SAS manning crisis

pickeded this up on another forum


Jan 24 2004


By Tom Newton Dunn Defence Correspondent

SAS troopers trained at a cost of £2million a man are quitting in droves to earn more cash.

In the biggest manning crisis in its history the world famous force will lose a full squadron - 64 men out of of 350 - by the end of the year.

Most of the men are leaving for jobs as private bodyguards or security consultants earning up to £500 a day because they are fed up with Army red tape and penny pinching.

The heroes are also furious they are being sidelined by US troops who are given the cream of special forces' work as America wages its war on terror.

An SAS source told the Mirror yesterday: "These men are sick of the modern Army.

"We're not getting the tasks we used to. The Defence Ministry is too risk averse. Now the Americans have all the plum jobs. We still get the sexy kit but are not seeing enough action which is why we joined the SAS.

"With so much money to be made in Iraq as consultants, these guys would be crazy to stay."

An experienced SAS corporal is paid about £30,000 a year. But security companies are offering the same for a few months work in Iraq.

Our source added: "These departures are going to put a huge strain on SAS manpower.

"They'll have to get new guys in and try to keep them. But these days the SAS is seen as a career stepping stone, not for life."

Top brass are "deeply concerned" over the exodus, a senior military source said last night. SAS expertise in search and destroy missions has never been more in demand.

The crisis follows the resignation of Iraq war hero Colonel Tim Collins in protest at Army red tape.

It is a huge blow to Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon, widely tipped to be a casualty of the way the Government handled the war on Saddam Hussein.

And it comes as it is revealed the MoD overspent on equipment last year by £3.1 billion.

Forty SAS troopers spread across non-commissioned and officer ranks have been granted Premature Voluntary Release.

In the past, any trooper who even suggested they might want to leave was "RTU'd" - Returned to Unit - and taken off the operations roster.

Now the unit's commanding officer, a respected Lieutenant Colonel and former Guardsman, is using all his powers to keep the men at any cost.

The source said: "The CO can refuse the first two PVR requests, but not a third. Once you've put one in, your name is mud. But the guys are so keen to leave they don't care."

In a second blow to Hereford-based 22 SAS Regiment, 24 more troops are being lost on a year's secondment to the Special Boat Service.

Relations between the two units are at a low and the men did not want to go. But they were forced to move by the Director of Special Forces.

Faced with manning shortages, SAS chiefs are determined not to fill the holes by admitting lesser quality soldiers.

At present, many of the troopers are in their mid-30s or older. US special forces tend to be far younger.

In a search for new blood, the SAS Training Wing has now been ordered to look at candidates aged 21 or 22.

Charles Heyman, editor of Janes World Armies, said: "The SAS likes mature people who have got the 'madness' out of their system. But the aggression of youth may be at a premium in future".

The SAS's fighting arm is made up of four small company sized groups of between 60 and 70 men, known as sabre squadrons. These are the troops who can be deployed to trouble at a few hours notice. Others serve in support and command groups or carry out secondments to other Army or Government organisations.

Most prized posting is to "The Increment", a hand-picked unit of SAS men who work in secret combat operations for MI5 and MI6.

The MoD said: "We never comment on special forces matters for reasons of national and individual security."

Details of the MoD overspend on heavy equipment like submarines and missiles were released yesterday amid growing concern over shortages of basic kit such as body armour for troops in Iraq. Four projects involving BaE - the Eurofighter Typhoon warplane, Nimrod reconnaissance planes, Astute submarines and Brimstone anti-tank missiles - accounted for 87 per cent of the cost overrun.

Sir John Bourn, head of the spending watchdog National Audit Office, branded the figures "disappointing". Defence procurement minister Lord Bach warned industry to take action or lose contracts.
?? Mirror
nurse said:
?? Mirror
yes it was, so its got to be true :wink:
the Booth Hall is great unless all your cash is in NI notes, talk about winge!!
This from this mornings TVNZ Teletext news .

Some of New Zealand’s elite police officers have quit the force to take up lucrative private security contracts in Iraq.
Police say about six members of the Special Tactics Group and Armed Offenders Squad have left and are believed to be working in Iraq.
The Special Tactics Group is a small squad of highly trained officers who are called to deal with terrorists, handle dangerous gunmen and offer protection to visiting VIPs.

If you can spell ‘Heckler Koch’, and like the smell of filthy lucre - you are in.
oh well guess the army will soon be just a few blokes, 1 tank, and not a lot else?
not much hope if the elite now had enough
Thread starter Similar threads Forum Replies Date
M Waltenkommando 140
LongStride The NAAFI Bar 93
Captain_Crusty The Book Club 0

Similar threads

Latest Threads