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  1. #1
    Commander in Chief RoyalGreenJacket's Avatar
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    Army Reservists deployed to bolster flood defences...

    Riflemen from the 7th Battalion The Rifles joined firefighters to build a dam with hundreds of sandbags to protect an electricity substation at Pingewood, Burghfield.



    The substation supplies power for about 40,000 homes and businesses.

    http://www.getreading.co.uk/news/loc...ing-up-6688321

    It comes as a number of severe flood warnings were issued along the Thames between Old Windsor and Datchet.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-berkshire-26107980



    what's interesting about this one is that an Army Reserve unit (7RIFLES) was the point of the spear in this operation - with no Regular Army participation (at ground level) until the Relief In Place (RIP) this evening.

    http://news.sky.com/story/1208817/fl...ter-moves-east

    the operation was well co-ordinated from the outset when elements of the Battalion were mobilised, and we helped prevent the situation getting far worse.

    and yes i am in some of the pics / video footage above.
    Last edited by RoyalGreenJacket; 10th February 2014 at 21:51.
    RGJ

    ...Once a Rifleman - Always a Rifleman... Celer et Audax

    The Rifles

  2. #2
    4 Star General andy's Avatar
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    good job

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  4. #3
    CQMS spider's Avatar
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    Have you had to go down a rank with the move from Regs to Reserve RGJ?
    'History is a vast early warning system'. Norman Cousins

  5. #4
    Commander in Chief RoyalGreenJacket's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spider View Post
    Have you had to go down a rank with the move from Regs to Reserve RGJ?
    nope - it's normal jogging at the same rank and same rate of pay (less 'X Factor') - which still works out at just under £100 per day for me for any Reserve service i attend.

    we get a quarters day pay (up to one full days pay) for every 2 hours attendance.

    you have to be free of any military service for at least 24hrs, so you leave the Regular Army then you re-take the Oath of Allegiance for the Army Reserve and crack on - not forgetting to pick up your £5000 ex Regular to Reserve payments along the way.



    as the flooding is now an ongoing long-term Operation in the UK - Regulars will tend to run the show midday Sunday to midday Friday - with Reserve units covering weekends.

    it works well, gives us good practice in all aspects of UK Ops including HO/TO with Regular Army counterparts and better integration and exploitation of the Army Reserve.
    RGJ

    ...Once a Rifleman - Always a Rifleman... Celer et Audax

    The Rifles

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  7. #5
    Lieutenant X-RayOne's Avatar
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    well done....and sounds well organised.

    i can only imagine the shambles we would produce calling up Reserve units for these situations (free man hours, etc.) but hey, "what did the Romans ever give us.....?"
    The people of England have been led in Mesopotamia into a trap from which it will be hard to escape with dignity and honour. They have been tricked into it by a steady withholding of information. The Baghdad communiqués are belated, insincere, incomplete.....It is a disgrace to our imperial record, and may soon be too inflamed for any ordinary cure.We are to-day not far from a disaster.

    T.E. Lawrence, 2 Aug 1920.

  8. #6
    Commander in Chief RoyalGreenJacket's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by X-RayOne View Post
    well done....and sounds well organised.

    i can only imagine the shambles we would produce calling up Reserve units for these situations (free man hours, etc.) but hey, "what did the Romans ever give us.....?"
    being paid for it definitely makes a difference - i mean we are in the same Army doing the same job - why shouldn't we be paid?

    confidence in the Army Reserve and the will to use them is also welcomed by the Regular Army - who get a well earned break and some downtime and a chance to go home at weekends as the Army Reserve fill their boots for some respite.

    we have a long way to go, but we are certainly getting there in some instances and 7RIFLES pulled this one off quite well.

    point to note - we have no differences in uniform or dress between Regular and Reserve forces - and this makes the whole process more seamless as you genuinely do not know if you are dealing with a full or part-time soldier which aids cohesion and gets rid of the 'us and them' stigma that i have seen in other forces between Regular and Reserve troops.

    and as the weather closes in again - we have already been warned off for more similar operations this weekend (we all receive daily updates by SMS), and many Reservists have volunteered to do this full time for the duration.
    RGJ

    ...Once a Rifleman - Always a Rifleman... Celer et Audax

    The Rifles

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  10. #7
    Commander in Chief RoyalGreenJacket's Avatar
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    today our Riflemen from 7RIFLES (Army Reserve) and their vehicles were flown from their base in Reading to the Isle of Wight by RAF Chinook to help out in flood defence duties.



    watch the video here: http://news.sky.com/story/1211986/ex...r-deadly-storm

    this highlights the capability of and confidence in the Army Reserve and allows us to give respite to the Regular Army, while delivering valuable assistance to those who really need it.

    it's also great to see no differentiation between Regular and Reserve forces - except for what days of the week we operate.
    RGJ

    ...Once a Rifleman - Always a Rifleman... Celer et Audax

    The Rifles

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  12. #8
    Tim Horgan Goldie fish's Avatar
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    Surely it would have been quicker to drive from Reading?


    Catch-22 says they have a right to do anything we can't stop them from doing.

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  14. #9
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    What if the roads were blocked due to flood water and downed trees??
    I,d imagine A to B by heli is faster more direct and would give you good eyes on the situation on the ground

  15. #10
    Tim Horgan Goldie fish's Avatar
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    I'm not so sure. The prep required to get aircraft, vehicles and troops in the air and down to the Solent, could in my opinion have better been used in sending the same vehicles down the M3, armed with chain saws and rigid raiders. Clear the route.

    It would also assist in the transit of any follow up aid convoys.

    I have to ask though, what were the RN/RM doing?


    Catch-22 says they have a right to do anything we can't stop them from doing.

  16. #11
    Private 3* Jungle's Avatar
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    Cool, well done !!
    "On the plains of hesitation, bleach the bones of countless millions, who on the very dawn of victory, laid down to rest, and in resting died.

    Never give up!!"

  17. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Goldie fish View Post
    I'm not so sure. The prep required to get aircraft, vehicles and troops in the air and down to the Solent, could in my opinion have better been used in sending the same vehicles down the M3, armed with chain saws and rigid raiders. Clear the route.

    It would also assist in the transit of any follow up aid convoys.

    I have to ask though, what were the RN/RM doing?
    As part of the military response to the flooding crisis across the land, there are nearly 950 Royal Navy men and women on the ground helping affected communities: 340 from 40 Commando, 200 jointly from Collingwood and Sultan, and 200 apiece from the Fleet Air Arm’s principal bases at Yeovilton and Culdrose.

    http://www.royalnavy.mod.uk/News-and...ood-Assistance

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  19. #13
    Commander in Chief hptmurphy's Avatar
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    RGJ can you give us some idea of acres/ hectares flooded in the UK and can any one provide figures for are flooded in Ireland.

    Would like to compare to get an overview of impact by floods.
    Time for another break I think......

  20. #14
    Commander in Chief RoyalGreenJacket's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Goldie fish View Post
    Surely it would have been quicker to drive from Reading?
    it's over 60 miles drive to Portsmouth from Reading and some of that route contains it's own obstacles to be crossed however these were being tackled by other troops.

    it could have taken up to 5 hours to get there there however they can be on task within an hour of leaving Reading by flying into position.

    there were other troops looking after other areas in Hampshire and Berkshire and other counties - our unit was tasked to provide rapid support where and when required - and it was decided we were required on the Isle of Wight and that is where we should be sent - flying there was the right thing to do.

    this evening RAF Puma's ferried Regular troops into the Isle of Wight to relieve the Reservist and bring them back to Reading for dispersal, while Army Lynx's conducted more aerial reconnaissance and close support.

    i believe the Royal Marines and Royal Navy have been concentrated in Somerset and Devon and other areas in the South West.

    as for the areas covered by floods i have no idea Murph, however the RAF have been flying Tornado GR4's and Sentinel R1's over affected areas to get an accurate scale of this:



    read more: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/r...lood-hit-areas
    RGJ

    ...Once a Rifleman - Always a Rifleman... Celer et Audax

    The Rifles

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  22. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by hptmurphy View Post
    RGJ can you give us some idea of acres/ hectares flooded in the UK and can any one provide figures for are flooded in Ireland.

    Would like to compare to get an overview of impact by floods.
    Google Irish Map of Flooding

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  24. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by hptmurphy View Post
    RGJ can you give us some idea of acres/ hectares flooded in the UK and can any one provide figures for are flooded in Ireland.

    Would like to compare to get an overview of impact by floods.
    i can't help with figures - we're not involved with the flooding op - but from my own travels i can say that the whole of the river Severn catchment area from Newtown in Powys to Gloucester is flooded. the upper levels around Newtown yesterday were about thigh deep on the fields, and the floods were about 3 miles wide. the same would broadly be true for Shrophire, Worcestershire and Gloucestershire.

    it is spectacular...

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  26. #17
    Serf hedgehog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ropebag View Post
    i can't help with figures - we're not involved with the flooding op - but from my own travels i can say that the whole of the river Severn catchment area from Newtown in Powys to Gloucester is flooded. the upper levels around Newtown yesterday were about thigh deep on the fields, and the floods were about 3 miles wide. the same would broadly be true for Shrophire, Worcestershire and Gloucestershire.

    it is spectacular...
    And then you lads have summer water restrictions to look forward to....
    Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
    Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
    The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere***
    The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
    The best lack all conviction, while the worst
    Are full of passionate intensity.

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  28. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by hedgehog View Post
    And then you lads have summer water restrictions to look forward to....
    yes, you might wonder at the intelligence of a people that live on an island built of coal who have water and power shortages... the word 'embarrassing' doesn't really do it justice.

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  30. #19
    Commander in Chief hptmurphy's Avatar
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    Thanks RGJ

    Quite a novel use of Recce Aircraft, but very effective. It would seem the type of flooding is similar with historic flood plains being the issue.

    The loss of agricultural land is huge in both countries , the knock on costs and compenstaion packages to those worst affected is going to be huge. Of course they will look for cuts else where to cover the costs and go at the low hanging fruit like Defence , which is probably the only institution that is able to provide the required man power in such situations.

    We need to be able to mobilize our Reserves like wise, although in fairness the Civil Defence have had a huge profile over here this time around.
    Time for another break I think......

  31. #20
    Commander in Chief RoyalGreenJacket's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hptmurphy View Post
    Thanks RGJ

    Quite a novel use of Recce Aircraft, but very effective. It would seem the type of flooding is similar with historic flood plains being the issue.

    The loss of agricultural land is huge in both countries , the knock on costs and compenstaion packages to those worst affected is going to be huge. Of course they will look for cuts else where to cover the costs and go at the low hanging fruit like Defence , which is probably the only institution that is able to provide the required man power in such situations.

    We need to be able to mobilize our Reserves like wise, although in fairness the Civil Defence have had a huge profile over here this time around.
    we've been clever in using our military and the Regular Army and Army Reserve commanders at very high levels have got their heads together to make this work well for all of us, with the Royal Navy and Royal Marines all getting a part in the gig to help secure our future in a footing at home aswell as overseas, so people can see we aren't only there for projecting British ideas internationally.

    even at Battalion level - we couldn't pay for better PR than to see our troops on the BBC 6 o'clock news and Sky News helping in the community and being flown across the country in a Chinook etc, and our CO was very pro-active in volunteering our services.

    its a chance for every force to get their name in lights in this time of crisis, and hopefully they will be remembered the next time we all face the chop.

    as for the cost of the damage - the EU has a large pot of money to cover instances like this and we all pay into it - the British and Irish governments should be dipping into this pot before looking elsewhere at home for money.
    RGJ

    ...Once a Rifleman - Always a Rifleman... Celer et Audax

    The Rifles

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  33. #21
    Lt General Barry's Avatar
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    What kind of takeup are you getting from reservists on this, RGJ? Are there some that live far away or have weekend jobs who aren't expected to turn in, or is 100% attendance required?

  34. #22
    Commander in Chief RoyalGreenJacket's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barry View Post
    What kind of takeup are you getting from reservists on this, RGJ? Are there some that live far away or have weekend jobs who aren't expected to turn in, or is 100% attendance required?
    it's purely voluntary and we do have enough volunteers - infact we are oversubscribed. we can be 'mobilised' if necessary however that takes things to another level in political circles. we were infact 'Op Locked' the first night this happened (Fri 7 Feb) however we were released on Sunday night but all of us collectively were asked if we would / could stay on during the week and the CO personally guaranteed to speak individually to every man's employer of those who wished to remain on task.

    a handful of Reservists stayed on and are doing the weekends and covering shifts while this operation continues.

    remember - we all get paid for every 2 hours (upto 8 hours in 24) we are 'on duty' so for some lads this is a very favourable source of income too, although hand on heart this is not what motivates anyone i have met, but it is a very nice sweetener.

    most lads would do this without any payment anyhow, because it is a worthwhile task and they are happy to help.
    RGJ

    ...Once a Rifleman - Always a Rifleman... Celer et Audax

    The Rifles

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  36. #23
    Commander in Chief RoyalGreenJacket's Avatar
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    Official MOD take on Reservists being deployed:

    Reserves deployed to bolster flood relief efforts

    Thousands of military personnel continue to contribute to flood relief efforts across affected parts of the United Kingdom.

    These include reservists from 7th Battalion The Rifles (7 RIFLES) who have been boosting manpower and providing specialist capability in southern England.

    After spending Saturday morning reinforcing the dam around an electrical substation near Reading, reservists from 7 RIFLES flew by Chinook helicopter to support flood relief operations on the Isle of Wight. The aircraft also delivered vehicles and equipment to the island.

    Friday night’s storm had resulted in further tidal and ground flooding in areas across the island. The reservists assisted the civilian authorities and local communities by distributing sandbags and providing engineering services to help bring some respite to those affected.



    read more: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/r...relief-efforts

    well done 7RIFLES, and some of my own Riflemen who are heavily involved.
    RGJ

    ...Once a Rifleman - Always a Rifleman... Celer et Audax

    The Rifles

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  38. #24
    Commander in Chief RoyalGreenJacket's Avatar
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    some more pictures of our Riflemen on Operation Pitchpole:











    the dam and other flood defences we built managed to protect a power sub-station serving electricity to over 40,000 homes.
    Last edited by RoyalGreenJacket; 23rd February 2014 at 00:02.
    RGJ

    ...Once a Rifleman - Always a Rifleman... Celer et Audax

    The Rifles

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