Big reserve forces cuts inbound

#1
The Times is reporting here that there are plans to slim down the TA to 15,000 men from its current figure of 35,000. Yes this is just a rumour at the moment but if there is any truth to the article then the MoD will have announced this by the end of the week.
If they're entertaining the idea of cutting the TA back by 20,000 then that doesn't bode terribly well for the RNR and its strength of ~2,000. :confused:

Complete conjecture, I know, but it's what we do best isn't it.

The Times said:
TA to expel soldiers who won’t go to war

The Territorial Army is to force out thousands of weekend warriors who refuse to go to war. Defence chiefs want to turn the TA into a fully fledged fighting force of about 15,000 soldiers.

Although the target strength requirement of the TA is 42,000, the actual numbers are much lower at about 35,000 and it is haemorrhaging soldiers.

Data from a survey being compiled by King’s College London will be used to work out which members should go.

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) wants to get rid of what it sees as weekend warriors happy to wear the uniform but unwilling to fight, a Whitehall source said.

“The most worrying thing about the planned cuts to the TA is that a lot of those who have been prepared to serve in Iraq or Afghanistan are the ones who are leaving,†a source said.

“They are coming home and saying, ‘That’s it. I’ve done my bit, I’m off’. They are precisely the ones we want to keep.â€

The MoD will this week announce the review of all four reserve forces: the TA, the Royal Navy Reserve, the Royal Auxiliary Air Force and the Royal Marines Reserve.
A spokesman said it would focus on operations but denied that TA soldiers would be dismissed simply because they would not go to war. Some would still be required for training.

Of the 850 reservists serving on operations abroad, approximately 700 are in the TA, the highest number on overseas operations since the Korean war of the early 1950s. About 3,500 TA members employed in training will not be hit by the cull.
Link: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/article3559757.ece
 

onlinebacon

Lantern Swinger
#2
It sounds alright though.

To be fair the article says taht they are going to expel soldiers who wont go to war, not ones that are willing to serve a tour.

I think this is what it means anyways, so it's the way it should be, keep TA as a fighting force and not one thats a weekend club :)
 
#3
But aren't some of those "weekend clubbers" (you know what I mean!) the ones who keep the system running, and that enable those others to deply. And if they are meant to deploy only once every 3 years, then there will be lots of others who are not able to deploy, but will again in the future.
 
#5
Interesting this.

I applied to join the RNR Air Branch 6 weeks ago. I hadn't heard a thing up until last week.So, i rang the office and was told my paperwork was on the Boss' desk.

I'm wondering now, if my application is being affected by these new plans.

GH
 
#6
stumpy said:
But aren't some of those "weekend clubbers" (you know what I mean!) the ones who keep the system running, and that enable those others to deply. And if they are meant to deploy only once every 3 years, then there will be lots of others who are not able to deploy, but will again in the future.
You have to remember that the TA and the RNR are organised, and tend to deploy, differently. The RNR tends to deploy singletons or small teams. Whilst the TA does do that, by far the larger part of their force tends to deploy as formed units.

As far as the RNR are concerned there are a significant number of retirements by age due in the next couple of years, and I'm not convinced that there is the recruitment throughput to compensate.

Yes there appears to be a significant number whose commitment revolves around the units, and they're extremely valuable, but that's not why they're employed. There is a debate to be had about the value of the units in comparison with the specialisations, and that's probably pertinent to your point. I'm unconvinced of the value of units beyond training of New Entry, and the right people to be training NE are those with recent experience.

I have a feeling that if this is a fair reflection of current discussions then those who are essentially embargoed, through having been deployed recently, will be safe enough. It'll be those who aren't prepared to front up to the deployments.
 

Chalky

Lantern Swinger
#7
In fairness, if there were to be a cull of the cold war warriors who prefer the colder climes of Germany to somewhere hot and sandy, I suspect it will be done intelligently.

I, as an ex STAB, do believe that there's a lot of dross that could do with shifting, but there are also a lot of old hands who will probably never deploy again, but who have done their time and have a lot to pass along. Many of them are also the Tuesday night stalwarts that keep the numbers up. Any 'Options for Change' style cull of experienced J/SNCO's will not go down well at a time when we need heads full of brains and not of dreams of engaging jonny Taleban at zero range with nothing but a bread knife and the Union Jack.
 
#8
In fairness I just don't see the point in a Territorial Army which isn't willing to deploy to support the regulars who are short-handed.

If getting rid of a few of those who are involved in name only then so be it but 20,000 seems a little strong. At the end of the day the TA, just like the regulars, need enough personnel to allow for rotation.

If there aren't enough then the same faces will get called forward again, early out of turn, despite the regulations and all that will do is make them say stuff it ... bit like the regulars. They get more alike each day.

SF
 

Purple_twiglet

War Hero
Moderator
#9
TA is full of units on its ORBAT who have no real role now. Until vV recently much of TA was optimised towards post strike recovery following nuclear attack on UK - role is now dead, so why are units still there?

Review isn't aimed at cutting for sake of cutting, more keeping what we need (i.e. RNR) and losing deadwood (i.e. most of Royal Sigs).
 

wave_dodger

MIA
Book Reviewer
#10
Purple_twiglet said:
Review isn't aimed at cutting for sake of cutting, more keeping what we need (i.e. RNR) and losing deadwood (i.e. most of Royal Sigs).

Sorry but you're talking bollocks - without RSigs the Army has no comms, TELIC and HERRICK plus all the other current J Ops would suffer. Even the TA RSigs elements are playnig quite a big part these days.

WD
 

Purple_twiglet

War Hero
Moderator
#11
Actually WD as much of this review covers in my day job, I do know what I'm talking about. The R Sigs (Reg) are vital - totally agree there.
The R Sigs (TA) are a legacy ORBAT based on provision of national communications in the event of a post nuclear strike scenario. They have no deployable role, no role in the UK at present and 2 (NC) Bde doesn't know what to do with them. A review is essential to clarify why we have multiple units with no role, and despite have keen members, no valid need to train, retain and pay for them.
 

Tall_bloke

Lantern Swinger
#12
Interesting point well made there, PT. Seems wierd that they have Royal Sigs bods with insufficient training, when as an RNR Comms rating I am constantly being told that I am going to be mobilised and deployed to warmer climes in a land based Commcen. Surely a TA Sigs bloke has as much "land based" comms knnowledge as me?!
 
#13
Am I missing something here? Would it not be the case that if the regular Armed Forces were fully manned (increasing manning if required). All fully deployable, there would be no need for reserve forces anyway! Just a simplistic thought.

IDOITDEEPER
 
#14
Karma said:
[...] So far as the RNR are concerned there are a significant number of retirements by age due in the next couple of years, and I'm not convinced that there is the recruitment throughput to compensate.
Where have I came across that before..... regular RN perhaps? :roll:

Looks like they'll get rid of as many as possible then have severe recruitment problems in the future. :threaten:
 

wave_dodger

MIA
Book Reviewer
#15
Purple_twiglet said:
Actually WD as much of this review covers in my day job, I do know what I'm talking about. The R Sigs (Reg) are vital - totally agree there.
The R Sigs (TA) are a legacy ORBAT based on provision of national communications in the event of a post nuclear strike scenario. They have no deployable role, no role in the UK at present and 2 (NC) Bde doesn't know what to do with them. A review is essential to clarify why we have multiple units with no role, and despite have keen members, no valid need to train, retain and pay for them.
You're orginal post was far from clear, my apologies, it sounded as though you were trashing the whole of the mighty corps.

Indeed, some parts of TA RSigs have a dubious requirement - the Dundee crowd I think are great, one balloon launch a year. Their OC loves that!

Anyway, the rest seem to have a variable contribution to current Ops - The _____ comms are provided by TA units at the moment and there seem to be ever more TA siggies out in both Sandy Ops. _______ still has its uses as there just isn't enough _______________ are still a long way away.

If they were reorganised properly they may find a better matching requirement, I suspect though that LAND will resist because they'd need to find lots of new GFE/GFI that they can't afford.

2(NC) Bde, nice Brigadier!

Edited as requested
 

wave_dodger

MIA
Book Reviewer
#17
If the figures are correct, at a time of significant stretch, we're deploying 840 reservists (across the board as I read it), out of 30,000+ reservists then surely there is problem.

Perhaps it is time for another deck chair shuffle to clear out the Reserve Forces and concentrate on the elements we need. 30,000 people will be very expensive to maintain/support.

Perhaps we need a differing form of Reserves, one to support Contingent Ops and another less well trained, who would only be used in time of National crisis/all out war? Not really thought that through but a huge body of people paid a retainer and trained to a very low starting point (or all ex regular).

I can see the need for Reserves just can't see how much/what but common dog tells me if I were in charge I'd want a large number of bodies just in case. Probem is the piggy bank doesn't allow nice to haves these days.

Tough one - I suspect the TA will be slimmed down and the RNR/RAFAux will escape for the time being...
 

wave_dodger

MIA
Book Reviewer
#18
Purple_twiglet said:
According to Hansard last week we had 140 join last year and 280 left...
I take it that was just in the RNR. Given time to get onto the trained strength that is quite a number.

I suppose a question that will be asked is are the Reserve Forces fit for purpose? Is the requirement correct for todays Defence Assumptions.

I wonder how the future Reserves will be recruited given the increasing risk of deploying and hence injury. Its a different mindset to the last 20 years when the chances weres far smaller.

I wonder if I were outside, would I join the Reserves (again)?
 

itsamuppet

Lantern Swinger
#19
I can answer the above NO, and Brigadier Holmes has made a very public admission expressing the same. If the top Reservists wouldn't do it all again then what chance have we got of encouraging the right people to join our happy throng.

Maybe the RN could mention in their adverts that we exist, the TA and RAF openly use reservists in theirs.
 

Purple_twiglet

War Hero
Moderator
#20
The problem the reserves have is getting the unit structure right. Broadly I think the RNR and RAUXAF are in the right place - we've moved towards a good structure of penny packet deployments of niche capabilities rather than a mass of people. This works well and the only issue as I see it is the role of the units rather than the branches.

The TA is in a different position - a lot of it is Cold War legacy, some of it is very useful, while other parts of it struggle to have a role. We need a long hard and objective look at what we need, what we can lose and what we need to bolster.
 
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