Overstretch pushes British troops to the brink

#1
Figures released by the Ministry of Defence (MOD) show that 46 per cent of all Army units are now in breach of the "harmony guidelines".

The MOD data shows that 18 of the Army's 36 infantry regiments, 8 of the 15 regiments which make up the Royal Regiment of Artillery and three of the 11 regiments in the Royal Armoured Corps, have failed to give troops enough leave between combat tours. The number of soldiers thought to have been affected by the breach is estimated at 10,000.

Psychiatrists believe that prolonged period in combat zones without proper rest and recuperation leads to increased risks of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), alcoholism and family breakdown.

Research conducted by Kings College in London last year found that there was a 20 to 50 per cent likelihood that troops will suffer an increased risk of developing PTSD if their units breached the guidelines.

The so-called "harmony guidelines" were originally developed to help the MoD manage the effect of "operational tempo" on Armed Forces personnel and their families.

But many within the military regard them as meaningless because they do not take into account the months of arduous pre-operational deployment training, much of which is spent away from families.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/new...retch-pushes-British-troops-to-the-brink.html
 
#2
I am not surprised to hear this. Depressed and resigned to it, but not surprised. The intensity of operations the guys and girls are facing whilst on these Ops is also a great concern that should be flagged up. The combination of repeated ops and intensity will have a huge impact downstream (PTSD and retention being just 2 issues)

What I am surprised about is that these facts have only been made public because of a Parliamentary Question. This type of information should be continuously monitored and published - it does seem that this a surprise to the press and indeed the politicians.
 
#3
The British Armed Forces [Federation] added: "Over-frequent operational tours place a huge strain on individual service personnel, on their families and on the efficiency of the Armed Forces as a whole.

"The Armed Forces need to be funded and manned to deal with the commitments we have now, and those we are likely to have in a realistic future; not on projections made in the very different environment of the late '90s."
 
#4
And if the people who pick up the pieces like Combat Stress are also already severely over stretched, how on earth will they cope in the future?

It's shurely simple - commit less or fund more?!
 
#5
Sadly, 'Stalin' Brown will not be a jot disturbed by these scandalous figures.

Additionally, 'Bottler' Brown will not care about low retention figures. Fewer Service personnel means less to be spent on pay et cetera, resulting in more money for the oaf to give away to his 'clients' in the Labour heartlands.

Decimated Armed Forces with low morale, inadequate and poor equipment, a lack of clear direction from the government, lack-lustre leadership at the very top (Walker and Jackson) all help this disgraced gang of third rate oiks feel safe from a revolution!

Their wholly politicised police keeping the people in check, with the Armed Forces so reduced in effectiveness as to be unable to intervene.
 
#6
milsum said:
It's shurely simple - commit less or fund more?!
Or hand the army over to EuroCorps?
 
#9
I am sure that every night logged on JPA as a night out of bed away from your Permanent Duty Station is put down on your Separated Service Reporting.

Of course you have to be move and tracked first which is sometimes a pain in the arse, but as they say every little helps and it does go to the Harmony Guidelines.

Whether they actually use them or not is a different matter altogether
 
#10
UK in the Euro Army wont happen, our relationship with the US and how we embed capability together would not allow for this to happen.
 
#11
For years now, Nato nations have been committed to reach a minimum defence spending target of 2% of GDP. Yet 20 of them, including Canada, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain, have fallen far short. Among the six that have reached the target, the shares of four (including Britain and France) are in decline. Inevitably, that means the US carries ever more of the load and becomes ever more sceptical about taking Europe seriously.
 
#13
Research conducted by Kings College in London last year found that there was a 20 to 50 per cent likelihood that troops will suffer an increased risk of developing PTSD if their units breached the guidelines.
So an 80 to 50 percent chance that breaching guidelines doesn't increase the risk of PTSD. The reports conclusion is the exact opposite of what this article claims it to be!
 
#14
parapauk said:
Research conducted by Kings College in London last year found that there was a 20 to 50 per cent likelihood that troops will suffer an increased risk of developing PTSD if their units breached the guidelines.
So an 80 to 50 percent chance that breaching guidelines doesn't increase the risk of PTSD. The reports conclusion is the exact opposite of what this article claims it to be!
With respect, parapauk, I think you may have misunderstood the quote. The research concluded that longer tours/shorter tour intervals increased the statistical risk that a given individual would develop PTSD symptoms.
 
#15
hackle said:
parapauk said:
Research conducted by Kings College in London last year found that there was a 20 to 50 per cent likelihood that troops will suffer an increased risk of developing PTSD if their units breached the guidelines.
So an 80 to 50 percent chance that breaching guidelines doesn't increase the risk of PTSD. The reports conclusion is the exact opposite of what this article claims it to be!
With respect, parapauk, I think you may have misunderstood the quote. The research concluded that longer tours/shorter tour intervals increased the statistical risk that a given individual would develop PTSD symptoms.
You're likely right that that's what they ment to say, but it is badly phrased.
 
#16
Sven
Now be a good boy and go back for more psychiatric help.
john
he was mad in 4 Regt and the years have not improved his mental condition.
 
#17
More in the same vein here
Military Overstretch: Commentary
Last summer, whilst I was embedded with British troops in southern Afghanistan, a 19-year-old Paratrooper told me how he was trying to cope with life after his best friend was killed by a suicide bomber.

By Sean Rayment, Defence Correspondent
Last Updated: 7:41PM GMT 10 Jan 2009
The attack happened in June 2008, while members of 4 platoon, B Company, were on patrol in Helmand's notorious Green Zone.
Private James Powell recalled how he held his colleague's head and whispered words of comfort to him as his life slowly slipped away. As tears filled his eyes, the young Para explained that he often felt sad and lonely since the attack - it was, he said, "like losing a brother".
The men of B Company were, however, a stolid bunch. They took some perverse pride in the fact that their camp, Forward Operating Base Inkerman - known to the troops as "Camp Incoming" - was one of the most attacked military bases in Helmand. But the unrelenting attacks exacted a heavy toll on the troops. To a man, they all looked exhausted, both mentally and physically.
Life of the average British soldier in Helmand is not for the fainthearted. It is dangerous and demanding work. In the last two months British troops have been dying at the rate of one every four days and the reality is that the fighting will only get worse.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/new.../4214725/Military-Overstretch-Commentary.html
 
#18
Skynet said:
More in the same vein here
Military Overstretch: Commentary
Last summer, whilst I was embedded with British troops in southern Afghanistan, a 19-year-old Paratrooper told me how he was trying to cope with life after his best friend was killed by a suicide bomber.

By Sean Rayment, Defence Correspondent
Last Updated: 7:41PM GMT 10 Jan 2009
The attack happened in June 2008, while members of 4 platoon, B Company, were on patrol in Helmand's notorious Green Zone.
Private James Powell recalled how he held his colleague's head and whispered words of comfort to him as his life slowly slipped away. As tears filled his eyes, the young Para explained that he often felt sad and lonely since the attack - it was, he said, "like losing a brother".
The men of B Company were, however, a stolid bunch. They took some perverse pride in the fact that their camp, Forward Operating Base Inkerman - known to the troops as "Camp Incoming" - was one of the most attacked military bases in Helmand. But the unrelenting attacks exacted a heavy toll on the troops. To a man, they all looked exhausted, both mentally and physically.
Life of the average British soldier in Helmand is not for the fainthearted. It is dangerous and demanding work. In the last two months British troops have been dying at the rate of one every four days and the reality is that the fighting will only get worse.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/new.../4214725/Military-Overstretch-Commentary.html
Bad news follows?

Being a bit less cynical, overstretch is nothing new, over 10 years ago I remember in a conversation with a senior officer who was about to give a press briefing, that his biggest worry was questions about overstretch, which officially did not exist. Fortunately for him no one asked. One very relieved officer.
 
#19
I don't know whose Army you were in 10 years ago? Overstretch did exist, was acknowledged, monitored and reported.

The problem is that our politicians just didn't want to know and still don't.

If you think it is no worse today then you are living in the same parallel universe that our political masters abide.
 
#20
While working in a 2* HQ a few years back we had our Director General visit, one of the topics we were presenting to him was on breaching Harmony as he had recently put out a letter saying none of his troops were breaching it.... I got the Unicom Print out of almost every single one of his cap badged soldiers under that 2* HQ command. and gave him a stat of 78% were outside Harmony guidelines. I was promptly called a liar, and that he had been reliable informed by his staff...... He even refused to accept the brief I had written which gave him all the evidence he could have asked for.... Thankfully my boss vehemently(?) stood up for me.

But it was the closest I have come to going to Colly ;)

Point I am trying to make, is that no matter how many letters you read about maintaining Harmony. The only thing the Senior CoC actually care about is boots on the ground and not what state those boots and their families may be in....

This current Media interest will blow over as it always does and our troops will be as busy as ever. Still, we did sign up to do our job and I would rather do it overseas than rot in an office in the UK. Just means that the regimental CoC and welfare chain have to work twice as hard to earn their crust
 

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