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View Full Version : Reserves to be allowed join Army on Kosovo-style peacekeeping duties. Indo.



yellowjacket
18th March 2003, 13:51
A MAJOR overhaul of the FCA will mean volunteers being able to serve with the permanent Defence Forces on peacekeeping duties in countries like Kosovo.

Also, Defence Minister Michael Smith is considering legislation which would safeguard the jobs of the volunteers while they are on duty tours abroad.

The minister has approved in principle the major recommendations of the Reserve Defence Force Review Implementation Board report. The main changes involve replacing the FCA with an Army Reserve and replacing An Slua Muiri with a new Naval Service Reserve.

Reserve personnel may in future be able to volunteer for tours of duty abroad in a move designed to improve morale among the country's 13,800 Army reserve.

A Defence Department spokesman said that the possibility of tours overseas would be "thought out over the course of the implementation" of the report's recommendations.

One of the most important issues to be looked at was guaranteeing volunteers' job would still be there for them on their return to Ireland, he added. Provision would have to be made in legislation to protect people's jobs.

The Department says that, as well as being a major morale booster, if a situation arose where there was difficulty getting the numbers for a tour of duty abroad, it would be very beneficial to have the Army Reserve to draw upon.

While this had never been an issue in the permanent Defence Forces before, allowing reserves serve abroad would be especially beneficial where he or she had special skills in the area of mechanics, ordnance disposal or medical expertise.

"If we had a shortage, we could dip into the reserves, particularly in the skilled areas," the Department spokesman said. "There are times when specific skills can be hard to find, for example a dentist or a doctor. It can be hard to get a medic to serve overseas."

Among recommendations to the minister earlier this year were that the traditional strengths of the reserve system be preserved, such as "the spirit of individual voluntary commitment and the close links with local communities."

The aim, says the Department, is to achieve standardisation and inter-operability between the permanent Defence Forces and Reserve Force in respect of both dress and personal equipment being issued to individuals.

Reserves have been issued with the new standard Army camouflage-style uniform and Steyr rifles.

In districts where there are no reserve units, it is proposed to deal with this.


Kathy Donaghy

Recon
18th March 2003, 14:23
Bring it on!!! :D

Thorpe
18th March 2003, 14:48
Oh smithy bring it on quickly
One thing with the legelisation dont make us unemployable. Do your stuff smithy and do it now. Lets the re-org on the way now not 6 years time

Come-quickly
18th March 2003, 15:35
Originally posted by yellowjacket


.

Among recommendations to the minister earlier this year were that the traditional strengths of the reserve system be preserved, such as "the spirit of individual voluntary commitment and the close links with local communities."

Kathy Donaghy

Read unpaid and not treated as legitimate units in their own right.
This plan has changed us from a shadow army to a spare parts box.

trellheim
18th March 2003, 16:35
Has anyone heard anything about job security if on service with the Integrated sub-units ?

Bravo20
18th March 2003, 16:45
There are a lot of issues to be sorted out before reservists go overseas, not least job security. There are also issues with regard to insurance and life assurance.

boforgunner
18th March 2003, 17:11
and how about parity of esteem....guarantee we would be used as donkeys by the pdf elements

medic
18th March 2003, 21:18
Hate to halt your gallop here guys but I think you should look at this objectively before you start calling for smith to be the next pope.

Walk into any barracks and get a RDF cpl to go over to a group of PDFers and give them an order. Wait for the response he/she will get.
I believe that the integrated unit idea should be up and running a couple of years before the overseas svc thing kicks in.
Only when the RDF show the PDF that they are capable of doing the job (and at the end of the day professional soldiering is only a job) will the PDF feel comfortable on overseas missions with them.

I appreciate this view will probably enrage a few of the RDF troops but overseas missions aren't 6 mth holidays. Real missions with real dangers and real casualties.

Food for thought...

T.I.M.
18th March 2003, 22:12
"Walk into any barracks and get a RDF cpl to go over to a group of PDFers and give them an order. Wait for the response he/she will get." - MEDIC

It would be the same if a 2* Pte tryed to order a P.D.F. Guard party around.....

FCA Trooper
18th March 2003, 23:58
not gonna happen for at least another 6 or 7 years,all this...

hptmurphy
19th March 2003, 02:43
the original idea would have been that the reservist would drop a rank for the purposes of intergration and as a result he would not be taking up promotion oppertunities for members of the PDF.
as was said earlier there are many issues to be sorted before intergration can happen.

Bravo20
19th March 2003, 10:15
Hptmurphy, that situation was never suggested at any serious level

Loque
20th March 2003, 16:58
If we are ever allowed to go abroad it would probably be to aid in the repair of infrastructure in places such as Kosavo. This would mean that they would be sending skilled personnel such as medics, drivers, technicians, engineers etc. This means that would probably carry out a survey of skills in the rdf and offer these packages accordingly. Effectively you would be doing a specifically skilled task where rank may not be much of an issue.
Hate to sound pessimistic but I can't see the majority of us being sent overseas. If they do get around to setting this up many people would have to take a pay cut with respect to their civvie job for the six month duration of their tour anyway. Although I'd love the chance to go abroad, I agree with Thorpe but I have to say that as bravo20 has pointed out more issues have to be resolved until overseas service for RDF becomes a reality.

EagleEye
20th March 2003, 17:04
We would probably end up using our civy qualifications in a military arena. Meaning the like of Medical, Engineering and so on will be the RDF personel in demand. But its 4-5 years away.

Loque
20th March 2003, 17:15
They may end up with an agreement that you have to join the PDF temporarily for your tour. I'd have to say that 4-5 years would be a reasonable time for everything to be in place for the RDF to go abroad. This should give some people so thime to get some skills which the RDF may need abroad.

sparks
21st March 2003, 12:16
no way will this come to pass in 5-6 years, 10 may be poss.

trellheim
21st March 2003, 12:28
Step 1 to making this a reality : Get out, Get Fit and pass the PT tests.

( I wouldn't pass them now but by camp I expect to be able to)


Step 2 : Get the rest of your unit through Phase I. You might then have someone you know when you're doing your work-up training.


If that's not for you then why are you here ?

Loque
21st March 2003, 15:35
The press release was quite specific :
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The Department says that, as well as being a major morale booster, if a situation arose where there was difficulty getting the numbers for a tour of duty abroad, it would be very beneficial to have the Army Reserve to draw upon.

While this had never been an issue in the permanent Defence Forces before, allowing reserves serve abroad would be especially beneficial where he or she had special skills in the area of mechanics, ordnance disposal or medical expertise.

"If we had a shortage, we could dip into the reserves, particularly in the skilled areas," the Department spokesman said. "There are times when specific skills can be hard to find, for example a dentist or a doctor. It can be hard to get a medic to serve overseas."
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
There is no clear mention of general service opportunities.
Raising the standard of fitness in the RDF is something that should be done. Passing a PT alone is not enough of a reason to send a reservist abroad, there is an abundance of trained and fit personnel in the PDF. Why would the army waste time and money having to train a reserve when they have PDF personnel available ?

LordFlash
21st March 2003, 16:03
I have to say that at the end of the day they have enough fit and tough killers, what they will be looking for are skilled personell.

So while it is indeed a good idea to keep the fitness at a high, it might be more beneficial to learn a trade if you plan on UN duties.

However, as has been said many times before, this is all 6 to 10 years down the line.
Many of us on the board will no longer be in service or even in fit state for service.

trellheim
21st March 2003, 16:09
No... perhaps you missed the point.

Unless it can be shown that we can keep to the standard, and PT is one of the few skills (for want of a word) that can be practiced without much time in barracks - then what hope at all is there.

You'll go to fill a slot that needs skills - that's true - but it's true for all.

It's Step 1. Not Steps 128-342. The basics.

LordFlash
21st March 2003, 16:54
Yea, I know.
However with the integrated units the PDF will get to know and work closely with RDF personell, hopefully dispelling the myth of the A-Team watching, mustashe donning gun-mad soldier wannabe.
Unless of course it's true.... which I'm confident it's not.

Anybody here have a moustashe or watch the A-team??
Do any of you look like this:
http://www.geocities.com/homerskitchen2/mikewatt.gif

Loque
21st March 2003, 16:57
I watch Airwolf instead!

LordFlash
21st March 2003, 17:13
Close enough.....

Loque
21st March 2003, 17:17
Only joking LordFlash, Stargate: SG-1 is more my style and no i don't have a mustashe!

LordFlash
21st March 2003, 17:34
Was only messing with you Loque.
The picture is of Sgt Mike Watt (TA), a charactor from the comedy SPACED made by channel 4.

He is very funny, bit of a funny stereotype TA soldier.
While comedies like "Spaced" and "the office" are great, they have a good laugh at the expence of the TA,... something that does never get old, and does nothing for our (reserve forces) immage.

Can't complain though, cos I laugh at it myself.

I have met more than a few who do match the stereotype in the RDF.
But a far larger number seem to made of far better stuff and I'm confident that once they start mixing with the PDF they will get on just fine together.

Loque
21st March 2003, 17:45
Oh yeah I know the one you're talking about, I was watching that the other night. That character (funny though the picture didn't appear on my browser!) is very funny and over-the-top, brings walkie-talkies with him everwhere and wears combats and dpms (reminds me of John Goodman's character in "The Big Labowski"). There was a show on BBC about the TA, I think it was called The Preston Front, I never saw it but a few of my RDF buddies said it was good. I think that integration will give all those Rambos out there a serious reality check, hopefully then we will achieve cohesion with the PDF effectively.

Groundhog
22nd March 2003, 13:53
I' all in favour of reservists going on overseas missions. What else are reservists for after all?

Most of the problems of the reserve can be sorted out by the eradication of the separate armies mentality. Might knock some of the Walter Mitty syndrome out of some and the muppet/cowboy attitude out of others.

The chain of command thing is going to be a major stumbling block though. I cannot see any PDF person, who spends almost a year training to get to the exalted rank of private, willingly accepting orders from someone who has potentially done a massive 2 months full time training to get to senior nco rank. Put bluntly most reservists aren't qualified.

On the subject of tradesmen. I served an apprenticeship as an electrician before joining the army. There was another spark in my recruit pln, two carpenters, a plasterer and two mechanics. Not one of us is considered qualified by the army because we did not serve an army apprenticeship and we are all infantrymen. Similarly drivers. I had a 154 in the FCA but couldn't transfer it to the PDF due to red tape and a civvy licence doesn't qualify you to drive an army vehicle. I know a man who had a HGV licence who had to go on a drivers course. So the army just misuses it's available resources.

Lost Watchdog
23rd March 2003, 15:30
Grunts a go-go

A big part of the Aussie troops in Timor are now reservists, indeed the commitment could not be maintained without reservists. The biggest requirement is for riflemen (women) cos that where the Aussie army is most undermaned. I talked to one reservist who actually turned down as trip to Timor, "too boring" say he. Oh to have such an option

Loque
24th March 2003, 10:00
Groundhog, what you have said highlights one thing that is wrong with the army. It wastes it's resources regarding skills and qualifications. The RDF seem to have the same problem. I'm a qualified technician and recently got my degree in engineering making me an engineer, this is usless to me in the RDF, I've read that bit in R5 regarding qualifications but it's seldom acted upon. The army really need to start updating their records regarding people's qualifications and then start to see which qualifications count and where they can be utilised. Lost Watchdog, I have a cousin who served with the Aussie army in Timor, I think he was working as a comms operator, he said he was extremely bored and just sat in an office all day. He also told me that the Aussie reserve are really well equiped, almost better equiped than the regulars.