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British Military Current Events

daftandbarmy

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You're right, I forgot about real defence priorities. My bad.

:LOL:
Well, based on my estimate, the UK has allocated at least twice as many combat arms units to public duties than the new Ranger formation. So the numbers don't lie :)
 

Kirkhill

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And loaning troops to foreign governments helps to keep them "sharp" and engaged rather than mouldering away in garrison in Britain.

And that mouldering is probably a major cause for the Army not being able to recruit up to strength. One of the biggest draws in Britain in any trade is overseas service.

A few years back I was driving from Vancouver to Lethbridge and called my cousin in Birmingham. I let him know that I had to get back on the road as I was only 2 hours into a 12 hour run. His response - I can't drive for 12 hours in Britain. Didn't have the heart to tell him it would be another 48 hours to get to Halifax.


WRT Mercenaries

Everyone of us that have taken the Queen's Shilling are mercenaries. We have generally proved loyal and successful and she has generally proved a good paymaster.

When I talked about commercial interests being empowered to look after themselves I meant that they were empowered to hire their own security force which was allowed to self-identify in red serge while flying the Union Flag and allowed to purchase heavy ordnance. They and the crown were stipulating that any disputes could be brought to British courts for resolution on British terms.

The commercial interests I was thinking about were not PSCs but companies like the HBC, the East India Company and similar companies in the West Indies, Africa and the South Atlantic. Interests that hired independent military companies to defend the colonies of Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. Or hired Morgan and "The Brethren of the Seas" to defend commercial interests in the waters around Jamaica.



People are convinced that Donald Trump destroyed the Liberal World Order. Vladimir and Xi have been playing with little green men and commercial interests long before the The Orange Man was elected in 2016. They have been conducting war by other means with an intention to win without conflict. In their books, both of them being poor countries on a per capita basis, they lose if war is declared.

WW1 was the war to end wars. Conflict continued.

WW2 was ended by nuclear weapons and war became unthinkable. So nobody declared war. Conflict continued.

It may be problematic to find Special Forces, and the quality of the Special Forces personnel may fall as a result, but the absence of adequate numbers of SF personnel (and MI6 - GCHQ types) leaves the field to the other guys.


One of Britain's more useful allies, and occasional customers for naval accoutrements is Chile. Its navy was founded by a British officer.

Thomas Cochrane, 10th Earl of Dundonald, Marquess of Maranhão, GCB, ODM, OSC[2] (14 December 1775 – 31 October 1860), styled Lord Cochrane between 1778 and 1831,[3][4] was a Scottish naval flag officer of the Royal Navy, mercenary and radical politician. He was a daring and successful captain of the Napoleonic Wars, leading Napoleon to nickname him Le Loup des Mers, 'The Sea Wolf'. He was successful in virtually all his naval actions.

He was dismissed from the Royal Navy in 1814 following a controversial conviction for fraud on the Stock Exchange. He helped organise and lead the rebel navies of Chile and Brazil during their respective successful wars of independence through the 1820s. While in charge of the Chilean Navy, Cochrane also contributed to Peruvian Independence through the Freedom Expedition of Perú. He was also hired to help the Greek Navy but did not have much impact.

In 1832, he was pardoned by the Crown and reinstated in the Royal Navy with the rank of Rear-Admiral of the Blue. After several more promotions, he died in 1860 with the rank of Admiral of the Red, and the honorary title of Rear-Admiral of the United Kingdom.

Raffles, Clive, Glubb, Jardine, Matheson, Lawrence and Gordon all contributed to furthering British interests by unconventional means and the use of proxies.

My sense is that Boris's government is betting that the anarchistic tendencies unleashed by the likes of Xi and Putin has created a world that looks more like the world pre-1759.

Britain has abandoned the slow moving EU tanker and taken to the high seas in a speed boat.


"A country can be a speedboat, the EU is more like a tanker," said European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen


Another way of looking at the possibilities is the USMC Littoral Regiments. Those regiments can be installed and manned by the US. OR they can be sold to places like Taiwan and installed and manned by local forces, proxies or allies if you will. Or perhaps you only have to man one yourself and you can sell five to the locals.
 

FJAG

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When you say "rest of the pool", are you referring mainly to Armd Inf/Mech Inf?

Just trying to make sure I follow. Thanks.

I meant everyone across the board whose trades are used within special forces or from which the special forces are allowed to recruit.

We had a brief discussion in another thread about average soldiers and what we do with below average ones. If you allow special forces to cherry pick the above average ones then the gene pool within the rest of the force is statistically reduced. The problem is exacerbated when you increase the size the special forces or reduce the size of the pool. It can become unsustainable if you do both at the same time. It's particulalry bad for those trades who are a primary draw for special forces recruiting.

🍻
 

FJAG

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...
One of Britain's more useful allies, and occasional customers for naval accoutrements is Chile. Its navy was founded by a British officer.
...

And it's army by the Prussians.

But large-scale emulation of the Prussian Army began in 1886 with the appointment of Captain Emil Körner, a graduate of the renowned Kriegsakademie in Berlin. Also appointed were 36 Prussian officers to train officer cadets in the Chilean Military Academy.

These are cadets from the Chilean NCO academy in 2015.

90785b825a39c8e8c3750de71cc1d3a3.jpg


🍻
 

daftandbarmy

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I meant everyone across the board whose trades are used within special forces or from which the special forces are allowed to recruit.

We had a brief discussion in another thread about average soldiers and what we do with below average ones. If you allow special forces to cherry pick the above average ones then the gene pool within the rest of the force is statistically reduced. The problem is exacerbated when you increase the size the special forces or reduce the size of the pool. It can become unsustainable if you do both at the same time. It's particulalry bad for those trades who are a primary draw for special forces recruiting.

🍻

If I was a betting man I'd say that they will be forced to compromise how 'special' these Ranger units are, just to see them become operational.

Depending on how they run the selection process, out of three line Infantry battalions, they'd likely only finish up with about one rifle company's worth, at most.

Anyone older than mid-20s would have a tough time passing, so alot of your SNCOs and Senior Officers would get the chop. If they recruit directly into the units from civvy street, 20-30% pass rates might be achievable if it's run like P Company or the Commando Course.

If it's like SAS Selection, or the Green Beret's Selection, I assume they'd therefore need to open it up to the whole of the UK Forces. SAS selction pass rates are in the single digits with courses forming up with up to 150 all ranks, which gets whittled down to about 8-10 by the end of the course. Sometimes, no Officers pass.
 

Weinie

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If it's like SAS Selection, or the Green Beret's Selection, I assume they'd therefore need to open it up to the whole of the UK Forces. SAS selction pass rates are in the single digits with courses forming up with up to 150 all ranks, which gets whittled down to about 8-10 by the end of the course. Sometimes, no Officers pass.
We tend to whittle down even more on the front end, but pass rates for our course are comparable.
 

daftandbarmy

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That long? :)


The British Army’s Tank Regiments Might Last Just A Few Days In Combat​

As part of a sweeping reorganization, the British Army plans to cut its fleet of Challenger 2 tanks from 227 vehicles to just 148. The remaining tanks will fill out two heavy brigades that will form the steely core of one of just two fighting divisions that army will be able to field in coming years.

The good news is that London plans to spend hundreds of millions of dollars upgrading the tanks to the Challenger 3 standard with a new turret holding a new and more powerful main gun.

The bad news is that a force of just 148 tanks leaves nothing in reserve. After the reorganization is complete, the British Army’s armored brigades will be a “use-once resource,” according to Stuart Crawford, a retired army colonel and 20-year veteran of the Royal Tank Regiment.

“When I joined my regiment in 1980, the British Army of the Rhine alone had 900 tanks,” Crawford wrote in U.K. Defense Journal. “Now we will have roughly one-sixth of that number. It’s far too few, and indicative I’m afraid of the decline of our land forces over successive defense reviews.


 

Weinie

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That long? :)


The British Army’s Tank Regiments Might Last Just A Few Days In Combat​

As part of a sweeping reorganization, the British Army plans to cut its fleet of Challenger 2 tanks from 227 vehicles to just 148. The remaining tanks will fill out two heavy brigades that will form the steely core of one of just two fighting divisions that army will be able to field in coming years.

The good news is that London plans to spend hundreds of millions of dollars upgrading the tanks to the Challenger 3 standard with a new turret holding a new and more powerful main gun.

The bad news is that a force of just 148 tanks leaves nothing in reserve. After the reorganization is complete, the British Army’s armored brigades will be a “use-once resource,” according to Stuart Crawford, a retired army colonel and 20-year veteran of the Royal Tank Regiment.

“When I joined my regiment in 1980, the British Army of the Rhine alone had 900 tanks,” Crawford wrote in U.K. Defense Journal. “Now we will have roughly one-sixth of that number. It’s far too few, and indicative I’m afraid of the decline of our land forces over successive defense reviews.


Quantity has a quality all of its own.
 

Kirkhill

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If I was a betting man I'd say that they will be forced to compromise how 'special' these Ranger units are, just to see them become operational.

Depending on how they run the selection process, out of three line Infantry battalions, they'd likely only finish up with about one rifle company's worth, at most.

Anyone older than mid-20s would have a tough time passing, so alot of your SNCOs and Senior Officers would get the chop. If they recruit directly into the units from civvy street, 20-30% pass rates might be achievable if it's run like P Company or the Commando Course.

If it's like SAS Selection, or the Green Beret's Selection, I assume they'd therefore need to open it up to the whole of the UK Forces. SAS selction pass rates are in the single digits with courses forming up with up to 150 all ranks, which gets whittled down to about 8-10 by the end of the course. Sometimes, no Officers pass.


Special can mean lots of things

Virginia Hall Goillot DSC, Croix de Guerre, MBE (April 6, 1906 – July 8, 1982), code named Marie and Diane, was an American who worked with the United Kingdom's clandestine Special Operations Executive (SOE) and the American Office of Strategic Services (OSS) in France during World War II. The objective of SOE and OSS was to conduct espionage, sabotage and reconnaissance in occupied Europe against the Axis powers, especially Nazi Germany. SOE and OSS agents in France allied themselves with resistance groups and supplied them with weapons and equipment parachuted in from England. After World War II Hall worked for the Special Activities Division of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

Hall was a pioneering agent for the SOE, arriving in France in August 1941, the first female agent to take up residence in France. She created the Heckler network in Lyon. Over the next 15 months, she "became an expert at support operations – organizing resistance movements; supplying agents with money, weapons, and supplies; helping downed airmen to escape; offering safe houses and medical assistance to wounded agents and pilots."[1] She fled France in November 1942 to avoid capture by the Germans.

She returned to France as a wireless operator for the OSS in March 1944 as a member of the Saint network. Working in territory still occupied by the German army and mostly without the assistance of other OSS agents, she supplied arms, training, and direction to French resistance groups, called maquis, especially in Haute-Loire where the maquis cleared the department of German soldiers prior to the arrival of the American army in September 1944.

The Germans gave her the nickname Artemis, and the Gestapo reportedly considered her "the most dangerous of all Allied spies."[2] Hall had an artificial foot she named "Cuthbert." She was also known as "the limping lady" by the Germans and as "Marie of Lyon" by many of the SOE agents she assisted.

In 1933, she tripped and accidentally shot herself in the left foot while hunting birds. Her leg was amputated below the knee and replaced with a wooden appendage which she named "Cuthbert"





Special can just mean irregular.

OMLTs are "special" in that they are not regular operations. Training missions. Influence missions. Protection missions. Special Reconnaissance. Not all of them require SAS/Para/Cdo physical fitness. They may require entirely different special skills.
 

FJAG

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Special can mean lots of things


Special can just mean irregular.

OMLTs are "special" in that they are not regular operations. Training missions. Influence missions. Protection missions. Special Reconnaissance. Not all of them require SAS/Para/Cdo physical fitness. They may require entirely different special skills.

It's not so much the "special training" that's the issue. It's the recruiting from inside the establishment and thus drawing high quality people away from other units that's the issue. Any time that you have an internal selection process you naturally end up selecting the wheat and leaving the chaff behind.

Even such benign organizations such as a Foreign Military Assistance group will tend to draw the most flexible, best instructors away from other line units if they are allowed to recruit from within.

The US Ranger Regt actually has a program through which a civilian recruit can select to serve in the Ranger Regt through an Option 40 contract where essentially they are assessed to see if they meet Ranger requirements, go through normal one-station infantry, or whatever career field they are in, training and then are sent on the Ranger Assessment and Selection Course. Even though this is not technically recruiting from within, it does take a more highly motivated candidate out of the regular line unit stream ending up with the same result.

🍻
 

daftandbarmy

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Special can just mean irregular.

OMLTs are "special" in that they are not regular operations. Training missions. Influence missions. Protection missions. Special Reconnaissance. Not all of them require SAS/Para/Cdo physical fitness. They may require entirely different special skills.

The way we created CSOR seems to align with their 'seeding' approach to establishing this capability:

"The interim capability of the Canadian Special Operations Regiment was established in Petawawa over the summer of 2006. Personel were drawn from across Canada with 3 RCR providing the primary source for the creation of CSOR."



"The new Ranger Regiment will be formed of four "all-arms" battalions, each of about 250 personnel. To begin with, it will be 'seeded' from the four current Specialised Infantry Battalions: 1 SCOTS, 2 PWRR, 2 LANCS, and 4 RIFLES."

 

reveng

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It's not so much the "special training" that's the issue. It's the recruiting from inside the establishment and thus drawing high quality people away from other units that's the issue. Any time that you have an internal selection process you naturally end up selecting the wheat and leaving the chaff behind.

There has has to be a balance. If you systematically try to block top performers from pursuing career goals (not just SOF), they may begin to look outside the Army, or worse, the military entirely.

Considering the low pass rates mentioned in this thread, why intentionally piss off personnel by getting in their way? Better to let them try, and pass/fail on their own merits. IMO, anyways.
 

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Also, it is possible to increase the pool of candidates by making better use of the Militia and short term contracts. Make the Militia a screening system for the regs and a holding ground for trained reserves.

I note a number of countries have part time specials in a variety of fields. In fact some of them might classify our Rangers as Special Forces.
 

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Further to....

FJAG has been one of the foremost proponents for better utilization of the Reserves.

I seems to me that if employment of heavy forces are not on the horizon then putting heavy forces into reserve is your best recourse. Don't sell off your heavies. Mothball most of them. Reduce the size of the Regular force to cadre strength, put most of the current strength in the Reserves and plan to put them on active service at Wainwright one month a year.

Standard practice in Scandinavia, Switzerland and Israel.

Put the savings into funding those capabilities that are actually in demand.
 

reveng

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Having a small number of tanks probably isn't going to make much of a difference in a peer fight. It's no secret - just look at the article posted by daftandbarmy. They are even less helpful when positioned in Canada or the UK.

If I were keeping tanks in small numbers, it would be for situations like Afghanistan in 2006. Mainly to ensure that as many women and men as possible return home. If tanks had been the domain of PRes Armd in 2006, would they have been able to be pressed into service as quickly as the RegF did it? IIRC, it took several months to get a RegF Tank Sqn into Afghanistan. I'm assuming some of this delay was due to the fact that the Army was considering divesting itself of tanks at the time. I don't know. I do seem to remember PRes Armd units at the time were struggling with less complex tasks than heavy armour...

If the entire military was overhauled, and the way the PRes operates fundamentally changed, then sure. Until then? No.
 

daftandbarmy

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Having a small number of tanks probably isn't going to make much of a difference in a peer fight. It's no secret - just look at the article posted by daftandbarmy. They are even less helpful when positioned in Canada or the UK.

If I were keeping tanks in small numbers, it would be for situations like Afghanistan in 2006. Mainly to ensure that as many women and men as possible return home. If tanks had been the domain of PRes Armd in 2006, would they have been able to be pressed into service as quickly as the RegF did it? IIRC, it took several months to get a RegF Tank Sqn into Afghanistan. I'm assuming some of this delay was due to the fact that the Army was considering divesting itself of tanks at the time. I don't know. I do seem to remember PRes Armd units at the time were struggling with less complex tasks than heavy armour...

If the entire military was overhauled, and the way the PRes operates fundamentally changed, then sure. Until then? No.

My guess is that a smaller, more modern tank force will allow a post-Brexit UK to claim that they are still ready to stand with a US led coalition as an ally for those conflicts that require the heavy armour (very unlikely) while pursuing bigger ticket, and economically driven, relationships internationally in COIN type conflicts (much more likely) with cheaper, and more specialized and nimble, forces.
 

MilEME09

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Having a small number of tanks probably isn't going to make much of a difference in a peer fight. It's no secret - just look at the article posted by daftandbarmy. They are even less helpful when positioned in Canada or the UK.

If I were keeping tanks in small numbers, it would be for situations like Afghanistan in 2006. Mainly to ensure that as many women and men as possible return home. If tanks had been the domain of PRes Armd in 2006, would they have been able to be pressed into service as quickly as the RegF did it? IIRC, it took several months to get a RegF Tank Sqn into Afghanistan. I'm assuming some of this delay was due to the fact that the Army was considering divesting itself of tanks at the time. I don't know. I do seem to remember PRes Armd units at the time were struggling with less complex tasks than heavy armour...

If the entire military was overhauled, and the way the PRes operates fundamentally changed, then sure. Until then? No.
Thing is about comparing us to the UK I'm heavy armour is they actually posses the means to move their armour by air and sea quickly. We do not, having the tanks is easy, the logistics associated with them is not.
 

FJAG

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Having a small number of tanks probably isn't going to make much of a difference in a peer fight. It's no secret - just look at the article posted by daftandbarmy. They are even less helpful when positioned in Canada or the UK.

If I were keeping tanks in small numbers, it would be for situations like Afghanistan in 2006. Mainly to ensure that as many women and men as possible return home. If tanks had been the domain of PRes Armd in 2006, would they have been able to be pressed into service as quickly as the RegF did it? IIRC, it took several months to get a RegF Tank Sqn into Afghanistan. I'm assuming some of this delay was due to the fact that the Army was considering divesting itself of tanks at the time. I don't know. I do seem to remember PRes Armd units at the time were struggling with less complex tasks than heavy armour...

If the entire military was overhauled, and the way the PRes operates fundamentally changed, then sure. Until then? No.

So here's a thought. Put the better part of a heavy brigade's equipment into Europe. Keep a good portion in Canada as training equipment. Organize a manning ratio of enough Reg F to provide all key leadership, technical, planning etc roles into capable hands but man the largest bulk of the force with reservists. Do flyover Milcons. Betcha your recruiting and retention and volunteers for exercises would spike.

There are literally dozens of things that you can do if only you're prepared to pull the thumb out of your butt and try something better. But noooo ... we'll keep on muddling along the way we always have, fine tuning stuff the way that has failed over and over again in the past, until the NDP get elected and shut everything down (or the Libs figure out they could simply shut down a brigade and a fighter squadron and five ships, save a five billion a year to spend on child care or a needle exchange or whatever, and no one would miss it).

:D
 

Kirkhill

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So here's a thought. Put the better part of a heavy brigade's equipment into Europe. Keep a good portion in Canada as training equipment. Organize a manning ratio of enough Reg F to provide all key leadership, technical, planning etc roles into capable hands but man the largest bulk of the force with reservists. Do flyover Milcons. Betcha your recruiting and retention and volunteers for exercises would spike.

There are literally dozens of things that you can do if only you're prepared to pull the thumb out of your butt and try something better. But noooo ... we'll keep on muddling along the way we always have, fine tuning stuff the way that has failed over and over again in the past, until the NDP get elected and shut everything down (or the Libs figure out they could simply shut down a brigade and a fighter squadron and five ships, save a five billion a year to spend on child care or a needle exchange or whatever, and no one would miss it).

:D
I understand Poland is lovely in the summer.
 
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