ORGANIC SP TO DIV/BDE HQ - R SIGS OR RLC?

Discussion in 'Staff College and Staff Officers' started by pombsen-armchair-warrior, Jan 25, 2007.

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  1. As I was sitting here, gazing at the pile of dust inexorably gathering on my failed plans, a thought struck me. Do Div/Bde HQ have the right sort of organic sp?

    Currently each HQ is supported by a Sig Regt/Sqn. As well as delivering its specialist role of comms, it is also responsible for a whole raft of admin sp, including setting up the HQ and guarding tasks.

    At a time when specialists are becoming increasingly more difficult to retain is this an effective use of specialist resource, or could not this admin sp be delivered more effectively by the addition of an RLC Pioneer Sqn/Tp, with a (potentially) compensating reduction in the R Sigs est.

    This would allow the OC Sigs to concentrate on his core task of delivering comms, whilst leaving the admin/security to an organisation better placed to deliver the required admin effect, and in addition provide greater flexibility and capability through use of a host of Pioneer artisan skills.

    Just a thought.

    PAW
     
  2. Good idea in principle, but look at the commitments of the RLC Pnr, notably 23 Regt....they are literally robbing peter to pay paul on a daily basis....and the cupboard is more than a little bare

    they are about to commit almost 3 sqns to ops (to backfill inf/FP tasks) as well maintaining a realtime G&D task.

    They are struggling to maintain their trg / currency ctts

    Also the mainstream units are now struggling as one backfills another...unlikely therefore that we can establish more posts to allivieate the strain felt by another capbadge?

    Interesting area though
     
  3. Already proved to work last year on Ex Griffin Focus, TA 38 Sig Regt (in reality an understrength Sig Sqn) provided comms and a regular RLC regiment provided G1/G4. All were supporting 8 FEB (Field Engineering Bde?) and parts of 2 Med Bde.

    As these were non 'fighting' formations, technicaly the Sigs stepped into RLC roles. From what I saw, this organisation worked extremly well (bear in mind TA were doing many roles)
     
  4. I agree that this is an attractive idea and it has been considered before. One idea some years ago was to reduce the R Signals manpower slightly and to attach a RLC Sqn/Tp to the Div Sig Regt/Bde Sig Sqn. The RLC element would then be responsible for the provision of infrastructure, feeding, security and other 'command sp' functions.

    I believe that the idea failed due to the RLC's inability to magically recruit the requisite numbers of soldiers and/or the R Signals' lack of willingness to give-up sufficient manpower liability to the RLC. There may have been other reasons but that is all I can recall at the moment.
     
  5. Interestingly was this one of the primary roles of the Pioneer Corps, before some bright chap got an MBE by suggesting that it all got merged into the RLC and then took away all the Pioneers equipment and training opportunities?
     
  6. This sounds about right. RLC doesn't have slack handfuls of personnel hanging about to do the boring bits, just like any other cap badge. It would therefore involve a transfer of headcount between Corps. There are probably arguments that RLC personnel are more appropriately skilled for some of the admin, however there are risk for RSigs in giving up this role. Greater civilianisation of comms is one such threat to the RSigs role if it reduced to core function and I would not have thought, for example, RSigs would want to lose the traditional disciplinary role OC Sigs has over HQ personnel in favour of some loggie officer?
     
  7. untallguy

    untallguy Old-Salt Reviewer Book Reviewer

    Already happens with JTFHQ. Sigs Sqn provides comd sp function and Pnr Tp provide local defence, artisan and assault pioneer sp. This set up has been running now for at least a decade now.
     
  8. no and no......furthermore, the world has changed a little since then too....we no longer have Army group or corps HQs
     
  9. Train a Signaller - he can do shell scrapes/trenches/sentryduty/dixie bashing/tent erection et al - as well as communicating.

    If you introduced RLC then you would have to up the headroom - not possible at the moment.
     
  10. What a ridiculous idea,

    As a tech in a div sig regt I was really glad to have spent two and a half years studying comms and electronics only to find myself putting up/tearing down the worlds supply of tents, stagging on and making sure the burco boiler was topped up.

    Pioneers indeed, you'll be suggesting next that the staff could possibly get by without their personal servant/comms specialist waking them up with a bowl of warm water and a brew...
     
  11. chance would be a fine thing!!!
     

  12. Find me a soldier who wouldn't have their own version of that. Pioneers would say that their artisan skills are equally wasted in being a tent technician, as would most other trades. Its one of those facts of soldiering - CMTs say the same thing in being used as GDs in Fd Hosps.
     
  13. I had a bit of a rant about this on the Sigs thread...

    Having been away from HQs for a while, and getting dragged back into one in a sandy place a couple of years ago, I was not impressed..

    Specifically:

    1. Staff support was Appalling.. not impressed with the performance of staff clerks now they are AGC. Standards have really slipped, with no archiving or proper record keeping. Filing - what's that? Get you a bottle of water sir, but don't ask me to BF a file...?

    2. The standard of IT support, in particular software support from the R Sigs was equally dire. All they seems to do was slap a laptop on the table, make sure the light was on and that's it... anything else is your problem. The majority of the time they spent hiding in the "server room" playing secret squirrel.

    3. Guards and escorts. Can I suggest that this, particularly in the "no front line" environment we are now operating in, is becoming a much more specialised task, and not one for alienated scalies...?

    What I did see was a capbadge fight to divest admin support in favour of desk officer numbers which led to some of the problems outlined above. At one stage we were left with one clerk to cover two major staff branches.

    I suppose we are still paying the price for not having a dedicated staff corps like the Germans and Dutch. Why do we have to rub along in perhaps the most important unit in a formation like some amateur girl guide camp?

    IMHO an HQ should be run administratively by a superintendant clerk. An HQ is an administrative grouping and needs a proper, efficient and dedicated infrastructure; not a bunch of disparate trades misemployed and thrown together. Since the introduction of PCs into HQs, nobody seems to have had a hard look at how these should be organised. Everybody just seems to make it up as they go along...

    As to who provides this cadre, if you look at it closely, R Sigs is becoming less and less significant. There is no need now to sit and listen to VHF nets and twiddle with huge hairy arrsed radio sets 24/7 like we used to. Even "green" comms is pocket size and has more built-in intelligence than a signaller.

    The major manpower requirements lie mostly in the RLC camp.. Drivers, Chunks, Cooks etc... If you move the Staff Clerks back into RLC (they used to be RAOC remember..) and pick up the IT support task (RLC is STILL the biggest IT user in the service) and put an LE or Conductor in charge, I think it would work...
     
  14. Given that the operational brigades now have (or will soon have) an organic RLC regiment, this is not as silly as may first suggest.

    Expanding the RLC HQ squadron, or tacking an additional pioneer squadron on (as per 1 sig bde) would make sense to me...
     
  15. MS_Rep

    MS_Rep RIP

    Agree with ^^ (above)

    Been tried before in the 1950's (When HQ 1(BR) Corps was in Bad Oyenhausen (so I was told)) and it failed then ...

    And to be fair when the HQ is in SNAFU and throwing teddies out the pram who you gonna call?

    a. A bloke who can get you comms, or

    b. A bloke who can bring you a spam sarnie for night rations?

    No contest keep the siggies says MS_Rep :D: :wink: