UK Civil Defence Force

Discussion in 'Army Reserve' started by norfolk_n_chance, Aug 4, 2007.

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    Whilst the link above is a simple commentary from the Shadow Security Minister, it does lift a few good points.

    With increasing demands on ops, and obvious recruiting and retention problems, is it still feasible for the TA to respond with the required manpower to a major and immediate emergency?

    Why do a majority of UK Resilience Plans rely on TA assets, when in reality these may not be immediately/fully available or fully functioning?

    The article also notes that (whilst TA manning numbers dwindle slightly) a larger workforce may be available from elements of the community who would train and prepare for Resilience/Emergency Response, but do not, because the current role (being a TA soldier/officer) also requires them to be part of the military, bear arms and be available to mobilise.

    Would it be a good idea to form a UK Civil Defence Force, of which, the TA would provide additional manpower, but not be the sole workforce? Or would it be a bad idea, because providing CCRF capabilities is half of our bipartite justification for existence? (The other half being to bolster numbers on Ops, through a medium of IRs or mobilised sub-units etc) Or would it simply lead to a waste of taxpayers money by being a bureaucratic and unnecessary appendage to the civil service?

    I'm pretty junior, and may have got the 'wrong end of the stick' so to speak, but given recent floodings and a possible return of the Foot & Mouth crisis, or any other pandemic scares (Avian Flu) or possible natural and human disasters, there seems to be an increasing likelihood of a need to call CCRF assets forward... only to find that the CCRF capability has been overlooked, and is under-manned and underfunded (like most parts of the TA) and, henceforth, incapable of providing a swift and timely response to the arising emergency - an emergency evolving in our own country to our own people, and not overseas.


    Just out of interest, are the RAFR or RMR also liable for CCRF?
  2. msr

    msr LE

    Calling out the TA would probably be both recruiting and retention positive...

  3. This is quite true ... frequently I've expected CCRF call-outs, although they've never come. It would be good to put MACA (in its various guises) to use, good for the community and good for the unit morale and team-building.

    However, the problem remains that if we're 'over-stretched' for Ops, if we can still be in good strength for a CCRF call-up - a few will be on Ops, a few may have other roles (NHS, Police etc) that will require them to be put to other use in an emergency and many of the quoted TA manning numbers will still be recruits. Additionally, our kit, whilst in immaculate service, is hand-me-down ... vehicles, gennies, radios etc, and a small proportion are liable to a) not be functioning and b) break whilst in use.
  4. msr

    msr LE

    There is only one way to find out...

  5. Are the TA really oversretched on ops? I know many TA have volunteered for ops but in general what percentage of TA are currently on ops?

    CCRF would be good for the TA, Plenty good public exposure.

    Although during the floods one TA member posted on here that he switched his phone off when they were getting called out, As he wasnt having his night ruined. I am sure that this isn't the attitude of all but i expect the guys like this are the ones that avoid tours or any work except what they require for the bounty.

    I dont think the TA as a Whole is overstretched if everyone did their fair share but i suspect that with CCRF (as with ops tours) only a certain percentage will volunteer to assist.

    If the a local TA unit were called out for civil aid then every man jack on the books should be made to parade or provide a valid reason for absence.
    We cant have a situation where we pick and choose what emergencies we attend otherwise the plan is doomed to failure.
  6. Absolutely. And I wasn't insinuating that we are or were in a situation where this is the case. My point is that a response will be undermanned (and under-equipped, underfunded etc) - my reasoning; in my old unit, just under a fifth (I believe) were either on ops or attachments (or are on leave having returned recently from ops), and a little under a quarter have yet to fully complete their training (although some have completed their basic training). It wasn't a local infantry unit, so I don't know how this compares - however, this would've left only 60% of the full complement of manpower to tackle the emergency, before we start.

    No, no - the word on the street is that the Army as a whole is "under-strength and over-stretched". As many TA personnel are on ops as IRs, it wouldn't really make sense that we were, individually, overstretched on ops. See this national viewspaper for more...

    At any rate, it wasn't my intention to imply that the TA were incapable of rising to the needs of CCRF (although I do believe its efficacy to respond to major emergencies is compromised slightly by the lack of 'available' manpower), but rather, to ask the question if it's worth evolving a CCRF workforce to above the TA, so that it could draw additional manpower from other community, regional and national assets and groups.
  7. A fifth? is it that high across the whole TA?

    The point i was trying to make was of a units personnel on strength. Say 50% take an active role. 25% bounty hunters & 25% on books but never seen

    of that 50% that is active 10% are on Ops.

    So that leaves 40% of the unit that can be relied upon. minus those that have commitments on any given day that prevents attendance. (figures for example purposes)

    That is the reason why for Civil defence it is going to be regulars that are called upon once again. They don't have a choice when they attend.
  8. I object to the phrase 'bounty hunters'

    It's a fact tht Bounty exists. Expecting it as part of the T&S is not 'hunting'.

    Anyway, a 'fifth' is not correct. It varies between Corps, skill sets, experience, and time served.
  9. why do you object, do you deny such a person exists in the TA. I didn't say everyone was bounty hunters

    And i know figures change, i used them merely as an example. you can not rely on the TA to provide a full turnout,
  10. We have a fairly active Civil Defence in Ireland. Both they and the Defence Forces are regularly called on. CD has around 6000 personnel around the country. It is under the control of county council who fund 30% of the bill, while the Department of Defence (via the CD Board) funds the rest (the Minister of Defence is the one responsible for them at the cabinet table).

    They are almost all volunteers (instructor are paid an hourly rate). Each county may have a very small number of full time staff. There are also a number of army advisors. There is also a national training centre.

    The are trained in : First Aid, Search and Rescue, Fire Fighting, Boating Techniques, Radiation Monitoring, Radio Communications and Welfare Provision.

    They are divided into:
    Casualty Service (First Aid)
    Rescue Service
    Auxilary Fire Service
    Warden Service (Radiation Monitoring)
    Welfare Service (Emergency accomodiation, feeding, etc)
  11. but they can be relied on to turnout
  12. how many can be relied upon?
  13. My Sqn would be able to fully support 15 Bde HQ without outside assistance
  14. Relied upon or turn up??

    There are lots that will turn up -

    to attend the JNCO Doo, but not the tidy up the morning after

    to attend the Remembrance Parade, and the free curry after with half a dozen of the family in tow, mmm nice curry Q!!

    to go on the nice overseas trips etc

    and then there are the ones you can rely on -

    The Self Employed - more committed than most
    The Un-employed - just give them the nod and they will be in
    The Low paid - again will turn up and do what ever is required.
    The keen young student - will turn up even between lectures

    the problem is nowadays the above 4 sets of Soldiers are getting less and less, so the pot is weakend.

    Sabre have done a lot to help employees and employers but when it comes to the crunch the majority of firms will only let TA Soldiers off when the secretary of state has called an emergency.

    Since the very early call ups for Telic 1, the majority of TA soldiers deployed are volunteers and come from the 4 groups above, leaving behind a TA that is not reliable, but will turn up for specific events, events and training that they want to do, not what they need to do.

    The only way around this would be to have the old civil defence corps and maybe something along the lines of Irelands set up.

    But bear in mind there are only so many Volunteers out there and what you would gain in a UK Civil defence Force you would lose from, the TA, Specials, St John, Red Cross, Scouting etc.
  15. I try to turn in for what I want to do and what I need to do but not what someone who can't be arrsed to organise it properly, thinks might be a bit of a lark.

    I might also have got hold of the wrong end of the stick here but isn't civil defence one of the tasks that the TA was created for before it became the Army Reserve?