Friday, 15 October 2010

Rumours, rumours and counter-rumours!

So what do we 'know' ahead of the announcement next Tuesday?  Well, very little.  There is a comprehensive media plan doing the rounds which warns for significant backlash from those troops heading off to Afghanistan in the next few days.  Read into that what you will...

So what do we 'know' already?  Well, the Royal Navy are going to get their grotesquely expensive carriers - although it's anyone's guess what will actually fly off them.  And it's a triumph for that awful man, Gordon Brown, who gets to look smug in front of his constituents.  Well played, Sir.  And the Royal Air Force are going to lose their Tornado force, lots of Harriers - but get their precious Typhoons in their place.  I have to say that this is entirely in line with their doctrine and so should be seen as essential 'house keeping' and is an opportunity, not a threat.

But what of the Army?  Well, we're going to lose about half our Challenger 2s - half of our AS90s - and possibly see a few mergers on the cards.  AGC are going to see some redundancies (aren't we all?) totalling around 10%.  But that will be swept up in the massive push to get lots of people to volunteer for redundancy anyway - with reduced termination rights.  However, the great men in Whitehall are very worried about forced redundancy - because of course the government is liable to be sued for changing TACOS 'on the fly'.  My god - are they worried.

I am struck by how much we owe General Dannatt - his legacy of sticking up for the 'great unwashed' (who actually go on ops, take risks, lose their lives, live in appalling SFA et al) is still with us.  I guess it's time to see what legacy his successors leave.  Probably not much - they are making sure they look after themselves.


  1. Awesome to see you back from the Afghan. I have linked and hope my guys come over to read this blog. Best wishes IG

  2. I am only following orders, IG said to.

    I suspect that there will be an offering of 'get out of jail free' which has happened before, those that know that they can get work will leave, leaving the incompetent, and the ignorant (Me, as it turned out(ignorant and incompetent)) to carry on.

    I would like to think that the 'grunts' of all three services will do as they have always done (so far) and grin and bear it, but to be honest, they do seem to be getting the shitty end of the stick again.

  3. I'm here from Gadget. Glad you made it back!

    Interesting reading on a subject of which I am embarrassingly ignorant.SOunds like you guys get a rough time of it, the frontline suffering and was ever thus.

    Although I am quite glad the carriers were completed because didn't they bring local work? I'm quite protective of my homelands employment levels.....

    Anyway I will come back because its good to learn new stuff!

    And I couldn't work out how to get my name on properly, sorry.

    Officer and a lady

  4. Australian academic16 October 2010 at 04:16

    Good read, bookmarked

    Bird and fortune did a good sketch about the carriers and the lack of anything to put on them, its on youtube well worth a look.

  5. Not Long Now reporting as ordered Sir!

    Welcome to the blogoshphere Captain... I've checked all your posts and its looking good.

    Just a small request from a non-army reader.... could you please do less initials/acronyms si my tired brain can work out what your telling me about. Ta.

  6. I popped over here from Gadget's blog.

    Seems excellent to me but in common with 'Not long Now' might I please ask (as a total ignoramus and non military person) for less acronyms?

  7. Came via Gadget....welcome back, great blog

  8. Apologies for all the acronyms, initialisms and TLAs (whoops - Three Letter Abbreviations!): I will seek to reduce and/or explain where necessary!

  9. Now this could become an interesting compliment to arrse. Aslong as in line with Gadgets threads its bitter and gives a fine oppurtunity to rant.

    I'm personally glad to be rid of my green kit these days. Its clear that The Armed Forces are a lead weight around the ankles of a drowning Public Sector Purse and regardless of how much the public pretend to Love "Our Heroes" at the moment their fine work will soon be forgotten when they're asked to pick between Armoured Infantry Regiments or Extended NHS waiting times.

    Naturally I'd rather have 3rd Bn The Foot and Mouth Regiment on exercise at Batus and The Long Term jobless refused all but emergency NHS treatment but thats never going to happen.

    Do we blame Labour? Do we blame The ConDem budget? No - Governments and The Crown have always shown contempt for the peasant class who chose to pick up arms and fight for reward. Fair enough every now and then General Dannatt's appear for a short while who generally appreciate the hard work of the Worker Ants but he/they are generally only one man/woman and their words generally fall on rich, deaf ears. Rich deaf ears that only care about being richer.

  10. Thank you to everyone for leaving such positive comments - I hope that I will live up to expectations!

  11. You are 'on it', no question.

  12. I don't understand why the Navy and RAFi seem to have been ringfenced, when the Army are out there being shot at.

    All 3 Armed Forces do an amazing job, but the danger levels for the RAFi and Navy just aren't the same.

    Good Luck with surviving the cuts, you and your men, and I'm glad you survived Afghan :).

  13. In all fairness Danger Levels matter not. What matters is what Defence capabilities we're likely to need for the next 20 years.

    The answer is nobody knows so the answer is to remove the capability to take the lead on expeditionary campaigns. In getting shut of the tanks they save the air craft carriers and the Nuclear deterent (Which are vital). Unfortunately though they're also protecting The Eurofighter.

    The Chiefs need to stop watching Top Gun and consider if, when or why they'll be Dog Fighting in the future.

    Can't see it myself.

  14. I am warming to the concept of the UK unilaterally declaring its independence from the unelected Marxoid federal übermonster that is the EU; getting the fcuk out of Dodge as regards to NATO - before we end up rushing to the aid of some newbie nation formerly under the Soviet jackboot, and by default, becoming embroiled in WWIII; and sitting pretty with 22 miles of oggin between ourselves and Johnny Foreigner... and all his money.

    Whilst I am not advocating becoming an international competitor on the cuckoo clock and chocolate front, surely such a shift in foreign policy would require only a few littoral patrol boats, a couple of squadrons of Typhoons, half a dozen or so blokes who are quite hard... and a handful of SSBNs to give the slants What For should they get arsey? The trillions saved could then be spent on ensuring those made redundant from HMF can continue their lives in comparative luxury in the Caymans and Turks & Caicos Islands, thus reducing unemployment figures and thinning out the population in a one-er.

    I know, I know. Brilliant in its simplicity, what?