Page 1 of 4

No jumps for Paras as MoD cuts £1bn

Posted: Sun 17 Dec, 2006 8:02 am
by SO19
No jumps for Paras as MoD cuts £1bn
By Sean Rayment and Rob Watts, Sunday Telegraph
Last Updated: 1:28am GMT 17/12/2006

Members of the Parachute Regiment will not receive parachute training

Parachute training in the Army is set to be halted for four years as part of a £1 billion cost-cutting programme by the Ministry of Defence (MoD).

The proposals mean that Britain will be without a parachute-trained force for the first time since the Second World War when the Parachute Regiment was created on the orders of Winston Churchill.

Documents leaked to The Sunday Telegraph reveal that no new recruits or even serving members of the Parachute Regiment or airborne forces will be trained in military parachuting from next year until 2011. It will then take a year to get the Army's 2,500 paratroopers up to scratch.

The cost-cutting programme is being launched after defence chiefs warned that spiralling costs of complex equipment and the demands of military operations would create a financial "black hole" in the MoD of £868 million by the end of the next year.

The severity of the crisis prompted one of the Government's most senior civil servants to describe the situation as "an extremely difficult position with no clear way forward".

The crisis has placed the MoD on a collision course with Gordon Brown and the Treasury, and has raised fears that multi-billion pound projects could be postponed or even cancelled.

The planned cuts to be imposed on 16 Air Assault Brigade, which the MoD admits would be a public-relations disaster, can be

Continued on Page 2revealed just days after 77 members of the unit received awards, including a Victoria Cross and a George Cross, for their actions in Afghanistan.

The document states that if the cuts were imposed "the Parachute Regiment and other airborne units would be undermined with implications for morale, recruiting and retention. It would take until March 31, 2012, to retrain all aircrews, dispatchers, planers and parachute-trained units".

It adds: "This measure would also have implications for special forces' recruiting and selection." The Parachute Regiment provides more than half of the special forces' intake.

Senior officers were aghast last night at the latest round of cuts. One said: "It is extraordinary that at a time when the Armed Forces are fighting two wars and are stretched to the very limit, defence spending is being pared back in this way."

The crisis has emerged two months after Tony Blair promised commanders in Afghanistan that they would get whatever they needed to beat the Taliban.

The scale of the crisis within the MoD is highlighted by another leaked document in which Ian Andrews, the 2nd permanent undersecretary of state, warns that the military is having to take "painful measures" to stay within budget. "Equipment, support, fuel and utilities costs are causing real pressures across the departments. We remain in an extremely difficult position with no clear way forward."

In an effort to stay within budget, he proposes measures including a "moratorium on recruitment" of civilian manpower and that all "existing contracts for agency or casual staff be terminated".

Instead of flying to meetings around the world, senior officers should "encourage staff to consider video conferencing, e-mail or the telephone". ... aras17.xml

Posted: Sun 17 Dec, 2006 8:08 am
by SO19
Bloody hell lads, why the f*ck are they doing this? I just can't believe whats happening anymore, I really can't! If they go ahead with this they'll be pissing on so many people, it's rediculous.

What a bunch of w*nkers this government are.

Posted: Sun 17 Dec, 2006 9:59 am
by Tab
What a way to treat one of Britains finest fighting forces, what I would like to see is for a great number of the lads to put their papers in to go and join one of those Private Security companies in Iraq where they will get payed five time the amount that they are getting now all tax free.
If the MoD are that worried about cutting cost they can save 150 million pound per year by not paying their staff performance related bonuses that they don't earn, which would cover the costs of training for the Parachute Regiment

Posted: Sun 17 Dec, 2006 10:30 am
by Paratrooper01
Its appauling how we get treated by the MoD. To cancel the parachuting course at brize would be devastating for the regiment as its why alot of people join.

Another thing, the bonus of taxes back during Op Herrick IV that 3 para battlegroup recieved has now been BINNED by the MoD and all the Royal Marines will not be getting it because they realised it actually added up to alot!!

Gutted :P

Posted: Sun 17 Dec, 2006 12:23 pm
by Foley
Thats bloody appauling they are the parachute regiment what are they going to be now, what is going on with the mod its an embarasment, i wanted to join the AIRBORNE and now i wont even be doing that becasue they wont be airborne at all.

Posted: Sun 17 Dec, 2006 1:12 pm
by Cobalt
Further proof that New Labour are backstabbing scum.

This will have knock on effects for many years to come.

Posted: Sun 17 Dec, 2006 1:39 pm
by Boxingmad
Assuming that the Conservatives get back in power at the next election, would they bring para-training back?

Posted: Sun 17 Dec, 2006 2:33 pm
by McGill
If this really did happen, would they even bring it back in 2011 or would they just evebtually cut the parachute regiment from the line of infantry regiments? And just out of curiosity when was the last combat jump made by the paras?

Posted: Sun 17 Dec, 2006 3:07 pm
by Sky Police
Somebody tell me it's April 1st!!!

This can't be for real. Who the hell will join the paras if they know they'll probably never parachute? Parachuting is one of the biggest reasons for me wanting to join.

I'm so gutted i can't even put it into words

Posted: Sun 17 Dec, 2006 4:17 pm
by Rogue Chef
The Para Reg lads could always keep their hands in by jumping off a conveniently placed chest of draws and practising their side left, side right etc! Knees together, elbows in. Aaaaaah it's all flooding back.

Just an idea.

Posted: Sun 17 Dec, 2006 4:35 pm
by Tab
Now one of the first thing they will do is cut their jump pay, now surely this is a breach of contract.

Posted: Sun 17 Dec, 2006 5:21 pm
by SO19
We all know that there are those who use the excuse of Suez when 3 Para made the last combat jump into El Gamil airfield as to why it is now an 'outdated and redundant' method of insertion (en masse), but all that's a pile of tosh, when and where the last combat jump took place is irrelevent, it is the capability that counts and doing this will present a major shift in the brigades airborne ability. The past 50 years has seen many examples of operational drops around the world, so the people who think it's dead are insane.

The 101st went the same way when they re-designated Air Assault, but then of course, you still had the 82nd retain the parachute capability. 16AA is primarirly air assault too, but as someone on the outside looking in, available assets and the overall package looks extremely meagre. The blokes are the best but the brigade is puny in my eyes.

This is also an identity issue as much as a capability one, so they really are just taking the piss with this.

Posted: Sun 17 Dec, 2006 6:12 pm
by commando-or-para
This must be bad for the lads who go into battalion now. Even if your just about to go in or are in training, and do your four years and get out there may be a chance you will never get to jump, this cant be good for recruiting.

The reason i want to join is because they are the best in the army, not because they jump out of plans but its still ginign me seconds thoughts.

Posted: Sun 17 Dec, 2006 8:13 pm
by Sky Police
commando-or-para wrote:This must be bad for the lads who go into battalion now. Even if your just about to go in or are in training, and do your four years and get out there may be a chance you will never get to jump, this cant be good for recruiting.

The reason i want to join is because they are the best in the army, not because they jump out of plans but its still ginign me seconds thoughts.
Indeed, how can you have a parachute regiment that doesn't parachute??

If this really does turn out to be true then i may have to think again about joining. I want to join for the full 22 years and so the last thing i want is the possiblity of the regiment being disbanded altogether a few years down the line.

I won't believe it though until the MoD announce it themselves. I think whatever the outcome, they will have to give some sort of response to an issue as hard hitting as this one!

Posted: Sun 17 Dec, 2006 10:11 pm
by _chris
Look on defence news tomorrow as I'm sure they'll respond to a story like this. They'll proberly say it was one of many ideas banded about but no plans to implement or something similar. Stupid idea to even suggest, worse if its being taken seriously, they'll tell the air force its cheaper to get rid of planes next :roll: