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Ex RAEME WO2
Army July 8, 2010
By Sgt Brian Hartigan
MEDIA speculation surrounding as yet unpub-
lished plans for the future structure of the ARes
and concerns surrounding reserve pay are ill-
informed, according to DGRes-A Brig Iain
He said a lot of media attention on the
reserves in recent months, although generally
well intentioned, missed the point in most cases.
The issues of concern fell broadly into two
areas -- ARes Training Salaries (ARTS) and the
role of the reserve.
"In terms of the training salaries -- while more
ARTS was allocated this year than last, parts of
the reserve did suffer a reduction in the number of
training days available," Brig Spence said.
"There are a variety of reasons for that, but
prime among them is the rebalancing of capabil-
ity across the board that has meant some units
have been given different taskings from previous
years, with some having responsibilities reduced.
"On top of that, a reduction in CFTS has
meant extra pressure on ARTS to get tasks done.
The Army has also lost the flexibility it used to
have, when the regular Army was under-strength,
to add money into the ARTS budget from unused
He said that although money was allocated
to compensate for pay rises under the Graded
Officer Pay Structure and the Graded Other
Ranks Pay Structure, it unfortunately didn't reach
the reserve until late last year. This also caused a
pulling back on activities until that money arrived
-- adding to the perception of cutbacks in the
However, activities were now back to normal
levels and Army HQ has set up a high-level work-
ing group to improve the future allocation and
management of ARTS.
The place of the ARes in the modern Army
structure has also come under media scrutiny.
Brig Spence said that much of the analysis and
speculation was based on what the reserve was
like 10 years ago.
"Anybody in the reserve today can tell you
that if you've been out of the reserve for five
years or so, you really are out of touch -- it has
changed so much," he said.
"If you include the Solomons and other over-
seas deployments as well as domestic operations
such as Op Vic Fires Assist, Op Deluge and so on,
nearly 6500 reservists have deployed on opera-
tions in the past five years and, as little as five
years ago, reservists very rarely deployed.
"Those changes are actually coming part-
ly from rebalancing of the Army -- which is
designed to rectify problems in the Army as a
whole, not just the reserve -- and trying to make
the best possible use of the reserve within the
Brig Spence said the Army Reserve
Authorised Future Force (AFF), developed at the
direction of the CA, foreshadowed major changes
to the way the reserve would do business.
"Unfortunately we can't go into details about
these changes because the AFF hasn't yet been
approved and will be modified by other factors
before we see the final shape of it," he said.
However, he said the intent of the proposed
changes was to produce a reserve better placed
to contribute to required capability. He added
that although the AFF would form the core of
the reserve, the ongoing Force Modernisation
Reviews would also modify it.
"So my advice to soldiers is to keep doing
what they do best, take the media speculation
with a pinch of salt, and wait for the details of the
AFF to be published in due course," he said.
By Sgt Brian Hartigan
AIRN requirements for reservists will
be relaxed this financial year -- includ-
ing a reduction in basic fitness assess-
ments and weapon testing each year.
Initiatives driven by the Strategic
Reform Program (SRP) are expected to
save the ARes about $300 million during
the next 10 years. A requirement from
July 1 to complete just one BFA and
WTSS shoot a year is the most immediate
and noticeable implication for soldiers.
DGRes-A Brig Iain Spence said
changes under SRP were separate from
Rebalancing Army or Army Reserve
Authorised Future Force initiatives.
"Many of the changes under SRP will
be pretty painless," Brig Spence said.
"For example, the change from two
to one BFA and WTSS shoot per year
will save on training days, but will also
reduce the administrative burden on units
He said reducing trainee wastage was
another good example of areas being tar-
geted under SRP.
"Currently, we lose about 50 per cent
of new reserve recruits between enlist-
ment and the end of their initial employ-
ment training. If we can reduce that,
there will obviously be a lot of reduc-
tions to current costs," he said.
Brig Spence said increasing the num-
ber of soldiers transferring to the reserve
when they leave the regular Army by
as little as 15 per cent would also make
significant cost reductions in the number
of new recruits required and through the
transfer of corporate knowledge.
Media misses the point
Reform to save
Advancing: Cpl Tyrone Barnacle-Watts, 10/27 RSAR, of Keswick SA moves towards the
enemy at 9 Bde's annual Smithfield careers day.
Photo by LCpl Glenn Power
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