Select Committee on Defence Minutes of Evidence


  What is the breakdown, by service, of the 1000 reservists to be called up under the 1998 Order?

  The Call-Out Order signed in April 1998 places a ceiling on the number of Reservists that may be in permanent service at any one time. The Order does not state the cumulative number of Reservists that may be called out during the period for which it is in force.

  In setting the figure of 1,000, the Department assumed that for most of the year, a little more than 500 called out members of the Territorial Army and Army Reserve will be supporting operations in the former Yugoslavia; this figure will, however, fluctuate over time, especially during handover periods. We expect Reservists called-out to the former Yugoslavia from the following cap badges in the following proportions:

Royal Logistics Corpsover 25 per cent
Infantryjust over 25 per cent
Royal Engineersjust over 10 per cent
Adjutant General's Corpsapproximately 10 per cent
Royal Signalsjust under 10 per cent

  The Call-Out Order also provides for some 20-25 personnel drawn from the Royal Naval Reserve, the Royal Air Force Reserve and the Royal Auxiliary Air Force, to be called out at any one time support operations in the former Yugoslavia.

  In addition, the Call-Out Order allows Reservists to support operations in operations in the region of Iraq. These operations include the deterrent forces covering norther Iraq, the implementation of the no flying over southern Iraq, and occasional provision of an interpreter to the UNSCOM inspection team. Some five reservists are normally involved in operations in Iraq, the majority of which are from the Royal Air Force Reserve, and the Royal Auxiliary Air Force.

What is the percentage of members of the TA who had completed 40 Man Training Days (MTDs) per annum over the past five years.

  This information is as follows:

 Percentage of TA who had undertaken 40 MTDsNumber of MTDs for which TA funded (or number at which bounty payable)
1993-9412.3(information unavailable but expected to be broadly similar to subsequent years)

  The TA is funded for members to undertake a certain number of MTDs per year, and once a member has completed this, he or she qualifies for a bounty; you will note from the table above, that 40MTDs has been greater than the funded amount for the last four, and in all probability, five years. It is not surprising therefore that over this period, 22.2 per cent of TA personnel at the most have been able to undertake 40 MTDs a year.

  You will also note, from the table above, that the percentage of TA that undertook 40 MTDs per annum fell markedly between the year 1996-97 and 1997-98 from 22.2 per cent to 14 per cent. We surmise this to be as a result of the decisions taken early in 1997 to reduce the readiness state of most TA units from R5 (30 days notice to move) or R6 (60 days notice to move) to R8 (6 months notice to move) with effect from1 April 1997. Maintaining the reduced readiness state could be achieved on a lower level of training, which in turn permitted fewer resources to be allocated to the TA in the financial year 1997-98; this would have been a corresponding impact on the funds available to enable TA members to undertake 40 MTDs per year.

The Committee would like a memorandum on the Reserve Training and Mobilisation Centre

  The Minister for the Armed Forces announced on 9 July that Chetwynd Barracks at Chilwell, near Nottingham, is to become the home for a permanent Reserves Training and Mobilisation Centre for members of the Army's regular reserve and the Territorial Army. The Centre will address their administrative preparation and training needs before they deploy and when they return.

  It will deal with documentation, including pay and allowances; with providing reservists with the right equipment before they deploy; and for retrieving that equipment, and documenting the process, when they are demobilised. Importantly, the Centre will ensure that reservists are given proper medical and dental support before they deploy, and again when they return.

  As Brigadier Holmes said when he gave evidence on Wednesday 24 June, one of the things the Centre will provide is training for reservists before they deploy to theatre. This will help to ensure that reservists are assimilated into their units and quickly being to make a contribution to the operation without additional strain being placed on the receiving unit.

  Once it is established, we expect the Reserves Training and Mobilisation Centre to provide the Department with a focus for expertise in resolving the problems that most frequently arise from mobilising reservists. As Brigadier Holmes indicated, it is expected to become a focal point for information about reservists deploying to, and returning from, operations and training.

  A small project team is in place at Chilwell and is beginning the detailed work towards establishing the Reserves Training and Mobilisation Centre. The team is lead by a regular Lieutenant Colonel, who will become the Centre's first Commanding Officer. We hope to have the Centre fully functional and able to conduct its first mobilisation by May 1999.

Maintaining Contact with Reserves

  All Services have in place regulations made under Section 4 of the Reserve Forces Act 1996. These require reservists to furnish their respective reserve managers with their personal details, including addresses. The Reserve Forces (Provision of Information by Persons Liable to be Recalled) Regulations 1997 (Se 1997/308) provides similarly for those liable to recall.

  A member of a reserve force who fails to comply with Section 4 regulations is guilty of an offence triable by a civil court. The maximum fine is not to exceed level 3 on the standard scale. These powers have not been used to date.

  The currently policy is to mobilise only those reservists who have their employer's agreement to their call-out.

  Contact with ratings/other ranks is sought through an Annual Postal Reporting scheme. Ex-Army and ex-Royal Navy reserves who respond are given a gross payment of ú20. The Royal Air Force uses a sliding scale: ú27 for a senior air craftman (SAC) to ú36 for a Warrant Officer.

  Those in receipt of a pension can be traced through the Paymaster General's Office.

ServiceLatest figures for strengthsPercentage of those contacted responding at last reporting date
Royal Navy3,40080
1551551 Regular Reserve25,60050
15511552 Long-term Reserve76,30055
Royal Air Force 180
1100 per cent for officer Nurses with specific war appointments.

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Prepared 10 August 1998