyland.

You're right Herrenbloke 15 Para had locations all over Scotland and now its just a platoon in Edinburgh and a coy in Glasgow. A shadow of what it had with TACs from Aberdeen, St Andrews, Dundee and beyond. And from what I hear 10 coy is struggling more than most. Sad state of affairs not just for the reg but for the army as a whole.

Perhaps you are all missing the point...
The 100 extra blokes referred to are likely to be the reformation of a Gurkha Reinforcement Coy, the product of changes to Gurkha TACOS brought about by the HMFIR ruling. Time banded, but a clear backfill for Herrick 4.

Any Qs . pm me.
RCSignals said:
It seems not that long ago claims were made that the Paras were one of the very few Regiments that had no recruiting problems at all.

You're confusing the issue here. This is about retention.

No problems recruiting.

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