TA to be "revamped"

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by claymore, Aug 30, 2004.

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  1. From today's Torygraph. It just doesn't say how they're going to achieve it.

    The Territorial Army is to be revamped to ensure that it is ready to support the regular forces at all times, defence sources said yesterday.

    Army commanders believe that the radical overhaul is urgently required amid fears that there will be insufficient reservists to support future operations.

    More than 9,000 of the TA's 41,000 soldiers have been called up for service in Afghanistan and Iraq over the past two years. But they cannot be used on operations for more than 12 months out of any three-year period, making 50 per cent ineligible for any operations in the short-term.

    The majority of the 32,000 who have not served in Iraq or Afghanistan have not been prepared to make themselves available for operations.

    "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.

    The revamp of the regular army will amalgamate the old single-battalion "famous name" regiments into new multi-battalion regionally-based units.

    Under the new system, each of these multi-battalion regiments will have an attached TA unit that will be expected to provide soldiers to deploy on operations abroad. It will also be responsible for homeland security in the regiment's region in the event of a national emergency.

    Regular infantry battalions sent on operations abroad, such as those in Iraq or Afghanistan, should in theory increase in size from the peacetime level of 600 to a wartime strength of 850, using TA soldiers.

    But the reluctance of reservists to volunteer has made this difficult and many infantry battalions have been able to deploy on operations only by taking troops from other regular regiments, increasing problems of overstretch among the regular infantry.

    Under the revamp, the TA units will follow the regular units' three-year operational readiness cycles. These begin with a training year, followed by an exercise year and then a year on operations or on standby for operations.

    The TA units will be warned two years in advance that they will be required to provide up to 400 personnel to support their regular counterpart during the operational year if that unit has to deploy abroad.

    Having been warned, those TA personnel will have no choice but to deploy when required and will be expected to ensure that their employers know that they may be unavailable.

    Defence chiefs believe that by preparing 400 they can be certain that, even taking into account sickness and family emergencies, they get the 250 they need to upgrade the infantry battalion to wartime strength. Those who cannot make themselves available for operations will see their promotional prospects reduced and many are expected to leave.

    "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."
  2. I must have missed something, I thought the TA were a reserve? Will the RAF and NAvy also use 1 third of their reserves every year?

    This really is soldiering on the cheap :evil:
  3. msr

    msr LE

    Can't quite see how they can sell this to employers - You employ this bloke and we'll probably take him off your hands for one year out of three.

  4. Mr Happy

    Mr Happy LE Moderator

    The majority, really, so at least 16,000 were asked and refused to go eh? Perhaps you found out that COLI/Reservist Hardship Awards were set 10 years ago and a TA Bank Manager earns more than a Reg. Captain with more responsilbilites like a house.

    Cheeky CNUT! Perhaps the reluctance of some reservists but he's using a broad brush.

    Are there any TA Bn's with even 400 bodies on the books to start with? Maybe London with its composit or 27 companies..

    So every STAB will be buying a new house just before 'deployment season' to ensure the government has to pay the maximum amount they can... Cheers Tony! Really what this is doing is making reservists unemployable for small companies, and the chances of you having a successsful career is now nil, you'll get the problem the USNG has of only having fcking idiots in the reserves or the self employed.

    Cheeky CNUT number 2!

    Here here, but there is a role for non-deploying soldiers in the TA, as DS on courses, as recruiters, as chefs on exercises (difficult to go on ex. and not have anyone to cook for you, ditto drivers etc.) - there are certain jobs that if you sack all of your REME det. for not wanting to deploy would make your training soldiers who do want to deply more difficult - the hidden cost of putting a keen as mustard L/Cpl in the front line if you will... (floodgates....).
  5. Mr Happy

    Mr Happy LE Moderator

    surely you wouldn't be accusing the MOD and current political leaders of making an ill thought out badly conceived idea policy because they can't plan ahead?
  6. 30% of the Army on the cheap - no pension! :evil:

    That is simply what this is.

    Given the inability of the Mod/government to provide the appropriate resources for the tasks on the armed forces, what will happen when the TA are used up? If anyone wants to stay in it that is! If you want to spend (at least) one year every three on ops, then why not join the Army full time?
  7. msr

    msr LE

    Perish the thought :wink: . Just thinking out loud with my UESO hat on...

    Anyhow, you'd have to leave quite a number of experienced bods behind just to go recruiting, do recruit training etc, or are these activities supposed to go on hold for a year?

  8. Mr Happy

    Mr Happy LE Moderator

    I'd like to know what the governent will do when it's last soldier is dead...
  9. Where are they going to find 250 deployable soldiers per TA battalion? And while most employers bit the bullet for the frist Telic deployments, they are unlikely to put up with permanent roulement of key civilian staff, whatever the law says.

    It's also a bit late to be thinking along these lines. Most of the TA would need extensive refresher and some specialist training. Who's going to provide it? How will MoD pay for it? How will the army board cope with the reasonable demand for compensation, at least to the level of civvie pay scales for those deployed? That's a cluster-fcuk at the moment.

    The TA lads and lassies are also going to want in on pension benefits if deployment is to become a regular feature of their lives. Can't blame them for that. Most have families to support. The whole thing smacks of desperation. Ironic that ECAB's intent on cutting the regular infantry and then scrambling for a cheap temping agency to replace them. Cnuts.
  10. Unbelievable lack of subtlety, tact or diplomacy from the "senior officer".

    If people wanted to go on deployment every 3 years they would join the regulars. It's just amazing how ignorant seniors can be about volunteer reserves. Only matched by their dazzling arrogance. Mind you they tend to be just as ignorant and arrogant about everything else too, especially industry and equipment procurement.

    This attitude towards volunteers has been going on for a very long time. When the Militia were tied to regular army units under the Cardwell reforms, the view then was that they would willingly provide drafts of individual reinforcements to the regulars. They were trained at the same depots, but treated as s**t by the regular staff if they couldn't be persuaded to change to regular enlistments. Within a few years the Militia had weakened to such an extent that a Parliamentary committee declared it unfit for its traditional home defence role. Whilst the Volunteer units continued to thrive independant of the regulars. By the time of the Haldane reforms the Militia was reduced to merely providing replacement battalions ("Special Reserve") and halved in numbers. Whilst the Territorial Force provided 14 divisions worth of troops and had a strength of 268,000. Amazing considering the smaller population to recruit from back then, and shows how much easier it is to recruit people into local units that only go to war when its a real threat to the homeland, and not just a peacetime expedition. (Figure from http://users.tibus.com/the-great-war/figures.htm)

    The Regular Army have continued to re-invent a Volunteer Reserve that merely provides extra individuals to fill out regular establishments. Each time the scheme has failed and faded into obscurity. How many people have heard of the "Militia Reserve", "Special Reserve", "Supplementary Reserve", "Army Emergency Reserve" etc.?

    Even the T&AVR of 1967 was another attempt at getting a TA that didn't have deployable units, just one sub-unit per regular one.

    Technology and politics have changed since the 19th Century, but human nature has not. People will not stick with an organisation that treats them badly, doesn't deploy them with their friends and familiar faces, and abandons them after every deployment. Its a very tiny minority of the potential recruits in civvy street.

    Unfortunately the blinkered view from the cosy leather armchairs of the officers mess has not changed from the 19th Century.
  11. only problem is that there is a freeze on recruitment so anyone wanting to join up would sometimes have to wait a few months or so before thet next wave of cash becomes available to pay for their training.
    i have spoken toa few people who were asked to come back a few months later ,not suprisingly being young lads they would eventually go into something else...............
  12. This must be incorrect.

    For a start, the figure of 9,000 for Iraq and Afganistan sounds too low. As at end December 2003, some 47% of the deployable TA had served in Iraq. "Deployable" means, I think, that they have completed the required basic training, etc. At any one time, about a third of the TA (a statistic dredged from Mr B's dodgy memory) is going through recruiting and the subsequent training to make them fit for role.

    So the suggestion that more than 16,000 members of the TA have somehow dodged the draft is complete nonsense.

    But it fits the sneering tone of the rest of the article.

    Feels great to have helped out the Nation in time of need in places sandy and then a year later to have my STAB brethren spoken of as if they are shirkers.

  13. TA = Temping Agency :evil:
  14. Absolutely right.

    Of course, one of the key issues is that call-ups appear to be principally targetted at junior ranks who can be stuffed in to any gap which appears. My driver in Iraq was a TA JNCO from an RSigs technical trade (and a banker in civvy street) who arrived in Basrah to find himself hoofed into the MT at the Airport - a complete waste of his military and civilian skills. Deployed TA officers, on the other hand, seemed to be few and far between. Call me Mr Cynical but it struck me that this might reflect an inclination to seperate mobilised personnel from their own hierarchy, in order to ease their gross misemployment. The TA recruits, in part at least, on the basis that it teaches useful additional life skills to its members which have military and civilian utility, but relatively few of the TA pax who I came across (outside the medical gang and the infantry) seemed to be employed in their TA trade.

    However, I suspect that an advertising campaign along the lines of: 'Non-pensionable cannon fodder required for shite jobs in support of regular Army in hot, dangerous places' wouldn't achieve the desired results.
  15. er...let me see. say a city worker on 80kpa joins the TA(or for that matter RNR or RAFVR). Gets deployed...obviously loses out out financially because of the differential in salary...does the Govt pay his mortgage/financial compensation ?

    why? he knew about the likelihood / necessity of deployment BEFORE he joined.

    I can understand the Army bending over backwards to recruit specialists (from civ experience / jobs ie anaethetists/linguists/IT), but if a bank manager wants to be a chef in green at weekends then tough fcuking shit. get on with it.