What's become of the MoD?

#1
OK, I've been in a bit. When I joined up we had a Cold War and a wall across Germany.

The accommodation was pretty poor, even then, but I used to look at some of the stuff that was coming out of the Eastern Bloc and laugh. Dire food, poor pay, living accommodation that was awful..you get my drift?

I think that what brought it home to me was a visit to a, not even a minor, station in the last few weeks.

No heating in the blocks, no hot water, kitchens in messes closed as they have failed and there isn't the money to fix them. Thankfully I was only there for a few days, but I was at a loss for words at how the infrastructure has just failed. The block I was accommodated in was like something out of the 50's. Sockets actually hanging off the wall, tiles off, mouldy showers. The block opposite even had an old sofa and a fridge dumped outside, and by the look of them they had been there a lot longer than a few weeks.

I'm afraid that I genuinely wondered if I'd wandered into some old Soviet time warp?

As there was no heating or hot water, many rooms had been supplied with electric heaters (or the guys had gone out to buy them themselves, more likely). On my second day there was a TRIAD alert. How much did all those electric fires burning away cost on the fuel bill for that unit?

I'm just at a loss at to what has happened to our basic infrastructure. I knew things were bad, but not that bad.

I understand that PMTM has ordered an enquiry into why so many are leaving the forces...perhaps she should go and spend a few nights on one or two units, it might give her a clue!
 
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#2
OK, I've been in a bit. When I joined up we had a Cold War and a wall across Germany.

The accommodation was pretty poor, even then, but I used to look at some of the stuff that was coming out of the Eastern Bloc and laugh. Dire food, poor pay, living accommodation that was awful..you get my drift?

I think that what brought it home to me was a visit to, not even a minor, station in the last few weeks.

No heating in the blocks, no hot water, kitchens in messes closed as they have failed and there isn't the money to fix them. Thankfully I was only there for a few days, but I was at a loss for words at how the infrastructure has just failed. The block I was accommodated in was like something out of the 50's. Sockets actually hanging off the wall, tiles off, mouldy showers. The block opposite even had an old sofa and a fridge dumped outside, and by the look of them they had been there a lot longer than a few weeks.

I'm afraid that I genuinely wondered if I'd wandered into some old Soviet time warp?

As there was no heating or hot water, many rooms had been supplied with electric heaters (or the guys had gone out to buy them themselves, more likely). On my second day there was a TRIAD alert. How much did all those electric fires burning away cost on the fuel bill for that unit?

I'm just at a loss at to what has happened to our basic infrastructure. I knew things were bad, but not that bad.

I understand that PMTM has ordered an enquiry into why so many are leaving the forces...perhaps she should go and spend a few nights on one or two units, it might give her a clue!
Where, why, pics?
 
#4
OK, I've been in a bit. When I joined up we had a Cold War and a wall across Germany.

The accommodation was pretty poor, even then, but I used to look at some of the stuff that was coming out of the Eastern Bloc and laugh. Dire food, poor pay, living accommodation that was awful..you get my drift?

I think that what brought it home to me was a visit to, not even a minor, station in the last few weeks.

No heating in the blocks, no hot water, kitchens in messes closed as they have failed and there isn't the money to fix them. Thankfully I was only there for a few days, but I was at a loss for words at how the infrastructure has just failed. The block I was accommodated in was like something out of the 50's. Sockets actually hanging off the wall, tiles off, mouldy showers. The block opposite even had an old sofa and a fridge dumped outside, and by the look of them they had been there a lot longer than a few weeks.

I'm afraid that I genuinely wondered if I'd wandered into some old Soviet time warp?

As there was no heating or hot water, many rooms had been supplied with electric heaters (or the guys had gone out to buy them themselves, more likely). On my second day there was a TRIAD alert. How much did all those electric fires burning away cost on the fuel bill for that unit?

I'm just at a loss at to what has happened to our basic infrastructure. I knew things were bad, but not that bad.

I understand that PMTM has ordered an enquiry into why so many are leaving the forces...perhaps she should go and spend a few nights on one or two units, it might give her a clue!
As the accommodation is subsidised we are all pathetically grateful.
 
#5
OK, I've been in a bit. When I joined up we had a Cold War and a wall across Germany.

The accommodation was pretty poor, even then, but I used to look at some of the stuff that was coming out of the Eastern Bloc and laugh. Dire food, poor pay, living accommodation that was awful..you get my drift?

I think that what brought it home to me was a visit to, not even a minor, station in the last few weeks.

No heating in the blocks, no hot water, kitchens in messes closed as they have failed and there isn't the money to fix them. Thankfully I was only there for a few days, but I was at a loss for words at how the infrastructure has just failed. The block I was accommodated in was like something out of the 50's. Sockets actually hanging off the wall, tiles off, mouldy showers. The block opposite even had an old sofa and a fridge dumped outside, and by the look of them they had been there a lot longer than a few weeks.

I'm afraid that I genuinely wondered if I'd wandered into some old Soviet time warp?

As there was no heating or hot water, many rooms had been supplied with electric heaters (or the guys had gone out to buy them themselves, more likely). On my second day there was a TRIAD alert. How much did all those electric fires burning away cost on the fuel bill for that unit?

I'm just at a loss at to what has happened to our basic infrastructure. I knew things were bad, but not that bad.

I understand that PMTM has ordered an enquiry into why so many are leaving the forces...perhaps she should go and spend a few nights on one or two units, it might give her a clue!
I have no personal knowledge of the current situation, but I do get the impression that the MoD main effort appears to be directed towards ill-considered and wasteful Grands Projets at the expense of the more mundane, but very necessary, bread-and-butter stuff.
 
#6
As the accommodation is subsidised we are all pathetically grateful.
20 yrs ago whilst at Tidworth I knew a couple who had a one bedroom flat on Bulford Garrison, listed as substandard, for which they paid £26.00 a Month!
That wasn't even the price of one night's travelodge at the time. I've paid more for one night on a campsite....
 

cent05zr70

On ROPS
On ROPs
#7
I'll tell you what's wrong. The name was changed to MoD.
Now, when we had a War Department....
 
#8
I have no personal knowledge of the current situation, but I do get the impression that the MoD main effort appears to be directed towards ill-considered and wasteful Grands Projets at the expense of the more mundane, but very necessary, bread-and-butter stuff.
CVF No 2 vice real estate & infrastructure, you mean?
 
#9
20 yrs ago whilst at Tidworth I knew a couple who had a one bedroom flat on Bulford Garrison, listed as substandard, for which they paid £26.00 a Month!
That wasn't even the price of one night's travelodge at the time. I've paid more for one night on a campsite....
That must be of great comfort to those living in shitholes.
 
#10
Because not withstanding the current procurement aspirations, there's a forecast 7 bill deficit in the MoD's budget (according to the BBC news).
 
#11
I think the woeful state of the Defence Estate can be traced back to the demise of the PSA.
This. As institutionalised (by definition) as the PSA was, its primary goal was to look after the "built estate", as it is now known. Back then, we'd have said "barracks, airfields and naval bases". It was replaced with private contracts, where the primary aim is to make money.

That, and the NMS. When TLBs came in, and "Resource Accounting". Items on shelves cost money. So don't hold them. Instead of going to barrack stores for a 50p lightbulb, you now get a contractor to come out and change the bulb for £200. Do that 10 times a week and you're 2 grand in the hole. Do that for one year and you're 100 grand in the hole. Do that for 10 years and you're a million in the hole. Now the heating's gone tits up and you don't have 50 grand in the budget to replace the boiler. Of course if you'd spent a grand a year maintaining it, it wouldn't have gone tits up at all. But you didn't have the money, because you're paying 200 quid for a sparky to change a bulb that any squaddie, crab or matelot could have done for 50p.
 
#12
The old boys network continues to corrupt everything, contracts written by liars and thieves. Blandford Camp had PAYD brought in, it started on the same Monday morning that the RCWO started working for Sodexo. Liars and thieves
 
#13
Oh, and the contractor buys the bulbs from Screwfix on his way to the job for a quid, and charges two quid when he's marked it up. Instead of MoD being able to say "Hello Mr Osram, we will need 450,000 lightbulbs this coming year, based on prior usage. Philips has quoted us £225,000 for them. If you can do it for £200,000, the business is yours. We just need them delivered to Bicester or Donnington, we have a worldwide distribution system that can deliver a tank engine or a lightbulb anywhere in the world, same day, if absolutely required. Won't be a big deal to put an extra box of lightbulbs on routine demands."
 
#14
This. As institutionalised (by definition) as the PSA was, its primary goal was to look after the "built estate", as it is now known. Back then, we'd have said "barracks, airfields and naval bases". It was replaced with private contracts, where the primary aim is to make money.

That, and the NMS. When TLBs came in, and "Resource Accounting". Items on shelves cost money. So don't hold them. Instead of going to barrack stores for a 50p lightbulb, you now get a contractor to come out and change the bulb for £200. Do that 10 times a week and you're 2 grand in the hole. Do that for one year and you're 100 grand in the hole. Do that for 10 years and you're a million in the hole. Now the heating's gone tits up and you don't have 50 grand in the budget to replace the boiler. Of course if you'd spent a grand a year maintaining it, it wouldn't have gone tits up at all. But you didn't have the money, because you're paying 200 quid for a sparky to change a bulb that any squaddie, crab or matelot could have done for 50p.
Well said.

The PSA may have been a PITA at times, and employed those who weren't qualified even to be a council labourer but they did at least get things done. I had a problem with a failed safety valve in the central heating system (the valve blew and sprayed water everywhere). Had to turn the heating off but a phone call to the PSA next morning had it sorted by the afternoon, including water damage to the carpet.
 
#15
Oh, and the contractor buys the bulbs from Screwfix on his way to the job for a quid, and charges two quid when he's marked it up. Instead of MoD being able to say "Hello Mr Osram, we will need 450,000 lightbulbs this coming year, based on prior usage. Philips has quoted us £225,000 for them. If you can do it for £200,000, the business is yours. We just need them delivered to Bicester or Donnington, we have a worldwide distribution system that can deliver a tank engine or a lightbulb anywhere in the world, same day, if absolutely required. Won't be a big deal to put an extra box of lightbulbs on routine demands."
Do you mind, coming on threads and talking common sense, away with you!!
 
#16
DIO....thats the issue. Paying a contractor for instance to check plastic fuel tanks outside quarters every 3 months (only needs annual). Now as we all know plastic doesnt degrade that much to require inspections that are put down for a minimum work time of 15 mins when it actually takes 5. But because you contractor is not managed properly he actually puts down 1 hour per tank. So he is now taking all day to check 7 tanks that could take him no more than 1 hour. In the meantime infra that does need repairs/checks is getting missed or less time spent on. In a deployable location with a massive infrastructure that if fails can mean operational failure, they do not even put down a SME to manage that part of the contract properly.
 
#17
There's also the "huggy fluffy" shit. I was looking at the plans for Trenchard Lines, Upavon a while back. Of passing interest as I had served there when it was an RAF Station. It's being redeveloped into a much more significant camp. It surprised me (but probably shouldn't) that the MOD had spent money defining what the appropriate planting should be. Sympathetic shrubbery and trees. Not only have they spent money on planning this stuff, they'll spend money on acquiring the specified seedlings and planting them.

Contrast with 1930s Germany. They build a shitload of substantial brick-and-masonry barracks. And planted oak and chestnut trees along the roads and around the camps. 60 years later, when we/I were in residence, there's some mighty fine trees in those old barracks. I don't imagine it cost a great deal for some acorns and chestnuts.
 

MrBane

LE
Moderator
Kit Reviewer
Reviews Editor
#19
There's lots of reasons why it's all in shitrag.

Prior to moving into our glorious new SLAM upon return from Belize, I lived in the corner of a 6 man room with mould behind my head, mushrooms sprouting in the corners and a damp ceiling.

That wasn't my fault, clearly.

However after a year in SLAM, the kitchen was a ******* midden, the washing machine was broken, there was damage along the walls and the common room was rotten.

That's with the polish birds coming in and 'cleaning' daily.

So what went wrong there?

Squaddies are for the most part, ******* animals. Live, eat and sleep like animals. Many came from their mammies apron strings and so never learned to look after themselves, and the short time it's enforced in basic isn't enough to break years of habit.

Lack of block inspections, lack of working parties, lack of general discipline in the SLAM led to the place being a ******* tip. You'd have the lad who was drinking and pissing his bed every night, smoking in his room with the fire alarm covered. You'd have the lad who'd cook food and abandon the mess behind him in the kitchen. You'd have the lad who'd sling CS95 into the machine without actually getting all the caked in dirt and mud out of it.

The SLAM got into a state because of us. I kept my room tight and never ventured near the kitchen, because I didn't want to be associated with all of it - and there was no way of gripping the lads responsible because no-one actually gave a ****.

So yes, lots of institutional failings, but we also seem to forget the basics of keeping our accommodation on the line and the Regimental personalities, including the QM, don't seem to give a shit about addressing it.
 

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