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New CDS

Old 10th Oct 2021, 13:51
  #21 (permalink)  
 
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Chug - as someone who has spent time on this board illuminating some of the very dark corners of the UK MoD what do you suggest would be worthwhile reforms?

From the outside it looks as bad as the Home Office in terms of accountability, flexibility and performance

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Old 10th Oct 2021, 16:40
  #22 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Asturias56 View Post
Chug - as someone who has spent time on this board illuminating some of the very dark corners of the UK MoD what do you suggest would be worthwhile reforms?

From the outside it looks as bad as the Home Office in terms of accountability, flexibility and performance
Worse I would have thought, but above my paygrade, Asturius. Certainly the constant churning of VSOs making their mark (ie 'savings') during their two year stints and being rewarded by then getting the next rung up the ladder has gravely damaged UK military air safety. The only safe place for that is outwith the MOD entirely in the form of an independent Military Air Regulator and Military Air Accident Investigator, both of the MOD and of each other. The present 'independent' MAA and MAAIB (or whatever the sign says outside this week) don't even begin to meet that description. As to what would be left behind, I defer to those who know their way around the Machiavellian and dingy corridors. A demolition ball perhaps?
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Old 10th Oct 2021, 18:15
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Originally Posted by Chugalug2 View Post
Worse I would have thought, but above my paygrade, Asturius. Certainly the constant churning of VSOs making their mark (ie 'savings') during their two year stints and being rewarded by then getting the next rung up the ladder has gravely damaged UK military air safety. The only safe place for that is outwith the MOD entirely in the form of an independent Military Air Regulator and Military Air Accident Investigator, both of the MOD and of each other. The present 'independent' MAA and MAAIB (or whatever the sign says outside this week) don't even begin to meet that description. As to what would be left behind, I defer to those who know their way around the Machiavellian and dingy corridors. A demolition ball perhaps?
It would be good to know more specifically at whom you are pointing the finger, if only by Service.

Jack
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Old 10th Oct 2021, 21:38
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Originally Posted by Union Jack View Post
It would be good to know more specifically at whom you are pointing the finger, if only by Service.

Jack
Jack, my interest in MOD reform concerns returning airworthiness to UK Military Air Fleets. At the moment the default cure for that seems to be grounding fleets that provide a capability seen as expendable, if only for a 'pause'. Thus the ACO gliders and the Nimrods, both the in service fleet and the one due to replace it. Now we are told that the Hawk T1 fleet is to go and very likely for the same reason. The words chickens and roost come to mind because the regulator, the MAA, nee the MOD, is faced with a fait accompli. Airworthiness, which involves a process of unbroken audit, was dealt a crippling blow by RAF VSOs bent on plundering hitherto ring fenced Air Safety budgets in order to recover from a disastrous AMSO policy of reducing spares holdings to unsustainable levels by selling off the 'surplus' for a song which then had to be bought back for a fortune. This initiative was characterised by the Nimrod Review as 'Financial Savings at the Cost of Safety'. They weren't savings at all of course, but by the time that became clear everyone involved was one rung up, with those at the top being rewarded with the traditional bling as they stepped off the ladder. If the cost is only seen in financial terms it must be many billions, but of course it cost many lives too, as well as our Maritime Reconnaissance capability (only now slowly being regained) and now that of the Aggressors.

This subversion could not have happened but for the fact that Operator, Regulator, and Accident Investigator, were one and the same, ie the MOD and its various subsidiaries. Given that the long term cost was in the loss of experienced and highly qualified Airworthiness Engineers and their replacement were inexperienced compliant non-engineers, lack of airworthiness has spread like a canker through the fleets since. The only solution is the urgent separation of Regulator and Investigator from the MOD and from each other. They need to regain the independence that is vital for their work and the technical knowledge to conduct it. I would suggest that would best be achieved by 'sistering' them with their civilian counterparts, the CAA and AAIB, and that they be headed up by civilian DGs with a mix of civilian and service staff. I would further suggest that the service staff belong to new Air Regulator and Accident Investigator branches respectively. Amateurism got us into this mess, we need Professionals to get us out of it.

What has this to do with the new CDS? Everything! If he wants to secure a future for UK Air Power he needs to know this reform is already past its sell by date and is long overdue.

Sorry about the long winded reply, Jack, but you did ask! Or would the answer, "RAF VSOs" have sufficed?

BTW, I never miss an opportunity to plug a good book, never mind two, so The Inconvenient Truth and Red5 by David Hill will both explain things much clearer than I ever could :-

The Inconvenient Truth : Chinook ZD576 - Cause & Culpability eBook : Hill, David, Blakeley, John: Amazon.co.uk: Books The Inconvenient Truth : Chinook ZD576 - Cause & Culpability eBook : Hill, David, Blakeley, John: Amazon.co.uk: Books

RED 5: An investigation into the death of Flight Lieutenant Sean Cunningham eBook : Hill, David: Amazon.co.uk: Books RED 5: An investigation into the death of Flight Lieutenant Sean Cunningham eBook : Hill, David: Amazon.co.uk: Books
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Old 10th Oct 2021, 21:57
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Chugalug - What a great response - in both the long and short forms! - and all very much appreciated. Recalling that Admiral Radakin's presumed successor as CNS/1SL is an aviator, I hope that he will be equally concerned with the need for necessary reform. Respect too for your book nominations, both of which I have read, but less respect for the villains of the piece.

Jack
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Old 11th Oct 2021, 08:57
  #26 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by WE Branch Fanatic View Post
As I understand it the idea of adopting naval ranks was an idea that was proposed within the Corps, and rejected, and not something that the wider naval Service tried to impose. Likewise, Why would the RN leadership want to denigrate the RM relationship with the USMC when the RN as a whole benefits from a close relationship with the USN and USMC?.
I understood that it came from the Navy and had nothing to do with the Corps, according to RM officers I know and served with in joint orgs.

Originally Posted by Bengo View Post
Radakin is CNS. CGRM works for CNS.
The military is a top-down organisation. You can push back against your boss but doing it too hard, too publically, outside the chain of command, and/or too often is a recipe for getting a new appointment at short notice.

N
The trouble is that senior naval officers know nothing about the RM and are quite happy to see it suffer cuts in order to pay for big shiny carriers. Didn't see many of them in Afghanistan.

Originally Posted by alfred_the_great View Post
you’ll note at the same time, the dedicated 2*s for submariners, aviators, surface warfare, loggies and engineers also disappeared. The Corps was no more “picked upon”, and no less sad than any of those other communities. At the end of the day, the decision was made to cull a whole host of VSOs - all of whom we retired. examples:
This round of cuts still doesn't excuse the appalling approach by Radakin to try and take over the RM-USMC relationship.
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Old 11th Oct 2021, 10:10
  #27 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Vortex Hoop View Post

This round of cuts still doesn't excuse the appalling approach by Radakin to try and take over the RM-USMC relationship.
then perhaps Royal shouldn’t have abused that relationship and tried to get the CMC to lobby ministers over things that were none of his business.

I bow to no one in my respect for the Corps, but given that their size and shape has been unchanged since the 70s, I’m afraid the day they were changed was inevitable.

Unfortunately they have a habit of running to press the moment they’re told to do something they don’t like. It certainly wasn’t First’s team to leaked CG’s “unhappiness” to national press when it was happening…
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Old 11th Oct 2021, 10:36
  #28 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Vortex Hoop View Post
I understood that it came from the Navy and had nothing to do with the Corps, according to RM officers I know and served with in joint orgs.
So you're a pongo with an axe to grind that the Pongocracy has not secured CDS again.

Originally Posted by Vortex Hoop View Post
The trouble is that senior naval officers know nothing about the RM and are quite happy to see it suffer cuts in order to pay for big shiny carriers. Didn't see many of them in Afghanistan.
Any money from RM cuts isn't going anywhere near shiny carriers. It's going where the money always goes. You may not have seen too many carriers in Afghanistan, but you should be aware that much of the CAS support came from carriers.

Originally Posted by Vortex Hoop View Post
This round of cuts still doesn't excuse the appalling approach by Radakin to try and take over the RM-USMC relationship.
What ATG said.
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Old 11th Oct 2021, 10:53
  #29 (permalink)  
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As far as the RM is concerned its always a case of "The Navy giveth and the Navy taketh away."
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Old 11th Oct 2021, 14:30
  #30 (permalink)  
 
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The trouble is that senior naval officers know nothing about the RM and are quite happy to see it suffer cuts in order to pay for big shiny carriers. Didn't see many of them in Afghanistan.
Sweeping statement and utter bolleaux. The RM has benefitted greatly over the years as witness to all the assault capability that has been procured. The RM also needs to recognise that it is those same Senior Naval Officers that have protected the Corps over the years from arguments that they should be part of the Army.

You wont have seen many carriers in the Stan as they were not then in service but you will have seen their assets such as Sea King ASACS, Harrier GR7A, and many support staff such as Dentists, Surgeons, Fire Fighters and Air Traffic Controllers. You will also have seen Carrier and other naval assets, supporting many other events since 1982. Just to mention some, Balkans War operating in the Adriatic, Libya operating in the Southern Med, Iraq 1&2 and continuous operations in the Arabian/Persian Gulf since the 1980s, Sierra Leone, Oman on drug and weapons interdiction, off the Horn of Africa in anti piracy operations etc etc.

This inter service fighting is caused by one thing. Money. The MOD has been broke for many many years and successive governments have not funded their overseas adventures properly. When I left, there was a £30bn black hole which many well meaning and hard working individuals at Main Building were trying to resolve. How can you resolve such a problem without selling the house, the car, the kids etc? Interestingly some time later one of our illustrious politicians declared "its all solved", well what magic money tree did he shake then?

The £38 billion "black hole" in Ministry of Defence finances had been "dealt with" and the department's "hand to mouth existence would come to an end", Hammond stated in February 2012. Ministers had even found £2.1 billion to be allocated to several major spending projects to be introduced in the coming weeks. The money was to come from a combination of cuts over the previous two years, bargaining with industry suppliers and a one per cent increase in the equipment budget.[26]
Many parts of the three services had their own pet projects over the years, which were all progressed at the expense of the others. The waste of money on projects such as iUKADGE (ioo £1.6bn), NimWACS (up to £1bn), Diving support vessel (£80m), Ajax fighting vehicle (£3.5bn), MRA4 (£3.8bn) and many many other smaller systems. The procurement system, despite the best efforts of the 1999 changes that implemented new procurement strategies and integrated project teams, is still highly wasteful. When you have people working in those offices near Bristol, on a long lead from London, treating projects like "That's 5/10/15 years work for me that is" then nothing will change. Whilst you have Officers with no commercial experience doing the 2/3 year tour in procurement you will continue to have gold plating, requirements creep and waste and continued inter service fighting. Its a system worthy of the NHS!
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Old 11th Oct 2021, 16:10
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I wonder if the same Navy leadership that does not understand the Royal Marines is the same one that has fought very had to keep amphibious units such as the two LPDs and the LSD(A)s, spent money to ensure that there were suitable helicopters for ship to shore lift (yes I know the term is STOM). fitted things like Bowman to frigates and destroyers to communicate with the troops ashore, specified that future warships should have space to accommodate Bootnecks and their equipment, and made the Future Commando Force one of the pillars of the Future Navy?

As for carriers, I am sure that you understand that they have a possible Littoral Manoeuvre role, and that one possible role for carrier aircraft is to protect amphibious forces like the LPD, and then to support the troops when they are ashore?
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Old 12th Oct 2021, 11:03
  #32 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Vortex Hoop View Post
I understood that it came from the Navy and had nothing to do with the Corps, according to RM officers I know and served with in joint orgs.


The trouble is that senior naval officers know nothing about the RM and are quite happy to see it suffer cuts in order to pay for big shiny carriers. Didn't see many of them in Afghanistan.


This round of cuts still doesn't excuse the appalling approach by Radakin to try and take over the RM-USMC relationship.
I thought the issue of naval ranks being used by RM Officers (and SNCOs?) had been discussed before - and I was right!

Royal Marine Officers to adopt Royal Navy rank structure....... maybe

It was proposed by RM Officers and the RNLMC already do it.

Mainly it's to stop Nick Carter getting confused and trying to claim the Corps are "just another light infantry" organisation, and thus try to cut them to fund FRES...

(Cf "5th generation Commando Force" designed to put even more clear blue water between a Lt Inf Bn and a RM Cdo)


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Old 12th Oct 2021, 12:49
  #33 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by WE Branch Fanatic View Post
I thought the issue of naval ranks being used by RM Officers (and SNCOs?) had been discussed before - and I was right!

Royal Marine Officers to adopt Royal Navy rank structure....... maybe

It was proposed by RM Officers and the RNLMC already do it.

Mainly it's to stop Nick Carter getting confused and trying to claim the Corps are "just another light infantry" organisation, and thus try to cut them to fund FRES...

(Cf "5th generation Commando Force" designed to put even more clear blue water between a Lt Inf Bn and a RM Cdo)
The RNLMC wear naval ranks but use army terminology- 2 rings is captain, 4 rings is colonel etc
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Old 13th Oct 2021, 10:07
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Originally Posted by WE Branch Fanatic View Post

It was proposed by RM Officers and the RNLMC already do it.

Mainly it's to stop Nick Carter getting confused and trying to claim the Corps are "just another light infantry" organisation, and thus try to cut them to fund FRES...

(Cf "5th generation Commando Force" designed to put even more clear blue water between a Lt Inf Bn and a RM Cdo)
If you examine this quote more closely, you will find it was posted by (shock horror) the same Alfred the Great above. A Navy person who posts both here and ARRSE. So this is just circular reporting with no verified source. I can find a dozen similar unverified sources which claim this was all the brainchild of 1SL.
Originally Posted by Not_a_boffin View Post
So you're a pongo with an axe to grind that the Pongocracy has not secured CDS again.

You may not have seen too many carriers in Afghanistan, but you should be aware that much of the CAS support came from carriers.
.
How dare you. RAF and Joint roles through and through! Pray tell me how much UK CAS came from a carrier...?

Originally Posted by Widger View Post

You wont have seen many carriers in the Stan as they were not then in service but you will have seen their assets such as Sea King ASACS, Harrier GR7A,
Who's talking BS now?! My Cottesmore and KAF based Harrier sqn didn't operate from a carrier IIRC...!
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Old 13th Oct 2021, 10:43
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Originally Posted by Vortex Hoop View Post
How dare you. RAF and Joint roles through and through! Pray tell me how much UK CAS came from a carrier...?
I do apologise. Your post was on a Monday. I wasn't aware the experiment functioned during "the weekend", so naturally assumed Perce. As for how much UK CAS came from a carrier, you'll be aware of a couple of teensy little issues.

1. The Harrier didn't really have the legs to get there from the IO - although both the USN and MN aircraft did. Nor did it need to, given the GR7/GR9 and subsequent GR4 det at KAF.
2. We had a thing called a "carrier gap" from 2010. So fairly obviously, UK couldn't do that over the second half of Herrick.

Originally Posted by Vortex Hoop View Post
Who's talking BS now?! My Cottesmore and KAF based Harrier sqn didn't operate from a carrier IIRC...!
Just because your squadron didn't do an embarkation during your posting doesn't mean other GR7/GR9 aircrew didn't. Or the Baggers. That the Defence main effort was identified as Herrick also meant that a very small force was essentially dedicated to providing a 6 ship det at KAF for the last four years of the Harrier force. At the expense of the maritime role.
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Old 13th Oct 2021, 12:13
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Who's talking BS now?! My Cottesmore and KAF based Harrier sqn didn't operate from a carrier IIRC...!
I did not say they operated from a carrier. I said the assets did. i.e the very force that is generated to provide carrier strike, was used in Afghanistan.
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Old 13th Oct 2021, 12:45
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I’m confused.

Are people trying to justify the UKs Carrier Strike capability on the grounds that it’s aircraft can operate from airfields?!

Why not just all agree to disagree and accept that the UK having a Carrier Strike capability is cool.

Yes it’s a shame that it may have come at the cost of other things but it’s still a good thing.

BV
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Old 13th Oct 2021, 13:05
  #38 (permalink)  
 
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BV, I don’t pay my taxes to fund ‘cool’!! 😉

However, I’m glad UK has reacquired the capability in this increasingly disturbed World … my Crystal Ball suggests that the need for CVA assets could emerge almost anywhere. Particularly East of Suez!
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Old 13th Oct 2021, 14:14
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Originally Posted by Bob Viking View Post
Are people trying to justify the UKs Carrier Strike capability on the grounds that it’s aircraft can operate from airfields?!

Why not just all agree to disagree and accept that the UK having a Carrier Strike capability is cool.

Yes it’s a shame that it may have come at the cost of other things but it’s still a good thing.

BV
I think it's just being pointed out that :

1. Assuming that changes to the RM pay for "shiny new carriers" is somewhat erroneous if you know where the money pit actually is.
2. Despite the protestations of some, carrier air power was deployed in Afghanistan (both from decks and from land), although it would be a bit difficult to put the ships themselves in-country, obvs.
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Old 13th Oct 2021, 17:56
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Originally Posted by Not_a_boffin View Post
I think it's just being pointed out that :

1. Assuming that changes to the RM pay for "shiny new carriers" is somewhat erroneous if you know where the money pit actually is.
2. Despite the protestations of some, carrier air power was deployed in Afghanistan (both from decks and from land), although it would be a bit difficult to put the ships themselves in-country, obvs.
Which decks please? I am genuinely curious, as I thought we were deckless, so to speak.
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