MOD stockpile of equipment 90% full

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by oggie, Feb 28, 2013.

Welcome to the Army Rumour Service, ARRSE

The UK's largest and busiest UNofficial military website.

The heart of the site is the forum area, including:

    • Like Like x 3
  1. I reckon it's about time for another Donnington fire.
    • Like Like x 2
  2. Sure why not.Some people did very nicely out of the last one.Also easier than another Atlantic Conveyor.

    I forgot to add
    "Stores is for storing" etc etc
    • Like Like x 1
  3. So there's a 10% shortage..? Bet it's in stuff we need ;-)
  4. Bad CO

    Bad CO LE Admin Reviews Editor Gallery Guru

    For years the MoD (DE&S) has no controls on purchasing of this sort of consumable stuff (aka SOIP). They've now woken up to the issue and, predictably, put in place an extremely draconian regime which makes it difficult to buy anything.

    What this means is that the only stuff that is easily available is that which has been sitting in stores for decades, i.e we haven't needed such as mule saddles, left handed screwdrivers, SLRs, puttees, etc! Items that are in everyday use, or are just coming into service, are likely to be in short supply.

    Welcome to the law of unintended consequences!
  5. Stand by for next month's NAO report condemning the MoD for selling off mule saddles, SLRs and putties at a knock down price.

    If we hadn't got rid of so much of our storage capacity over the past 10 years then we wouldn't be so full. Perhaps if our brilliant politicians had told us 10 years ago that we would have a****ed economy then we might have kept some space.
  6. The nimrod is a good example where people are looking at a headline without doing any in depth research. Parts are purchased on a ‘expected use’ rate – in the case of Nimrod, we’d bought sufficient parts to keep a fleet of IIRC some 15 aircraft flying.
    So, we may have needed 4 widgets per year per aircraft to keep it flying (e.g. 60 widgets equals one years worth of stock). If you suddenly deleted the MR2 fleet, and drop to just 3 R1s, you still have 60 widgets in stock, but you suddenly have 20 years worth of stock on hand.
    The problem is contracts are placed, and supplies bought based on expected useage rates, which then get thrown out the window when kit is deleted or force levels change, or readiness changes.
    Once again I despair at the way that the military are somehow portrayed as poor innocent little lambs in all this, thanks to the incompetent evil civilians messing up. The sooner the Military can admit that they too play a very large part in this mess, the sooner we’ll see real progress. Too often it seems easier to play the ‘a nasty civilian did it’ card than man up and accept that uniformed personnel can screw up too.
    • Like Like x 3
  7. msr

    msr LE

    Can't see that comment going down too well with the arrserati...
    • Like Like x 2
  8. Surplus uniform for sale WTF. Now if we all wore the nice blue style !!!!
  9. Bad CO

    Bad CO LE Admin Reviews Editor Gallery Guru

    Of course if the Russian hordes were pouring through the Fulda Gap then I'm sure they'd be quickly issued out bringing the whole advance to a halt in a matter of minutes.

    Regarding the slightly more serious matter that Jim30 raises, then of course you are right. The inability of Defence (read FLCs) to accurately forecast equipment usage rates is part of the reason why stock holding is so high. As you suggest this is mainly down to people in blue/green/flying suits.

    I'd argue that a more important part of the equation is what happens at DE&S. Until very recently, there was effectively no scrutiny of buying this stuff and the entire culture is based on rewarding people who take zero risk. So as the support manager for a piece of equipment you could happily buy vast quantities of spares without worrying about it in the least. Unfortunately I think you'll agree that these people tend to wear suits rather than FAD!
    • Like Like x 1
  10. I am reminded that of a standard scenario in which the (typically clueless, young and thrusting) managers in production line factories would get regularly aereated at the sight of the maintenance technicians sitting around doing nothing and would demand that they should be gainfully employed doing something/anything. The textbook answer was that you want them sitting around doing nothing; if they're doing nothing, it indicates that there are no current breakdowns and production is running smoothly. If you get them doing something else, then they're not immediately available to respond to a breakdown when it does occur and entire workforce is standing around doing nothing.

    It seems the Public Accounts Committee is having trouble grasping the concept of having stores unused and merely being stored in case they may be needed for a war or somethin, whilst selling off the stored stores would raise about 10 p in the £1 on the purchase costs. I'm seriously concerned about the standards in the Public Accounts Committee.
    • Like Like x 3
  11. Perhaps it is just like when the War Box ordered all that 1938 Pattern webbing used during WW2, and that was still being issued to the British Army through the 1960s, and probably equipped half the Worlds Third World Armies in subsequent years.
  12. I was going to like your post until I read it through to the end. Surely the situation you describe is caused primarily by civilians (i.e politicians) identifying an "easy win" in terms of saving millions and has little to do with the military heirachy or indeed civil servants? (I accept the MOD staff will have assisted in the identification of kit to be binned in order to save money).
  13. Cold_Collation

    Cold_Collation LE Book Reviewer

    Being pedantic - and asking a question at the same time - is it not more a case that they are able to forecast correctly but that fleet/capability cuts made pretty much on a whim leave us with the situation we have (Nimrod being a good example)?

    A friend on facebook raised the UK's new sidearm purchase as a question. He asked whether the MOD was getting good value for money when it's possible to go into a gun shop in the US and buy the same weapon for pretty much the same price - where were the economies of scale of buying in bulk? I answered that it has to be seen in the context of a full through-life capability, not just the unit cost of the piece of equipment.

    Through-life is given as the reason when people question systems' high cost (I'll put Airtanker aside for a moment...) but is very quickly forgotten when sensationalist stories such as this come up.

    I'm not saying there isn't waste. But damned if you do, damned if you don't; the alternative headline would be (for instance) 'Royal Navy sends destroyer propellers worth £1.1m to the scrapyard in new defence waste shocker'.

    If they're not needed, you're perhaps better off realising the scrap value. But that does not a good headline make.

    Edited to add: And right up to the point when they weren't needed, there might've been a damn good chance that they were. Such is the nature of defence.
  14. I don't think that the civilian element is blameless, but the more I see of defence, the more frustrated I get that every time a bad news story emerges, it is spun in the press and on forums like this that everything is the fault of the civilian element and that the military is somehow completely blameless.

    I find it frustrating as my experiences show that the military are very good at slipping blame, and either trying to blame another service (the endlessly dull RN and RAF carrier debate) or another capbadge (my grandfather blamed the RE till his dying day for spending a night digging a hole in Italy in 1943 due to an officer mishearing RE when they said RB). What rarely happens is for someone to stand up and say ' you know what, my service, capbadge, unit, command' messed up here and I am partly to blame for this fiasco.

    There is a vast amount of money in defence and if it was spent properly, then we'd have more than enough to go around. The problem is that we seek to reinvent the wheel, insist on stores being destroyed and re-ordered (check out Tchumsech on PPRUNE for that little gem) and generally adopt an attitude that acheiving value for money is something that isnt the job of our brave boys in uniform, but those nasty little civilian types who are scum because they don't wear uniform.

    What depresses me is the everpresent attitude in the military that somehow all their financial problems would be solved if only someone else would do something, and then ignore their own role and responsibility in any problems. The CS is emphatically not blameless, but I get immensely frustrated when people act as if spending money responsibly is somehow not something that the military should be involved in, and that when waste occurs they can slope shoulders and blame it on the bogeyman and not their own decisions.

    Rant over :)
    • Like Like x 7