Royal Marines Gucci Rebrand

Yes, that worked just fine when we had a Territorial Army of many regiments, not just battalions, the average infantryman's kit-out was not much more than boots, uniform, helmet, rifle and water bottle, and a large industrial base that could churn out tanks and artillery that were basically clockwork.

Not only is that kit-out for even the most 'basic' infantry man/woman far more comprehensive but the TA no longer exists and the Army Reserve is regularly used to infill full-time units. We are spread way too thin, and that's before you look at industrial capacity.
Industrial capacity can equip an Army sure, but it cannot train it or confer experience. The experience of both world wars teaches us that. At the close of both world wars the victorious democracies demilitarised a damned sight faster than they ramping it up.
 

Cold_Collation

LE
Book Reviewer
Industrial capacity can equip an Army sure, but it cannot train it or confer experience. The experience of both world wars teaches us that. At the close of both world wars the victorious democracies demilitarised a damned sight faster than they ramping it up.
Not sure the point you're making.

We haven't the ability to immediately generate experience/numbers. What we have is what we have. The model we had, we had because it worked. We don't have that model any more.

The cupboard is bare.
 
We've already seen situations where our competence has been heavily influenced, if I might put it like that - and not even by so-called peers or near-peers. We're on the way to being irrelevant.

Again, we're on the way to being irrelevant.

But at least we'll have preserved some cap badges. Phew.
I can attest to this in my area of interest. The R. Sigs are among some very shady company as having the poorest unit training and equipment among NATO member nations. However, when you take the NCOs and WOs out of the Corps and put them in NATO jobs, they really come into their own (The officers not so much as they have almost no CIS background or training whatsoever). Unfortunately I have no clear idea why, although I do have some individual and not-necessarily coherent thoughts on the matter.

  1. Rotation frequency is much too high. What happened to 5 year (Or longer) tours?
  2. Centralised training is too low level. (Cost factors)
  3. Modular training is too limited. (Cost factors)
  4. Soldiers are not allowed to reconfigure kit to match the use case.
  5. The crazy persistence with the idea of separate operator and tech communities.
  6. Soldiers are not valued as SMEs by overbearing officers and RDs who have little concept of the daily reality of CIS in support of ops.
  7. The kit in standard Regts and Sqns is obsolete and lacks scope for interoperability, especially Bowman.
We do not look on in awe when the Brits turn up on our exercises or missions and we know that we are going to have to spend the first few weeks explaining everything to them.

I hadn't realised it was the same across the entire army.
 
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jim30

LE
So I've seen this thread by accident via another site and logged in for the first time in, literally, years to offer some thoughts as there are some slightly confused opinions here. For context, I worked on the UOR / NACMO policy side of the house back in the late 2000s as part of the Equipment Programme, and owned the approvals policy.

For OP TELIC and HERRICK the way it worked was that the Treasury funded any net additional costs from the reserve (NACMO) - e.g. in very simple terms if you spent £1m running an item, but sending it to Afghanistan would mean it suddenly when to £2m the Treasury had a pool of money that would pay the £1m difference.

The UOR system existed to provide short term answers to 'unique and operationally specific issues' in theatre that the EP could not reasonably have been expected to cover. For example, if you needed a small number of very specific bits of kit to do something only for HERRICK (for sake of argument buying a piece of logs kit) then the Treasury had a pool of money you could draw on.

It was strictly governed to prevent bad behaviour - so they would happily provide you with money to buy Afghan stuff, but if you tried to be too clever and then buy something that could have long term use, they'd usually say no or ask why you weren't re prioritising EP funding to buy it. My experience was that the Army was very poor at re-prioritising to do this and treated the pool as free money.

There was relatively little thought given to trying to shift behaviours, and instead HMT ran a bar tab funding the deployment of each Bde sized force to be equipped to TES standard. This usually worked out at about 10% per year extra on the equipment budget all in just for OP HERRICK/TELIC.

Ultimately it worked well, and HMT gave the Army (and RAF and a tiny amount to the RN) several billion quid extra that would otherwise not have been provided. These wars were funded, and large amounts of the equipment and support separate to the normal procurement budget.
 

Cold_Collation

LE
Book Reviewer
So I've seen this thread by accident via another site and logged in for the first time in, literally, years to offer some thoughts as there are some slightly confused opinions here. For context, I worked on the UOR / NACMO policy side of the house back in the late 2000s as part of the Equipment Programme, and owned the approvals policy.

For OP TELIC and HERRICK the way it worked was that the Treasury funded any net additional costs from the reserve (NACMO) - e.g. in very simple terms if you spent £1m running an item, but sending it to Afghanistan would mean it suddenly when to £2m the Treasury had a pool of money that would pay the £1m difference.

The UOR system existed to provide short term answers to 'unique and operationally specific issues' in theatre that the EP could not reasonably have been expected to cover. For example, if you needed a small number of very specific bits of kit to do something only for HERRICK (for sake of argument buying a piece of logs kit) then the Treasury had a pool of money you could draw on.

It was strictly governed to prevent bad behaviour - so they would happily provide you with money to buy Afghan stuff, but if you tried to be too clever and then buy something that could have long term use, they'd usually say no or ask why you weren't re prioritising EP funding to buy it. My experience was that the Army was very poor at re-prioritising to do this and treated the pool as free money.

There was relatively little thought given to trying to shift behaviours, and instead HMT ran a bar tab funding the deployment of each Bde sized force to be equipped to TES standard. This usually worked out at about 10% per year extra on the equipment budget all in just for OP HERRICK/TELIC.

Ultimately it worked well, and HMT gave the Army (and RAF and a tiny amount to the RN) several billion quid extra that would otherwise not have been provided. These wars were funded, and large amounts of the equipment and support separate to the normal procurement budget.
Nice to see you around again.
 

Alamo

LE
So I've seen this thread by accident via another site and logged in for the first time in, literally, years to offer some thoughts as there are some slightly confused opinions here. For context, I worked on the UOR / NACMO policy side of the house back in the late 2000s as part of the Equipment Programme, and owned the approvals policy.

For OP TELIC and HERRICK the way it worked was that the Treasury funded any net additional costs from the reserve (NACMO) - e.g. in very simple terms if you spent £1m running an item, but sending it to Afghanistan would mean it suddenly when to £2m the Treasury had a pool of money that would pay the £1m difference.

The UOR system existed to provide short term answers to 'unique and operationally specific issues' in theatre that the EP could not reasonably have been expected to cover. For example, if you needed a small number of very specific bits of kit to do something only for HERRICK (for sake of argument buying a piece of logs kit) then the Treasury had a pool of money you could draw on.

It was strictly governed to prevent bad behaviour - so they would happily provide you with money to buy Afghan stuff, but if you tried to be too clever and then buy something that could have long term use, they'd usually say no or ask why you weren't re prioritising EP funding to buy it. My experience was that the Army was very poor at re-prioritising to do this and treated the pool as free money.

There was relatively little thought given to trying to shift behaviours, and instead HMT ran a bar tab funding the deployment of each Bde sized force to be equipped to TES standard. This usually worked out at about 10% per year extra on the equipment budget all in just for OP HERRICK/TELIC.

Ultimately it worked well, and HMT gave the Army (and RAF and a tiny amount to the RN) several billion quid extra that would otherwise not have been provided. These wars were funded, and large amounts of the equipment and support separate to the normal procurement budget.
And the rules drove some shocking behaviour. I was at a meeting where it was cautioned against making Mastiff 2 too good and meeting certain key user criteria because if it did “it’ll become FRES”. And the need to change the UOR fleet every 6 months to meet each new bde comd’s “battle winning idea” was frankly disgraceful.

@Caecilius is right that Ops did distort the EP to some degree, but the obsolescence of almost the complete Army inventory is nobody’s fault but theirs.
 

In_Twists

Clanker
The Army has not met its manpower target since forever.
However, no one cut a percentage off its budget allowance to match its reduced manning.
So, and this is the point where Generals go a bit quiet and look at their shuffling feet...

’what happened to the annual £5 Billion windfall the Army’s been receiving for a decade General?

unlike the other two Services, the Army's always had plenty of, a surplus even, of money.
But what it hasn’t had is a coherent vision what it wants to be - and a plan of how to get there.
Well then those crusty H/Cav generals in Whitehall need kicking out.
I guess it just seems that the Army gets shit on, if they squander the money as you say they do, whilst the others use it wisely.
 

Cold_Collation

LE
Book Reviewer
And the rules drove some shocking behaviour. I was at a meeting where it was cautioned against making Mastiff 2 too good and meeting certain key user criteria because if it did “it’ll become FRES”. And the need to change the UOR fleet every 6 months to meet each new bde comd’s “battle winning idea” was frankly disgraceful.

@Caecilius is right that Ops did distort the EP to some degree, but the obsolescence of almost the complete Army inventory is nobody’s fault but theirs.
Ridiculous, isn't it? The whole idea of FRES was to produce something that could perform in 'a' not 'the' war.
 
However, when you take the NCOs and WOs out of the Corps and put them in NATO jobs, they really come into their own (The officers not so much as they have almost no CIS background or training whatsoever). .
Its interesting to see officers in a NATO environment when they cant just tell someone beneath them to "make it happen" or if they have a gash job they cant just have some toms rounded up to do it.
Some thrive and do well and some give the impression that they are everything with their rank and nothing without it.
 
Soldiers are not valued as SMEs by overbearing officers and RDs who have little concept of the daily reality of CIS in support of ops
How long will it take for this lesson to be learned? RD's failed in trade, bitter and twisted make a concious effort to piss off the troops and are surprised when it doesn't end well.
 
Its interesting to see officers in a NATO environment when they cant just tell someone beneath them to "make it happen" or if they have a gash job they cant just have some toms rounded up to do it.
Some thrive and do well and some give the impression that they are everything with their rank and nothing without it.
Interestingly, RN officers seem to do very well in NATO jobs as they understand that life is not straightforward and can go with the flow. RAF officers vary: Some are stuck in following rigid processes (Which is how a successful air force works) and suffer for it, whereas others enjoy the scope for variance thrown up by the diverse approaches to command and oversight in combined/joint environments.
 

riksavage

Old-Salt
Aussie’s have released a very comprehensive defence equipment plan today. Unlike the UK, they actually have a f$&king plan, which appears to be costed out!

Why is the UK military so shite at coming up with basics, should we not simply cut and paste what the French and/or Australians are doing? Answers on a postcard please.
 

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