Follow-up Answers from the Ministry of
Defence to Questions Raised at the Evidence Session on 8 November
2000 (8 January 2001)
In your letter of 16 November, you forwarded
a list of questions from the Committee, following on from the
oral evidence session on 8 November.
The replies to those questions are attached.
I apologise for the delay in providing them.
I am also enclosing the report on Territorial
Army and cadet statistics, which is provided at quarterly intervals.
The data is for the period up to 1 October 2000.
I hope this is helpful.
Q1. Please would you provide the Committee with
an up-to-date figure for the number of trained strength in the
Royal Naval Reserve?
2,018 (as at 31 October 2000). The trained strength
figure has been slowly but progressively rising for at least the
past three years. Efforts are in hand to improve the rate of increase.
Q2. Trained strength requirement for the RNR is
3,295 and the Committee has been told that it takes three to five
years to train a man. How are you managing the shortfall and what
future plans are there to overcome this situation?
The trained strength requirement of 3,295 referred
to relates to a maximum planned scale of requirement for reservists
post-SDR, (previously 2,949). Not all of these would be at immediate
notice to deploy. The trained strength requirement for small and
medium-size operations (the more likely scenarios) will obviously
be less, although the precise requirement for any one operation
will depend on duration as well as size and complexity. The policy
is to reduce the shortfall as quickly as possible, with special
focus on priority specialisations which it is believed are most
likely to be required (eg, medical and communications staff).
Plans to achieve this include:
A major recruiting drive to be maintained
until overall numbers are more nearly achieved (anticipated to
be in about 2004), with appropriate emphasis on high-demand specialisations.
Recruiting achievement has improved over the past two years, although
the current year started more slowly than we would have wished.
The on-going evaluation of the requirement
by the Naval Staff to better estimate numbers by specialisation,
to ensure realism. For example, SDR decisions in respect of new
Primary Casualty Receiving Ships (PCRS) have resulted in an increased
requirement for medical naval reservists.
Impressing on reservists the personal
learning advantages of their conducting as much training as their
time, and our resources, will allow. The additional funding for
RNR training, as a result of SDR, is making accelerated training
affordable and this, coupled with continued improvements in the
quality of training, is resulting in a more rapid progression
of reservists to the Trained Strength.
A review of the training levels needed
for members of the RNR to progress to the Trained Strength. There
is evidence to suggest that some of the training levels are more
appropriate to later stages of Reserve service and are artificially
prolonging the period personnel are deemed to be on the untrained
Changes to RNR terms and conditions
of service which permit longer serviceeg, the raising of
Q3. Brigadier Durcan stated that he had figures
for recruitment to medical reserves, please could you provide
a statistical breakdown of nurses, doctors, etc and give figures
of how many additional medical reservists have actually been recruited.
The Army Medical Service (AMS) TA is established
for 6,517 posts in total and has an actual strength of 4,726 (73
per cent of establishment). The breakdown of Healthcare Professionals
within the AMS TA as at 1 September 2000 was as shown below.
||Liability||Strength as at Sep 1999
||Strength as at Sep 2000
*PAMSProfessional Allied to Medicine.
In addition, a number of recruits had either not completed
their initial military or their professional medical training.
|Total number recruited||Not yet completed initial military training
||Not yet completed medical or military training
£500K was allocated by Land Command for 1999-2000 and
2000-01 for AMS TA Recruiting, with a Recruiting Campaign initiated
in September 1999. A further campaign was initiated in September
2000 aimed at nurses. The current aim is to achieve 50 per cent
of the requirement by September 2001 and 100 per cent by April
Q4. Please give the figures for the proportion of man training
days which are allocated to unit level exercises. Are there fewer
exercises now than pre-SDR?
The TA is currently funded for approximately 1.5 million
Man Training Days (MTDs) per year, of which approximately 0.5
million days are allocated to unit level collective training.
This represents a pan-TA proportion of around 33 per cent expenditure
on collective training. The remainder of the MTDs are used for
individual training and other activities, such as recruiting,
ceremonial and regional activities. The amount of unit level collective
training being conducted largely depends upon the operationally
assigned roles of the units involved. For example, the Combat
Support and Combat Service Support elements are more likely to
be deployed as formed units than their Teeth Arm contemporaries,
and would therefore conduct more collective training at unit level.
We are currently unable to provide statistics comparing the
number of exercises before and after SDR because we do not have
an integrated management information system (MIS) application.
The number of MTDs per TA soldier allocated to collective training
has remained the same following SDR. But the TA now conducts more
training with the Regular Army than before, reflecting the more
usable and integrated role that was envisaged for the TA under
SDR. So while the TA generally conducts fewer exercises on its
own, it is now involved in a much greater number with the Regular
Army. In due course, the introduction of the TAMIS 2 MIS application
will provide Land Command with accurate and timely visibility
of all training issues, especially the delineation between collective
and individual activity.
Q5. How many fast-jet reserve pilots are currently being used
(as opposed to navigators), what is the ratio of pilots to navigators?
How many pilots are readily available for either training or front
line service? Could you provide the Committee with the detail
of commitment to keep pilots' skills up to scratch and advise
the Committee as to whether any contractual problems have been
experienced with employers who have 21 day notice reserve aircrew
in their employ? Please also include Royal Navy and their use
The RAF has 131 Reserve Aircrew (RA); 67 serve on Full Time
Reserve Service (FTRS) terms and 64 are part-time personnel (Auxiliaries).
Of the 67 on FTRS, 45 are pilots serving on Strike Command squadrons.
Operational Conversions Units or as flying instructors within
Personnel and Training Command. Of the 64 Auxiliaries, 31 are
pilots, of which seven are fast-jet pilots employed on the Tornado
F3; there are also two navigators employed on Tornado F3 and 7
on the Hercules. The ratio of Auxiliary pilots to navigators is
7:2 for the F3 and 31:9 for all aircraft types. Strike Command
policy is that RA will in future supply 10 per cent of our Regular
aircrew establishment, but such reservists must be able to make
a meaningful contribution. For Strike Command this means that
RA must be Combat Ready or hold an Instructor categorisation.
RA recruitment is being extended across all RAF aircraft types
and recent feedback suggests genuine interest in the concept.
The RNR has 150 RA on all RN aircraft types, of which 88 are pilots,
14 of whom fly fast jets. There are no fast jet navigators as
the Sea Harrier is a single-seat aircraft.
All 31 RAF Auxiliary pilots are readily available for either
front line service or instructional duties. All have previous
RAF Service and fly with BA, Virgin, Air 2000 or are self-employed.
To keep current, and to provide utility to the RAF, they need
to be able to commit to 45 days a year. The fast-jet pilots (Tornado
F3) have a minimum requirement of 60 flying hours per year to
maintain military flying skills. All 88 RNR pilots have previous
Regular service with the Army, RM and RN. Of these, 70 are employed
in civil aviation flying with BA, Virgin, British Midland, Air
2000 and JMC. Eighty one of the 88 RNR pilots have completed the
required annual training, thus retaining a degree of familiarity,
but a proportion would require some surge training to meet the
demands of operational tasking. Of the 14 RNR RA who fly fast-jet,
three are current on Sea Harrier, 10 are current on the Hawk and
one has not trained in the past year. The minimum RN Air Branch
annual Reserve flying commitment is 17 days. This is designed
to minimise general fast-jet "skill fade" and allows
for any non-availability of Sea Harrier training aircraft, while
shortening the surge training requirement should more Harrier
pilots be required. In reality, the average number of days training
has increased from 21 to 24 days in recent years; and the number
of available training days is set to increase further with the
post-SDR number of funded training days per pilot being increased
from 25 to 35.
High Readiness Reserve (HRR) Terms and Conditions of Service
were applied by the RAF to ensure availability of Auxiliaries
in times of crisis and to minimise the risk of appeals by employers
against call-out. The 21-day call-out period for HRR Auxiliaries
was agreed following discussion between the RAF and employersin
particular the major airlinesthrough the forum of the Reserve
Aircrew Advisory Group (RAAG).
The 21-day period was considered to be a timescale that would
allow the crew rosters of commercial airlines to be altered without
significantly affecting the airline crew schedules. Only one airline
is still finding it a challenge to meet the requirements of a
21-day notice period because of particularly tight flight schedules.
The RNR has no 21 day HRR pilots.
Currently there are no Royal Fleet Reserve (RFR) fast-jet
pilots employed on either FTRS or called-out service. It is estimated
that up to six fast-jet pilots may be available in the RFR for
training or front-line service. However, Sea Harrier flying skills
atrophy after three years and retraining would take eight weeks
(subject to aircraft and instructor availability). There is no
commitment to keep RFR military flying skills up to date, although
some officers maintain airmanship skills through their employment
with civil airlines.
Q6. Please provide the Committee with the May 2000 figure for
permanent staff instructors (both regular and non-regular), please
list these by unit type.
In the Quarterly Return sent to the HCDC on 22 May this year,
we stated that:
"The numbers of Regular and Non-Regular Permanent Staff
supporting the TA were 1,461 and 1,394 respectively, of whom 832
were Regular Permanent Staff Instructors"
These figures were correct but we inadvertently omitted to
provide figures for Non-Regular Permanent Staff (NRPS). In the
Quarterly Return submitted on 14 February this year, we stated
"The numbers of Regular and Non-Regular Permanent Staff
supporting the TA were 1,528 and 1,424 respectively, of whom 1,693
were Permanent Staff Instructors."
The figure of 1,693 was wrong because it erroneously included
all NRPS holding equivalent rank to Permanent Staff Instructors
(PSIs), but who were actually employed in such roles as clerks
and storemen rather than instructors. Although we have a breakdown
of the Regular PSIs for the May Return, we are now unable to provide
a similar degree of detail for the NRPS. We do have this breakdown
for the current Quarterly Return and it is unlikely that these
figures will have changed substantially, if at all, over the six
month period. On this basis, the PSI figures would be as shown
|ARM/SERVICE||Regular PSI As at 31 Mar 2000
||NRPS PSI As at 30 Sep 2000
In summary, the figures for the last four quarterly returns,
including that for the quarter ended 30 September which is attached,
are represented in the following table.
|1 Jan 2000||1,528
||Not now identifiable||Not now identifiable
|1 Apr 2000||1,461
||832||Not now identifiable
||Not now identifiable|
|1 Jul 2000||1,493
||836||Not now identifiable
||Not now identifiable|
|1 Oct 2000||1,521
Q7. Could you inform the Committee about the IT system
which is the successor to UNICOM and the probable date which it
will be implemented. Is this running to plan?
UNICOM for the TA is likely to be succeeded by an application
or series of applications hosted on the Defence Integrated Infrastructure
(DII). At the heart of the system will be TAMIS 2 (CRESTA), a
fully integrated training management application that will support
the day-to-day running of the TA, while at the same time providing
operational information for strategic Defence planning purposes.
The system will track the qualifications of all soldiers, manage
their pay and allowances, forecast training events and cost training
activities. Military capability, as directed by HQ Land Command,
will be accurately measured and force regeneration models created
to assist Arms and Service Commanders with their mobilisation
A prototype is currently being installed. An Analysis and
Design Study is planned next year to identify revised working
practices for the TA and the high-level systems specifications
for TAMIS 2 to support them. The study team will be looking for
opportunities to interface with existing MoD applications to reduce
overall development costs. Subsequently, it is planned to develop
TAMIS 2 in FY 02/03 ready for TA wide deployment in FY 03/04 and
The TAMIS 2 project is currently running to plan.
Q8. Mobilisation: please would you give the Committee a
detailed breakdown of what kind of proportions and numbers would
have been called up as formed units for the Kosovo campaign? What
would have been the approximate division between Yeomanry, Infantry
and other troops? What proportion would have been medical reservists?
We have looked again at the classification of information
relating to the mobilisation of reservists for Kosovo under the
B-option. We have concluded that the aggregated figures are not
now classified, and consequently, we are able to provide the information
Planning for the Kosovo envisaged the mobilisation of some
18,000 Reservists, comprising 8,786 TA soldiers and 9,250 Regular
Reservists. The following would have deployed as formed TA units:
|Royal Artillery (HAC)||
|Royal Logistics Corps||
|Royal Electrical & Mechanical Engineers
|| || 849
|Army Medical Services||1,908
|Royal Military Police||
In addition, a further 475 TA personnel would have deployed
as definite Individual Reinforcements, as follows:
|TA Watchkeeper Pool (All Arms)||175
|Royal Yeomanry (NBC & Armoured Delivery)
For completeness, a further 9,250 Regular Reservists formed
part of the Force Element Table and would have been mobilised
as Individual Reinforcements. Although the trade and skills requirement
of the Regular Reservists was in the process of being refined,
no specific individuals had been earmarked to deploy.
The Kosovo (B-) planning was continually being refined as
the various contingencies were being explored. This planning was
continuing when the decision was taken to cease all planning with
regard to the (B-) option. The figures provided above are a representation
of the most advanced version of the Force Element Table at the
time. Inevitably, these figures would have been refined further
before any compulsory mobilisation of the TA would have taken
Q9. As 9144 regular soldiers have been medically downgraded,
what fitness requirements do you have for reservists? The Committee
heard that "the figure of contact with the usual part of
the regular reserve . . . is in the order of 65-70 per cent".
How is this contact maintained and how regularly? What is the
role of Chilwell in this?
The current figure for medical failure rates at RTMC for
TA personnel is approximately 10 per cent (comparable with the
Regular Army figures). As regards the general fitness of the TA
as a whole, the medical fitness standard required of the TA is
no different from their Regular counterparts. The annual physical
fitness assessment for the TA, however, does not require the same
high standard of fitness demanded of their Regular Army counterparts.
It is difficult to gain an accurate picture of the current
individual medical fitness within the TA because the TA is not
funded for routine medical and dental treatment. This is performed
through the normal NHS channels and records are subject to conventional
confidentiality rules. The only medical fitness visibility within
the TA is from an individual's initial medical upon joining the
TA, or if that individual is mobilised.
Contact with members of the Regular Reserve is maintained,
in the main, through the medium of the Annual Reporting Letter
and Certificate. At present, however, Regular Reservists (particularly
those in trades where there are shortages) receive at least one
invitation each year to volunteer for a tour of duty with the
Regular Army in the Balkans (some 3,000 invitation letters are
dispatched on average every six weeks throughout the year). Although
the majority of Regular Reservists decline to volunteer, the fact
that their invitations are not returned as undeliverable tends
to confirm contact has been maintained.
The contact figure of about 65 per cent quoted in the HCDC's
oral evidence session is generally correct and appears to be rising
slowly as a result of initiatives taken since publication of the
SDR. An example of this is the introduction of a recorded delivery
reminder letter, sent to those who fail to respond to their initial
Annual Reporting Letter within a reasonable time. Two negative
factors that affect the overall level of contact are:
Until mid-1999 members of the Regular Reserve
who changed address without informing the MoD were traced with
the assistance of the Department of Social Security (DSS). During
1999, however, the Inland Revenue absorbed the functional area
of the DSS with which the MoD used to deal. Circumscribed by the
requirements of Data Protection legislation, the Inland Revenue
cannot assist the MoD by providing the Reservist's new address.
No Reservist has been prosecuted for failing to
provide the information required by RFA 96 and the supporting
regulations. It is common knowledge within the Reservist community
that nothing will happen to them if they fail to comply with the
The Reserves Training and Mobilisation Centre (RTMC) at Chilwell
has no central role in maintaining contact with members of the
Regular Reserve, except by creating a positive mobilisation ethos
through efficient and effective administration of those passing
through the Centre.
Q10. When do you expect to get the results of your review
on mobilisation and its capacity review? Please would you provide
the Committee with accurate figures for the outturn costs of the
setting-up of Chilwell.
HQ Land Command, supported by the Army Reserves Mobilisation
Working Group, has developed a new mobilisation concept and plan.
The plan provides the capability to mobilise both TA and Regular
Reserves to meet the requirement for formed units and individual
reinforcements at the Large Scale of Effort. Key elements of the
Plan will be tested in a mobilisation exercise (MOBEX 01) next
year, and annually thereafter. The results of the exercises will
be used to refine the concept and plan which will be subject to
The total set-up costs for RMTC Chilwell was £5.408
million spread over FYs 1998-99 (£2,696 million) and 1999-2000
(£2.712 million). This excludes any pay costs for the individuals
setting up the RTMC.
Q11. Could you provide an assessment of the progress of
sales of TA centres. How much has Defence Estates so far raised
from these sales, and how many centres remain to be sold? What
are the estimated receipts when sales are complete?
The number of TA Centres earmarked for disposal as part of
the SDR TA restructuring is 86, with a further 20 minor properties
earmarked for disposal, taking the total number of properties
for disposal to 106. The disposal of 29 (27 per cent) properties
has been completed so far, generating receipts of £6.692
million for FY 1999-2000 and £8.982 million to date for FY
2000-01 (a total receipt of £15.674 million to date). The
estimated projection of receipts is a further £19.96 million
for FY 2000-01, £16.177 million for FY 2001-02 and £6.985
million for FY 2002-03.
The total receipts anticipated from the sale of the TA estate
during the drawdown period is some £58.8 million. An additional
£96 million has been recouped from the sale of the Duke of
York site in London. All funds from the sale of the TA estate
post-SDR are either utilised in the re-housing and re-provisioning
of the TA during the re-structuring process, or remitted to the
central MoD budget.
Q12. It was alleged by the RFCA witnesses that building
maintenance and management budgets are to be reduced next year.
Is this the case? What was the budget for this work in the years
1998-99 and 1999-2000, and what will it be in 2000-01 and 2001-02?
It is not possible to say what the property management allocations
to RFCAs will be next year because the current planning round
is still underway and no decisions have been taken. The allocations
for the last three years have been as follows:
1999-2000 £12.872 million
The reduction over the period is a consequence of the reduced
number of TACs having to be maintained.
Q13. What provision has been made in allocating RFCA budgets
for the costs of preparing buildings for sale? Why have these
costs not been reimbursed from sales receipts?
It is true that there are some responsibilities for all budget
holders, including RFCAs, where property is being sold, before
it is handed over to Defence Estates. It is also recognised that,
for RFCAs, the sums of money involved have to be found from within
modest property management budgets. HQ Land Command is currently
discussing this issue with Defence Estates to define responsibilities
in funding works in aid of disposal more clearly. It is not possible
to identify separately the element of the property management
budget that is spent on preparing buildings for sale.
Q14. How much of the £12 million allocated for the improvement
of cadet centres has been spent? Has it been made clear to the
RFCAs that the remainder is still available for specific works
under this programme?
Some £10.875 million of the £12 million allocated
to the improvement of Cadet centres has been spent thus far. The
remaining £1.125 million has been given to the RFCAs on the
understanding that, although not ring-fenced, cadet projects would
take priority. All RFCAs are aware of the Ministerial direction
that cadet facilities will be re-provided should there be a need
and there is therefore no risk of projects being curtailed or
HCDC: TA AND CADET
In response to the Committees first report of 1998-99, the
Government gave an undertaking to provide reports of Territorial
Army and Cadet statistics to the Committee at quarterly intervals.
This letter provides statistical returns for the period up to
1 October 2000, and includes the numbers of Regular and Territorial
Army Commanding Officers of Territorial Army Units. These are
(i) The strength of the TA (excluding NRPS and 790 TA
soldiers mobilised for operations), as at 1 October 2000 was 40,382.
The strength of the Army Cadet Force was 42,491.
(ii) The wastage level for the TA from 1 July 2000 to
1 October 2000 was 2,693, while the intake was 1,646. This gives
a net decrease of 1,047.
(iii) The numbers of Regular and Non-Regular Permanent
Staff supporting the TA were 1,521 and 1,296 respectively, of
whom 847 were Regular PSIs and 280 NRPS PSIs.
(iv) There were 55 Regular and 22 Territorial Army Commanding
Officers of TA units.
The difference underlies the discrepancy in the figures for unit
level MTDs provided in the July 1999 Quarterly Return (1,477,000)
and the May 2000 Quarterly Return (508,374). The July 1999 Quarterly
Return erroneously provided the figure for the total number of
MTDs for all purposes, whereas the May 2000 correctly reflected
the MTDs allocated for unit level collective training. Back
The RAAG is a tri-Service Group that meets with Airline representatives
as required to discuss and resolve RA employment issues as they
affect employers. Back