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MOD Pen Pusher Defends 77,000 Other Pen Pushers

Royal Navy and RAF 'outnumbered by MoD civil servants'.... the number of civilian officials (86,620), was about 12,000 more than the Royal Navy (34,830) and RAF (39,260) put together....The focus on MoD civilian manpower at a time when the Army (99,920 strong) is stretched by the commitment to provide 9,000 troops for Afghanistan is likely to be an issue between the Conservatives and the Government in the build-up to the general election next year.

The MoD hit back, saying it was wrong to suggest that civil servants “just pushed pens”. It said: “The Armed Forces are supported on the front line by civil servants. These are not just men and women sitting behind desks. We are talking about the thousands of scientists who design protective equipment such as body armour or research antidotes for troops under biological attack, not to mention the MoD police force or Britain’s Merchant Navy — the Royal Fleet Auxiliary.

Me thinks the MOD desk jockey complains too much - Most of the research was sold off as QinteQ some time ago and the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) only employs 3,500. (DARPA - the US equivalent only employs 240). So that leaves 83,000 who aren't designing body armour or tweaking microbes.

Ministry of Defence Police employ another 3,500 and the RFA "over 2000"

Which still leaves about 77,000 pen pushers...


I still think that we should reraise the Civil Service Rifles (15th London Regiment). By your count there are 77 battalions potentially available for force protection (IED location and detonation) duties in Afghanistan.

Drafting MoD Plod and reducing Dstl to US levels would give the army another seven battalions of self-propelled mine detectors.

I work for the Royal Fleet Auxiliary. We have been slashed to the bone, whilst our masters, "The Civil Servants", constantly expect us to do more with less. The very fact that the shore staff has now gone from 10 when I joined, to over 150 is indicative of the problem. Oh and the Flotilla has gone from 60 ships to 16 in that time.

Also the MOD civil servants (scientists and engineers) who used to work for AWRE Aldermaston are now working in the private sector - AWE plc.

Nick's comment interested me, as when reading the Post I recalled my time working for the Admiralty, when the RFA had many times the 2,000 you quote.

Of course the Fleet has shrunk, so I guess the RFA has too. In a few years we will be renaming the Royal Navy as the the Royal Coastal Defence Force.

Parkinson was right: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parkinson's_Law

More recently, the same principle has been identified by the great Pournelle as his "Iron Law": http://www.jerrypournelle.com/archives2/archives2view/view408.html#Iron

Currently, I believe, the Royal Navy has more admirals than it does ships. Even if it had no ships at all (which will happen soon if Labour stay in power), it would still "need" all those admirals. And the thousands of paper-shufflers who "support" them, no doubt.

You comparison of the DSTL to DARPA is, I am afraid, incorrect. The DSTL does research this is true but DERA was on another level altogether. This is where the really interesting stuff was designed and made. The Americans were furious when Tony decided to slog it of. However DARPA is only the people with the money, the administrators they do not do any research. Because the scale of the armed forces dwarf our own they have separate research institutions for each arm.

For example the United States Naval Research Laboratory employs 2,590 people.

These are some of the Research facilities for the US Army alone:


* Ballistic Research Laboratory
* Benet Laboratories


* Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory


* Doriot Climatic Chambers
* Dugway Proving Ground


* Foreign Military Studies Office


* International Technology Alliance


* National Biodefense Analysis and Countermeasures Center


* Picatinny Arsenal


* U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center
* United States Army Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center
* United States Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development, and Engineering Center
* United States Army Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center
* United States Army Engineer Research and Development Laboratory
* United States Army Materiel Systems Analysis Activity

U cont.

* United States Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center
* United States Army Research Laboratory
* United States Army Research, Development and Engineering Command
* United States Army Simulation and Training Technology Center
* United States Army Soldier Systems Center
* United States Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center


* White Sands Missile Range

Now all of this including the RAF and Navy research is now done by our puny little DSTL. An accurate comparison of each would be that the UK employs roughly 3,500 people in defence research the US employs maybe 100,000?

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