Strain of operating at full capacity in Afghanistan and Iraq

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by ABrighter2006, Jan 28, 2008.

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  1. Overstretch 'driving troops away' - BBC lead with this today - the ARRSE view - are members of the armed forces suffering more stress now then ever before?

  2. Interesting statistic on Page 19, it would appear that the RAF Regt Field Squadrons are doing Operational tours at twice the rate of Army major units!
  3. I have been watching this on BBC news 24 this morning. Both the TV report and the BBC article seem to keep mixing recruiting and retention problems.

    It is reasonable to imagine that lots of operstional tours will have very different effects upon soldiers depending upon their personal life. A young singly may welcome the opportunity to earn/save lots of cash by being on ops while an older married with kids soldier is likely to view the situation very differently. Hence keeping older and experienced troops in-service will be a problem.

    Other than increasing the size of the armed forces it is difficult to imagine a conventional solution. One idea I have would be to allow for overstaffing of experienced troops. Keep more SNCOs/WOs/Mid level officers than are normally needed and have them rotate between active and semi-reserve duty.
  4. The retention problem is currently being discussed on LBC 97.3 by James o'Brien.

    For those who are interested and those who may wish to contribute.
  5. It strange that people always site the lack of military experience amongst the cabinet or lack of public appreciation as the source of contention amongst the armed forces, however, this was ever the case. Personally I always felt most unappreciated and maligned by my own commanders who have known for years about problems such as bad accommodation and a lack of proper equipment. It is these people that seem to over insure every supporting task or insist on outmoded exercises immediately upon returning from tour so that they can compete against their peers who are commanding on operations.

    I found going on tour a welcome break from these endless exercises and pointless Officer education packages but invariably, upon return, one’s commanding officer would change and the prospect of a welcome respite would evaporate during his first address to the Regiment.
  6. I was rather dumbfounded with this statement regarding the expectations of the MOD to meet its harmony guidelines. We have mayhem in Kenya trouble brewing in the Balkans and Pakistan on the verge of anarchy. I would think they are being rather optimistic!

    41. We pressed Mr Jeffrey further and asked how the MoD planned to improve its performance and meet the harmony guidelines, as the current performance was not acceptable. He said that the "best prospect" for improving the position was "some reduction in the pressure that we face" and that "as one looks forward there are signs of the scale of the current operational commitment reducing". He added that:
    The Prime Minister has made it clear that he expects us to go down to about 2,500 in Iraq by the Spring…. The ending of the major operation in Northern Ireland has helped the army in particular. We are scaling down and have scaled down in the Balkans. There are some signs that the operational pressure will ease over the next year or so. We certainly hope so.[55]
    42. The Autumn Performance Report shows that the overall performance against the Individual Separated Service and Unit Tour Interval Harmony Guidelines was broadly the same as that reported in the Quarter 1 2007-08 Report. However, for the Individual Separated Service Harmony Guidelines, 9.2% of RAF personnel exceeded the harmony guidelines (compared to 6.7% in the Quarter 1 2007-08 Report).
    43. We note that the Army and the RAF are failing to meet both individual and unit harmony guidelines, and that the percentage of RAF personnel exceeding the individual harmony guidelines has risen sharply during 2007. We find the reported performance against Unit Tour Interval harmony guidelines for the RAF much less precise than for the other two Services, with some RAF squadrons just reported as "heavily tasked". We look to the MoD to identify how the setting and measuring of Unit Tour Interval harmony guidelines for the RAF can be improved.
    44. We are very disappointed with the failure to meet harmony guidelines in the Army and RAF. This is another clear indicator of the pressure on our Armed Forces from the continuing high level of operations. The MoD expects the position to improve with a reduction in the current operational pressure. We certainly hope so, as we find the continuing failure to meet harmony guidelines unacceptable. In its response to our report, we expect the MoD to set out what impact the failure to meet harmony guidelines is having, such as the impact on the retention of Service personnel.
  7. I may be wrong.

    But, aren't RAF tours shorter????
  8. Well, if you look at the harmony specs in the report, the RN count 61% separated over 3 years, we count 46% over 2 1/2 years, the RAF count 38% each year. If you consider the crab 140 day requirement - a 3 month deployment with some away from home training would catch that easily, no problems. A full six month op tour would wreck it.

    It all smells of gerrymandering to me.

    BTW - I got pinged to replace a crab in Afg who had a promotion course - his / my full tour was 6 weeks. This may not be typical and I didn't go in the end.
  9. Same topic come up time and time again: harmony guidelines, manning pinch points etc.

    So you find exactly what you expect in terms of costs and in-service dates if you do a search on the .pdf version of the report for, say,

    Type 45 destroyer

  10. That would explain a lot.
  11. There seems to be no rime or reason why harmony guidelines are counted over the services in such a diverse way.
  12. Aaah but Bob Ainsworth denied it was a problem later on today. No problems, morale high all missions being completed in an excellent fashion.

    What do the Commons Select Committee, CDS, the RBL, the majority of ARRSErs and the press know about it. Bob says its OK