I had little sucess on PPRuNe, so I'll give it a go here...
Anyone had a posting to SHAPE in Mons, Belgium? If so, any gouge you could provide would be gratefully appreciated. We are on our way there in a month, and need some real intel. Can email me if you wish...
SHAPE isn't all it's cracked up to be. Ive been here nearly 3 years, tried to short tour but was blown off. I think it's the place everyone syas to go to, so you go there, leaving other posts open for them. Too many damm yanks!!
The sister in Law was posted there for 2 yrs. She seemed to like it OK. She lived off camp in Mons, nice flat and all that. It was great for us! A nice stopover in Europe, can't beleive she didn't extend....how selfish.
In all seriousness the place is ARSE.
Used to be good a few years ago but has been turned on it's head now.
Everyone I know in the place is trying to get out of it and I do know that certain Corps are having trouble filling the posts available as no one wants to go there.
Local authorities shaft you on tax, our Govt shaft you on LOA. Mainly US run, nough said. Before you get all excited about PX's your not allowed to use it.
Just left the Army, and spent the last 6 months working at SHAPE. Id agree with most of the stuff being said on this thread.
The place from what ive been told by people being there in the past, has gone rapidly down hill. Main problem with it being multi-national. So normal rules and regs go out of the window, and getting a job done, takes 5x as long.
If it was me, id rather go to a Brit posting overseas. Also the fuel prices there are getting more and more expensive. And quite boring at nights. Unless you want to go bowling with the yanks!!
i will have 2 say i agree with what most people have said. i was in shape 6 mths ago workin with 89 p&c unit and it was 1 of the worst postings ive had. i was told it was a good posting, but when i arrived i was very disappointed. im in cyprus now and me and my family are a lot happier. i would advise you 2 avoid a posting 2 shape as there is nothing to do there and the pay is sh*t.
My brother in law is currently there and is having a top tour. My sister is on her first accompanied tour and is also having a great time. Obviously it must be a hell-hole because their next posting, to make up for those "Super Holidays At Public Expense" is to the USA!
It seems a very good posting, obviously jobs determine the quality of life to a degree, on a social/environmental level. Mons is a development zone under EU funding, loaded with history, has a university. You are in easy striking distance of BFG locations if you want to visit chums. European capitals are littered around with culture and eateries. Golf is a big thing in the area.
For those of us who think a day spent where a mamal or bird is not destroyed to the greater glory of God, will love belgium. They make Gloucestershire's finest huntsmen or shots look like dilettantes!
Spent a couple of fantastic years at SHAPE a few years ago and it was then an excellent post. Shame it has been allowed to go down hill a bit but swings and roundabouts I suppose.
Agree with Cuddles that there is a lot to do and see and visit. Use the SHAPE Trips and Tours facility if that is still going.
What has happened to the Brit bar as that use to be the best bar on camp.
PS: Us to visit the different NMR offices and get the low down on where the best places to visit and cheap places to stay are. Had some great holidays all over Europe at a lot lower prices than the advertised ones.
Firstly pay is quite good, LOA is certainly better than Germany (or was)
Single life in the block is mundane to say the least.
The community themselves are friendly but my advice to you is don't just stick with the Brits there broaden your horizons and mix with the other countries, there are some generally top blokes of all ranks.
There is no NAAFI, however, there is a Carrefour, however despite the fact that it is meant to be tax free they raise the prices then take the tax off so that you still pay the same as the Belgians down the road.
You are not permitted to use the NAAFI in germany as the head sheds from SHAPE and BFG got in a pissing match over LOA.
The Belgians resent you, the fact that you have a job, and are paid considerably more than the local population.
The town of mons is full of Pikeys / North Africans who will jump at any opportunity to have a pop at either a Brit or an American, rob you etc.
The Belgian police are the most biased and inept policing agency i have ever had to deal with, and finally get used to the saying "Normally yes................but today No"