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Proposed Training Changes Post Army 2020

maninblack

LE
Book Reviewer
While having a coffee in Abbey Wood yesterday I bumped into one of the driving forces behind the revision of uniform policy white paper, (thread here: Possible Uniform Revisions Under Army 2020) a One Star former SF bod of established and proven influence. Interestingly it seems that things go much deeper than I was initially lead to believe. There are other streamlining factors being driven by the reorganisation around Army 2020 that could change the way that the UK land forces infantry capability are organised.

In the last 25 years the shift in power from Brigade of Guards to airborne/SF in the higher echelons of Whitehall and DE&S has also created a move away from tradition to a degree not previously seen. Certain sacred cows have already been sacrificed at the altar of practicality with cavalry regiments in thin skin vehicles, Ghurkas wearing maroon berets and the RAF regiment breaking out in a rash of independent thought and starting to select some of their own equipment. On top of this the SF have had a roaring time in sandy places which lead to the SFSG formation and the rationalisation of SAS/SBS selection down to a common core course at Hereford.

With the shrinking land forces another white paper being drafted is based on the success of the SAS/SBS rationalisation and is looking at moving this to a more streamlined system which would encompass ALL infantry role personnel into a homogenized training system based around the Army Training Regiments.

The draft white paper proposes to concentrate infantry training on two sites within the UK, these would be a single ATR for tri-service infantry phase 1 and phase 2 training. This super ATR would effectively run like a Corps Depot for Army infantry, RAF Regiment and Royal Marines on a common training syllabus. After phase 2 successful soldiers would be asked to specialise and would then be posted to a battalion. The exception for this would be those going for Royal Marines or Parachute Regiment service.

Specialist infantry would attend 3 months at a combined training centre on a course based upon the All Arms Commando Course. This would likely remain at Lympstone. Also joining this course would be those non-infantry soldiers volunteering for Commando or Airborne units. A shortened Army Reserve course would also be introduced. Those who complete the course would be able to select Parachute Regiment or Royal Marines subject to available posts in their chosen unit.

Sphynx Battery, The Honourable Artillery Company and similar “private armies” would all fall under this new training regime while entry selection for Pathfinder Platoon would be rolled into the combined SF selection course formally making Pathfinders an additional SF Squadron.

Whether this gets past the top brass remains to be seen but there is a strong case for streamlining and considering a more radical approach and the money saving would be significant.
 

Caecilius

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Parts of that make sense but I just don't see how the specialist units bit would work. They mostly have different selection courses for good reason: they require a different product. A one size fits all test of fitness would be inappropriate. There's a lot to be said for the corps depot idea before being sent to these units but I'd be amazed if that gets past 1SL.

I also don't see the logic for taking PF away from 16X. Again, they exist for a reason which is removed by making them part of the group. There's probably no harm in making them do the hills before heading back to 16X for the rest of their course though.
 
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I presume said one star was Para and 22 trained? His plan might work for the Army, but I can’ see it flying with 1SL and CAS.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 
While having a coffee in Abbey Wood yesterday I bumped into one of the driving forces behind the revision of uniform policy white paper, (thread here: Possible Uniform Revisions Under Army 2020) a One Star former SF bod of established and proven influence. Interestingly it seems that things go much deeper than I was initially lead to believe. There are other streamlining factors being driven by the reorganisation around Army 2020 that could change the way that the UK land forces infantry capability are organised.

In the last 25 years the shift in power from Brigade of Guards to airborne/SF in the higher echelons of Whitehall and DE&S has also created a move away from tradition to a degree not previously seen. Certain sacred cows have already been sacrificed at the altar of practicality with cavalry regiments in thin skin vehicles, Ghurkas wearing maroon berets and the RAF regiment breaking out in a rash of independent thought and starting to select some of their own equipment. On top of this the SF have had a roaring time in sandy places which lead to the SFSG formation and the rationalisation of SAS/SBS selection down to a common core course at Hereford.

With the shrinking land forces another white paper being drafted is based on the success of the SAS/SBS rationalisation and is looking at moving this to a more streamlined system which would encompass ALL infantry role personnel into a homogenized training system based around the Army Training Regiments.

The draft white paper proposes to concentrate infantry training on two sites within the UK, these would be a single ATR for tri-service infantry phase 1 and phase 2 training. This super ATR would effectively run like a Corps Depot for Army infantry, RAF Regiment and Royal Marines on a common training syllabus. After phase 2 successful soldiers would be asked to specialise and would then be posted to a battalion. The exception for this would be those going for Royal Marines or Parachute Regiment service.

Specialist infantry would attend 3 months at a combined training centre on a course based upon the All Arms Commando Course. This would likely remain at Lympstone. Also joining this course would be those non-infantry soldiers volunteering for Commando or Airborne units. A shortened Army Reserve course would also be introduced. Those who complete the course would be able to select Parachute Regiment or Royal Marines subject to available posts in their chosen unit.

Sphynx Battery, The Honourable Artillery Company and similar “private armies” would all fall under this new training regime while entry selection for Pathfinder Platoon would be rolled into the combined SF selection course formally making Pathfinders an additional SF Squadron.

Whether this gets past the top brass remains to be seen but there is a strong case for streamlining and considering a more radical approach and the money saving would be significant.

Insert comment of your choice about RAF Regt having special dispensation to only tab 5 miles here...


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verticalgyro

MIA
DirtyBAT
I presume said one star was Para and 22 trained? His plan might work for the Army, but I can’ see it flying with 1SL and CAS.


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Why not? Particularly if the Army was picking up the bill for the training, I can't see why they wouldn't go for it. how many ships or F35s can be paid for instead of training the SRDG and the Naval infantry.
 
Why not? Particularly if the Army was picking up the bill for the training, I can't see why they wouldn't go for it. how many ships or F35s can be paid for instead of training the SRDG and the Naval infantry.

My thoughts too; CTC RM would not be redundant, just re-roled, but I cannot see any justification for the retention of RAF Honnington as the RAF Regiment Depot. All trade training establishments need to go Tri-Service now to save money. If you need to find £400m, they are a good place to start looking.
 
So basically stream recruits as they qualify or do they enter already streamed into Army/RAF Reg/Navy? Streaming according to talent might be a cheaper way to do things rather than trying to fit square pegs into round holes. Can't tab for shit - straight into SRDG or the RN. Fit as a butcher's dog - infantry and so on.
 

verticalgyro

MIA
DirtyBAT
My thoughts too; CTC RM would not be redundant, just re-roled, but I cannot see any justification for the retention of RAF Honnington as the RAF Regiment Depot. All trade training establishments need to go Tri-Service now to save money. If you need to find £400m, they are a good place to start looking.

Well, on second thoughts, we tried doing that with Lyneham - but the RAF and RN didn't want to play. Still, their loss as the REME now have a decent fit for purpose training establishment with decent accommodation.
 
Well, on second thoughts, we tried doing that with Lyneham - but the RAF and RN didn't want to play. Still, their loss as the REME now have a decent fit for purpose training establishment with decent accommodation.

Both the RAF and the RN were very short-sighted; if they want to free up funds for the front-line, they need to get their personnel and training costs reduced.
 
Why not? Particularly if the Army was picking up the bill for the training, I can't see why they wouldn't go for it. how many ships or F35s can be paid for instead of training the SRDG and the Naval infantry.

Because there is an argument that you inculcate ethos in the first 4-6 weeks of basic training. Thus, if you want a Commando or air-minded ethos, you need to do it then. There is probably a reason why the Guards and Paras insist on a separate ph 1 training coy.

I'm also not sure how a single training environment can do the style of training that covers commando training (longer and slower) and p-coy style training (significantly quicker over shorter distances).
 

Grok

Old-Salt
So basically stream recruits as they qualify or do they enter already streamed into Army/RAF Reg/Navy? Streaming according to talent might be a cheaper way to do things rather than trying to fit square pegs into round holes. Can't tab for shit - straight into SRDG or the RN. Fit as a butcher's dog - infantry and so on.

Shades of Starship Troopers . . .
 

Cutaway

LE
Kit Reviewer
Specialist infantry would attend 3 months at a combined training centre on a course based upon the All Arms Commando Course. This would likely remain at Lympstone. Also joining this course would be those non-infantry soldiers volunteering for Commando or Airborne units. A shortened Army Reserve course would also be introduced. Those who complete the course would be able to select Parachute Regiment or Royal Marines subject to available posts in their chosen unit.
This would really make tremendous sense, both units have their strengths but are directed in different directions. To have a common basic trg might even, in the far flung future, allow for a common ethos deeper than 'just' being British forces..

But we'd better let a generation or so pass away before we have any high hopes of that.
 

Cutaway

LE
Kit Reviewer

Cutaway

LE
Kit Reviewer
Sphynx Battery, The Honourable Artillery Company and similar “private armies” would all fall under this new training regime while entry selection for Pathfinder Platoon would be rolled into the combined SF selection course formally making Pathfinders an additional SF Squadron.

If they go for it.
Otherwise you've got more chance of taking me to the hilt than the HAC slotting into something with which they're not completely happy.
They can afford to decide how & where their ouens are trained.
 

Ravers

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
If they go for it.
Otherwise you've got more chance of taking me to the hilt than the HAC slotting into something with which they're not completely happy.
They can afford to decide how & where their ouens are trained.

Used to be the case, but I believe HAC recruits now do the standard 2 week STAB FTX at Pirbright with everyone else.

In my day.........etc.
 
Because there is an argument that you inculcate ethos in the first 4-6 weeks of basic training. Thus, if you want a Commando or air-minded ethos, you need to do it then. There is probably a reason why the Guards and Paras insist on a separate ph 1 training coy.

I'm also not sure how a single training environment can do the style of training that covers commando training (longer and slower) and p-coy style training (significantly quicker over shorter distances).

This is what my cheap shot at the RAF Regt alluded to. It's a good idea in principle but once they start taking account of all the 'exceptions' it gets very complicated very quickly. Do the Rifles still march faster than everyone else?


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Cutaway

LE
Kit Reviewer
Used to be the case, but I believe HAC recruits now do the standard 2 week STAB FTX at Pirbright with everyone else.

In my day.........etc.
Think they've been doing that for quite some time, their bods have to recognise what all the new units do and why their headdress isn't like their own.

In fact I'm sure they'll fit in wherever it suits them, shows we're all singing from the same song sheet, etc., but for their own "special stuff," they'll quietly do whatever they want.
It's not as if they don't have the leverage.
 

asr1

War Hero
The issue with having super-sized training establishments is that the cost savings aren't linked to how many soldiers you are training concurrently. Having far more platoons of soldiers under training would potentially allow non-infrastructure resource used to be optimised (instructors, vehicles, support staff) but would place huge pressure on infrastructure (bed spaces, training areas, ranges, classrooms). For example, if you've ever walked around Catterick training area in the summer you can't move 5 metres without seeing troops under training or other exercises ongoing. If you have to ship your trainees further and further afield to do training, or have them waiting around for resource to become available then you've lost a lot of the efficiency gains. Likewise if you have to invest hugely in upgrading a training establishment to double capacity.

A common phase 1 infantry syllabus followed by Ph 2 training makes sense when considering the army only, but phase one training is about developing ethos and knowledge of the parent organisation - all of which are very different for RAF Regt, Para, Guards, Gurks, line infantry and RM. I think a lot of time in Ph2 would be spent saying "forget what you were taught at Ph 1, this is how we do things around here". I would argue that it's probably better to train how you fight from day one.

Pathfinders serve as Bde recce, the same as RM Brigade Recce Force. The role is similar to, but also fundamentally different to SF. If you rolled them up into SF, then a gap would exist which would have to be filled by either getting SF to do conventional forces formation recce (a role requiring a close working relationship with Bde staff), or creating another group which would end up being like the PF - so no net gain.

The issue of AA P-Coy and Cdo course is that P-Coy is 7 weeks, the Cdo course is 11 weeks. Both courses offer very different course content which has evolved over time to meet the different needs of the Parachute Regiment and the RM. Homogenising them together would have a big impact on ethos, create unnecessary training and again is unlikely to save that much money.

I don't think that the proposals are particularly radical, nor are these likely to result in particularly significant cost savings.

A more radical solution would be to:
1. Combine the SAS/SBS (gasp).
2. Combine the RM/Paras into a "shock infantry" Brigade (or whatever you want to call it) and run a homogenised Ph1/Ph2 in one training establishment.
3. Put everyone else into the Rifles, and let them run their own Ph1/Ph2 in 2 training establishments.
4. Let the guards run their own Ph1/Ph2, as to be honest, you aren't going to get anyone interested in the smell of brasso and marching up and down the square as a separate course at the end of Ph2 - another training establishment.
5. Run BRF/PF as a specialist course, but as BRF/PF would be homogenised into the "shock infantry" you'd only need to run one version - run at the same place as the "shock brigade" training establishment.
6. Run a homogenised all-arms P-Coy/Cdo Cse as an 8 week course at the "shock brigade" training establishment.
7. Let the Raf Regt crack on with whatever it is they do, probably at an airfield somewhere nice and flat.
8. Get rid of the Gurkhas.

Job done. Where do I send my invoice?
 

Cutaway

LE
Kit Reviewer
Job done. Where do I send my invoice?
Fcuk knows, but considering how many people you've just pissed off, it'd better be spent on CP teams.
 
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