Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by hackle, Oct 21, 2005.
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from Commons Written Answers yesterday 20 Oct. HANSARD SOURCE
Another written answer about deployments, from Commons Hansard 20 Oct:
I am quite sure that The 1st Bn. Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. Has only been deployed to Iraq once. Unless they are on the next Roulement.
33 Engr Regt (EOD) and 11 EOD Regt RLC have had a permanent presence on TELIC since day 1. Most BDOs from 33 are now either on or preparing for their 3rd tour. Lies, Dam lies and statistics.
Unfortunately they have not shown how many units have deployed company\sqn strength units to bolster the battalion and regiment strengths. I'll be willing to bet that many have deployed more than shown there.
Spin, spin, spin.
Also the answer doesnt give the amount of people who have deployed on Telic 1 and were then posted to another unit in time to deploy for a second or third time.
I do know a couple of fellows who are currently on their 4th deployment. ...but with different units!
I'm damn sure the over-the-horizon reserve Bn has been deployed at least three times, if only piecemeal. Which brings me to the thought that they probably screw the figures by counting only those units with 4 coys deployed
Which of course neatly excludes the Territorial Army Regiments that have done 2 tours (At reinforced company level)
In fact , the structure of the answer neatly excludes any mention of the TA at all (at first glance)
The statistics are informative as far as they go - which, as previous posters have pointed out, isn't far.
Parliament, and the country at large, need to understand the level of committment the Armed Forces undertake. This isn't reflected in the report highlighted. There's a real story here for the Telegraph if they would only look. My thoughts are two-fold
1) Its not just Operations which make the burden for the Army so heavy - although they entail most risk. Its also the associated pre-operational training added to routine training committments. Canada, Poland, routine field exercises, promotion and trade courses etc all add to time away from familys, times of instability, times of relative hardship. Whether you're the other side of the world, away on a course in the same country or on the local training area the strain on family life and professional committment is there.Surely the best way to look at this is via LSSA.
It would be valuable to catagorise LSSA claims each year. Then Parliament, the papers and the people could be told "40% of soldiers were deployed for over 8 months this year, 30% for over 6 months, 30% for under 6 months" etc.
2) The figures, as Cheesypoptart pointed out, are misleading. Perhaps even deliberately disengenuous. Reinforcement by individual companies/squadrons is very common - both on ops and exercise. The figures simply don't tell use very much.
For example - Cheesypoptart alluded to 1RHF - acting as Extra High Readiness Reserve for TELIC. I don't choose 1 RHF because they've been particularly hard-pressed, although they may have been. But its information that I know.
Between Apr 04 and Apr 05 the Bn deployed to Iraq twice - in the first instance for 4 months, in the second for two. Neither are mentioned in the list above. On each occasion 3 companies deployed. In that same period two companies deployed to Jordan for 6 weeks and one to the Falklands for 4 months. On Cyprus Ops (not demanding, but time away from barrack life and families) each Coy probably averaged 3 months. Add in the intensive pre-Iraq OPTAG, pre-Jordan training and career courses for individuals and that's a serious committment.
None of that is accounted for. A politician or civil servant with only a general knowlege of Cyprus RIB routine and TELIC committments might conclude that Cyprus is a relatively relaxed posting. In the CGS's briefing team report Cyprus was described as having excellent morale - far from the truth in the RIBs' case.
I am sure many units are in a similar position. Sending the CGS's briefing team round with powerpoint pie charts saying the things are getting better simply does not ring true for too many soldiers and officers today.
A misleading impression, rather than illumination, is created by the statistics. Sadly the conclusion of the politicians (and perhaps sadly the PoD himself) may well be that there's a good deal left in the bank and draw on.
If that proves to be the case then things will certainly worsen. Nobody realistically expects to bring back the days of BAOR (which many in the TA forum seem to think are still in place) but the senior officers of the Army are coming seriously close to breaching their bond of trust with the soldiers they direct. Loyalty goes both ways.
When I saw this:
Westminster: how many times deployed to Iraq
I thought it was going to tell me the number of politicians that have been to Iraq (George Galloway does not count).
Anyone any idea??
22 Field Hospital
33 Field Hospital
34 Field Hospital
These units may only have been once, but the personel staffing these hospital are on thier 2nd & 3rd tours.
So as norm a very miss leading anwser
33 Field Hospital deployed on both Op Telic 1 and 2 - I know I was there!
here here, me too........damn do I know you
As to Westminster warriors - I know of one MP who was serving down the road from us on Telic 2 - Desmond Swayne, Yeomanry Major, Tory MP, and a pretty decent bloke. Also Lord Atlee, REME TA Major, was on Telic 1, and he is a Top Bloke indeed. I think there may be a Doctor TA LAbour, but not sure.
Separate names with a comma.