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Serious debate: If you were the CDS how would you do it?

2_deck_dash

War Hero
Following on from the RNR SDSR thread, what would you do if you were CDS in this current climate?

I had dinner with his deputy last night, Rear Admiral Alan Richards, and to be honest he used too many big words and left me even more confused about what's going on.

If it was up to me though, I'd do the following:

Restructure the RNR to a simple force of manpower and gash job bosuns, much like the old SES branch. Certain skilled elements of the RNR should continue to operate but only in areas where the civilian expertise or prior service compliment the role i.e. the medical, diving and air branches etc.
(With special thanks to P_T and U_A for enlightening me)

Give all our old ships in FLJ a fresh coat of paint and tow them out to our foreign interests, i.e. Diego Garcia and the Falklands. The Russians have been doing this for years and it creates the illusion that we are more capable than we are, the ships don't necessarily need to work, they just need to look like they do.

Continue with the carriers but scrap JSF and purchase F18s, an idea that is already being bandied about.

Sack every member of the Armed Forces who cannot pass a PFT, after due process obviously and not including those with service related injuries.

Sack every member of the Armed Forces who is on long term sick due to injuries acquired outside of service. If I couldn't do my civvy job because I fcuked myself up playing footy, I'd be sacked, I don't see it as any different.

Scrap the URNU and other service equivalents, I feel the justification for this is pretty clear and obvious.

Any more for any more?
 
Can I just say that I agree with every point there except the last - and tha's only for one reason: at £5m a year we might as well have them as not, URNUs are chicken feed in the great scheme of things.

Other than that, how do I vote for you?
 

Seaweed

War Hero
Book Reviewer
Somebody who knows the numbers pls tell us (if he is allowed to) how important URNUs are to recruiting (regular or RNR)?
 

theymademedoit

Lantern Swinger
All superb suggestions 2_deck! One can only wonder where we could be under your fine stewardship! I particularly like:
Sack every member of the Armed Forces who cannot pass a PFT, after due process obviously and not including those with service related injuries.
It is absolutely infuriating the lengths I have seen the Navy go to in order to retain people who are clearly not fit for duty. It's clear to me that more incentives are required to ensure a maximum effort is put in to get up to standard. Start docking the culprits wages until a pass is achieved, that'll get the double-duffing buggers running!
 

2_deck_dash

War Hero
kinross_special said:
Can I just say that I agree with every point there except the last - and tha's only for one reason: at £5m a year we might as well have them as not, URNUs are chicken feed in the great scheme of things.

Other than that, how do I vote for you?

That's 5 million that we could spend on 10 Seadarts, or alternatively give serving matelots the 5 million so they can go on sailing jollies at weekends and get boozed up, instead of a bunch of students, very few of whom actually end up joining.
 
2_deck_dash said:
kinross_special said:
Can I just say that I agree with every point there except the last - and tha's only for one reason: at £5m a year we might as well have them as not, URNUs are chicken feed in the great scheme of things.

Other than that, how do I vote for you?

That's 5 million that we could spend on 10 Seadarts, or alternatively give serving matelots the 5 million so they can go on sailing jollies at weekends and get boozed up, instead of a bunch of students, very few of whom actually end up joining.

True, but with all the savings implicit in your other points, we ought to be able to do both....
 
Seaweed said:
Somebody who knows the numbers pls tell us (if he is allowed to) how important URNUs are to recruiting (regular or RNR)?

Not very I think is the answer, there was a thread about this a while back. I go back to my earlier post though, at £5m pa for 14 units, in places where there is no other RN footprint, we might as well have them as not. Quite frankly, the idea that giving up the URNUs would lead to that money staying in the defence pot, let alone the navy one, is naive. I don't think to that extent that it is an either/or, so much as a something we do/something we don't do.

When we canned the U boats, did the money saved stay in the RN/MOD budget, or did it vanish into the general government spending pot?
 

tommo

War Hero
On the subject of RNFT failures. After my viewing yesterday at Raleigh new entrants having after a long wait to get in embarrassingly fail the RNFT 1.5mile test. I suggest that as we have long waiting times that they should conduct a PJFT of a time that they require to pass the test once in so for example 11mins 13 secs for male under 25's. This would be done not long before they go through the gates so say within a month of there entry date. If they fail they don't get in. This will reduce the mongs who let themselves go over the waiting period enter and those who show proper commitment get through.
 

daffy1

War Hero
tommo said:
On the subject of RNFT failures. After my viewing yesterday at Raleigh new entrants having after a long wait to get in embarrassingly fail the RNFT 1.5mile test. I suggest that as we have long waiting times that they should conduct a PJFT of a time that they require to pass the test once in so for example 11mins 13 secs for male under 25's. This would be done not long before they go through the gates so say within a month of there entry date. If they fail they don't get in. This will reduce the mongs who let themselves go over the waiting period enter and those who show proper commitment get through.

I agree, I also think they should have casualty evaction drills i.e something tailored to what may happen on ship if the sh*t hits the fan. Nothing like firemans carry but something along the lines of getting a dummy to a specific point in X amount of seconds. I would like to know that any member of any ships crew can get me out of trouble if the need arise.
 

tommo

War Hero
daffy1 said:
tommo said:
On the subject of RNFT failures. After my viewing yesterday at Raleigh new entrants having after a long wait to get in embarrassingly fail the RNFT 1.5mile test. I suggest that as we have long waiting times that they should conduct a PJFT of a time that they require to pass the test once in so for example 11mins 13 secs for male under 25's. This would be done not long before they go through the gates so say within a month of there entry date. If they fail they don't get in. This will reduce the mongs who let themselves go over the waiting period enter and those who show proper commitment get through.

I agree, I also think they should have casualty evaction drills i.e something tailored to what may happen on ship if the sh*t hits the fan. Nothing like firemans carry but something along the lines of getting a dummy to a specific point in X amount of seconds. I would like to know that any member of any ships crew can get me out of trouble if the need arise.

They could change the RPC/RNAC which ever it is called and use it as a filter system. If they don't pass the fitness tests or get through any aspects they don't get in. They do this course within in a time limit before the entry date.
 

TaylorMono

Badgeman
2_deck_dash said:
Restructure the RNR to a simple force of manpower and gash job bosuns, much like the old SES branch. Certain skilled elements of the RNR should continue to operate but only in areas where the civilian expertise or prior service compliment the role i.e. the medical, diving and air branches etc.

I would re-structure the RNR but I'd go a different route. Where possible, I would match the RNR branches to the regular ones, however, reservists would specialise in one aspect of that branch.

For example; a WS(Res) rating would specialise in the operation of one weapon only (eg: Phalanx). Deployment opportunities might be more limited, but he would be able to go to sea on a naval warship and be seen as more 'employable' by the regular officers and ratings.

2_deck_dash said:
Continue with the carriers but scrap JSF and purchase F18s, an idea that is already being bandied about.

Actually I'd rather rob the RAF of the Typhoons that its recently acquired, modify them with arrester hooks and give them to the Fleet Air Arm, the Harrier GR7s would be given back to the RAF to the former Typhoon squadrons.

The Royal Navy can make better use of a swing-role combat aircraft than the RAF can, as the Royal Air Force already has a variety of aircraft for different mission types.

2_deck_dash said:
Scrap the URNU and other service equivalents, I feel the justification for this is pretty clear and obvious.

I would keep the URNU on the basis that it is good PR for the RN, and there is so precious little of it. The URNU do not exist to provide potential recruits for the navy, but their purpose is to foster links with businesses by leaving a strong naval impression upon graduates entering into industry.

The URNU is still an efficient way of creating a pro-navy attitude amongst civilians; which is vital to the Royal Navy's survival.
 

digger84

War Hero
I was only talking to my boss yesterday about the URNU. £5M PA for 14ish boats. Contract ends in 2012.

Up top most see the URNU as another form of Uni student life i.e. a frat house. They have annual get together that includes pissing up and maybe a bit of OOW manoeuvres. The recruitment average from the URNU is under 20 per year. Equate that to the average cost of recruiting one man at £8K through out the recruiting process, the URNU doesn’t cut it.

On the plus side the URNU do there fare share of flying the Wight Ensign in ports and harbours up and down the country that may never see a pussers grey. So they may be kind of submissively recruiting, but at a cost that is unnecessary in the RN today.
 
Just out of interest - because I know that's the second time you've mentioned it - what contract?

There's a contract for the lease of the River OPVs, and that does end in 2012 (and will presumably be renegotiated), but the URNUs are fleet owned (not leased) assets employing fleet personnel, and there is no more a contract for them than there is for the 22s - because there are no contractors.

Where there might be a contract is with e.g. Campers for maintenance in annual slip period, but other than that I'm really interested to know what this URNU "contract" is. Seriously, I'm not having a dig....

Also, is it really 20 per year across 14 units? 12 years ago Bristol alone was pushing through 6-7 per year, as was London, and Sussex. Plus 3-4 per year from Southampton. That's 20+ without accounting for the other 10 units.

If things have changed that much then clearly thatneeds to be addressed by someone because it's not a change for the better. Has anyone done any work to understand why, and is there anything that could be changed before we get to the stage of just canning the lot?
 
2_deck_dash said:
it creates the illusion that we are more capable than we are, the ships don't necessarily need to work, they just need to look like they do.

We did that around 15 years ago when we still had 38 DD/FFs. The priority was in the order of float, move, fight. It wouldn't take a Sherlock Holmes long to see through it these days, though. It's not always clever to act hard when you're not (I should know).
 

digger84

War Hero
KS
I apologize, I miss-understood my boss's comments. He is a senior recruiter in the South East region. Once asked again, the quoted figure of Officers joining from the URNU is roughly 20 ish give or take for the South Area (Soton, Sussex, London).

With a unit of 50 or so Midshipman, a CO (Lt), CPO, LET (ME) and a Sea Spec. The costs must not be cheap. This still is not a major return per year when you consider the total intake for January 2011 at BRNC is 94. With maybe 15-20 UY/SUY that leaves say 70 officers from the rest of the UK of which may or may not have had a connection to the URNU.

Compare that to the Sea Cadets/CCF which admittedly have a financial input from the MOD. It doesn’t add up.

The contract he is on about for 2012 has me baffled too. But as I understand it, it is the maintenance contract he is on about.

The fact is, it costs the RN £5M ish a year to run these craft without much return other than flying the flag and a smattering of a few officers. They can and should fear the worst post SDR.
 
digger84 said:
......the URNU do there fare share of flying the Wight Ensign in ports and harbours up and down the country that may never see a pussers grey......

8O Ermm Digger84, which Wight Ensign is that? This one:



Or this one:



The overners need to know......



Back on Topic,

Those URNU costs may only seem like small change, but in our dire financial straits every penny saved counts. So if those small savings add up to deflect the swing of the axe from the more vital functions of the RN then reduce that URNU budget it or cut it entirely.

Bob
 
I couldn't care less what the URNU's do, however the importance as platforms in which to let junior Officers gain experience in Command cannot be overstated. Nearly every CO who drove a P2000, and then went on to MM/PP and FF/DD Command noted that they learned a lot of the "hard lessons" in the relative peace and quiet of an URNU.

We are quickly approaching the point where Commanding Officers will only drive once, as FF/DD CO's, and that has huge dangers. In Ship-Handling, Man-management, Defence Diplomacy and career progression, the more times you command, the better you get.

Going back to 2DD's original point:

1. The Rear Admiral isn't VCDS, he's ACDS(S&P). A minor point, but just to clear it up.
2. Before we go into "Fantasy Fleets", what do we actually want to do, as a Navy and as a Nation. I could put 25 options on the table, from the mundane to the utterly fantastic, but we need a direction in which to point in order to tie it all together.
3. Following on from 2., I would suggest that Liberal Intervention, which may include long term presence in a country, is the way forward. The Comprehensive Approach should actually be implemented, and if necessary we should merge the MoD, FCO and DfID to form a single Department, under a single Secretary of State. Emphasise the civilian control piece, and make CDS responsible for operations within our Foreign Policy. There could be a lot of intelligent merging within the 3 departments to form a real Cross-Governmental approach.
4. Once pigs have flown, and I'm made into CDS, I'll wake up, smell the coffee and we'll form some kind of fudge along our current lines......
 

digger84

War Hero
BreathingOutOnTheWayUp said:
digger84 said:
......the URNU do there fare share of flying the Wight Ensign in ports and harbours up and down the country that may never see a pussers grey......

8O Ermm Digger84, which Wight Ensign is that? This one:



Or this one:



The overners need to know......



Back on Topic,

Those URNU costs may only seem like small change, but in our dire financial straits every penny saved counts. So if those small savings add up to deflect the swing of the axe from the more vital functions of the RN then reduce that URNU budget it or cut it entirely.

Bob
You Sir are too quick. ;)
 

WhizzbangDai

War Hero
TaylorMono said:
[
Actually I'd rather rob the RAF of the Typhoons that its recently acquired, modify them with arrester hooks and give them to the Fleet Air Arm, the Harrier GR7s would be given back to the RAF to the former Typhoon squadrons.

Some good stuff being posted - just point to note, this isn't viable in the slightest. Would require effectively a complete redesign of the fuselage to stand the shock of landing on deck, to accommodate a different nose-wheel configuration, and strengthen the undercarriage in general. Thats even without having to treat the fuselage to better withstand corrosion, and deal with the high landing speed that Typhoon has, as well as the fact it has a high angle of attack whilst landing - plus the forward canards get in the way of the pilots vision meaning s/he can't see where s/he is landing.

It would cost an absolutely horrendous amount, remember the French left the Eurofighter program due to there being no carrier-varient. If we wanted it to fly of carriers, THATS when (right at inception) we should have begun the work for it.


F18 is better

:)
 
Not that I know much about them but these URNU's might only have a small conversion rate from student to Naval Officer but that is missing the point.

From a PR point of view 5 million per year is an absolute steal, remember these people in the URNU's are students, some of them will go on to have great and influencing careers. So what if they go off on a pussers "Jolly". They will look fondly at the RN for the rest of their lives, who knows how an attitude like that could be benifitial in the future.
 
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