Reevesey's recommended reading

Saturday, 10 October 2009

Territorial Army faces even more cuts

First the Government proposes to scrap the British Forces Post Office (BFPO), by September 2010 the Government will have closed the BFPO post centres at 10 British bases in Europe, including Portugal, Italy, Spain, Belgium, Gibraltar and parts of Germany. This will mean that service families will have to pay full postage to contact their loved ones and services that require UK addresses - especially banks - will not be available to personnel based near the closed offices.

In a time of war the withdrawal of these postal services encourages the belief that Government is more interested in small cash savings than the needs of our service people around the world. I have signed the petition and I hope all the readers of my blog will do so and that the Government will back down.

Press reports suggest that these closures will save just £1.7 million each year. Is this worth it?

You can find the petition here, please do sign it.

On top of this we now here today that the Government has told the Territorial Army to halt all training, including the Drill-hall instruction, any weekend exercises and all other TA training are to stop for six months, resulting in savings of about £20m because if the members of the TA don't train, they don't earn.

Since the Labour party came to power in 1997 the TA numbers have fallen from more than 57,000 to around 19,000 today.

In April this year the Ministry of Defence announced plans for a major shake-up of the TA, with up to 2,400 Royal Signal posts standing to be cut, with soldiers facing redundancy or redeployment. On top of that a few years back a lot of the divisions were disbanded and old headquarters sold off.

Only last year it was reported that 15,000 Territorials had served alongside the regular Army in both Iraq and Afghanistan. The TA is being relied upon more heavily than at anytime since World War II so how are these cuts justified?

The TA ran the only field hospital in Afghanistan last year and provided about 10% of British forces.

So, how can the Government turn it's back on the TA now?

I think this is a short-sighted decision and I feel that if they dug deeper in other departments these savings could be found elsewhere.


Iain Rubie Dale said...

I'm rather looking forward to some interesting conversations in the next day or two: my father-in-Law is a retired major in the Black Watch (TA) and C & I have 2 good friends who are both serving Seargeants in the Signals. Might even be stirred to get my lazy arse in gear and get back blogging!

Anonymous said...

It is a sad indictment of this country and especially of this government when we can't even pay our armed forces. Sad, pathetic and disgraceful. At a time when our politicians have been lining their pockets with OUR money and and their total mismanagement and incompetence in the MoD procurement system, our soldiers are left to feel the pain....maybe literally.

Related Posts with Thumbnails