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Title: A moment in time : the British Army at a moment in time - 1 July 2007 : a look at and from it of the makeup of the regular and Territorial Army
Author: Mackinlay, Gordon Angus
ISNI:       0000 0004 2734 9560
Awarding Body: University of East Anglia
Current Institution: University of East Anglia
Date of Award: 2007
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Entitled a "Moment In Time" this document looks at the British Army and the various related military and civil organisations as from 1st July 2007. This day selected the midi of the year, which was the 351st since the Regular British Army was formed (1656). It is one month before the successful end of Operation Banner, the Campaign in Northern Ireland against terrorist organisations from August 1969, the longest single military campaign in the Army's history (and probably the longest ever continuous single military campaign ever). A decision made in order not to chase my own tail in preparing it, and whilst I have included updated information from that date until completion, the basis of the document is to that "Moment In Time"! Its origins were in a short five page paper prepared for professional colleagues, following questions, it went to 30, after more, it went to 55 pages, a couple of people more interested in the military side, said I should enhance it, so I did, with the following electronic pages the result. Its content a 380 page book with 24 pages of photos and renditions of the Army's cap badges. I make no pretence it covers every unit or facet of the Army (and even so, it is an ever changing organisation, and items recorded here, by the time you have read it, will have changed in the time since recorded from the source document) so it must be considered a historical document. There are not recorded within these electronic pages a variety of units which are specific for the operations within Iraq and Afghanistan. These changing rapidly in format and function; one such example being UK ANATT - UK Afghan National Army Training Team. I have deliberately made no attempt to record such, due to their transitory nature of existence, and constant format changes! NOTE : Unless otherwise stated, Army means British Army. This is a ongoing work on a organisation which is in a permanent state of flux, the unfortunate Future Army Structure of 2004 had created an organisation which was struggling in July 2007 to fulfill the huge operational requirements laid upon it by a increasingly incompetent national government. With the concept of removing the Arms Plot, resulting in wholesale amalgamation of infantry regiments (resulting in the disbandment of three battalions, and the conversion of another to a special forces role), so all infantry battalions would be in a stable environment, proved false. Formations and the Territorial Army units being once more reorganised, and since the Labour Government does not seem to have a cognitive idea what it is doing, it will probably remain like this for some time. And further defence reductions are very possible. To which must be added the current government's ill-conceived obsession with privatisation of everything possible in the Armed Forces, which has seen the (virtually the entire) base logistical structure sold off to companies (mainly American owned) who have no common link, with Private Finance Initiatives (PFI) and Public Private Partnerships (PPP) being used for funding new programmes. These enable in the short term the appearance of capital expenditure savings, but cost far more in the long term over the life of a programme in the payments back to the relevent civilian organisations. This wholesale privatisation does not work (is not capable of supporting a Army on a wartime footing – any graduate with a MBA knows “Private enterprise is about maximum profit gained with the least expenditure!” they have to make a profit), and the costings of the services provided by the private company quickly appear to exceed the previous military based (with Ministry of Defence civilians) costings, and do not provide services to the same standard, and is in training providers failing to produce to the same high level. It has been reverted in the case of The Ministry of Defence Police disposing of private security companies and creating the Ministry of Defence Guard Service, providing a more efficient service (and making a financial saving!). Similar occurring with the training structures, and the linking to the incompetent British adult education system, away from the military system. A Memorandum from the Public and Commercial Services Union, the 274,000 strong main Civil Service Union in the UK, of 23rd November 2001, with pinpoint accuracy pointed out all the inherent flaws with these privatisations. The campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq have proven them right, added to which the outflow of monies from the UK to the US companies is staggering. As an aside, the privatisation of the control and upkeep of the privatised training areas has also proven badly flawed, with complaints from many civilian bodies. Further must be added the refusal of The Treasury to enhance the financial budget of Armed Services at war, and keeping them on a peacetime system of accounting, with no increase to show the realities of these military operations, and in fact decreasing the actual funding dramatically. The National Audit Office in 2004 reported that readiness (including training) was being sacrificed as money was diverted to ongoing operations, diluting skill and threatening what it called "high-end war fighting skill sets". And the end of 2007 saw no improvement over this, with many training activities cancelled. Then also the refusal to return to the Defence Vote, monies gained in the sale of property assets, from which vast sums were made, such as The Duke of York's Headquarters in the centre of London, in the possession of the Army for some 200 years, or the multitude of TA Centres throughout the country, centrally based in prime locations inside cities. Whilst the socialist based Scottish Nationalist Party received only a minimal hold on Scotland's government in the then recent 2007 election (a majority of one, and all the other parties in total outnumber them dramatically), they remain firmly fixed on their agenda of the breakup of the United Kingdom in order to become a independent socialist nation (!), the future of Scottish Regiments and recruiting in Scotland is in serious doubt (as is the Territorial Army in Scotland). 3,440 Regular soldiers were stationed in Scotland, along with 3,400 RN/RM, 5,850 RAF, and 6,650 MoD Civil Servants in 2007. The Minister of Defence, Des Brown, also wears the appointment of Secretary of State for Scotland, the stupidity of having one person holding two high profile portfolio's, both very politically sensitive in a time of fighting two war's is unbelievable! It must be said at this point that the problems affecting the Army are mirrored in the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force, and are far worse in many aspects. Since this project first started in late May 2007, the activities of the Labour Party that is the governance of the United Kingdom appears in the writings of many commentators in the UK, to be determined to destroy the Union of England,Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. To which must be added the future of the Brigade of Gurkhas, who whilst superbly recruited, with their newly enhanced conditions of service are now making them far more expensive than British (or Commonwealth) enlistees), example recruit training is 38 weeks with only limited English skills gained, this would have to be enhanced to 54 weeks to improve the level of language ability, whilst also the political future of Nepal is itself very uncertain, and with it the Gurkhas future service!
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available