Sky News: Defence cuts latest and implications for the TA

#1
Defence Cuts: How The Army Will Be Overhauled

Sam Kiley, defence and security editor

Under plans drawn up by Lieutenant General Nick Carter the regular Army will number 82,000 by 2020. Reserves will be expanded to 30,000. It will be split into Reaction Forces and an Adaptable Force.

Reaction Forces will be made up of a division of three armoured brigades, each with a tank regiment and two armoured infantry regiments plus an airborne brigade.

This division will be commanded by a major general and will be responsible for short-term interventions from instant deployment through to a larger dispatch of troops, which could take a year to prepare.

One armoured battle group and a parachute battle group would be on standby for immediate dispatch to a global emergency.

The airborne brigade and one mechanised brigade, armed with Warrior fighting vehicles, will be capable of deploying inside three months. Emergency missions would be backed by two regiments of Apache helicopters.

Adaptable Forces will be made up of seven infantry brigades capable of providing troops for a long-term operation of several years. They will also provide the troops for on-going commitments to ceremonial duties, protecting the Falkland Islands, two battalions based in Cyprus, and one in Brunei.

This division will depend heavily on reserves soldiers who will be grouped into battalions to shadow the regulars. During a long-term operation, General Carter believes that 30% of forces in the field would be reservists. Both parts of the Army will share resources from a new element called Force Troops And Logistics Support. This will include one artillery, an engineer, a surveillance, a medical, two signals and two logistics brigades - many of these made up of reserves.

These reforms are expected to result in the cutting of five infantry battalions and two armoured regiments. Defence sources have told Sky News that the largely Welsh Queens Dragoon Guards and the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards are unlikely to be disbanded, which would put pressure on English cavalry regiments especially the Royal Tank Regiments.

The Brigade of Guards, Parachute Regiment, and the Gurkhas are also to be spared the axe, sources have said, leaving many of the cuts likely to fall disproportionately on English regiments, especially the Yorkshires and the Mercians.

Final decisions about where the cuts will fall have not been taken as Downing Street wrestles with the regional political fallout that would follow cutting famous Scottish regiments.

Alex Salmond, Scotland's First Minister, has suggested that an independent Scotland might need its own army - cuts to Scots units, Westminster fears, would play into his hands. But Scottish regiments have sometimes struggled to meet recruitment targets and bulked up their numbers with soldiers from the commonwealth, especially Fiji and South Africa.

There is also likely to be some criticism that the Army 2020 proposals have not been radical enough. Some senior officers favoured a more expeditionary role for the Army closely modelled on the US Marine Corps. This would have put the emphasis on quickly deployable brigades rather than the heavy mechanised infantry that form the backbone of the Carter plan.

END


Numerous implications for the TA (if accurate). Of particular interest: "During a long-term operation, General Carter believes that 30% of forces in the field would be reservists."
 
#3
I'd like to see what it really means for the TA. Rumours I've heard is an old sig squadron reforming but what is the point?

Current squadrons are horribly under equipped, one truck per troop maybe two radios, radios are compatible with regulars but not with the IT bits used by regulars. As a full time government IT guy I can't see what the aim is, except as a pool to draw on civilian skills
 
F

fozzy

Guest
#4
I'd like to see what it really means for the TA. Rumours I've heard is an old sig squadron reforming but what is the point?

Current squadrons are horribly under equipped, one truck per troop maybe two radios, radios are compatible with regulars but not with the IT bits used by regulars. As a full time government IT guy I can't see what the aim is, except as a pool to draw on civilian skills
Polar - there is more to the TA than just the Signals! .

However, your points are very valid; and are probably worth a thread in the Signals forum. For what it's worth, I agree; the lack of kit and near constant "musical chairs" is a massive retention issue.
 
#5
I can fairly accurately predict that we will be told to work harder and that we need to get more people through the gates but there will be no consideration of what you need to offer most civvies to persuade them to give up their weekends!
 
E

EScotia

Guest
#7
There's more equipment issues than just not being enough of it, such as Man SV; despite having several of them in all locations for more than a year, in my old unit only the Permanent Staff and some civvy staff have been fammed up (half an hour driving round the local area). Most of the TA don't even have the correct licences or experience to drive the piece of equipment their role depends on!
 
#9
Unless you bring in some form of compulsory trg and legislation to get the TA released from civilian employment, the whole thing will fall on its arse. The TA will let you down!! Not taking anything away from the people who have deployed, but there is still a huge amount just mopping up MTDs (when they bother to turn in)

.
 
#11
Shove a cream egg up a chickens bum and bung it in the oven... lubberly.
 
#14
Not been on here in a while.
I'm with brucewillis. Same topic came up in conversation the other week. Maybe someone out there is far more savvy with the 2020 than I am. If a law change has not been factored into the 2020 future then it' s fucked before it starts. And on a personal view all the dedication, enthusiasm and good will in the world will not win wars if it is not backed up with hard training and working equipment. I'm crawling back into my bottle of red now.
 

Bowmore_Assassin

MIA
Moderator
Book Reviewer
#15
Unless you bring in some form of compulsory trg and legislation to get the TA released from civilian employment, the whole thing will fall on its arse. The TA will let you down!! Not taking anything away from the people who have deployed, but there is still a huge amount just mopping up MTDs (when they bother to turn in)

.
Catch 22 though. Change the law to enable compulsory deployment as an easy option for the MoD and civvy employers won't employ you...why should they ? Business is hard enough without being forced to provide military back up, at your own cost.


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#16
I didn't mean just mean compulsory deployments, but compulsory trg. Allow TA to go on courses that are longer than two weeks. Make annual camp longer, yes it will upset a lot of employers family's, employers etc. But the TA is supposed to be going to fill the void of a reduction in the regular army. Can that be done, with the way the TA does business at the moment...... I doubt it! And putting an extra recruiter on an ADC contract in each location as my unit has done, will achieve the sum total of **** all!

Or am I just bitter and twisted?
 
#17
We are where we are. No legislation is on the horizon and my reading of the political tea leaves is that it won't come soon, if at all. So we have to make what we have work. If we don't, it will be yet another failure by the Army that politicians will use to make more cuts. Never reinforce failure and all that.

It is doable mind, but it requires an awful lot of people to get out of their comfort zones and in particular for the regs to realise that after HERRICK the most important job they will have is to train the TA. For if they don't, given the new force structure, they won't be going anywhere.
 
#18
There's more equipment issues than just not being enough of it, such as Man SV; despite having several of them in all locations for more than a year, in my old unit only the Permanent Staff and some civvy staff have been fammed up (half an hour driving round the local area). Most of the TA don't even have the correct licences or experience to drive the piece of equipment their role depends on!
If that really happened then someone needs a serious arse kicking. Its totally illegal (army wise). All our drivers including me and permanent staff had to complete a four day conversion with lots of hours behind the wheel as well as cross country. Your MT needs to have a word with themselves.
 

Bowmore_Assassin

MIA
Moderator
Book Reviewer
#19
I didn't mean just mean compulsory deployments, but compulsory trg. Allow TA to go on courses that are longer than two weeks. Make annual camp longer, yes it will upset a lot of employers family's, employers etc. But the TA is supposed to be going to fill the void of a reduction in the regular army. Can that be done, with the way the TA does business at the moment...... I doubt it! And putting an extra recruiter on an ADC contract in each location as my unit has done, will achieve the sum total of **** all!

Or am I just bitter and twisted?
Understood but same issue with getting reserves to attend longer training as with compulsory deployment. Employers won't be happy and why should they release them ?

I am all for using the reserves more (given the current money saving exercise going on, well have no choice in the future) but to be fair to them:

They need more training.

Their TACOS need to be improved; same pay as Regulars, time served attributable for pension etc etc....

They need to be protected regarding civvy employment under enforceable law.

The culture of reserve service needs to change to a model similar to that of the US Army Reserve.

Employers need to embrace reserve service as beneficial to their employees and their business.

Moving between Regular/TA and civvy street and back again needs to be seamless and continuous ('soldier for life'), managed intellectually and intuitively.

All easier said than done. It costs money (and that currently budgeted for is not enough). It needs cultural adaptation. It's needs some serious thought and intellectual planing to make it work. Another recruitment drive with a few ads here and there over the next few years is not enough. Neither is the assumption that a large number of the 20k removed from the Army, to make the politically imposed manpower cuts work, will sign up with the TA; I believe most of them won't go near the TA (and I am one of them).

A viable TA of 30k of deployable people to make up a shortfall of Regulars; the impractical and unachievable elephant in the room.




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#20
Would it not be a good idea if regional areas who conduct recruit training were also given the role of running MATTS and maybe ranges ?

It would be worthwhile taking on extra staff at these locations, or even if manpower was available run them during the week as maybe a 4 day package.

I am sure that given the potential numbers who would attend there would be numerous opportunities for individuals to attend.

This would allow TA units to concentrate on training applicable to their role and not continuously have to put on weekends for mop ups etc.
 

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