Times: "OTC faces the axe" (Covers other Defence cuts too)

Discussion in 'Current Affairs' started by soleil, Jan 24, 2010.

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  1. OTC - yeah, fine I used to be a member of that particular organisation and frankly it was a waste of money, the only people who joined the Army had wanted to anyway, and mostly it was sucked dry of all money by spongers. That goes for the URNU too, and the UAS which cost even more due to the more technical nature.

    But some of the others really concern me, most especially the Nimrod issues - only haveing the money to fly two of the fleet in one year? Is that really what we've been reduced to?

    With reference to bases as well, I can sort of 'get' the regional headquarters - the Army isn't big enough anymore to really need 5 Divisional HQ's. Cyprus also, can see the logic if I squint a bit.

    Of course they could just pump enough money in so that we level out. If the NHS had a 'black hole' it wouldn't be cuts that were made to itself, it would be the government filling the hole with money. Armed Forces awareness is getting better, but still ain't quite good enough.
  2. Purple_twiglet

    Purple_twiglet War Hero Moderator

    It looks like someone has seen a copy of the PR09 / PR10 "summary of options list" which will show a lot of options that appear hugely awful (such as scrapping XYZ) - this does not mean that they are taken, it means they have been costed to show how much could be saved if they were taken.
    As soon as the costing is done, 99% of them get switched off for wider reasons - however its a great document to leak to get support for one cause or another!
  3. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator

    Re: Times: "OTC faces the axe" (Covers other Defence cuts to

    Yep, they're simply options.

    An interesting comment above, reference the OTC, URNU & UAS being a waste of money, by someone who was once a member of the said organisations.

    I was a coxswain at Oxford URNU, co-located with the OTC & UAS in a (then) new £2.8M purpose built building. The OTC had been going over 200 years (under various names), the UAS was nearly as old as the RAF, that particular URNU less than 10 years.

    At the time the URNU budget for the whole of UK was £5.3M per year & each of the 14 URNUs contributed about 2 Young Officers to BRNC each year from a total of around 700 students who were members, but hang on a minute...

    The Officer Cadet organisations have been at pains for many years to distance themselves from recruiting, in fact their mission statements positively discriminates against any mention of recruiting.

    They aren't funded by the recruiting budget, they are funded by Dartmouth - much the same as the Sea Cadets, Marine Cadets & Sea Scouts are funded by Raleigh & Lympstone - oh, hang on a minute, they aren't. :wink:

    Well, if they aren't for recruiting & are there to educate future civilian captains of industry on the need for a Navy/Army/Air Force, can anyone think of a cheaper way?

    I can, but we would lose 14 speed boats called "HMS" too -imagine the headlines!

    An interesting comment on the news article in The Times:

  4. Ha, Ninja - from what i've been told by ex URNU members there's no way a P2000 could be called 'speed' anything.

    And I see you're point they are good for that, however i'd take the view that they are a luxury we cannot currently afford. Especially when even Dartmouth itself needs replacements for the damn 60's era PB's. Heard a depressing dit from a DTUS guy I know (a far more worthwhile scheme IMHO) that the US Navy's equivalent are 100ft yachts they sail all over the USA with. Bah.
  5. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator

    Re: Times: "OTC faces the axe" (Covers other Defence cuts to

    (Apologies I added the above quote, after Dai's post.)

    Tracker was quite fast, as to Dasher, Prancer, Doner & Blitzen, I couldn't say.

    With regard the USN 100ft yachts, I can spot a flaw in that plan.

    Then again, scrap the Nimrod & we can all have one - what could possibly go wrong? :wink:
  6. Re: Times: "OTC faces the axe" (Covers other Defence cuts to

    Normally, you're quite sensible. Admittedly, though, my humour sensors may be U/S today.
  7. Re: Times: "OTC faces the axe" (Covers other Defence cuts to

    As a current URNU affiliate, it pains me to agree that it probably is a waste of money. It would be a huge shame to see it go, but that is only because it is such fun. I don't think it is that valuable as a recruitment tool, and as for it's mission statement, I'm not convinced. That is largely because I'm not sure any of the members at the unit I attend are society's "future opinion formers." They're just a bunch of students who like to get pissed on the cheap.
  8. Re: Times: "OTC faces the axe" (Covers other Defence cuts to

    I don't think they're a waste of money, but a luxury and somewhat underused. There always seem to be a large number of P2000s sitting in no 2 basin out of routine. If I were asked to rationalise it, I might think about breaking the 1-1 link between the units and the ships, so that more units could be set up without each of them having to have a ship, with the COs of the ships not necessarily being the OCs of the units. I would also get the ships used more by Dartmouth and the RNR, and while we're at it I'd say that there was nothing wrong with recognising that the URNUs do have a recruitment function while at the same time allowing people to join just for a laugh.
  9. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator

    Re: Times: "OTC faces the axe" (Covers other Defence cuts to

    The P2000s spend the majority of weekends & leave periods at sea, so the rest of the fleet may well form the opinion that they are often seen motionless in 2 Basin through the week whilst maintenmance & TOIL are taken.

    Fully agree the hulls themselves (not necessarily the crews) could be utilised more to the benefit of maybe Reservists, possibly BRNC for navigation training & even 'sea-days' for potential future recruits from schools & colleges around the UK.
  10. Re: Times: "OTC faces the axe" (Covers other Defence cuts to

    I would be very surprised if the average number into BRNC from each unit was still 2 a year - it certainly seems to be a lot more.

    Also in terms of recruitment, it is correct that they do not push the RN as a career option to the students at the units, but the URNUs do perform a recruitment or more a publicity function of sorts. In terms of getting the Royal Navy in the public eye, the URNUs visit so many places that would never see an RN uniform or ship - a P2000 may be insignificant in the mind of someone who is familiar with the rest of the fleet but for children and young teens in port towns who have never seen an RN vessel they can spark a real interest. In the same way that RN television advertising may be targeted at 14-15 year olds to get into their thought process, URNUs do the same thing in many ways.

    I am not going to say they are a must-spend, but unless there is a clearly identifiable resource on which the saving will be spent rather than it just going into a pot to be squandered, I think it would be a mistake to get rid of them.

    It is worth noting the OTC are not currently paid since the TA cuts, I would like to see the URNU and UAS as unpaid too. The opportunities presented to students who are part of these organisations are tremendous, I strongly suspect having spoken to many about it, that most would do it for free.
  11. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator

    Re: Times: "OTC faces the axe" (Covers other Defence cuts to

    Agreed, there's certainly no shortage of ex-URNU serving Naval Officers, however last time I looked, there were fewer than 30 actually joining per year. It would be interesting to see more recent figures, if only to partially justify the cost, albeit not officially recruiting focused.
  12. It sounds like a cadet force for students to me! Our cadets pay to go away,why not OTC etc do the same?
  13. Having already posted on ARRSE, I thought I'd copy it across. Don't equate the OTC with the URNU: very different ways to run a student organisation. If you know one you don't know the other.

    There is a strong buzz that two URNUs (and two P2000s) are being binned at the end of this academic year. Can't say which ones publicly.

    URNUs are in an easier position, funding-wise, relative to the OTC. The training vessel is a FLEET asset, is utilised accordingly during the week, and only embarks students for training at weekends and in university holidays. So FLEET pays for a ship, and 5 ship's company (1 Lt, 2 CPOs, 1 LH, 1 AB) which it would be funding anyway to carry out other tasks.

    P2000s are not in 2 Basin all the time, out of routine. They are increasingly busy, which causes maintenance headaches because the majority of them are knackered. Very much doing the kind of tasking you suggested, ninja.

    Wanabedoc, not sure which unit you're a member of, but as someone who has had / does have a lot of contact with the URNU organisation, don't necessarily write it off as a club for people who want a cheap drink. There are some great opportunities to do things, and you have a great asset in the form of the P2000. If you want to get more out of it, put more in.

    The land end of the URNU organisation is run on a shoestring. Only 50 students, max; 3 permanent staff (the CO- RN Lt. who also commands the training vessel; a CPO and a civvy part time secretary to do the admin). Training is carried out by up to 4 RNR List 7 SLTs. Training days have been cut successively in the last 10 years- students are lucky to get more than 24 training days paid.

    Unlike the OTC there is no large staff of PSIs, no large expensive TA centre to run, no recruiting budget, and far fewer students on the books. The most expensive URNU asset, the ship, is a FLEET unit with an operational role, thus easier to find funding for in the current climate.
  14. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator

    Re: Times: "OTC faces the axe" (Covers other Defence cuts to

    A good insight - must admit I was unaware the P2000s were utilised by others outside the URNU organisation - great stuff, it makes sense.

    As a matter of interest does anyone know more recent national figures of former URNU Cadets who go on to join the Regular or Reserve service as Officers each year?
  15. I don't know the actual figures. Anecdotally, based on one unit, 4 ex students on a single recent intake to BRNC. 2 had just left uni, another 2 had taken a year out. 1 other student went to the RFA.

    Staff Officer Universities does keep records on ex URNU into the RN. Not sure if there is an equivalent exercise for cadets. I suspect it'd be easier to collect this data from applications.

    One thing that could be looked at in a more systematic way is getting URNUs sponsored, in the same way as Rolls Royce sponsors RN rugby. They aren't fighting units, and if the deal involves them making more of their footprint and getting more RN / corporate time in the public eye then there might be something useful there.
  16. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator

    Re: Times: "OTC faces the axe" (Covers other Defence cuts to

    Going by the above figures, there was 2 URNU Officer Cadets that joined the RN as Officers from that particular URNUs' yearly intake, which was the national average back in 2002.

    The general consensus regarding URNU Officer Cadets seems to be that more than 30 a year join BRNC/CTC nowadays, so it would be interesting to see whilst appreciating the URNU is not intended as a recruiting vehicle.
  17. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator

    Re: Times: "OTC faces the axe" (Covers other Defence cuts to

    Yep, many thought the same previously but the URNU colloquial phrase: "My Dad's an Admiral" generally did the trick. :wink:
  18. Purple_twiglet

    Purple_twiglet War Hero Moderator

    Number of borderline libellous / offensive posts removed.

    Keep this above board please.

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