The Daily Telegraph - Army will leave Germany on time (but where is the money?!)

DangerMouse

Old-Salt
Moderator
#1
(Full Telegraph story: British Army will leave Germany on time, ministers will promise - Telegraph)

Plans to use private financing to fund Army withdrawal from Germany have been rejected: probably rightly, but it's still another gaping chasm in an already-reamed budget.

So, as well as the financial quagmire warned of by RUSI in their report on Wednesday (RUSI - Briefing Paper: Mid-Term Blues - Defence and the 2013 Spending Review), MOD must now also try to find the costs of extracting tens of thousands of soldiers and their families from Germany in the next six years. According to a Colonel at the Defence Infrastructure Organisation a few years ago, the cost of moving a Regt from Germany to the UK, due to the requirement for office accommodation, equipment storage, vehicle garages, single living accommodation, family accommodation, sports facilities, and various support services, can be up to c£600M. There are about 30 major units remaining in Germany (British Forces Germany - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia), so taking that calculation at its highest, that would be £18Bn that we don't have.

Anyone want to place bets that the likely future of units currently based in Germany is:

1. Being permitted to 'wither on the vine', by being taken as savings measures in SDSR 2015,

2. A small number of survivors being crowbarred in to underfunded, decrepit and dilapidated RAF bases in the middle of nowhere. (Pop quiz: directed postings to RAF Leuchars - more or less likely to decrease morale, and increase PVRs? See MoD stays tight-lipped on RAF Leuchars investment - Fife / Local / News / The Courier)

On a peripheral note, I do find it informative that The Telegraph seems to know what's happening before 99% of the Army: apparently there are very senior people within the Army who are actively leaking information to discredit Defence ministers and the wider government. Clearly morale is high at Army HQ, too...

"Army sources have revealed that German bases scheduled for closure in 2020 could now be shut down by 2018 as part of a deal to announced by the Ministry of Defence next week. Bringing home the successors to the British Army of the Rhine will mean spending billions of pounds on new UK bases..."

"...new facilities will also be required, and a Whitehall impasse over funding had led to speculation that the German withdrawal could be delayed. ...defence sources said that ministers have decided not to use private financing for the new British bases. Instead, Mr Hammond will attempt to find the money required – around £2 billion in all – within his own department’s budget. Some senior officers have questioned whether the stretched MoD budget can sustain the immediate capital costs of new British bases..."
(Full Telegraph story: British Army will leave Germany on time, ministers will promise - Telegraph)
 
#2
British Army units in Germany is a complete anachronism in this day and age.
 
#3
Officials say that leaving the Rhine could save the Armed Forces over £300 million a year in the long-term.
Not saying they shouldn't leave, but that is peanuts?
 
#5
No need to panic. HMS Queen Elizabeth will have plenty of empty hangar deck that we can fill with Kudos cabins. Just need to put the cabins down as an Afghanistan UOR so they don't appear on the budget...
 

BrunoNoMedals

LE
Kit Reviewer
#8
Not saying they shouldn't leave, but that is peanuts?
Taken over 10 or 20 years you can see it adding up, but if the OP's estimates of £18Bn are even vaguely close the return on investment is quite some way off. In my short career I can't say I've ever heard of anyone in Whitehall or Parliament prepared to commit to something like that as a spend-to-save. No-one is that forward-thinking.
 
E

EScotia

Guest
#9
Leuchars has a lot going for it. St Andrews (which will probably become the preserve of the officers) and Dundee (many more places for the taking of excessive quantities of alcohol, the police to cope with the numbers, and STD's and the hospitals to cater for the large variety on offer).

Leuchars is very well served by rail to Dundee and Edinburgh and is also easy by bus with taxi's for those with loads of spondoolies.

The residential site has an excellent officers mess, good Sgts mess and some very good accommodation. The face feeding facilities are excellent, a bowling alley on site, sports pitches and a pretty good gym. The quarters on the other hand are pants, a throw back to the 70's & 80's when they would have been considered as pretty good. One for the singlies there then.

The business side is huge with a large area for the QM's side of things, large aircraft hangers in good condition which could easily be put to many different uses, a medical centre which treats the military and their families and civilian staff. The airfield itself, if there are no restrictions on it i.e. emergency landing facilities for Edinburgh & Dundee airports, could provide a huge amount of space for training or building on.

The sooner the change is made the better. Certainly for business in the area anyway, even if they are firmly stuck in the past and resistant to change. It's not going to happen anytime soon though as they're already advertising the airshow for this year.
 

AlienFTM

MIA
Book Reviewer
#10
I do find it informative that The Telegraph seems to know what's happening before 99% of the Army[/url])
Plus ça change. In the mid-80s I did a single, required, tour as unit pay clerk between transferring out of the cavalry and posting to the Computer Centre.

The staff sergeant told me about life at iirc HQ NORTHAG in Norway, where everyone was a general (except him obviously). Very Senior Officer walks into the Pay Office and demands that his pay, LOA, etc get administered right now cos he's been promoted. Staffy protests that it has to go through the channels and he needs the correct authorisation to publish stuff. VSO won't take "No" for an answer. It's been published in the gazette pages of the Telegraph so it must be true. Staffy phones APO Ashton for advice.

Gets the reply back, "Publish it."
"But what do I do about quoting a source?" (Back in the day istr that events affecting pay rates were published in a separate box under the pay items on the pay statement. A 5-character field indicated the source, be it Part 2 Orders, Food and Accommodation refund, Acquittance Roll payment, P1045 etc,

"Daily Telegraph you say? Enter D-TEL.

As I say, Plus ça change.
 
#11
FAREF was always something good to see on a Pay Statement.
 
#15
Leuchars has a lot going for it. St Andrews (which will probably become the preserve of the officers) and Dundee (many more places for the taking of excessive quantities of alcohol, the police to cope with the numbers, and STD's and the hospitals to cater for the large variety on offer).
More too the point i hope they have combat experience for a night out in Dundee they are going to bloody need it. The police in Dundee will cope easily they will just do what they did when i stayed there, which is too let the trouble run its course and the people left standing will get the shite kicked out them.
 
#17
Leuchars has a lot going for it. St Andrews (which will probably become the preserve of the officers) and Dundee (many more places for the taking of excessive quantities of alcohol, the police to cope with the numbers, and STD's and the hospitals to cater for the large variety on offer).

Leuchars is very well served by rail to Dundee and Edinburgh and is also easy by bus with taxi's for those with loads of spondoolies.

The residential site has an excellent officers mess, good Sgts mess and some very good accommodation. The face feeding facilities are excellent, a bowling alley on site, sports pitches and a pretty good gym. The quarters on the other hand are pants, a throw back to the 70's & 80's when they would have been considered as pretty good. One for the singlies there then.

The business side is huge with a large area for the QM's side of things, large aircraft hangers in good condition which could easily be put to many different uses, a medical centre which treats the military and their families and civilian staff. The airfield itself, if there are no restrictions on it i.e. emergency landing facilities for Edinburgh & Dundee airports, could provide a huge amount of space for training or building on.

The sooner the change is made the better. Certainly for business in the area anyway, even if they are firmly stuck in the past and resistant to change. It's not going to happen anytime soon though as they're already advertising the airshow for this year.
Things have changed slightly, there is no longer a bowling alley, or even a brick building for juniors to eat in. They currently eat in portacabins in the SNCO car park. There's no forecast for when this may change.

It's probably 50/50 at best that the airfield will be available as well. There still hasn't been a decision on standby airfields for armed aircraft.

Other than that it's probably the best positioned RAF camp left.
 
#18
No need to panic. HMS Queen Elizabeth will have plenty of empty hangar deck that we can fill with Kudos cabins. Just need to put the cabins down as an Afghanistan UOR so they don't appear on the budget...
Sadly the floating car park won't be around in time for us to play the Afghan UOR card - even the government might spot that anomaly. Maybe we will be able to use the Syria / Somalia / Mali / Falklands (Part 2), Wales etc UOR by then.
 

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