The future of the TA?

Discussion in 'Army Reserve' started by putteesinmyhands, Sep 19, 2008.

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  1. While thinking about a witty retort to add to , it occurred to me that what I was going to write was, possibly, a little close to the truth. You decide.

    Discussing the relative merits of joining the RA(V) or RE(V), I was going to comment that, in the event of mobilisation, at least the RE stand a reasonable chance of doing what they'd been trained to do.

    Take this a little further. Once an operation passes beyond the war-fighting phase, the requirement for large numbers of artillerymen reduces substantially. I'm guessing, but I surmise that the Regular component of the RA probably have sufficient personnel to staff their (gun-manning)roulements without the need of much asssistance from RA(V). Obviously, if the RA role as infantry (as in Telic 2+), then they'll need extra bods, but then the emphasis would be infantry-trained, rather than artillery-trained.

    Ultimately, will we be looking at the disbanding of much of RA(V), to be replaced with Infantry or other units that are in short supply, when somebody cottons on that the expense of training is largely unjustified?

    Sorry if this appears to be a dig at RA(V). It's not meant to be. I could have picked RSigs instead, but their allocation of the defence budget generally returns to the G10 shelves at the end of the weekend, rather than being expended to redistribute parts of training areas.

    If the current philosophy of using the TA as individual supplements rather than as formed units continues, can we expect to see the TA ceasing to be a "Reserve Army" due to the loss of the various components that distinguish the difference between an army and a pool of substitutes?
  2. Battlefield Casualty Replacements!
  3. [​IMG]

  4. My dear puttees you are as out of date as your nickname, the secondary (infantry) role is something we don't do anymore as we are far too busy in either Primary or Tertiary roles

    Most RA(v) Regts are light gun trained (100, 103 and 105), think there may be a call for that and the others include MLRS (101), GMLRS is in the 'stan, as well as the UAV (104) and STA (HAC and 101) assets that are being used in both theatres

    The only Regt out of sorts is 106 which is still AD, however 106 is very busy on the mobilisation front providing troops in both theatres in different roles as they support 3 different RA Regts (albeit 2 of them in the same role), yes they will probably never deploy in an AD role, however neither will their Regular counterparts, when ever someone is mobilised now the whole Bty has to retrain on Ops kit, so a Rapier or HVM trained bod will just slot in as normal.

    I would be surprised is the RA was touched but the fools of Whitehall may have other ideas, if anything needs sacking them I say get rid of the RE, after all we can just source any building work out to the poles :wink:
  5. I can't deny being out of date (obsolete is probably a better term) but, to be fair, I was never really in date. Like most other TA soldiers, I don't meet many TA units outside my own. The last RA(V) unit that I had dealings with were equipped with 25 pounders (last outing) and Blowpipe (newly acquired).

    As I said, I'm not on a RA-knocking exercise here, and I've admitted not being up to date, so bear with me.

    Although I accept that RA(V) units train on the guns that are used in theatre, my question is to do with the intensity of the Regular involvement. I know that one of the biggest gripes of the RE is that there is so much work to do and so few Regulars available to do it that life has become a routine of ops, course, pre-deployment trg, ops, course, etc. As a result, TA involvement provides a welcome, and necessary, respite. I may well have the wrong end of the stick, but I'd have thought that the Regular RA wouldn't have such a manning problem and would be able to cope using their own resources.

    As you say, the AD component hasn't currently got a job, so there's already a reserve of personnel.

    Without wanting to put your back up too much, there's only so much that you have to learn in the RA and training comprises drills. The same goes for RSigs, REME etc. There are a finite number of problems and each problem has the solution written in a book. RE is a bit different as the written solution often has to be adapted to suit the particular problem.

    Realistically, how long would it take to convert an Infantry Coy into a RA Battery if the situation demanded? A week to learn the basics (you could skip normal progression from job to job and just train on the speciality required). Another couple of weeks of drills including live firing. If you take away the rank hierarchy which, let's face it, is the province of the career soldier, you could create a battery during a slightly extended OPTAG.

    On that basis, there would be no need for an RA(V).

    ....and I am playing Devil's Advocate here because I believe that the "A" in TA represents "ARMY" and as such should include all arms. Unfortunately, I also foresee the TA being whittled down to an organisation that adapts to the current threat, rather than one which can react to any threat.

    PS What's the tertiary role?
  6. There are 2 the Regt is split on , 2 Btys go to Iraq with a sort of AD gun (yeah I know it was reported in the sun but I'm not saying what it is exactly)

    One of the Btys has that responsibility but also in supporting the use of UAVs

    Sod speaking inthe third person, we have a bunch in training now going to Iraq in the first role and at least one in the latter role, Regt has decreed that as its the Regts reponsibility to support the first role primarily only those who have deployed to Iraq before can go to afganistan

    If there is a change I doubt it would be a capbadge one but more of role possibly brining units like mine closer to UAV for op reasons, buyt again way above my pay statement.

    I understand your comments about the variety in RE taskings and hope you take the ribbing in the way its intended, however how does that match up to the modern TA? In which a good proportion of our weekend activity is swallowed up in the pursuit of MATTS. If anything its a god send having a limited task as it takes less time to bring the drills back up to scratch after all the MATTs, ranges, Infantry and jollies. In essence we only have a handful of weekends actually doing the job a year

    PS rumors I have heard is some of the R Signals is for the chop, but its all conjecture
  7. msr

    msr LE

    Drop me a PM and I'll try to get you out on a live-firing weekend.

    There's a bit more to the RA(V) than the guns.

  8. can i come?
  9. That's a very kind offer. Coincidentally, this sort of thing is something that I've been advocating recently. It's easier to support a unit if you've got some idea of how they work before you turn up.

    If this sort of cooperation were to be developed on a wider scale, it may give the impression that the TA is an army, rather than a bunch of varied entities neatly packaged up, ready for the asset strippers.
  10. RA (V) units are far busier than you realise, although the cloud punchers among us maybe not being used in our primary role i.e as rapier operators or hvm we are being used in Iraq in a sort of air defence role, and there are positions available to us in other artillery regiments, both gun regiments and locating regiments. In my battery alone we have provided soldiers on Telic ever since Telic 3, the guys we have mobilised have been used in a variety of different roles from an infantry based role, to UAV, light gun, air defence etc.

    In responce to your statement about training infanteers to gunners, it is far harder to train an infantry soldier to be a rapier operator than it is to train a rapier operator to be an infantry soldier.
  11. So out of interest how would you compare this to training a gunner to become a UAV operator?
  12. Ummm... Isn't that because our initial training is Infantry-based, as are MATTS? Thus training the Rapier operator to be an Infantry soldier is merely refreshment?

    To be a GOOD Infantry soldier takes practice. To be a GOOD Rapier operator involves reading and understanding the book thoroughly. Or am I wrong? (Note that if you say that I'm wrong, you're saying that the book is also wrong. Nothing wrong with this, just take steps to correct the book).

    Whilst practice makes perfect, most errors are made by not reading the instructions.
  13. BTW There's no such word as "Infanteers." I presume you mean Infantrymen. Unless you believe there's a similar link between infants and infantry as there is between adults and adultery...
  14. I really hate this line about doing the infantry job but they can't do ours etc. its balls

    An Artilleryman in the Infantry role is very different to an Infantryman, I have done the "Infantry role" many times on ops (mostly NI) but would never stake I was an infantryman. I did patrolling, OPs, IS duties etc, same as my Infantry colleagues, what I didn't do was Battalion level operations with Gunner, Mortar and SF support, that's infantry. Roles in NI, FY, Iraq and Afghan for the RA "Infantilllery" are always patrolling less "sharp" zones keeping the peace, supporting Police ops and representing the military, you don't hear of 3 RHA being asked to remove Terry from some village and dominate the area.

    As to the claim that AD is reading books then try your hand at HVM, it take a shed load of practice (over a 1000 confirmed simulated hits) before you are allowed to fire a live missile, that takes months sometimes before you are ready. Would you say that anyone can fire a Carl Gustav successfully and hit the target after reading a book ?
  15. Training an AD Gunner to being a MUAV Gunner is fairly straight forward mainly because the make up of a HVM det and a MUAV det is identical in number and rank structure, this goes a long way towards helping the change over. What also helps is having an understanding of the airspace.

    As for the technical aspect, this hasn't proved too difficult as its a fairly straight forward technical application pretty close to the level of complexity for HVM, I don't wish to sound condescending as I am willing to admit that Gunners aren't the sharpest tool, but we still rank higher on the BARB for a reason, forgive the pun but AD isn't rocket science, but it takes a bit more than having a basic grasp of English.