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Disband the FCA

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  • Disband the FCA

    I'd like to throw this discussion open to the members of the board.

    The Irish government have no need for a reserve defence force. The reserve is hardly if ever used. The government spend lots of money on the reserve such as wages, gratuity and ammunition all of which would be better spent in other areas such as health, education etc.

    For all the money that has been spent on the reserve what value for money have the government or the people of Ireland ever gotten back from the reserve defence force. They are never been used and more then likely never will. Let’s be honest what are the chances of Ireland ever being invaded by a hostile force? Almost none, so why keep them?

    Would it not make better sense to invest the resources of the reserve defence force into the Civil Defence who are called upon on a regular basis and who do give back value for money.

    I’ll probably get abused for even suggesting this but what the hell. Can someone provide a good argument for keeping the reserve defence force other then “we might be invaded some day”.

  • #2
    Its a interesting and valid point, one i have often pondered about being a member of the RDF. Yes in all fairness it doesn't seem likely that we would be invaded and even today if we were what good who the RDF be to the defence of the Nation, by the time we had been called up, activated and reported to HQ and got kitted out for war any modern army would have taken out all the major comms, airports, military HQ's, radar stn's and Naval vessels.

    I think what will happen when the intergration goes ahead is an even smaller more dedicated, highly trained, better paid reservist. Forget the notion of an intergrated group and a reserve reserve. It will be downside big time. If you are thinking that the reserve is hardly ever used i'm quite sure some guy in the Gvernment is already way ahead of you.

    That's the worst thing about being in the Reserve, it hard to give anything back to the state in real terms.

    Although when you consider how much is spent on the reserve per year, we most be one of the greatest returns for money invested going. I once heard heard that the government spends more money on cleaners for government buildings than on the entire RDF in one year.


    • #3
      Well for that matter why not get rid of the army altogether?
      The point is that in peacetime people see the army as a waste of resources, in wartime it is seen as essential. As someone in another thread pointed out it's like having an insurance policy, you pay the premium and may never need to claim so it seems like a waste of money, if however you need to claim you'll be glad spent the money. Some countries are seeing the financial benefits of having a large well-trained reserve composed of individuals with civilian jobs and skills supported by a smaller backbone of regular troops. It is cheaper to have a reserve because you don't have to pay them the same as a permanent force, furthermore you can utilise the skills they possess thus having to spent less on training for these skills.
      The reserve I think would be happy to be utilised more often for assisting the gardai, civil defence, search and rescue, movie-making etc. The reserve have skilled medics, doctors, comms operators, engineers and drivers at it's disposal, in fairness the reserve has alot to offer but the fact we are never requested to be used more effectively is not our fault.
      Our primary role may be a defence force but in these days of global unease it would be very unwise to disband the reserve


      • #4
        Yup, we are cheap, very cheap.
        We beef up defence force numbers at a very low cost.

        As for "value for money have the government or the people of Ireland ever gotten back from the reserve defence force?"
        Well, it's the same with insurance,... it's a waste of money right up untill you need it.
        And if you need it, and don't have it, then you are really in trouble.

        Sure our mobilisation would be too slow to stop an invader,... but the days of conventional invaders are past their best,... we could be employed like the TA in defending important sites while freeing up the PDF for more "aggressive roles".
        With the excess of civil disorder lately, and the incresed threat of international terrorism, we do need a defence force and a reserve to back it up if ever there is trouble.
        Our defence forces are at a minimum peace time size. In an emergency of any nature we the reserve would beef up the PDF untill a larger force is raised (if needed).

        We might not see warfare, but we could see major accidents,... terrorism,.... civil disorder,.... natural disasters and more.


        • #5
          I think you might get a world of abuse for this post Stand Fast, but not from me coz im a nice guy. I agree with EagleEye, if your suggesting this, surley someone in the govenment has/is.

          The green party had their AGM this wkd, they have often suggested that the goverment have invested far to much in defence for a country that is neuteral. If they had their way, we'd be looking at prono right now coz this site wouldnt exist

          Are you a member of the Greens, Stand Fast? Better not answer that.

          The Civil Defence, the keepers of the peace. They are the most usfull volentry and are also under funded. On St Patricks day it will be the Civil Defence who will be controaling the crowd while we walk pass in our role as a parade flot.

          But thats one side of the coin. In other European countrys(Sweden, Finland, Germany, Switzerland, Spain ...ect) all men have to join the Defence Force for a lenth of time. What reasons have they?? Im sure thay have damb good ones, to sustain a large and young DF regardless of it use or skills.

          Iv got a great idea, couldnt we have a military skills world cup or even european cup involving all the other reserve forces. Mayby i should have started a new topic.


          • #6
            Another important aspect is "keeping alive the skills of soldiering".
            Sure we might not need an army for anything "per se"at the moment, but who knows what the next 50 years hold.
            If you disband the army or the rdf, you are loosing those skills forever.
            And once you do need to rebuild, you are facted with a near impossible task of rebuilding from scratch.


            • #7
              Well put Flash!:-patriot:
              If we had an emergence of one of the situations you mentioned, without an army and reserve to back it up we would be "up s**t creek without a paddle!"
              Sure the CD do a good job and are seen more by the public but they have no training in arms and tactics. The Gardaí have the RRU but it is just one unit after all. The PDF/RDF are the only forces trained enough and large enough emergencies such as these.


              • #8
                The Gardaí have the RRU but it is just one unit after all.

                I think that should say E.R.U.


                • #9
                  I heard a story of a similar question being put in the Dail in the 70's. The answer from the Minister at the time was "There are 20,000 men in the FCA that like to play at soldiers, if we got rid of them they might play at soldiers with someone else". The person who put the question got the point.

                  Certainly in our current state we are not value for money (even as cheap as we are). The military are afraid to use us (and do not no how to use us) and the politicos are afraid to get rid of us.


                  • #10
                    The Greens once advocated turning the PDF into a peace corp that would travel abroad to help with disaster relief & improving the lives of people in third world countries.

                    Shows what a keen grasp they have of defence matters
                    "The dolphins were monkeys that didn't like the land, walked back to the water, went back from the sand."


                    • #11
                      Well the fact that most of us are taxpaying and voting citizens may also have something to do with it !


                      • #12
                        There is no reason for this to be the case. The examples of proper reserve forces that do work and even serve along side their professional forces on overseas missions are there to be looked at UK, Swiss, US, Canada, Aus etc, etc. So there is no excuse for either the Government or Military to not start using us properly. But i still think that when the intergration comes along and there is more strict entry requirements that we will see a smaller RDF.

                        But it should be good in the end for the people that are really interested in serving.


                        • #13
                          Are you a member of the Greens, Stand Fast? Better not answer that.
                          Shit no!!!!

                          My biggest fear for the RDF is being the insurance policy that is never cashed in. And at our present role we will never be cashed in. If this is the case then I fear that the RDF will never get the chance to be properly developed to the potential that could be achieved. After 14 years of service I'd love to be able to give something back other then attend training.

                          I strongly believe that the RDF needs a peacetime role, such as LordFlash suggests:
                          We might not see warfare, but we could see major accidents,... terrorism,.... civil disorder,.... natural disasters and more.
                          I work in government circles and I can assure you that there will be no major investment in the RDF unless the bean counters can see that they are getting value for the tax-payers money.

                          This is where I think a support role to the PDF in areas such as IT, Engineering, Medics etc can be a great benefit to the RDF. I take on-board that some people would not like to take their 9-5 job into the RDF but I think that in the long run it could payoff.


                          • #14
                            Very true Bravo20 To quote the 1988 edition of the DF Handbook

                            'it has undoubtedly contributed in no small measure to the political stability of the State, particulary against a backdrop of the republican paramilitary activity on the island during the 1950s and continually since 1969. It has achieved this by offering a worthwhile expression of militant patriotism to young men at a formative age.....'

                            I also recall that when the price waterhouse report called for a much smaller reserve, newspapers quoted 'sources' indicating the PDF's opposition to this as the reserves came from every village and town in Ireland and are therefore an invaluable source of intelligence.


                            • #15
                              Did the PWC report call for a major reduction in the reserve or did the GOVT?
                              "It is a general popular error to imagine that loudest complainers for the public to be the most anxious for it's welfare" Edmund Burke