TA faces big cuts to save a regiment

#41
Tommy said:
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.
One fine day, back in the last century, I signed on the dotted line, swore my oath of allegiance to HMQ and, so I thought, made myself 'available' for call-up.

Could some legally minded arrse member tell me why that action was good enough to guarantee me a front-line hole in the Ivan and his Snowy Booted Minstrel Show at the Fulda Gap Emporium yet is somehow 'not good enough' now? What happened? Did it evaporate or something?

The only things I was told it was okay to repeat are grid references and fire missions.

Hootch, you are spot on. This is just a diversionary tactic and they have poked the fox into a very well connected chicken coop. The TA and their Shires have always punched above their weight politically simply because of their day-to-day co-existence with people of import.

I think the most insulting thing about this article is the mere fact that the labour spin machine thought we'd be too stupid to rumble it for what it is: bunkum.
 
#42
Excellent - just heard on BBC R4, it seems some of these concerns about the future of the TA were angrily raised by MPs (including a Telic veteran) in Parliament today.

Hopefully some of Tuesday's papers will have picked this up. Hansard will be interesting too when available.
 
#43
from tonight's (Edinburgh) Evening News, along same lines as the Telegraph story. :twisted: :twisted: Source: http://news.scotsman.com/uk.cfm?id=1424812004

Mon 13 Dec 2004

Territorials in firing line for Army cuts

THE Territorial Army is set to be slashed in a bid to break the deadlock over the final infantry regiment to be axed as part of a major shake-up, it emerged today.

Originally there were no plans to cut the 41,000 strength of Britain’s part-time soldiers.

But now with strong resistance from English colonels to plans to cut three of their famous named regiments altogether - along with a Scottish battalion - it is understood there has been a rethink.

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

But ministers are angry that the majority of the 32,000 who have not served in the two trouble spots have not made themselves available for operations. [WTF does that actually mean :?: The majority have not REFUSED to go, have they? If ANY ministers or, indeed the Army Board had ever been in this situation themselves they would know there is a world of difference for a family man/woman between actively putting themselves forward, and being willing to go if required. Comment ends]

Originally there were plans to cut two Scottish regiments but chiefs decided that this would be unfair and to merge the Kings Own Scottish Borders and the Royal Scots to create a five battalion Scottish "super regiment" expected to be called "The Royal Scots Brigade".

The controversy over the final regimental cut combined with the return of the Black Watch from Iraq has led Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon to delay his statement on the shake up until Wednesday.

The ministry of defence line on the territorial army from the beginning has been: "We do not anticipate there will be any need for significant change in the size of the TA as a result of this exercise."

But a senior source admitted but things could have changed in recent days.
 
#44
hackle said:
Excellent - just heard on BBC R4, it seems some of these concerns about the future of the TA were angrily raised by MPs (including a Telic veteran) in Parliament today.

Hopefully some of Tuesday's papers will have picked this up. Hansard will be interesting too when available.
The Scotsman website has come up trumps again - thanks guys - this story came from PA News but I havent found it anywhere else yet.

Both the Tory MPs mentioned have been TA officers. I see that Brazier resigned froma Govt post in 1993 to fight 'Options'. I thought that BBC 'Today in Parliament' said last night that one of the MPs who spoke had served on Telic, but I havent identified this individual yet - there are at least two Cons MPs who are Telic veterans.

It strikes me that if anyone has useful reliable facts which might assist these MPs, you could do worse than letting them know, or at least let them know that their interest is appreciated and that they should keep going with this.

story:

Press Association
Mon 13 Dec 2004

MPs Warn over 'Huge TA Cuts' Reports

By Jane Kirby, PA Political Staff

Newspaper reports that the Territorial Army could be cut by 40% have caused “considerable uncertainty” in the TA community, the Commons heard today.

Tory Julian Brazier (Canterbury) asked Commons Speaker Michael Martin whether a Government statement was expected “on huge cuts in the Territorial Army at a time when we have hundreds of territorials serving in Iraq and Afghanistan?”

He said the TA represented “the only framework for expansion this country has” in terms of adding on to the existing Army, after the Daily Telegraph reported that the TA faced being cut by 40%.

“This is viewed with considerable concern in the country,” he added.

Tory Mark Francois (Rayleigh) added: “Given the reports that are circulating in the press and are causing considerable uncertainty in the territorial community, it would be pernicious if the TA were punished for the chaos that is now ongoing in the Ministry of Defence.”

Mr Martin said he had not received notice of a statement. An adjournment day (for backbench debates) was planned where the issue could be raised and there was the possibility of setting down parliamentary questions, he added.
source: http://news.scotsman.com/latest.cfm?id=3882709

link to MPs websites including contact details:
http://www.julianbrazier.co.uk/
http://www.rayleighconservatives.org.uk/M F CONSERVATIVE MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT FOR RAYLEIGH 2002.htm
 
#45
Pile of crap it may be but stories like this really get on my tits :evil:

I've already said this elsewhere when I was called up for Telic 1 my boss went against my mobilisation and (apparantly automatically) won. I decided to go anyway basically out of loyalty additionally due to the feeling of betrayal towards my civvy employer who spun a load of bollox in his application to have my mobilisation revoked (especially as he had gained a lot from my training with the TA at very little cost, my camps were all in holiday time). I received my papers while I was just south of Basra had a good laugh at the situation and got on with the job in hand.

I wasnt the only one in this situation in my unit, I was however lucky in that I walked straight from mobilisation into a new (and better) employment. I can imagine this scenario was repeated in all units involved and then they have the bare faced cheek to talk about TA soldiers not making themselves available :evil:

My suggestion to the strangers to reality who call themselves our leaders:

Construct a situation where mobilisation will not result in the loss of career upon returning to civilian life, this can involve a robust system to control revocations ensuring that only those individuals that cannot under any circumstances be spared are exempt call up, rather than the knee jerk "go with what the employer is saying".

Introduce a system of compensation for the individuals who despite all legal safeguards lose their civilian occupations as a result of mobilised service, this may include limited and flexible FTRS contracts, courses and or financial packets.

Better liason with civilian employers and providing a real benefit to these employers of having employees in the TA this could take many forms both financial and training.

These are just a couple of suggestions I'm sure I could think of more but gotta dash, things to do and all that.
 
#46
I seem to remember that the House of Commons took a dim view of unauthorised reproduction. I dont know if that still applies to the same extent in these days of the internet, anyway here goes and I will expect "men in tights" to be knocking on my door before I have finished typing 8O

House of Commons Hansard Debates

13 Dec 2004 : Column 1395


Points of Order
3.31 pm
Mr. Julian Brazier (Canterbury) (Con): On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. Have you received notice of the parliamentary statement that has been widely trailed in the media today on huge cuts in the Territorial Army, at a time when we have hundreds of territorials serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, and they represent the only framework for expansion that the country has for its very small Regular Army? Those cuts are viewed with considerable concern in the country.


Mr. Mark Francois (Rayleigh) (Con): Further to that point of order—

Mr. Speaker: Let me answer the point of order. I have had no notice. The Minister would normally notify me in the morning, and there has been no notice.

Mr. Geoffrey Clifton-Brown (Cotswold) (Con): On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. I should like to have given you notice of the point of order. My constituent, Captain Strong, has been unable to get a British passport because he has not been in this country for five years, as he has been serving valiantly in Her Majesty's armed forces abroad. I tabled a question on the subject to the Home Office in good time before the Queen's Speech. The Home Office avoided answering the question because of the new rule that Departments are not obliged to answer questions that fall at the end of a Session. I retabled the question on 29 November—a fortnight ago—and it has still not been answered. I am tabling a pursuant question today. How long can the Home Office go on avoiding answering this difficult question?

Mr. Speaker: The hon. Gentleman has followed the proper procedure for trying to get answers out of Ministers, which is to ask the question twice. I will look into the matter. Hon. Members should have questions answered in a reasonable time.

Mr. Francois: Further to the point of order raised by my hon. Friend the Member for Canterbury (Mr. Brazier), I have checked the Order Paper and we do not, unfortunately, have Defence questions before the House rises for the Christmas recess. Given the reports

13 Dec 2004 : Column 1396

that are circulating in the press and causing considerable uncertainty in the Territorial community, it would be pernicious if the TA were punished for the chaos that exists in the Ministry of Defence. Is there anything you can do to bring a Minister to the Dispatch Box to clarify the matter and, hopefully, to save the Territorial Army from what appears to be in prospect?

Mr. Speaker: Before we break up, we have the Christmas Adjournment debate. On that day, hon. Members may bring up any subject they wish. That is an opportunity, and there are others: the hon. Gentleman could table a written question and also, perhaps, try for an Adjournment debate.
 
#47
From Edinburgh Evening News

Tories hit out at 'lunacy' of Royal Scots merger plans


PLANS to abolish the Royal Scots are "sheer lunacy", the shadow secretary of state for Scotland said today as he vowed the fight to save the Edinburgh regiment would continue.

Peter Duncan told campaigners: "No matter the decision made by the Blair Government this week, the fight to save the Royal Scots is not over.

"That, of course, also goes for Scotland's other five historic regiments.

"The proposal to abolish the Royal Scots - the oldest regiment in the British Army - and merge it into a battalion with the King’s Own Scottish Borderers within a so-called super-regiment, is sheer lunacy.

"We will take action. Within the first week of a Conservative government after the next general election, we will reverse Labour’s cuts and reinstate six single battalion regiments."

Mr Duncan and Gavin Brown, Tory general election candidate for Edinburgh South, yesterday met the president of the Royal Scots Club, Bob Paterson, and campaigners fighting to save the Royal Scots and the other Scottish regiments.

Mr Brown said: "The Royal Scots has been a cornerstone of life here in Edinburgh for hundreds of years.

"We have depended on them in times of trouble, and our message to them today is that they can now depend on us. The Royal Scots is not great because it is old - it is old because it is great.

"And in the first week of a Conservative government after the next General Election, we will take action to keep it that way, by reinstating it as a single-battalion regiment."

It emerged yesterday that the Territorial Army is set to be slashed as part of the shake-up. Originally there were no plans to cut the 41,000 strength of Britain's part-time soldiers.

But now with resistance from English colonels to plans to cut three of their famous named regiments, it is understood there has been a rethink.
 
#50
The "TA to be cut" story is utter bollox. I've checked it out with people who DO know what's going on and this is not a runner, they say. It didn't originate from anyone in a killing suit.
 
#51
claymore said:
The "TA to be cut" story is utter bollox. I've checked it out with people who DO know what's going on and this is not a runner, they say. It didn't originate from anyone in a killing suit.
Well, what about the quoted "senior officer" from the Torygraph story of 30 Aug? He certainly had me grinding my teeth in fury......

For those who've forgotten, he apparently said:

Senior Officer in Telegraph said:
"We are about to hit a major problem as TA manpower dries up and we are left to decide if compulsory call-outs should be made," said one senior Army officer. "We have a lot of people who have deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq but they are now time expired to us, they have done their year and we cannot use them."

So defence chiefs have decided that a reorganisation of the regular army, expected to be implemented next April, must include the TA. "There is no longer room in the TA for bank mangers such as the Capt Mainwaring character in Dad's Army who play soldiers at weekends, but won't commit to deploying on operations," the senior officer said.

"Things have changed and the whole of the TA now has to be a highly professional organisation," the senior officer said. "If the proposals mean that the deadwood who dress up but do not deploy decide to leave, that will be a bonus."
 
#52
could'nt we just sack a few MPs who don't turn up for votesjavascript:emoticon(':twisted:')
Twisted Evil
could think of a few ministers who have difficulty thinkingjavascript:emoticon(':twisted:')
Twisted Evil
 

Mr Happy

LE
Moderator
#53
during the conversation we joked that maybe they were going to cut those units where mobilisation had worked as they were no longer liable for 2 years or so
Then it hit me, maybe that is the plan,
Sorry, this is a perfectly common tactic in CivStreet. Really, the using up of assets and then getting rid of them for short term gains (we'll worry about it another day) is perfectly common. For example: ABC Bank needs to make 10% profit per year to be competative and maintain 'share holder value' (MD's bonus cheque), if one year the bank is doing badly (say 7% profit forecast) then they can sell part of it off and call it a profit, say the mortgage business bit is worth 100mil but only making 5mil per year profit the bank will sell the mortgage business to anyone at a knock down price (say 75mil) in order to sheer up profits in the rest of the bank thus the MD gets a whopper bonus and everyone says how efficient ABC bank is for making 12% profit in a recession and the shareholders are happy because other investors buy their stock and so the share price goes up and the MD is happy and the only person that loses out is the employee when there are no more bits to sell and all the who hah is over... Sorry. Got carried away there but you see it I hope.

Therefore, Dodgy MOD sacking already deloyed soldiers now (who cannot be called up again) for budget savings vs. guys to haven't been is a real possiblity. Especially with this opposition... is saying that the TA in cash for your bang political terms is spent, regs at least can be chucked back in to it in six months. Which is exactly what this c*nt is saying here:

Senior Officer in Telegraph said:
"We have a lot of people who have deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq but they are now time expired to us, they have done their year and we cannot use them."
 
#54
I couldn't help but thinking that since the TA is only about 75% recruited and that at least another 5-10% arn't really regular attenders that the Govmt may try to cut the TA back to what they actually have.

This is double good news for them as they don't have to get rid of 4 Reg Bns, there are no bad headlines over sacking soldiers (whether Reg or TA) and there are also now good headlines about how the reserves are 100% recruited and therefore TBLiars foreign policy is atractive to voters as they all want to be a part of the TA and join in the fun.

Or am I just being cynical?
 
#56
http://portal.telegraph.co.uk/opini...d=-1&view=DISPLAYCONTENT&grid=P8&targetRule=0

Sir – If it is true that ministers are "angry" at the inability of the Territorial Army to mobilise for operations in Iraq/Afghanistan (News, Dec 13), I suggest they direct their anger towards the Regular Army, not the TA.

In January 2003, my unit was given the task of providing in excess of 100 soldiers for the war-fighting phase of Operation Telic 1 (the invasion of Iraq).

To my knowledge, only one soldier in my sub-unit asked not to be mobilised and his reasons were legitimate. Of those who were mobilised, the only ones who stayed behind were those who failed to meet either medical or dental requirements.

A further deployment on Telic took place from my unit, taking the percentage of those mobilised (and eligible to be so) to approximately 60 per cent of the total strength. This was within a 12-month period. If this is not good enough, ministers should ask the Regular Army why soldiers in the TA are not being used.

I am tired of the criticisms being aimed at the TA. If ministers want more TA to be mobilised, they should express that wish through the MoD and the chain of command.

It seems clear that the real reason for non-deployment is a lack of trust on the part of the Regular Army in their TA counterparts.

Finally, if the Prime Minister wants to continue to deploy the Armed Forces, might I suggest he ensures that the Chancellor of the Exchequer funds the military adequately?

Name and address supplied
Sir – The Territorial Army will not reduce in size by 40 per cent. In fact, we do not anticipate that we will need to change the size of the TA significantly from what it is today under our planned restructuring of the Army.

Our strategy for the TA and regular reserves is to make the best use of the broad range of specialist skills they offer, to fortify the overall capability of the Army. As such, the reserves will be more closely aligned with the evolving structure of the Army. This may require slight readjustments to TA units to ensure they can reinforce the Regular Army, and we will announce these small but necessary changes to the TA's structure this week.

The debate around how best to restructure the Army to meet the demanding challenges of the 21st century is not served by wild and inaccurate speculation.

Adam Ingram, Minister for Armed Forces, London SW1
 

OldSnowy

LE
Moderator
Book Reviewer
#57
Mr Happy said:
Funny how nobody says the TA inf Bns don't have a role anymore.....

I do. Sorry, but there are STILL too many TA Inf Units. The numbers of TA Infantry are not, and never have been (since the end of the Cold War), justified - they are there for political reasons only (to retain 'footprints'). Another political 'fix' was the introduction of CCRFs, based usually on TA Inf Bns - there's a solution waiting for a problem if ever I saw one :?

So, although many Inf have been and are being called up for 'force protection' reasons, we would stillbe far better off as an Army with more TA CS and CSS Units, rather than TA Infantry. Sorry, but it's the truth. Even TCH says we need more Medics, R Sigs, etc. - hence the current bloodletting. You don't see the R Sigs being reduced at the moment, or the REME, do you?
 
#58
Re CSS roles for the TA, this surely is far more inefficient financially then training a TA infantryman.
Consider the cost of a TA CMT course for medics or sigs scaling for TA sigs unit must cost more then equipping and training TA infantry.
The cost is even more expensive when you consider the turn-over/retention problem in the TA which includes their CSS units, all that specialist CSS training and then the bloke walks out the door.
 
#59
Mr Happy said:
Funny how nobody says the TA inf Bns don't have a role anymore.....
Force protection has been mentioned so as a quick guesstimate:

ARRC has 2 Divs each bde requires a coy for its HQ so thats 2 Bns
Each ARRC/Div HQ's may need another Bn or two -- total now 5 Bns

Then we've several other G4/G6 Bdes in ARRC (2 Med Bde, 11 Sig Bde, Log Bdes etc) probably enough units to require 3-4 more battalions.
 

Mr Happy

LE
Moderator
#60
OldSnowy said:
So, although many Inf have been and are being called up for 'force protection' reasons, we would stillbe far better off as an Army with more TA CS and CSS Units, rather than TA Infantry. Sorry, but it's the truth. Even TCH says we need more Medics, R Sigs, etc. - hence the current bloodletting. You don't see the R Sigs being reduced at the moment, or the REME, do you?
I was Inf that re-roled to trogs and a successful exercise it was too so I understand your view. TCH does need more medics but that doesn't mean that scrapping a Bn or two will actually get any more nurses into uniform. His designs for the TA ORBAT are not mirrored by who's joining up, some people just want to be footsloggers, especially the wealth of ex-regs that join the TA and want to serve with their TA sister Bn or Regt.
 

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