Report of the All Party Parliamentary Reserve Forces Group

#2
A good report. Do you reckon they might have been scanning the boards here?

Hope people listen to it
 
#3
Purple_Emperor said:
A good report. Do you reckon they might have been scanning the boards here?

Hope people listen to it
I interpreted that as proving that the issues that get talked about on here are of real-world relevance.

If people don't want to read all 26 pages the bullet point summary starting on p25 will suffice.
 
#5
Purple_Emperor said:
A good report. Do you reckon they might have been scanning the boards here?

Hope people listen to it
Reckon so..... several points I don't think we've discussed:

The MoD should consider some rebalancing
between the regular army and the TA, moving a
small number of units in areas with no immediate
operational roles from the OrBat of the Regular
Army to the TA, thus freeing manpower in junior
ranks for areas of the Regular Army where it is
badly needed and releasing money for overstretched
training budgets, both regular and TA, to ensure
that units can train properly for their roles.
Too sensible and yet another change

Regional brigades should be strongly encouraged
both to keep the regular and TA brands distinct
(recognising that very different forms of service
are required) and to delegate as much of their
budget for reserves as possible to the level of
individual TA units and to RFCAs’ devolved
committees. The essentially local nature of territorial
service and the need to maintain and build local
media and employment relationships should be
recognised as paramount for recruiting citizensoldiers.
Moaning about One Army recruiting so soon!

While locations (and cap-badges) for sub-units set
out in the Future Army Strategy should be allowed
to settle down, the new structure, for infantry
companies and yeomanry squadrons should be
revisited in the light both of the actual demands on
the TA - for enduring operations - and the
overriding need for a structure able to provide a
critical mass for training which is challenging at all
levels.
Haven't the infantry regained full signal platoons?

A database of civilian skills held by members of
the reserve forces should be developed, on the basis
that no reservist would be compulsorily mobilised
to use these skills, but some serving and exreservists
might wish to make themselves available
where opportunities arise.
Eh, can't get mobilised for my civvie skills - thats me not going anywhere (and I know several who should not have been mobilised)

The flow of problems of dental health among
mobilised reservists should be tackled. This should
be addressed by employing a dental practice at
Chilwell, facilitating referral to NHS dentists who
can undertake the work in time, or paying for private
treatment.
Fcuk me.... how long as it taken to work that one out??
 

OldSnowy

LE
Moderator
Book Reviewer
#6
Good report? It's 75% rubbish. It represents the last gasp of a breed of TA and, mostly, ex-TA, Senior Officer (NOT Soldier, please note) who hark back to the days when the TA was a home defence force. Well it isn't any more, and they will just have to get used to it - the TA has, much to the benefit of the the Army as a whole.

My opinions on this are well known, see threads passim, but anyone who has read this report will see immediately how out-of-touch the Authors are.
 
#7
OldSnowy said:
It represents the last gasp of a breed of TA
Dunno, reckon this may carry some weight

moving a small number of units in areas with no immediate operational roles from the OrBat of the Regular Army to the TA

I think of two logistics signal squadrons doing a job a TA unit could do. Don't let GB look at this diagram, not difficult what idea it could give him.
 

Attachments

#9
Don't know what report you were reading Snowy. Most of the recommendations are bang on. In addition they do not require rafts of new legislation or spending; many are commonsense recommendations which have been brought up and discussed on these boards.

My complaint is the report does not go far enough. It mentions the MTD issue but does not develop it or make recommendations and fails to address the long term impplications of mobilisation on employment and family.

The only real jarring note I felt was the assessment of the utility of reserves in enduring operations:

Many questioned whether the current expeditionary wars of choice were suitable for Reserves. They clearly are, and one reason they are likely to be more so is because the essential struggle is in the civilian not military arena. Every aspect of civilian life will be on this battlefield, the school, the factory, the farm, even the place of worship. Where is the expertise of the Regular Forces in these? Is it credible to assume that the requisite resources could be found from a few specialists, junior ranks and ex regulars? In Section 4, we discuss how some of these requirements could be met more cheaply by the Reserve Forces.
This is one aspect, and to be fair the committee's recommendation is a register of civilian skills and qualifications with a no compulory mobilisation policy for those with these individuals. The phrase 'more cheaply' is telling, though.

By just focussing on this point it fails to address the question of whether the reserves should be permanently committed to enduring operations, arguably the elephant in the room for this report.

Overall a good report dealing with details but not getting to the heart of the problems with the TA today.
 
#10
A few good (if not original) points (offr recruitment/drivers hours/dental treatment) but quite a lot of pish.

CCRF is a good concept? CCRF is c*ck.

Territorial Army is a good brand name & supported by majority of reservists? TA is c*ck.

Whilst it is perhaps both churlish & chippy, it is also worth mentioning that there is more to the TA than 4th Battalion The Parachute Regiment & the Royal Yeomanry (presumably the only units visited). Whilst I appreciate that Inf/Cav have some problems that need addressing, to write a report like this and not even mention the huge contribution of other cap badges (esp CSS) is a bit poor.
 
#11
Dilfor said:
it is also worth mentioning that there is more to the TA than 4th Battalion The Parachute Regiment & the Royal Yeomanry (presumably the only units visited).
Well, I guess they only came to the best! :D

Presumably they talked about the RY because of the mobilisation they carried out, providing a formed squadron on Telic 1 as per the 'formed sub-unit in support of their regular counterpart' model of the TA. (I know others have done this too).

TA is a good enough name. You just need to do 'Skoda' on it and sort out people's perceptions.

CCRF is a good concept - and potentially very good for our image, helping cats out of burning buildings and getting old ladies out of trees and stuff) (see Skoda point above). It's just a pile of pants because of the way it is mnaged and (not) resourced.

Can anyone tell me why they think the new inf and Yeomanry squadron orbats need changing. All I've seen of them (RY anyway), makes sense.

Their point one
Wherever possible, deployment of Territorials on active service should be by formed sub-units rather than cohorts or individual replacements. Officers must continue to have the opportunity for command on operational deployments.
is exactly what everybody has been saying on these boards, isnt it?
 

OldSnowy

LE
Moderator
Book Reviewer
#12
Purple_Emperor said:
Wherever possible, deployment of Territorials on active service should be by formed sub-units rather than cohorts or individual replacements. Officers must continue to have the opportunity for command on operational deployments.
is exactly what everybody has been saying on these boards, isn't it?

Nope, not everybody. While it's good for the TA to operate within its comfort zone, let's make a couple of things crystal clear:

1. The TA does not exist for its own benefit - it is there to support the rest of the Army, not to wait for the Russians to storm across the IGB.......

2. The Army, which runs the TA, pays its bills, etc., should be the ones who decide what they want. And mostly, what they want is NOT formed sub-Units.


If this results in there not being a 'career path' for TA Officers, then tough. Is there any need, apart from a few specialists, for ANY TA Officer to be above the rank of Major?

In short - there is no God-given right for the TA to exist, in its present, or in any other, form. Money is tight, will get even tighter, and if the Army can't use theTA, it won't pay for it. Simple.

Oh,and Dilfor is 100% spot-on as regards the CCRF. One day the history of it's 'conception' will come out, and will give us all a few wry laughs, but it always has been, and remains today, an unrequired solution to a non-existent problem (even more so since Whole-Fleet Management came in!).
 

The_Duke

LE
Moderator
#13
Dilfor said:
Whilst it is perhaps both churlish & chippy, it is also worth mentioning that there is more to the TA than 4th Battalion The Parachute Regiment & the Royal Yeomanry (presumably the only units visited). Whilst I appreciate that Inf/Cav have some problems that need addressing, to write a report like this and not even mention the huge contribution of other cap badges (esp CSS) is a bit poor.
Perhaps not entirely unrelated to the fact that the MPs did not have to move too far out of their comfort zone to go and visit these units.

Nice and close to Westminster, and even then we were kept waiting. Imagine if they went further afield! Oh, and one member of the committee was ex 10 Para.
 
#14
OK - CCRF is an entirely 'political' creation. Doesnt mean that it couldnt function.

The army is currently running on empty and using any resources it has, I agree. However, lets not think that his will happen long term. The point is made that it takes a long time to rebuild the capability of the TA,longer than the regs, and in three years time when we are out of Iraq and the regs arent as stretched, what will the role of the TA be then? Presumably it will be the role that is mandated to it in the SDR or wherever it is to support the army on large scale ops?

It's nothing to do with a comfort zone - the boards are full of young guys wanting to get out and do a tour, and we've mostly been and done one anyway. It's all about maintaing a credible reserve for the long term security of the country. That is why it is a report carried out at parliamentary level not operational level.

Re officers. I dont care if there arent any TA L Cols. but you wont get any subbies, captains or majors if you dont give them a career path, and even you must agree we need a few of those?
 
#15
“Every soldier — without exception — whom I have
ever put on a potential NCOs cardre has been
promoted at work within six months.”


NUFF SAID!
 
#16
OldSnowy said:
Purple_Emperor said:
Wherever possible, deployment of Territorials on active service should be by formed sub-units rather than cohorts or individual replacements. Officers must continue to have the opportunity for command on operational deployments.
is exactly what everybody has been saying on these boards, isn't it?

Nope, not everybody. While it's good for the TA to operate within its comfort zone, let's make a couple of things crystal clear:

1. The TA does not exist for its own benefit - it is there to support the rest of the Army, not to wait for the Russians to storm across the IGB.......

2. The Army, which runs the TA, pays its bills, etc., should be the ones who decide what they want. And mostly, what they want is NOT formed sub-Units.

If this results in there not being a 'career path' for TA Officers, then tough. Is there any need, apart from a few specialists, for ANY TA Officer to be above the rank of Major?

In short - there is no God-given right for the TA to exist, in its present, or in any other, form. Money is tight, will get even tighter, and if the Army can't use the TA, it won't pay for it. Simple.

Oh,and Dilfor is 100% spot-on as regards the CCRF. One day the history of it's 'conception' will come out, and will give us all a few wry laughs, but it always has been, and remains today, an unrequired solution to a non-existent problem (even more so since Whole-Fleet Management came in!).
Couple of Good points there. Just mention two very tiny unimportant details.

The TA, and the TF, were formed and reformed in 1907, 1920 and 1947 to provide FORMED units up to Brigade level (49 Brigade up to 1989 anyone?) The structure and funding of the TF/TA has always been to provide units. The REGULAR RESERVE is meant to provide the the bodies to fill out battalions to war strength and BCR/IR's. The word Territorial was chosen to reflect the fact that the TF/TA volunters were never under any obligation to serve overseas. The TF was meant to provide troops for Home Defence at first. The BEF in 1914 and 1939 were brought up to strength by the use of Reserves called back to the Colours, along with a small number of TF volunters, who had voluntered to be called up. The BEF in 1939 also called reserves back to the colours in vast numbers. The TA added units to the Regular Army establishment.

What should have happened in 1991 and 2001, like 1956, is that those ex -regulars with an obligation to be called up should have been called up and reported for duty. The TA should then have been tasked to provide sub units to fill shortages in transport, medical, engineers and extra infantry for rear area security. Instead the Regular Army and TA was bent out of shape to provide war strength bodies, IR's and BCR's.

If we are going to be used as War establishment fill in's then MoD is going to have to pay to change the TA and increase it's size. If not, then MoD is going to have to pay to make the regular reserves work. Either way, the Regular Army looks to be in a position to get royally f**ked.
 

OldSnowy

LE
Moderator
Book Reviewer
#17
Kit -

Indeed, what you say is absolutely true - but relates entirely to the past. We are looking towards the future here. If you read the various Policy documents on the Reserves, and indeed the Army's sites and TA bumf, you will see that the TA is "the Reserve of choice" for the Army - and the only choice is between the TA and the RR. This "choice" was made because the Regular Reserve was tried and found wanting in GRANBY and, more so, TELIC/HERRICK.

The future of the TA is NOT to provide Formed Units, except in specific circumstances, it is to provide trained manpower - in the same way that the other three Reserves, the RMR, RAuxAF, and RNR, have been doing for years.

Meanwhile, and a slight diversion (but one that still really, really, grips my shyte) there are still a number of TA Officers (mostly quite senior) who still refuse, quite shamefully in my opinion, to sign up to the terms of the current RFA, and who are often the leaders in bleating about the bad things happening to the TA that they knew when they joined. Perhaps they would have a greater chance of being listened to if they accepted the same Terms & Conditions of Service as the Soldiers that they are supposed to lead!
 
#18
OldSnowy said:
Kit -

Indeed, what you say is absolutely true - but relates entirely to the past. We are looking towards the future here. If you read the various Policy documents on the Reserves, and indeed the Army's sites and TA bumf, you will see that the TA is "the Reserve of choice" for the Army - and the only choice is between the TA and the RR. This "choice" was made because the Regular Reserve was tried and found wanting in GRANBY and, more so, TELIC/HERRICK.

The future of the TA is NOT to provide Formed Units, except in specific circumstances, it is to provide trained manpower - in the same way that the other three Reserves, the RMR, RAuxAF, and RNR, have been doing for years.

Meanwhile, and a slight diversion (but one that still really, really, grips my shyte) there are still a number of TA Officers (mostly quite senior) who still refuse, quite shamefully in my opinion, to sign up to the terms of the current RFA, and who are often the leaders in bleating about the bad things happening to the TA that they knew when they joined. Perhaps they would have a greater chance of being listened to if they accepted the same Terms & Conditions of Service as the Soldiers that they are supposed to lead!
And therein lies the problem. The TA is structured to recruit , train and work as formed units. The problems that affect the TA, and it's people, relate to that structure and the way it is being used, such as the problems post tour TA soldiers face when they have been injured or are mentally affected. If we are going to be the only reserve for the army then a lot more money than 1.3% of the budget needs to be spent on the TA, and that's not going to happen.

The TA is not the Regular Army's "First Choice", it is the army's ONLY option as HM Treasury will not pay one bent penny to allow MoD to actually keep ex regulars to the commitment they made when they signed on in the first place. Either way, the TA is going to get bent out of shape, and in the process the Regular Army will lose the only reserve it has.
 
#19
OldSnowy said:
This "choice" was made because the Regular Reserve was tried and found wanting in GRANBY and, more so, TELIC/HERRICK.
So they've lost their 'reserve' liability, so does this mean they've had their pay/pension reduced and this transferred over to the TA.

The problem with the regular reserve is Glasgow doesn't know where they live, not a very difficult problem to fix is it. We are first choice because we inform the MOD of change of address.

I don't blame senior TA officers for not signing up to RFA, the above reason is garabge. How illogical, faced with a large highly trained reserve vrs struggling smaller less trained reserve. Which one do you pick? I know use the one who's address we know.
 
#20
I feel moved to say that having now read the report in it's entireity (yawn) that the Preface is excellent (except for the bit when Brig (Ret'd) Holmes 'warmly' endorses the recommendations), the content is insightful and reasonably balanced, but the recommendations are poor. They give a real impression of a list of last minute thoughts and many bear no resemblance to reality or current tempo of the TA. RFCAs to be more involved? - do me a favour. TA and Regular brands distinct? - too late (OAR?). One in five compulsury call-out? when? it's all voluntary and 1 in 5 would kill most careers anyway. For once in my life, I half agree with old snowey.
 

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