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No jumps for Paras as MoD cuts £1bn

Discussions about those units who make up The Parachute Regiment.
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Bored Civvy
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#46 Post by Bored Civvy »

Why do we have to have such a pathetic useless government run by a bunch of useless twats who would rather have nice big offices and limos and private jets than an armed forces that have the right training and equipment to actually be able to DO THEIR JOB?
I for one am now probably not going to re-join..........whats the point when I`ll never be able to call myself a proper PARAtrooper after all that training and effort?Plus,if half the battalion have never jumped out of a plane how can the other half who have jumped truly be able to trust them knowing they havent conquered their fear and jumped?
And as for restarting jumps training in 2011...........we all know that wont happen.They`ll see how much they`ve saved and how much it will cost to start retraining everyone who needs it,say no and shove their faces back in their troughs.
What a bunch of tossers we have running this country.

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df2inaus
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#47 Post by df2inaus »

I was in the UK a couple of weeks ago and read about this in my beloved Torygraph.

A move as desperate and idiotic as this is the work of a Labour government that is muttering incoherently on its death bed and needs to be put out of its misery.

Hold your noses and vote for Cameron. If once in office, he's still as desperate to please everyone, from headteachers to hoodies, as he appears, throw the bum out.

A parachute unit that doesn't actually train for parachuting? Can they not at least create a NATO jump school on the continent to be shared by all countries after advanced infantry training at home?

Where are all the leaders here? The most professional army in the world, still envied by everyone, is on autopilot.
"Poor Ike, it won't be a bit like the Army. He'll find it very frustrating. He'll sit here and he'll say, 'Do this! Do that!' And nothing will happen."
Harry Truman

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#48 Post by Tab »

They can't afford for the Parachute Regiment to jump out of aircraft. but they can find 2.5 billion pounds refurbish the MoD building in Whitehall with every luxury they can think off. Well at least we can see that the people that hold the purse strings feel that they have their priorities right. Also they were bragging that they spent a few millions in doing up the Forces Accommodation but can still find this vast sum to make sure that they are comfortable while they are at work

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#49 Post by sky ninja steve »

We need them: how do we pay?

By Sean Rayment, Sunday Telegraph
Last Updated: 12:30am GMT 14/01/2007


Troops were informed that their parachute training was cancelled

The Prime Minister has surprised service chiefs by finally admitting that more will have to be spent on our Armed Forces. Military experts, though, disagree about where the money should come from

The message to the Army recruits was blunt but clear: parachute training is cancelled. The RAF has run out of aircraft. For the troops who had joined the four-week military parachuting course at RAF Brize Norton, in Oxfordshire, just four days earlier, it was a morale-sapping blow.

Instead of joining their regiments as qualified parachutists ready to jump into battle, the 60 troops, 20 of whom were raw recruits, were ordered to return to their units without their coveted wings, the mark of an elite airborne soldier.

In order to complete the course, the troops would have needed just one of the RAF's fleet of Hercules transport aircraft for a two-week period. But the operational demands of fighting wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are now so immense that commanders are being forced to sacrifice military training programmes almost every week to ensure that the troops on the front line are properly equipped. It is a position, say many senior officers, that is simply unsustainable.

Just four weeks ago, The Sunday Telegraph revealed that parachute training across the Army was to be halted for four years as part of a £1 billion cost-cutting programme. And it is not just the airborne forces who are suffering. Major exercises in Canada, one of the few areas in the world where British troops practise live firing alongside tanks and armoured vehicles — essential skills put into daily use in southern Iraq — are being cancelled because of a lack of funding.

For several months, the Government and Tony Blair have been facing a barrage of criticism from senior military officers who claim the Armed Forces are being asked "to do too much with too little". Just three weeks ago, Admiral Sir Alan West, who until last February was the head of the Royal Navy, warned the Government in an interview with this newspaper that Britain would end up with a "tin-pot" military capability if more money was not spent.

On Friday, aboard the Royal Navy assault ship HMS Albion, Mr Blair finally conceded that Britain's Forces, which have been involved in five conflicts during his 10-year rule, had for too long been on the wrong end of a raw deal. More money would have to be spent on defence, he declared, if Britain was to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the Americans in the fight against terror, which he said would last a "generation".

The news of the increased spending sent more than a flurry of interest through the open-plan offices of the MoD in Whitehall, where for months many of the brightest officers have been charged with finding ways of filling the £1 billion black hole that has been threatening defence budgets for the past year.

Mr Blair declared that he wanted Britain's military to be "both war-fighters and peace-keepers" (which, of course, is the current role of Britain's Armed Forces). Referring to the war on terror, the Prime Minister said that he wanted Britain to be able to project hard and soft power and "for us as a nation to be as willing to fight terrorism and pay the cost of that fight wherever it may be".

Within hours of the speech being delivered, the question being asked in Whitehall was "how much more cash will the military get and where will it come from?" Service chiefs have become conditioned to think they will get less money — not more, as the Prime Minister implied.

Since 1999, spending on health and education has more than doubled, whereas defence spending has increased only from about £22 billion to £32 billion, even though under Mr Blair's policy of liberal intervention, the Armed Forces have been involved in more conflicts, Kosovo, Sierra Leone and Afghanistan in 2001, Iraq and Afghanistan again in 2006, than at any other time in the past 30 years.

"We have been told to expect the budget to flatline" said one senior officer, while another added that morale within the MoD was very "gloomy" because of a lack of funding. "There is a £1 billion black hole in the defence budget and that will have to be filled before there can be any extra spending on defence," he added.

At present, Britain spends £32 billion on defence, or 2.5 per cent of its gross domestic product. Among our allies, Britain lies second to America, which spends £235 billion a year on defence, 4 per cent of its GDP. Given what Britain is expected to do with its military forces, many senior officers surprisingly argue that there is actually enough money in the budget, the problem is how it is spent.

There certainly appears to be a great deal of financial waste in the MoD. It was revealed last year, for instance, that the military spends more than £3 million a year on household staff in 37 "grace-and-favour" houses and apartments used by senior generals. In one house alone, the bill for a chef, butler, housekeepers and a gardener came to more than £192,000.

Several million pounds is also spent every year on accommodation for military staff working in the MoD in London, while the annual bill for sending the children of service personnel to boarding school costs the taxpayer £130 million each year.

Although few would argue that servicemen and women, who move house every two years on posting, should not be financially supported so that their children get a stable education, senior figures within the MoD are asking whether a senior general earning £140,000 per year should be entitled to the same allowance of £4,500 per term as a middle-ranking officer who earns £45,000 a year.

Civil servants also point out that while most government departments have just three staff cars for senior officials, the MoD has 15. But such levels of "questionable" spending are relatively modest compared to the world of military procurement where project over-spends of hundreds of millions of pounds have become the norm.

For instance, it emerged last week that the MoD will spend more than £100 million updating eight Chinook helicopters that have been grounded since they were bought from America for £252 million 12 years ago.

The helicopters, which are needed urgently in Iraq and Afghanistan, failed to meet strict airworthiness and safety specifications, which include a requirement that they should be able fly in cloud. The MoD decided that, with such a shortage of helicopters, there was no alternative but to spend the money making the Chinooks airworthy. The procurement of the Chinook Mark 3s from Boeing, in 1995, was described by the Commons Public Accounts Committee as one of the "worst examples of equipment acquisition".

For Maj Gen Julian Thompson, who was the Commander of the land forces during the Falklands war, a former commander in the Royal Marines and a visiting professor of war studies at King's College, London, the questions that politicians and planners must ask themselves are far more wide-reaching in scope. He agrees with Tony Blair that it is essential for Britain to remain a world power and argues that we should consider making sacrifices elsewhere in the economy to bolster the military.

"We are reaching a position where I think the Government will have to look at spending less on other things (such as education and health) and more on defence." The tough choices, he said, also included looking at programmes such as the Eurofighter Typhoon combat jet, which is costing £19 billion.

Col Tim Collins, who fought in the Iraq war and shot to fame after giving one of the most stirring pre-battle speeches of modern times, agrees that more must be found for the military, but disagrees on where it should come from. "Yes, money must be found from somewhere to upgrade the Armed Forces. That doesn't mean there is not enough money in defence: it is just not being spent properly," he said.

"The first thing that should be done is to disband the defence procurement executive. Two 23-year-old women with a defence catalogue could do a better job than those people in the MoD. There is enough money to provide a decent defence with a world-wide capability, but it is mismanaged and what we need to do is to stop the waste, and procurement is the biggest waste of money in defence. Is it necessary to have £1,000 armchairs at MoD headquarters in London? I think that's probably a waste."

Although Col Collins believes that the RAF's new combat jet Typhoon has been good for British industry, he, too, is critical of aspects of its procurement programme.

"The aircraft came without a cannon, but we are going to have to put a cannon in the aircraft — and that is going to cost a lot more. This isn't rocket science, if someone like me can understand it then anybody should be able to."

saw this in news and media thought it had a place here aswell
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#50 Post by Tab »

I was reading that the MoD plan to spend 2.5 billion in doing up the HQ in London. Every one is to have latest chair which costs £1,500.00 each there are to be giant LCD TV every where, Tea and coffee machines by the score relaxation room, gyms and every luxury the civil service can think off, but armed forces and there families can go to hell as long as they are okay.

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#51 Post by McGill »

Does this mean that the pathfinders won't be doing the Parachute as well? And other units e.g. SF, Royals' Brigade Patrol Troop etc.

And I guess Blair's promise of the forces receiving everything they need was a bit shortlived.

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#52 Post by SO19 »

The cuts are limited, not total, so won't affect them.
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#53 Post by Paratrooper01 »

Get the sodding balloon back and get lads jumping on that.

Or even better, have 1 aircraft set kept as a 'Training Only' aircraft and one that doesnt get depoloyed on Ops.

Or go abroad to do the jumps course.

Bloody Labour :evil:
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#54 Post by Tab »

Well I wonder how much it would cost to get our Dakota flying again, now that thing should be quite cheap to run.

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#55 Post by Paratrooper01 »

Tab wrote:Well I wonder how much it would cost to get our Dakota flying again, now that thing should be quite cheap to run.
Now that would be Airborne!! 8)

Whats the slipstream like on that Tab? I imagine its a bit different to the 140Mph you jump into from a Herc. :P
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#56 Post by Greenronnie »

Tab wrote:Well I wonder how much it would cost to get our Dakota flying again, now that thing should be quite cheap to run.
It would probably be more expensive, as parts will be rare and it climbs very slowly. Plus training for aircrew. Apart from the fact we have none in service other than the Battle of Britain Flight. (NB for any docile commenters out there, I know the main aircraft is a Lancaster, but they also have a Dakota for events such as Normandy, Arnhem etc. I should know, I have jumped out of it enough times).

Mind you, we did put a South African Dak into service a couple of years ago when we were out there doing HALO jumps a few years ago, after the new super duper J model Herc went US.

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#57 Post by Greenronnie »

McGill wrote:Does this mean that the pathfinders won't be doing the Parachute as well?
Our role hasn't been affected. Thank fark! :D

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#58 Post by wato212 »

Heard about this in Afghan, I thought it was just royal trying to spread moral :D f@#k me what is coming to I just find myself asking 'what's the point' know one really gives a shit. I also found out in afghan that a police recruit is on 10 grand more then a royal marines recruit. These people in charge make me sick, I respect the tailban more then labour :evil:

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