Forces Network: "British Armed Forces "Significantly Understaffed", Report Reveals"

soleil

War Hero
"Britain's armed forces are significantly understaffed in critical areas such as intelligence and engineering, Whitehall's spending watchdog, the National Audit Office, has warned.

A report published by the NAO states that as of January this year the country's full time military was operating at 5.7% below the current target.

With more than 8,200 regulars needed to meet the requirement, the NAO highlighted how this is the "largest gap in a decade".

The NAO stressed that alongside the gap in personnel numbers across the Army, Royal Navy and Royal Air Force, there are "much larger shortfalls in critical skills".

With 102 "pinch-point" trades, the watchdog said there are not enough trained regulars to carry out operational tasks without cancelling leave or training within these areas.

According to the NAO most of these so-called pinch-points were in six areas including engineering, intelligence, logistics, pilots, communications and medical.

This includes a lack of some 2,400 engineers - with the largest among Royal Navy weapons engineers - a shortfall of 700 intelligence analysts, and a need for 800 pilots, especially in the RAF."

https://www.forces.net/news/british-armed-forces-significantly-understaffed-report-reveals
 

Magic_Mushroom

War Hero
I don’t have much sympathy for the Army (even the General Staff’s own sums keep coming up with the embarrassing number of 65K) but there are most certainly huge issues for the other 2 services.

Regards,
MM
 
Last edited:

janner

MIA
Book Reviewer
Died recently ,Neil Shand (married to Judith Keppel-Eggheads) wrote at the last expensive RN recruitment waste of money-- having recruited few skilled sailors-- left with Petty Cash Officers. MOD still doing the same with our money?
I wonder who this could be?
 

Rob8967

Midshipman
This includes a lack of some 2,400 engineers - with the largest among Royal Navy weapons engineers - a shortfall of 700 intelligence analysts, and a need for 800 pilots, especially in the RAF."
How does this translate to a 14 month waiting list for WE, but other roles that aren't considered understaffed have much shorter waiting times? You'd presume understaffed = high priority recruitment but it seems the opposite.
 

Magic_Mushroom

War Hero
How does this translate to a 14 month waiting list for WE, but other roles that aren't considered understaffed have much shorter waiting times? You'd presume understaffed = high priority recruitment but it seems the opposite.
The military increasingly have very limited control over the training system for a particular branch or trade. The best example of this is probably the slow motion car crash that is the Military Fying Training System PFI.

Additionally, the very fact that a branch/trade is designated a ‘pinch point’ means that it’s understaffed. Quite often, the worst demographic is exactly the JNCO and JO ranks you want to use as instructors.

Finally, remember that both the RN and RAF are realistically a couple of thousand people short of the liability that was planned in the run up to SDSR15. This would have seen about 2000 and 1500 personnel ‘liabilities’ (which is effectively the funding which allows a service to recruit and retain a pink body) transferred to the RN and RAF respectively from the Army to man new capabilities such as the carriers, P-8 and additional Typhoon sqns.

Unfortunately, Mr C ‘mis-spoke’ in an interview and said on camera that he was not going to cut ‘troop numbers’. The Army cap-badge mafia jumped all over that as proof that Army numbers wouldn’t be reduced. The rest is history I’m afraid.

Ultimately, you can’t turn the recruitment/training tap on and off at will...particularly when you’re short of the very people who will teach the newbies. Indeed, flooding the market with inexperience is not a great idea.

Regards,
MM
 
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