On the back of falling recruitment, comes confirmation of what I’ve been saying about soldiers accommodation and what there is to look forward to when thinking of joining the Army.
The Guards. The Queens Guard. (Telegraph)
Arguably the best regiment in the UK are currently suffering from the usual mismanagement of accommodation.
Wellington Barracks, a Victorian-era (1833) monolith, 300 metres from Buckingham Palace, is one of their bases. That’s inner city London, UK.
It’s old, knackered, run down, and the home for 600 guys PLUS another 100 Irish Guards who have just arrived to take over The Royal Guard.
One slight hitch (on top of the many others), there is no hot water and no central heating after the ‘older than Moses’ boiler system failed.
In the capital city of the UK the guys have no heating, and no showers, and two of the three kitchens have been closed to add to the mess.
700 guys one kitchen, no hot water, you think there could be hygiene issues?
OK the old soaks round the world will be thinking ‘take a cold shower wimps’.
Only this is not the single issue here.
It’s the general state of the estate management that has been disclosed, probably by the grunts themselves.
Misers (whoops) the Miserable Shits of Ministry the Defence (MOD) of course and their ‘less than stellar’ contractor Carillion Amey.
They’ve been flagged up before in forces circles regarding the state of some married accommodation. Still the contractor responsible for maintenance at the barracks, said the “issue relates to a 30-year-old system”.
A boiler system that fails after 30 years?
Some would say that’s not too bad EXCEPT why wasn’t it replaced over that time?
That’s simple and a warning for would be recruits.
Everything gets fixed in the forces, little upgraded, replaced when all else fails (which it does a lot) and money is supposedly tight as they MOD cut back on the essentials except for their high-tech capital weaponry (shiny new toys) like new aircraft carriers, US planes that don’t work, drones, in fact anything but look after the people who matter, the guys and girls serving.
The National Audit Office (NAO) in November 2016 said the MOD faces a £8.5 billion backlog of repairs to its military sites and bases over the next 30 years.
Still what’s not to like?
“Be the Best” the adverts say.
The guys and girls are, it’s just the management, as always, letting everything down.
As a footnote to this ridiculous situation the Mirror noted this:-
Responding to a question from Ukip’s Lord Pearson, the Ministry of Defence admitted that there were only 1,070 lieutenants in the Regular Army and 510 in December 2016, down from 1,560 and 550 in April of the same year.
It’s not even attracting junior officers anymore.
Well it wouldn’t be attractive would it, especially after officers were arrested and accused of all sorts of crap by IHAT (Iraq Historical Allegations Team).
One witch hunt after another.
Still the MOD could always just promote senior NCO’s to officer ranks.
They’ve always got more smarts than junior officers anyway.
What this foretells is that in future years, there won’t be the experience and expertise of time served officers available. Interesting, an army with inexperienced officer leadership.
Not a problem I’m thinking, there will always be SNCO’s.