TA faces big cuts to save a regiment

TA faces big cuts to save a regiment
By Michael Smith, Defence Correspondent
(Filed: 13/12/2004)

The Territorial Army is to be cut by 40 per cent in a move that could save one of the four infantry regiments due to be axed this week.

The cuts to the TA will be part of a major revamp demanded by ministers after too few of its soldiers declared themselves available for operations in Iraq.

TA soldiers training
The Army Board has targeted the TA for cost-cutting

More than 9,000 of its 41,000 soldiers have been called up for service in Afghanistan and Iraq in the past two years. But they cannot be used on operations for more than 12 months in any three-year period, making most of those who have already served there ineligible for more operations for two years.

Ministers are angry that the majority of the 32,000 who have not served in Iraq or Afghanistan have not made themselves available for operations and have demanded that they be thrown out.

On Wednesday Geoff Hoon, the Defence Secretary, is expected to announce a major Army reorganisation, with all the single-battalion famous-name regiments amalgamated into super regiments.

Gen Sir Mike Jackson, the Chief of the General Staff, is said to have staked his future on a change that would turn every infantry regiment into a multi-battalion unit.

He believes that large regiments will be much more flexible and efficient, effectively making 4,000 more soldiers immediately available for front-line duty.

While most serving officers agreed that the reorganisation was needed, they were determined that their own regiments were not going to be among those to fall under the axe.

Most believe that, with continued commitments in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Balkans, now is not the time to cut the size of the Army.

Lord Guthrie, the former chief of the defence staff, issued a warning at the weekend that axing regiments would leave the Army "dangerously small for what it is being asked to do".

But the defence budget is under continued strain and Mr Hoon insists that the Army must be cut as part of a peace dividend from Northern Ireland. He dismissed Lord Guthrie's concerns as "those of a previous generation".

The regiments to be axed were to include two famous-name Scottish regiments. But ministers backed down when they realised that that would inflict serious damage on Labour's election chances in Scotland.

The English divisions that were made up of single-battalion regiments then rebelled, refusing to name more than one regiment from their division for the axe.

They insisted that the Queen's Division, which is made up entirely of multi-battalion regiments and is the model for Gen Jackson's new Army, should give up one of its battalions as well.

The row led to a series of heated meetings at the Ministry of Defence last week when the executive committee of the Army Board negotiated a way out of the impasse by seizing on the Territorial Army as the target for cost-cutting.
Hands up all those who are surprised.


Hang on, let me feign astonishment and wonder. :roll:

Ministers are angry that the majority of the 32,000 who have not served in Iraq or Afghanistan have not made themselves available for operations and have demanded that they be thrown out.
Are they? Are they really. Are these the same "Ministers" that are falling over themselves to educate employers as to why they must release people for service?

Are these the same employers who think the entire Iraq adventure is a frigging joke, and won't release thier employees to take part in it?

Have an of these "Ministers" listened to what a lot of employers have been saying?

"If it was British interests threatened, then fair enough,but I can't see where they have been threatened, and I don't see why my company/staff should take the hit, because Blair fcuked up" I paraphrase. but Sabre have plenty of letters like that ,I imagine.

Did the employers come back and say "Ram it , not enough compo, and we're to small to afford a key man swanning off up the Blue?"
Is it the horror stories of guys coming back, and finding they've lost their jobs, or if they're self-employed they're properly screwed? How much help have they received, to try and pick up their lives again?

What's that deathly silence?

"Demanding" the resignation of most of the TA that haven't gone? Really? Some are on Telic, Some on Fingal, the rest of us are looking forward to our turn in either Iraq , Afghanistan , Balkanistan, Sudanistan or any any other stan, that George and Tony throw a bejewelled dart at on the map in their office.

Only two types of TA Soldier nowadays Mr.Reporterman,those who have deployed operationally,and those who are going to.There isn't any other kind of TA bod these days.

Or has Michael Smith just made this up as he goes along? OK, demand the resignation of 23,000 people . Hang on I get it, so the TA will be composed of the Dole Patrol, Gap year students and those employed by PLC's who can drop everything and join in Tony and George's big adventure. Preferably those without families or responsibilities , aged say 18-25?

Or is that Minister singular.? Ministers are furious. Really? I fcuking bet :roll: Jesus Geoff, you really are a cnut. You haven't even got the guts to admit it's you. Or is it you and Mr. "Tango" Ingram. How many days in uniform,have these "Furious" Ministers got then? I don't mean the rather natty numbers in a marching band with fifes and drums either.

I get it, you're furious, because you're trying to power project globally on the cheap,you have finegalled the Regular Armed Forces by cutting every damn thing, hoping you can save even more money by getting the TA to come in on the cheap,and too many people have said "You're having a laugh"?

Furious people haven't gone? Fcuk me,you'd think Glasgow didn't exist. Have call up papers been going out,or is that just a figment of 31,000 people's imagination?

They drop us right in the poo,for all the wrong reasons, they lie , twist and swindle, and then they are "Furious"

FMOBB , I've seen it all now.
Heard this on the radio this morning, and thought I had missed something!!

Obviously not..... this beggars belief!! 8O

Are they out of their tiny minds? :?
and yet, the Infantry reductions have "nothing to do with" cost cutting :lol:
As much as I slate the TA, if it were not for them then we would be well and truly up' the' swanny! So cutting them seems ideal does it?

Where do these idiots get their ideas from?

If only the Chancellor wasn't such a tight assed git!

If only New Labour would feck off and die :evil:
Mr Hoon insists that the Army must be cut as part of a peace dividend from Northern Ireland.

Peace dividend, yes! then they go and start wars all over.
Still say they promised Gerry and he musn't be umiliated must he.


Book Reviewer
Just read this - and surprised that the Torygraph would fall for such obvious New Labour propogandist spin. So much for the TA being the 'reserve of choice'. Fact is, my Bn has had just over 48% deployed on Ops in the last 2 years - not called up, but GONE. And that isn't uncommon. We are now warned off for another deployment in '06, but all those who went on Telics 2+ won't be able to go, under the current legislation. So, we will call up those who went on Telic 1, and anyone ele who has been trained in the meantime (not many - recruiting is ver slow for some reason....)

Of course, they could rely on all of us who did Telic 2, or 3, or 4, or 5, etc., to volunteer for mobilisation, and not have any employment protection, confident that the Government will support us when we are sacked by employers who can't, for some reason, cope with employees off 1 year in 3. Don't hold your breath.

Back to the 'story'. What Ministers? Who has 'demanded to be thrown out'? What lies. I have never heard of anyone getting thrown out of the TA - you just stop turning up. How many of the 32,000 have been called up and refused to go? Who invented this story? Who has most to gain form this denigration of the TA after their biggest sustained mobilisation in living memory?

This story is a complete fabrication, and I look forward to the MoD refuting it, and the Nazigraph putting a retraction of the same size on Page 1 tomorrow. Now, out to watch the flying pig formation go past the windows here in Whitehall.
The story is complete balls OS , and I'll be phoning the journo concerned right after my morning coffee.

It's another New Labour, "Test the water" press release.

Unforunately , what makes it believable is 1999.
Most of us that joined more than a few years ago did so expecting that the enemy would be the Third Guards Shock Army moving west pronto. We did not expect ( naive, maybe ) that we would be mobilised to shore up a land Army cut to the bone by accountants, who have done more damage than the IRA ever did.

PTPs points are, once again, spot on . Why go to Iraq/Afghan/YugoDisney and banjo ones own real world job prospects because, once again, UKLF have been cut back too much?


Book Reviewer
I would like to think that everyone realises that this story is a fabrication, butI'm still surprised at the TGraph printing it. I naively thought that they knew better.

Well, loyalty goes two ways, so some people had better watch out.... I mean, how would it play in the Mail or the Sun if they knew that the MoD is spending over £200,000 a year on subsidised tea and coffee for its staff?
Why that would be dreadful if it ever got out OS :twisted:

£200,000 squids you say? remarkable. I wonder if anyone has any idea what the cost has gone up by,since the Tea and Coffee fund was handed to outside contractors?

Any more stories, of niggling bits of waste anyone? We can tot it all up,and see if it costs the same as an Infantry Battalion or 2.

Like we don't already know it's going to be more.

Come on,let's have your "I can do it cheaper,by doing it this way" stories please. :D
Heres a novel idea for funding our Armed Forces.
That'll give us funding for upto 2 bn , and guess what ,most of these currently with these organisations don't join up, it's a 2 year piss-upand playing japs and commandoes to them.
If these kids want a taste of soldiering,get them into there local TA units pronto,at base level and then they'll start to appreciate what being in the Army is actually about.
Nice to see regs giving us TA soldiers so much support !
Having been a reg and now TA, we know that we are all one Army, about time Gen Jackson et al, stopped, looked around and realised the fact
The former CGS (Guthrie)may have a point , but with no public platform i doubt he'll be listened to except by a few , and they have their heads down protecting their own regiments.


Book Reviewer

Good topic for a new thread here! Despite the continuous cost-cutting to which everyone involved in Defence has been party, we must all know of some posts which could (seriously) safely be axed, or waste saved. Could be better than the GEMS scheme (now THERE'S a possible saving - scrap GEMS!)
Scrap OTC's and instead have them be a reinforced platoon in their local TA Company? They can still do MTQ's and the like,but that way we can instil some soldiering into them? Are you suggesting , that that way, we can actually get more joining the Regs/FTRS etc?

You may have something there CoD
I think so OS ,lets see how the thread goes for alittlebit,then I'll separate and start a new one.

And I am liking CoD's idea very much. We'd get our bloody TAC back too. -Bonus! :twisted:
Nihilistic tw*ts :evil:
PartTimePongo said:
Scrap OTC's and instead have them be a reinforced platoon in their local TA Company? They can still do MTQ's and the like,but that way we can instil some soldiering into them? Are you suggesting , that that way, we can actually get more joining the Regs/FTRS etc?

You may have something there CoD
Is this a wind-up? I'll check-fire until I hear otherwise, and then I'll fire cancel check firing fireplan at you about this ludicrous idea.....
Fcuk them all.

There is no way I'm joining the reserves (it had briefly crossed my mind) and as to my reserve committment - if Mrs PVRd doesn't throw any brown envelope in the bin first, then I will. That's if they can find the correct address to post it to!

This lot are a lying mendacious shower of sh!ts who will spin a bogus case for war in order to feed a dictator's wish to suck up to Dubya, send an overstretched force to help "pay the blood price" and then stab them repeatedly in the back afterwards in order to pay the cash price.

I firmly consider myself to be an enemy of this government and will use all legal means to make some contribution to causing Bliar as much damage at the ballot box as possible in 2005. This sort of thought didn't even cross my mind a few years ago when an amiable retired policeman asked me all sorts of searching questions in a certain interview! :twisted:

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