Armed Forces Harmony Guidelines

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Lords Hansard: 9 October 2006, Col.WA9.

Armed Forces: Harmony Guidelines

Lord Astor of Hever asked Her Majesty's Government:
What steps they are taking in the short and long term to address breaches of harmony guidelines through the roulement of United Kingdom military forces in the Helmand Province of Afghanistan and in Iraq.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Drayson): We recognise that, given the increase in the scale of our contribution to Afghanistan in 2006 and our ongoing commitment in Iraq, harmony levels will remain under pressure, at both unit and individual levels. We have put in place a range of short and long-term measures to ameliorate this situation. In the short term this includes: training and recruitment initiatives; financial retention and re-engagement incentives; flexibility in the rank employed in some posts; the mobilisation of Reservists; some contractorisation (where appropriate); and regular reviews of force levels required for each operation.

Over the longer term, the restructuring of the Armed Forces currently under way, particularly in the Army, will help us to achieve an improvement in average tour intervals. Further improvements may come from eventual reductions in UK force levels in a range of theatres, and from appropriate contributions from our allies, which we continue to encourage.
 
So what they are saying is they haven't got enough bods so they are trying so butter up the serving ones and drag in the reserves a bit more. Hardly rocket science. Harmony time, hmm, the lads that join up do it for a reason and that reason is that it is a job and it pays money and most of the time you have an easy time of it and sometimes you don't.
There have always been people in the mess who bleat when they have to go away for any length of time but deep down they all know that it is life in a blue suit and you are only ever 12 months away from an out.
If they do start paying better maybe more will stay in. Interesting concept eh? Get what you pay for. After all, there are no conscripts, they all want to be there, a bit more money should help, it always does when you are away from home. Anyway, in most cases, they have to be away earning or they wouldn't have a missus back home to support cos she would be off with the plumber.
 
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