More places? i can see where your coming from assuming you mean due to the complications/problems with digitalization..... but even now with bates etc gone we find sigs and svy SNCOs being given other tasks to occupy them.Im not saying they have no work but it has been reduced. The introduction of Bowman will only place them back where they were before. Or could it be that if the WOCIS and SMS amalgumate then so will the sigs and svy? The CP "should" now be run by 2x full screws according to crewman 2000 but seems like we will revert back to the stripey/fullscrew combi again. Im not against changes but i just wish someone would make there mind up implement it and enforce it for ALL regiments as no two CPs seem the same!........ Bit of a tangent there i know..soz.
We have only started on the road to full NEC, and we already have a system in Bowman (+CIP) that is far more complex than any other comparable system we have had before. We need to fully delink 'comms' (i.e. hardware) from 'functionality and staff support tools' (i.e. ComBAT et al) and we need appropriately qualified people to do it. IMHO it makes sense if the SMS deals with the former (like a mini YofS) and the WOCIS deals with the latter.
As more and more of the whole capability is rolled out, the SMS' life will become more and more concerned with true whole system management; whilst the WOCIS will have his hands full with the increased numbers, scope and breadth of new applications as they come on stream - I'm refering to capabilties like the BISAs, JETTS and the various interfaces (BGI, JOCS etc).
So, to answer the original query: I believe that not only do we need to keep our people, we need more of them with more quals, and we need to identify them earlier, train them better and pay them shed loads more to keep hold of them.
Edited to add: There was a plan to include an extra RSigs SNCO in every RA Regiment to assist with system management due to the fact that the Gunner net is (rightly) regarded as an extemely professionally run net which will virtually always 'get comms in', and therefore must be maintained at all practical cost. To cut a long story short (which I couldn't print here anyway) the plan was shelved...
And in addition DD, we need more ACS slots at SNCO level to help combat the ridiculous paucity of posts (especially at Regimental Duty) we have in that trade. I'm not saying this is the driver, just that we certainly should not be looking to lose any ACS appointments at WO2.
Must keep both of thes slots, the rest of the British Army are looking at the way Gunners are doing the biz at the mo in relation to DS2, Inf Bn's, RAC Regts and a lot of other chip shop units are suddenly realising they're missing out on an extra chance at promotion and the workload could quite easily spread to two people rather than 1 poor RSWO working on his own.
Keep the Gunner standard going, they are all watching!!