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The Mess => Foreign Militaries => British Military => Topic started by: daftandbarmy on July 19, 2007, 12:48:20

Title: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on July 19, 2007, 12:48:20
I thought I'd start a thread where all the stuff that pops up in the daily news can be posted:

This one should really get the ROYAL MARINES going. Note to self: send piss-taking message to the UK...

Medal for SOLDIER who defied Taliban for four hours
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=469371&in_page_id=1770
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: ModlrMike on July 19, 2007, 13:56:45
Good on him!
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: 3rd Herd on July 19, 2007, 14:50:46
My contribution and the usual disclaimer:

Duty call for 1,000 Scots troops

The Ministry of Defence has announced that more than 1,000 Scottish soldiers are to be deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan this autumn.
The move is part of a planned regular rotation of British forces which is expected to come into effect during October and November.

The announcement was made in the form of a written statement to MPs from Defence Secretary Des Browne.

He confirmed about 1,150 soldiers would be deployed.

About 50 soldiers from the 52 Infantry Brigade headquarters in Edinburgh will be sent to Helmund in Afghanistan.

They will replace 12 Mechanised Brigade, as part of International Security Assistance Force, a UN authorised NATO mission.

Challenges Ahead

Brigade commander, Brigadier Andrew Mackay, said: "Everyone within 52 Infantry Brigade has spent the past several months working and training hard towards this deployment to Afghanistan.

  The continuing presence of US and UK forces is not the solution to the disastrous situation in Iraq

Angus Robertson SNP MP

"We are in no doubt that the challenges that will be presented to us in Helmand will be many and varied.

"As individuals the men and woman of the Brigade believe we have much to contribute in facing those challenges."

Fifty soldiers from the 52nd Lowland, 6th Battalion - a TA regiment - will also be deployed.

Soldiers being deployed to Iraq include 450 soldiers from the 1st Battalion the Scots Guards, who are currently based in Munster in Germany.

About 600 soldiers from the Royal Scots Borderers, the 1st Battalion Royal Regiment of Scotland will also go to Iraq.

It is their first operational deployment since they formed from an amalgamation of The Royal Scots and The Kings Own Scottish Borderers on 1 August, 2006.

The battalions will be carrying out security patrols and escorting duties in Iraq as well as surge operations.

They will both stay in Iraq for a six month tour of duty.

SNP defence spokesman Angus Robertson MP restated his call for troops in Iraq to return home, following the announcement.

He said: "The continuing presence of US and UK forces is not the solution to the disastrous situation in Iraq
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/scotland/6906487.stm

Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: time expired on July 19, 2007, 15:10:48
A little off the thread but the right place to get an answer I think,
do the Death or Glory boys(17/21 Lancers) still exist and if so
where are they now?.
                          Regards
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: Gunplumber on July 19, 2007, 15:22:49
The 17th 21st are now the Queens Royal Lancers are they are in the UK now after coming back from Germany.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on July 19, 2007, 23:26:11
Prince Harry's Regiment off to the Front... but will he be going?  What do you think?

http://www.cbc.ca/world/story/2007/07/19/harry-regiment.html
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on July 22, 2007, 23:49:48
UK Troop Reserves 'almost gone'

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/6909550.stm
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on July 23, 2007, 01:21:54
Commentary on the resignation by Richard Williams, CO 22 SAS

http://www.mailonsunday.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=470069&in_page_id=1770
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on July 25, 2007, 11:11:13
A petition to reinstate Britain's military hospitals (and thereby bringing back the nurses to keep the Parachute Regiment busy)

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

If you have one to two minutes and agree with this could you please
sign the petition at the link below.

For every death you hear about in Iraq or Afghanistan there are countless
more casualties that never get reported on the news. The current situation
sees injured soldiers being brought back to the UK and put in random
hospitals, often away from where their friends and family live. These
soldiers, who are often on their own, are put in wards with normal civilian
patients who have no
concept of the environment these individuals have just been extracted from.
There have also been a number of cases of these injured soldiers then being
verbally abused by some civilian patients when they realise they have
just returned from Iraq/Afghanistan.

This petition is asking for the government to bring back dedicated Military
Hospitals in the UK so that injured soldiers can be cared for in a safe and
dignified environment with staff and fellow patients who understand the
situation that they have just returned from.

Please take one or two minutes to fill out the Downing Street Petition on
behalf of our injured soldiers bearing in mind we all know what the damage
of war can do. Our comrades returning from Iraq & Afghanistan with horrific
injuries to a health care situation that is a Joke.

With our troops being deployed in greater numbers we must go back to the
dedicated care that they fully deserve - so please lend your support to the
petition to the Prime Minister on the Downing Street Petition Web Site. The
petition is:

We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to bring back dedicated
Military Hospitals to provide adequate facilities (non NHS)for member of the
Armed Forces who are injured or disabled in the course of their duties'

Please visit before the close on 6th August 2007 .
If you do sign you will receive an email from No 10 with a link to confirm
your signature.

PLEASE PASS ON TO AS MANY CONTACTS IN YOUR ADDRESS BOOK AS YOU SEE FIT

http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/Forces-Hospitals/
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: 3rd Herd on July 27, 2007, 13:35:54
The usual disclaimer:
 5:32pm, 27 July 2007
Cumbrian troops head to Iraq
By Chris Story

SIX hundred Duke of Lancaster Regiment soldiers will be deployed to Iraq in November.

Defence Secretary Des Browne has confirmed that the regiment’s 1st Battalion, which includes dozens of Cumbrian troops, will be deployed as part of the 4 Mechanised Brigade based in Basra.

The troops involved are currently based at Belfast Barracks in Osnabrück, Germany.

They are the second Duke of Lancaster’s force to be deployed as part of a peacekeeping force in the Gulf country. Members of its 2nd Battalion returned from a six-month tour in June.

The number of UK troops in Basra is expected to fall to about 5,000 when the new force is dispatched during November and December.

In a written statement to MPs, Mr Browne said: “The force package we deploy will depend on conditions on the ground, in particular the security situation in the south and progress on handover of security responsibility to the Iraqi civil authorities in Basra province. We will continue to keep UK force levels in Iraq under review.”

In May, the 1st Battalion Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment prepared for its expected deployment to Iraq with training in Canada designed to simulate the threat of chemical weapons, minefields and insurgent militiahttp://www.cumberland-news.co.uk/news/viewarticle.aspx?id=525200
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on July 28, 2007, 18:12:23

Signals Regt Sgt KIA

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/6920846.stm
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on July 30, 2007, 11:57:06
Well, this is tragic. I knew Mike Wills fairly well. A good way to go... saving the lives of others less expereinced

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=471827&in_page_id=1770
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: 3rd Herd on July 30, 2007, 19:29:59
The Usual Disclaimer:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/6922381.stm
Monday, 30 July 2007, 12:20 GMT 13:20 UK
Royal Marine dies in Afghanistan
A member of the Royal Marines has been killed during operations in southern Afghanistan on Sunday, the Ministry of Defence has said.
A spokesperson said next of kin have been informed and further details will be issued after a 24-hour period.

The latest death means four members of the UK armed forces have been killed in the region in the past week.

It brings the number of UK military fatalities in Afghanistan since operations began in 2001 to 68.

The UK is among the largest contributors to the Nato mission in Afghanistan, with 7,100 troops based in Helmand province in the south of the country.

Up to 1,500 UK troops and 500 Afghan, Estonian, Danish and US soldiers have been involved in a mission to try to force Taleban insurgents further up the Gereshk Valley.

Lance Corporal Alex Hawkins, 22, of the Royal Anglian Regiment died on Wednesday, when a roadside bomb struck the vehicle he was travelling in.

Guardsman David Atherton, 25, from the Grenadier Guards, died after being shot during a firefight on Thursday after firing an anti-tank missile at Taleban positions.

And Sergeant Barry Keen, 34, serving with 14 Signal Regiment, was fatally wounded when a single mortar round landed next to him on Friday.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on July 31, 2007, 12:12:14
The TV news anchor today called it an end to 'the occupation' of NI by the army.... I almost killed the TV set....

+++++++++++++++++++++++++

British army ends Northern Ireland operation
http://www.guardian.co.uk/Northern_Ireland/Story/0,,2138431,00.html


Matthew Weaver and agencies
Tuesday July 31, 2007
Guardian Unlimited


The British army's longest continuous military operation comes to an end at midnight tonight when responsibility for security in Northern Ireland passes to the police.

Operation Banner lasted 38 years and involved 300,000 personnel, of which 763 were killed by paramilitaries. The last soldier to die was Lance Bombardier Stephen Restorick, who was shot at a vehicle checkpoint in 1997.

From tomorrow there will still be a garrison of 5,000 troops in Ulster, but they will not be on active operations and will be available for deployment anywhere in the world.

Security will become the responsibility of the Northern Ireland police, and the British soldiers will have a limited role in supporting them.

The armed forces minister Bob Ainsworth said: "August 1 marks the beginning of a new era for the UK armed forces in Northern Ireland when, as with other parts of the country, the military will become very much part of the community."

In a statement to MPs he added: "The impact of the commitment since 1969 has been considerable on both the military themselves and on the MoD civilians supporting them.

"They and the community at large have suffered both death and injury.

"We should take this opportunity to remember the commitment, bravery and sacrifice of all those who have served over so many years in helping deliver the current, more settled and more optimistic circumstances."

Jeffrey Donaldson, the senior Democratic Unionist MP, said political progress in Northern Ireland would not have occurred without the British army.

"We would not have got to the place we are in today with a relative degree of peace had it not been for the contribution of the army in holding the line during what was a very intensive terrorist campaign.

"I believe the army has achieved its objective in Northern Ireland in supporting the police in combating terrorism."

But he warned that the troop presence in Ulster might have to increase in the future, if the peace is broken.

"We must not be complacent. We need to ensure we have the capacity, should the need arise, for the army to step into the breach to protect Northern Ireland. Hopefully, that will not need to happen."

Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on July 31, 2007, 17:38:35

UK SF member KIA in Afghanistan named. Looks like he was a Royal Marine, therefore likely with the SBS.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/worldnews.html?in_article_id=471895&in_page_id=1811
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on August 23, 2007, 23:41:26
A good mate of mine. Go get 'em Milos (but PLEASE change the scary photo of yourself). Those who served in the former Yugo in the 90s would enjoy his book 'Trusted Mole'.


http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2007/08/19/narmy119.xml

Army officer sues for £1m over spy claim
Sean Rayment, Defence Correspondent, Sunday Telegraph
Last Updated: 4:01am BST 20/08/2007



A former Paratrooper whose career was destroyed after he was falsely accused of spying is to sue the Government for record damages.

   
Milos Stankovic: 'I want to get compensation for my loss of earnings and loss of pension'

 
Milos Stankovic, who was decorated by the Queen for bravery, will claim in the High Court that he was forced to leave the Army by a "malicious investigation" by Ministry of Defence (MoD) police acting on false information.

Mr Stankovic, 44, who at the time of his arrest held the rank of major in The Parachute Regiment, is seeking more than £1 million compensation for the loss of his career, salary and pension, and unpaid legal fees, The Sunday Telegraph has learned.

Mr Stankovic was arrested under the Official Secrets Act on suspicion that, while serving as a Serbo-Croat interpreter for senior British Army officers in Sarajevo, he passed secret information to the Bosnian Serbs.

The major was taken into custody while attending the Joint Services Staff College in Bracknell, Berkshire and subjected to two criminal investigations, one by the Ministry of Defence police, the other by the Royal Military Police.

Neither investigation, which had a combined cost of more than £250,000, found any evidence of espionage, which had been claimed to have taken place in 1994.

More than 100 witnesses were interviewed in Britain and the investigating team travelled to United Nations headquarters in New York in its search for evidence against Mr Stankovic.

His legal team intends to call high-profile former Army officers who will testify to Mr Stankovic's good character and reject the suggestion that the former Army major was a Bosnian spy.

Witnesses due to attend the three-week hearing in October include Gen Sir Mike Jackson, the former chief of the General Staff; Gen Sir Michael Rose, whom Mr Stankovic served as an interpreter during the Bosnian War, Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton, a former SAS commander and now private secretary to Princes William and Harry, and Martin Bell, the former MP and BBC war reporter.

At the time of his arrest in 1997, Mr Stankovic was described by Martin Bell, then MP for Tatton, as a "gallant British soldier" who "had been treated disgracefully".

Mr Stankovic said he was unable to speak freely about the forthcoming case for legal reasons but added: "This is not about vengeance. But I want to get compensation for my loss of earnings and loss of pension. I had a good career in the Army to which I was dedicated and that was wrongfully taken away from me."

He said it would also represent compensation for the lawyers who have represented him on a "no-win, no-fee" basis for the past 10 years.

The former major is said to have been a pivotal figure in brokering the release of UN soldiers and aid workers taken hostage and held as human shields against air strikes on the orders of Radovan Karadzic, the former Bosnian Serb leader, and Ratko Mladic, the head of the Bosnian Serb forces during the war in the former Yugoslavia.

Both men are at the top of the Wanted List of the War Crimes Tribunal in the Hague and are reported to be the targets of SAS snatch squads. Mladic is accused of ordering the massacre of up to 3,000 Muslim men fleeing the so-called safe haven of Srebrenica.

Mr Stankovic, whose father is Serbian but who was brought up in Britain, was a regular figure in Pale, Bosnia-Herzegovina working on behalf of UN commanders.

When UN troops were sent to the Balkans in October 1992, he was one of only two fluent Serbo-Croat speakers in the British Army and was initially attached to the Cheshire Regiment and Col Bob Stewart.

He proved his value both in his knowledge of the language and in his understanding of the people and the ethnic problems between them.

When the Cheshire Regiment returned to the UK after six months, Mr Stankovic remained and became attached to Gen Rose's staff in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo.

The work was often dangerous and Mr Stankovic took to wearing two flak jackets.

He was known as Mike Stanley by colleagues because his real surname marked him out as a Serb.

It was not long before some on the Muslim side complained privately that his relationship with Mladic and Karadzic was too close.

It is widely believed that it was partly the concerns of the Bosnian authorities, passed on to the Americans, that triggered the investigation which led to Mr Stankovic's arrest.

After returning to the UK, he was awarded the MBE in recognition of his work in Bosnia. He received his medal from the Queen during a ceremony at Buckingham Palace.

Qaiser Khanzada, Mr Stankovic's solicitor, said they would be suing the MoD for abuse of public office which caused him to lose his career.

Mr Khanzada said: "We will be seeking significant damages to cover loss of earning, loss of pension rights, false imprisonment and a myriad of other issues including legal costs. We are saying that the actions of the defendant (the MoD) caused Milos to sustain the loss of his career."

 
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: geo on August 24, 2007, 14:27:56
I wish the good Major good luck
as an institution, I can expect the MoD to fight this to the very end, dragging their feet all the way.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on August 29, 2007, 23:28:45
From The Sunday Times
August 26, 2007

Corporal Braveheart and the battle for Afghanistan

http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/books/book_extracts/article2326673.ece

Sending troops to Afghanistan, defence secretary John Reid said he would be ‘very happy’ if they did not fire a shot. After more deaths last week, casualties are the highest since the second world war. Our correspondent reveals the bravery of men fighting an enemy that has too often been underestimated

Patrick Bishop

Hugo Farmer’s first ambition on leaving university with a double first was “to make as much money as possible”. The City snapped him up. It did not take long, however, to feel he was “becoming a grey man”. His colleagues were “just getting richer and fatter and older. I thought to myself, ‘I need to change tack here. I need to do something interesting’.”

He left his job even before he had been accepted for officer training at Sandhurst.

Two-and-a-half years later, in July 2006, 26-year-old Lieutenant Farmer was in command of a platoon of battle-hardened para-troops in Helmand province, Afghanistan.

Extracted from 3 Para, to be published by HarperPress on September 3 at £18.99. It is available for £16.99 including postage from The Sunday Times BooksFirst on 0870 165 8585
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on September 02, 2007, 02:47:18
General Sir Mike Jackson speaks out (AFTER he retires, of course)

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2007/09/01/wmike101.xml
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on September 02, 2007, 14:16:46
2nd retired British General slams US Iraq post-war planning

http://apnews.myway.com/article/20070902/D8RD81780.html
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: noneck on September 02, 2007, 14:50:07
"Trusted Mole" is a great read I bought it on the way to  Ibiza and couldn't put in down! That's saying a lot if you've ever been there.

I have wondered what happened with this case, I remember at one point there was a website set up in support of Maj. Stankovic. Personally I think 1 million quid is a tad low for what he went through, but maybe that's just me coming from litigious North America.

Noneck
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on September 03, 2007, 18:54:55
He's been out of the army for several years now but is taking the MoD to court for unfair dismissal, or something like that. I think the details are in his book. Got a message from ol' Mike Stanley yesterday. They're girding their loins for a good 'un. Fix bay'nets


Frontline. Daily Tory-graph feature on Iraq and Afganistan.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/exclusions/frontline/nosplit/frontline.xml
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on September 13, 2007, 15:35:46

So where did all those British troops go after they pulled out of Basra? How about off to proxy war with Iran....

http://news.independent.co.uk/world/middle_east/article2953462.ece
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on September 13, 2007, 15:38:12

Brits destroy own Hercules. Now be honest, who hasn't ever wanted to do this to a herc at one time or another?

http://www.thesun.co.uk/article/0,,2-2007420642,00.html
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on September 13, 2007, 15:39:30
One man, one kit Andy...

http://www.thesun.co.uk/article/0,,2-2007420689,00.html
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on September 15, 2007, 11:44:30
RCMP say man dies after falling into a field while skydiving northeast of Calgary
BEISEKER, Alta. (CP) - RCMP say a man has died of his injuries after impacting into a field while skydiving near Beiseker airport northeast of Calgary.

Police said emergency medical staff including an air ambulance were called but the man died at the scene.

The name of the victim was not released, but police believe he was an off-duty member of the British military.

An autopsy to determine the cause of death is planned for Monday.

At least five skydivers have died in similar accidents in the Beiseker area since 1989.

A 2005 fatality inquiry into another skydiving death in the area recommended that the federal government should step in to regulate the sport.



© The Canadian Press, 2007
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: NFLD Sapper on September 15, 2007, 11:47:37
Already posted in another thread Thread Link (http://forums.army.ca/forums/index.php/topic,66135.0.html)
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on September 16, 2007, 21:27:34
From the Tory-graph

Looks like they need a few good medics in Helmland. Get on it John!

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2007/09/16/ntroops116.xml
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on September 17, 2007, 01:47:24

Red Arrows to be left out of 2012 Olympics because they are too British (?). Hoo boy... hang onto your hats


http://www.thesun.co.uk/article/0,,2-2007421005,00.html
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on September 17, 2007, 01:48:51
Lesbian sues MoD for 15k. Only The Sun could dig up something like this...

http://www.thesun.co.uk/article/0,,2-2007421038,00.html
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: milnews.ca on September 18, 2007, 07:55:02
From the Tory-graph

Looks like they need a few good medics in Helmland. Get on it John!

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2007/09/16/ntroops116.xml

And here's the UK MoD's response to this one....

http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/DefenceNews/EquipmentAndLogistics/MedicalFacilitiesInAfghanistan.htm

Good stuff, D&B - thanks for the work put into sharing these pieces!
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on September 18, 2007, 22:30:35
Can't take all the credit. People send me tons of this stuff.

Yes, we have no pyjamas. Canada covering British *** yet again... literally.

http://www.thesun.co.uk/article/0,,2-2007430276,00.html
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: geo on September 19, 2007, 09:06:55
DnB... that last one is right ove the top.

What it will take is for troops to return to the UK in their birthday suit for the MoD to get their act together.
(and we thought the CF was bad for cost cutting measures)
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on September 19, 2007, 12:42:57
This is nothing Geo. You wouldn't believe some of the stuff I've seen. From the sign above the cookhouse hotplate that says 'only 2 weetabix per man' to a rifle company only being allowed to change 2 combat smocks per month.

More intersting tid bits

Compliments of the Russiian leader...
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/worldnews.html?in_article_id=482528&in_page_id=1811

http://www.straight.com/article-110398/report-suggests-scottish-terrorist-may-have-been-linked-to-a-group-planning-to-behead-prime-minister-stephen-harp
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on September 21, 2007, 03:31:48

OK, so this is downright depressing and impressive at the same time:

Dead Soldier's Twin Heads back to Iraq

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/7004160.stm
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: geo on September 21, 2007, 08:56:59
A brave man
:salute:
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on September 21, 2007, 19:02:57
This should blow your mind... but not as much as it did the crain operator's

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=482898&in_page_id=1770
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: geo on September 23, 2007, 09:10:16
DnB 
Lovely - just effing lovely.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on September 23, 2007, 23:23:33

Army officer fined for sexual assault... with a grape? Only in Britain....

http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/news/article-23413238-details/Army+Major+fined+£2,500+for+sexually+assaulting+a+woman+with+a+grape/article.do?ito=newsnow
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: geo on September 24, 2007, 08:45:01
heh... Mad dogs & englishmen ;)
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on September 25, 2007, 14:33:40
The UK presence in Afghanistan will need to remain for decades to help rebuild the country, British ambassador
Sir Sherard Cowper-Coles has said. "The task of standing up a government of Afghanistan that is sustainable is going
 to take a very long time," he told BBC Radio 4's Today programme. He added that the Afghan people wanted the UK
presence to help resist the Taleban and develop the country. "The message we are getting, the message I had only l
ast week down in Helmand from the people of the villages there, was, 'Please protect us from the Taleban,'" said Sir Sherard.

   
"Their worry isn't about us staying, it's about us going; about us not finishing the job of standing up the police, standing
up the security forces, standing up the judicial system, putting schools and hospitals in place." He added: "They remember
the Taleban - they have had a test-drive of Taleban rule and if there is one thing they are clear about it's that they do not
 want to return to the dark days of medieval Taleban rule."


http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/6220856.stm



Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on September 25, 2007, 14:55:54
British army veterans attacked during trip to pay homage to 1857 Indian mutiny

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/worldnews.html?in_article_id=483873&in_page_id=1811
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on September 25, 2007, 14:56:49
Hostages rescued by SBS

http://www.thesun.co.uk/article/0,,2-2007440518,00.html
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: GAP on September 25, 2007, 15:09:39
Excellent article on the recovery by the SBS!!  :salute:

It would seem the Italians have some pretty good SF troops also....
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: geo on September 25, 2007, 15:10:57
Great work by the SBS (again ;) - congratulations on a job well done.

WRT the veterans being give a hard time in India - I guess you could say that, you had to expect it.
Bit like having a bunch of Germans wanting to comemorate their visit to Moscow in the 40's & leave a plaque to remember them by...
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on September 26, 2007, 01:46:10

Iran really will be next
If Bush doesn’t force Iran to back down, then his successors will
James Forsyth
 
 http://www.spectator.co.uk/archive/142491/if-bush-doesnt-force-iran-to-back-down-then-his-successors-will.thtml

To many, 20 January 2009, George W. Bush’s last day in office, can’t come soon enough. The President’s pugnacious speech to the American Legion summed up why: not content with vigorously defending two wars, he seemed to start banging the drum for another with his statement that Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons threatened to put the Middle East ‘under the shadow of a nuclear holocaust’ and pledge that America ‘will confront this danger before it is too late’.

It is tempting to dismiss Bush’s remarks as mere sabre-rattling from an increasingly irrelevant and isolated President. After all, Bush has his hands full persuading Congress to continue funding the Iraq war; especially with the divisions between the British and American strategies made brutally apparent by British forces pulling back to Basra airport at the same time that Bush was flying into Iraq to rally support for the American troop surge. But those who think that the next president will jettison Bush’s policy on Iran are in for a shock.
 
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on September 26, 2007, 15:59:37
Returning soldiers to get a free turnip!

http://www.thedailymash.co.uk/news/war/returning-soldiers-to-get-a-free-turnip-20070925425/
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: geo on September 26, 2007, 16:09:58
Nice turnip you've turned up DnB

(BTW, digging up gems like this, you obviously have waaaaay too much time on your hands :))

Thanks!
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on September 26, 2007, 18:30:20
Luckily, I am at the centre of a web of time wasters who like to share!
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: geo on September 27, 2007, 08:47:47
LOL!
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on September 30, 2007, 23:59:18
Re-thinking Afghan reconstruction 
By Chris Morris
BBC News, Kabul 


While some of the tens of thousands of foreign troops based in Afghanistan are fighting against the Taleban, others are involved in rebuilding and developing the country's infrastructure. But a debate is starting to emerge about whether the current strategy of reconstruction is becoming a hindrance.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/from_our_own_correspondent/7016825.stm
 
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: geo on October 01, 2007, 20:29:45
Heh... the Canadian zone is a nice "canadian red"..... bummer... Oh that it could be green.

Regarldess of what everyone says, reconstruction MUST happen.
Hope must be provided - regardless of how robust our troops must be.

Afghans must be provided with hope & oportunities. Without em, we'll be at it in a 100 years.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on October 02, 2007, 18:14:00
Friday 28th Sep: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=484619&in_page_id=1770

 

Monday 1st Oct: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=484889&in_page_id=1770
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: geo on October 03, 2007, 08:50:47
Now, isn't that a complete black eye to the soldiers who are expected to fight the fight while the bureaucrats sharpen their pencils.

FOR SHAME!!
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on October 03, 2007, 10:25:28
From a Brit...

Being British is about driving in a German car to an Irish pub for a
        Belgian beer, then travelling home, grabbing an Indian curry or a
        Turkish kebab on the way, to sit on Swedish furniture and watch American shows
        on a Japanese TV.
       
        And the most British thing of all?
       
        Suspicion of anything foreign.
       
        3 Brits die each year testing if a 9v battery works on their tongue.
       
        142 Brits were injured in 1999 by not removing all pins from new shirts.
       
        58 Brits are injured each year by using sharp knives instead of
        screwdrivers.
       
        31 Brits have died since 1996 by watering their Christmas tree while the
        fairy lights were plugged in.
       
        19 Brits have died in the last 3 years believing that Christmas
        decorations were chocolate.
       
        British Hospitals reported 4 broken arms last year after cracker
        pulling accidents.
       
        101 people since 1999 have had broken parts of plastic toys pulled out
        of the soles of their feet.
       
        18 Brits had serious burns in 2000 trying on a new jumper with a lit
        cigarette in their mouth.
       
        A massive 543 Brits were admitted to A&E in the last two
        years after opening bottles of beer with their teeth.
       
        5 Brits were injured last year in accidents involving out of Control
        Scalextric cars.
       
        and finally.........
       
        In 2000 eight Brits cracked their skull whilst throwing up into the
        toilet.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: geo on October 03, 2007, 10:45:17
4 broken arms in "cracker pulling" accidents - WOW, they musta been some powerful crackers provided by the Guns

8 cracked skulls? - yeah - will believe that.

543 Brits with dental problems after attempting to open bottles with their teeth?
yeah - these are the same guys that would try to pull a grenade pin out with their teeth.

:)
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on October 03, 2007, 23:59:09
Does Britain need an arms industry?

http://www.spectator.co.uk/the-magazine/business/104601/does-britain-still-need-an-arms-industry.thtml
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: geo on October 04, 2007, 09:03:30
well, this is a question that we've been asking ourselves over the last few years.
Pert much out of the arms manufacturing business at this point.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on October 05, 2007, 02:17:42
Now this is just plain odd....

http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=paHarry_Thu_18_dead_harry&show_article=1
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: Chris Pook on October 05, 2007, 02:51:12
Quote
...The trouble is, a lot of our stuff is not actually that good. Professional soldiers will tell you in private that the best kit is made by the Israelis, the South Africans and the Russians. Our boys in Basra and Helmand might be better off with foreign-made stuff that actually works....

From the Spectator article on British armaments -

Please see latest thread on the efforts of CTS to deliver a rucksack...."Professional soldiers" will tell you many things.

A peculiarity of the current weapons deployed seems to be that all weapons producing nations have good pieces of kit and bits of crap - much like cars I have owned.  The good news is that we can buy good stuff if the bad stuff doesn't work  - assuming reasonably intelligent bureaucrats.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on October 05, 2007, 14:49:32
Patton always seems to have a quote applicable to me:

"Soldiers are always contrary. I could issue them coats without buttons and I will bet that within twenty four hours they would find some, sew them on, and keep them buttoned." Gen G.S Patton
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on October 05, 2007, 18:32:55
Norman Binnall 89 years old from Burnham-on-Sea has been told he must leave his care home because he does not meet the government criteria for funding. Norman was a P.O.W in Germany for over 3 years and lost a foot at Dunkirk. He is petrified about returning home on his own with very little care. Is this the way we should be treating the Heroes who gave us what we have today. Ex-servicemen like Norman have given this country a lot, let us not ignore them in their time of need.

Sign the petition if you like...
 

http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/normanbinnall/

 
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on October 06, 2007, 12:11:11
Gurkha Officer KIA

Ghorkali Ayo

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7031279.stm
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: geo on October 06, 2007, 12:28:15
my condolences to Major Robert's family, friends and comrades in arms

Rest, your duty is done, we'll carry your burden from here on in
At the going down of the sun,
and in the morn
we will remember them!

CHIMO!
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on October 07, 2007, 21:19:51
30 more years in Afghanistan. Well done John, tell it like it is...


http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2007/10/07/wafg107.xml
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on October 07, 2007, 21:24:30
Typical subaltern...

http://www.newsoftheworld.co.uk/0710_prince_harry_snorts_vodka.shtml
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on October 07, 2007, 21:57:34
Obit: Sqn Ldr Terry O'Brien DFC*



http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?view=DETAILS&grid=&xml=/news/2007/10/04/db0401.xml
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on October 07, 2007, 22:26:02
Op Banner ends

NI: Soldier's expereinces

Wot? No mention of egg banjoes? Crikey...
 
 
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2007/07/31/nireland231.xml&page=1
 

Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on October 12, 2007, 12:04:57
Queen unveils new memorial to those who've died since WW2

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/7040801.stm
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on October 17, 2007, 00:43:49
Well done Milos.

From The Times
September 24, 2007

Our politicians are letting down our soldiers

Sir, General Sir Richard Dannatt’s assertion that the population of Britain sent the Army to war, and should therefore show its appreciation, is not accurate (report, Sept 22 ). War was made by an executive that suspended parliamentary democracy and failed to carry the nation to war. It is hardly surprising that when they are marginalised and voiceless, people make their feelings known through apathy and indifference.

The dodgy dossier, the shameful debacle over David Kelly and the absence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq have eroded public confidence in politicians. We are not Americans. We are now a people less interested in jingoism and militarism. If the sight of a British army uniform in Selly Oak, or the horror of having wounded Service people’s kith and kin descend into our Surrey backyard, is enough to upset British citizens, do we really think that politically correct councillors will entertain marches through their towns? Is this really the solution to raising morale in our Armed Forces; bands, marches and football tickets? Try accommodation, hospitals, pay, equipment and decent tour intervals.

The betrayal of British soldiers began at the top, with politicians who are not leaders, with people who have bankrupted the cultural capital of this country.

They are managers and fixers of problems, not leaders. To reengage us, politicians need to carry us with their vision, mission and values – and be seen to be embodying them.

I was a soldier and officer in the Army for 20 years. Now I am one of the masses. I feel for the soldiers, but I also know the betrayal of them does not lie down here.

MILOS STANKOVIC

Farnham, Surrey
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on October 19, 2007, 17:44:43
That's William, Prince William


http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=488488&in_page_id=1770
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: Digger Hale on October 19, 2007, 21:28:02
He'll usher in a new age for the Commonwealth, mark my words. He's impossible to find fault with, He's an absolute inspiration and He, with Prince Harry are bring youth back to the monarchy. I intend to be in England one day in the hopefully distant future when HRH The Queen passes, when Prince Charles becomes King and then perhaps a few years later when Prince William takes over. It'll be an amazing time and a wonderful day/s.

In the words of Menzies, "I did but see her passing by, but i shall love her till i die".
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: IN HOC SIGNO on October 20, 2007, 10:51:50
Typical subaltern...

http://www.newsoftheworld.co.uk/0710_prince_harry_snorts_vodka.shtml

My son's 22 and up to exactly the same kind of high jinks. i think most of us were when we were young. give poor Harry a break, I say. It must be hard to live as a young man under such intense scrutiny.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: geo on October 21, 2007, 12:01:51
The things subbies do in their leisure time.

William, the prince who would be King with his brother the Subbie who would be brash.

Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on October 21, 2007, 19:53:04
UK 'may increase Afghan troops' 
Britain may increase its military commitment in Afghanistan to help fill gaps in Nato's deployment there, a spokesman said.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7055377.stm
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on October 21, 2007, 21:36:54
Blair warns Iran... well done Tony.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/video/2007/oct/19/tony.blair.us.facism.iran
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on October 21, 2007, 21:38:27
Steep decline in future world oil production = war.

Buy gold, oil and defence stocks...
 
http://www.guardian.co.uk/oil/story/0,,2196435,00.html
 

Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on October 22, 2007, 19:15:24
Make love, not war. EU makes soft porn film.

http://www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_2398668.html?menu=news.quirkies.sexlife
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: Chris Pook on October 23, 2007, 02:19:51
Steep decline in future world oil production = war.

Buy gold, oil and defence stocks...
 
http://www.guardian.co.uk/oil/story/0,,2196435,00.html




This prediction brought to you by "The Energy Watch Group"

Quote
Initiator of the Energy Watch Group
 Hans-Josef Fell  (http://www.energywatchgroup.org/Parliamentarian.16+M5d637b1e38d.0.html)
Member of the German Parliament (deutscher Bundestag) since 1998, Speaker for the Energy and Technology Policy of the Parliamentary Party Alliance 90/The Green Party and Chairman of the Environment Committee, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety.
 

With advice from

Quote
Scientists  (http://www.energywatchgroup.org/Scientists.18+M5d637b1e38d.0.html)

(As of: 1st October 2007)

Authors of the reports to the Energy Watch Group

Dr. Werner Zittel   
Ludwig Bölkow Systemtechnik GmbH, Ottobrunn near Munich
 
Jörg Schindler     
Managing Director Ludwig-Bölkow-Systemtechnik GmbH
 
Stefan Peter     
Institute for Sustainable Solution and Innovations

 

Scientific advisory board

Chairman
Prof. Dr. Harry Lehmann     
World Council for Renewable Energies WCRE

Prof. Dr. Jürgen Schmid     
Institut für Solare Energietechnik, Kassel

Prof. Volker Quaschning
FHTW Berlin

Dr. Rudolf Rechsteiner
Nationalrat Schweiz, Basel

Frithjof Staiss
Vorsitzender des ZSW, Stuttgart

Prof. Pil-Ryul Lee
Centre for Energy Alternative Korea

Bernhard Piller
Schweizer Energiestiftung, Zürich

Prof. Lauber
Universität Salzburg

Daniel Becker     
Ecofys, Berlin

Further scientists of the Energy Watch Group will presented soon.

 

Consulting support

(As of: 1st October 2007)

EUROSOLAR

World Council for Renewable Energies WCRE


No Commercial Interest there I'm sure.

Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on October 25, 2007, 20:22:28
Prince William mourns loss of former boss

http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/article385145.ece
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on October 26, 2007, 11:24:32
Supergrass brtually murdered by South Armagh ASU. Didn't see that one coming, eh?

I've had the dubious pleasure of being on the receiving end of some of their work. Why these psychopaths have not all been consigned to a dungeon somewhere will remain an eternal mystery to me. Think 'Clifford Olson', but repreived because they were portrayed as 'freedom fighters'.


http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/northern_ireland/7063781.stm
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on October 30, 2007, 00:12:46
Danni joins the Royal Marines. Looks like the Paras dumped her. She must have failed P Company  ;)


http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/article394472.ece
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on October 30, 2007, 23:52:43
The Mercian Regiment stands up

http://www.soldiermagazine.co.uk/mag/feature5.htm
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on October 31, 2007, 01:32:28
Element B could have saved him... or not. RCIEDs don't play nice.

http://news.scotsman.com/index.cfm?id=1729232007
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: geo on October 31, 2007, 09:57:13
D&B, Being a soldier in a theatre of war is hazardous to one's health at the best of times.
There will always be a "wonder weapon or device" coming down the food chain - never to arrive when you need it....
Life sucks at times!
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on November 02, 2007, 13:11:33
British General sees potential for failure in Afghanistan... raising the temperature for the NATO slackers who remain safely away from the southern border


http://www.canada.com/victoriatimescolonist/news/story.html?id=316155d7-cca6-44e7-a3a3-836283479dcb
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on November 03, 2007, 01:04:18
Harry support the Help for Heroes campaign. Looks like they've raised over a million bucks in less than a month. I wonder if we have anything like that in Canada?

http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/article418213.ece
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on November 04, 2007, 22:05:25
Senior Officers too hung over to soldier. Career working, career working... career stops!


http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/article423988.ece
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on November 05, 2007, 13:55:33
Troops forced to pay 1000 quid for insurance premiums

If you can't take a joke, you shouldn't have joined...

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=491666&in_page_id=1770
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: geo on November 05, 2007, 14:19:53
D&B  WTF,  what kind of death benefits are provided by the MOD?
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on November 05, 2007, 14:33:51
Way back in my day it was pretty laughable... I remember something like a sliding scale from lost finger (200 quid or something) up to a couple of thousand for lost limbs etc. The death benefit was in the princely range of 10,000 pounds I think.

Before deploying to an operational theatre you had to fill out your insurance forms for the company that had the MoD contract  (to whom you were required to pay a direct deposit from your bank account), and update your will.  We were never offered an option of who to go with for the insurance as it was assumed that no other underwriter in their right minds would insure a paratrooper headed to Northern Ireland. The name of the company and insurance plan is very well known in the UK Forces, I just can't remember it right now (mess tins, wooden spoon).

I always listed my cat as my primary beneficiary. The payout would have looked after his food and kitty litter for at least two years.

Famously, a Royal Marine in my company in 1986, in Belfast, was awarded the unheard of sum of 400 pounds for a brick in the hand that caused significant damage requiring stitches.  We had to restrain the marines from running around without gloves on after that one...


Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on November 05, 2007, 20:18:00
Light Bulb... On

Just remembered what it was called - ADAT (Army Dependents Assurance Trust - or something like that). I tried to Google it but didn't find anything, so assume that they blew it up and rebuilt it in some other guise. Total buffoonery in comparison with what's around these days I'd guess, but I'll leave that one to the insurance experts.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on November 07, 2007, 12:35:45
Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment (Queen’s and Royal Hampshires).

 

http://www.army.mod.uk/pwrr/main.htm

 

Go to hardware and try out the range…
 :bullet:
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on November 07, 2007, 20:59:45
Humour and tragedy in the trenches with the Cameronian. I'll be ordering a copy of this book for sure

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=492308&in_page_id=1770
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: geo on November 08, 2007, 09:08:52
Interesting picture of the author....
wearing WW2 era serge, Lt pips & gunner's collar dogs.
Methinks he might have gotten recycled for the 2nd for Aerial gunnery
even though, in 1940, he woulda been 64 (39 in 1915)... Yikes.

However, this sounds like an interesting read!

Oh well XMASS is coming around
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on November 08, 2007, 18:43:28
UK staying in Afghanistan until 2010


http://www.smh.com.au/news/world/britain-to-extend-stay-in-afghanistan-until-2010/2007/11/08/1194329352532.html
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on November 09, 2007, 20:25:57
Milos loses out. He will be well PO'd.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/7087155.stm
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: MarkOttawa on November 12, 2007, 17:29:48
Half of combat helicopters grounded
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article2852692.ece

Quote
Half of Britain’s Apache helicopters, which provide back-up for forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, were not fit for service this summer and a third of Chinook transport helicopters were grounded.

According to a Ministry of Defence survey, about half of the ageing Sea King fleet and the newer Merlin Mk3 support helicopters were also out of action.

The number of Apaches available for combat fell from 60 per cent last year. Air Chief Marshal Sir Jock Stirrup, Chief of the Defence Staff, acknowledged that the military was overstretched but said that equipment had improved.

Mark
Ottawa
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: geo on November 12, 2007, 21:16:15
Hmmm... this sounds familiar.........
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on November 13, 2007, 12:34:26
Slab Murphy orders execution.... gosh, can't believe it, really suprised etc etc etc (not)

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=493341&in_page_id=1770
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on November 15, 2007, 17:28:58
RAF Tornado navigator dies as ejector seat throws him from upside-down plane

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=494077&in_page_id=1770
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: milnews.ca on November 18, 2007, 01:58:39
Paras' commander quits over breaches of Military Covenant  
Jonathan Owen , The Independent, 18 Nov 07
Quote
One of the Army's brightest officers, marked by many as a future general, has resigned, it emerged yesterday, in protest at the Government's failure to honour the Military Covenant. Lt-Col Stuart Tootal resigned his command of the 3rd Battalion, the Parachute Regiment, citing "appalling" and "shoddy" treatment of troops, particularly regarding issues over levels of pay, lack of training equipment and shortcomings in housing and healthcare.

In a statement issued by the Ministry of Defence last night, Lt-Col Tootal said: "There has been much speculation regarding my decision to leave the Army. While my reasons for doing so are many and varied, they remain a private matter." He went on to pay tribute to the "exceptional" men under his command. The MoD defended its treatment of soldiers, saying: "We go to great lengths to look after our people on operations," and thanked Lt-Col Tootal for "his loyal service over 20 years".

The 42-year-old, viewed by some senior officers as a controversial figure, who will leave the Army in a few months' time, was awarded the Distinguished Service Order earlier this year for his leadership of 3 Para during a fiercely fought six-month tour of Afghanistan's notorious Helmand province in 2006.....

Click here for full article (http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/politics/article3172147.ece)
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: MarkOttawa on November 18, 2007, 10:31:05
More on the theme of the preceding comment:

Our forces can't carry on like this, says General Sir Richard Dannatt
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2007/11/18/nforces118.xml

Quote
The head of the Army has warned that years of Government under-funding and overstretch have left troops feeling "devalued, angry and suffering from Iraq fatigue", The Sunday Telegraph can reveal.

General Sir Richard Dannatt, the Chief of the General Staff, reveals in a top-level report that the present level of operations is "unsustainable", the Army is "under-manned" and increasing numbers of troops are "disillusioned" with service life.

Gen Dannatt states that the "military covenant is clearly out of kilter", and the chain of command needs to improve standards of pay, accommodation and medical care.

"We must strive to give individuals and units ample recuperation time between operations, but I do not underestimate how difficult this will be to achieve whilst under-manned and with less robust establishments than I would like."

The report, a copy of which has been seen by this newspaper, reveals for the first time the general's concerns on virtually every aspect of the Army, from levels of pay to the quality of food in canteens...

In the new report, he says that operations on the two fronts of Iraq and Afghanistan are putting soldiers and their families under "great pressure", and that the long-term impact of operations is "damaging" and is "mortgaging the goodwill of our people".

In terms of "overstretch", the report says, "the tank of goodwill now runs on vapour; many experienced staff are talking of leaving".

Last week, Lt Col Stuart Tootal, 42, who commanded the Parachute Regiment in Afghanistan, resigned from the Army over the "shoddy" treatment of injured troops. In a letter to defence chiefs, he was reported to have criticised levels of pay, a lack of training equipment and the appalling housing - all issues raised in Gen Dannatt's report [emphasis added]...

The report adds:

• Delays to military inquests are a disgrace

• Military housing estates are unsafe and being overrun by immigrant families

• Poor food quality is creating a "pot-noodle and sandwich" culture among junior soldiers

• Work-life balance is an increasing concern

• Soldiers are "going sick" to get out of the Army

• Leave is often cancelled or constrained because of operational overstretch

• Harmony guidelines - the time between operational tours - are becoming meaningless

• The Army is no longer fun

• Fitness in the Army is tailing off and more soldiers are medically downgraded

The report's findings follow months of interviews with thousands of soldiers and their families from 47 units.

Entitled Chief of the General Staff's Briefing Team Report (2007), the findings are described by Gen Dannatt as a "comprehensive, vivid and accurate" picture of Army life...

The Armed Forces are safe in my hands
By Des Browne (UK Defence Secretry)
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/main.jhtml?xml=/opinion/2007/11/18/do1805.xml

Quote
Our forces are the best, and deserve the best. Few people can be more aware than I am that we are now asking a lot of the services and their families. Iraq and Afghanistan place huge demands on our personnel. Many have been wounded; some have lost their lives. Every death or injury saddens me greatly, although this of course can be nothing to the pain and loss suffered by the families.

I sense a growing public appreciation of the sacrifices that our forces and their families make. Last Sunday, I was proud to pay my respects at the Cenotaph as the nation remembered all the gallant men and women who have made sacrifices in the service of their country. Remembrance Sunday is a day to honour not only the dead, but also the survivors, especially the wounded. This year it was noticeable how many young people wore poppies. The nation - and the nation includes this Government - holds our forces in great esteem. All of us want to see that esteem grow and build.

But those who claim the Covenant between the Government and the Armed Forces is in any way broken are wrong [emphasis added]. That does not mean that we, the Government, cannot do better. But the truth is that we strive constantly to ensure that the Armed Forces have the best possible package of care.

Despite media reports, we are providing by far the best kit our forces have ever had - delivering more than £10 billions' worth in the past three years. We have initiated a rolling programme that is flexible, responsive and delivers good kit on time to the front line. We have spent over £1 billion on force protection, and more on new helicopters, unmanned aerial vehicles and weapons. We've just announced that we are buying 140 more Mastiff vehicles for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. We will do more.

The opinions from the people who really matter - those on the front line - are encouraging. On my recent visits to Iraq and Afghanistan, troops gave positive feedback on a range of equipment we have delivered: Mastiff, Bulldog and Viking vehicles, Osprey body armour, Challenger tanks and base security. As the senior British commander in southern Iraq, Maj Gen Jonathan Shaw, said in June: "I have never seen a theatre so well supplied with new kit… this steady trickle of new kit has had real and almost instantaneous impact."

So we are making good progress. But there is a lot more to be done. I would certainly acknowledge that some service accommodation is not up to standard. We are working hard to put this right, but it cannot be done instantly. This year, we will spend £870 million (up from £700 million last year), and we plan to spend over £5 billion over the next decade. This is a big project that will take time. We are dealing with a legacy of under-investment that goes back decades. We are also helping people to buy their own homes and look to do more in this area...

Kind of makes our Hillier vs government stuff look rather thin gruel.

Mark
Ottawa
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: IN HOC SIGNO on November 18, 2007, 10:46:25
It's thin gruel because the media made it up and now can't sustain it with facts.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on November 20, 2007, 03:00:53
Who knew gunfire caused hearing loss? Thanks to The Sun for alerting us all to the danger!

http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/article479094.ece
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on November 22, 2007, 20:07:28
Army crisis as the number of troops leaving soars

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml;jsessionid=MQGKMY3XT5EW3QFIQMFCFFWAVCBQYIV0?xml=/news/2007/11/22/narmy122.xml
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on November 22, 2007, 20:22:14
Hundreds turn out to cheer Anglians...

Well done lads.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/7107898.stm
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: MarkOttawa on November 23, 2007, 23:23:26
By General Lord Guthrie of Craigiebank, Chief of the Defence Staff, 1997-2001 (usual copyright disclaimer):
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/main.jhtml?xml=/opinion/2007/11/24/do2402.xml&DCMP=EMC-new_24112007

Quote
Since I voiced my criticisms of government policy towards our Armed Forces during Thursday's defence debate in the Lords, many people have asked whether the five former defence chiefs who stood up were taking part in a planned ambush against the Government. They seem to think we all met up at Starbucks and plotted to give everyone in it a bloody nose.

In fact, the opposite happened. Far from being a co-ordinated plot, this was a spontaneous eruption from a group of people who find themselves at the end of their tether regarding the treatment of our Armed Forces.

Even though it was not planned, we all feel the same way. We are all concerned that we are heading for the rocks unless something happens soon, and we do feel strongly that some of this country's finest institutions are at risk in a way they have never been before.
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The Government had already been warned - but no one seemed to take any notice. Ministers claim that there has been a year-on-year increase in defence spending, but, even so, this does not reflect what has been happening around the world in terms of the increased demands being made on our Armed Forces.

I, for one, find the Government's attitude to the Services mystifying. We should give it credit for injecting some, if not enough, new money into defence, for Iraq and Afghanistan and for training. Undoubtedly, much of the equipment that has been introduced is as good as any equipment anywhere in the world.

However, it is unfortunate that too many people were killed and lives were lost through its late arrival; the equipment could have been made available earlier if adequate funding had been found sooner, when the requirement was known about.

The fact is that the defence of our country has been underfunded for years. In the Cold War, we got away with it, but took huge risks. To compound our difficulties, the government of the day took a peace dividend that now seems unwisely large, but that was a long time ago.

We now have Services that have been underfunded for years and find themselves desperately stretched fighting two wars.

At the Lord Mayor's banquet last week, the Prime Minister affirmed his commitment that he would, at all times, support and strengthen our Armed Forces, our defences and security.

In my experience as Chief of the Defence Staff, he was the most unsympathetic Chancellor of the Exchequer, and the only senior cabinet minister who avoided coming to the Ministry of Defence to be briefed on our problems.

The only time that I remember him coming to pay us a visit was when he came to talk about the future of the Rosyth dockyard, which was in his constituency. Gordon Brown must take much of the blame for the very serious situation we find the Services in today.

I am, though, delighted that he is now taking more interest. He has visited Iraq and Afghanistan on various occasions and has devoted more time to our people in the Ministry of Defence. But can he really understand how serious the situation is if he appoints a Secretary of State who is not fully committed to defence at such a time as this?

I, like others, speak to servicemen and women who view Des Browne's double appointment (he is also Secretary of State for Scotland) as a serious slight, particularly when you consider that the intensity of operations is far higher than it has been for many years. I cannot understand how the Prime Minister could do such a thing.

It is well known that the defence budget is under huge pressure, and it will be interesting to know which projects will be reduced and which scalings will be reviewed. We know that difficult decisions lie ahead, unless additional funding is made available.

Lately, ministers have been boasting about the extra money that has been produced for defence, but whatever has happened, it is woefully inadequate as far as running the Services today is concerned. It is not a matter for self-congratulation.

We find ourselves in a very dangerous world at the moment. Long gone are the days when we could remain safe in our own country, isolated from troubles elsewhere.

If the Government is really serious about defence and security, as the Prime Minister clearly said last week, funding must be properly increased or the Government will seriously damage one of the state's greatest assets beyond quick repair.

Mark
Ottawa
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on November 25, 2007, 02:59:04
Maybe they just need a General like Hillier, who seems to be quite happy to poke the government in the eye BEFORE he's retired.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on November 25, 2007, 14:35:55
Officers quit in record numbers.


http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/article2937067.ece

And the rest are saying "Excellent chances for promotion now!"
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on November 25, 2007, 20:03:01
UK plans to host US ICBMs...

wow

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7111523.stm
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: Towards_the_gap on November 25, 2007, 20:45:17
Officers quit in record numbers.


http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/article2937067.ece

And the rest are saying "Excellent chances for promotion now!"

This particular comment in the 'Have your say' portion of Times Online had me incensed:

Quote
Look - lets face it! Since the military went in to a US war which nobody else wanted support for those who serve the military has collapsed. People don't ant their tax money wasted. As an example when the squaddies take over a community swimming pool, scare the kids and frighten the parents and won't pay their fair share is anyone suprided when decent folk are angered?

In an England where decent ordinary taxpayers are being let down day after day by the police, the NHS and the schools why should the military expect support given that it has joyfully and robustly suppoted a Yankee war no one else wants?



Desmond Carter, London,
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: MarkOttawa on November 25, 2007, 20:47:30
daftandbarmy: No ICBMs, no wow (your source):

Quote
The RAF base at Menwith Hill in North Yorkshire will host a tracking system linked to US satellites and interceptor missiles based outside the UK.

Mark
Ottawa
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on November 25, 2007, 21:08:00
Oops. Proof that paratroopers tend to be 'big hands small maps' kind of guys...
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: geo on November 26, 2007, 12:48:16
This particular comment in the 'Have your say' portion of Times Online had me incensed:

I hear you TTG,
Note that there are plenty of people here in Canada who also believe that the Iraq war is a US war of agression & resent them for it.
Oddly enough, while the Cdn people are luke warm about the Canadian involvement in Afghanistan, support for the Cdn Forces has never been (in my own 35 yrs) so high.  I've lost count of the number of times people have come up to me to shake my hand, tell me "thank you", give me a smile, a wave and the occasional salute..... who needs drugs when you're on that kind of high :)
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: Towards_the_gap on November 26, 2007, 13:01:26
Tell me about it! One of the (many) reasons I decided to move back home was the fact I could actually take some pride in my profession, in fact when I got back from my first Afghan tour and was slowly slipping under the table of my local pub here in London, ON, I was actually embarrassed in a way, for how many people said 'thanks for what you did over there' etc etc, when they asked where I got my awesome tan.

And the real shame of it is quite a few british people feel the same way, it's just that in the current political climate, any support for the forces is seen in some circles as support for bush/neocons etc, and so people are more reticent about showing support for the troops.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on November 27, 2007, 00:37:02
Soldier shot by Taliban captured on film.

Gotta love The Sun. Well done boot neck. At least it didn't hit you anywhere dangerous!

http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/article509360.ece
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: geo on November 27, 2007, 08:44:07
Soldier shot by Taliban captured on film.

Gotta love The Sun. Well done boot neck. At least it didn't hit you anywhere dangerous!

http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/article509360.ece

Rectum?... Damn near killed him!
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on November 30, 2007, 18:34:36
Nice of Auntie Beeb to keep track for us...

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/in_depth/629/629/5121552.stm
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: geo on November 30, 2007, 19:15:04
A fine looking bunch of troops.

We will remember them!

CHIMO!
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on December 03, 2007, 12:43:04
Three in court accused over fatal 'beasting' of soldier

THREE soldiers appeared in court yesterday charged with the manslaughter of a junior colleague who is alleged to have been "beasted" to death.

http://news.scotsman.com/uk.cfm?id=1858602007

Obviously amateurs at work. The Parachute Regiment should give courses in how to do it properly!
 
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: geo on December 03, 2007, 13:31:01
Two Sgts and a Cpl?

Shades of the "death march" from Fort Zindeneuf....Of all the dumb things to do.  There are ways to deal with difficult troops & there are ways to deal with difficult troops BUT, this certainly wasn't the way to do it!
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on December 03, 2007, 15:05:30
You're right there.

The 'beasting' thing has a long history in the British Army and has only been an issue where it has turned into 'hazing', or where health issues are in play. Nothing wrong with a good old 10 miler in 2 hours with bergen on followed by a quick attack etc as long as everyone's up for it. Speaks to progressive training and a heathly dose of leading by example.

For example: This could be construed as 'beasting'

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=ZnhxsjSOJS4&feature=related

I was on this march (good thing the camera missed me!) and have run dozens of events like this myself. You don't want to fall out or you'd have to carry the PTI's bergen, which was always at least 10 lbs heavier than yours. All part of properly training for war when done right and responsibly.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: geo on December 03, 2007, 15:24:31
Heh... I remember the 5 Mi in 1hr 10 and10 Mi in 2hr10
So long as you are given an oportunity to train up to a standard, then it all makes sense
If you're simply thrown into the lion's den with only a wish and a prayer as preparation, THAT does not make sense
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: Towards_the_gap on December 03, 2007, 21:59:10

Obviously amateurs at work. The Parachute Regiment should give courses in how to do it properly!
 


I firmly believe in the value of a properly administered 'beasting' or 'thrashing'.  as a young sapper, I would rather take that then face any administrative action.

the caveat being - as long as it is properly administered. By a suitably qualified PTI for example.

Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on December 03, 2007, 22:57:49
Heh... I remember the 5 Mi in 1hr 10 and10 Mi in 2hr10
So long as you are given an oportunity to train up to a standard, then it all makes sense
If you're simply thrown into the lion's den with only a wish and a prayer as preparation, THAT does not make sense

Yeah, whatever happened to that? 1 x 13 km march (at a leisurly pace along the flat) per year is pretty tame stuff, especially for the combat arms. Sigh...
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: geo on December 04, 2007, 10:17:22
the 1 x 13Km test is just that.... a test for all - combat arms & all other trades working for & with the Green machine.  Combat arms units should be looking at doing same said exercise (or even more strrenuous) on a monthly or bi monthly basis.

Wayback when, we didn't get away with only one 10 Mi activity per year..... more like once per month as a minimum.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on December 04, 2007, 11:16:22
We did 1 x 10 miler per week, very hilly too. You get used to it. (The TV was always bad in the morning in the UK anyways  ;D)
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on December 04, 2007, 11:17:53
Appalling treatment of wounded British soldiers in NHS and the inspiring story of Jeremy Clarkson (and wife's) response
 
 
From The Sunday Times
December 2, 2007

Clarkson’s hero
How Jeremy Clarkson’s outrage over a wounded soldier led to this year’s Sunday Times Christmas appeal

Margarette Driscoll
Give here: www.justgiving.com/h4h_sundaytimes

Help for Heroes website: www.helpforheroes.org.uk



Here’s Jeremy Clarkson, writing the other week on getting in touch (or not) with his inner woman: “I shave my face, not my legs. I am not interested in cushions or soft furnishings . . . I think you should only use a telephone if you are on a moor, it’s the middle of the night and you are surrounded by wolves. The notion that it can be used ‘for a chat’ is as ridiculous as the notion that cuddling is in some way rewarding.”

You might think that being married to him would present something of a challenge. Followers of his column in News Review are used to his forthright, blokey views on everything from Britishness and the nanny state to binge drinking (it’s good for you). As the presenter of Top Gear, he presides over a cheerful mayhem of explosions, stunts and screaming tyres. But behind the Neanderthal facade there is an inner woman lurking – somewhere.

“He once told me that when we met he found me rather intimidating: I had a GTi, a job and wore red lipstick,” says his wife Francie. “He had just started in television then and was mostly watching Danger-mouse and playing Scrabble with his mates. I was the one who went out to work every day in the power suit.

“He was very sweet, he’d do the shopping and the cooking – he even did some ironing for me. I know it’s not what people expect of Jeremy Clarkson . . .”

That was 1990: neither of them had any idea at the time that Jeremy would one day become a global star. Top Gear is estimated to have more than 350m viewers worldwide and his books seem to have acquired a permanent slot in the bestsellers lists.

The power of his punchy humour was brought home to them in the most unexpected way this time last year, a few months after they had been invited to dinner near their Oxfordshire home and met M a j o r - G e n e r a l Richard Shirreff and his wife Sarah-Jane. Shirreff was about to take command of our troops in Basra.

“The next thing I heard from Richard was a call from Iraq,” says Francie. “One of his soldiers, Lance Bombardier Ben Parkinson, although not serving in Iraq at the time – actually serving in Afghanistan – had been badly injured. He’d had both his legs blown off, his spine was badly damaged, his arms were badly damaged, he had terrible injuries and he was in a coma in Selly Oak hospital.”

Diane Dernie, Parkinson’s mother, had been at his bedside ever since he had been airlifted to Britain and was reading to him from one of Jeremy’s books when she saw a glimmer of a smile – his first sign of life.

“So Ben’s in a coma, he comes from Doncaster, which is Jeremy’s home town, and Richard says, ‘It’s a big ask, but would you and Jeremy go and see him?’ I remember thinking, ‘Oh gosh, it’s the last thing Jeremy needs’. We get a lot of charity requests and it was a very busy time for Top Gear – but Jeremy said, ‘No, no, I really want to do it’.”

Realising they would also be seeing other wounded soldiers, Francie started ringing round for Top Gear T-shirts, videos and magazines to take along.

What they found at Selly Oak hospital– which is part of the University Hospital Birmingham NHS foundation trust but also houses the Royal Centre for Defence Medicine – was profoundly shocking.

The National Health Service care was extremely good but the soldiers had no dedicated ward. Colleagues were not allowed to visit wearing uniform for fear of upsetting Muslim visitors and staff. Once their emergency treatment ended, even those as badly injured as Parkinson would have to join the NHS waiting list for the physiotherapy they needed, along with everyone else, despite having fought for their country.

“You’re looking at boys who’ll live, with luck, but their lives will never be the same again. Ben is making an amazing recovery but that day, when we first met him, he didn’t know we had met him. And the reality is he’s got no legs and speech is still very difficult for him,” says Francie.

“Diane, his mother, is an amazing woman. She’s never given up hope. She gave up her job instantly and moved to Birmingham to be by his bedside. Ben’s life has been devastated, but so has hers and her family’s. We promised her that one day when he was well enough we’d get him down to Top Gear.”

That same day they met a 19-year-old whose last memory was of mortar fire as he was blown up in Afghanistan – losing the use of one leg and sustaining terrible stomach injuries – and who had woken to find himself in a geriatric ward. He later contracted MRSA.

Another soldier had been hit by a sniper and was paralysed from the neck down. It would be months before he reached the top of the queue for physiotherapy.

On the way home Francie phoned a girlfriend and said: “You won’t believe what we’ve just seen.”

“She said, ‘Well, we know people who could afford to buy an iPod each, don’t we? Let’s do that, then my son can download some music for them’. I thought: okay, I’m on it, and that was the start.”

Jeremy did his bit by writing angrily that in the NHS, these soldiers wounded in the service of their country were treated no differently from “a lad who got drunk and smashed his Citroën into a tree”.

On their next visit to the hospital they went in three large estate cars. Francie had persuaded Sony to donate MP3 players, PlayStations and games; friends had given gifts and the Clarksons’ nanny, whose boyfriend was a former soldier, had given a television and DVD for the accommodation being prepared for the families.

When their convoy arrived they found the hospital was reluctant to let them in as “Jeremy had caused such a hoo-ha”. So they sat in the canteen “like naughty children” while a friend sorted things out. (Selly Oak hospital is a different place now, says Francie, with all the issues they highlighted resolved.)

The Clarksons were determined to continue to do what they could to help. Their friends had shown that there was a well of goodwill out there towards the soldiers that was at yet untapped. What they didn’t know was that Bryn Parry, a cartoonist and former member of the Royal Green Jackets, had also visited the wounded soldiers and come up with an inspired idea: a new charity, Help for Heroes, which is now part of The Sunday Times Christmas Appeal. It aims to channel that goodwill into the provision of better facilities for men such as Parkinson. WHEN the Selly Oak soldiers were fit enough to leave hospital, many were transferred to Headley Court, a military rehabilitation centre in Surrey which has specialist facilities for amputees.

Headley Court is run on military lines. One soldier said that after weeks as a hospital patient, the day you are wheeled into Headley Court is “the day hope begins”.

At Headley Court no one is allowed to feel sorry for himself. “They call it beasting, but they look after each other, pull each other up,” says Francie. “There’s lots of laughter and a feeling that they are among their own.”

The centre is publicly funded but its facilities are far from lavish, which is why Help for Heroes is raising money for it. One of the gyms where amputees are put through their paces is effectively a tent.

Parry was disturbed to find that, despite the importance of swimming in building body strength without putting stress on injured limbs, Headley Court had no swimming pool. A pool was recognised by the government as a “need” but not an “urgent need”.

With British troops engaged on two fronts, at high cost to the defence budget, the pool was never likely to make it to the top of the priority list, despite the growing number of injured soldiers being sent home from the two wars.

Instead troops were – and still are – being bussed to nearby Leatherhead where they have to share the pool with members of the public, to the dismay of both sides.

Boys who had been blown up or shot had to reveal their stumps and scars in front of gaping onlookers. As recently as 10 days ago there was an altercation when two women told the troops they should get out of the water as they were “scaring the children”.

“It’s happened so many times that that one didn’t even get reported up the chain,” says Francie grimly.

Neighbours have also objected to accommodation being built for soldiers’ families at Headley Court, she adds: “If I got their names and addresses I’d have them all tried for treason. These soldiers are prepared to do something none of us is prepared to do. And we owe them, big time.

“I’m not suggesting it should be different, it’s not a question of whether they should be going to war or not. The fact is that they are prepared to go and serve wherever they are told – they don’t get a choice – and they are giving an awful lot.

“When they come back hurt and damaged, the least we can do is everything we can to help them. They’re trained to have pride, to be dignified, never to complain, so it takes us civilians to do that on their behalf.”

Francie’s sense of the acute importance of supporting men who come back from war is informed by the experience of her own family. Her father Major Robert Cain was one of five men to win the VC at Arnhem in Holland in September 1944.

It was part of Market Garden, one of the largest airborne operations of the war. Some 10,600 troops went in; fewer than 2,500 came out. Major Cain was the only VC who lived to tell the tale.

The plan was to drop airborne forces at strategic bridges in occupied Holland so that land troops could drive through from Belgium into Germany. The last bridge, at Arnhem, proved – as Hollywood later had it – a bridge too far.

Francie’s father and his colleagues flew in by glider under heavy fire. Several gliders crash-landed or collided.

Some pilots were crushed when the vehicles or heavy machinery the gliders were carrying smashed into the cockpits.

Cain got to within 2,000 yards of the Arnhem bridge to face a German counterattack. Some 300 of the 400 men he was commanding were killed. He was then ordered to hold nearby high ground where 40 more of his men were killed in 90 minutes. In the siege that followed in Oosterbeek, where the allies had gathered, he was badly wounded and temporarily blinded when a PIAT antitank shell blew up in his face. Yet he carried on fighting.

“His face and legs were full of shrapnel, his eyes blackened and his eardrums were perforated,” Francie wrote after visiting the spot where it happened.

“He apparently declined medical treatment (morphine was in short supply), stuffing pieces of field dressing in his ear to stop the bleeding. His trousers had been pretty much blown off.

“The thought of a man with a bloody and blackened face, a rag protruding from his ear, with shredded trousers exposing bloody legs, running around shooting at Tiger tanks from the hip with a PIAT, [took] me back to Hollywood. So why didn’t Harrison Ford play him in the film? Dad didn’t even have a walk-on part.”

He “bagged” three Tiger tanks that day. “The citation told of my father’s boundless energy and bravery, motivating and inspiring those around him, putting any concerns for his own safety behind him while he took on an overwhelming enemy seemingly single-handed,” said Francie.

She added: “Despite my father’s unholy appearance during the battle, I am told he made his men find clean shirts and have a shave before they retreated over the river. He didn’t want them to retreat in disarray. I think it helped them to restore some pride in themselves.”

Months later, after collecting his VC at Buckingham Palace, Francie’s father went to a pub in Whitehall to celebrate with some mates who had also won awards. After a few drinks, he left the VC on the table.

“It made me laugh because I got to see and touch the medal the other day,” says Francie. “It’s part of an exhibition at the Isle of Man museum that I opened. They made me wear cotton gloves to handle it and I thought: God, and there’s my dad leaving it probably in a pool of beer in the pub.”

As a child she knew nothing of this – neither of Arnhem nor of its beery aftermath.

After the war, her father rejoined Shell, the oil company. He was 51 when she was born. A few years later he took early retirement and the family moved to the Isle of Man, where Francie grew up. Her father died of cancer when she was 13.

The VC had never been mentioned. “It wasn’t a secret, but it wasn’t something he would have wanted to talk about,” she says. “He wasn’t a military man but he was a very disciplined, righteous person. Talking to my mother, he’d found what he had to do in the war very, very disturbing and suffered for years after that emotionally.”

Some years ago Jeremy made a television documentary about Major Cain’s VC. Soon afterwards an elderly man who called every year selling poppies for the British Legion appeared at the Clarksons’ door and gave Francie a bundle of letters.

“They were letters sent between him and two other mates who’d been together in the war. They’d gone home, where you couldn’t really talk about it, so the letters were all sharing the horrors they’d had together, which was their way of dealing with it,” says Francie.

“That’s the other importance of a place like Headley Court. Soldiers can talk to each other about things they wouldn’t even tell their wives or friends at home, because they can’t understand what they’ve been through. More Falklands veterans have died through suicide than were killed in the war and the emotional effects of what’s going on now are are going to be huge.

“Soldiers have seen their mates killed, they’ve maybe killed civilian children, they’ve been to hell and back. As a people we need to prepare for that.”

Help for Heroes, of which Jeremy and Francie have become patrons, was launched in The Sunday Times in September. It aims to raise £5m to build a swimming pool and gym complex at Headley Court. It has already raised £1.8m, including more than £100,000 from Sunday Times readers, and we hope you will continue to give to the charity as part of our Christmas Appeal.

It was Headley Court’s upbeat spirit that appealed to Francie when she visited. “It’s the bit where they start to get back on their feet,” she says. “Years ago I used to work in outplacement counselling, which was basically working with people who’d been made redundant and helping them get started again. People used to say to me, ‘Isn’t that very depressing being around people who are unemployed all the time?’ but I’d say it would be depressing if I’d been the one doing the firing: my bit is when the damage has been done, pulling them back up and helping them get started again.”

Parkinson, who is 23, has been at Headley Court for several months now. He has lost three years of memory but has regained a little movement in his arm and is learning to balance on special “kneeler legs” designed for double amputees.

“He’s being spoken of as the most wounded soldier that’s ever survived – it’s only down to modern techniques and a bit of luck that he’s still alive,” says Francie.

Despite that, Parkinson was initially offered only £152,000 in compensation, a sum meant to cover his medical costs for life, while a typist working for the RAF was awarded £484,000 for a repetitive strain injury to her thumb. To make matters worse, his girlfriend, Holly Wood has left him, unable to cope with the extent of his injuries, so he has also lost daily contact with his one-year-old son.

But he is facing up to things as bravely as you would expect. Last week, almost a year after they met, Francie fulfilled her promise and took him to visit the set at Top Gear. “It was a fabulous day,” she says. “He wasn’t able to get into the cars, but he could watch and talk to the Stig [Top Gear’s stunt driver].

“Your instinct is to mother these guys, but that’s the wrong thing; they don’t want sympathy. He was just in a T-shirt and I kept asking him if he was cold. Finally he said, ‘I’m a para – I don’t do cold’.”

My Jeremy’s got a girlie car and has done the ironing

When Jeremy wrote his attack on the treatment of wounded soldiers, he addressed it to Tony Blair, urging him “to help people who you put in harm’s way”.

A lot of people would like to see Jeremy enter the political arena directly: a petition on the Downing Street website proposing him for prime minister attracted 26,000 signatures recently.

“It’s about the only protest vote people get,” says his wife Francie. “We haven’t got Screaming Lord Sutch any more and I’ve always believed that people died for the right to vote – so you have to vote – but there is never a ‘none of the above’ category, which is what a lot of us feel like ticking. So Jeremy represents the ‘none of the above’ option.”

Would he make a good candidate? He is certainly a more rounded character than his popular image sometimes suggests. As a newlywed, says Francie, “he was very sweet, he’d do the shopping and the cooking, he even did some ironing for me. It’s not what people expect of Jeremy Clarkson.”

But “in truth, he’s not a great shopper. If he’s a bit hungry he’ll go and buy a packet of Smarties, but he can’t think, ‘I might want to eat something else later on today.’ He’s not properly domesticated.”

Francie, a former employment consultant, became his manager after the birth of their first daughter, Emily, now 13. “I picked up his bookkeeping, which he’d never been particularly good at, picked up the phone, which he’d never bothered answering, and answered letters he’d never got around to,” she says.

And Francie for prime minister’s wife? Or even prime minister herself? She comes over as the sort of Englishwoman the word “capable” was invented for.

At home, Jeremy drives an open-topped Merc: she declares it a bit too “girlie” and has a soft spot for hardcore, stripped-down Porsche 911s (to Jeremy’s horror: he hates them and once destroyed one on Top Gear by crushing the bonnet with a piano, dousing the car in acid, then dropping it onto a caravan.)

She negotiates his contracts, handles his diary, sorts the fan mail, yet seems slightly bemused by the way it has all taken off.

His diatribes about life in modern Britain, hemmed in by speed cameras, CCTV and health and safety guidelines, have struck a chord. The writer Tony Parsons once called him “a dazzling beacon of political incorrectness”, but Francie says he’s just talking common sense.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: geo on December 04, 2007, 11:49:41
Interesting...
D&B.... is there truth in the story about service people being told NOT to wear uniforms when in the Hospitals?

From my perspective, anyone who feels troubled by seeing a uniform in one of our hospitals should qualify for a free one way ticket back to the old country of his or her choice..... (please surrender your passport at boarding - yeah - it's like a ticket we have to cancell)
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on December 04, 2007, 12:57:43
In the GOD (Good Old days) no one wore uniform off base due to the terrorist threat. We always had to have apeek under the car before driving away too. This safety issue may be driving that decision.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: geo on December 04, 2007, 13:24:20
Ahhh.... the GOD when the IRA was the ennemy

For the most part, never had the pleasure - though, for years, troops in Quebec were told / ordered to travel to & from work out of uniform.  That directive was reversed & troops directed to travel in uniform so as to give the public a sense of security in that someone was there..... from my own personal perspective, I have with only one exception, never been given grief for being a member of the military.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on December 04, 2007, 16:44:53
Ahhh the GOD. Sometimes things went right after all.... I remember beeing cheered up by this one.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/december/4/newsid_2520000/2520939.stm
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: Roy Harding on December 04, 2007, 23:23:51
Ahhh.... the GOD when the IRA was the ennemy

For the most part, never had the pleasure - though, for years, troops in Quebec were told / ordered to travel to & from work out of uniform.  That directive was reversed & troops directed to travel in uniform so as to give the public a sense of security in that someone was there..... from my own personal perspective, I have with only one exception, never been given grief for being a member of the military.

Wasn't just in Quebec.  We had the same order in Alberta and Ontario.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on December 05, 2007, 00:35:47
Father calls on RAF Chief to quit.

http://www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_2625926.html

It sounds like the Nimrods are clapped out.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: milnews.ca on December 05, 2007, 06:31:11
Brit MoD:  "The Board of Inquiry established the most probable cause of the fire and subsequent loss of (Nimrod) XV230 (in Afghanistan) and in doing so identified failings for which the Ministry of Defence must take responsibility. On behalf of the MOD and the Royal Air Force, I would like to apologise to the House of Commons, and most of all to those who lost their lives, and to their families. I am sorry."

http://xrl.us/bcc9b (Link to www.mod.uk)

BOI Link
http://xrl.us/bcc9d (Link to www.mod.uk)

Nimrod XV230 - Additional Briefing (.pdf)
http://xrl.us/bcc9f (Link to www.operations.mod.uk)
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: geo on December 05, 2007, 10:53:39
Quote
Nimrod is a development of the basic Comet No 4C airframe that dates from the late 1940s as a maritime patrol aircraft The de Havilland Comet was the world's first jet airliner designed by Hawker Siddeley.   Both the current variants are descended from the original Nimrod MR Mark 1 version (first flight May 1967) upgraded during the 1980s.

I remember various stories in the press that date back to the Toronto air show crash in 1995.  I always got the impression that there were many issues about the Nimrod back then.... and 12-13 years later, the aircraft must certainly be showing it's age.  However, without anything on the horizon to offer hope of replacement, I don't see where the MoD will have any alternative but to continue it's use for another 10 years.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on December 06, 2007, 19:59:22
They had the 'Blue Circle' radar installed for years while I was there. The real radar system ran over budget and time so badly that they had to install bags of Blue Circle cement in the nose cavity to make up weight until it was ready.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on December 06, 2007, 20:01:04
I have a pal who was serving in NI at the time who missed this flight because he decided to drive over to the conference in Scotland instead. Lucky bugger...

Browne re-examines Chinook crash 
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/glasgow_and_west/7131045.stm
 
Campaigners want to clear Richard Cook and Jonathan Tapper
The cause of a Chinook crash on the Mull of Kintyre in 1994 in which 29 people died is to be re-examined, BBC Scotland has learned.
Defence Secretary Des Browne is to look at papers from campaigners who say they found evidence which could posthumously clear the pilots.

The RAF accused Flt Lts Jonathan Tapper and Richard Cook of "gross negligence".

Campaigners said there were serious flaws in the Chinook helicopter and will meet Mr Browne next month.

The crash, 13 years ago, was the RAF's worst peacetime accident.

Four special forces crew and 25 senior members of Northern Ireland's intelligence community died.

The Chinook helicopter crashed into a hillside while flying from RAF Aldergrove, near Belfast, to Fort George, near Inverness.

 
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: geo on December 06, 2007, 20:36:39
MoD found the pilots responsible for the accident?

Lord knows they wouldn't want to take the bullet for service issues .... I'm shocked (though not surprised) that something like this might have happened.

To the crew and passengers, RIP
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on December 19, 2007, 00:34:51
Armed RN Skypilots... Having worked with them in the RM, I'm all for that.

(And they don't do a full 32 week commando course. They do the All Arms Course, which is 8 weeks in total - 3 weeks beat up and the 5 week course itself)

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/worldnews.html?in_article_id=495281&in_page_id=1811
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on December 21, 2007, 15:16:30
Here's an idea for New Year Day festivities for you. Ice Breaking Drills: Rule number one - wear neoprene gloves if at all possible!

brrrr....


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rfAxJUrI7i8&feature=related

Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on December 21, 2007, 20:04:47
Basra Not a Retreat or Defeat


Friday, December 21, 2007

Source: MoD


Following the transition of Basra Province to Provincial Iraqi Control at the weekend Chief of the Defence Staff Air Chief Marshal Sir Jock Stirrup has challenged claims that the Iraq mission has been a failure.

In an interview with BFBS Television broadcast last night, Wednesday 19 December 2007, Sir Jock discussed a number of issues including the handover of Basra, the UK's military commitment to Afghanistan as well as his hope that a reduction in troop levels on deployed operations will ease the demands on the armed forces.
 
Referring to the handover of Basra Province on Sunday 16 December 2007 in Basra Sir Jock said: "Would we have liked to have seen better economic development and improved infrastructure faster? Of course we would. But all of these things have to be moved forward together."

Sir Jock was frank in his response to suggestions in the media this week that, with Sunday's handover, British forces had left the Iraqi people in control of a province in chaos and disorder. He also believes that only the people of Iraq have the power to resolve their country's troubles:

"I come back to the point that only the Iraqis can deliver this," he said. "We can't move into somebody else's country, take it over, rebuild it and hand it back and say, 'there you are now get on with it', that's never a realistic prospect. And if there was a failing, then perhaps it was not explaining that clearly enough at the outset."

Regarding the issues of infrastructure and economic development, the training of the police force and militia infiltration he added:

"The challenge of developing a police system in Iraq was always going to be massive. It's absolutely right to say that over the past two or three years infiltration of police by the militia has been a substantial problem; a problem which we have done ourselves a great deal about.

"You don't need to think back very far to recall the rather controversial raid on the Jameat, which we staged as part of that process. The training that's gone into the various police stations throughout Basra, an enormous amount of UK effort. But, in the final analysis, it comes down to the same point - that only the Iraqis can take these issues forward to a satisfactory and lasting conclusion."

Sir Jock was also asked to respond to claims that the UK mission in Iraq is now one of 'retreat and defeat':

"It's about delivering success. To those who regard Basra as a defeat, I don't agree with them - I think they are completely and utterly wrong - I'd ask them how they would characterise victory, and I think you will find you'd get some fairly preposterous answers to be honest, but answers that were clearly never deliverable.

"So it's a question of defining your terms in the first place, and as I've said, our definition of military success in Basra was to get the place and the people to the stage where the Iraqis could take over the running of that part of their country, and that's what they've done."

Turning to Afghanistan, Sir Jock was asked to explain how the UK military can reconcile the necessity for a long-term committment in Afghanistan with the need of the Armed Forces to regenerate, consolidate and train following such an intense period of operations with committments in Iraq and Afghanistan:

"We can only solve that problem through reducing the overall operational tempo," he explained. "Afghanistan is a long-term committment, but it's a long-term committment for the international community on a broad front of economic, social, infrastructure and governance development.

"The military contribution is certainly not going to be short-term, but one would expect the Afghan security forces, particularly the Afghan National Army which has been performing very well recently, to take on an increasing share of the military burden.

"In Iraq, of course, we are reducing the number of people deployed there; we already have reduced over the course of this year and we expect to be able to reduce further next year. We have withdrawn our combat forces from Bosnia, so overall we have started to reduce the number of our military deployed on operations and we expect that trend to continue, and that is the key to restoring the training base here within the UK and more widely."

 
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on December 26, 2007, 17:21:53
Royal Marines fight Christmas day battle with the Taleban, then march back to base in Santa hats... typical (sigh)

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/worldnews.html?in_article_id=504515&in_page_id=1811
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: NFLD Sapper on December 26, 2007, 17:28:35
Good to see they can still keep a sense of humor there.

:cheers:
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: geo on December 28, 2007, 11:24:56
To the boys of the RM, Best wishes for the season
Strap on that helment & balistic vest night & snug.  Take it to the TB and come home safe.

Best Wishes

CHIMO!
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on December 31, 2007, 20:56:38
New Years Honours List


http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/DefenceNews/HistoryAndHonour/2008NewYearsHonoursForServicePersonnelAndDefenceCivilians.htm
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on January 01, 2008, 15:47:00
Helmland Marathon

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/scotland/7166346.stm
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on January 03, 2008, 12:47:37

More whining about uniform changes at airports. I dunno. I'm trusting that the intelligence services in the UK know what they're talking about when they suggest this kind of stuff.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=505864&in_page_id=1770
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on January 03, 2008, 14:44:30
AN RAF ground crew man has become a video star — break-dancing as he directs £25million Tornado jets. Why are we not surprised?

http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/article643231.ece
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on January 04, 2008, 20:02:04
First British Muslim soldier KIA

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=393878&in_page_id=1770
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on January 07, 2008, 12:51:36
Granny shows that old gang haterds die hard...

Not strictly military, but when you're dealing with the Scots, it's a fuzzy grey line....


http://thescotsman.scotsman.com/opinion?articleid=3644846
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on January 07, 2008, 12:55:19

MOD denies war glamour claim:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/7174431.stm
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: geo on January 07, 2008, 15:50:54
Well... isn't that a whole lot of hooey!
All new recruits come in thinking that the world is at their feet and that they are invincible.
As young recruits they will learn their 1st real lesson in life AND THEN they will make their 1st educated response as an adult.... either decide that this IS or this ISN'T for me.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on January 07, 2008, 18:14:28
+1. Load of bollocks.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on January 07, 2008, 18:15:19
Prince William learns to fly, and some heckling about that (goodness me):

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/7174849.stm 

 http://www.hecklerspray.com/prince-william-believes-he-can-fly/200811698.php
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on January 10, 2008, 12:08:22
Bishops, RAF Pilots and Pole dancers have the same salary.

What about navigators?

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=507086&in_page_id=1770
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on January 11, 2008, 12:55:48
OK Andy, you're heading towards the bottom of the barrel now.


AN SAS hero will ABDUCT Big Brother housemates tomorrow and try to “break” them under tough interrogation in the most controversial reality TV stunt yet.

Sun security adviser Andy McNab, who led the famous Bravo Two Zero patrol in the Gulf War, will stage a special forces-style raid at 5am.

The ex-SAS sergeant will storm in with a team of former comrades. Contestants will be dragged from their beds, blindfolded, bundled into a van and driven away.

Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on January 14, 2008, 20:13:39
Pardon our noise, it is the sound of zipper headed freedom!

Village shaken by GPS-driven tank invasion - Sat nav panzer army
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/01/14/tank_satnav/

The Shropshire village of Donnington has suffered repeated invasions by transporters bearing 70-tonne tanks because the drivers' sat navs have mistaken the "picturesque" enclave with a nearby barracks of the same name.

The correct destination for the heavy metal is 15 miles away close to Telford, the Times reports, but residents say "tanks and other armoured vehicles arrived on their doorstep as many as seven times a week".

David Strefford, 60, told the paper: "It's like an invasion. We had seven tanks up the tiny lane outside my farm once.

"Their mapping systems must be a right mess. There are only six houses down here, so it looks nothing like an army base."

The army, however, says that private contractors are at fault. An official offered: "Military drivers would know where the Donnington barracks is."

Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on January 15, 2008, 00:27:48
Just in time for Burns.....


Jacobite rebels may yet seal victory

http://heritage.scotsman.com/heritage/Jacobite-rebels-may-yet-seal.3586729.jp

By STEPHEN MCGINTY

WE ARE no longer to be crushed as rebels. The government is considering rewriting the national anthem on the grounds that the historical third verse, which refers to the Jacobite rebellion of 1745, is not "inclusive".
The words, which refer to Scots as seditious, rebellious characters who should be crushed by British forces with the assistance of God Almighty was described as "not actually that inclusive" by Lord Goldsmith, the former attorney general. He is leading a citizenship review, ordered by the Prime Minister, Gordon Brown - a Scot, though not a seditious one.

The Labour peer, who is responsible for discovering ways to bind the United Kingdom together and promote Britishness through a new "statement of values", said he had encountered a number of people who argued that the lyrics, written in 1745 by an unknown author, should be polished in the interests of political correctness.

He said: "There's some problem with part of it, absolutely. Part of it is not that inclusive. Some people have suggested we might think about whether there are different words that might be put in place which would be more inclusive."

God Save The King (or Queen) was first sung in 1745 at two London theatres, the Theatres Royal at Drury Lane and Covent Garden, to rally public spirits after the Jacobite rebellion, led by Charles Edward Stuart, defeated King George II's troops at the Battle of Prestonpans.

The commander-in-chief of Britain's forces was Marshal George Wade, who was born in Ireland but had served the king in "North Britain". The controversial third chorus goes: "Lord grant that Marshal Wade/ May by thy mighty aid/ Victory bring/ May he sedition hush/ And like a torrent rush/ Rebellious Scots to crush/ God save the King."

Unfortunately, the Lord did not grant any such favour to Marshal Wade, who was sacked after he failed to counter the Jacobite's march into England and was replaced by Prince William Augustus, the Duke of Cumberland, who went on to win the decisive Battle of Culloden in 1746.

This particular verse was abandoned soon after and long before the song was accepted as the British national anthem in the 1780s and 1790s, where it has remained by tradition alone as it has never been formally adopted by a royal proclamation or an act of parliament.

Last night, Professor Ted Cowan of Glasgow University's history department, said: "I don't know of any other national anthem that celebrates the defeat of one constituent part of the nation. But I think this wretched song has been with us too long to get rid off."

But Andrew Roberts, the author of A History of the English Speaking Peoples since 1900 said: "I'm a pretty patriotic bloke and I think I've sung the national anthem more than anyone else my age - 45 - and I have never once sang the third verse. It ... has not been sung since the 18th century. We shouldn't change it, we should just ignore it as we have done for so long."
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: Chris Pook on January 15, 2008, 01:37:07
Come away the Hanoverians!!!!  Wade was right enough to crush all those red-shanked Tcheuchters and their French educated fop.  ;D
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: geo on January 15, 2008, 09:22:21
Sacré bleu!

Ils sont fou ces anglais!

  :warstory:
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on January 16, 2008, 00:53:21
Hopes over Chinook crash dossier 
   
Campaigners have said they are "cautiously optimistic" two RAF pilots killed in the 1994 Mull of Kintyre Chinook crash will be cleared of blame. 

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/scotland/7188468.stm
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on January 16, 2008, 20:03:40
Now this is something they really need to spend time worrying about as opposed to resurgent Russian threat...

Military lion shorn of his equipment after women troops protest


The proud motto of northern Europe’s crack rapid-reaction force is ad omnia paratus. Prepared for everything, everywhere. But the heraldic lion above the Latin tag now sends a less plucky message – he has just been digitally emasculated and, though technically still a lion rampant, he does not seem to be ready for anything, anywhere.

The change was implemented after a group of women Swedish soldiers protested that they could not identify with such an ostentatiously male lion on their army crest. A complaint of sex discrimination was then lodged with the European Court of Justice.

“We were forced to cut the lion’s willy off with the aid of a computer,” Christian Braunstein, from the Tradition Commission of the Swedish Army, said.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/europe/article3054270.ece
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: geo on January 17, 2008, 10:16:52
Quote
The Royal coats of arms in Norway, Finland, Belgium, Luxembourg and Scotland feature rampant lions who have been snipped.
Some crests are ambiguous, but the message remains clear: the lions are supposed to display courage and nothing else.

As for the three lions that feature prominently on the English crest – the pride and joy of England fans everywhere:
– they are as clean-cut as a eunuch in an Ottoman harem.

Perhaps that goes some way towards explaining England’s recent performances on the football field.


OY!!  No fair!
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on January 17, 2008, 11:19:31
... or cricket pitch ;D
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on January 17, 2008, 19:20:15
Wtach and shoot....


UK Army chiefs claim US 'trumpets' body count as tensions between allied forces rise
By MATTHEW HICKLEY -Last updated at 12:04pm on 17th January 2008 

 British commanders were outraged after the US defence secretary criticised other Nato troops for their role in the bloody conflict in Afghanistan.

Robert Gates said the 30,000 US troops in Afghanistan were "doing a terrific job" in confronting the Taliban insurgency.

He added, however: "I think our allies over there, this is not something they have any experience with."


http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/worldnews.html?in_article_id=508709&in_page_id=1811&in_a_source=
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: geo on January 18, 2008, 09:18:35
After that press point, Mr Gates has gone into damage control and taken Olympic figure skating.....
He has specificaly noted Canada, the UK, the Netehrlands and Danmark for their contribution to counterinsurgency operations...

Our other NATO "allies" were notable for not being mentioned.

Cheech.......

Guess I'll give him a 9 for Chutzpah, a 5 for Artistic impression and a 10 for Foot in mouth.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on January 18, 2008, 11:12:07
Yes, he can back pedal pretty well for a guy with both feet in his mouth.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: milnews.ca on January 18, 2008, 11:51:56
“We were forced to cut the lion’s willy off with the aid of a computer,” Christian Braunstein, from the Tradition Commission of the Swedish Army, said.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/europe/article3054270.ece


I wish I could use messaging like THAT in my workplace!   ;D
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on January 20, 2008, 04:27:45
Soldiers selling weapons to thugs ... according to the Sun at any rate.

http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/article705480.ece
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: milnews.ca on January 20, 2008, 09:19:00
UK troops underwhelmed at seeing civil servants @ Kabul Embassy get time off for trauma linked to bomb going off +1 mile away

http://www.sundaymirror.co.uk/news/2008/01/20/civil-servants-hear-bomb-go-off-and-get-fortnight-off-for-stress-98487-20291436/

Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: cameron on January 20, 2008, 10:24:58
My mother always says that everything in life has a limit, political correctness is no exception.  What next, painting the lion black so it doesn't offend West Indians like myself?
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: geo on January 20, 2008, 11:52:30
UK troops underwhelmed at seeing civil servants @ Kabul Embassy get time off for trauma linked to bomb going off +1 mile away

Well.... This subject has come up a couple of times - on this side of the pond.  Personnel working at the embassy aren't paid danger pay.... and, let's face it, if they wanted to put their life in danger, they woulda joined the military.

CF troops posted to the Cdn embassy in Kabul do not have the same benefits as the troops who are down in Kandahar...
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: milnews.ca on January 20, 2008, 11:54:34
Well.... This subject has come up a couple of times - on this side of the pond.  Personnel working at the embassy aren't paid danger pay.... and, let's face it, if they wanted to put their life in danger, they woulda joined the military.

CF troops posted to the Cdn embassy in Kabul do not have the same benefits as the troops who are down in Kandahar...

Thanks for sharing that - wonder why MSM isn't chasing THAT story?  Oh, right, not spectacular enough...
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: geo on January 20, 2008, 11:54:37
My mother always says that everything in life has a limit, political correctness is no exception.  What next, painting the lion black so it doesn't offend West Indians like myself?

.... the Black madonna comes to mind
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on January 20, 2008, 12:20:49
... and don't forget the premature demise of the Robertson's 'Golly'!
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: Chris Pook on January 20, 2008, 13:04:12
.... the Black madonna comes to mind


Just a point - not a hijack:  The Black Madonna  (http://campus.udayton.edu/mary/resources/blackm/blackm.html) has been around a very long time and has nothing to do with political correctness geo.  She is particularly highly venerated in Poland.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: geo on January 20, 2008, 14:14:08
Whups.... 
OK.... wrong & unresearched reply gets me between the eyes (again)
However, though the Black madonna has been around for a long time, who says it wasn't, at one time, a long, long time ago - in a place far, far away, created to be more acceptable to the local faithful... or to gain acceptance from those they saught to grow the faithful.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: Chris Pook on January 20, 2008, 14:18:26
I'm hearing a rubber band stretching an awful long way on that on geo  ;)
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: geo on January 20, 2008, 14:19:48
Ok.... Uncle!
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on January 20, 2008, 16:15:58
The latest on the NI Legacy report. 1) Yes, it was a war - still is IMHO 2) Amnesty for terrorists? Not a chance - hopefully they'll get life instead.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/7176271.stm
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/northern_ireland/7198678.stm
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: cameron on January 20, 2008, 19:58:21
... and don't forget the premature demise of the Robertson's 'Golly'!

Actually the Robertson's golliwog was offensive.  The British golliwog first came into being as a caricature of black people.  Now cutting the dick off some poor lion, that's just wrong.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on January 21, 2008, 02:47:45
This is what a craeer in the Royal Marines can do for you... stay in school kids!

Naked rambler completes his trek
 
 
Mr Gough has had a long journey to the far north

The man dubbed the naked rambler has finally completed his marathon trek from Land's End to John O'Groats.
Stephen Gough, 44, from Hampshire, finished his walk after seven months, much of which was spent in jail.

Mr Gough celebrated with a bottle of champagne and said he was looking forward to a good meal and a soft bed before heading home to Hampshire.

The former Royal Marine made the 900-mile journey to question society's attitude towards the human body.
 

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/3420685.stm

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/scotland/edinburgh_and_east/7196711.stm

Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: Mr.Newf on January 21, 2008, 14:59:27
British soldier killed, five injured in Afghanistan (http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20080121/brit_soldier_080121/20080121?hub=World)


Quote
British soldier killed, five injured in Afghanistan
Updated Mon. Jan. 21 2008 7:58 AM ET

CTV.ca News Staff

One British soldier was killed and five others were injured in a roadside blast outside a former Taliban town in southern Afghanistan, officials said Monday.

The British Ministry of Defence said the five soldiers were airlifted to NATO bases for medical treatment and are expected to survive.

The incident occurred on Sunday in an area northeast of Musa Qala, a town located in northern Helmand province, when the soldiers were travelling in a NATO patrol vehicle.

Musa Qala had been a Taliban stronghold for 10 months until coalition forces recaptured it last month.

On Saturday, five civilians were killed and three others wounded when the taxi they were riding in struck a roadside bomb in southern Afghanistan.

The explosion occurred in the Panjwaii district of Kandahar province, where NATO troops and Taliban fighters have engaged in a number of several battles over the last 18 months.

Panjwaii district chief Shah Baran said such improvised explosive devices (IEDs) are often aimed at Afghan and NATO forces, "but this time it exploded on civilians."

Canada has about 2,500 troops operating in Kandahar province, one of the most violent regions in the country.

Seventy-seven of them have died since 2002, along with a Canadian diplomat.

Most of the deaths have been the result of IED attacks.

Trooper Richard Renaud was killed last Tuesday, when a roadside bomb struck his light-armoured vehicle while he was on reconnaissance north of Kandahar.

Since October 2001, a total of 87 British forces personnel have been killed in Afghanistan.

RIP Soldier :salute:
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on January 22, 2008, 03:32:26
Ahh cr*p. Poor lad...

Meanwhile, back at the red tape library: MoD Admits Inquiry into 69 lost laptops

http://politics.guardian.co.uk/homeaffairs/story/0,,2244740,00.html

Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on January 23, 2008, 18:36:59
Bader's leg up for grabs

War hero Douglas Bader's prosthetic leg is to be sold at auction.

It is one of 43 items belonging to the Second World War hero who continued to fly for the RAF despite losing both legs in a plane crash.

Phillip Knapper, from the auction house, said he expected Bader's memorabilia, including Red Cross parcels sent to him in Colditz Castle as well as his mess bill, to exceed £100,000.

His Alvis car from the 1960s is expected to fetch another £60,000.

Mr Knapper said: "Douglas Bader is one of those people who formed an important part of our history.

"A lot of people have been inspired to rebuild their lives through his example because nothing ever stopped him. He learnt to drive, he flew, he played golf, even though he didn't have any legs.

"We want to keep the Bader collection together if possible although the car can be sold as a separate lot because it doesn't form part of the Second World War collection."

Mr Knapper said he had already had interest from Singapore and Hong Kong for the items.

He described the vendor as a man in his 80s from Lincolnshire. He bought the items from the daughter of Bader's mess sergeant at RAF Duxford.

Mr Knapper said museums had also expressed interest in the collection but said it would be sold through a privately negotiated treaty.


http://www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_2694838.html
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on January 23, 2008, 18:39:16
Faulty fridge sends warship back to base:

Couldn't be because they needed to keep their beer warm...

http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20080123/od_afp/britainmilitarynavyillustrious_080123171326
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on January 24, 2008, 13:03:04
Was it a cop or soldier who pulled the trigger?

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article550024.ece
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: Dog Walker on January 25, 2008, 17:19:06
Who cons wins: Six SAS soldiers face court martial over fraud allegations
By MATTHEW HICKLEY –
Last updated at 17:54pm on 25th January 2008

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=510449&in_page_id=1770&ito=1490

Six soldiers from the elite SAS are facing a court martial on charges of embezzling up to £250,000 from the unit's training budget.
The men are alleged to have secretly siphoned off the money over a period of years from funds used to pay for specialist jungle training exercises in Brunei and Borneo.
It is the first time any members of the unit have faced such serious charges.
The case has sent shockwaves through members of UK Special Forces, and particularly the Hereford garrison where the 22 Special Air Service Regiment is based.
The men will appear at a preliminary legal hearing at the Army's court martial centre at Bulford in Wiltshire early next month, when a date will be set for their trial on charges of conspiracy to defraud, the Ministry of Defence confirmed.
Reporting restrictions mean they can only be referred to as Soldiers A, B, C, D, E and F, and no photographs can be published.
The MOD hides the identities of all Special Forces personnel to prevent them from revenge attacks by terrorists or extremists.
Royal Military Police investigators are understood to have spent more than a year probing the alleged fraud after discrepancies were found in the regiment's accounts.
Two of the accused are believed to be "badged" members of the regiment's fighting squadrons, while the other four are thought to be in administrative and support roles.
If they are convicted, they will suffer the stigma and indignity of being returned "RTU"d - sent back to their original units - and are then likely to be thrown out of the Army.
The charges carry a maximum sentence of five years in jail.
SAS troopers and officers routinely train in jungle warfare skills using bases in the Far East, spending months learning to survive and fight in some of the harshest conditions on earth.
The unit, along with the Royal Marines' SBS, has been at the forefront of Britain's role in the war on terror in Iraq and Afghanistan in recent years.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on January 25, 2008, 17:57:10
Some competition for Winnie the Pooh from the Poles...

Honour sought for 'Soldier Bear' 
   
A campaign has been launched to build a permanent memorial to a bear which spent much of its life in Scotland - after fighting in World War II.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/scotland/south_of_scotland/7208505.stm
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on January 28, 2008, 01:02:29
Wow. This is a big deal. We never wore uniforms in public when off duty or driving to/from work. I suppose that the Al Queda threat isn't as bad as the IRA threat that prompted the 'no uniforms in public' order in the 70s - or they're just desperately trying to boost the military's image, at any cost.

Off-duty troops may be in uniform 
 
British soldiers may be encouraged to wear their uniforms while off-duty in an attempt to boost their popularity with the general public. The possible move is part of an ongoing review into how best to improve the public's perception of the military.
 
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7211979.stm
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: geo on January 28, 2008, 09:03:47
D&B
It's a perverse thing that. 
Over here, some people appear to feel safer by seeing us in public.

I remember the dark days when we carried our uniforms in bags - to & from "work"... certainly didn't do much for our own morale at the time.  Since the directive was rescinded, I have only been given grief once..... VS the hundreds of friendly nods, winks, thumbs up, word of encouragement, etc.... and it's even increased since I banged up my knee & I travel with leg brace & cane.

Ohhh.... guess we are a distinct society after all ( Canada I mean :) )   :cdn:
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on January 28, 2008, 15:42:31
OK, so this has been an issue for decades. Nothing new for good old HM Forces IMHO


Pressures 'driving UK troops out' 
 
The pressures faced by the armed forces are driving away experienced personnel and damaging morale, MPs have warned.
The strain of operating at full capacity in Afghanistan and Iraq has left the services "deteriorating", a defence select committee report says.

Personnel do not get enough rest time, and budgets are spiralling out of control, its annual MoD report adds.

Defence minister Bob Ainsworth said the forces were achieving "our highest priority - success on operations".
 


http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/politics/7211901.stm
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: NFLD Sapper on January 28, 2008, 15:47:07
D&B
It's a perverse thing that. 
Over here, some people appear to feel safer by seeing us in public.

I remember the dark days when we carried our uniforms in bags - to & from "work"... certainly didn't do much for our own morale at the time.  Since the directive was rescinded, I have only been given grief once..... VS the hundreds of friendly nods, winks, thumbs up, word of encouragement, etc.... and it's even increased since I banged up my knee & I travel with leg brace & cane.

Ohhh.... guess we are a distinct society after all ( Canada I mean :) )   :cdn:

Remember shortly after 9/11 they told us not to wear uniform to/from work. At least someone got the head out of their a$$ as resinded that order.

Maybe they think its from being over the sandpile.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on January 28, 2008, 15:51:00
Good Lord, what a load of nonesense. I hope they've got their **** together by now.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: geo on January 28, 2008, 17:50:38
Careful D&B
Methinks you assume too much

*** (out of) u (you &) me
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on January 29, 2008, 14:59:07
Perhaps this article is a good explanation of that particular phenomena!

Unskilled and Unaware of It: How difficulties in recognizing one's own incompetence lead to inflated self-assessments.

Of course this doesn't apply to me because I'm perfect.

http://www.apa.org/journals/features/psp7761121.pdf
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: geo on January 29, 2008, 15:23:09
You're perfect?
I thought you were "daft&barmy"  ???
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on January 29, 2008, 15:26:48
Egads! I am undone!
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: geo on January 29, 2008, 16:53:25
D&B

make up your mind....
you are either
Daft&barmy OR
Perfect OR
Undone

Ahhh.... I think I got it:

Perfect and undone are your middle name(s)

:P

Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on January 29, 2008, 17:51:47
Luckily, I can now blame my confusion on this. The older I get, the better I was!:

Middle-age is truly depressing, study finds
By Michael Kahn Tue Jan 29, 7:25 AM ET

LONDON (Reuters) - Middle age is truly miserable, according to a study using data from 80 countries showing that depression is most common among men and women in their forties.

The British and U.S. researchers found that happiness for people ranging from Albania to Zimbabwe follows a U-shaped curve where life begins cheerful before turning tough during middle age and then returning to the joys of youth in the golden years.
 
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20080129/hl_nm/depression_age_dc
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on January 29, 2008, 17:54:12
Blimey... we used to go on the razzle in Leicester all the time.

Islamic extremist gang 'plotted to kidnap British Muslim soldier and behead him like a pig'
Last updated at 16:42pm on 29th January 2008

An Islamic extremist admitted plotting to kidnap and behead a British Muslim soldier in Birmingham, a court heard today.


Parviz Khan, 37, planned to cut off his head "like a pig" in a garage and post film of the atrocity on the internet.

The former charity worker, a British citizen, wanted to "cause panic and fear within the armed forces and the wider public".

He was going to snatch the soldier in the city's pub and club area of Broad Street with the help of drug dealers, Leicester crown court was told. 

 
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=511048&in_page_id=1770&ct=5
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on January 31, 2008, 14:15:36
Training Time Cut for troops headed to the front:

http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/article747527.ece
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on February 01, 2008, 12:30:53
Honour for the Spitfire’s unsung flying heroines

Michael Evans, Defence Editor
The survivors of a group of women who flew Spitfires in non-combat roles during the Second World War are expected to be honoured with a special badge.

The women of the Air Transport Auxiliary may not have taken part in the Battle of Britain but, without their flying skills and courage in delivering the aircraft to the RAF bases for their male counterparts to clear the skies of German bombers, the battle would never have got off the ground.


http://women.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/women/article3285304.ece
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on February 03, 2008, 15:27:33
RRF keeping the army in the public eye, for better or worse! Ah well, they say any advertising is good advertising..
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/7224954.stm 

Eco-plans for army bases? Whoa nelly...
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/coventry_warwickshire/7224651.stm
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: Chris Pook on February 03, 2008, 15:50:18
Is "Brit troops brawling in Cyprus" really a story?  Or for that matter "Brits brawling in Cyprus a story"?  ........ How about tourists generally there?
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: commando gunner on February 04, 2008, 03:01:00
It is partly a story because Ayia Napa was out of bound for years after tour guide Louise Jensen was murdered by Green Jackets. Its also a story because the UK press enjoy finding anything scandalous out about anyone in uniform, be they police or forces. I am unconvinced that the British public share the same curiosity.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on February 05, 2008, 01:40:11
The gossip was juicier when it involved things like a gay soviet infiltrated Sigs Corps spy ring on Mt Troodos. I miss the Cold War in so many, taudry, ways.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on February 05, 2008, 02:34:04
Wind farms create radar blind spots... I guess that accounts for that secret base we have at Pincher Creek   ;D

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/article3308527.ece
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on February 05, 2008, 17:06:09
Captain's privates caught on film. CLM? Depends on which regiment he's from...

http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/article763475.ece

Thank God for the Sun.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: geo on February 05, 2008, 18:01:31
Quote
He allegedly added: “I believe I was with a girl.


“She got out my penis and started performing a sex act. She then told me to finish myself off.”

WPC Gillian Leech told the court: “McLauchlan was drunk and kept breaking wind in front of me.

“I asked him to stop several times
. He told me he was hungry.

“He did not seem bothered until I got out my handcuffs and I said I was going to arrest him. He started to run.”


Priceless!
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on February 07, 2008, 01:51:29
Maybe Randy Andy was drunk too...

Prince Andrew: The pampered playboy Britain can't afford
Prince Andrew came under intense criticism in Washington yesterday for his attack on George Bush's Iraq policies.

The prince, whose ten-day trade mission to the U.S. starts today, said America had failed to heed British advice about the war.
His extraordinary departure from protocol brought accusations of "shooting from the hip". Nile Gardiner, of the Heritage Foundation think-tank, said: "His remarks will only undermine the image of the Royal Family in America. "They were totally inappropriate and a significant diplomatic blunder. They will cause offence here." A senior Pentagon officer involved in Iraq said: "Prince Andrew should know better. "What did he hope to achieve with these remarks? At best they were thoughtless, at worst insulting." In Britain, Labour MPs called his intervention in sensitive Iraq policy careless and unprecedented. 

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=512544&in_page_id=1770
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on February 07, 2008, 02:29:28
THE Army has run out of machine guns, The Sun can reveal.

The crisis is unlikely to be solved before JUNE, a leaked report reveals.

British troops “desperately” need 400 of the jumbo 0.5in calibre heavy machine guns – the weapon most acutely missed.

The Army has also run out of the 7.62mm GPMG and Minimis.


http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/article767030.ece
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on February 07, 2008, 02:37:30
Inept? I don't think so Charlie Brown... more evidence that the 'Long War' pursued by the IRA continues.


Dissidents 'inept but dangerous' 
 
Security is being stepped up across Northern Ireland after the police issued a warning of an "increased terrorist threat".

Detectives said the public are likely to notice increased activity, including vehicle checkpoints.

Sir Hugh Orde said: "We have a general warning of a threat which increased to the point where we had to go public."

Last week, police said they feared dissident republicans were preparing a series of firebomb attacks, but fresh intelligence of attacks led to this latest warning.

 
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: geo on February 07, 2008, 08:51:16
The British MoD = "The Borrowers"?
Gawd, Does that mean that Canada has finaly shaken off that monicker?
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: NFLD Sapper on February 07, 2008, 12:13:16
THE Army has run out of machine guns, The Sun can reveal.

The crisis is unlikely to be solved before JUNE, a leaked report reveals.

British troops “desperately” need 400 of the jumbo 0.5in calibre heavy machine guns – the weapon most acutely missed.

The Army has also run out of the 7.62mm GPMG and Minimis.


http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/article767030.ece

Um.... what the f**k happened to the war stock of these weapons?
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: geo on February 07, 2008, 13:38:49
Sapper.... They are at war & are using same said war stock

I think it was 2 yrs ago, the Brits were having a lot of problems with 50 cal ammo.  Misfires & hard extractions IIRC.  It turns out that the MoD had bought their ammo from Pakistan.  Solution was that they bought / borrowed ammo from the Canadian troops in Kandahar.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: NFLD Sapper on February 07, 2008, 14:43:26
Sapper.... They are at war & are using same said war stock

I think it was 2 yrs ago, the Brits were having a lot of problems with 50 cal ammo.  Misfires & hard extractions IIRC.  It turns out that the MoD had bought their ammo from Pakistan.  Solution was that they bought / borrowed ammo from the Canadian troops in Kandahar.

Ok cool, thx for clearing that up geo.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on February 07, 2008, 20:58:26
Funny that... we didn't even have .50 cal until the Argies shot the **** out of our battalions with them in the Falklands. 2 & 3 PARA brought a load of them back after the war (semi-legally of course) and took them on strength. The army took years to adopt them after that following excessive prodding, led by 5 AB Bde & 3 Cdo Bde. Now they can't get enough of them.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on February 08, 2008, 02:08:32
Defense News

http://www.blogs.mod.uk/defence_news/2008/week6/index.html#entry-45205364
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: geo on February 08, 2008, 09:35:54
Very nice pic of a 50 cal in silhouette....
People say it's slow - but, when it talks "everyone" listens
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on February 08, 2008, 16:08:51
Briton Adrian Hayes in 'Three Poles' record



A British explorer has broken the record for reaching the world's "Three Poles" - the North Pole, South Pole and Mount Everest - in the fastest time.Adrian Hayes, 45, took five months off the record when he reached the South Pole Friday night, having completed all three expeditions in just over 19 months.The polar explorer and climber, who lives in Dubai, trained for the last of his feats by pulling tyres along the beach in 45-degree heat. The "Three Poles" is the term used by explorers to denote the three latitudinal and altitudinal extremes of the planet. The task of reaching all three was first achieved by Young-Ho Heo, a South Korean, in 1994 and Hayes is now only the 15th member of this exclusive club. When he completed his mission, it was 19 months and three days since he stood on the 29,029ft summit of Mt Everest on May 25, 2006.It was also a mere eight months and three days since he stood at the planet's polar opposite - the North Pole - on April 25. The record had been held by a Swedish couple, Thomas and Tina Sjogren, who completed the odyssey in 24 months. Speaking on a satellite phone just before he reached the pole, Hayes told The Daily Telegraph he was looking forward to becoming a member of "one of the world's most exclusive clubs".Describing what he called "a nice day in Antarctica - not that windy, sunny and only -26C", he said: "The three poles are the three extremes of the earth - the top, the bottom and the roof of the world."I've wanted to do this for a long time. I wasn't trying to do it in record time. It's all rather informal and I only realised I could set a record when somebody told me in September."Hayes, a former Airbus sales executive who is now a motivational life coach, said that when he set out success was far from certain."Everest has got about a 33 per cent success rate, the North Pole about a 25 per cent success rate and the South Pole is slightly higher.""Combined", he said, "the failure rate is high."Apart from the complexity of the logistics, one reason why so few people have reached the three poles is that polar exploration and mountain climbing are different disciplines: mountain climbers tend to stick to big climbs and explorers to long, cold hikes. Hayes, whose "normal" life in the desert appears far removed from both, said his discipline was mountain climbing. But he added: "I'm super-fit and that really helps." The former Gurkha officer and Special Forces soldier said the sense of achievement was incredible - he is also raising money for charity - but it had been arduous. "We are doing this unsupported, so no re-supplies, nothing," he said. "We are carrying everything for what we estimated to be a 50-day journey. It's damn hard, pulling your sled into wind 10 hours a day."So far the team - four men and a woman - have experienced just three calm days. The rest of the time they have been scoured by Antarctic wind storms.Mr Hayes, who is married with two children, said what he had most missed at Christmas was seeing his wife Dawn and children Alexander, nine, and Charlotte, six.But aside from packing some crackers and party hats, he said the team had not really bothered to prepare for Christmas Day.What had they eaten as a special treat? "Sorbet," he replied. Christmas pudding will have to wait.
 


http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2007/12/29/whayes129.xml
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on February 09, 2008, 13:41:29
Nimrod widows sue for £1m compo
By Robert Kellaway
http://www.newsoftheworld.co.uk/0502_nimrod.shtml

WIDOWS and families of 14 servicemen killed in the Nimrod spyplane disaster are fighting for compensation of £1MILLON each.
Defence Secretary Des Browne has admitted maintenance blunders caused the 37-year-old military jet to explode above Afghanistan.

And now a settlement between the Ministry of Defence and victims' relatives is said to be near completion. One family friend said: "Some have made it clear they expect not less than £1million.

"They believe this is needed to compensate for loss of earnings and also to reflect the shocking negligence that led to the disaster."

Graham Knight's 25-year-old son Ben (pictured above with fiancee Tania Staunton) , an RAF sergeant, died in the jet fireball in September 2006.

Mr Knight blasted the MoD for "selling out" the victims.

He said: "Though the MoD has admitted liability, it still doesn't want to show how badly it let the lads down.

"The Nimrod's failings on safety were ignored for years. People say my son died in an accident. I say he was killed by those who ignored every warning."

Mr Knight, from Somerset, added: "No amount of damages will bring Ben back. But guys like him put their lives on the line — then they got sold out."

The MoD say: "The Defence Secretary has apologised to the families and our officials will meet theirlegal representatives shortly."

Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on February 09, 2008, 15:29:50
Make me a supersonic man..

http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/article782356.ece
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on February 11, 2008, 16:47:29
RAF surveillance planes hear Taliban fighters talking in Brummie and Yorkshire accents

The Taliban are thought to be recruiting an increasing number of fighters from Britain after RAF experts overheard secret transmissions from the Afghan frontline spoken in broad Midlands and Yorkshire accents.

Specialists in top secret surveillance planes listened in on radio traffic broadcast by the Taliban in Helmand province and heard fighters talking in thick regional accents.


http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=513598&in_page_id=1
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: Danjanou on February 13, 2008, 09:56:40
And career going well.... career stops!  ::)

http://www.upi.com/NewsTrack/Top_News/2008/02/12/british_army_officer_leaves_laptop_at_pub/2351/
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: geo on February 13, 2008, 10:56:05
Eggads!
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: PMedMoe on February 13, 2008, 12:03:37
Nice!  ::)
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on February 13, 2008, 15:38:21
Married to a mercenary: How do I tell the children Daddy may never come home?

Amanda Mann - the wife of Britain's most famous soldier of fortune - has grown used, over the past four years, to the gnawing anguish in her heart, the uncertainty and fear.

She has not been able to see or speak to her husband Simon in all this time and has become accustomed to the feeling of dread that there could be bad news at any time.

But when the call did come, the shock was lessened in no way by the anticipation of it.


http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/femail/article.html?in_article_id=513752&in_page_id=1879
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on February 15, 2008, 16:22:37
3 platoon, 600, axis, classroom slightly right of axis....


Lord Guthrie :  Soldiers should go into classrooms
 
TROOPS should be sent into schools to tame classroom rowdies, claims Britain’s former top soldier.

Lord Guthrie believes Armed Forces personnel would be great role models and help to raise standards. 

 
http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/article805489.ece
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: geo on February 15, 2008, 16:47:07
Ayup... they,ll be able to whip those dissorganized ruffians and layabouts in no time flat.

The schools will hereafter be populated by the most well organized gang of drunken thieves & thugs you have ever seen...

Beware what you wish for......
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on February 15, 2008, 19:24:47
MoD slammed over Brit's death


A CORONER accused the Ministry of Defence today of breaching British soldiers’ trust by sending them to Afghanistan without basic equipment.


Andrew Walker spoke out at the end of an inquest into the death of Captain James Philippson, 29, of 7 Parachute Regiment Royal Horse Artillery, in a firefight with Taliban troops on June 11 2006 in which British forces were “totally out-gunned”.


http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/article807495.ece
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: milnews.ca on February 15, 2008, 19:49:29
From UK's "Combat Camera":  A member of Delta Company, 40 Commando Royal Marines, at Gibraltar Forward Operating Base in the heart of the 'Green Zone' in the Upper Gereshk Valley, Northern Helmand, uses the open air ablutions.  [Picture: LA (Phot) AJ MaCleod]

(https://Milnet.ca/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.mod.uk%2FNR%2Frdonlyres%2FCAAFD747-35C9-4E99-83EB-FB32B6F2FBF3%2F0%2FNN_08_01_011_019.jpg&hash=827c6ba7c78fde41fd30d28143c7421c)
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on February 15, 2008, 19:50:34
Wot? No fishnet stockings?
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: milnews.ca on February 15, 2008, 20:06:07
I guess it wasn't Marine Monty Python in the loo....
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: geo on February 16, 2008, 11:34:22
Heh... will ya look at the pile of kit that's stacked at his side :)
Lucky he didn't have a bad case of the "runs" - else it woulda formed a trail of kit as he prepared to get the job done >:D

Wonder what it is he's reading... the menu being offered for tonight's dinner?
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on February 17, 2008, 15:53:21
Nothing like having a confident family at home. I sincerely hope that they take it out of the original container before freezing!


Partners freeze sperm of troops on active duty
Growing numbers of wives of British soldiers are requesting to have their husbands' sperm frozen before they are deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq so they can still have children if their loved ones are killed in action.

A British fertility clinic has revealed it is dealing with a 'significant' number of queries. In the US, at least four children have been conceived after their fathers died in Iraq.

Tim Mott, a spokesman for the Bridge Centre fertility clinic in London, said: 'We had expected interest to stem from soldiers rather than their partners, but what has been most surprising is that most inquiries have come from wives and girlfriends who want to have children should anything happen.'



http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2008/feb/17/military.iraq2
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on February 18, 2008, 14:33:04
The Scots are neglecting 'Our Boys'.

I guess 'Our Girls are being looked after well, then?  Good old Sun...

http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/article815000.ece
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on February 18, 2008, 15:56:35
This is nothing new. There were lots of commonwealth citizens in the forces when I was there too. I always tried to point out to them that the British were willing to fight to the last Canadian... it was a fairly good wind up


Armed Forces employ 7,000 foreigners


The extent of the Armed Forces staffing crisis has been disclosed in figures showing that there are more than 7,000 foreign citizens serving in the British military.

Britain's growing "foreign legion" - equal to almost a dozen Army regiments - has led to renewed warnings that the Forces are struggling to retain and recruit British citizens to their ranks. The figures emerged as the House of Commons defence committee launched an inquiry into recruitment and retention in the Armed Forces and they follow growing criticism of the Government's alleged under-resourcing of the military.
 


http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2008/02/18/narmy218.xml
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: Yrys on February 19, 2008, 02:57:23
Soldier kidnap plotter given life (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/7250697.stm)

Quote
A man who planned to kidnap and behead a Muslim soldier serving in the British Army has been jailed for life.

Parviz Khan, 37, from Birmingham, who last month admitted the plot and to supplying equipment to the Taleban, was told he must serve at least 14 years. Four other men
 have also been convicted of involvement with his terror cell. On Monday, a Leicester Crown Court jury cleared Amjad Mahmood, 32, from Birmingham, of knowing about
 the plan but failing to inform authorities.

The security services had placed a bug in Khan's Alum Rock home, and this provided much of the evidence in the case. Sentencing, Mr Justice Henriques said Khan had
 extreme Islamist views and was a fanatic. "It's plain that you were absolutely serious and determined to bring this plot to fruition," he said. "This was not only a plot
to kill a soldier but a plot to undermine the morale of the British Army and inhibit recruitment."

Read the bug transcript


Prosecutor Nigel Rumfitt QC told the court Khan was "enraged" by the notion of Muslim soldiers in the British Army. Mr Rumfitt said: "Khan decided to kidnap such
 a soldier with the help of drug dealers operating in Birmingham. He would be taken to a lock-up garage and there he would be murdered by having his head cut
off like a pig." He said this would be filmed and released to cause panic and fear within the British armed forces and the wider public. Khan was claiming benefits
of more than £20,000 a year while organising the plot, saying he was waging "financial war" on the West.

The court also heard that he indoctrinated his three small children with hate, getting one to chant that he hated various figures, including Tony Blair and George Bush.

In November 2006 the security services recorded a conversation Khan had with co-defendant Basiru Gassama. Khan was heard outlining his plan: "We give the
judgment... well then cut it off like you cut a pig, man. "Then you put it on a stick. Then we throw the body, burn it, send the video to the chacha (uncles, a term
 for Mujahideen leaders in Afghanistan or Pakistan). "This is what they call you will terrorise them, they will go crazy."

The jury was told that Khan had wanted Gassama, a Gambian national, to help identify the victim of the plot. But when Gassama failed to provide details of a target,
 the plan "lay dormant" after July 2006, Mr Rumfitt said, only to be revived in November 2006. The court heard Khan was the hub of the cell which organised four
 shipments of equipment to armed groups based in Pakistan and operating against coalition forces in Afghanistan.

'Fanaticism and fantasy'

The men were arrested in a series of high-profile raids in Birmingham at the end of January last year after an investigation led by West Midlands Police Counter-Terrorism
Unit. The officer who led the operation said Khan had been determined to carry out the plot, which he believed had been "at least supported" by al-Qaeda. He would
not say how far the plot was from being carried out when they intervened.

Khan's QC, Michael Wolkind, said in mitigation that his client's plot had been a "mixture of fanaticism and fantasy". Referring to the covert monitoring of Khan, he said:
"If there had been a genuine threat, the buggers would have stopped it much earlier. There was a long way to go." In the wake of the operation, West Midlands Police
and the government had come under fire from some sections of the local community for "persecuting" Muslims.

Assistant Chief Constable of the West Midlands Anil Patani said: "Communities need to realise that there are within our communities people who are prepared to
perpetrate such acts... "Responsible people in our communities need to reflect on what they said before in light of what this case has shown."

The head of the British Army, General Sir Richard Dannatt, praised the work of the police and the intelligence services, saying their "swift action" had "prevented
a terrorist atrocity on British soil".

Media leaks

Mr Justice Henriques also criticised leaks which led to reports of the plot in the media shortly after the men's arrests, saying they constituted a "very grave
 contempt of court". An inquiry by the Metropolitan Police failed to discover the source of the leaks.

Gassama, 30, of Hodge Hill, Birmingham, pleaded guilty at a previous hearing to a failure to disclose information about the plot. He was jailed for two years.
He will be released as he has already been in custody for 381 days, but it is recommended he is deported.

Mohammed Irfan, 31, of Ward End, Birmingham and Zahoor Iqbal, 30, of Perry Barr, Birmingham, both pleaded guilty to helping Khan to supply the equipment.
 Irfan was jailed for four years and Iqbal for seven years.

Hamid Elasmar, 44, of Edgbaston, Birmingham, who was found guilty of the same charge, was jailed for three years and four months.

Amjad Mahmood, in a statement read by his lawyer, thanked the jury for their hard work and said: "I am not a terrorist, I am a Muslim."  (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/7242891.stm)

How plotter brainwashed lad (http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/article818216.ece)
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: geo on February 19, 2008, 09:01:33
14 years?  that'll make him something like 51 when he gets out of jail.
I hope the UK authorities have revoked his citzenship (if he had it)
I wonder what the punishment would be under sharia law for the offences he did committ & the one he was planning to carry out?

Put him on a slow boat to nowhere with only half of the necessary fuel to get there.... Bon Voyage!
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: baboon6 on February 19, 2008, 11:31:28
This is nothing new. There were lots of commonwealth citizens in the forces when I was there too. I always tried to point out to them that the British were willing to fight to the last Canadian... it was a fairly good wind up


 

Far more of us South Africans than you Canadians there though mate!
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on February 19, 2008, 11:56:16
Excellent. That should finally improve the quality of the BBQs, which the British are dismal at.

There was a guy from South Africa at Depot PARA when I was there.  He was a recruit platoon commander and took a large doberman - named 'Kruger' of course - an on all the runs and tabs with the recruits. Anyone who fell out would be assaulted by good old Kruger. We thought this was marveloous, naturally.

And I thought you South Africans didn't have a sense of humour!
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: geo on February 19, 2008, 12:05:38
A huge grinning / drooling doberman at your heels... talk about motivation for your morning run!

Eggads... you don't have to run faster than the dog... just faster than the slowest other one in the group
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on February 20, 2008, 00:00:47
A huge grinning / drooling doberman at your heels... talk about motivation for your morning run!

Eggads... you don't have to run faster than the dog... just faster than the slowest other one in the group

Actually, as I recall, Kruger was a bit of an unguided missile and liked to attack people at the front of the line too. We thought this was a good introduction to life as a PARA... even if you thought you were doing well you could still be dog meat in a heartbeat.

Last one to die is a sissy!  :D
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on February 20, 2008, 01:03:03
I'm betting that he did this to stop the Reg from smashing up his pub... probably won't work!

Beer to make Paras emperors

A BRITISH pub has come to the aid of the Paras - by brewing a special beer called "Every Man an Emperor".


The Fox and Fiddler pub in Colchester - where the elite Parachute Regiment is based - launched the specially commissioned beer this week, ahead of the regiment's deployment to Afghanistan in April.


"I just wanted to do a little something myself to send them on their way," the pub's landlord, Jeff Wright, said in a statement distributed by the Ministry of Defence, which has given its full backing to the initiative.


The name "Every Man an Emperor" was taken from a speech that Field Marshall Montgomery made about the Parachute Regiment in 1944 and has since become an unofficial motto of the force. 

 
http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/article820247.ece
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on February 21, 2008, 17:40:24
SAS founder broke into army HQ on crutches to persuade generals they needed crack unit

Extraordinary footage of the only interviews ever given on film by the founders of the Special Air Service, the world's most elite fighting unit, has emerged for the first time.


Colonel David Stirling, the founder of what was to become the SAS, was interviewed with several so-called "Originals" in 1984 but the footage was put in a vault and forgotten.



The previously unseen interviews, recorded at a secret location in a "reunion" dinner, reveal how Stirling's "misfits, rogues and rule-breakers" changed modern warfare forever.


http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=517254&in_page_id=1770
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on February 21, 2008, 19:48:37
PWRR in the news... well, at least it's nice to see someone else apart from the Paras accused of war crimes for a change!

THE BBC is to accuse the most highly decorated battalion in the Army of torturing and executing six Iraqi prisoners in cold blood.

The allegations include claims that a 14-year-old boy was garrotted and a man was shot point-blank in the head.

Flagship programme Panorama will claim the prisoners were murdered after being captured during a bloody battle in 2004. The shootout, dubbed the Battle of Danny Boy after a checkpoint where it took place, saw the first bayonet charge in 20 years.


http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/article827280.ece
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: geo on February 22, 2008, 10:03:03
Don't know if the allegations have been proven .... but, considering the amount of crap the PWRR went thru in 2004 during their tour of Iraq, it is obvious that an incredible amount of anger was built up by the troops at the pointy end of the stick - fighting an insurection kind of war against AQ.

Don't want to even try to make excuses for them - might not even need to - but, as has been said many times before, war is hell.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: Danjanou on February 22, 2008, 11:44:34
I just finished reading  Rules of Engagement  (2006). ISBN 9780755313754. OCLC 62796448  By Col Tim Collins who commanded 1st Bn the Royal Irish Regiment during the invasion of Iraq. He talks candidly about how he was accused of war crimes including a false claim filed by a US National Guard CIMIC Major who Collins had earlier publically jacked up for being a moron.

He was of course aquitted and succesfully sued a coupkle of British papers for libel for printing the allegations. The most disturbing part was the lack of support he appeared to receive from the MOD during it. They seemed at least from his account, to go out of their way to distance themsleves from him.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on February 22, 2008, 12:41:41
I knew Collins pretty well. Being a 'Thick Prot Paddy' as I think I designated him, I bought him a bottle of Bushmills which we emptied on the 12th of July during a course we were on. He's a good egg... and one of the biggest losses to their army in the long term will be him, and those like him, leaving.

I also know his Bde Comd during the 'incident' and am not suprised he was hung out to dry! A good example of why it's important to attack and destroy the worst cases of rampant careerism in any army.

Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on February 22, 2008, 14:17:37
A WORRYING 20,340 servicemen left the Armed Forces last year — in the biggest exodus in modern times.

New MoD figures released yesterday revealed that one NINTH of all soldiers, sailors and airmen signed off in 2007.

Despite pouring millions into recruitment, top brass are still almost 6,000 troops short of what they need to fulfil missions all over the world.

That is ten whole battalions, or more than the entire military garrison in Iraq.

Departing troops have said they are leaving because they are overworked, underpaid and separated from their families for so long.

The worst shortages are in the Army, who are 3,920 soldiers short.


http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/article832565.ece
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on February 22, 2008, 14:19:53
A TALIBAN chief behind suicide attacks on British troops has been shot dead in a daring operation by elite forces in Afghanistan.

The Special Boat Service ambushed Mullah Abdul Matin as he crossed a desert on a motorbike.


 They were dropped into his path by helicopter after a tip-off on his whereabouts. Matin spotted them and opened fire with an AK47 rifle but he was cut down in a hail of bullets.

http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/article830969.ece
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: geo on February 22, 2008, 15:30:25
There have been many examples of late where the MOD appears to have left their field commanders "hang out to dry".

Methinks that this instant notification of incidents around the world is creating rampant speculation by the media.  MOD's silence creates the impression that they have been caught with their hand in the cookie jar & speculation then runs rampant.... not a pretty prospect.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on February 22, 2008, 16:03:08
Good point. Soldiers also seem more likely to 'go to the media' to air problems these days than 20 years ago. It might have to do with the efforts of the army to attract people by 'guaranteeing' them a fulfilling career and happy family life as part of the military lifestyle. Guess what, people feel they've been lied to when they wind up in the meatgrinder for the third time in two years while wife and kiddies wind up stuck in the army equivalent of a slum.

Way back when, it was pretty clear that the army was for single men with strong backs (and, like me, weak minds). Few promises were ever made to us about how wonderfully enriching it all was for the solider and his family. Personally, based on what I saw going on at the time, I thought that anyone in the infantry with a family was basically insane, and we discouraged soldiers from getting married too young. I worked with several Canadian exchange officers who were astonished at the instability of our lifestyle in general in comparison with Canadian units.

We were there to soldier hard and smash things up, and that's how we expected to be deployed: Maggie's Rottweiler.

Expectations may have changed...
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: geo on February 22, 2008, 16:10:57
heh... at one time, judges in the UK would find someone guilty and say..... 3 years in the service or 5 years in jail....

Some choice!  Huh?
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on February 22, 2008, 16:12:43
I had at least 6 guys like that in my platoon. They were great soldiers!
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on February 23, 2008, 14:11:39
I bet he would have, if he wasn't hiding under the bed when 1 PARA was doing their thing....

McGuinness: 'I would have killed' 
 
Soldiers shot 14 people dead in Derry on Bloody Sunday
Martin McGuinness has said he would have killed every British soldier in Londonderry in the aftermath of Bloody Sunday, if he had had the opportunity. 
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on February 23, 2008, 14:13:57
I bet he would have, if he wasn't hiding under the bed when 1 PARA was doing their thing....

McGuinness: 'I would have killed' 
 
Soldiers shot 14 people dead in Derry on Bloody Sunday
Martin McGuinness has said he would have killed every British soldier in Londonderry in the aftermath of Bloody Sunday, if he had had the opportunity. 

and the link...

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/northern_ireland/7260541.stm
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on February 23, 2008, 14:15:02
Son of H. Jones gets a battalion. Now I feel REALLY old...

http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/article836340.ece
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: Old Sweat on February 24, 2008, 10:02:14
The following, which was taken from the on line edition of The Daily Telegraph, is reproduced under the approraite section of the Copyright Act. It paints a dreary picture of the state of the British army and especially the infantry.

More than one in three soldiers who sign up to serve in the infantry are quitting before the end of the tough 24-week training course or else fail to meet the minimum standard required by the Army.

The figures, which show the number of recruits who drop out rising sharply over the past four years, have emerged only days after a Ministry of Defence report revealed that the Armed Forces are now more than 5,000 men and women under strength.

   
The infantry must recruit and train at
least 5,000 new men a year

 
The growing casualty rate in Iraq and Afghanistan, where a soldier and a Royal Marine were killed last week, and the low pay of trained infantry soldiers have been identified as factors persuading recruits to leave early.

It is also understood that Army recruiters are struggling to find young men and women of the right physical and mental calibre, robust enough to cope with the demanding training. One defence source told The Sunday Telegraph that the average reading age of recruits, who join on average at the age of 18, was just 11.

In 2004, just over one in four, or 26.4 per cent, of recruits left the Army before the end of their recruit training. Bt that figure jumped to more than one in three, or 34.6 per cent, last year.

Although recruiting increased by 18 per cent last year with 16,000 new personnel joining the Army, more than 20,000 troops left the force, resulting in a significant troop deficit.

advertisement
What will worry defence chiefs most is the fact that the drop-out rate in the infantry is increasing despite major improvements to the recruits' training conditions, living accommodation and welfare.

The Army Infantry Training Centre in Catterick, North Yorkshire, which had been previously implicated in bullying scandals, has been completely refurbished and recruits now have more TVs, DVD players, carpeted rooms and more privacy.

To maintain the current strength of the infantry - the troops who have been most in demand since the invasion of Iraq in 2003 and now widely deployed in southern Afghanistan - the infantry must recruit and train at least 5,000 new men a year, a target the MoD now acknowledges it has failed to meet for the past five years.

Overall, the Army is short of 3,800 soldiers but it is the infantry, which should be composed of 25,000 soldiers, where the crisis is hitting hardest. Almost every one of the infantry 36 battalions are under strength. 16 Air Assault Brigade, one of the most prestigious units in the Army, is almost 500 men under strength and could face significant challenges when it deploys to Helmand, in Afghanistan, next month.

The problems of overstretch have been further exacerbated by the fact that of the 98,000 soldiers in the Army, 7,000 are unfit for duty.

It is now widely accepted by both General Sir Richard Dannatt, the chief of the general staff, and Des Browne, the defence secretary, that the increasing operational demands being placed on an ever decreasing number of soldiers is damaging to morale.

In a report leaked to The Sunday Telegraph last year, General Sir Richard Dannatt, the chief of the defence staff, said: "The long-term impact of operating above Defence Planning Assumptions (DPAs) is damaging and I understand that we are mortgaging the goodwill of our people in doing this."

Last night Patrick Mercer, the Tory MP and a former infantry commander, said: "Today's recruits need more careful handling and to be looked after better. More time needs to be invested to get the recruits to the required standard. Unfortunately there is a rush to get recruits into units that are over-stretched.

"But the Army cannot afford to blame society. It has to come up with the answers. There are youths out there looking for a challenge and we've got to find them and convince them to tough it out. The welfare standards have to rise. The recruits expect more contact with their families today and better pay."

The military has tried to stem the flow of people leaving with a range of initiatives. Infantry soldiers are being paid £4,500 to sign on for an extra two years' service and pilots will receive £50,000 for signing on for five years.

Desperately needed submariners are being offered £25,000 for four years service and similarly new nurses will receive £25,000 on signing up for a further three years.

The Forces have also been given above-inflation pay rises for the past two years, an operations allowance worth £2,500 and council tax rebates.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Defence said: "The latest manpower figures released this week show that over 1,700 more people have completed training and moved into the strength of the Army in 2007 compared to the same period in 2006. There are a number of reasons why a new recruit may not complete training, but the Army Infantry Training Centre is currently looking at new ways to help recruits complete the full course."
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: geo on February 24, 2008, 11:56:55
Let's face it, the youth of today are softer than their forefathers.  They are smarter (better educated at least) and question authority much more than in the past.... "shut up and just do what you're told" doesn't cut it as well as in the past.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on February 24, 2008, 12:55:50
Let's face it, the youth of today are softer than their forefathers.  They are smarter (better educated at least) and question authority much more than in the past.... "shut up and just do what you're told" doesn't cut it as well as in the past.

Funny, I heard exactly the same thing in the 80s, then along came the Falklands War to prove us wrong. And if you look at the battels being fought now in central Asia, you wouldn't argue about how tough these guys (and girls) are. As always, it's the leadership IMHO.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: geo on February 24, 2008, 13:20:58
Youths coming into the forces are "softies"... the end product is "tough"....
There's a ways to go to get from one to the other though.

+1  Too true about the leadership - Piss poor leadership will result in piss poor performance.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: Old Sweat on February 24, 2008, 13:57:39
It looks like I am the bad news guy today. The following was received via the gunner net:

Lovely new aircraft carrier, sir, but we’re fighting in the desert
Money is squandered on equipment that is useless in either Iraq or Afghanistan - or in any foreseeable theatre
Simon Jenkins
While Lord Justice Scott Baker officiates each week at the Diana inquest benefit gala for tabloid lawyers at the Royal Courts of Justice, a more poignant inquest is enacted in the leafy lanes of Oxfordshire. The bodies of servicemen killed in Iraq and Afghanistan are brought here to Brize Norton airbase and their families are consoled with the brief dignity of an “unlawful killing” verdict.

Here, too, incredulous coroners hear tales of ill-prepared, underequipped soldiers stumbling back from what might be a modern Crimea.

They hear of failed helicopters, unguarded vehicles, lack of body armour and poor medical support. “Unforgivable and inexcusable . . . a breach of trust” were words used of the defence ministry by Andrew Walker, the coroner, last week after another tale of woe.

Britain’s military establishment is plunged into battle over what has been dubbed its “train crash” budget. The Treasury has demanded £1 billion a year in cuts to amend for what appears to be grotesque cost indiscipline. Every lobby has been summoned to the colours: defence correspondents, retired generals, MPs for army constituencies and the Royal United Services Institute. The blood-stained shrouds of Brize Norton are waved across Whitehall.

What is clear is that this government made a colossal error on coming to power in 1997-8. In the Strategic Defence Review (on whose lay committee I served), George Robertson, the then defence secretary, and John Reid and John Gilbert, his junior ministers, flatly refused an open discussion. Having been told to “think the unthinkable”, the review’s authors were told that the three biggest and most contentious procurement items inherited from the Tories were sacred.

They were the Eurofighter project (£15-£20 billion), the new aircraft carriers (£4 billion) and their frigate escorts, and a replacement for the Trident missile and its submarines (£20 billion). These pet projects of the Royal Navy and RAF were protected so new Labour would not appear soft on defence. There was no consideration given to the equipment needs of Tony Blair’s more interventionist foreign policy. The government decided, in effect, to pretend that it was still fighting the Russians (and possibly the Germans).

Those decisions locked the procurement budget for more than a decade. Above all they shut out the army, on which British defence activity has depended ever since. The army’s unglamorous but urgent need for battlefield helicopters and armoured personnel carriers was ignored. So, too, were supplies of such things as grenade launchers, field radios, body armour and night-vision equipment. This year the Eurofighter, carrier and Trident projects all came on stream at £5 billion annually between them and the defence budget has hit the predictable wall.

The first to howl are the chiefs of staff. It is customary at such times for them to stand as one, arms linked like Roman legions in a square. Yet they will never adjudicate on priorities. An admiral will not doubt (in public) the RAF’s need for more jet fighters. A general will never question the need for carriers. An air marshal will cast no aspersions on Trident. All they will do is sing in unison, “No defence cuts”.

Nor do ministers dare to take painful decisions for them. Every cut is across the board. Gordon Brown has let it be known that there must be no talk of cancellations, only postponements. Carriers may be delayed, Astute-class submarines may be reduced from eight to four and Type 45 destroyers from 12 to six. The number of Eurofighter Typhoons on order may be slashed. Strategy can go to the wall but not politics. As one sceptic said last week, “The chiefs have planned to go on fighting the Russians, but to lose.”

During the apartheid regime in South Africa I had a contact in the state arms manufacturer, Armscor, who constantly sang the praises of sanctions. He said, “They have stopped the chiefs of staff from buying glamour kit they don’t need, such as ships and planes, and forced them to develop stuff they do.” South Africa duly made the best field artillery gun in the world (the 155mm G5), the best armoured vehicles (Ratel and Eland) and the best desert boots.

Every debate over British military equipment veers off into chauvinism, into “sovereignty of supply”, British jobs and political image. That is why the army must wait until 2011 for a new flight of British-built Lynx helicopters (at £14m each) instead of buying the bigger American Sikorsky (at £6m) available this year. How many men will die for this crass decision?

As Lewis Page, a former naval officer, claims in his book Lions, Donkeys and Dinosaurs, the defence ministry probably spends two to three times overall what it needs for its equipment. It admits that landing ships are running at 80% over the original price. The biggest current excesses are on Type 45 destroyers and nuclear submarines. More than 10% of the defence budget goes on such procurement overruns. There is the crisis in a nutshell.

It is perhaps no surprise that Lord Drayson, the procurement minister, recently vanished to become a racing driver rather than try to reform a system in which nobody accepts accountability or blame for the most scandalous mismanagement. Weak ministers adhere to the principle of letting each service have its share of expensive kit, because anything else would mean an almighty row.

The old Spanish practices are still in place: Buggins’ turn between army, navy and air force as chief of the defence staff, a comfortable overseas attaché network and uniformed officers shadowing Whitehall civil servants. According to Page there are still more admirals ashore than ships afloat, more air marshals than squadrons aloft.

Britain is still buying weapons of little or no relevance. Carriers, destroyers, frigates and submarines date from the days of food convoys and empire. Interceptor jets are fighting the battle of Britain. Every modern British war is fought by the army (even the Falklands), for which the navy and air force should be refashioned as subordinate services.

The reason this does not happen, in Britain as in America, was well stated in “Kagan’s law”. When the military is asked if it wants more soldiers or a new plane and is told it must choose one, it always chooses the plane. A large item of kit does not talk, lives in a hangar, takes longer to deliver (and pay for) and has fancier lobbyists. Hence there is always upward pressure on naval and air spending and downward pressure on the poor bloody infantry.

The latest version of Labour’s interventionism, adumbrated by David Miliband, involves offering “security guarantees” to unstable democratic regimes to protect them from insurgency. Such wars do not require carriers, nuclear submarines or jet fighters. They require the one thing the government puts lowest on its priority list, a well equipped and highly mobile army.

That army, undermanned and ill equipped, is now engaged in the government’s service in Iraq and Afghanistan. When a British soldier deploys to the front, his or her family receives a letter from the defence secretary promising that he has taken “all measures possible to ensure that the equipment issued to the UK armed forces is both right for the job and right for them”.

This is simply not true. To take one example, a recent article in the Journal of the Royal Army Medical Corps pointed out that British troops were taking longer to get to a field hospital than it took the Americans in Vietnam. Two hours’ delay in Iraq has become seven hours in Helmand. This often fatal delay is almost entirely due to the lack of helicopters, caused by a shortage not of money but of ministry competence.

The British Army is fighting in two countries against forces whose equipment is primitive and who have never posed any military threat to Britain. In both it is losing. Money is squandered on equipment that is useless in either theatre - or in any foreseeable one. For want of that money, equipment vital to victory is forgone.

In a sane world this might be cause for a revision of priorities within the defence establishment. Instead, the brass hats continue to squabble to protect their precious toys and politicians lack the guts to bang their heads together.

It was the sort of thing that made the Iron Duke weep

- simon.jenkins@sunday-times.co.uk
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: geo on February 24, 2008, 15:08:14
OMG, talk about singing from the same hymnbook!
Big ticket items abound while troopers are/were neglected & told to make do with what they have/had....

In Canada, it took a straight talking CDS to put us +/- back on track and give the soldier his due.

WRT Britain's future decision to cancell 6 of their type 45 destroyers and a couple of their Astute submarines.... it might pay Canadian politicians to look into some of these programs - split the cost... and avoid some of the development time & costs.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on February 24, 2008, 17:37:02
Things don't change much.

Land armies have always played 2nd fiddle to the Navy and Air Force in the UK, a 'non-mainland' European country, primarily because they were not essential for national survival, unlike countries like France, Germany and Russia who have been invading each other for centuries. The need for large and well equipped armies in mainland Europe was so pronounced that they even implemented conscription to ensure that they had enough foot soldiers.

Blame the English Channel (the world's largest tank trap) if you like, but the patterns set up centuries ago continue to play out in modern times: the best Imperial Defence was always seen as a strong Navy (and now Air Force). The Falkalnds War reinforced that belief as it would never have been fought without a viable deep water Navy and a modern, high performance Air Force. You could argue that Canada and the USA have adopted a similar pattern thanks to our colonial origins, and the lack of a significant land based threat to the nation.

And then there's the Army tradition of whingeing about how bad they have it all the time. I remember that one of our mottoes was: "The Parachute Regiment: Every Man A Whimperer". That doesn't change much either!
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: baboon6 on February 25, 2008, 13:16:25
Okay there is some nonsense in that article. Jenkins mentions the South African Ratel and Eland being two of the best armoured vehicles in the world. The Ratel was/is a great vehicle , and certainly South African, but the Eland was nothing more than a licence-produced version of the French Panhard AML. It was obsolete by the 1980s and replaced in operational units by Ratel-90s because of its poor cross-country performance. As for desert boots..don't what he's talking about. Never seen or heard of any SA soldier in the 70s or 80s wearing any boots but the normal issued brown leather boots.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: S.M.A. on February 25, 2008, 17:06:39
Interesting...

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/simon_jenkins/article3423663.ece

Sorry folks- duplicate post. However, the points made in the article are still worth noting.

Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: George Wallace on February 25, 2008, 17:09:42
Already posted yesterday, (up about three or four posts). (http://forums.army.ca/forums/index.php/topic,64325.msg679445.html#msg679445)
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on February 25, 2008, 23:21:12
Brit forces in rendition claim

Published: 25 Feb 2008

A FORMER SAS soldier will claim today that British special forces are being used to detain suspects for extraordinary rendition.

Ben Griffin says the Government is “deeply involved” in the process, in which US forces have transported terror suspects around the world for interrogation.

He left the Army on moral grounds at the beginning of last year after three months in Baghdad, saying he disagreed with the “illegal” tactics of US troops.

Last week Foreign Secretary David Miliband told MPs in the Commons that two US rendition flights transporting terrorist suspects had landed on UK soil.


http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/article843390.ece
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on February 28, 2008, 00:56:21
I was fined for showing pride in my regiment
Feb 11 2008 by Tina Miles, Liverpool Echo

A RETIRED Royal Marine has been fined by police for showing loyalty to his regiment.

Grandfather-of-two David Horlick had a Marine replica badge printed on his car number plate to recognise his service with the Royal Naval School of Music. But the 74-year-old was reduced to tears when two officers gave him a fixed penalty ticket outside his Walton home.

They told the widower he had to remove the illegal plate bearing the insignia of the Marines and pay the £30 fine, or go to court. Mr Horlick said: “I didn’t think I was doing anything wrong. I wanted the replica badge on the number plate because my late wife Connie was very proud of the fact I was a Royal Marine.

“I had seen Liverpool and Everton supporters put their badge on their car registration plates, which is understandable. As an ex-Royal Marine I wanted my badge there.

“I paid the fine and removed the plate, but I feel hard done to.” Police said the officers were following strict regulations, and registration plates were allowed to display only “an acceptable international symbol or flag.”

Acting Inspector Steve Hardy of the roads policing department, said: “Merseyside police prides itself on setting and maintaining the highest standards of professionalism and quality of service.

“We understand this gentleman’s frustration and we will of course look into the reasons behind this decision, but according to the regulations registration plates are only permitted to display an acceptable international symbol or flag.

“By ensuring every road user abides by the law it then allows the technology we have to work more efficiently.”

Government laws established in October allow only “an acceptable international symbol or flag.”

Number plates can include a European Union symbol, Union flag, Scottish Saltire, Cross of St George or Red Dragon. The law bans football crests.

tinamiles@liverpoolecho.co.uk

http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/liverpool-news/local-news/2008/02/11/i-was-fined-for-showing-pride-in-my-regiment-100252-20459933/
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on February 28, 2008, 01:42:18
The struggle and the danger go on and on

We are out on our last night patrol with the Royal Marines, and about to receive a bleak reminder of the risks and dangers British forces face on the ground in Afghanistan.

It is 5am and we have been on the move for almost two hours, a large force of Marines from 40 Commando and Afghan National Army soldiers advancing in silence across the moonlit plain to the north of Kajaki Dam.

We are nearing our objective, and about to cross the last piece of open ground under cover of darkness, ready to take cover and assault our target compound in Taliban territory at first light.

Without warning, the loud thump of an explosion rolls across the plain, from somewhere close by to our left.

There are whispered discussions over what the explosion may have been. Possibly the sound of artillery miles away, one Marine suggests hopefully?

No, his colleagues insist. It was too close.

'I'm hoping nobody's going to tell me someone's stepped on a mine or an IED [improvised explosive device]', says Sergeant Dominic 'Dozza' Conway, of 7 Troop, Charlie Company.

His radio earpiece chatters into life, and Dozza's worst fears are confirmed. A minestrike. There are at least two casualties, one of them in Category 1 - critical.

The Incident Response Team [IRT] casualty evacuation helicopter has already been requested from Camp Bastion, some 50 miles away.

As we wait for more information the more experienced Marines are already predicting the mission will have to be aborted, or ****-canned, as they put it.

The explosion means any hope of surprise is gone. Intelligence has already indicated that the Taliban heard the blast, the commander has alerted his troops, promised them reinforcements and talked of moving rockets forward to attack the IRT helicopter if it appears.

With Charlie Company's medics busy dealing with the casualties the Officer Commanding, Major Duncan Manning, will think twice before moving more troops forward towards a prepared enemy.

http://hickleyblog.dailymail.co.uk/2007/12/index.html
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on February 29, 2008, 12:34:45
Been there, had soldiers who did that, charged them..... geez, doesn't anything change in 20 - ish years?

Soldiers amok in the buff

A group of drunken British soldiers went amok in a bar in northern Norway earlier this week, stripping off their clothes and ultimately urinating on the floor and each other.
The decidedly un-gentlemanly like behaviour shocked other bar patrons, many of whom had been harassed by the soldiers before they launched into their striptease.

Cecilie Kleppe, age 29, told newspaper VG that the soldiers had been bothering several of the female patrons in the bar before they suddenly shouted "naked bar" and stripped off all their clothes.

"Some of them even started waving their private parts at the other guests," Kleppe told VG. "Two of the Englishmen urinated on a fellow soldier who was lying on the floor. It was disgusting."
http://www.aftenposten.no/english/local/article2285603.ece
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on March 01, 2008, 14:47:25
Grenadier Guards Battle Flag Bottoms Tattooed 3 Comrades Killed in Afghanist


A BAND of elite Queen’s guards have had their battle flag tattooed on their BOTTOMS in memory of three comrades who died fighting in Afghanistan.


http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/article864110.ece
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: geo on March 01, 2008, 22:09:52
Soldiers will do.... what soldiers do.

No point in our civy bretheren trying to figure it out.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: Yrys on March 01, 2008, 22:34:16
... or no point for non-students to try to figure out why students do some of the things that happen
during some parties or initiations...  :D
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on March 02, 2008, 19:27:53
BBC NEWS Business Air tanker deal provokes US row



Boeing's loss of a $40bn contract to build a new in-flight refuelling aircraft for the US military has drawn angry protests in Congress.
Lawmakers from Washington state and Kansas, which have big Boeing plants, voiced "outrage" that it had gone to a consortium including Europe's Airbus.

The planes will be assembled in Alabama but constructed largely in Europe.

Boeing has said it is awaiting an explanation from the military before deciding whether or not to appeal.


"We are outraged that this decision taps European Airbus and its foreign workers to provide a tanker to our American military"
Statement by congressional lawmakers from the Seattle area



The new aircraft, named the KC-45A by the US Air Force, is based on the Airbus A330 and will be manufactured in partnership with US defence firm Northrop Grumman.

Its job will be to refuel the vast array of US warplanes and the contract is worth in the region of $40bn over 15 years.

It is a huge blow for Boeing, the BBC's Vincent Dowd reports from Washington.

America has around two-thirds of all such aircraft in use anywhere, and a senior figure in the company said recently if it lost this contract it could be out of the refuelling market totally for years.

 
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/low/business/7272272.stm
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: geo on March 03, 2008, 19:11:55
Heh.... while US manufacturers flog their products overseas, they get upset when the local customer decides that someone else has built a better mouse trap..... go figure ???
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on March 04, 2008, 18:58:57
Been there, had soldiers who did that, charged them..... geez, doesn't anything change in 20 - ish years?

Soldiers amok in the buff

A group of drunken British soldiers went amok in a bar in northern Norway earlier this week, stripping off their clothes and ultimately urinating on the floor and each other.
The decidedly un-gentlemanly like behaviour shocked other bar patrons, many of whom had been harassed by the soldiers before they launched into their striptease.

Cecilie Kleppe, age 29, told newspaper VG that the soldiers had been bothering several of the female patrons in the bar before they suddenly shouted "naked bar" and stripped off all their clothes.

"Some of them even started waving their private parts at the other guests," Kleppe told VG. "Two of the Englishmen urinated on a fellow soldier who was lying on the floor. It was disgusting."
http://www.aftenposten.no/english/local/article2285603.ece


Update: Not soldiers but Royal Marines... naughty boys!!

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/worldnews.html?in_article_id=524553&in_page_id=1811
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on March 04, 2008, 20:52:19
Correction: Commando Engineers. 59 Cdo are an excellent bunch. Worked with them alot, fully clothed though, in various parts of the globe.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: milnews.ca on March 05, 2008, 13:45:15
As for troops will be troops.....

Ayia Napa seeks to extend squaddie ban
Andreas Avgousti, Cyprus Mail, 5 Mar 08

THE AYIA Napa Mayor and the Sovereign Base Authorities (SBA) appear to share different perspectives regarding the issue of extending the boundaries of the area British military personnel are barred from entering.

Following a decision by Ayia Napa Municipality, any club or bar located in the popular tourist resort’s town square was already off limits to British military personnel.

Yesterday, Ayia Napa Mayor Antonis Tsokkos gave the impression that discussions for extending the no-go area were imminent, whereas spokesman for the Sovereign Base Areas Captain Nick Ulvert pleaded ignorance as to Tsokkos’ claims.

“I have made this proposition publicly, but I have yet to discuss it with officials from the SBA,” Tsokkos told the Mail.

“It is to their credit that the SBA have taken the initiative to get into contact with me. “They want to help and we will soon be setting a date for a meeting to discuss the issue,” he added.

However, Captain Ulvert had this to say:  “To the best of my knowledge, I am not aware of an initiative on our behalf to get in touch with the Ayia Napa Mayor.  A formal approach is necessary before we can embark upon a dialogue, but until then there is nothing to say.”

Last month nine soldiers from the British Bases were charged in connection with a brawl in an Ayia Napa bar, which left five soldiers and two Greek Cypriots injured. The men had just returned from duty in Iraq.

“Unruly behaviour and causing unrest is a perennial issue,” Tsokkos argued.
The ‘out of bounds’ law applies to a specific category of cadets: it does not apply to all SBA personnel,” Tsokkos specified.

He went on to make specific reference to Tefkros Anthias street, which is currently not covered by the out of bounds law: “We have been receiving complaints by residents and business owners there because of the unrest.

“They demand we do something about it.”....


http://www.cyprus-mail.com/news/main.php?id=37961&cat_id=1
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on March 05, 2008, 23:20:36
I once did a dive onto a 300ft long British anti-aircraft cruiser that was sunk by Stukas near Harstad about the same time as this ship. It was a shore dive in about 70ft of gin clear, 42 degree F water. If you like wreck diving, the Luftwaffe sure did a good job setting up dive sites for you in this area, unfortunately...


Sunken WW2 warship found in fjord
 
 
The wreck of a Royal Navy destroyer has been found in a Norwegian fjord, 68 years after she sank during battle.
HMS Hunter has remained undisturbed since April 1940 when she sank, killing 110 people during the Battle of Narvik.

It was found 305m (1,000ft) under water by a Norwegian mine control vessel on a multinational training exercise.

The site will be marked as a war grave on Saturday. Major General Garry Robison said finding HMS Hunter had been a "poignant moment".

HMS Hunter was one of two Allied destroyers lost during the first Battle of Narvik - the Germans lost four destroyers.
 

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/7280215.stm
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on March 07, 2008, 00:25:55
RAF personnel ordered not to wear uniforms in public after suffering abuse in the street

By MICHAEL SEAMARK and IAN DRURY

 They serve their country with pride and are ready to put their lives on the line.

Yet RAF personnel have been repaid with volleys of abuse in the street.

So bad is the problem that servicemen and women from RAF Wittering have been ordered not to wear uniform in public.

They were told to keep a low profile in nearby Peterborough following seven months of verbal attacks.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=527848&in_page_id=1770&ct=5


Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: Yrys on March 07, 2008, 00:47:57
Fury at uniforms ban for troops (http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/article886753.ece)

Quote
PM Gordon Brown was outraged last night after hearing that the Royal Air Force is BANNED from wearing uniform in a British city — in case the locals hurl abuse.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on March 07, 2008, 00:51:11
I suggest they post a PARA company there for a week of walking out in uniform, and send the police home. That should solve the problem.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on March 07, 2008, 01:56:23

Highest number of Military Crosses awarded since second world war

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2008/mar/07/military.afghanistan

One was a woman pilot who made a decision to fly her helicopter using night vision goggles into the middle of Basra city to save a soldier who would otherwise have died. Another was a Territorial Army soldier in Afghanistan who, despite being seriously injured, provided covering fire for his colleague and in the process was shot again. Yesterday, they were among 184 members of the armed forces to be told they would receive medals for operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, the highest number of medals listed since the invasion of Iraq five years ago.

The honours, to be awarded by the Queen, include the largest number of Military Crosses to be given since the end of the second world war - 28 - as well as five Conspicuous Gallantry Crosses, five Distinguished Service Orders and three Distinguished Flying Crosses.

The Mercian Regiment, which lost nine men during its six-month tour of Afghanistan last year, was awarded 13 medals, including a posthumous MC for Sergeant Craig Brelsford, who died while trying to retrieve the body of a fallen comrade, Private Johan Botha, lost in no man's land after a ferocious firefight with the Taliban near the town of Garmsir in Helmand.

The honours provide sharp evidence of the intensity of operations that British troops face in Afghanistan and Iraq. Since the beginning of the war in Afghanistan at the end of 2001, 89 British service personnel have been killed on operations there.

When he was defence secretary, John Reid said he hoped British forces would leave Afghanistan "without firing a single shot" and the hope was that troops would mainly help Afghan authorities extend their control. Instead, they were drawn into a revived conflict with the Taliban.

Lieutenant Simon Cupples receives the Conspicuous Gallantry Cross - the country's second highest medal for bravery - for leading his men back into that same "killing zone" six times through the night in an attempt to retrieve Botha. "For the fifth time, he crawled forward in an attempt to recover the last casualty but the remorseless intensity of the enemy fire forced him to withdraw," the citation said. "He was utterly determined not to leave his soldier behind and subsequently commanded a rescue team who successfully recovered the soldier."

His platoon sergeant, Michael Lockett, is to be awarded the MC and 2nd Lieutenant Rupert Bowers, who at 19 had finished training just before arriving in Helmand province the week before the attack, was mentioned in dispatches after he carried two men from the battlefield on his back while being shot at. Their officer commanding, Major Jamie Nowell, was given the MC.

Flight Lieutenant Michelle Goodman, of the RAF, becomes the first woman to be awarded a DFC after she chose to fly into an extremely dangerous area of Basra under heavy fire to extract a casualty who would have died within 15 minutes. Her citation said: "Despite extreme pressure, whilst in the face of the enemy, she made the right decision."

Another member of the RAF, Corporal David Hayden, becomes the first airman to receive the MC. His citation read: "In a particularly ferocious battle against a determined group of insurgents, involving a fully dismounted patrol in Iraq, [he] repeatedly showed the most outstanding courage, selflessness and personal example. With absolute disregard for his own safety he repeatedly risked his own life in order to rescue a wounded comrade and extract his combat team."

Since the invasion of Iraq almost five years ago, 175 British troops have died there on operations.

Six soldiers from the Royal Anglian Regiment, known as the Vikings, are to be decorated with MCs and Lieutenant Colonel Stuart Carver, their commanding officer, is to be awarded the DSO. Nine Anglians were killed in more than 350 engagements during their time in Helmand.

Three more awards were made posthumously. Captain David Hicks, of the Royal Anglian Regiment, was awarded the MC after leading his company "during an extremely demanding eight days which ultimately cost him his life". He was killed during an attack on his patrol base north-east of Sangin in Helmand .

Major Paul Harding of the 4th Battalion The Rifles, was mentioned in dispatches. He was killed in Iraq last year, in Basra, and was described as a soldier who "constantly exposed himself to danger".

Corporal Rodney Wilson, also from 4th Battalion The Rifles, was mentioned in dispatches. He was killed by sniper fire during a search and detention operation north-west of Basra last year after he ran out into heavy gunfire to pull a colleague to safety during a fight with insurgents.

Last night, Pte Luke Cole, 22, the TA soldier in Afghanistan who, despite being seriously injured, provided covering fire for his colleague and in the process was shot again during the night when Botha and Brelsford were killed, said of his MC: "I am amazed. I was just doing my job."

The private, a forklift truck engineer who was on a TA attachment with the Mercian Regiment, added: "I didn't think I was doing anything special. I was helping my mates out like they would do for me."

Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: geo on March 07, 2008, 13:26:46
RAF personnel ordered not to wear uniforms in public after suffering abuse in the street

By MICHAEL SEAMARK and IAN DRURY

 They were told to keep a low profile in nearby Peterborough following seven months of verbal attacks.
Might I suggest to the RAF personnel that they should just stop purchasing and spending their hard earned pay in that / those towns.  The MoD should stop buying from local merchants AND, if such is the wish of the local population, then the RAF should consider moving their airfield to another county....
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: geo on March 07, 2008, 13:31:10
BZ to all our Brit comrades for their well deserved Gallantry medals.

CHIMO!
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: Yrys on March 08, 2008, 03:03:18
Our heroes deserve respect (http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/article891766.ece)

Quote
SELDOM has the sacrifice of so many been so sneered at by such a worthless few.

Barely a week goes by without one or more brave members of our Armed Forces giving their lives in Iraq or Afghanistan.

We at The Sun SALUTE our heroic Boys and Girls – and today declare the ban on them wearing their proud uniforms in public an INSULT.

Last night PM Gordon Brown slammed a barmy order that 2,000 RAF personnel must don civvies on a city’s streets to avoid confrontations with “antiwar” thugs.
The same cowardly minority of hooligans have spat at and abused children attending cadet meetings.

"Outrage ... the student union at UCL has banned forces' recruitment"

Yesterday it emerged students in London – whose idea of hardship and sacrifice is getting out of bed before lunchtime – have voted to ban all military personnel,
including cadets, from their university campus.

Today The Sun calls on our army of readers to show our servicemen and women we truly value them.

Next time you see a member of our Armed Forces in uniform – and we urge them to wear it with pride – please give them a PAT on the back, SHAKE their hand and
 OFFER your support. Tell them you are grateful for what they do and that the thoughtless few do NOT speak for the vast majority of British people.

Yesterday the RAF commander who ordered her staff not to wear uniforms off base was accused of “losing her bottle – and the plot”.

Rest of article on link (http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/article891766.ece)
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: No one on March 08, 2008, 03:27:30
Quote
Yesterday it emerged students in London – whose idea of hardship and sacrifice is getting out of bed before lunchtime – have voted to ban all military personnel,
including cadets, from their university campus.

   This is getting out of hand on campuses. At least at UVic (http://forums.army.ca/forums/index.php/topic,66411.0.html) and Fanshawe (http://forums.army.ca/forums/index.php/topic,70998.0.html) these clowns' protests fell upon mostly deaf ears. The situation in the UK must be pretty bad for the students to actually vote them off campus.

    It upsets me that the threat would be that great to even make one consider banning uniforms. Citizens of that town oughta give their heads a collective shake. Disagreeing with the mission is one thing, being a stupid redneck (or whatever the British equivalent it, hooligan?) is another.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: geo on March 08, 2008, 12:46:23
I would guess that Universities in the UK are subsidiezed the same way as they are in Canada.
FINE, if they don't want a uniformed government presence on campus, let the students pay the full shot for their education.  No point having them dirty their hands with all that BLOOD MONEY.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: No one on March 08, 2008, 13:18:30
FINE, if they don't want a uniformed government presence on campus, let the students pay the full shot for their education. 
   
   'Tis a fine idea!
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on March 10, 2008, 23:22:31
Soldier 'filmed girls undressing' 
 
 
A sergeant major secretly filmed teenage girls getting undressed in their dormitory at a military camp, Cardiff Crown Court has heard.
Richard Brown, 42, was in charge of a careers course to give schoolchildren a taste of life in the Army.

He is accused of filming through a gap in the curtains as girls went to bed.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/wales/south_east/7288530.stm
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: geo on March 11, 2008, 09:27:31
Aargh!  The shame of it all.

Idiot!

Talk about flushing a career down the drain.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: Thucydides on March 11, 2008, 14:28:50
Hardly needs any more comment; well done!

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article3511901.ece

Quote
British soldier awarded the Military Cross for fighting off 150 Taliban
Military Cross for hero of ambushMichael Smith
A BRITISH soldier who almost single-handedly took on 150 Taliban after he and his 50-man convoy were ambushed in Afghanistan has been awarded the Military Cross.

Fusilier Damien Hields used his grenade machinegun to destroy seven Taliban positions before his ambushers realised he was their main threat. After peppering his vehicle with bullets, they hit the 24-year-old soldier. He had to be dragged off for treatment by his driver after he tried to continue fighting.

“Fusilier Hields showed extraordinary courage under intense fire,” said Lieutenant-Colonel Huw James, his commanding officer. “I was astonished at the state of his vehicle. There were so many holes in it, it was like a teabag. The Taliban did everything in their power to neutralise [him] and Fusilier Hields was having none of it. His actions allowed his patrol to come out of the ambush in which they were outnumbered by three or four to one and probably saved a lot of lives.”

Hields was awarded not only the Military Cross, the third highest award for gallantry, but also the Nato Meritorious Service Medal for his actions, which were part of a Nato operation.

However, he will not be allowed to wear the Nato award because army rules do not permit soldiers to wear non-British medals - an anomaly that has upset his commanding officer. “We think he has earned this decoration for gallantry and that it is only right that he should be allowed to wear it,” James said.

Hields was one of 28 Military Crosses announced last week. There were also five Conspicuous Gallantry Crosses, the second highest award after the Victoria Cross.

From Denby in north Wales, he joined the army at 16 and is married with a four-year-old son. Last summer he was posted with the 1st Battalion, the Royal Welsh to Kandahar in southern Afghanistan. One mission, 100 miles north in Uruzgan province, was to help Dutch troops disrupt the movement of Taliban fighters and drugs smugglers.

They were on their way back to Kandahar on June 3, driving south in a valley, when the Taliban attacked. One of the Land Rovers hit a landmine and was flipped upside down by the blast. “There were Taliban dug in all around and they started hitting us with AK47s and mortars. We could not see where they were at first.”

Hields followed the trail of RPG-7 rocket-propelled grenades coming towards him and started firing grenades one at a time, trying to home in. “Then I switched to automatic fire,” he said. A grenade machine gun has a box with 32 grenade rounds. “I emptied a box onto that position and you could see all the dust and smoke flying about where they hit.

“After that no fire came back from that position and I moved on to the next one. One or two rounds until I got onto the target, and switch to automatic and empty the box.”

Realising that Hields was the main threat to them, the remaining Taliban fighters homed in on him with their RPG7s, Dushka heavy machineguns and Kalash-nikov rifles. Hields was undaunted and continued firing.

“I got through six boxes in about 15 minutes and we were winning the fight,” he said. “They started it. We were going to finish it.”

One of the Taliban rounds finally hit home as he was bending down to reload. “I felt a sharp punch in the kidneys on my right side,” he said. “It knocked me into the bottom of the [Land-Rover]. I looked down and saw a hole in my body armour and a bit of blood.”

Hields was dragged out of the Taliban fire and back about 20 yards where Lance-Corporal Carley Williams, the female medic attached to the troops, had dashed through enemy fire to set up a first aid position.

“The lads were screaming at me to get into cover,” said Williams, 23, from Llanelli. They saw one round actually pass between my legs.” She was awarded the Joint Commanders’ Commendation for her bravery.

Hields said: “It turned out the bullet had smashed a rib and gone out of me again without touching any internal organs which was very lucky. It was just a flesh wound really.”

He and the other wounded were evacuated by helicopter. After treatment and recuperation, Hields was back taking part in operations in Afghanistan in July. “Obviously I’m extremely proud but I’ve got friends still recovering from injuries and it’s them I’m more worried about.”
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: geo on March 11, 2008, 14:39:43
BZ to Fusilier Hields for a job well done.  150 TB opponents?  eat you heart out Rambo!  :D

WRT the non UK medal he has been awarded but not allowed to wear... Might I suggest that, in WW2, there are many Senior officers who received UK, French, Dutch, Belgian, etc, etc, etc decorations for something that was also recognized by their own country... Those old double standards come up and bite you on the arse all the time, don't they?
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: No one on March 11, 2008, 14:42:54
WRT the non UK medal he has been awarded but not allowed to wear... Might I suggest that, in WW2, there are many Senior officers who received UK, French, Dutch, Belgian, etc, etc, etc decorations for something that was also recognized by their own country... Those old double standards come up and bite you on the arse all the time, don't they?

   I think because he was also decorated for this actions by his own country, not wearing the NATO decoration is not as big a deal. However, if his actions were done say, while on exchange with another country's armed forces, and he was decorated by that country and not his own, would he be allowed to wear that decoration?
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: geo on March 11, 2008, 15:28:06
There is ample example where a campaign star or such medal as issued by the UK will do for the tour... No NATO medal to go side-by-side with the UK gong BUT, WRT a valour decoration, it should not matter if the country has recognized the incident.  As stated before, there are more than enough incidents in WW2 where medals of valour were presented to servicemen by the countries being liberated. 

Do you realize how many French & Belgian "croix de guerre", Legion d'honeur, bobbles and whatnots were handed out to our soldiers»?
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: No one on March 11, 2008, 15:30:27
As stated before, there are more than enough incidents in WW2 where medals of valour were presented to servicemen by the countries being liberated. 

Do you realize how many French & Belgian "croix de guerre", Legion d'honeur, bobbles and whatnots were handed out to our soldiers»?

   Sorry, I should have stated that I meant more recently.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on March 12, 2008, 01:40:25
You mean the accident turned him into a PARA? ;D


RAF sergeant wins £1.7m payout after road accident transforms him into a sex-obsessed, foul-mouthed loner
A once mild-mannered RAF sergeant has been awarded £ 1.7million compensation for the crash that turned him into a sex pest.

Robert Cornes was a respected aircraft engineer with 18 years service when he was struck by a drink-driver, causing serious brain injuries that transformed his personality.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=530319&in_page_id=1770
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on March 12, 2008, 01:41:50
Shortage of Army doctors forces MoD to hire hundreds of temporary medics at £700 a day

A shortage of Army doctors and nurses is forcing the Ministry of Defence to employ hundreds of temporary civilian medics at an average rate of more than £700 a day.


At least £8million was spent on locums last year to cover more than 12,000 shifts left short by the manning crisis.

Dozens of civilian nurses and a neurosurgeon have been deployed in war-torn Iraq and Afghanistan.


http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=530372&in_page_id=1770
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: geo on March 12, 2008, 15:23:43
You mean the accident turned him into a PARA? ;D


RAF sergeant wins £1.7m payout after road accident transforms him into a sex-obsessed, foul-mouthed loner
A once mild-mannered RAF sergeant has been awarded £ 1.7million compensation for the crash that turned him into a sex pest.

Robert Cornes was a respected aircraft engineer with 18 years service when he was struck by a drink-driver, causing serious brain injuries that transformed his personality.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=530319&in_page_id=1770

Eggads, is that what happened to me?
I got hit by a truck?.... frequently!?!
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on March 12, 2008, 19:03:03
Idea of winning hearts and minds in Iraq is 'almost ridiculous' warns Army commander

The goal of "winning hearts and minds" among local people in Iraq and Afghanistan is unrealistic and "almost ridiculous", a senior British Army commander said last night.


In a stark assessment - which appears to contradict directly the mantra of the armed forces and politicians - former SAS officer Lieutenant General Graeme Lamb said it was dangerous for Western nations to imagine that they could earn the lasting affection of locals in Muslim countries which they occupy.

"To suggest that good intentions will cross fundamental cultural, social and religious differences and win over a damaged population is at best dangerous and wishful thinking.


http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/worldnews.html?in_article_id=531273&in_page_id=1811
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on March 12, 2008, 19:05:08
SAS Freefall training death


http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/article904875.ece
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: geo on March 13, 2008, 10:50:10
SAS Freefall training death
http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/article904875.ece
Would a two way radio have saved his life?.... I do not see how the instructors could have come up with an unequivocal answer or YES.  The speed at which the person thunders down from 3000 feet is measured in seconds.  If training & instinct does not kick in, then the parachutist is a gonner.  The radio might have helped BUT there is no guarantee the good Capt would/could have responded in time.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on March 13, 2008, 12:38:45
You're quite right. Good drills and good kit are what's required in these situations. Bad luck can't help much either...
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on March 13, 2008, 19:14:42
Well done the Duke: TA Officer and Col-in-Chief to various regiments.


Richest man in England also a regular of prostitution ring in Spitzer scandal
By LARRY McSHANE
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER

Updated Wednesday, March 12th 2008, 12:22 PM

The richest man in Great Britain was a customer of the same high-end prostitution service patronized by Gov. Spitzer.

The Duke of Westminster, listed as the world's 46th richest person by Forbes magazine, hired four hookers over a six-week stretch in late 2006 and early last year, the News of the World reported last year.


http://www.nydailynews.com/news/us_world/2008/03/12/2008-03-12_richest_man_in_england_also_a_regular_of.html
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: geo on March 14, 2008, 10:42:40
It's a morality thing in the USA.
When the last French president died, you had pictures of his wife & mistress standing side by side @ his grave.
The greek president's wife didn't like the paparazies so he was always seen in public with his mistress....

It's only when it's kept secret that the "moral majority" becomes a knife pointed at onesself.

Moral of the story.... don't make it a secret.

Look at Bill Clinton... so he got a BJ - Good for him!
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: Yrys on March 14, 2008, 20:32:50
Look at Bill Clinton... so he got a BJ - Good for him!

I'm not sure Bill himself would have the same opinion, as the "Lewinsky affair" is now part of his "legacy".

Add :


War rally marks Iraq anniversary (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/scotland/glasgow_and_west/7297378.stm)

Quote
Anti-war protestors are planning a demonstration in Glasgow marking five years since the start of the war in Iraq.

The Scottish demonstration is part of a day of action in a number of cities throughout the UK and abroad. The rally will hear calls for troop withdrawal from Iraq
and Afghanistan, as well being in opposition to possible action against Iran. Speakers include Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Rose Gentle. Her son, Gordon,
who was a soldier, was killed in Iraq.

In a statement, Mrs Gentle wrote: "We are not anti-war, but we are against the Iraq war and we will be there to tell Gordon Brown that it is time to bring all our troops
home from Iraq."

Some of the other speakers will be Labour MP Jeremy Corbyn, actor David Hayman and author A.L. Kennedy. The demonstration is being supported by a range
of organisations including the Scottish Trades Union Congress, Scottish CND and the Muslim Association of Scotland.


Article on link (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/scotland/glasgow_and_west/7297378.stm)


Scrooge MoD kill SAS hero (http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/article921280.ece)

Quote
AN SAS officer died because of Ministry of Defence penny-pinching over a £50 radio, an inquest ruled yesterday.

Coroner Andrew Walker reached his verdict after crucial evidence from The Sun. We told last Monday how the MoD had been asked THREE times
for ground-to-air radios for high-altitude parachute training.

Captain Dan Wright was killed making only his second freefall parachute jump. But Oxfordshire Assistant Deputy Coroner Mr Walker said Dan, 25,
would have been saved if instructors had been given the safety equipment they had pleaded for. He forced the MoD to release internal documents
that proved the radios were turned down because of cash shortages. Recording a narrative verdict, he said: “Let there be no doubt this tragedy
happened for want of a simple, inexpensive piece of equipment.

“Captain Wright, on the balance of probability, would not have died had an operator on the ground been able to communicate with him by radio
“Requests for these radios had been refused as funding was only available for essential items.”

Screaming

Mr Walker had seen chilling footage of Dan’s last desperate seconds fighting to release his failed main parachute during the 3,000ft jump over
RAF Brize Norton, Oxfordshire, in 2005. Instructors on the ground are heard screaming: “Cut away, for f***’s sake!” Dan, from Newport, Gwent,
finally releases his reserve chute at just 200ft – 1½ seconds too late – and hits trees. The impact snapped his spinal cord and smashed his pelvis,
killing him instantly.

After the inquest Dan’s mother Carol heaped praise on The Sun’s front page on the scandal. She said: “The whole family is very grateful for what
The Sun has exposed – we would still be in the dark without you.” Carol, 60, added of her son’s death: “It is such a terrible waste. What have they
lost for the sake of flippingradio? They have lost a potential star within their ranks. “And we will never see his lovely face again.”

Dan’s sister Abigail, 30, said: “Hopefully now the coroner has made his excellent recommendations the same thing will never happen to any other person.”

An MoD spokesman said last night: “We are committed to providing our forces with the best possible equipment.”

Article on link (http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/article921280.ece)
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on March 15, 2008, 14:50:12
I'm all for giving people the right kit, but many thousands have NOT died in freefall courses (me included) and they didn't have radios either. I'd like to know what the inquest has to say about the quality of the instruction given during this course. It's always easy to blame the kit, but sometimes "A poor workman always blames his tools".
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on March 15, 2008, 14:52:31
Top Blair aide: we must talk to al-Qaida
Former No 10 chief says Irish peace process showed link to enemy needed

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2008/mar/15/uksecurity.alqaida
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: geo on March 15, 2008, 15:07:17
D&B
the good Capt freefalled 3000 ft.  By your recollections - how many seconds does it take to fall 3000ft?

IIRC a person should drop at approx 250ft/s  +/-12 secs to impact.
How much time would it take to get the para's attention & get him to start to cut his chute away & get his reserve shute extracted? .... Whups - Times up!
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on March 16, 2008, 01:01:08
Yes... 32 ft/sec (per sec) is the norm as I understand it. But good drills should overcome ground rush. Why put the novice in that position until he's ready? If there's a problem, and you can't cut away, dump the reserve ASAP and the 'bag o' washing' should break your falll at least. I don't understand, beyond panic, what really happened in this case and am not conviced that adding a rdaio to the mix would have helped.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: geo on March 16, 2008, 12:34:54
Between the ground staff realising something was wrong & the time to raise the radio to a mouth, to scream to a para in order to get his attention, for him to react/respond, he'll have thundered into the ground IMHO... radio would then have to be returned for a refund... as possibly defective & definitely broken
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: milnews.ca on March 16, 2008, 19:25:02
Marine band replaced by CD on ghetto blaster as military musicians are sent to Afghanistan
MATTHEW HICKLEY, Daily Mail, 16 Mar 08
Article link (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=536169&in_page_id=1770&ito=1490)

The Bands of Her Majesty's Royal Marines are justifiably renowned as the finest military musicians in the world.

But at ceremonial occasions the men in white helmets are having to be replaced with CDs played on ghetto blasters – more victims of the crippling manpower shortages in the armed forces.

For the first time an entire band – one of the remaining five in the UK – has had to be broken up because too many musicians have been sent to Afghanistan as medics or stretcher bearers.

Those remaining at the Britannia Royal Naval College in Dartmouth, Devon – the Royal Navy's equivalent of Sandhurst – are being spread around the other four Marine bands to fill gaps in their ranks.

Defence Ministry officials insist the drastic move is temporary and it is planned to reform the band a year from now.

But insiders fear the continuing intense strains on the armed forces will make that impossible, and the Dartmouth band will soon be consigned to the history books .....

Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on March 17, 2008, 01:11:15
God forbid one of the dozens of Guards' Division bands gets deployed too far from Marbel Arch...
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on March 17, 2008, 01:14:29
Proof that Blair is a complete idiot. Oops, was that my inside voice?

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2008/mar/17/northernireland.peaceprocess1

Tony Blair offered to take the unprecedented step of holding secret masked meetings with the IRA leadership as he fought to save the Northern Ireland peace process from collapse over the contentious issue of illegal weapons, a senior aide reveals today.

In a sign of the extraordinary lengths the former prime minister was prepared to go to during his decade-long quest for a settlement, he tried repeatedly to meet the IRA's eight-strong Army Council to persuade them to disarm and sign up to the peace deal.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on March 17, 2008, 02:49:16
There will be a public inquiry into Iraq, says Brown
By Andrew Grice and Nigel Morris
Monday, 17 March 2008

Gordon Brown has promised that the Government will hold a full-scale inquiry into the mistakes made in Iraq before and since the invasion five years ago.


His concession marks a significant break from his predecessor, Tony Blair, who steadfastly refused to hold a wide-ranging inquiry into the war.

Mr Brown, however, insists it is not the right time for an immediate investigation as the situation in Iraq remains "fragile" and British troops are still trying to bring stability to the country. The Prime Minister said: "There is a need to learn all possible lessons from the military action in Iraq and its aftermath."

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/there-will-be-a-public-inquiry-into-iraq-says-brown-796851.html
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: geo on March 18, 2008, 13:01:43
Troops' warning over lack of equipment

Telegraph.co.uk, United Kingdom
By Thomas Harding
Last Updated: 18/03/2008

Soldiers have warned the Government that their lives are being put at risk by a lack of equipment for training prior to their deployment on the front line.

Paratroopers due to go out to Afghanistan this week have been unable to train with night vision goggles because the Ministry of Defence cannot afford to buy enough.

The news comes just weeks after the inquest into the death of Capt James Philippson, 29, the first British fatality in Helmand province, in which the Government was severely criticised for sending troops into combat without night vision goggles.


Andrew Walker, the coroner, accused the Government of an "unforgivable breach of trust" in allowing soldiers to be defeated "not by the terrorists but by the lack of basic equipment".

While the MoD says it has sorted out the shortage of night vision goggles in Afghanistan with urgent orders, not enough have been bought for training back home.

Not only are the goggles important for giving troops the edge over the enemy on night patrols but they are vital for army drivers who use the roads at night without lights.

Soldiers deploying there this summer have now warned of further unnecessary deaths.

"This will end up killing people," said a Para about to deploy to Afghanistan. "Driving at night is particularly difficult and without any practice people will crash their wagons and kill each other, especially during a contact scenario when people generally speed to get out of it."

While much equipment has been provided under the Operational Equipment Training Package, the Paras are furious they have not been supplied with night vision goggles, particularly a sophisticated binocular set called Lucie goggles.

The goggles allow troops to line up a laser mounted on their rifle on to a target up to 100 yards away, allowing them to hit with near 100 per cent accuracy.

Sources within Capt Philippson's regiment have also reacted furiously to the shortage.

A source at 7 Para said: "The regiment is pretty upset about it as you can imagine. We are just getting goggles straight from the regiment that we are replacing in theatre."
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: geo on March 18, 2008, 13:02:30
British, but only in battle

Gurkhas have equality in the army but their children must still pay hefty foreign student fees for UK degrees

The Guardian
Natasha Gilbert
Tuesday March 18, 2008

After a long fight, Gurkhas serving as part of the British army last year won equal rights and status to their British counterparts, allowing them to apply to settle in the UK and gain British citizenship. But their battle for equality is not yet over. A government oversight has meant the children of serving Gurkha soldiers are still regarded as foreign students and must therefore pay UK universities' hefty international fees of up to £13,000 a year. Gurkhas who are fighting and dying for Britain in Afghanistan and Iraq must leave the army or transfer out of the British Brigade of Gurkhas to the wider British army to apply for indefinite leave to remain in the UK and for British citizenship. Only when citizenship is granted will their children be regarded as home students in the UK.

Around 3,000 soldiers currently serve in the brigade, most of whom are based in the UK. The problem affects around 500 families.

One captain, who has served in the brigade for over 20 years, says he cannot afford to pay the international student fees, and if a solution cannot be found he will be forced to retire early from the army to ensure his two children can go to university. "I am one of the victims of the system. My son has been forced to take a gap year - which was not the original plan - in the hope that the situation can be resolved. There are several Gurkhas I know personally whose children have also been forced to take a gap year, or to discontinue their education because they cannot afford the fees," he says.

"I also know of several Gurkhas who have resigned from the army prematurely in order to get home student status for their children. If a solution cannot be found, the option for me is to leave prematurely otherwise my son will be taking a very long gap year," the captain says.

"Things have improved for Gurkhas but I believe there are still some areas that need to be considered and reviewed. The time has come to look into these areas. We deserve it."

A second serving Gurkha officer says he finds it disappointing that Gurkhas are still treated differently from soldiers of Commonwealth countries fighting as part of the British army. "What disappoints me is that for Commonwealth soldiers there are no barriers. But for us there are still some barriers. I cannot afford to send my children to university as foreign students, so I would have to leave the army as I would be wasting my time and my children's time," he says.

Gurkhas have been fighting for Britain for over 200 years. Serving as part of the British army during the two world wars, the Gurkhas suffered 43,000 casualties and won 26 Victoria crosses.

Chhatra Rai, general secretary of the British Gurkha Welfare Society, who retired from the brigade in 2005 after 20 years' service, said the soldiers and their families are in a "catch-22 situation".

"Most of the children have been educated at schools in the UK and most of the soldiers want to settle in the UK when they retire. To apply for leave to remain or citizenship they must first be discharged from the army," he says. "It's a catch-22 situation because they have to sacrifice their service to send their children to university, otherwise it's not economically viable."

James Gray, Conservative MP for North Wiltshire and former shadow defence minister, recently visited serving Gurkhas in Afghanistan.

"The soldiers could have raised any issue but the problem they were all raising was the barriers to their children's access to university," he says.

"Up until last year they were treated as foreign soldiers. They had no pension rights, no leave to remain in the UK, and could not apply to become British citizens. Then the law changed and they are now treated effectively as British soldiers. Some of them have been in Britain for 20 or more years, but they can't send their children to university here. It's an issue that fell between the cracks."

Gray adds: "These soldiers are risking their lives, so they should have the same rights as British soldiers."

The Ministry of Defence and the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills say a long-term solution to the problem is being discussed. In the interim, Dius has asked universities to consider charging the children of serving Gurkha soldiers home student fees.

A spokesperson for Universities UK, the vice-chancellors' group, says: "Dius contacted UUK to ask if our member institutions would consider charging 'home fees' for the dependants of Gurkha and Commonwealth service personnel starting higher education programmes in the academic year 2008-09. Universities UK agreed to circulate this request to member institutions earlier on this year.

"We look forward to a government announcement later this year of a longer-term solution to the issue of the fee status of the dependants of service personnel."

Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: geo on March 18, 2008, 13:10:54
It is interesting that Ghurka soldiers, when they retire back to Nepal, receive a pension based on the Indian army's pay rates... I wonder if they receive the same pension payments as British soldiers if they decide to remain in the UK?
I wonder if a Brit soldier would receive an Indian army pension if he decided to retire to Nepal - in order to live with the Ghurka soldiers he used to serve with?

While the UK appears to want to do the right thing..... the sheer negligence with which they deal with their Ghurka soldiers suggests that it'll be a fight for every right others receive as a "given"
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: foresterab on March 18, 2008, 14:19:11
As I recall the rate of pay and pension of the Ghurka  soldier was a specific clause in the formation of India as a seperate country due to desires of both India and Britian to have Ghurka regiments.  Both India and Britian must pay the same wages and recruit the same in order to be complient but with the reduction of Ghurka regiments in the British Army this has become less of an issue than it was in say the 1950's.

Pension would be based upon nationality..so a british retiree would get paid the same in Pokara, Nepal as they would in London.  However even at the Indian army pay rates Nepalese soldiers are still very high wage earners comparable to university professors and doctors (based upon informal discussions with locals and our host in Hetuda, Nepal). 

The Royal Ghurka Regiment and it's predecessors have always been extremely selective both upon Caste and tribe for troops and even decendents born overseas have had issues applying as they were considered "soft". Given the economic oportunities and hardships in Nepal it easy to understand why they may put up with it but as the general knowledge of the troops increases and employment oportunities decrease then the pressure to be more equal with their British counterparts seems to have occured.  The other part is that when talking with the locals in Pokara (near the british center for the Ghurka regiment) they dislike talking about difficulties of any type. While they were more open due than other communities we worked in we were still outsiders and it wasnt' something that was mentioned easily...a very large contrast to Canada or the US.

Will have to get home and check books for more details on the references to the formation of the Ghurka regimements and pay post India independence in 1948.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on March 19, 2008, 02:06:05
The Gurkhas are actually very well treated. Anyone who makes it into the 'British' Gurkhas is the equivalent of a lottery winner at home. If they were to retire in the UK, yes, they'd be pretty poor. But at home they're heroes, and rich ones at that. Join at 17, retire at home at 37 a rich hero or move on to contracting jobs for good coin. Not bad if you come from a poverty stricken country.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: baboon6 on March 19, 2008, 04:26:57
New Gurkha Terms and Conditions of Service:

http://www.army.mod.uk/brigade_of_gurkhas/new_gtacos.htm

Things are being changed to bring them more into line with the rest of the British Army.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on March 20, 2008, 14:55:47
Shortage of Army doctors forces MoD to hire hundreds of temporary medics at £700 a day

A shortage of Army doctors and nurses is forcing the Ministry of Defence to employ hundreds of temporary civilian medics at an average rate of more than £700 a day.


At least £8million was spent on locums last year to cover more than 12,000 shifts left short by the manning crisis.

Dozens of civilian nurses and a neurosurgeon have been deployed in war-torn Iraq and Afghanistan.


http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=530372&in_page_id=1770
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: geo on March 20, 2008, 15:59:34
Shortage of MDs?
Heh... bin there & done that.
Many civy MDs from Canada have served in KAF
Nothing we can do - the alternative is to do without... or deal with local witch doctors err - MDs
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on March 20, 2008, 20:38:32
Shortage of MDs?
Heh... bin there & done that.
Many civy MDs from Canada have served in KAF
Nothing we can do - the alternative is to do without... or deal with local witch doctors err - MDs

There must be a business opportunity for a PMC (Private MEDICAL Company) who can provide access to a stable of mercenary doctors for a price. I kew a few such docs in my time who loved flitting around from conflict to conflict practising emergency medicine.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on March 22, 2008, 19:31:12
Royal Anglian Regiment squaddie Katrina Hodge Miss England I can be a model


SEXY squaddie Katrina Hodge is gunning to be the next Miss England.

Lance Cpl Katrina – dubbed Combat Barbie by troops – beat thousands of entrants to reach the competition’s final stages.

And the brunette, 21 today, is using the opportunity to encourage women to enlist.

She said: “You hear girls in beauty pageants talking about wanting world peace, but I’m out there trying to achieve peace for real and I want more girls to join up.”


http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/article949479.ece
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: Yrys on March 23, 2008, 21:00:39
Patriotic tattoo prohibits army soldier to become a cop.

http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/campaigns/our_boys/article949586.ece
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: Red 6 on March 23, 2008, 21:56:16
Doesn't surprise me. Many PDs in the US are doing the same thing regarding tattoes on forearms, neck and other "visible areas." Dumb if you ask me, but nobody did.  ;)
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on March 24, 2008, 03:45:39
Marine who lost arm and both legs in Taliban blast is refused full compensation

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=542731&in_page_id=1770
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on March 24, 2008, 03:49:21
Drilling for oil to start in Falkland Islands

By Jasper Copping
Last Updated: 12:55am GMT 09/03/2008

The inhabitants of the Falkland Islands are preparing for a South Atlantic oil rush which they hope will make them among the richest people in the world.
 
After 10 years of frustrating delays since oil fields containing up to 60 billion barrels of "black gold" were discovered off the islands, oil companies are planning to start drilling within the next 12 months.

The move follows the conclusion of lengthy, but successful, tests by geologists and significant cash injections by two major oil companies which plan to bring rigs to the islands by as early as autumn.

The companies with licences to drill in the area met in Edinburgh on Friday to brief officials from the Falklands' government on their progress, and preparations are under way in the South Atlantic to ensure that the islands can cope with sudden wealth.
 

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2008/03/09/wfalk109.xml
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: cameron on March 24, 2008, 08:54:40
Drilling for oil to start in Falkland Islands

By Jasper Copping
Last Updated: 12:55am GMT 09/03/2008

The inhabitants of the Falkland Islands are preparing for a South Atlantic oil rush which they hope will make them among the richest people in the world.
 
After 10 years of frustrating delays since oil fields containing up to 60 billion barrels of "black gold" were discovered off the islands, oil companies are planning to start drilling within the next 12 months.

The move follows the conclusion of lengthy, but successful, tests by geologists and significant cash injections by two major oil companies which plan to bring rigs to the islands by as early as autumn.

The companies with licences to drill in the area met in Edinburgh on Friday to brief officials from the Falklands' government on their progress, and preparations are under way in the South Atlantic to ensure that the islands can cope with sudden wealth.
 

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2008/03/09/wfalk109.xml

You can bet the Argentines are following this very closely.  If there was one time the Brits needed to devote more resources to the defence of the Falklands, it's now.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: Yrys on March 25, 2008, 21:57:00
Teachers snub to troops

http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/campaigns/forces/article958598.ece

A Canadian hero welcome (shame Britain's treatments of ours troops)

http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/article957382.ece

(18 pictures)

Bakri slur on boxer Amir

http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/article956706.ece
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on March 26, 2008, 03:39:56
The battle for Basra: Iraqis fight Mahdi army as British troops remain at base

Iraqi security forces battled with Shia militia in Basra yesterday in an intense conflict widely seen as a critical test of the Baghdad government's ability to control its own country.

The battle for Iraq's second city could have huge repercussions for the continuing US occupation and the legacy left by five years of British military involvement in the south.

Fifteen thousand soldiers from the Iraqi national army led the crackdown under the supervision of the prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki, against the Mahdi army, followers of the radical cleric Moqtada al-Sadr. At least 31 people were killed and 88 injured, police and hospital officials said.

The fighting also raised the spectre of a new bout of bloodletting across the Shia-dominated south and the multi-ethnic centre of the country, by unravelling a ceasefire declared by Sadr last August. Armed members of Mahdi army appeared on the streets of Baghdad for the first time in six months.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/mar/26/iraq.military
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on March 26, 2008, 14:02:57
'Refusal is a slap in the face' 
By Angus Crawford
BBC News 


A soldier from the Commonwealth who served more than four years in the British Army, including two tours in Iraq, has been told he can't become a British citizen because he applied on the wrong date.

 
 
Rogers Jean-Baptiste was born in St Lucia. He made his application this January, but was told by the Home Office that because on the same date five years earlier he was outside the UK he didn't qualify.
 

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/7313541.stm
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: geo on March 26, 2008, 14:47:59
Here is someone who wishes his turn to stand on a soapbox and speak his mind......

http://www.dotsub.com/films/moredemands/index.php?autostart=true&language_setting=en_1618


Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on March 26, 2008, 23:50:58
MoD should ditch key arms projects, say MPs

Pressures on the defence budget are so great that ministers should consider sacrificing one of its most prestigious projects - the £4bn replacement of two aircraft carriers - rather than simply delaying or cutting back planned new weapons systems, a powerful scrutiny committee will say today.

In a report critical of how the government procures new weapons, the cross-party Commons defence committee will challenge it to explain "what roles the two future carriers will perform ... and what capabilities these ships will give us that could not be provided in other ways".

Two carriers, the largest ships ever built for the navy, are due to be completed in 2014 and 2016 at an estimated cost of £3.9bn. Delays are likely to increase the costs while separate delays in the US Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) programme mean the first carrier will make do with ageing British Harriers, the committee notes.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2008/mar/27/defence.military


Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on March 26, 2008, 23:55:04
SAS soldier killed in Iraq gunfight

An SAS soldier was killed in Iraq in a gunfight early yesterday during a covert operation in the Baghdad area, sources said last night.

The Ministry of Defence, which does not comment officially on the activities of the UK's special forces, said only that a British soldier was shot and killed in Iraq. A spokesman said his next of kin had been informed.

The MoD said the family had asked that no further information be released. His death brings the total number of British military casualties in Iraq since the invasion in March 2003 to 176.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2008/mar/27/military.iraq

Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on March 27, 2008, 01:46:33
Army says farewell to UK's 'bugger-off' airbag drone
Droid suicide flotilla wiped itself out in 7 years

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/03/26/phoenix_says_goodbye/

The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has announced the formal retirement of its infamous "Phoenix" reconnaissance drone, leaving at least a two-year wait before its partly-British replacement is planned to come into service. Until then, the British forces will use hastily-imported overseas equipment bought under emergency procedures.
"We had many years of great operational experience with Phoenix and it has served us really well," said Lt Col Nick McRobb, commanding officer of the British Army's drone-aircraft regiment, quoted by the MoD press office.

 
Psst - George! Why aren't we having a flypast, then?

Colonel McRobb's assessment of the Phoenix is rather at odds with that of other soldiers, who nicknamed the unfortunate machine the "bugger-off" drone for its tendency not to return from missions. Its troubled 1990s development history is now used as a how-not-to-do-it example in university systems engineering courses.

The Phoenix was especially renowned for its Rube Goldberg/Heath Robinson recovery method, in which it descended to land hanging upside down beneath a parachute. This was in order to safeguard sensitive sensor gear in a belly pod. Unfortunately, the upside-down landings were found to wreck the fuselage, so exasperated engineers finally added a dorsal airbag to cushion the shock.

Unsurprisingly, the Phoenix suffered a fearful attrition rate when it finally went operational in 1999. More than 70 aircraft went missing, were shot down or got written off in crashes in Iraq alone between 2003 and 2006, and more were lost or wrecked in the Balkans before that. Still others have had to be cannibalised for spares, and all this within a total fleet of only 198.

It seems likely that last week's out-of-service parade, in which surviving Phoenixes moved past assembled troops on their launcher lorries, may have featured most of the visually intact Phoenix airframes still in existence. One can't help noticing that there apparently wasn't any flypast, either, which is quite usual when military aircraft go out of service - so in fact there may not be any serviceable Phoenixes left at all.

It's difficult, then, to go along with Col McRobb and agree that the Phoenix gave "great operational experience". Some might also quibble with his assertion that it was in service for "many years", as in fact the MoD says that the final operational flight took place nearly two years ago in Iraq - meaning that the Phoenix served for just seven years, during which a fleet almost 200 strong effectively wiped itself out. Each "bugger-off" reportedly cost the taxpayers no less than £1.5m.

Now Col McRobb's regiment will operate with a mixture of imported kit hastily purchased under "urgent operational requirement" rules - Hermes 450s imported from Israel, and miniature battery powered hand-launched "Desert Hawk" jobs from the States. The RAF has also purchased three bigger, more capable Predator-B/Reaper drones from the US, but plans to get more are rumoured to be on hold.

All this gear is effective and comparatively cheap, and there is absolutely no doubt that the hard-pressed UK forces urgently need more of it. Ideally they would just buy more, relatively cheaply from existing suppliers.

Unfortunately, MoD cash is normally required to do more than just buy equipment for men and women fighting and dying at the government's orders. It is also expected to provide jobs and votes here in the UK. Thus, the £800m drone budget will now be spent entirely on the Watchkeeper project, in which UK factories will be set up to produce a Hermes 450-type airframe copied from Israel and integrate French firm Thales' radar onto it.

The resulting Watchkeeper aircraft will be a bit better than the current Hermes 450s - but they will cost much the same as much bigger, hugely more capable Reapers. And they won't arrive until at least 2010. And they will be dependent on parts and support from both Israel and France, so they don't offer Blighty an independent capability.

Sure, deals of this type generate jobs in the UK. But it almost always turns out that each job costs the taxpayer (at least) a million pounds over and above the cost of buying existing gear - and then, in ten years' time or less, a similar demand is made in order to preserve the said job. The jobs actually turn out to be, in effect, a tremendously expensive dole scheme.

And meanwhile, British troops - so badly paid that they are often not from Blighty at all nowadays - wait years for their gear until it can be made in the UK, paying hugely inflated prices for the privilege. And then, often enough - considering the good old British made Phoenix - it isn't worth either the wait or the price. ®



Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: geo on March 27, 2008, 09:59:55
Fuinny thing that, the UKs Phoenix and Canada's Sperwer have a lot in common....
The parachute landing system paired to airbags is exactly the same as what we currently use.

However, given the offensive capabilities of the Predator, I don't expect Canada will ever stoop to purchase this drone from our US neighbours.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: cameron on March 29, 2008, 18:32:05
Teachers snub to troops

http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/campaigns/forces/article958598.ece

A Canadian hero welcome (shame Britain's treatments of ours troops)

http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/article957382.ece

(18 pictures)

Bakri slur on boxer Amir

I just looked at the slideshow pictures in the Sun story "A Canadian hero welcome", and I must say I got a lump in my throat, they are truly moving.  As for the "Teachers snub to troops" all I will say as a former schoolteacher myself is that those teachers are a disgrace to the noble profession.

http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/article956706.ece
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on March 30, 2008, 21:06:33
Courage and heroism under fire.  Outstanding.
 
 
 
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/asia/article3646243.ece
 
From The Sunday Times
March 30, 2008
Lance Corporal Matt Croucher hurls himself onto Taliban grenade
One man’s heroism saved the lives of his patrol – and left him with nothing more than a bloody nose
Lance Corporal Matt Croucher
Stephen Grey in Helmand
 
A Royal Marine in southern Afghanistan threw himself onto an exploding grenade to save the lives of his patrol.
 
Miraculously, Lance Corporal Matt Croucher, a marine reservist from Birmingham, survived the blast with little injury when his rucksack and body armour took the force of the blast. He is expected to receive one of the highest awards for gallantry.
 
The story of his courage emerged last week in interviews with marines occupying a forward operating base near Sangin in Helmand province. They are preparing to leave after serving for six months at the centre of some of the fiercest fighting in Afghanistan. The outpost, Forward Operating Base Inkerman, is better known to troops as "FOB Incoming".
 
Croucher's action occurred just before dawn on February 9, as the reconnaissance troop from 40 Commando, operating to the south of Sangin, was searching a compound it suspected was being used for making bombs to attack British and Afghan troops.
Multimedia
 
Walking in the darkness among a group of four men, Croucher stepped into a tripwire that pulled the pin from a boobytrap grenade. His patrol commander, Corporal Adam Lesley, remembered Croucher's shout of: "Grenade!"
 
As others dived for cover, Croucher, 24, did something nobody expected. He lay down on the grenade to smother the blast. Lesley got on the ground, another man got behind a wall, but the last member of the patrol was still standing in the open when the grenade went off.
 
"My reaction was, 'My God this can't be real'," said Lesley. "Croucher had simply lain back and used his day sack to blunt the force of the explosion. You would expect nine out of 10 people to die in that situation."
 
Then they waited. "It felt like a lifetime," said Lesley. When the grenade went off it blew Croucher's rucksack more than 30ft and sent a burning radio battery fizzing into the air. As the noise died down, one of the patrol, Marine Scott Easter, was standing "just completely frozen" and untouched. Croucher was in deep shock but, apart from a bloody nose, had few injuries. "He had shrapnel in his helmet, in the plate of his body armour, but he was basically okay," said Lesley. "His day sack had taken the blast."
 
Croucher told the News of the World: "All I could hear was a loud ringing and the faint sound of people shouting 'are you ok? Are you ok?'
 
"Then I felt one of the lads giving me a top to toe check. My head was ringing. Blood was streaming from my nose. It took 30 seconds before I realised I was definitely not dead," he added.
 
The troop commander, Captain Dan Venables, said they decided to exploit the incident. "I made the decision that after the grenade went off, the Taliban would come to see what had happened. So we lay in wait and ambushed them."
 
Croucher's actions prompted his colleagues to pass a citation to the Commanding Officer of 40 Commando, Lieutenant Colonel Stuart Birrell, to recommend him for the Victoria Cross.
 
"It's a pretty unusual thing but the lads put me forward for the VC themselves.
 
"It's entirely out of my hands. But if it was to happen it would be a massive honour, not just for me but for the regiment and all my comrades,” he told the News of the World.
 
Yesterday, fellow marines were reluctant to play up the incident. "Such has been the ferocity of the fight 40 Commando has endured these past few months, this has been one remarkable incident among many," said one senior Royal Marines officer as they prepared to hand over to the Parachute Regiment. Their experience highlights the danger faced every week by many of the 7,700 troops in Afghanistan. Inkerman, an exposed hilltop compound, is a heavily contested position.
 
Since the marines arrived last October it has been attacked 57 times, including twice while I was there with the photographer Nick Cornish. Inkerman stands on the edge of what the military call the "green zone", a fertile strip of land along the Helmand River which, in front of the base and for nearly 20 miles north, is almost entirely in Taliban hands.
 
The garrison's role is to draw enemy fire from Sangin three miles to the south — a job similar to what Sergeant James Liepa, 30, did for his men in January when his patrol was ambushed. Liepa and seven fellow marines were pinned down behind a bank of mud by Taliban fighters they could not spot. Liepa tried to get a bearing on where the gunfire was coming from but as the rounds cracked around him, he realised it was impossible.
 
"They were literally trying to shoot my hand off," recalled Liepa. "I thought, 'If we stay here more than a couple of minutes we'll be dead'." Liepa told his comrades he was going to stand up and make himself the prime target. "That meant I was going to jump and run so all firing points would shoot at me," he said. The idea was to give everyone else a chance to spot where the Taliban were firing from — and return fire. Liepa, from Barnstaple, Devon, gave his men a 30-second countdown. Then he got up and the bullets flew.
 
Liepa's bravery turned the battle around. "There are a few people who would do something like that, but not many," said Corporal George Alford, 27, a marine who was there. "The truth is that someone had to do it or we'd have been killed."
 
Liepa says he had no choice. "For me to tell someone else to stand up and run while everyone shoots at them just felt like sending someone to their death, so I decided to do it myself."
 
On his second step Liepa fell face first. As he did so, arcs of fire from at least three Taliban machineguns met above his head. "I lay there half a second and thought, 'They know where I am, I'm dead,' but I got up and ran again and the bullets were everywhere, bar me, which was nice." His men drove off the Taliban and all got out alive.
 
Interviewing the marines of Alpha Company, 40 Commando, it became clear the toll has been heavy: several serious injuries and the death of a much-respected corporal, Damian "Dee" Mulvihill, 32.
 
We met them after stepping into the choking, hot dust from a helicopter ramp. Their home was a sandy, square compound of flapping canvas and thick walls made from wire and cloth cages packed with earth.
 
The marines sleep under the thin protection of parachute silk or roofs made from a patchwork of ponchos. Urinals are metal tubes hammered into the sand.
 
We did not have to wait long to witness the dangers. The day after our arrival, Inkerman's mortars were booming away at Taliban men in front of the base. Apache helicopters strafed ditches where the enemy was hiding.
 
Two days later we joined an Alpha Company patrol as it headed north in Viking armoured vehicles. The plan was to head into the desert and then sweep back into the "green zone" for a surprise attack. The Taliban were waiting in ambush.
 
The first clue of imminent combat was the sight of men, women and children fleeing their homes as the marines approached a ridge-line. "The Taliban are actually pretty concerned to get civilians out of the way," said Captain Ian Preece, second-in-command of Alpha. Then, with marine snipers and reconnaissance troops dismounted, the enemy opened fire with a volley of machinegun fire and rocket-propelled grenades. One struck an old fort on the hilltop where Liepa and a team of snipers were hiding.
 
The response was ferocious. Machinegunners on the Vikings opened fire, a French jet dropped a 500lb bomb on a compound and artillery back at Inkerman fired a barrage of shells against a tree line.
 
Next came the Apaches came circling overhead. The Taliban, who hate these helicopters, lay low, challenging the British to descend from the ridge. With their ambush so well prepared, Major Adrian Morley, Alpha's commander, declined the offer.
 
Twice more the Taliban struck — a bang to the right and a cloud of black smoke announced another close by. Then a rocket came whizzing over the ridge, landing behind us. The Apaches struck back with rockets.
 
However, for the marines at Inkerman, named after a British victory in the Crimean war, the most ferocious fighting took place five months ago. Alpha company calls November 9 their "9/11". Returning from a foot patrol in the green zone, the marines were ambushed in open ground and ran for the shelter of a compound. It was a trap. Both the entrance and the roof were raked by enemy fire. Four men were wounded and had to be evacuated by helicopter and the troops were able to withdraw only under a barrage of artillery and mortar fire.
 
Marine Gary Ogden, 26, a company medic, remembers lying behind a mud bank when he felt a tug on his leg. "I glanced back at the compound entrance," he said, "and I could see a figure screaming 'medic'." The man was Captain Paul Britton, the officer who co-ordinated artillery, mortars, Apaches and air strikes. "I remember rounds hitting the doorway all around him and wondering why they weren't hitting him," said Ogden.
 
With the air filled with the crack and thump of bullets, Ogden charged into the compound. Propped up on the floor was Corporal Simon "Sy" Greening, with a bullet wound to his chest. Ogden patched him up, but soon there was another cry of "medic".
 
This time, an RPG had blasted two men from the compound roof. One, Marine David Fletcher, had serious wounds to his legs. Ogden stabilised Fletcher, but as he did so, he noticed bullets that had come straight through the open door were still thumping into walls around him.
 
"As I was chatting to Sy, an RPG streaked over and arched down into the compound and hit the wall I was facing. Then I saw a body drop."
 
It was a signaller, Corporal Dave Watts, with a shrapnel wound. Meanwhile, a huddle appeared around another man. Britton had at last been hit, but despite the shrapnel lodged in his arm, the captain opted to stay and fight rather than be evacuated.
 
While the group was holed up, a troop of Alpha company was dashing south through the cornfields and ditches, trying to secure a landing zone for a rescue helicopter. With the entrance under constant fire, a "mousehole" was blown in the compound wall to make an escape route. For a long time, a twin-bladed Chinook rescue helicopter had been circling round waiting to land.
 
"The [helicopter] was holding off because it just looked at a storm of rounds going in and out," said Ogden. "Mortars were going down and artillery was smashing the place. The Apaches were waiting to come in."
 
As the Chinook finally dived down to land, its two Apache escorts swerved ahead and rocketed the tree lines. "It was like a scene from Apocalypse Now," said one marine watching from Inkerman.
 
For the Chinook, the continuing gun battle made it a hot landing zone, a helicopter pilot's worst fear.
 
"The Apaches asked if the landing zone was secure," another marine recalled. "We said it was as secure as it could be."
 
On the ground with four casualties to evacuate, Ogden recalls a doctor running down the ramp of the helicopter and having to be dragged into cover as bullets streaked by. Without the daring rescue, said Ogden, the two most seriously injured, Greening and Fletcher, who are now recovering well in Britain, might not be alive.
 
When the helicopters pulled away, the troops began to pull back to the base, covered to the rear by a barrage of mortar and artillery fire. When they returned, it was dark.
 
The next day, Ogden and other medics were back in action as the Taliban began a month of ferocious attacks with enemy fighters coming within 100 yards of the base. Three men were injured, blown backwards and raked with shrapnel as a rocket struck the front of their firing position on the base's walls. November and December saw more than 33 attacks on the base. Commanders believed the Taliban were concentrating attacks on bases such as Inkerman to divert the British from their manoeuvres to take the Taliban stronghold of Musa Qala further north.
 
Since then attacks have been lighter, but new threats have emerged, such as a spree of mines laid nearby. One killed Mulvihill, from near Plymouth, who was 32 and engaged to be married, when it detonated under his Viking. A few days later a marine sniper team exacted vengeance. Operating at night, the group lay in wait in old Soviet hilltop trenches, and fired a missile at two men laying mines. The marines, now preparing to leave, realise it will be difficult to adjust to home. Among the hardest things to explain to their families will be what made them act as they did.
 
Liepa said: "All that happens is you look left and right and think, 'We're dead unless you do something now'," he said. "You just do what your brain tells you is the right thing."
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: geo on March 30, 2008, 22:16:15
Hua!
Tales of daring doo of the highest order.  Yowze!!!

With little or no regard to personal safety, »LCpl Crowther threw himself on an ennemy grenade and .... lived to tell the tale!

THIS is what Soldiers are made of.  Well done!

CHIMO!
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on March 30, 2008, 22:27:06
Hua!
Tales of daring doo of the highest order.  Yowze!!!

With little or no regard to personal safety, »LCpl Crowther threw himself on an ennemy grenade and .... lived to tell the tale!

THIS is what Soldiers are made of.  Well done!

CHIMO!

+1 to that. He won't have to buy a round for awhile at the Royal Marine School of Dancing in Plymouth
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: geo on March 30, 2008, 22:32:50
Ayup

If this lad isn't a candidate for a medal of valour..... a really important and visible medal of valour, I am a monkey's uncle.

Soldier on Royal Marine, :salute:

CHIMO!
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on March 30, 2008, 23:12:21
Too bad that all the VCs are pre-assigned to the Army  ;)
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on March 30, 2008, 23:31:54
They likely have a special lining at the back for the RAF Regiment...

Could you see this ever happening in Canada? No, I thought not - and it's too darned bad!



RAF's birthday bikini

The Royal Air Force is celebrating its 90th anniversary - with a "show-stopping" diamante-encrusted bikini.

The swimwear is part of the RAF Collection's Spring range, reports the Daily Telegraph.

The new range coincides with the RAF's 90th anniversary on April 1. The RAF hopes sales of the bikini, which features diamante roundels, will soar.

A spokeswoman for the RAF Collection said: "The collection will enable the next generation to own a piece of one of the United Kingdom's most prestigious brands."

In RAF colours, the bikini top retails at £20, while the bottoms are £15. Sizes are available in 8 to 18.


http://www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_2786237.html?menu=news.quirkies
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: geo on March 30, 2008, 23:36:41
Whoa!

size 18???? Yowze!  lemme outa here!
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: Yrys on March 31, 2008, 04:56:35
size 18???? Yowze!  lemme outa here!

Don't worry, the babe on the link ain't size 18, believe me  >:D !
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: jollyjacktar on March 31, 2008, 18:19:36
Interesting article, very brave man.  I hope he is properly recognized for this.  Reproduced under the Fair Dealings Provisions of the Copyright Act.(RSC)


Heroic marine throws himself on grenade

By Thomas Harding, Defence Correspondent
Last Updated: 2:02am BST 31/03/2008

A Royal Marine could receive the highest award for gallantry after he saved the lives of his comrades by throwing himself onto an exploding grenade in Afghanistan, it has been reported.

Lance Corporal Matt Croucher amazingly survived the incident despite shrapnel peppering his helmet during the explosion. His extraordinary courage, which could lead to a citation for the Victoria Cross, came after a tripwire booby-trap was stepped on during a nighttime mission outside the town of Sangin, Helmand province.

A live hand-grenade was released threatening to blow up L/Cpl Croucher, 24 and the rest of the patrol. The marine shouted "grenade" and as his friends dived for cover L/Cpl Croucher lay with his back on the lethal device.

The patrol commander, Corporal Adam Lesley threw himself to the ground and another man got behind a wall, but one marine had frozen and was still standing when the grenade detonated.

"My reaction was, 'My God this can't be real'," said Cpl Lesley. "Croucher had simply lain back and used his day sack to blunt the force of the explosion. You would expect nine out of 10 people to die in that situation."

With fuses that can last several seconds the men waited for what "felt like a lifetime" before the grenade blew up. The marine's backpack, thought to contain ammunition, was thrown more than 30ft and sent a burning radio battery flying through the air.

L/Cpl Croucher, who suffered a bleeding nose and shock, was saved by the special plating inside his Osprey body armour. He almost certainly saved the life of Marine Scott Easter who had "just completely frozen".

"All I could hear was a loud ringing and the faint sound of people shouting 'are you ok? Are you ok?'" L/Cpl Croucher, a reservist from Birmingham, told the News of the World.

"Then I felt one of the lads giving me a top to toe check. My head was ringing. Blood was streaming from my nose. It took 30 seconds before I realised I was definitely not dead," he added.

Cpl Lesley said: "He had shrapnel in his helmet, in the plate of his body armour, but he was basically okay.

"His day sack had taken the blast."

The action happened on Feb 9 as the reconnaissance troop from 40 Commando went to search a bomb-making factory in a compound out Sangin.

A Ministry of Defence statement said: "L/Cpl Croucher has displayed incredible bravery in his action in Afghanistan. His bravery could well be recognised through some form of gallantry award in due course along with other personnel from the latest deployment to Afghanistan."


from here: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2008/03/30/nhero130.xml
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: Yrys on March 31, 2008, 18:22:55
Already post here :

British Military Current Events (http://forums.army.ca/forums/index.php/topic,64325.msg694694.html#msg694694)


Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: Allons-y on March 31, 2008, 18:37:45
WRT L/Cpl. Crowther,  what a brave guy! I really hope he wins a VC  for his valour.

CHIMO! Soldier :salute:
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: jollyjacktar on March 31, 2008, 19:06:24
Thank you, I did not search diligently enough.  Please close this one down then, someone. :-[
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: geo on March 31, 2008, 19:22:39
WRT LCpl Crowther... let's just hope that his officers do a good job of staffing his commendation.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: Yrys on March 31, 2008, 19:29:54
WRT LCpl Crowther... let's just hope that his officers do a good job of staffing his commendation.

I understand your "his officers" comment as "his superiors". From the article, I've got the impression that it's his collegues...

Quote
Croucher's actions prompted his colleagues to pass a citation to the Commanding Officer of 40 Commando, Lieutenant Colonel Stuart Birrell, to recommend him for the Victoria Cross.
 
"It's a pretty unusual thing but the lads put me forward for the VC themselves.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: geo on March 31, 2008, 22:53:31
Yrys
The colleagues bring it up to the attention of his officers .  From that point on, it's up to his officers to look after investigating the incident and submitting the correct paperwork, with the appropriate detail, within the appropriate time period.....

That's just the way things are done....
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on March 31, 2008, 23:30:53
.... and now that the whole world knows that his muckers put him in for the VC, those Officers better get on it!
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: Yrys on April 01, 2008, 03:11:15
Terrorist releases prompt U-turn (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/7319501.stma)

Quote
Ministers have changed a controversial early release scheme after admitting two terrorism convicts were let out of jail early to ease prison overcrowding.
The justice ministry said people convicted under terrorism laws would no longer be eligible for early release.

Yassin Nassari left Wakefield Prison in February after being jailed last summer for three and a half years. The BBC understands the second man was Abdul Muneem
Patel, released from Glen Parva prison on 7 January this year. Nassari, 28, from Ealing in west London, was arrested in May 2006 at Luton Airport carrying what police
said were blueprints for a rocket in his luggage. He was convicted in July 2007 of having articles of use to terrorists.

Scotland Yard detectives had arrested him after he arrived on a flight from Amsterdam. They found a computer hard-drive in his luggage including documents about
martyrdom and weapons training. They also found a blueprint for a home-made Qassam rocket, used by Palestinian militants to target Israel. Experts told his trial
the blueprint was detailed enough to manufacture a rocket. Detectives also linked Nassari to extremist websites and chatrooms. Patel, of east London, was jailed for
six months at the Old Bailey in October 2007 after a jury found him guilty of having a terrorism-related explosives manual. The judge said there was no reasonable
excuse to have the manual - but added the teenager was not a "radicalised or politicised Islamist".

Eligible for release

Under the terms of the government's special early release scheme to ease overcrowding, prisoners are eligible to leave prison 18 days earlier than normally expected,
if they had been jailed for less than four years and not committed a serious violent offence. Earlier on Friday, a spokesman for the Ministry of Justice confirmed that
a Category A prisoner had been released from Wakefield prison on 11 February because he met the criteria for early release.

Nassari would have been eligible for release 17 days later, having served enough of his sentence to be considered for parole. But the ministry later announced that
Justice Secretary Jack Straw had now banned all prisoners convicted of terrorism offences from benefiting from the early release scheme. The spokesman denied
the previous policy was a mistake but confirmed that a second man convicted of a terrorism offence had been released under the scheme.

Web war waged from a bedroom

"The number of terrorism-related cases likely to fall within the current criteria is very small," said the spokesman. "However, in the light of these cases the justice
secretary has decided to change the criteria so that any prisoner convicted under terrorism legislation would not be eligible."

But Shadow Home Secretary David Davis said: "Jack Straw must now say when he knew about this, and why he has only just acted. Were these men released with
or without his knowledge? "The Government's perverse approach to security defies common sense. On the one hand, they are trying to pass a new law extending
the period for holding innocent people - convicted of nothing - on the other hand, they are releasing a terrorist we have managed to bring to Justice."

Separate Prison Service rules, issued in February, had already banned prisoners convicted of terrorism offences from being released early on an electronic tag. Nassari's
 offence was one of those listed in the new rules. However, at the time it did not preclude him from being released under the special rules for over-crowding.

Harry Fletcher, Assistant General Secretary of the National Association of Probation Officers, said that the scheme had not been properly thought through and had
already led to men who were convicted of domestic violence offences being set free early. "To learn that people associated with terrorism are also coming out is clearly
 appalling but isn't a surprise," he said.

Link (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/7319501.stma)

Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: geo on April 01, 2008, 10:55:31
Hmmm.... does everyone feel safe yet?
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on April 01, 2008, 23:59:02
Two killed: Land rover blown up by Taliban



http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/campaigns/our_boys/article982840.ece
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on April 02, 2008, 00:00:26
Raincoats on, raincoats off...

Withdrawal of troops stopped


http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/article986788.ece
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: geo on April 02, 2008, 09:49:07
well... the various militias have some deciding to do.  They settle down and behave for 1-2 years and the US/UK withdraw (leaving Iraqis to their own devices) OR they continue to lash out AND force the US/UK to remain.....

Decisions, decisions, decisions......
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on April 04, 2008, 01:30:57
Crossing the dead zone for coffee - a historic moment for divided island

Greek and Turkish friends reunite as barricades go from Nicosia's Ledra Street

For Koula Hadjipieris and Hassan Chirakli the wall of hate came down at 10am yesterday. That's when Hadjipieris called her lifelong Turkish Cypriot friend and said: "I'm coming over." They were words that in Nicosia, the last divided capital in Europe, Chirakli had hoped to hear all his adult life.

Ledra Street, the barricaded boulevard in the heart of the medieval-walled city that had symbolised the tensions and partition of the island for the best part of half a century, was no more. Finally, Chirakli and Hadjipieris could do what they had long wanted - cross it freely.

At 10:45, as clapping and cheering filled the air and balloons rose into the skies while television crews captured the moment, Hadjipieris, a Greek Cypriot, walked into the slither of land she had only ever known as the "dead zone", past crumbling mothballed buildings and rusty gunports and cheery UN soldiers, to meet her Turkish Cypriot countryman, Chirakli, at the other end.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/apr/04/cyprus.turkey

Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: geo on April 04, 2008, 08:55:17
it's taken an awful long time to get to this point...... let,s hope no one spoils the party
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: Yrys on April 08, 2008, 02:35:17
Travelbodge (http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/campaigns/our_boys/article1007688.ece)

Quote
BLUNDERING MoD bosses are spending £610,000 on putting up 80 Royal Marines in a TRAVELODGE.

They have booked all 45 rooms at the hotel — which has no security from terror threats.A bungle meant there was no room for the men at their base miles away.
And to add to the fiasco the £65-a-night Travelodge on the outskirts of Barnstaple, Devon, is now EMPTY. All the Marines are away on three weeks’ Easter leave
— and a Sun reporter walked in unchallenged.

Our revelation shows how low the shocking state of Forces accommodation has been allowed to sink. Top brass added an extra squadron to the Commando Logistics
Regiment for 3 Commando Brigade’s upcoming deployment to the southern Afghan badlands. It meant there was no space at the Royal Marines Base in Chivenor.

Meanwhile frontline troops are dying because of cost-cutting measures, with SAS Captain Dan Wright killed in a parachute accident after RAF chiefs could not afford £50
safety radios. A Royal Marines source said: “The blokes are livid at being dumped in a Travelodge while the rest of the unit is on base. “It’s a slap in the face to ask them
to camp like refugees when the Government is about to send them off to war. They also know it can only mean less money for kit on operations.”

The cash being spent on keeping the men there until October would have bought countless sets of body armour, night vision goggles and machine guns. All have been
in critically short supply in Iraq and Afghanistan at times.

The Travelodge sits opposite a KFC in a busy services on the North Devon LinkRoad. Chivenor is a 15-minute car journey away. A Sun man yesterday walked straight
into the hotel without any checks. A female receptionist said it was fully booked but that it was “a private matter”. On an interior door an A4 booklet had been pinned up
giving rota details for the squadron staying there. Personal objects could be seen at windows. All the rooms, most shared by two men, are en-suite and come with satellite TV.

Conservative defence spokesman Andrew Murrison said: “The MoD is staggering from crisis to crisis in its attempts to accommodate service personnel. “Somebody
needs to get a grip.” The MoD said it was vital the extra men trained with the rest of the regiment before deployment to Afghanistan and that putting them in the hotel
was “the cheapest viable solution”.

Link (http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/campaigns/our_boys/article1007688.ece)
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: geo on April 08, 2008, 09:20:54
All of a sudden, I feel better about how the CF has been treating us :)

Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on April 08, 2008, 11:06:00
Reporting from the Afghan front 
BBC Scotland's Cameron Buttle went to Afghanistan with cameraman Alan Harcus to report on how Scots in 52 Brigade are coping with operations in Helmand Province.

In December, Cameron saw 52 Brigade take part in the operation to capture Musa Qal'eh.

The commanding officer of task force Helmand, Brigadier Andrew Mackay, told him to come back in three months to see the difference.


On his return, Cameron is filing a regular diary on their progress.
 

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/scotland/7326126.stm
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on April 09, 2008, 02:47:36
Details on SAS raid in Iraq...

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7337873.stm
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: Yrys on April 09, 2008, 02:56:50
Intereting article ...

"The officer told me: "This target was surrounded by the Iraqi police, authority figures, a judge. My question to them was and has been for the past week: 'How come all the local civilians... know all these people came in and don't belong here but you as commanders of police don't go in there and check it out?'"  "
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: FoverF on April 10, 2008, 02:49:49
Quote
"Then some other fire came from another house right next door so the aircraft [using] precision firing was able to isolate those two houses and just pummel them."

The aircraft fired 40mm cannon rounds at the two houses, finally dropping a bomb on one of them. It collapsed. The other house was set on fire.

I'm trying to think of a 40 mm aircraft mounted cannon on any coalition a/c in Iraq, and the only thing I can come up with is the AC-130. Which is not going to drop a bomb on anybody. There might be some chopper-mounted 40 mm, but again...

Anybody?

Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on April 11, 2008, 01:28:28
Same crack sniper rifle killed SEVEN British soldiers in Basra with American-made bullets
Seven British soldiers were shot in Basra last year by the same sniper rifle, the Ministry of Defence has revealed. 
 
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=558473&in_page_id=1770&in_a_source=
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: geo on April 11, 2008, 09:18:03
.... and that's what snipers do!
Why is anyone surprised?
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: AJFitzpatrick on April 11, 2008, 18:03:02
Human rights 'apply to UK troops'

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/7342324.stm

Quote
The landmark judgement came in a test case relating to the death of Scottish soldier Pte Jason Smith in Iraq.
Mr Justice Collins said sending soldiers into action without proper kit could breach human rights. Ministers are appealing against the ruling.
The court also ruled families of those killed in conflict should get legal aid and access to military documents.
The judgement came during a request for military inquest guidelines in the case of Pte Smith, 32, from Hawick, in the Scottish Borders, who died of heatstroke in Iraq in 2003.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: geo on April 12, 2008, 11:36:10
Good lord - the English courts are handing down judgements as bizzare as the Canadian courts have.
While I do not deny that the military has a responsibility to provide adequate equipment to the soldiers who are sent into harms way, combat conditions VS human rights of the soldiers are - should we say - at opposite ends of the spectrum.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on April 13, 2008, 21:15:03
As a great man once said "We are here to defend democracy, not practise it".

My guess is that the inability of the British government to provide an adequate, justifiable moral argument for participating in the Iraq campaign  - along with a well defined strategy - has led to an unprecedented level of politicization amongst the general population, and the soldiers and their families, leading to court challenges to redress grievances that would have been unthinkable 'back in the day'.

I mean, if you could have seen some of the junk we had to use in NI and elsewhere, you would have been amazed we didn't all die from exposure and blast injuries. 'Rainproofs' weren't even on general issue until 1985, and up til about then we still wore boots and puttees , and 100% polyester socks, which caused large numbers of foot related cold injuries in places like the Falklands War and elsewhere. Flak jackets were only worn in the cities in NI, like Belfast and Londonderry, and were pretty old and ratty up 'Vietnam Era' models up until about '86. Normal, unarmoured, military pattern vehicles were used in 'bandit country' where road travel was still possible (see Warrenpoint for the results - 18 dead). We did the job regardless and there wasn't much boo-hooing, largely (I think) because most people supported the campaigns we fought and the way we fought them. The soldiers griped, as always, but got on with it with no thought of ever cranking up a legal challenge. I dunno, maybe more court cases would have made a difference but I doubt it, probably because there was a higher level of confidence in the army leadership and political direction back then. (Good old Maggie!)




Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: milnews.ca on April 14, 2008, 07:38:25
Historic Military Unit as Tourism Generator....

BLACK WATCH 'JOINS FORCES' TO ATTRACT ANCESTRAL TOURISTS (http://www.forfardispatch.co.uk/local-news/BLACK-WATCH-39JOINS-FORCES39-TO.3978646.jp)
Forfar Dispatch, 14 Apr 08

The Black Watch has joined forces with Angus Council in a bid to attract people with connections to the regiment to come to the area and walk in the footsteps of their military ancestors.  The initiative, which is being financially supported by Angus Council under the auspices of the Angus & Dundee Ancestral Tourism Initiative, will see nine Angus-based Black Watch veterans trained up carry out regimental research for people whose ancestors fought in the regiment in the First World War ....
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on April 15, 2008, 12:38:27

William flies multi-million pound chopper to Isle of Wight for pal's piss up, and picks up Harry on the way.... oh, this will end well:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=559770&in_page_id=1770
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: Blackadder1916 on April 15, 2008, 12:59:06
Quote
An RAF spokesman said of the 250-mile flight: "The Prince's training was designed to give him an insight into the many roles of the Royal Air Force.

"Having spent a week under instruction with a Chinook helicopter Squadron Prince William flew a legitimate training sortie which tested his new skills to the limit.

As I always suspected, one of the roles of the Air Force is to provide personal transport to pilots.  The other things they do is only as justification to the government to purchase the machinery necessary to accomplish this.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: cameron on April 15, 2008, 14:30:57
I am no royalist but I hate hypocrisy and I don't care if I get a verbal warning (again).  The same frigging British tabloid media that recklessly endangered Prince Harry and others in his unit just a few weeks ago by disclosing his combat ops in A'stan is making a big deal over an alleged (emphasis on ALLEGED) jaunt by Prince William. 

Frig the paparazzi at least these two wealthy young socialites are doing something which they didn't have to do, and which according to recruitment figures, many British youth are not willing to, join the profession of arms.  How about awarding them some kudos for that, rather than lurking in the bushes hoping to catch them in some fcuk up.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on April 15, 2008, 19:11:12
I am no royalist but I hate hypocrisy and I don't care if I get a verbal warning (again).  The same frigging British tabloid media that recklessly endangered Prince Harry and others in his unit just a few weeks ago by disclosing his combat ops in A'stan is making a big deal over an alleged (emphasis on ALLEGED) jaunt by Prince William. 

Frig the paparazzi at least these two wealthy young socialites are doing something which they didn't have to do, and which according to recruitment figures, many British youth are not willing to, join the profession of arms.  How about awarding them some kudos for that, rather than lurking in the bushes hoping to catch them in some fcuk up.

But it sells papers, doesn't it? And that's how they do it, by making people mad - gosh darn it!
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: geo on April 15, 2008, 22:07:45
William flies multi-million pound chopper to Isle of Wight for pal's piss up, and picks up Harry on the way.... oh, this will end well:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=559770&in_page_id=1770
I guess William is the designated driver 8)
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: geo on April 15, 2008, 22:10:07
I am no royalist but I hate hypocrisy and I don't care if I get a verbal warning (again).  The same frigging British tabloid media that recklessly endangered Prince Harry and others in his unit just a few weeks ago by disclosing his combat ops in A'stan is making a big deal over an alleged (emphasis on ALLEGED) jaunt by Prince William. 

Frig the paparazzi at least these two wealthy young socialites are doing something which they didn't have to do, and which according to recruitment figures, many British youth are not willing to, join the profession of arms.  How about awarding them some kudos for that, rather than lurking in the bushes hoping to catch them in some fcuk up.
Cameron...
You are wrong!
Harry's tour in Afghanistan was reported in the media by an Australian tabloid.... not a Brit one.  By the time the UK MsM got wind of it, Harry was being hauled outa there - for everyone's protection.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: cameron on April 16, 2008, 09:42:47
Forgive me Geo I stand corrected, but as naive as it may sound I would like to see more responsible behaviour by many of the media, and more emphasis on reporting $hit that really matters.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: FoverF on April 16, 2008, 13:51:17
Well, if "responsible behaviour ... and more emphasis on reporting $hit that really matters" could sell soap, and cars, and Viagra, then that's exactly what you'd see.

News outlets exist for one reason and one reason only... return on investment for their share-holders. If that means besmirching the reputation of respectable people, endangering public safety, aiding the sworn enemies of their nation, outright lying with a straight face, creating panic over non-events which harms society as a whole, putting the lives of public individuals in immediate danger of death or physical harm...

Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: geo on April 16, 2008, 13:57:12
Forgive me Geo I stand corrected, but as naive as it may sound I would like to see more responsible behaviour by many of the media, and more emphasis on reporting $hit that really matters.

If it makes you feel any better.... the Aussie paper did issue an appology for it's behavior & lack of discretion.
They claim they weren't told that it was" Shhhh" a Secret.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on April 16, 2008, 16:08:49
Might be more fitting for Radio Chatter, but I thought that it fit nicely here....

PRINCE WILLIAM TO USE HMS INVINCIBLE AS A BOTTLE OPENER

http://www.thedailymash.co.uk/news/celebrity/prince-william-to-use-hms-invincible-as-a-bottle-opener-20080416874/
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: geo on April 16, 2008, 16:12:01
Oy!!!  as irreverent as ever!
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: cameron on April 17, 2008, 04:44:39
If it makes you feel any better.... the Aussie paper did issue an appology for it's behavior & lack of discretion.
They claim they weren't told that it was" Shhhh" a Secret.

Wow that's amazing.  Now if even an idiot like me would know that should be a secret, I wonder what was inside their Fosters.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: WrenchBender on April 17, 2008, 13:48:41
I'm trying to think of a 40 mm aircraft mounted cannon on any coalition a/c in Iraq, and the only thing I can come up with is the AC-130. Which is not going to drop a bomb on anybody. There might be some chopper-mounted 40 mm, but again...

Anybody?


There are several 40MM grenade launchers in use, Mk19 or Mk47 come to mind.

WrenchBender
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on April 21, 2008, 10:33:23
http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/campaigns/our_boys/article1066507.ece

May the Royal Air Force be with you

THE RAF blitz on the Taliban was last night joined by souped-up Harrier jump jets – boasting the call sign "Jedi".

Top guns piloting the futuristic fighters got the moniker because new night vision goggles make them look like something straight out of Star Wars.

As eight Harriers bristling with hi-tech weaponry arrived in Afghanistan, Squadron Leader Dave Kane, 34, warned: "No one can deny we have the `Force'."

The dad of two said: "We earned the call sign `Jedi' after we were the first to trial night vision goggles enabling us to operate fully at night and creep up on the enemy."

Each pilot also has a number after the call sign, eg, "Jedi 3".

The state-of-the-art war-planes belong to the RAF's oldest squadron – Number 1 – which is based at Cottesmore, Leics.

They are light years ahead of anything available when the RAF was formed in 1918.

The jets boast missiles guided by GPS and laser, ground attack rockets and bombs.

A pod underneath each jet, fitted with cameras, provides reconnaissance of the target and battle areas.

At night, forward-looking infrared systems are used with the pilot's all-seeing goggles.

Dave said: "The infrared beam is similar to the Jedi lightsaber – and what with the goggles, someone compared us to something out of Star Wars.

"The Jedi name stuck and now we've adopted it as our call sign."

But he stressed: "Like the Jedi, we are guardians of peace – because we support efforts to bring stability and peace to war-ravaged Afghanistan.

"We don't seek to rule, but serve others who do – in our case the elected government of the country."
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on April 21, 2008, 15:58:05
The British always were quite willing to fight to the last Canadian  ;D


Armed Forces employ 7,000 foreigners


The extent of the Armed Forces staffing crisis has been disclosed in figures showing that there are more than 7,000 foreign citizens serving in the British military.

Britain's growing "foreign legion" - equal to almost a dozen Army regiments - has led to renewed warnings that the Forces are struggling to retain and recruit British citizens to their ranks. The figures emerged as the House of Commons defence committee launched an inquiry into recruitment and retention in the Armed Forces and they follow growing criticism of the Government's alleged under-resourcing of the military.
 


http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2008/02/18/narmy218.xml
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: baboon6 on April 22, 2008, 17:25:56
The British always were quite willing to fight to the last Canadian  ;D


Armed Forces employ 7,000 foreigners


The extent of the Armed Forces staffing crisis has been disclosed in figures showing that there are more than 7,000 foreign citizens serving in the British military.

Britain's growing "foreign legion" - equal to almost a dozen Army regiments - has led to renewed warnings that the Forces are struggling to retain and recruit British citizens to their ranks. The figures emerged as the House of Commons defence committee launched an inquiry into recruitment and retention in the Armed Forces and they follow growing criticism of the Government's alleged under-resourcing of the military.
 


http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2008/02/18/narmy218.xml

Last Fijian or South African more like! I know quite a few South Africans and Zimbabweans in the Brit forces, some of whom hold dual citizenship with UK so might not have come up in the figures mentioned in the article. I read another article which reckoned one infantry battalion (1 PWRR I think) was composed of nearly 20% Commonwealth soldiers.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: baboon6 on April 22, 2008, 17:29:24
3 PARA and Canadians in Kandahar province:

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=3b7_1208813522
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: geo on April 22, 2008, 20:48:18
Mighty nice of the reporter to give our guys an honourable mention.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on April 23, 2008, 02:14:27
Pictured: The woman trooper who made a blooper at the 41-gun salute to mark the Queen's birthday

 With the horses in full flight and the gun carriages racing along behind, the 41-gun salute to mark the Queen's birthday was going swimmingly.

Until, that is, a little bit of devil got into one of the mounts of the King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery.

The result was not a good career move for one of the gunners.

She was thrown from her horse and, even though in full military dress, she learned that there is no dignified way of crashing to the turf in front of the crowds gathered in Hyde Park in London for one of the great ceremonial occasions of the year. 

 
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=561087&in_page_id=1770
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on April 26, 2008, 12:31:43
What a bomber: Prince William goes back to basics at the controls of a historic Word War II aircraft

He's spent the last few weeks jetting around in some of the most hi-tech aircraft the RAF has to offer.

So it was a case of back to basics for Prince William yesterday as he took a ride in an historic World War II Lancaster bomber.

Donning his regulation khaki jumpsuit and a mask, Flying Officer Wales - as the prince has been known during his four-month attachment with the force - looked thrilled to bits at he took to the skies in the Lancaster EE139, Phantom of the Ruhr.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=562028&in_page_id=1770
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: geo on April 26, 2008, 13:42:29
Well, I guess RHIP... Rank has it's perks

Have serious doubts that any new nugget with freshly minted wings would be let anywhere near something like the last flyable Lancaster in the UK.... let alone fly the darned thing

I'M JEALOUS!!!
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: Blackadder1916 on April 27, 2008, 16:00:45
[urlhttp://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2008/apr/25/military.kosovo]New mission for British troops in Kosovo[/url]

Richard Norton-Taylor The Guardian, Friday April 25 2008

Britain is to deploy hundreds of troops to Kosovo in a move likely to revive claims that the government is demanding too much from its armed forces.

Senior military and defence officials have agreed to a request from Nato to send a battlegroup based on 2 Rifles, a light infantry battalion of about 600 soldiers, to help maintain "public order" in the newly independent Balkan state, the Guardian has learned.

For the first six months of this year, Britain is responsible for providing Nato's standby reserve force for the Balkans. British defence sources said yesterday the deployment of 2 Rifles would not have a significant impact on the army's other commitments, notably in Iraq and Afghanistan - but that depended on how long the force will be asked to stay in Kosovo. Britain has told Nato it is willing to deploy the battalion, but for no longer than a month. A decision to deploy the troops is expected to be approved by the cabinet on Tuesday, say defence officials. They will be dispatched at the end of May.

Nato commanders expect increased ethnic tension in Kosovo over the coming months. Serb parliamentary and local elections are due to take place on May 11. On June 15, a new constitution establishing Kosovo independence - in defiance of Serb opposition - comes into effect. "The overall situation in Kosovo is always unpredictable," said Major General Martin Rutledge, head of a UK military team working for the UN mission in Kosovo.

The extra burden placed on British troops comes as the government confirmed that planned cuts in the number of troops in Iraq have been put on hold. Des Browne, the defence secretary, said yesterday in a written Commons statement that the number of troops based at Basra airport would remain at about 4,000 for the foreseeable future. The prime minister said late last year he hoped the number would be cut to 2,500 by this spring.

Browne referred to recent Iraqi-led operations against elements of Moqtada al-Sadr's Mahdi army militia in Basra. Iraqi forces had established control over "large parts" of the city and all key routes in and out, and were removing "significant numbers" of illegal weapons, he told MPs.

Eight hundred US and 150 UK troops were involved in the operation as "advisers", according to defence officials.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on April 28, 2008, 14:04:58
Holy cr*p.....

Not sure if this has already been posted, but worth a re-post anyways if so:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/west_midlands/7321647.stm
 
Marine threw himself onto grenade
 
A Royal Marine who threw himself onto an exploding grenade to save the lives of his patrol has been put forward for the UK's highest military honour.
 
Lance Corporal Matt Croucher, 24, a reservist from Birmingham, survived because his rucksack and body armour took the force of the blast.

He was part of a reconnaissance troop in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, in February, when the incident happened.

The Ministry of Defence said he could be considered for the Victoria Cross.

Bloodied nose

A spokesman said L/Cpl Croucher's comrades had made a citation to their commanding officer and officers were now considering whether to put his name forward for the honour.

L/Cpl Croucher, a member of 40 Commando, had been searching a compound south of Sangin which was suspected as being used for making bombs to attack British and Afghan troops.

When a Taleban booby-trap grenade was tripped, L/Cpl Croucher jumped on to the device to absorb the force of the explosion with his backpack as his comrades dived for cover.

The blast blew his rucksack more than 30ft away but he remarkably suffered only severe shock and a bloodied nose in the incident.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: ArmyVern on April 28, 2008, 14:33:57
Merged. And, a bump.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on April 29, 2008, 02:21:24
MI5 accused of colluding in torture of terrorist suspects

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/apr/29/humanrights.uksecurity1

British agents alleged to have questioned men at Pakistani interrogation centre after they had been brutally mistreated

Officers of the Security Service, MI5, are being accused of "outsourcing" the torture of British citizens to a notorious Pakistani intelligence agency in an attempt to obtain information about terrorist plots and to secure convictions against al-Qaida suspects.

A number of British terrorism suspects who have been arrested in Pakistan at the request of UK authorities say their interrogation by Security Service officers, shortly after brutal torture at the hands of agents of Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence agency (ISI), has convinced them that MI5 colluded in the mistreatment.

Those men have given detailed accounts of their alleged ordeals at the hands of the ISI over the last four years. Some of them appear to have been taken to the same secret interrogation centre in Rawalpindi, where they say they were repeatedly tortured before being questioned by MI5.

Tayab Ali, a London-based lawyer for two of the men, said: "I am left with no doubt that, at the very worst, the British Security Service instigates the illegal detention and torture of British citizens, and at the very best turns a blind eye to torture."

One man from Manchester says that in 2006 he was beaten, whipped, deprived of sleep and had three fingernails slowly extracted by ISI agents at the Rawalpindi centre before being interrogated by two MI5 officers. A number of his alleged associates were questioned in Manchester at the same time and two were subsequently charged. This man's lawyers say his fingernails were missing when they were eventually allowed to see him, more than a year after he was first detained. They say they have pathology reports that prove the nails were forcibly removed.

Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: MarkOttawa on April 29, 2008, 11:14:04
More on this:

Army stretched to 'dangerous levels' as troops are deployed in Kosovo
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2008/04/29/narmy129.xml

Quote
The Armed Forces are being stretched to "dangerous levels", critics claimed yesterday after it emerged that a final reserve battalion will be sent to Kosovo.

Des Browne, the Defence Secretary, will tell Parliament that a battle group of more than 600 troops from the 2nd Bn The Rifles will fly out to a potentially hostile reception next month.

In order to avoid accusations that Britain has no reserve battalion to deal with emergencies at home or abroad, the MoD rapidly created a new force last month.

The 3rd Bn Royal Regiment of Scotland was brought in to replace 2 Rifles as the Spearhead Land Element when defence planners realised the Rifles might be needed in Kosovo.

The Rifles were renamed the "Operational Reserve Force" and will now head to Pristina in late May coming under the command of the UN-led operation.

But opposition politicians yesterday accused the Government of stretching the military to "paper thin" levels.

"The Army will be holding its breath and hoping that there is no severe deterioration in the security situation," said Nick Harvey, the Lib Dem defence spokesman.

"With a further deployment in Kosovo it is hard to see how the simultaneous operations in Iraq, Afghanistan are remotely sustainable, even in the short term."

He called for a Strategic Defence Review "as a matter of urgency" in order to "better match resources with our commitments".

Defence chiefs have negotiated for the infantry battalion to remain on operations for 30 days as Kosovo, which was forcibly removed from Serb national territory after the UN imposed "supervised independence" in February.

But they could remain longer if there is trouble from the minority Serb population after the new Kosovo constitution is introduced on June 15 establishing independence that will be welcomed by the majority ethnic Albanians.

Britain is rapidly running out of reserves with eight infantry battalions on operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The same numbers are preparing to deploy and another eight are recovering from the arduous six month tours from a total of 36 battalions.

The Airborne Task Force is also no longer available as all three battalions of the Parachute Regiment are fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The head of the Army, Gen Sir Richard Dannatt, warned in a document obtained by The Daily Telegraph last summer that reinforcements for emergencies are "now almost non-existent".

In the memorandum to fellow defence leaders, the Chief of the General Staff said: "We now have almost no capability to react to the unexpected".

With the Army significantly under-strength by 3,500 troops it is struggling to plug the gaps on the frontline.

Resources have been further stretched after Mr Browne announced this month that troop numbers would remain at 4,000 in Basra rather than a reduction to 2,500 announced by the Prime Minister last autumn.

Mark
Ottawa
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on April 29, 2008, 20:26:52
One wonders if this 'cry for help' is genuine, or merely an attempt to garner more sympathy for the Army, which is always struggling with the Navy and Air Force for pieces of an increasingly smaller defence budget.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: Blackadder1916 on April 30, 2008, 12:58:16

Prince William flies in secret to visit British troops in Afghanistan war zone (http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article3843499.ece)
Quote
Fran Yeoman   from Times Online April 29, 2008

Prince William has made a secret visit to British troops in Afghanistan, it was revealed last night.

The Prince took control of a C17 Globemaster transport aircraft for part of its journey from the UK to Kandahar, in the south of the country, on Sunday morning.

He spent three hours on the ground at the airfield, which is a regular target for rocket attacks, meeting personnel and being briefed on the work of British troops in the region — in particular that of the Royal Air Force.

The Prince, who is reaching the end of a four-month attachment with the RAF, then flew to the al-Udeid air base in Qatar, the main British support base for both Operation Telic in Iraq and Operation Herrick in Afghanistan. He spent several hours there before flying back to Britain, where he arrived on Monday. The whole trip took about 30 hours, a spokesman said.

Security concerns meant that the Prince’s visit was kept secret until last night. A fortnight ago two British soldiers were killed when their vehicle was caught in an explosion during a patrol to protect the Kandahar airfield.

A spokesman for Clarence House said last night that the 25-year-old Prince joined the air crew of a scheduled transport flight to Afghanistan, and piloted the aircraft for part of the eight-hour journey to and from RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire, but did not land the aircraft or take off.

He said that both the Queen and the Prince of Wales gave their consent to the trip, which was intended to give Prince William an insight into how the RAF is operating in a conflict zone.

“The purpose of the trip was for the Prince to familiarise himself with the operations of the RAF in theatre,”

the spokesman said. He added that the visit was the “culmination of his time with the RAF”, and had “passed without a hitch”.

Prince William, who is known in the RAF as Flying Officer Wales, was presented with his pilot’s “wings” by his father at a graduation ceremony this month. But his short time with the RAF has not been without controversy. In recent weeks the Service has attracted criticism for allowing Prince William to land a multimillion-pound Chinook helicopter in the Berkshire garden of his girlfriend, Kate Middleton.

He also used a Chinook to fly to the stag party of Peter Phillips, his cousin, on the Isle of Wight, stopping off at Woolwich Barracks in southeast London to pick up Prince Harry.

The younger Prince has considerably more first-hand experience of Afghanistan than his brother, after spending ten weeks working as a forward air controller in Helmand province before being swiftly pulled out of the country when news of his presence leaked out in last month.

Last week he and William visited Headley Court Rehabilitation Centre in Surrey, where they met troops who had been injured in Afghanistan, including Marine Ben McBean, 21, who was flown back to the UK at the same time as Prince Harry after losing an arm and a leg.

Prince William’s next attachment, with the Royal Navy, will begin after a period of leave at the beginning of June. The secondments are designed as part of a “familiarisation” exercise to help the Prince understand all the Armed Forces, which he will one day head.

Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: geo on April 30, 2008, 13:44:17
Cheech... William has been getting stick time on a whole range of aircraft.... including C17, Lancaster bomber, Toronado..... guess he's just a chip off the old block.  Just hope he has better taste in wives.... Camilla :P
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on May 02, 2008, 03:21:50
British troops to stay in Basra 'for the long term'

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2008/may/02/desbrowne.defence


Britain will maintain a garrison of 4,000 troops at Basra airport for the forseeable future, whatever the pressures on the armed forces, defence officials said last night. They described the British garrison as being there "for the long term" after talks in London yesterday between General David Petraeus, commander of US forces in Iraq, Des Browne, the defence secretary, and Sir Jock Stirrup, chief of the defence staff.
It was said that the troops were needed to continue their task of training Iraqi forces and also to maintain what officials called "political credence" with the US.

After an hour's meeting at Downing Street with Gordon Brown, Petraeus said British forces had been "invaluable" in providing intelligence, air and logistics support for Iraq troops engaged in the recent Charge of the Knights operation against Mahdi army militia elements supporting the Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr.

Asked how long the US wanted 4,000 British troops stationed outside Basra, Petraeus responded: "The answer right now is we don't know ... We need to work [it] out in the next month or two as we look at the so-called troop-to-task analysis."

British defence sources said that did not mean a decision would be taken then to reduce the number of UK troops in Iraq. The hope expressed by Gordon Brown late last year that the number could be reduced to 2,500 this spring clearly has been dashed. Petraeus said the immediate focus was on helping Iraqi forces in their operation against Mahdi army and criminal elements in Basra. He said more than 1,000 Iranian-made mortar and artillery rounds as well as rockets had been found in the city. British officials said that though private polls suggested the people of Basra were relatively optimistic about the future, the situation in Basra remained "fragile". About 800 US troops, including special forces, are helping a combined force of 30,000 Iraqi army and police. About 150 British troops are involved. The British and US military troops involved were advisers, officials said.

Petraeus, who was accompanied by Ryan Crocker, US ambassador to Iraq, said the supplies of Iranian weapons into Iraq were a "huge concern". British forces are not getting involved in these disputes in what ministers call their "overwatch" role, providing air support, including helicopter supplies and surveillance, to Iraqi forces in the city.

They are also training the Iraqi army's 14th division based in Basra. British military planners and commanders hoped that by now they could have substantially reduced the number of British troops in Iraq, and are frustrated by the time it has taken the Iraqi army to develop into an effective force. Petraeus admitted that Iraqi forces in the recent operation in Basra had got off to a "shaky start. Some were not equal to the task," he said.

Iraq's interior ministry said yesterday that more than 1,000 Iraqis had been killed in April, 968 of them civilians.


Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on May 05, 2008, 01:25:30
Robobug goes to war: Troops to use electronic insects to spot enemy 'by end of the year'

It may have seemed like just another improbable scene from a Hollywood sci-fi flick – Tom Cruise battling against an army of robotic spiders intent on hunting him down.

But the storyline from Minority Report may not be quite as far fetched as it sounds.


British defence giant BAE Systems is creating a series of tiny electronic spiders, insects and snakes that could become the eyes and ears of soldiers on the battlefield, helping to save thousands of lives.


http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/technology/technology.html?in_article_id=563786&in_page_id=1965
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on May 05, 2008, 12:27:51
Now this is VERY serious, chaps

Nuclear threat sparked tea worry 
 

The threat of a nuclear attack on the UK in the 1950s caused concern over the supply of tea, top-secret documents which have now been released reveal.

Government officials planning food supplies said the tea situation would be "very serious" after a nuclear war.

"It would be wrong to consider that even 1oz per head per week could be ensured," they stated.

The papers were released under the Freedom of Information Act by the National Archives at Kew.
 

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7382750.stm
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: Blackadder1916 on May 05, 2008, 13:41:58
Not surprising considering the relationship of the Brits to their tea, especially back then.  For many, probably the main method of taking liquids (save beer) was tea.  In all situations, it seemed that when there was any pause you put on the kettle.

From the movie A Bridge Too Far
Corporal Hancock: Sir. [Offering a mug of tea]
Major General Urquhart: Hancock. I've got lunatics laughing at me from the woods. My original plan has been scuppered now that the jeeps haven't arrived. My communications are completely broken down. Do you really believe any of that can be helped by a cup of tea?
Corporal Hancock: Couldn't hurt, sir.
[Urquhart accepts his mug of tea]
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on May 05, 2008, 14:58:38
Huzzah!

Sir Michael takes stand for soldiers with Zulu posters

From the http://news.scotsman.com/uk/Sir-Michael-takes-stand-for.4049837.jp

 

SIR Michael Caine, the veteran film star is to donate posters from Zulu in aid of an Armed Forces fundraising campaign.

Sir Michael is among a host of stars to show their support for the British Forces Broadcasting Service (BFBS) Big Salute, the new annual forces fundraiser on BFBS Radio and television worldwide.

Actor Ewan McGregor, singer James Blunt, comedian Al Murray and reality TV stars the Osbournes are among those backing the scheme. The campaign is dedicated to supporting British Forces personnel and those who have served their country and suffered as a result.

Sir Michael is donating two signed Zulu posters to the auction. The film was recently voted the British Forces' favourite.

Sir Michael said: "My thoughts and best wishes are always with them because I used to be, and always will be, one of them."

 

Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: geo on May 05, 2008, 15:11:00
Zulu,
I loved that movie..... Huzzah for the Royal Engineers!
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: Old Sweat on May 05, 2008, 15:42:06
Sir Michael also served in Korea in the Royal Fusiliers, so his support for the army is based in part on his experience.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on May 06, 2008, 23:42:59
Chelsea gunman shot dead after 5 hour siege

Looks like he was a member of the military....

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1933408/Chelsea-gunman-shot-dead-after-5-hour-siege.html
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on May 10, 2008, 23:26:27
Zulu,
I loved that movie..... Huzzah for the Royal Engineers!

AND the 24th of Foot (aka The Royal Regiment of Wales)!
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on May 10, 2008, 23:27:34
Big deal  ::)

Lots of civvies practise freefall techniques in similar facilities to make the best use of aircraft time...


Paratroopers forced to practise parachute jumps in a wind tunnel due to shortage of planes

British Paratroopers are having to practise jumping in a vertical wind tunnel because the RAF is so short of aircraft.


Members of the Army's elite Pathfinder Platoon are warning that their parachute training is suffering "as a result of the paucity of aircraft in the UK", because so many RAF Hercules planes are in Afghanistan and Iraq, or have been shot down or destroyed on operations.


http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=565191&in_page_id=1770
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on May 11, 2008, 17:53:09
Exclusive report: Soldiers need loans to eat, report reveals

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/exclusive-report-soldiers-need-loans-to-eat-report-reveals-825928.html

Senior figures react angrily to damning indictment of life inside the Army. Jonathan Owen and Brian Brady investigate

A highly sensitive internal report into the state of the British Army has revealed that many soldiers are living in poverty. Some are so poor that they are unable to eat and are forced to rely on emergency food voucher schemes set up by the Ministry of Defence (MoD).

Some of Britain's most senior military figures reacted angrily yesterday to the revelations in the report, criticising the Government's treatment of its fighting forces.

The disturbing findings outlined in the briefing team report written for Sir Richard Dannatt, the Chief of the General Staff, include an admission that many junior officers are being forced to leave the Army because they simply cannot afford to stay on.

Pressure from an undermanned army is "having a serious impact on retention in infantry battalions", with nearly half of all soldiers unable to take all their annual leave as they try to cover the gaps.

The analysis, described by General Dannatt as "a comprehensive and accurate portrayal of the views and concerns of the Army at large", states: "More and more single-income soldiers in the UK are now close to the UK government definition of poverty." It reveals that "a number of soldiers were not eating properly because they had run out of money by the end of the month". Commanders are attempting to tackle the problem through "Hungry Soldier" schemes, under which destitute soldiers are given loans to enable them to eat.

The scheme symbolises a change from the tradition of soldiers getting three square meals a day for free. Now hard-up soldiers have to fill out a form which entitles them to a voucher. The cost is deducted from their future wages, adding to the problems of soldiers on low pay.

The controversial Pay as You Dine (PAYD) regime, which requires soldiers not on active duty to pay for their meals, has seen commanding officers inundated with complaints from soldiers unhappy at the quality of food that they get and the amount of paperwork involved.

Senior officers warn in the report that "there is a duty of care issue" and add that the "core meal" provided to soldiers on duty "is often not the healthy option". The confusion of which soldiers even qualify for free meals while on duty is revealed in the admission that "in some areas the soldier has to pay and then claim back and in others the duty meal is included in the contract".

General Dannatt has vowed to take action. He said, "I am determined that PAYD must be made to work to both the financial and physical well-being of those who are fed."

Despite numerous assurances by the Government to look after wounded soldiers, the report warns of deep resentment over a cap on the amount of compensation that wounded soldiers receive. It outlines the "deep frustration" at the inadequate amount being spent on accommodation.

The level of accidental deaths also comes under fire. "Ten potentially avoidable accident fatalities in operational theatres in one year [2007] is not acceptable," said General Dannatt.

He added: "I am concerned at the comments from the chain of command, some elements of which clearly believe that they will lose influence over their soldiers and that this will impact on unit cohesion." He also described improvements to equipment as being of "little use" because there is not enough for soldiers to be trained in using it until they are deployed.

Army chiefs and politicians claimed the document proved the Government was failing to meet its responsibilities towards Britain's servicemen and women, laid out in the Military Covenant. They say it is a damning indictment of an army that is losing its edge and close to breaking point as it struggles to keep pace with fighting a war on two fronts.

Patrick Mercer, a Tory MP and former army colonel, said the report reinforced widespread anxieties over conditions for the troops and that many top-ranking officers are breaking ranks to express their fears. "I've been talking to some very senior officers recently, all of whom privately have said to me that the Army is running on empty; the money has run out," Mr Mercer said. "The manpower situation is in crisis, and the so-called Military Covenant is abused at every turn. The thing that really worries them is the manpower situation and the fact that the MoD seems to be in denial about it."

Colonel Bob Stewart, a former commander of British forces in Bosnia, said the Army was struggling with overstretch and undermanning. He added: "It's inevitable that the British Army is actually woefully imbalanced ... badly equipped, particularly for training, and quite honestly I'm afraid to say it is losing its edge as a top-rate army in the world because it cannot maintain it."

Major General Julian Thompson, who led 3 Commando Brigade in the Falklands war, said: "There are certain ministers that may be very honest and care and want things done, but the problem is whether they are being given support from the very top, and I sense that they are not. We all know where the money comes from, the Treasury and the Prime Minister."

Major General Patrick Cordingley, who led the Desert Rats into Iraq during the first Gulf War, said the report raised serious questions about the Army's ability to meet its commitments. He said: "I would be very concerned about the strain on the armed forces remaining at this level of deployment in both Afghanistan and Iraq. It cannot be sustained for longer than perhaps another two years."

An MoD spokesman yesterday tried to gloss over the report, which was based on months of interviews with thousands of soldiers and their families between July 2007 and January 2008. He attempted to play down the degree of poverty among soldiers, many of whom earn £16,000 a year, and added: "Briefing team reports contain the unedited views of individual soldiers, some of which reflect widespread opinion, while others are isolated views. The reports are published widely and the feedback given by lower ranks in the Army helps CGS to stay firmly in touch with life across the Army."

But there is a growing dissent being expressed on military websites. Pay remains a major issue for both soldiers and officers. One describes the pay as "appalling, disgusting and pathetic".

Douglas Young of the British Armed Forces Federation said: "People are leaving the armed forces for financial reasons. There's no question about that."

Liberal Democrat defence spokesman Nick Harvey said, "Junior ranks in the armed forces have terrible salaries when you compare them to people starting out in the police service or fire service. How on earth are you supposed to recruit and retain people unless you offer a decent salary?"

To read the full report, click here

The IoS Military Covenant campaign

Our aims

We want soldiers to have the right to expect any war to be lawful, to have adequate resources, the right to be properly cared for in the event of injury, and the right to know that, in the event of their death, their families will be properly looked after.

The Covenant

"Soldiers will be called upon to make personal sacrifices – including the ultimate sacrifice – in the service of the nation ... In return, British soldiers must always be able to expect fair treatment, to be valued and respected as individuals.

"The chain of command, from the Government downwards, is responsible for articulating and sustaining the morality and justice of the cause in question ... Only on this basis of absolute confidence in the justice and morality of the cause can British soldiers be expected to be prepared to give their lives..."

What the big guns say...

Colonel Bob Stewart, former UN commander, Bosnia: "The British Army is imbalanced and is losing its edge as a top-rate army in the world"

Maj-Gen Patrick Cordingley, Commander, first Gulf War: "It saddens me how little the junior ranks are paid when you consider what they are asked to do"

Lord Bramall, former chief of defence staff: "Each year they strive to put a quart set of requirements into a pint pot of funding"

Colonel Clive Fairweather: Former SAS deputy commander: "I really do think the Army is heading for the rocks and I don't say this lightly"

Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on May 18, 2008, 15:53:28
Soldiers test positive for drugs 
 
 
Ten soldiers serving with the Black Watch have tested positive for illegal drugs in a random test, the Army has confirmed.

The tests were carried out on the soldiers, who form part of the Royal Regiment of Scotland, at their Fort George barracks near Inverness.
 

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/scotland/7406302.stm
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on May 18, 2008, 16:09:50
Some good old British sex/spy scandal stuff...


An MI5 officer has been forced to resign after admitting that his wife was a prostitute who took part in a notorious “Nazi-style orgy” with Max Mosley, the Formula One racing chief.


http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article3953837.ece
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: Yrys on May 18, 2008, 16:34:32
Quote
In an extraordinary turn of events yesterday, MI5 was forced to deny through Whitehall channels that the orgy had been a “sting” that it had set up to discredit Mosley. “Any suggestion that the service was involved in setting up Mosley is total nonsense,” a senior Whitehall official said.The official did disclose, however, that one of MI5’s officers had left the agency after his wife’s involvement as a call girl in the orgy became known. “I cannot talk about individual cases, but we do expect high standards of behaviour from all staff at all times, both professionally and privately,” the official said.

“In any case where a member of staff is believed to have fallen below those standards, action will be taken.”

To my civilian eyes, they seem to be implying that he is responsible for his wife "profession", because they speak about standard for the staff,
which doesn't make sense to my logical brain. Following paragraphe however explain better why he was "let go" : "Questions will now be asked
about why the service’s vetting procedures failed to expose the secret, which could have made the officer vulnerable to blackmail.".


Max Mosley orgy revelation forces M15 agent to quit (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1976775/Max-Mosley-orgy-revelation-forces-M15-agent-to-quit.html)
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: geo on May 19, 2008, 10:30:21
Am baffled, why would the MI5 agent get the can for the acts of his wife?
If she did something illegal, then she should be persued by the authorities and fined/thrown in jail - but to go any further ???

The royals have whored around for ages - and no one has ever faced dismissal for said acts.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on May 19, 2008, 11:54:20
Military to be honoured with their own Bank Holiday and told to wear uniforms




http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=567244&in_page_id=1770
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: geo on May 19, 2008, 12:29:06
Quote
Troops should also be encouraged to wear their uniforms in public, even when off-duty and on nights out, according to the report by former Tory MP Quentin Davies.


While I aplaud the idea of troops being encouraged to wear their uniforms in public, wearing uniforms on night outs when the boys & girls are consuming large quantities of Lager & Ale is not necessarily a good idea.  Stopping off for 1 or 2 drinks is one thing - a full night out is altogether another thing.

Think again Mr Davies.... PLEASE!
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: geo on May 19, 2008, 12:53:34
Clegg concern over 'old' army kit

BBC News, UK
Sunday, 18 May 2008

Nick Clegg has said he is concerned the British army in Afghanistan has "old kit" and suffers equipment shortages.

The Lib Dem leader, who is on his first visit to the country, also said there were "big issues" over soldiers' pay.

Earlier, he said failure in Afghanistan would be "devastating" and the Nato mission was "hanging in the balance".

The Ministry of Defence has said it is spending £6bn a year on new equipment and insists there are huge improvements in its standard and supply.

Mr Clegg spent two days visiting British troops and holding talks with Afghan leaders.

"I've seen some of the kit they've had to deal with," he said.

"Some of it's great, but frankly some of it's old ... some of the vehicles don't have enough spare parts, some of it's very hot and... there are big issues surrounding whether we're paying, particularly some of the junior starting soldiers, enough.

"I think there's been some improvements about some long-standing issues surrounding accommodation for soldiers' families back home, but we need to go further still.

"I think we owe all the men and women here a huge debt of gratitude because we sometimes forget that the cost of failure would be catastrophic for Britain as a whole."

Mr Clegg had warned earlier in his visit that without lasting peace and stability Afghanistan could revert to a "pariah state".

'Greater unity'

"The consequences of failure would be devastating," he said.

"Afghanistan is the most important conflict of our generation," he said.

"If we fail to secure lasting peace and stability, Afghanistan will revert to a pariah state, feeding the international drugs trade and offering a haven for terrorism that will threaten global security for the conceivable future.

"Yet the success of our mission in Afghanistan hangs in the balance. International efforts have not yet delivered the stability and security that the people of Afghanistan deserve."

Mr Clegg said the international community needed to demonstrate "greater unity in the way aid and reconstruction support is provided".

There were also crucial questions over how many UK troops should be on the ground, how to tackle the opium trade, and how to engage with neighbouring states, he added.

A Ministry of Defence spokeswoman pointed out that Brigadier Mark Carleton-Smith, commander of British forces in Helmand, Afghanistan, had previously gone on the record to the troops felt "extremely well supported" and soldiers were "much better equipped" than in 2006.

He was speaking as his 16 Air Assault Brigade took over from 52 Infantry Brigade last month.

He added: "I doubt whether the British army has ever put a brigade into the field as well equipped as 16 Brigade and it continues to improve with each deployment.

"The next brigade will probably be even better equipped."

Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on May 19, 2008, 15:44:50
He's clearly lying. If you're in G Sqn, being gay happens to be a good career move  ;D


From The Times

May 19, 2008

The SAS forced me out when they found out that I was gay, soldier says


Michael Evans, Defence Editor

A gay soldier has claimed that he was sacked from the special forces because of his sexuality.

Former Lance Corporal Chris Kenna, 25, who supported the SAS as a communications specialist, alleged that he was given his marching orders when his wife told the Army that he had confessed to being gay.

“Being gay has made no difference to my effectiveness as a soldier. When I completed the SAS course I was the proudest guy alive. To pull on the beret means you are the best part of the finest fighting force in the world,” he told the News of the World.

Defence sources however were adamant that Corporal Kenna had not been asked to leave the special forces regiment because of his sexuality, a move that would have breached government policy after the decision in January 2000 to lift the ban on homosexuals and lesbians serving in the Armed Forces. This came after a ruling against the Ministry of Defence by the European Court of Human Rights.

Army sources expressed anger at the claims by former Corporal Kenna, saying that he was never a proper member of the SAS, but was “a general duties soldier” in support of the regiment at Hereford. “He wasn’t required to pass the SAS fitness tests and failed the one he did do,” one source said.

The sources said the corporal was ousted from the special forces because it was considered he was unsuitable for that line of work, although he had served in the SAS for two years, including tours in Iraq. He was a member of 18 (UKSF) Signal Regiment, one of several support units serving the SAS.

After his enforced withdrawal from the SAS, Corporal Kenna subsequently decided to leave the Army, the sources said, emphasising that everything possible was done to assist him after he had asked to leave.

A spokeswoman for the MoD said: “We can confirm that a Royal Signals soldier asked to leave the Army and was subsequently discharged.” The official added: “The Armed Forces regard sexual orientation as a private-life matter. The Armed Forces operates a policy of zero tolerance of harassment or discrimination.”

Ex-Corporal Kenna alleged that he had received a notice from the Hereford regiment that he was to be graded as “temporarily noneffective”, after the disclosure that he was gay. A letter from the SAS adjutant explained that he was not being removed from his post but that he would become “a supernumerary to the regiment”.

The adjutant added: “This means that whilst we will still look after your best interest we ask for another soldier to be in work with the regiment.

“This gives you the time required to get yourself back on track.”

Defence sources said that the notice was “purely an administrative procedure to make sure someone else could do the work while he was off”.

The former SAS corporal told the News of the World: “They wanted me to tell them that I wasn’t gay any more. They said if I thought being gay was just a phase then I might be able to return. When they realised that would not happen, they said they’d get me a job outside the Army.”

Since leaving the Army, Mr Kenna has worked as a model and as host of his own music programme on Sky TV.

Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on May 19, 2008, 16:33:19
Typical of the hazards encountered in RAF service. Begs the question... was it the farmer who wanted to keep the sheep quiet to protect his reputation?


Man set fire to pilot in sheep costume
http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2008/may/19/ukcrime1
A man walked free from court today after he admitted setting alight an RAF pilot who was dressed as a sheep for a fancy dress party.

Phillip Buckingham, 24, set fire to the costume made from cotton wool and pillows at a boozy graduation party at the Linton-on-Ouse air base, in North Yorkshire, in November.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: geo on May 19, 2008, 18:49:32
Heh... let me get this straight... It's ok to set alight sheep but not RAF pilot officers >;D

Mmmm.... rack of lamb :P
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: Blackadder1916 on May 20, 2008, 15:39:48
Reservists off to Afghanistan for three months
http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/local-national/article3720039.ece
Quote
By Lesley-Anne Henry    Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Sixty-two part-time soldiers from Northern Ireland were today gearing up for a three-month deployment to Afghanistan.

The Territorial Army reservists from 204 Squadron (North Irish) Field Hospital are being mobilised to the war zone in July to provide much needed medical assistance at the British Army's biggest base in Helmand Province.

More than half the squadron is made up of staff from the five health trusts across Northern Ireland.

A total of 38 medical professionals including ambulance drivers, nurses and surgeons are among the volunteers, a further 21 reservists are employed by non-health care organisations and three are regular soldiers.

According to the Ministry of Defence they will provide the majority of help at the medical group hospital in Camp Bastion and will be working alongside other TA and regular units from across the UK.

They will be working in one of the most intense environments on the planet and staff will not only have to deal with horrific battlefield injuries but also the more routine workplace accidents and bouts of sickness.

Casualties are not restricted to coalition forces but also include the Afghan National Army, Taliban and civilians.

Whilst deployed the reservist will be working in a purpose built and recently upgraded hospital facility. Housed within the hospital is all the equipment found in a normal NHS Hospital — everything from syringe drivers to Cat Scanners.

Among those travelling to the Afghanistan is Commanding Officer Colonel Iain Moles, who works as a GP in civilian life.

He told the Belfast Telegraph: "This deployment is the culmination of a year of hard preparation, and I have every confidence that we will deliver high quality medical and surgical care to the British and coalition forces."

Also among those going to war is Lieutenant Colonel Davy Heron, an A&E nurse at the Ulster Hospital who will be Officer Commanding Nursing Squadron, and Captain Carly Thompson, an ITU nurse at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast.

The reservists will be mobilised during the weekend of June 27 at the Reserves Training and Mobilisation Centre at Chilwell, Nottingham.

There they will receive administration briefs, medical inspections and their basic military skills will be assessed.

They will have a week of theatre specific training before moving to the Army Medical Services Training Centre in York for further training a Hospital Exercise (Hospex) the aim of which is to bring the reservist together and allow them to work together in their specific departments.

All members of the hospital are put through their paces with simulated casualties, who themselves have experienced some form of trauma.

There are currently 120 infantry reservist from The Royal Irish Regiment's 2nd Battalion on a six month deployment to Helmand Province.

Note the very short (full-time) pre-deployment training.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: geo on May 20, 2008, 21:46:12
If the medical staff remain "inside the wire" to provide medical services, they really don't need that much pre deployment training.  Send em out into indian country and we have something quite different ....
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: Chris Pook on May 20, 2008, 23:00:33
D&B

Do you know if G is still the Guards element?
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on May 20, 2008, 23:53:18
D&B

Do you know if G is still the Guards element?

Yup. Well, it was originally based on the Guard's Independent Parachute Company which was rolled into the SAS in the 50s I think and since then most Guards Div fellows go there.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: Chris Pook on May 21, 2008, 00:09:06
'splains your last re G.

Candidates for the Ministry of Silly Walks.  ;)
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on May 21, 2008, 00:16:47
'splains your last re G.

Candidates for the Ministry of Silly Walks.  ;)

And .... you can pick your favourite Guards Division joke from here http://www.arrse.co.uk/cpgn2/Forums/viewtopic/t=38428.html

Personally, I liked the IQ one best but, being an ex-PARA, can't spell it
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: Target Up on May 21, 2008, 01:13:56
Five paras are standing in a line up.  Sapper walks up and asks "Wotcha linin' up for, para?"
Para replies "Dunno, but we're gonna be first."
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on May 21, 2008, 02:45:19
Q: Why is God a Royal Marine?

A: Because he failed P Company
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: Towards_the_gap on May 21, 2008, 16:39:17
*adding fuel to the fire*


but then again, no woman has passed P-Coy yet ;D
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on May 21, 2008, 18:07:48
*adding fuel to the fire*


but then again, no woman has passed P-Coy yet ;D

AND, even though many Army members pass the Commando Course annually,  no Royal Marine has ever had the guts to even try P Coy. (Gasoline or Naptha?  ;D)
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: geo on May 21, 2008, 19:13:56
( gas or naptha? - you mean we have a choice ??? )
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on May 22, 2008, 23:37:25
Patience running out over arms 

The government is planning to set a deadline for loyalists to begin handing over their arms. If they do not, the body overseeing decommissioning will cease to exist. BBC NI home affairs correspondent Vincent Kearney reports.


General John de Chastelain and his two fellow commission members, Tauno Nieminen and Andrew Sens, started work in September 1997.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/7415378.stm
 


Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: geo on May 23, 2008, 08:54:16
RAF Nimrod was 'never airworthy'

The RAF's entire fleet of Nimrod aircraft has "never been airworthy", a coroner has said.

Andrew Walker was speaking as he began to give his verdict at the Oxford inquest on the deaths of 14 servicemen in a crash in Afghanistan in 2006.

All the men died when a 37-year-old reconnaissance plane exploded minutes after undergoing air-to-air refuelling.

The inquest has heard evidence of fuel leaks. Mr Walker said the men could not have known the plane was not airworthy.

In his view the entire Nimrod fleet had "never been airworthy from the first time it was released to service" nearly 40 years ago, he added.

Family anger

The crash led to the biggest single loss of life suffered by the British military since the Falklands War.

An RAF Board of Inquiry (BoI) report into the incident concluded that ageing components and a lack of modern fire suppressants were among the "contributory factors" leading to the accident.

It said fuel probably escaped during the refuelling into a bay on the aircraft either because of a leaking fuel coupling or an overflowing fuel tank.

After the report was published Defence Secretary Des Browne and Chief of Air Staff Sir Glenn Torpy both apologised to the families of the victims.

Relatives of the have voiced their anger over safety issues revealed by the inquiry and inquest, and have made their own investigations into the safety record of the fleet.

This week a senior engineer from defence and aerospace firm BAE Systems told the inquest that his predecessors, who made the Nimrod some 40 years ago, failed to fit a fire protection system on a key area of risk on the aircraft.

And the firm's head of airworthiness Tom McMichael said that if the evidence heard was correct, the Nimrod planes had, at the time of the tragedy, been flying in an unairworthy state for 37 years.

Following the crash all air-to-air refuelling on the Nimrod fleet was suspended and that suspension remains in force.

Twelve of the men who died were from 120 Squadron based at RAF Kinloss in Moray, Scotland.

Two other servicemen who were attached to the squadron also died.

Grounding

On Thursday, Mr Walker, Assistant Deputy Coroner for Oxfordshire, said he was considering a number of safety recommendations, including the grounding of the entire Nimrod fleet.

But the Ministry of Defence is under no obligation to carry out any of his recommendations.

The 14 men killed were:

Flight Lieutenant Steven Johnson, 38, from Collingham, Nottinghamshire, Flt Lt Leigh Anthony Mitchelmore, 28, from Bournemouth, Dorset, Flt Lt Gareth Rodney Nicholas, 40, from Redruth, Cornwall, Flt Lt Allan James Squires, 39, from Clatterbridge, Merseyside and Flt Lt Steven Swarbrick, 28, from Liverpool.

Flight Sergeant Gary Wayne Andrews, 48, from Tankerton, Kent, Flt Sgt Stephen Beattie, 42, from Dundee, Flt Sgt Gerard Martin Bell, 48, from Newport, Shropshire, and Flt Sgt Adrian Davies, 49, from Amersham, Buckinghamshire, Sergeant Benjamin James Knight, 25, from Bridgwater, Sgt John Joseph Langton, 29,from Liverpool and Sgt Gary Paul Quilliam, 42, from Manchester.

Lance Corporal Oliver Simon Dicketts, of the Parachute Regiment, from Wadhurst and Royal Marine Joseph David Windall, 22, from Hazlemere.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7416627.stm
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on May 23, 2008, 12:48:08
Just great. I'm sure that the families are reassured.

I recall that the aircraft was treated a a bit of a joke due to the 'Blue Circle' radar in the nose and incredibly long, and expensive, development period. The radar they insisted on building in Britain wasn't ready for years so they had to fill the cavity with Blue Circle cement for balance. A good example of when it's not in the best interest of your troops to 'buy Local' when far better products are produced by other nations, in this case, the good ol' US of A.

The British have always been good at making this jingoistic mistake however e.g., the SA80 family of weapons.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: geo on May 23, 2008, 14:50:05
D&B, the CF has had a tendency of doing same over the years..... it's only a recent development where we have chosen to buy "off the shelf"
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on May 24, 2008, 01:26:54
Looks like this guy should have purchased a reliable 'of the shelf' product. Glad he didn't though! Idiot...

Exeter bomb suspect 'encouraged by text message' before mission

A man suspected of attempting to carry out a terrorist suicide bombing at an Exeter restaurant received a text message of encouragement as he set out on his mission, counter-terrorism sources claimed yesterday.

Armed police swooped on a second man in a cafe in Plymouth city centre yesterday and arrested him in connection with the inquiry.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2008/may/24/ukcrime.uksecurity
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on May 25, 2008, 01:16:45
Father of Nimrod victim may sue Government

Family of RAF man outraged by comment of armed forces minister after coroner calls for the aircraft to be grounded

By Andrew Johnson
Sunday, 25 May 2008

Graham Knight, father of Sgt Ben Knight, who was killed in a Nimrod crash in 2006

The father of one of the men who died when an ageing Nimrod spy plane exploded in mid air in Afghanistan 18 months ago said last night he will take legal advice this week on whether to sue the Government, after a coroner said on Friday that the doomed plane had not been airworthy and the entire fleet should be grounded.


Graham Knight, whose son Sergeant Ben Knight, 25, perished along with 13 of his colleagues in September 2006, said the comments of the armed forces minister, Bob Ainsworth, that the planes were airworthy, made within minutes of the verdict, had incensed the families.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: geo on May 27, 2008, 13:52:37
Marine died in 'unsuitable' vehicleRichard Norton-Taylor The Guardian, Saturday May 3 2008 Article historyA Royal Marine killed in a gun battle in Afghanistan might have survived had more suitable armoured vehicles been available, a coroner said yesterday.

Richard Watson, 23, from Caterham, Surrey, died after he came under attack in Helmand province in December 2006. The inquest at Oxford coroner's court heard that Watson, from Plymouth-based 42 Commando, was in a Pinzgauer utility vehicle when his patrol was attacked.

Recording a verdict of unlawful killing, the coroner, Andrew Walker, said: "This vehicle was not designed to be used in a situation where there may be incoming small arms fire and as a consequence was unsuitable for this type of patrol. A request had been made for a Viking vehicle but none were available." Major Neil Sutherland, who had initiated the patrol, said that if he had had the option of using Vikings it would have been a "no brainer". He added: "But I was acutely aware that the number of Viking vehicles that were in the theatre were finite." He said: "If Marine Watson had been in a Viking vehicle in exactly the same spot with the doors closed he would not be dead today."



Fears for patrol vehicles as blast kills serviceman in Afghanistan
May 27, 2008 Michael Evans, Defence Editor
 Article Link
 
A British serviceman has been killed in an explosion in southern Afghanistan, the Ministry of Defence said yesterday.

He was killed when his Viking vehicle was caught in a blast north of Sangin, Helmand province. His next of kin have been informed. Two other soldiers were injured and taken to Camp Bastion, the main British base, for medical treatment.

The death brings the number of British personnel killed in Afghanistan since 2001 to 97.

The attack adds to growing concerns over the vulnerability of British patrol vehicles to hidden devices.

The underside of armoured vehicles deployed in Helmand has proven to be highly susceptible to mines buried by the Taleban, and the Ministry of Defence is preparing to add extra armour to key vehicles. The relatively new Viking armoured troop-carrying vehicle – which was built for the Royal Marines for use in Norway but is now being used across desert routes in northern Helmand – has proven to be vulnerable to the mines, which are suspected of being supplied from Iran. Five Vikings have been destroyed by mines.

Although the Viking is well armoured on its sides, the mines have penetrated the armour underneath, placing the driver at greatest risk. The Army faced the same risk in the case of Warrior armoured vehicles in Iraq, which, for similar reasons, were found to be vulnerable to mines. An extra layer of armour had to be fitted to the belly of the Warriors. MoD sources said that similar steps were being taken to improve the armour on the Vikings.
More on link



Well.... the Pinz failed, now the Viking is no longer good enough.... what's next ???


Asked by Walker if the Pinzgauer should have been used in areas where there was incoming fire, Nicholas Fox, a military vehicle expert, replied "no".

Watson's mother, Tania, said afterwards she hoped lessons had been learned from her son's death. "It has taken 18 long months to get this verdict and we feel that this has been unacceptably long."

A Royal Navy statement apologised for the delays in finding out exactly what had happened. It described Watson as "a natural leader who loved to be at the forefront of everything and had a determined and competitive character
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on May 28, 2008, 00:31:23
OK, so he should have been in a Challenger II. Oh wait, the bad guys can defeat heavy armour too as seen in Iraq. This is ridiculous...
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: geo on May 28, 2008, 11:27:32
... maybe these press releases & editorials are sponsored by AFV developers.....

after all... Nothing is TOO good for our troops.

Ridiculous ???   Aye !!!
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: Blackadder1916 on May 28, 2008, 11:44:16
Royal Navy nuclear submarine damaged after hitting rock in Red Sea (http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article4015738.ece)
Michael Evans, Defence Editor from The Times May 28, 2008

A Royal Navy nuclear-powered submarine on a training mission in the Red Sea was damaged when it hit a submerged rock on Monday, the Ministry of Defence said last night.

Although the nuclear reactor was unaffected and none of the 112 crew was hurt, HMS Superb, a 4,900-tonne Swiftsure class “hunter killer” submarine, suffered extensive damage to her sonar equipment.

Investigators began an inquiry into how a submarine with sophisticated equipment could strike a rock which would have been marked on the chart. Commander Steve Drysdale, the commanding officer, was forced to surface pending a decision on where the boat should go for repairs.

A spokesman for the MoD said it was likely that an inquiry would be held. Whenever a submarine is grounded, officers responsible for navigation are liable to face court martial.

The last time a Royal Navy nuclear-powered submarine grounded was in 2002 (http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article3987440.ece). Two senior officers on HMS Trafalgar were reprimanded.

HMS Superb is capable of carrying Tomahawk missiles, but it was not clear whether she was armed with them at the time.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on May 28, 2008, 20:30:59
Ayia Napa bar owner sues Cyprus-based British soldiers for £4m

Michael Theodoulou in Paralimni, Cyprus
A Cypriot pub owner is suing nine British soldiers and the Crown for €5million (£4million) after his bar in the Ayia Napa resort was ransacked.

Writs have already been served to the nine members of the 2nd Battalion Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, said a lawyer for Kyriakos Hadjiyiannis, the owner of the Bedrock Inn.

The nine soldiers, who range in age from 19 to 27 and come from Manchester, Birmingham, Newcastle upon Tyne and London, are facing a separate criminal trial on charges that carry custodial sentences of between three months and five years.

They are all accused of disturbing the peace and causing criminal damage at the Bedrock Inn on February 2 when they were celebrating before leaving Cyprus after a two-and-a-half year posting - during which each had served tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: geo on May 28, 2008, 20:49:29
2.5 years in Afghanistan and Iraq is a lot of steam to let off.....

Guess the boiler went "tweet"..............
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on May 29, 2008, 14:03:22
Sandhurst Gurkha fighting for life after wife slits his throat at the military academy


A Gurkha serving at Sandhurst is fighting for his life after his throat was slit by his wife at the military academy.

Detectives are looking at whether the soldier's own Kukri blade - a traditional Gurkha weapon - was used in the attack.



http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1022648/Sandhurst-Gurkha-fighting-life-wife-slits-throat-military-academy.html
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on May 29, 2008, 17:44:16
Two dead after Army helicopter crashes on training flight

Two airmen died today when a military helicopter crashed in a wooded copse during a low-flying exercise.

Investigators fear the chopper may have flown into powerlines before plunging into the ground.

One man was pronounced dead at the scene while his critically injured colleague was airlifted to the North Devon District Hospital at Barnstaple where he later died.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1022819/Two-dead-Army-helicopter-crashes-training-flight.html

Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on May 31, 2008, 02:12:13
Sudan ousts British officer from Darfur peace mission

The struggling United Nations mission in Darfur has suffered a fresh blow after its British chief of staff was forced out by the Sudanese government. Brigadier Patrick Davidson-Houston, the most senior non-African official in the joint UN and African Union mission, said he was "extremely disappointed" to be leaving Darfur just six months into his one-year contract.



http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/africa/sudan-ousts-british-officer-from-darfur-peace-mission-837426.html
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on June 09, 2008, 00:07:49
Johnson Beharry has VC inked into his back


http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/campaigns/our_boys/article1247326.ece 

By VIRGINIA WHEELER

Published: 05 Jun 2008

WAR hero Johnson Beharry had his Victoria Cross tattooed on his back – and says it hurt more than being blown up.

The brave driver, 28, was awarded Britain’s top military gong after saving 30 comrades’ lives in two ambushes.

He suffered horrific head injuries in a blast inches from his face – but said the five visits to his local tattooist were WORSE
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on June 09, 2008, 00:30:34

Prince William Owes New Navy Buddies a 'Crate of Beer'
By Phil Dampier

http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20203906,00.html 

Prince William was forced to buy his crewmates a round of beers after he failed to "drop anchor" at the first attempt during a Navy exercise.

On only his second day in the Royal Navy the 25-year-old Prince was asked to wield a sledgehammer to release a cable attached to an anchor on HMS Hindostan, a training ship, at the Britannia Royal Naval College in Dartmouth, Devon.

Using all his polo skills, William tapped the metal release mechanism – and groaned as nothing happened!

Looking somewhat nervous and embarrassed, he tried again and 30 meters of cable and the anchor slipped effortlessly into the River Dart.

"That's a crate of beer." William told reporters.

Petty Officer Wayne "Rats" Rattenbury explained it was a Naval tradition for those who had failed at the first go to buy their crewmembers drinks. "It could have been worse – 16 blows is the worst ever," he said.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on June 10, 2008, 14:56:14
And grim news this morning from Afghanistan where whole of the Parachute Regiment is now deployed.



True hero whose bravery in challenging an Afghan bomber led to the 100th death
Explosive belt was detonated after soldiers confronted suspicious man


The platoon of 12 soldiers from the 2nd Battalion The Parachute Regiment had spotted the Afghan man up ahead as they returned from a patrol to their remote operating base, known as Inkerman, north of Sangin in Helmand province. He was acting oddly, and Private Daniel Gamble, one of the regiment’s small number of Pashtu speakers, approached him.

As he began to ask him what he was doing, the man reached under his cloak and detonated a concealed explosive vest, killing Private Gamble instantly and fatally wounding two other members of the patrol.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/asia/article4100388.ece
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: geo on June 10, 2008, 15:39:14
Rest in peace Pte Gamble - your work is done
Condolences to Family, friends and comrades

We will remember them!

CHIMO!
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on June 12, 2008, 00:08:25
Secret terror files left on train 
 
 
Police are investigating a "serious" security breach after a civil servant lost top-secret documents containing the latest intelligence on al-Qaeda.

The unnamed Cabinet Office employee apparently breached strict security rules when he left the papers on the seat of a train.

A fellow passenger spotted the envelope containing the files and gave it to the BBC, who handed them to the police.

The official was later suspended from his job, the Cabinet Office announced.

Home Secretary Jacqui Smith now faces demands for an official inquiry.
 

 
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7449255.stm
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: geo on June 12, 2008, 10:01:50
Doh!!!
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on June 12, 2008, 17:37:53
AL-QAEDA DOCUMENTS COULD HAVE BEEN FOUND BY A FRENCHMAN, SAY MPs 
   
TOP-secret documents left on a Surrey commuter train could have been picked up by anyone, even a Frenchman, MPs said last night.

The powerful home affairs select committee has called for an urgent inquiry after France came closer than ever to discovering Britain's opinions about Al Qaeda.

Committee vice-chairman, Sir Denys Finch-Hatton, said: "These documents are clearly marked, 'For Everyone's Eyes - EXCEPT THE FRENCH!
 
http://www.thedailymash.co.uk/news/war/al%11qaeda-documents-could-have-been-found-by-a-frenchman%2c-say-mps-200806121017/
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on June 12, 2008, 18:05:18
No, I wasn't looking through this particular site while smokin' a fatty.... it was sent to me by someone else - like, no kiddin', man


High Times

RAF Top Guns Have Blown Up The World’s Biggest Drug Haul

http://hightimes.com/news/ht_admin/4378/
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on June 14, 2008, 02:09:57
Theories and rumours abound as scientists ponder mystery of mass dolphin deaths

MoD denies sonar to blame but conservationists call for navy to suspend its use

Nick Tomlinson, skipper of the fishing boat Lenten Rose, had not felt anything like it in the 35 years he has been working the waters off the Cornish coast.

"I'm used to the big military guns going off but this was something different - bang, bang, bang, very close, very loud. The vibrations went through the boat and up through my backbone. The whole boat was shuddering."

As Tomlinson's boat was rocking 12 miles out, an extraordinary drama was playing out in muddy little coastline creeks near Falmouth. Around 70 dolphins had suddenly headed for shore and dozens became trapped in mud and slime. Rescuers tried to keep the distressed mammals wet by draping damp tarpaulin and seaweed over them. They guided some back out to sea but 26 perished in the sticky shallows.

Marine scientists are astounded at Monday's tragedy - the biggest mass stranding of dolphins for many years. Multiple strandings of dolphins, porpoises and whales do happen frequently in other parts of the world. In the UK the number of strandings of cetaceans has doubled to more than 700 over the past 10 years. But this increase is generally put down to the creatures becoming entangled in fishing nets and usually only involves a few individuals or a small group.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2008/jun/14/conservation.endangeredspecies
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: milnews.ca on June 15, 2008, 09:08:37
Scottish nationalists promise Scottish Regiments again (if they become independent) - highlights mine....

Battle royal: Scotland's regiments
Two years after the controversial merger of Scotland's regiments, the arguments are taking a new turn
Jeremy Watson, The Scotsman, 15 Jun 08
Article link (http://news.scotsman.com/comment/Battle-royal-Scotland39s-regiments.4186805.jp)

SHORTLY before 7pm last night, they filed through the lower gates of Edinburgh Castle and wound up past the battlements to the Great Hall above. Almost 200 ex-servicemen and supporters of the Restore Our Army Regiments (Roar) campaign filed into the heart of Scotland's military headquarters to a reception hosted by SNP First Minister Alex Salmond to "recognise" their efforts in fighting against the formation of a Scottish super-regiment.

Roar's campaign ended in defeat more than two years ago, when the country's six famously independent regiments – such as the Black Watch, the Royal Scots and the Royal Highland Fusiliers – were cut to five and brought together as the new Royal Regiment of Scotland (RRS).

Although the regimental names survived in the five new battalions, campaigners warned the changes ordered by army chiefs of staff in London would damage morale and be disastrous for recruitment. Salmond, then in opposition, pledged that once he had the power in a sovereign Scotland he would reverse the cuts and restore regimental independence.

The First Minister does not have the power yet, as defence is a matter reserved to the UK Government. But last night's event in the most provocative of venues for the RRS – the Castle is its regimental HQ – was his way of reminding the campaigners that he intends to honour his pledge.


Jeff Duncan, the campaign manager for Roar, said the reception was not designed to be a "party political event". But senior officers in the new RRS have made clear their deep unhappiness that the First Minister chose to honour the campaign in such a sensitive location, saying the event undermines the morale of Scottish soldiers risking their lives on overseas operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.....  more
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: geo on June 15, 2008, 10:25:49
The british army is having to deal with manpower shortages - just like all other NATO partner.
Having understrength battalions / regiments will result in a lot of morale problems of their own.

Methinks beware what you are wishing for..... cause you may get it in the end
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on June 15, 2008, 19:44:13

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/article4138262.ece
 
 
From The Sunday Times
June 15, 2008
Gordon Brown pulls rank to stop General Sir Richard Dannatt heading forces
General Sir Richard Dannatt
 
Gordon Brown has blocked General Sir Richard Dannatt, the head of the army, from being promoted to lead the armed forces because of his repeated calls for better pay and conditions for servicemen, senior Whitehall sources have disclosed.
 
Air Chief Marshal Sir Jock Stirrup, the current chief of the defence staff, will now have his tenure extended for a year, ensuring there is no vacancy for Dannatt before his retirement.
 
Despite repeated attempts to rein him in, the general complained 10 days ago that troops fighting in Afghanistan are paid less than traffic wardens while their families in Britain are living in “appalling” housing. The criticisms forced Brown to say he would look again at forces’ pay.
 
“It was Gordon’s decision,” said one Whitehall source. “Dannatt has made a lot of enemies among the senior reaches of the Labour party.
Related Links
 
“They want him gone sooner rather than later.”
 
Dannatt was appointed chief of the general staff in August 2006, so his standard three-year stint in charge of the army will end in August next year. Stirrup was due to leave next April before the order came to extend his term for a year.
 
An alternative was to promote Air Chief Marshal Sir Glenn Torpy to the top post next April, but that is seen as unlikely. Admiral Sir Jonathon Band, the first sea lord, has also spoken out over cuts to the navy’s ships, warning that “if [the fleet] turns into the Belgian navy, then I’m gone”, so is not seen as an option.
 
There have been suggestions that Stirrup is fed up with inter-service bickering over the increasingly stretched defence budget and is looking for a post in industry.
 
Ministry of Defence officials, however, want Stirrup to stay on so that all the current service chiefs have been replaced by the time he has finished his term.
 
“By cleaning house and putting a new team under Stirrup, the PM gets a new group of senior officers who will be too busy trying to climb the greasy pole to rock the boat,” said one senior army officer.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: Chris Pook on June 15, 2008, 21:14:09
Well, I reckon that puts Dannatt on the streets that much faster, making him freer to talk, and just in time for a General Election.

I wonder if he will get much air time.

"The General Who Spoke Out While In Uniform - And Was Dissed For His Pains"  .......

And he may have First Sea Lord and the Air Chief Marshall to keep him company on the hustings.

Gordon's not much of a tactician.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on June 16, 2008, 01:15:17
It seems that the years of continuoual Labour government mismangement of the forces in the UK has put them in a similar position to the CF in the early 90s e.g., in the hurt locker.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: geo on June 16, 2008, 09:33:15
Heh.... they're going to need a mighty big shovel to dig themselves outa the hole they've dug for themselves... Ouch!
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on June 16, 2008, 12:00:13
Just in case you thought that the war was over....

Dissident group admit bomb attack 
 
The Continuity IRA has admitted responsibility for an attempted bomb attack on a police patrol in County Fermanagh early on Saturday.

The dissident republican group said it had tried to detonate a landmine as the patrol passed on the Rellan Road near Rosslea.

A loud bang was heard and a suspicious object was found a few hours later.
 

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/northern_ireland/7456794.stm
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: S.M.A. on June 17, 2008, 17:06:29
Well at least the pilot is okay.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/leicestershire/7457288.stm (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/leicestershire/7457288.stm)

Quote
Pilot ejects as Harrier crashes

There are no civilian casualties

A pilot managed to eject to safety as an RAF jet crashed in a field near a village in Rutland.

A Ministry of Defence (MoD) spokeswoman said the Harrier crashed north-east of RAF Cottesmore at about 1350 BST.

She said the pilot ejected and came down using a parachute and was "alive and conscious". He is receiving treatment in hospital...
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on June 19, 2008, 02:14:40
Army Major suspended for alleged verbal abuse towards a lesbian

A MAJOR heading the Army’s war on sex harassment has been suspended — for allegedly verbally abusing a lesbian sergeant.

John Wooldridge, 51, "relentlessly" harassed the 32-year-old NCO for almost two years over her sexual preferences, it is claimed.

The officer — in charge of ridding the service of sexual and racial prejudice — told her GAYS and LESBIANS should not be in the Army, she says.


http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/campaigns/our_boys/article1306202.ece
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: PMedMoe on June 19, 2008, 08:52:04
The officer — in charge of ridding the service of sexual and racial prejudice — told her GAYS and LESBIANS should not be in the Army, she says.

Nice.   ::)   Wonder how he got picked for the job?   ???
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: Blackadder1916 on June 19, 2008, 11:19:43
Wonder how he got picked for the job? 

Perhaps by applying for it, the same way any other retired soldier gets a job in the civil service. 

Army anti-sex harassment head suspended for alleged harassment
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/majornews/2150434/Army-anti-sex-harassment-head-suspended-for-alleged-harassment.html
Quote
By Stephen Adams   Last Updated: 12:42PM BST 18/06/2008

A former Army major who heads a unit fighting sexual harassment has been suspended for allegedly verbally abusing a lesbian sergeant.

John Wooldridge, 51, is the civilian head in charge of the Equal Opportunities Inquiry Team (EOIT), which examines cases of sexual discrimination and harassment in the Army.

However, he has been suspended from the post after allegedly "relentlessly" telling a lesbian sergeant who worked in the team that homosexual men and women should not be in the Army.

A source told The Sun: "She's not alleging Major Wooldridge in any way tried to thrust himself on her or physically interfere with her.

"Her allegations are basically that on numerous and relentless occasions he said that lesbians and gays should not be serving in the Army."

The source said the sergeant made "no secret of the fact she's a lesbian, but that is perfectly legal in the Armed Forces nowadays."

The Ministry of Defence confirmed that he had been suspended from his £50,000 post at Bulford Camp, Wiltshire.

A spokesman said: "The civilian head of the EOIT has been suspended without prejudice pending an investigation into allegations made by a former investigator in the unit .

"Every MoD employee, civilian or military, has the right to live and work in an environment free from harassment.

"We expect the highest standards of behaviour from those in authority. At the same time, all our personnel have a right to a fair hearing."

Major Wooldridge served with the Royal Military Police for 20 years, most of it with the Special Investigation Branch.

Before 2000, when homosexuals were officially allowed to serve in the Armed Forces, he was said to be involved in "several" inquiries into homosexual behaviour among military personnel.

In 2003, he led a high-profile investigation into claims that British Army soldiers had raped and abused more than 2,000 tribeswomen in Kenya over a 30-year- period. The unit failed to uncover any evidence of wrongdoing by any British soldiers.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on June 19, 2008, 15:00:27
Wife 'died a hero' in Afghanistan 
 
The first British female soldier killed in Afghanistan has been praised as a "hero" by her husband.

Corporal Sarah Bryant from Cumbria died with three men in a blast on Tuesday, bringing the number of soldiers who have died in Afghanistan to 106.

The three other soldiers were named as Cpl Sean Robert Reeve, Lance Corporal Richard Larkin and Paul Stout.

Cpl Bryant's husband, fellow soldier Carl, said: "My wife was a truly special person who died a hero."

The explosion happened east of Lashkar Gah, in Helmand Province while they were manning a vehicle checkpoint.
 

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/7462985.stm
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on June 20, 2008, 01:09:09
Mourn Sarah Bryant as a soldier, not a woman

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/main.jhtml?xml=/opinion/2008/06/20/do2002.xml
By Cassandra Jardine
Last Updated: 12:01am BST 20/06/2008


The sight of Sarah Bryant's bare shoulders in her wedding dress is almost unbearably poignant. Two years ago, she was a glowing bride; now the 26-year-old is wearing a body bag, having been blown up when her Land Rover was hit by an explosion on Tuesday afternoon. The grief of the family and friends who knew and loved her is no more intense because she happened to be young, blonde and pretty, but inevitably - sentimentally, perhaps - those attributes affect the rest of us, including those who worked with her.

Male soldiers serving with Sgt Bryant have, say sources on the ground, been rocked by her death. It has stopped them in their tracks, made them question their enthusiasm for the dangerous task they face, and feel extra protective of the other women serving alongside them.

Her death will naturally revive those old arguments about whether women are suited to the battlefield. It is always so when something happens for the first time and Sgt Bryant is the first woman to die in the British Armed Forces in Afghanistan.
 
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on June 20, 2008, 19:08:06
It was probably concussion from William bonking on the Isle of Wight...


Theories and rumours abound as scientists ponder mystery of mass dolphin deaths
MoD denies sonar to blame but conservationists call for navy to suspend its use

Nick Tomlinson, skipper of the fishing boat Lenten Rose, had not felt anything like it in the 35 years he has been working the waters off the Cornish coast.

"I'm used to the big military guns going off but this was something different - bang, bang, bang, very close, very loud. The vibrations went through the boat and up through my backbone. The whole boat was shuddering."

As Tomlinson's boat was rocking 12 miles out, an extraordinary drama was playing out in muddy little coastline creeks near Falmouth. Around 70 dolphins had suddenly headed for shore and dozens became trapped in mud and slime. Rescuers tried to keep the distressed mammals wet by draping damp tarpaulin and seaweed over them. They guided some back out to sea but 26 perished in the sticky shallows.

Marine scientists are astounded at Monday's tragedy - the biggest mass stranding of dolphins for many years. Multiple strandings of dolphins, porpoises and whales do happen frequently in other parts of the world. In the UK the number of strandings of cetaceans has doubled to more than 700 over the past 10 years. But this increase is generally put down to the creatures becoming entangled in fishing nets and usually only involves a few individuals or a small group.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2008/jun/14/conservation.endangeredspecies

Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on June 23, 2008, 12:38:26
Holy cr*p, over....


Bomb hero puts finger in trigger
From JEROME STARKEY
in Kabul

AN Army bomb disposal hero escaped being blown to bits by a landmine — by quickly jamming his fingers into a CLOTHES PEG.

The crude wooden peg had been used as a makeshift trigger to set off the deadly device.

Two electrical contacts were fixed to the gripping parts of the peg — which were held open by rubber wrapped around the opposite end.


http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/campaigns/our_boys/article1326057.ece
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on June 26, 2008, 18:25:47
Pictured Two paratroopers who died within 10 hours of each other during same op

 
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1029120/Two-paratroopers-killed-Afghanistan-named.html


Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on July 02, 2008, 13:23:42
Gurkhas lose pension legal battle


Former Gurkha soldiers lost their High Court battle today over a pensions deal with the British Government they say has left them struggling to live.

Three retired members of the famous Brigade of Gurkhas failed in a legal challenge affecting thousands of others.


Lawyers for the three - Kumar Shrestha, Kamal Purja and Sambahadur Gurung, all in their late 30s and retired because of ill health - argued they had been treated unlawfully and unfairly.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/gurkhas-lose-pension-legal-battle-858648.html

Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on July 02, 2008, 14:08:11
Defence Ministry says Prince William's ship has made major cocaine bust

LONDON - The Royal Navy ship on which Prince William is serving has made a major cocaine bust.


The British Defence Ministry says HMS Iron Duke intercepted a speedboat northeast of Barbados on Saturday.


U.S. Coast Guard officials working on the British frigate boarded the speedboat and found 45 bales of cocaine weighing 900 kilograms.



http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/capress/080702/world/prince_william
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on July 02, 2008, 23:59:42
Repressive law turns terrorists into martyrs

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/main.jhtml?xml=/opinion/2008/07/03/do0304.xml

By Tim Collins

Let's not kid ourselves: the struggle against terrorism - the fight for all our freedoms - will be an arduous, long-term battle on multiple fronts. I grew up in Belfast and served the British Armed Forces for 23 years, involved in counter-terrorism operations from Northern Ireland to Iraq.

I learnt that the key to defeating terrorists is clarity of mission and unswerving discipline in seeing it through. So how does our current approach to fighting home-grown terrorism measure up?

We have certainly made advances in policing, intelligence and law enforcement. But the recent parliamentary vote extending detention without charge to 42 days was a clumsy own goal. I was talking to a retired senior policeman the other day.

He had been at the forefront of the fight against the IRA, and studied the conflict (with a PhD to prove it). I asked him: why 42 days? He hadn't the faintest idea.

I asked an audience of accountants last week - a packed hall with some 300 present - and not a single person knew why. Does anybody know? Could it be that Gordon Brown chopped Tony Blair's failed 90 days in half, then lopped off a further three days to disguise the wheeze?

Prosecutors, policemen, the security services and special forces soldiers - those on the frontline - have no idea of the reasoning, let alone evidence, behind 42 days. So much for clarity of mission. Let's hope the House of Lords makes a stand when it debates the matter next week.

   
 
One person who has been over the evidence with a fine-toothed comb is David Davis. When I discussed 42 days with him recently, I was interested to hear that he had in effect audited the previous police counter-terrorism investigations - checking his facts with the police and prosecutors involved - and found that, in the words of the Director of Public Prosecutions, the police had coped "comfortably" with 28 days.

Davis fears that repressive measures, such as the unnecessary extension to 42 days, risk doing the terrorists' job for them. He is right.

Defeating terrorism means defeating it on all fronts - military, law enforcement, political and propaganda. The 19th-century Prussian General Carl von Clausewitz, famously wrote that "war is the continuation of politics by other means".

Modern terrorists have learnt this lesson well. They want to provoke a political response, an authoritarian reaction that justifies their existence. The core tenet of the fight against terror - from Malaya to Northern Ireland - was always "defeat the ideology and not the insurgent". But how do we win "hearts and minds" in today's struggle with al-Qa'eda?

In parliamentary democracies such as the UK, a system of checks and balances - including the protection of fundamental liberties - guarantees the rule of law and prevents the arbitrary abuse of power for political ends. This is a weapon in the propaganda war.

When the state steps aside from this and adopts law or policies that seem arbitrary, it feeds the narrative that terrorists thrive on. That is why Lord Dear, a former chief inspector of police, called 42 days a "propaganda coup for al-Qa'eda".

My experience of fighting terrorists in Northern Ireland was in support of - not undermining - a justice system that enforced UK law. Sometimes that meant watching murderers go free.

That turns a soldier's stomach. But the propaganda lesson was clear: two wrongs don't make a right. Injustices - most obviously internment - only maintained the friendly sea of support for terrorism, in which those same murderers could operate even more freely.

Arbitrary measures generate a downward spiral that ends in hell for everyone. That's the game of action-reaction the terrorists want us to play.


 
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: Blackadder1916 on July 06, 2008, 11:41:54
No room for Baldrick in the overstretched British army (http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/article4276462.ece)
From The Sunday Times Marie Woolf July 6, 2008

Senior officers are under attack for using vital troops as servants

Baldrick the faithful batman is in danger of getting the army into trouble, according to a secret review from the Ministry of Defence. The practice of senior officers employing soldiers as domestic servants, such as Baldrick in the Blackadder television series, risks becoming an embarrassment while frontline troops are stretched to breaking point.

The review, marked as “restricted management”, questions why soldiers are being used as chefs, valets and house orderlies for senior officers while the army is fighting two wars. “Why is Cpl Bloggs serving food to generals when he should be helping to fight the Taliban?” it asks.

Carried out last year, it raises concerns that the lifestyles of generals, including their employment of servants, “could impact on our reputation on a broader front”. It questions whether “a lack of care or rigour may have crept in”.

The document points out that the army’s top brass, including Sir Richard Dannatt, chief of the general staff, all employ military personnel in their homes, even though army guidelines say household staff should be civilian unless a valid justification can be found for employing servicemen.

Senior officers have seconded members of the Welsh Guards, Rifles, Royal Logistic Corps and Royal Artillery to work as household staff, including cooks.

The document, obtained under freedom of information legislation, adds: “JSP [Joint Service Publication, a manual of army rules] makes it clear that as a general principle household staff should be civilian, and that a valid justification is required for retaining a serviceman as house manager. Apart from contract staff, none of the households of senior officers touched by these questions employ civilians. This has clear implications on cost, as well as on presentation.”

Dannatt has a sergeant from the Yorkshire Regiment as his house manager, a sergeant from the Rifles as a house sergeant, a corporal from the Yorkshire Regiment as a house orderly and a corporal from the Royal Logistic Corps as a cook.

General Sir Redmond Watt, former commander in chief land command, employed a corporal in the Welsh Guards as a house sergeant and a private from the Welsh Guards as a valet, it emerged last year.

Lieutenant General Freddie Viggers, the adjutant general, employed a sergeant in the Royal Artillery as a house sergeant.

The bill for the upkeep of a few top officers’ houses reached £570,000 in 2006.

The document also questions whether it would be better to use outside caterers for official dinners rather than second military staff as full-time chefs: “Use of military chefs versus contract caterers is an area where practice varies: the JSP allows for the former but only in support of official entertainment, but the general officer commanding London district employs a chef for 40 hours per week. It is hard to envisage that official entertainments requirements demand a steady 40-hour working week commitment.”

The internal review followed a series of parliamentary questions by Kevan Jones, Labour MP and member of the Commons defence committee. “It’s no good senior generals lecturing ministers about overstretch of British forces when they have soldiers waiting on their tables at home,” he said yesterday.

The Ministry of Defence said: “A number of informal checks were carried out as a result of the questions raised in parliament last year on general officers’ professional lifestyles.

“These checks focused on the extent to which existing policy was being adhered to, and where exceptions were being permitted there was proper justification in each case. These checks revealed no serious concerns on any front.”

The review also questioned whether the use by top brass of military aircraft, mainly helicopters, “for routine transport”, should continue.

The use of the soldier servant, or batman, dates from the first world war when officers were allocated a soldier to act as a valet to look after their uniform and personal equipment.

In the second world war, Peter Ustinov served as a valet to David Niven, forming a lifelong friendship.

According to an internal memo from Dannatt, following the review, the most senior officers still need help to keep their uniforms in order.

“Two and three-star officers should be expected to employ one soldier or orderly – this cannot be a civilian as the knowledge of uniform upkeep is an important element of the job,” he wrote. “Four-star officers require two military staff, a house manager and an orderly.”

However, he conceded that helicopters should be used only to “increase the amount of productivity during the working day and not just for the sake of convenience”.

Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on July 07, 2008, 18:29:27
It's about time. What about all the ADCs and other hangers on too? That should free up about a battalion's worth of infantry to feed into the fight!
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on July 07, 2008, 18:30:17
The only Englishman in Africa who won't be needing sunscreen...

British mercenary Simon Mann sentenced to 34 years in jail over failed West African coup plot

British mercenary Simon Mann has been sentenced to more than 34 years in prison for plotting a failed military coup in Equatorial Guinea.

The sentencing by the three-judge panel followed Mann's four-day trial in the West African state last month.

The Eton-educated former army admitted his part in the conspiracy to topple President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo.


http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1032912/British-mercenary-Simon-Mann-sentenced-34-years-jail-failed-West-African-coup-plot.html
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on July 08, 2008, 12:23:50
He WAS with the SAS: Saturday and Sunday....

Soldier quits after Facebook claims of serving with SAS and killing 100 people are exposed as lies

A soldier who boasted online of serving with the SAS and of killing more than 100 people has quit - after he was exposed as a liar.


Jim McAuley bragged on Facebook that he had been a paratrooper at the infamous battle of Goose Green in the Falklands War and that he was the second SAS man on the balcony of the London Iranian Embassy siege in 1980.


But the truth was that he used to serve in the Army Catering Corps and has for many years organised local Poppy collections.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1033306/Soldier-quits-Facebook-claims-serving-SAS-killing-100-people-exposed-lies.html
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: geo on July 08, 2008, 12:28:40
Hmmm.... From SAS Commando to Poppy selling Cook to....... NOTHING in three easy steps

Amaazing!!!

Take that you Armyninjacommandospecialopskillerforhirekindaguy
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: time expired on July 08, 2008, 12:31:44
BBC journo.interviewing SAS Sgt.asked the Sgt. if he was
on the Iranian embassy op.No replied the Sgt.but I know
2000 guys that were.
                               Regards
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: Blackadder1916 on July 08, 2008, 12:40:06
A soldier who boasted . . . of killing more than 100 people. . .

. . .  he used to serve in the Army Catering Corps . . .

Having eaten in Shiteater Brit dining facilities, this could possibly be correct.  It just takes longer due to the delayed action of a British Army cook's weapon of choice, his deep fat fryer.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on July 08, 2008, 13:44:34
Having eaten in Shiteater Brit dining facilities, this could possibly be correct.  It just takes longer due to the delayed action of a British Army cook's weapon of choice, his deep fat fryer.

You are right there. Unlike this particular Walter Mitty though, the difference is that many of these guys deployed on Ops as much as the infantry. I had a chance to work with the ACC depot in Aldershot briefly and they did alot of stuff that our recruits did - assault courses, battle marches, lots of shooting - before they went on to their specialization. I had a 'few good cooks ' in my Coy/Pl locations with the Marines and Paras in NI who were far better at cooking mass meals than any of us were, and were also great on patrol and liked nothing more than an 'infantry break' from the fat fryer!
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: milnews.ca on July 08, 2008, 21:22:13
Here we go again....

Argentina's military threat raises fears over Falklands
Graeme Baker, Telegraph (UK), 8 Jul 08
Article link (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/southamerica/falklandislands/2271140/Argentina's-military-threat-raises-fears-over-Falklands.html)

Argentina raised the prospect of posting military forces in the Antarctic region yesterday, with the announcement of plans to use troops to defend its interests.

President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner told defence chiefs that Argentina must be prepared to assert its sovereignty and protect its natural resources, as nations compete to claim areas of the region believed to be rich in oil.

(....)

"This world is no longer a world divided by ideology," Mrs Fernández said. "It is more complex, and it is necessary to defend our natural resources, our Antarctica, our water."

The Argentine president compared the plan to Brazil using its soldiers to protect natural resources in the Amazon rainforest.

The proposals come as Britain considers whether formally to claim exploration rights to extended areas of the sea bed around the Falklands, South Georgia and the British Antarctic Territory.....
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on July 09, 2008, 12:48:27
The mouse that roared. I guess they're suckers for punishment.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: milnews.ca on July 09, 2008, 19:53:49
Pretty f-F#$%^&*-ing low....

Soldier's grave plaque is stolen
BBC News, 9 Jul 08
Article link (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/norfolk/7498033.stm)

A brass plaque marking the grave of a soldier who was killed in Afghanistan has been stolen.

Cpl Darren Bonner, 31, of Peterborough, was serving with the 1st Battalion Royal Anglian Regiment, when he died in an explosion in Helmand in May 2007.

His ashes were buried at Enfield Crematorium in London, and his grave marked by a brass plaque.

Enfield Council has offered a £1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of those responsible.

'Despicable act'

A spokesman for Haringey Council, which owns the crematorium, said: "We were very sorry to discover the theft of the plaque from Darren Bonner's grave and we contacted his family immediately afterwards to inform them of the theft and express our regret.

"We have ordered a new plaque for them, made from acrylic to reduce its chances of being stolen."

Terry Neville, Enfield Council's cabinet member for the environment, said: "This is an absolutely despicable act which plumbs the depths of greed and wickedness ....
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: Blackadder1916 on July 09, 2008, 22:22:00
And for something completely different, you can depend on rousing entertainment in British Army messes.

Military policewoman 'performed sex act' on Sergeant Major boyfriend at drunken army party (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1033364/Military-policewoman-performed-sex-act-Sergeant-Major-boyfriend-drunken-army-party.html)
Quote
Daily Mail Online By Vanessa Allen
Last updated at 6:38 PM on 08th July 2008

An army policewoman faced a court martial today over claims she performed a sex act in a crowded barracks bar.

Iraq veteran Nicola Robinson-Humphreys, 24, wept as prosecutors told how a drunken party had ended in disgrace when she allegedly flashed her breasts and performed oral sex on her boyfriend in front of watching officers.

The Red Cap military policewoman and her partner, Sgt Major Alan Robinson, were both charged with disgraceful conduct of an indecent kind.

Witnesses described how the alcohol-fuelled pair had cavorted at the bar of the Military Police Corporals' Mess in Sennelager, Germany, in May last year.

And they told how it was considered 'normal behaviour' for soldiers to get naked or expose themselves during parties in the infamous mess bar - despite the Royal Military Police's motto 'By Example We Lead'.

Military policeman Cpl Keith Wood said: 'There are occasions when there are naked bars and people do get naked at the bar and play stupid games, and people do get exceedingly drunk.

'People flash their buttocks and drop their trousers and that is considered normal behaviour in that mess.'

The couple, who have since married, arrived hand-in-hand at the court martial to hear the charges against them, which they denied.

Prosecutor Lt Col Mark Dakers  said they had both been drinking heavily at a leaving party at the mess bar on May 26 last year.

He said: 'A lot of alcohol was being consumed and then cries went round (of) "Naked Bar" and Robinson exposed himself.

'Cpl Robinson-Humphreys then performed an act of oral sex upon him in front of people in the bar.

'That is not an offence in the privacy of their own home, but to perform an act of that nature in any mess would be disgraceful conduct of an indecent kind.'

Witnesses said Robinson, 35, who has served in Iraq, Afghanistan, the Balkans and Northern Ireland, had taken his trousers off at the bar and that Robinson-Humphreys then disappeared from view beneath the bar.
   
The couple are facing a Military Court Martial after allegedly being seen in an uncompromising position

A photograph taken on one soldier's mobile phone showed her face next to the man's exposed groin, the court martial was told.

Cpl Keith Wood, whose farewell party the couple were attending, said one reveller had shouted 'Naked Bar' but that the call had been ignored.

But at the next shout Robinson-Humphreys - one of only two women in the bar - stood on a stool and flashed her breasts, he told the court.

He said: 'Cpl Robinson-Humphreys got on to a stool, opened her blouse and exposed her breasts for a couple of seconds.

'She was wearing a white blouse-type top and a miniskirt.'

Robinson undid his trousers and the pair carried out the sex act, Cpl Wood said, adding: 'People just laughed. It lasted just two or three seconds.

'The next morning they came to my house and asked what had happened in the mess the night before. I don't think they were too aware of what had happened.'

Cpl Lee Davis, another party-goer, told the court martial in Colchester, Essex, that he thought both soldiers had been drunk.

He said: 'Sgt Major Robinson had been drinking and he was drunk, but he was in control. Cpl Robinson-Humphreys seemed to be drunk.'

He said alcohol was very cheap in the mess bar and that soldiers frequently got extremely drunk there.

Robinson-Humphreys, of the Third Regiment Royal Military Police, and her husband Robinson, of the Royal Logistic Corps, both denied the charges.

They are now based in Catterick, North Yorkshire.

Their court martial continues.

Should the lyrics to "Kiss Me Goodnight, Sergeant Major" be changed now to accommodate this new wrinkle?




 
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on July 10, 2008, 00:54:36
Should the lyrics to "Kiss Me Goodnight, Sergeant Major" be changed now to accommodate this new wrinkle?
 

Not sure if there were many 'wrinkles' involved here.

'Naked Bar' is a time honoured, odd, tradition in the British Army. Usually accompanied by a rousing rendition of 'Old Macdonald's Farm' for some reason - but we won't go there.  I've never seen it done with females before though. Thank God for the new army!
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on July 10, 2008, 11:29:15
So, situation normal then?


Many troops 'feel like quitting'


Almost half of UK military personnel are ready to leave the forces, a Ministry of Defence survey suggests.
Some 47% of Army and Royal Navy respondents and 44% of those in the RAF said they regularly felt like quitting.
Among the concerns raised by the 9,000 servicemen and women surveyed were the frequency of tours, levels of pay and the quality of equipment and housing.
The Ministry of Defence said the survey revealed "areas of concern" but that conditions were being improved.    

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/7498904.stm
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: Blackadder1916 on July 10, 2008, 22:15:37
A couple of stories dealing with a common subject, recruitment of foreigners into the British Army.


Irish recruitment into British Army doubles
http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/breaking-news/ireland/article3795415.ece
Thursday, June 12, 2008

Latest figures just released in the North show that the number of people from the Republic applying to join the British Army doubled over the past year.

Figures released by the British Army Recruitment in Northern Ireland reveal that 10.5% of all enlistments there came from south of the border.

In the year 2005/2006, just 3% of those who came through the doors of British Army recruitment offices in the North were from the Republic.

The following year that increased to 4.5% and this year it has jumped to a total of 10.5%.

Lieutenant Colonel Dick Rafferty, the head of British Army Recruitment in the North said the numbers had been in decline.

The growth could be down to less of a stigma amongst friends and family, he said, while soldiers could be seen on TV every night serving abroad.

Quoting Lieutenant Paddy Bury from Wicklow now serving in Afghanistan with The Royal Irish Regiment, he said, Irish men join for a challenge, adventure, travel and camaraderie.


British army recruiting Caribbean young men and women
http://www.anguillalife.com/news/stories/regional/2942.php
Date Posted: July 08, 2008.

British Army reps are on their way to Jamaica after wrapping up the latest leg of their recruitment drive in the Caribbean on the Island of St. Lucia.

Their six-week recruitment drive in St. Lucia saw some 600 applicants initially undergo academic and medical tests, leading to the selection of 186 men and women, between 17-24 years old. It followed a campaign that started in March which first led to similar recruitments in Belize, Grenada and St. Vincent and the Grenadines..

Candidates are expected to arrive in the UK for full training by November.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: milnews.ca on July 10, 2008, 23:01:53
"Marketing, Psy Ops, whatever" or "one man's warlord is another man's future police chief".....

Former drug lord Koka is Nato's new poster boy and a police chief
Anthony Loyd, Times Online, 11 Jul 08
Article link (http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/asia/article4312575.ece)


(https://Milnet.ca/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.timesonline.co.uk%2Fmultimedia%2Farchive%2F00366%2Fnews-Koka_366509a.jpg&hash=fbb11f593e4a21211a0572fa59fb51fb)
Once a feared militia leader, Koka has been reinvented by British troops


Koka has had a Nato makeover. As he stares out from a British poster in Musa Qala, tending a wounded civilian, it is not just his beard and hair — once more reminiscent of a Barbary Corsair than a police commander — that have been trimmed and combed. His whole past has been reinvented.

“We're lucky to have Koka here,” Captain Chris Howard, the British psychological operations officer who produced the poster, said. “We've kind of turned him into a celebrity.”

Other posters decorating the bazaar's notice board have superimposed a photo of Koka and his men receiving their police training certificates on to a cinema screen. The seated audience is Western. “They are not actors. They are real policemen now,” the caption elaborates.

Musa Qala's farmers and tradesmen could be forgiven for thinking that their police chief's career is indeed celebrity news. Yet his past makes him an unlikely choice as a real policeman in Musa Qala, the Helmand town recaptured from the Taleban in December, and Koka's fate is something of a test case for Britain's stabilisation efforts in the province.

Koka — real name Abdul Wali Khan — served a 14-month sentence in Bagram jail, north of Kabul, where he was imprisoned by the Americans for suspected insurgent involvement after the Taleban were ousted in 2001 ....
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: Blackadder1916 on July 12, 2008, 21:04:57
Iraq combat soldier in Miss England final  (http://www.inthenews.co.uk/news/defence/iraq-combat-soldier-in-miss-england-final-$1231395.htm)
Saturday, 12 Jul 2008 20:06

A female soldier, who won a bravery commendation for fighting off insurgents in Iraq, is set to compete in the Miss England 2008 pageant this Friday.

Lance corporal Katrina Hodge, 21, will compete against 50 other women for the title which enables the winner to represent her country in the Miss World beauty contest.

L/Cpl Hodge, who was given the nickname of Combat Barbie by her regiment, is now serving as a military clerk in the UK at Frimley Park hospital. In 2005, she was deployed to Iraq to serve with the 1st Battalion of the Royal Anglian Regiment.

Speaking about the day she and her fellow soldiers were held at gunpoint after an accident where their vehicle flipped over, she said: "I was in complete shock at first. The force of the accident caused our vehicle to roll over three times and threw us off guard.

"As I came round, the Iraqi suspect was standing over us with the rifles. I knew if I didn't act fast then our lives would be in danger. I punched him and the force startled him enough for me to retrieve the rifles from him," she added.

Hodge added that it was a "great honour" to compete in the national competition and hoped to highlight the role played by the armed forces in defending the country through the pageant.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on July 14, 2008, 16:45:54
Camilla in combats Duchess climbs aboard tank for army wargames Mail Online

 

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1034998/Camilla-combats-Duchess-climbs-aboard-tank-army-wargames.html
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: Blackadder1916 on July 14, 2008, 17:01:15
Garrison town fears slump as army pulls out (http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2008/jul/13/military.germany)
Osnabrück is left to count the cost to its economy as British squaddies say farewell after 62 years

Allan Hall The Observer, Sunday July 13, 2008

Six decades after the British Army parked its guns in Osnabrück, the Tommies are leaving this week. The retreat will punch a hole in the earnings of the town's small businesses and end a bittersweet relationship between old enemies and new friends.

Osnabrück was a ruin in 1945 when the British army took up tenancy in undamaged Wehrmacht barracks. Down the years exuberant Saturday nights sparked cultural misunderstandings which, fuelled by good beer, led to a bit more damage in the surrounding hostelries.

But Osnabrück, where Erich Maria Remarque - author of the milestone anti-war novel All Quiet on the Western Front was born - nevertheless took the squaddies and the officers to their hearts and was the army's largest garrison after Aldershot. The news that the Last Post is sounding is bitter to legions of barkeepers, shop owners and others who have come to rely on the army pound.

The official exit on Saturday is part of a general MoD drawdown that will see the once mighty British Army of the Rhine - now British Forces Germany - reduced from 58,000 soldiers in the 1980s to just 15,000. Andreas Haasler, owner of the Onion pub in town, is downhearted. 'They are an important prop of the local economy, especially for the corner shops, the pubs, the little supermarkets. Yes, there will be pain here when they go. It is the little guy who will feel it most.'

Personnel of Fourth Armoured Brigade are quartered in the bases where the troops of Kaiser Bill and, later, Adolf Hitler trained, ate and slept.

When the British pull out, 1.6 million square metres of land and more than 1,250 buildings will be available for use. Many of them are owned by the government in Berlin, which is frantically trying to find buyers or renters to turn them into apartments, business or leisure parks.

Troops are also leaving behind family houses and flats, not to mention school buildings and community centres. For Osnabrück, which was where the peace ending the Thirty Years' War was signed in 1648, the opportunities to reinvent itself with this windfall of land are both exciting and daunting.

Osnabrück wants to turn some of the army's training fields into athletics and sports facilities. Workshops have been held for locals to come up with ideas - and hopefully cash - to convert the military white elephants into projects. Professor Claus Rollinger, president of the University of Osnabrück, sees a 'unique chance' to build a science park on 55,000 square metres of land. Others hope that some of the barracks - many of which have original wartime signs pointing to air raid shelters and the like - can be turned into affordable homes to rent.

Mayor Boris Pistorius, a Social Democrat, says the soldiers' departure 'changes the dynamics of the city substantially'. But he thinks the economic impact will be limited to a few hundred Germans employed directly by the garrison.

Peter Heinrich Konermann, managing director of the local retail trade association, said: 'In 15 years time, with new homes and shops, I believe we can really see business booming here.'

That is in the future; the immediate impact will be felt in the pockets of an estimated 2,000 local people, some self-employed, but 500 locally employed civilians being made directly redundant. 'It will cost me money,' says a wholesale drinks supplier, Karl Lenz. 'I supply pubs and restaurants that have a high number of British soldiers as clientele. When they go, profits go, orders go down and I have to cancel the foreign holiday.

'We have grown alongside each other, the Germans and the British. I know there have been isolated problems down the years, but taken all in all they're a good bunch. The town will certainly miss them.'

Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on July 14, 2008, 17:11:01
If they’d had that when I was in, I’d still be there!


(British) Armed Forces get free education after 6 years service

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7503807.stm
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on July 17, 2008, 01:34:15
The Sun - 'Our Boys'. Wot about the girls, mate?

http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/campaigns/our_boys/
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on July 22, 2008, 18:21:28
Military section from The Guardian. Not bad for a self-professed 'liberal' newspaper...

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/military
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: milnews.ca on July 23, 2008, 07:56:06
Here's some advice - don't throw yourself onto the grenade, throw yourself in front of it, with your rucksack against the grenade....

Marine to receive George Cross for protecting colleagues from grenade

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2008/jul/23/military.afghanistan
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on July 23, 2008, 18:08:19
Here's one for the WTF? file....

Council refuses to back charity event for wounded British soldiers - in case it offends ethnic minorities

A council refused to back a military charity event for fear of offending minority groups. Richard Chamberlain had applied for a £500 grant to help him raise cash for Help for Heroes, which cares for wounded soldiers. But Portsmouth City Council turned down the 57-year-old, saying in a letter: 'The event could cause offence to ethnic minority groups living in the community who may also have experience of injury/violence due to the war.'

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1037384/Council-refuses-charity-event-wounded-British-soldiers--case-offends-ethnic-minorities.html
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on July 25, 2008, 01:46:12
SAS clerk's 'shame' over profits

A finance clerk accused of stealing from the SAS cried in court as he told how he made the cash from selling alcohol to soldiers serving in Iraq.
Staff Sgt Mark McKay, 35, of Ballykelly, Northern Ireland, denies stealing $200,000 (about £100,000) from the SAS headquarters in Hereford.
He was arrested after money was found in plant pots outside his home.
He told Bulford Military Court the cash was earned "legitimately" but was "ashamed" by the huge profits he made.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/7523787.stm
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: Blackadder1916 on July 25, 2008, 14:56:10
British military dedicates plaque to slain soldier in Alta.
http://www.canada.com/topics/news/national/story.html?id=10ea48b0-0a91-494b-8b76-712ef9368c45

Sarah McGinnis Canwest News Service  Friday, July 18, 2008

BEISEKER, Alta. - Ripe yellow canola plants swayed in the breeze as three British military officers silently saluted a roadside memorial overlooking the Beiseker airport.

The small contingent solemnly erected a new plaque on Friday afternoon to honour 19-year-old Stuart McMaster, a ranger with the Royal Irish Regiment who was killed in a skydiving accident here on June 15, 2002.

Officer Commanding Major Sulle Alhaji asked that the monument be rededicated after discovering the existing memorial had weathered.

It also had been temporarily moved as construction crews widened the nearby road. Alhaji felt it was important to ensure a marker was preserved at the site where McMaster died.

"I thought it would be a nice thing to do for these people. We needed to renew this," said Alhaji.

In addition to laying their own remembrance wreath, the soldiers carefully placed a bouquet of yellow and pink daisies at the bottom of the signpost marking his death.

The words "forever missed & forever loved" printed on a note card tucked in the blooms represented his grieving family an ocean away.

Regimental Quarter Master Sergeant and fellow Royal Irish Regiment officer Eddie McToal said the McMaster family - who live in Ballymena, Northern Ireland - were touched to hear the memorial would be updated.

"I called (Stuart's father Jimmy McMaster) at a very poignant moment. He was at his son's grave and he welled up quite a lot. He was very proud to find we were thinking of his son," said McToal.

Retired Major Ian Mellor had been the officer commanding the day McMaster was killed.

He recalls meeting the tall, fresh-faced 19-year-old, along with other eager soldiers enrolled in then exercise "pond jump west" - one of a series of exercises operated as part of the British Army Training Unit Suffield based at CFB Suffield.

He'll never forget receiving the call that McMaster had been in an accident.

"I remember it like it was yesterday. (As) the officer commanding, the last thing you want is to lose one of your men. He was one of my men," said Mellor.

"I'm privileged to still be here to be able to make sure this is taken care of and that we remember the lad."

© Calgary Herald 2008

Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on July 28, 2008, 12:55:01
British regret involvement in OIF. No kidding....

http://www.angus-reid.com/polls/view/31369/britons_regret_military_engagement_in_iraq
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on July 28, 2008, 20:00:20
It's Army vs bunnies

 
THE Army has taken on a new enemy — rabbits destroying the remains of ancient buildings under a major training site.

The bunnies had been burrowing through Roman settlements and Bronze Age burial grounds.
Soldiers laid a wire mesh to protect key parts of Salisbury Plain, Wilts — a military training ground for 100 years.

http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/article1476969.ece
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: Old Sweat on July 28, 2008, 20:56:08
DaftandBarmy,

The British army is a remarkably successful military institution. Indeed, one of its enduring characteristics is its ability to win battles despite the seeming best efforts of its senior officers. Having said that, it also the endearing ability to find itself in situations which are more than slightly Pthonesque. Mind you, what would else would you expect from the world centre of excellence for Compo?

Cheers,

Sweatie
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on July 29, 2008, 00:58:07
DaftandBarmy,

The British army is a remarkably successful military institution. Indeed, one of its enduring characteristics is its ability to win battles despite the seeming best efforts of its senior officers. Having said that, it also the endearing ability to find itself in situations which are more than slightly Pthonesque. Mind you, what would else would you expect from the world centre of excellence for Compo?

Cheers,

Sweatie

Oh man, you just got me drooling. Nothing like fried bacon grill on an AB biscuit, or sawdust bangers dipped in strawberry jam. Yum....
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on July 29, 2008, 02:09:15
Captain 'Andy' Palmer
Naval officer who fired a decisive salvo of torpedoes at the crippled German battleship Scharnhorst in 1943
Captain 'Andy' Palmer , who has died aged 91, had a strong claim, as torpedo officer of the cruiser Belfast, to have sunk the German battleship Scharnhorst at the Battle of North Cape on Boxing Day 1943.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/2467560/Captain-%27Andy%27-Palmer.html



Roger Landes
Roger Landes, who has died aged 91, was a member of the wartime Special Operations Executive and, after being wrongly accused in London of compromising his French network, he went back to France and killed the real traitor.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/2463610/Roger-Landes.html
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on July 30, 2008, 02:29:56
SAS squad tried to save doomed pair in Baghdad helicopter crash
SAS soldiers in Iraq desperately tried to rescue two injured comrades from a crashed helicopter before it exploded in a deadly fireball, it has been revealed.
 
By Stephen Adams
Last Updated: 9:07AM BST 29 Jul 2008

They tried to drag out Trooper Lee Fitzsimmons and Sergeant John Battersby, who were trapped in the wreckage of a Puma which crashed in Salman Pak, on the outskirts of Baghdad, last November.

But while battling to release the men, they realised they had to pull back because the aircraft was leaking fuel.

Moments later the helicopter exploded, killing the pair. Twelve others were injured in the crash.

Despite seeing their friends killed the highly-trained soldiers, from 22 SAS's A Squadron, pressed on with their mission to launch an attack on an enemy compound and capture two insurgents.

The helicopter crashed because the pilot lost control when the rotor blades kicked up a dust cloud as it was landing, an inquiry has heard.

The identities of Tpr Fitzsimmons, 26, a former Royal Marine, and Sgt Battersby, 31, formerly of the Queen's Lancashire Regiment, were finally revealed on Monday after a seven-month ban was overturned following media applications.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/iraq/2468390/SAS-squad-tried-to-save-doomed-pair-in-Baghdad-helicopter-crash.html
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on July 30, 2008, 17:21:46
Fears over Forces exodus

 
A FORCES exodus has left top brass struggling in the Iraq and Afghan wars, warns a shock report.
Overworked and undervalued troops are leaving in droves, sick of overseas tours, poor pay and slum housing.
That has created gaping shortages in key personnel — such as submariners, medics, pilots, mechanics and engineers.
The Commons Defence Committee found there are alarming gaps in 86 trades — 30 in the Army, 31 in the RAF and 25 in the Navy.

http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/campaigns/our_boys/article1487687.ece
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on July 31, 2008, 17:57:54
William to visit special forces
 
William's attachments are intended to familiarise him with the Armed Forces
Prince William is to spend time with special forces in the next stage of his army career, Clarence House has said.

The prince will return to the Army on a secondment and will also spend time at the Ministry of Defence with the Army Air Corps. He will not take part in any operational missions, a spokesman said.
William recently completed a two-month attachment to the Royal Navy, which included five weeks on board HMS Iron Duke in the Caribbean.    


http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/7534769.stm
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: Blackadder1916 on August 02, 2008, 12:23:50
British soldiers in Cyprus bar brawl acquitted (http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article4442526.ece)
Joanna Sugden From Times Online August 1, 2008

Nine British soldiers involved in a bar brawl in Cyprus that left a man with a fractured skull were acquitted today.

In the aftermath of the drink-fuelled fracas in Ayia Napa, local officials had called for all teenage soldiers serving in Cyprus to be barred from the resort.

However, delivering his verdict, a judge in Cyprus said that there had been conflicting evidence from witnesses and he was not satisfied with identification procedures.

The men had faced charges ranging from causing grievous bodily harm to criminal damage at the bar where they had been celebrating “millionaire’s weekend” - so-called because it was their last pay packet before their tour in Cyprus ended in March.

The soldiers were seen to be visibly relieved as the verdicts were read out. Captain Nick Ulvert, deputy spokesman for British Forces in Cyprus, who was in court, said: “There was an audible gasp - it was fantastic news. There were a couple of lads (who) slapped each other on the back. They smiled and grinned at each other, and there was a lot of disbelief."

Many areas of Ayia Napa are already strictly out of bounds to British troops following a spate of violent and drunken incidents in the mid-1990s. The soldiers were all “out of bounds” when the brawl took place at the Bedrock Inn.

The court was not told what sparked the trouble on the night, but it appears one soldier was attacked, possibly with a baseball bat, either in or around the bar. Soldiers then stormed the bar to “back up” fellow servicemen - and possibly to find the culprits.

The bar owner, Kyriakos Hadjiyiannis, told the court that 20 soldiers rampaged through his bar, throwing bottles, attacking staff and breaking everything in sight.

He had a chair smashed over his head before escaping to lock himself in the toilets until police arrived. He later needed an operation to restore his damaged eyesight. He is pursuing the soldiers for £4m in damages in a separate, civil action.

A member of his staff and a customer were also left injured, along with two soldiers, including Darren Mason, 28, from Manchester, who suffered a fractured skull.

Judge Elias Georgiou said: “The charges faced by the defendants have not been proven to the required degree. All defendants are acquitted. I find them innocent."

The soldiers from 2nd Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, had faced up to five years in jail when they pleaded not guilty to all the charges against them. They also faced being removed from the Army.

Around 10,000 British troops and their dependants are stationed in Cyprus. After the incident, local mayor Antonis Tsokkos said he wanted to ban all teenage British soldiers serving on Cyprus from visiting the resort.

Fusilier William Sewell, 21, from Manchester, was cleared of grievous bodily harm, malicious damage and breach of the peace.Fusiliers David Ramage, 21, from Manchester, and Daniel Brayne, 22, from Birmingham, were cleared of charges of assault occasioning actual bodily harm along with malicious damage and breach of the peace.

Fusiliers Damien Heywood, 27, Andy Evans, 21, and Dean Rushton, 21, all from Manchester, Gary Farrell, 23, from Newcastle upon Tyne, Christopher Wenham, 19, from London, and Ashley Hughes, 19, from Birmingham, were all acquitted of malicious damage and breach of the peace.

Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: Blackadder1916 on August 02, 2008, 12:38:57
And of a similar note.

Soldiers in hospital after city street assault
http://news.scotsman.com/edinburgh/Soldiers-in-hospital-after-city.4350170.jp
Saturday, 2nd August 2008

Two soldiers were rushed to hospital after being attacked in Dreghorn Gardens in the early hours of this morning.

The pair are thought to have been attacked with bottles at about 2am after an argument in the Good Companions Roadhouse bar in Oxgangs Bank spilled out on to the street.

A police spokesman said: "Two men aged 22 and 25 were attacked by a group of men and sustained serious injuries and they were taken to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary for treatment. "Enquiries are ongoing and anyone who witnessed the attack is asked to contact police."

The soldiers are thought to have been based at Dreghorn Barracks.

Anyone with information can contact police on 0131-311 3131.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on August 05, 2008, 02:47:27
'Secret deal with local militia kept British Forces out of battle for Basra'

Iraqi and US military officials have claimed the British Army refused to participate in a Basra offensive to restore law and order because it was hamstrung by a secret deal with local militia members.

 http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/onthefrontline/2501918/Secret-deal-with-local-militia-kept-British-Forces-out-of-battle-for-Basra.html

By Damien McElroy, Foreign Affairs Correspondent
Last Updated: 6:16AM BST 05 Aug 2008

British commanders were accused of turning a blind eye to lawlessness in the city as they forged an IRA-style reconciliation pact with the Madhi army, which controlled swathes of Basra with gangster-like ruthlessness.

"Without the support of the Americans we would not have accomplished the mission because the British Forces had done nothing there," said Colonel Imad of the 2nd Battalion, 1st Brigade, 1st Iraqi Army Division. "I do not trust the British Forces. They did not want to lose any soldiers for the mission." The Iraqi officer's views were backed up by a senior US advisor to the division, which participated in the March operation. "I was not happy," Lieutenant-Colonel Chuck Western. "Everybody just assumed that because this deal was cut nobody was going in. Cutting a deal with the bad guys is generally not a good idea."

Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: Blackadder1916 on August 08, 2008, 16:46:16
British establish new army division (http://www.upi.com/Emerging_Threats/2008/08/06/British_establish_new_army_division/UPI-69811218069153/)

YORK, England, Aug. 6 (UPI) -- The British Ministry of Defense announced the official establishment a new divisional headquarters for the British army.

A ceremony establishing the new Headquarters 6th United Kingdom Division was held Tuesday, officially creating a third deployable divisional headquarters for the British army, the British Ministry of Defense reported.

The 6th Division was created to support NATO operations in Afghanistan. Officials say the new division is expected to deploy to the volatile former Taliban-held territory in southern Afghanistan in 2009.

"This is a great moment for the division," British Maj. Gen. Jacko Page said in a statement.

"We are proud to be at the forefront of the nation's contribution to the campaign in Afghanistan. I have had the opportunity to get to know that country and its people. They have had much to endure in the past several decades and deserve a better future."

Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on August 12, 2008, 11:04:37
British establish new army division (http://www.upi.com/Emerging_Threats/2008/08/06/British_establish_new_army_division/UPI-69811218069153/)

YORK, England, Aug. 6 (UPI) -- The British Ministry of Defense announced the official establishment a new divisional headquarters for the British army.

"This is a great moment for the division," British Maj. Gen. Jacko Page said in a statement.

"We are proud to be at the forefront of the nation's contribution to the campaign in Afghanistan. I have had the opportunity to get to know that country and its people. They have had much to endure in the past several decades and deserve a better future."

I would say that this is a great moment for his career too!
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on August 12, 2008, 11:05:26
Just in case you thought that 'The Troubles' were completely over...

Northern Ireland Devices made safe by Army experts

 
Devices made safe by Army experts

Three firebombs found during a security alert in north Belfast have been made safe by Army bomb experts.
Police said the incendiary devices were viable and had been left at addresses in Halliday's Road, New Lodge Road and North Queen Street.
The devices have since been removed and taken away for further examination.    

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/northern_ireland/7555645.stm
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on August 12, 2008, 19:37:18
Sun man joins Paras' mission

 "I left after a week. The Paras do it for six months and they can't wait for their next mission."

http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/campaigns/our_boys/article1548404.ece
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on August 16, 2008, 02:14:18
It looks like RAF helicopters continue to be the greatest enemy of the SAS… unfortunately


Three dead SAS soldiers are named
 
Three SAS soldiers killed in Iraq have been named for the first time after a coroner overturned anonymity rulings.
Sgt John Battersby, 31, of Lancashire, and Trooper Lee Fitzsimmons, 26, from Peterborough, died when their Puma helicopter crashed in Baghdad in 2007.
In a separate incident, SAS soldier Nicholas Brown, 34, died in a fire fight in Iraq on 26 March this year.
Hereford Coroner David Halpern lifted a court order that had prevented Mr Fitzsimmons being named.
His mother Jacqui Auty spoke of her "aching loss" and said the last few months had been "absolute hell".
Mr Halpern had imposed reporting restrictions in December following requests from the Ministry of Defence and the soldiers' families but they were revoked following applications from the media.
However, lawyers for media groups contested the orders and the MoD said it did not need to have them continued.
"I felt I couldn't sustain them just for the privacy of the families, much as I would wish to see their privacy respected as much as possible," he said.
Policy change?
The coroner said he interpreted the MoD's new stance on allowing the SAS soldiers to be named as a change of policy - although it has not been described as such.
"I think it is a change of policy, but it was put to me on the basis that they will consider each incident on its merits and particular circumstances," he said.
However, it is understood that the SAS did not want the men to be named. 

Friends and family paid tribute to Mr Fitzsimmons, who was killed when an RAF Puma came down near the town of Salman Pak, on the outskirts of the Iraqi capital.
In a statement, his mother said: "The last few months have been absolute hell.
"Inside, I still can't believe that it has happened and that I'll never see or hold Lee again.
"It is of some small comfort knowing that he loved his job, knew the risks, and wouldn't have had it any other way."
Mr Fitzsimmons, a keen runner, joined the Royal Marines in 1999 aged 17. He saw active service in both Iraq and Afghanistan, and leaves a younger sister and brother.
   
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/7530251.stm
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: Blackadder1916 on August 23, 2008, 16:59:25
Mech Infantry troops to go for war gaming with British Army  (http://www.business-standard.com/india/storypage.php?tp=on&autono=45181)

Press Trust Of India / New Delhi August 22, 2008, 18:46 IST

To further defence ties with the United Kingdom, India for the first time will send its Mechanised troops to the country to pitch their skills during land warfare exercises with their British counterparts beginning August 29.

"Mechanised infantry troops of the Indian Army will carry out joint training and exercises with UK Army from August 29 in that country," an Army spokesperson said here today.

Army chief General Deepak Kapoor, who will be in the UK during September on a scheduled visit, would be witnessing the Indian troops training and exercising with the British troops at the Land Warfare Centre in UK.

"These exercises and training programme was not part of our annual plan this year, but were scheduled following an invitation from the UK Army troops as a reciprocal gesture," an army official said.

The UK troops had earlier participated in joint training exercise with the Indian troops in India last year.

The Indian contingent of 126 men would be drawn from the 16 Mechanised Infantry Regiment and they would be at the Salibury Plains-based Land Warfare Centre till September 19.

During their stay, the Indian troops would train and exercise with the British Army troops of the 3rd Mercian Regiment, an amalgamation of old British Army units that have served in India in the mid-19th Century.

The training will be at the battalion-group level and will be followed by two joint operational manoeuvres, 'Exercise Lions Strike' and 'Exercise Wessex Warriors'.

Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: geo on August 24, 2008, 10:42:58
The British army and the Indian army have long had close ties.
Having fought alongside each other on pert much every continent, it was inevitable that their relationship would be renewed.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: Blackadder1916 on August 24, 2008, 13:46:51
Soldier is youngest to become Major (http://www.lep.co.uk/news/Soldier-is-youngest-to-become.4414062.jp)

Lancashire Evening Post 21 August 2008  By Sonja Astbury  Education Reporter

A Lancashire soldier has become the youngest ever to hold the rank of Major.

As a schoolboy growing up in Preston Sam McGrath wanted to be a spy, stuntman or car salesman.

Thanks to his careers teacher, who told him to forget the idea of becoming a salesman, the former Our Lady's High School pupil has just been appointed the youngest substantive (permanent) major in the British Army for 17 years.

At 29, Sam now holds a top job in the elite Parachute Regiment.

After doing A-levels at Preston College he went off to university in Leeds and then joined the army as an officer cadet at Sandhurst.

He has travelled the world and nine years on he now selects the next generation of Paras.

Sam, of Fulwood, said: "My teacher suggested if I wanted to be a spy or stuntman I join the Army and I have never looked back, it has been fantastic.

"I've done two tours of Iraq, two tours of Afghanistan, one in Northern Ireland and Macedonia.

"I'm also a jungle warfare and survival instructor, a demolitions officer and I've been on exercises in Kenya, Belize, Brunei, Jordan and most of the Baltic states."

Sam, who married former Our Lady's pupil Annie Merlot in January, is now studying part time for a masters' degree at Lancaster University.

Although he loves his job, he misses being on manoeuvres, so he has organised a massive fund raising endurance race which he is hoping his civilian pals from across the city will join to help boost funds for the Help for Heroes charity and a paras fund.

Sam said: "We've got 400 runners so far for the run at Catterick then there's a para challenge which anyone can take part in.

"For the first time since the Second World War the whole of the Parachute Regiment has been deployed on operations at the same time and my job meant I didn't go.

"I felt a bit left out so needed to do something to contribute to what my friends and colleagues are doing."

The events take place on September 14 at Catterick Barracks in North Yorkshire and details are available on his website at www.paras10.com
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on August 24, 2008, 21:10:37
Soldier is youngest to become Major (http://www.lep.co.uk/news/Soldier-is-youngest-to-become.4414062.jp)

Lancashire Evening Post 21 August 2008  By Sonja Astbury  Education Reporter

A Lancashire soldier has become the youngest ever to hold the rank of Major.



Not to detract from his achievements, but he's in 10 PARA - the TA. The youngest I've seen a Regular Army PARA Major is 30 years old.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: cameron on August 25, 2008, 00:19:58
It's still quite an acheivement on his part.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on August 25, 2008, 03:11:11
God bless the liberal democracy...

300 IRA members to fight convictions and seek compensation· Move follows republican man's successful appeal

Up to 300 IRA members are to attempt to have their convictions overturned and sue the British government for compensation for wrongful imprisonment, the Guardian has learned.

Some former inmates of the Maze and other prisons during the Troubles have consulted lawyers and prisoners' groups on how to quash convictions, many of which they allege were secured through tampered evidence and confessions extracted under torture and duress.

The move follows the success of Danny Morrison, Sinn Féin's former publicity director, in overturning his 1991 conviction for the false imprisonment of IRA informer Sandy Lynch a year earlier.

The Criminal Cases Review Commission recommended that his case go back to the court of appeal, which this summer cleared him. Morrison, who coined the phrase "ballot box and Armalite strategy" in the 1980s, is in line for substantial compensation.

The Guardian has been told that at least 300 former prisoners, the overwhelming majority of them held on IRA wings of the H-blocks in the Maze, are planning to use Morrison's case as a precedent to have their own convictions overturned.

Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: geo on August 25, 2008, 14:57:58
... send em to Afghanistan for a month or two
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on August 25, 2008, 15:39:27
... send em to Afghanistan for a month or two

Good idea. Most would be familiar with IEDs. Maybe we could use them to sweep whole operational zones, after they get their pardons of course!

I suppose some of them will know about these latest devices:


Devices made safe by Army experts

Three firebombs found during a security alert in north Belfast have been made safe by Army bomb experts.
Police said the incendiary devices were viable and had been left at addresses in Halliday's Road, New Lodge Road and North Queen Street.
The devices have since been removed and taken away for further examination.    

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/northern_ireland/7555645.stm

Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: geo on August 25, 2008, 16:29:53
Remember the joke about "polish" mine detectors.....

New model..."mick" mine detectors
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: ivan the tolerable on August 25, 2008, 16:33:47
Being of Irish ancestry myself, I say "ouch" at that.   :crybaby:



















But, fair one anyway.   ;D
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: greentoblue on August 25, 2008, 23:39:20
Soldiers' lives are being put at risk by failings with the Army's £2.4 billion radio system, senior generals have been warned.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/onthefrontline/2608941/Broken-2.4bn-radio-put-troops-lives-in-danger.html

Quote: "An infantry commander in Helmand described the system, the second most expensive piece of equipment in British military history after the RAF's Eurofighter, as "astonishingly bad"."
---
It is no comfort to note that the Canadian military is not alone in mismanaging large projects.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: greentoblue on August 25, 2008, 23:47:45
Army equipment scandal: 'My son did not volunteer for this'
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/onthefrontline/2608942/Army-equipment-scandal-My-son-did-not-volunteer-for-this.html

The mother of a soldier killed in Iraq is suing the the Government for negligence and a breach of her son's human rights.  Her son was riding in a land rover in Basra when he was killed.  Quote: "The Army had a choice of two vehicles, a Snatch Land Rover or a heavily-armoured Warrior, but the Warrior couldn't be used because the Army didn't want to antagonise the locals. It is because of that decision that my son died.  My son volunteered to serve his country but he didn't volunteer to serve in an Army which would send him to war with inadequate equipment."
---

Remember when the Brits criticized the Americans for their "heavy" force protection posture?  (For that matter so do we.)  Its reactions like this at home from a casualty adverse public that we have to keep in mind.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on August 26, 2008, 01:22:00
Soldiers' lives are being put at risk by failings with the Army's £2.4 billion radio system, senior generals have been warned.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/onthefrontline/2608941/Broken-2.4bn-radio-put-troops-lives-in-danger.html

Quote: "An infantry commander in Helmand described the system, the second most expensive piece of equipment in British military history after the RAF's Eurofighter, as "astonishingly bad"."


Clansman was awful, at best (except for the 320 - HF set). Bowman must be a real horror show. Glad I missed it!
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on August 27, 2008, 20:49:44
MOD SETS OUT CROSS-GOVERNMENT STRATEGY TO IMPROVE SUPPORT FOR THE ARMED FORCES

http://www.veterans-uk.info/general_interest/crossgovstrat.htm

The Ministry of Defence has today published the Service Personnel Command Paper which outlines a package of measures to improve the lives of our Service Personnel, their families and our veterans.

This paper - “The Nation’s Commitment: Cross-Government Support to our Armed Forces, their Families and Veterans” - is the first time that such a cross-Government strategy has been issued and it sets the standard for the level and scope of support our Service personnel can expect.

Key changes include:
• The Ministry of Defence doubling Armed Forces Compensation Scheme payments for the most serious injuries from £285,000 to £570,000. All injured personnel will receive an increase of between 10 and 100%;
• The Department of Health improving access to NHS dentists for Service families;
• The Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills offering free A-Level equivalent or first Degree-level education for Service leavers with six years service;
• The Department for Transport offering free bus travel for seriously injured Service Personnel and veterans;
• The Department for Communities and Local Government helping Service leavers get on the property ladder by extending their Key Worker status for 12 months after leaving the Armed Forces; and
• The Department for Children, Schools and Families making it easier for Service families with frequent and short notice postings to get their children into local schools.
Secretary of State for Defence, Des Browne, said:
“ Our Armed Forces are truly inspiring – every day they risk their lives to keep us safe – and it is a fundamental duty of government to support them and their families. I think this Command Paper presents a package of measures that will make a real difference to the everyday lives of our forces and their families. It will improve their access to public services and for the most seriously injured it will ensure a significant increase in the amount of compensation that they get paid. I think it offers significant progress and we now have to make sure we deliver that change.

Chief of the Defence Staff, Sir Jock Stirrup, said:
“ Our Servicemen and women achieve great things on a daily basis in testing conditions all over the world. They, and their families, also face unique demands that make their achievements all the more remarkable. As a nation, we have a duty to make sure that our Armed Forces are treated fairly whether they are home or abroad, and that is why this Service Personnel Command Paper is so important. My fellow Chiefs and I welcome this paper. It will ensure our Armed Forces and their dependants are not disadvantaged by their Service life, and in some cases enjoy special treatment befitting of their daily sacrifice on behalf of us all.”

The Service Personnel Command Paper was commissioned by the Prime Minister in November 2007. Since then Armed Forces Minster Bob Ainsworth has led a team of tri-Service personnel and MoD civil servants to produce the new strategy and the measures. The Service Personnel Command Paper team consulted widely with current and former Service personnel, their families, Service charities, Service Families Federations; and worked with colleagues across Whitehall and in the Devolved Administrations.

Notes to Editors
1. For more information contact Paul Leat in the MoD Press Office on 020 7218 7931.
2. The Service Personnel Command Paper is published on the MoD website at www.mod.uk
3. Key measures in the Service Personnel Command Paper include:
MoD

• Improved payments under the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme
The upfront lump sum payment for injury under the AFCS will be doubled for the most serious injuries. All recipients, according to severity of injury, will have an uplift of between 10 and 100% in their upfront lump sum payments. MOD also intends to confer additional benefits to extend this effect to those who have already made claims under the Scheme. The Guaranteed Income Payment (GIP) will continue to apply in addition to the upfront lump sum compensation payment. The GIP will continue to provide the most seriously injured with a monthly, tax-free income once they leave the Service. For example, a 25-year-old seriously injured soldier may receive a £570,000 lump sum payment plus a GIP of £19,000 per year tax free for life. If he lives to average life expectancy, this is a further million pounds, tax free, on top of the lump sum payment. These changes will be implemented following a short consultation period.

Department for Health (DH)

• Improved access to NHS dentists for Service families
Service mobility and the frequent need to find an NHS dentist in the new location can make access to dentistry difficult for Service families. DH and other health departments will trial various new ways such as making use of facilities on military bases, or provide mobile services in those areas, or make use of spare capacity elsewhere. Trials will begin by December 2008 and complete by December 2009.
DH and other health departments will work with the NHS to ensure that health areas with large Service personnel populations plan with the military communities in their areas to ensure Service families get the dental care they need.
• NHS Waiting List – Retention of Place.
Service mobility can cause repeated loss of place on NHS waiting lists. DH and other health departments will ensure that when patients move across the UK, previous waiting time will be taken into account with the expectation, all things being equal, that treatment will be within national waiting time standards.

The Department for Innovation, University and Skills (DIUS)

• Free education and training for Service leavers
Those joining the Armed Forces often commit to this career path before they can take advantage of opportunities in further or higher education. All Service leavers with over 6 years’ service will have the opportunity to achieve their first Level 3 qualification (A-level or equivalent) free from tuition fees. Alternatively, for those who want to progress to higher levels, we will fund all tuition fees for a first foundation or full degree. This means that a sailor, soldier or airman can join the Armed Forces from school, secure in the knowledge that six or more years’ service will be rewarded with the opportunity of a college or university education without tuition fees. Scottish Ministers and the Welsh Assembly Government have agreed to put in place similar measures.

The Department for Transport (DfT)

• Concessionary Bus Travel.
The statutory bus concession in England will be extended by 1 April 2011 to include seriously injured Service personnel and veterans under the age of 60.
• Automatic entitlement for Blue Badges to severely injured veterans
The Blue Badge Scheme provides a range of parking concessions across the UK for people with severe mobility problems. We will now introduce a scheme so that severely disabled veterans in England will receive automatic entitlement to a Blue Badge without further assessment. Scottish Ministers will also implement this change. The Welsh Assembly Government is consulting on plans for a Reform Strategy for the Blue Badge Scheme in Wales, with this proposal considered as part of the review.

The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG)

• Extending Key Worker Status for Service leavers
Servicemen and women in England have Key Worker Status but many do not have the opportunity to purchase a home. DCLG is extending Key Worker Status to enable Service leavers to access Key Worker Living 12 months after discharge.
• High priority for injured troops in applying for adapted social housing
Seriously injured Service personnel can face delays in obtaining suitable adapted social housing where they are not given sufficient priority.
DCLG will give seriously injured personnel in England and Wales high priority for social housing. Statutory guidance will be issued to reinforce this message. Scottish Ministers will remind landlords of the existing high priority that seriously injured personnel in Scotland receive for adapted social housing.
• Housing to prevent homelessness
To help prevent homelessness, DCLG will contribute £400,000 to provide new supported housing for Service leavers in England to enable them to make a successful transition to civilian life. We will work with the Housing Corporation to deliver this initiative which will also be supported by MOD gifting land.

Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF)

• School Place Allocation
Access to schools is more difficult for Service children due to the frequency and short notice postings of their parents. DCSF is seeking Service families’ views on improving admissions, and the Schools Adjudicator is reviewing admissions for 2009 in order to identify any disadvantage for Service families so that it can be removed.
• Priority access and increased provision of State Boarding Schools
Boarding school education can reduce the impact of Service mobility on children’s education. DCSF will prioritise Service children’s access, second only to children in care, for state boarding school places. DCSF will also increase the number of places at state boarding schools by well over 100 over the next 3 years.
Additionally, through the academies programme, 3 new state boarding schools are planned.

Quotes from other Government Departments on the Service Personnel Command Paper
Department Children, Schools and Families

Jim Knight, Schools Minister, said:

“ Our aspiration is for this to be the best country in the world to grow up in. This applies to all children from every imaginable background. The armed services in this country are the best in world and they deserve the best for their families. I want to ensure that no child is disadvantaged because of postings or arriving at a school mid-term.
“ There are 210,000 children in this country who may move or have their education disrupted by one or more of their parents being posted. We need to keep this disruption to a minimum and ensure they receive everything they would have had they stayed put. We ask so much of our armed services and it’s only right that we give a fair service back. I am very pleased to be able to make the Department for Children, Schools and Families’ contribution to this wide ranging Service Personnel Command Paper.”

Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills

Bill Rammell, Minister of State for Lifelong Learning, Further and Higher Education, said:
“ Our soldiers, sailors and air staff face unique demands with courage and professionalism – they deserve our full respect and gratitude.
“ As part of the Government’s commitment to enhance the support given to our armed forces, my department will pay the tuition fees of those personnel leaving the forces who want to improve their education and skills.
“ Equipping ex-servicemen and women with the skills required by today’s employers is one of the best ways of ensuring their successful reintegration into civilian life following years of dedicated service to our country.”

Department of Health
Ben Bradshaw, Health Minister, said:
“ Our service men and women do an outstanding job and we all owe them a debt of gratitude and a duty of care.
“ That is why the Department of Health is working closely with Armed Forces personnel on a raft of measures that ensure service personnel and their families have the best possible care.”

Department for Transport

Rosie Winterton, Transport Minister, said:
" Ensuring injured Service personnel and Veterans receive a free England-wide bus pass and have an automatic entitlement to Blue Badges are key ways in which we can recognise the valuable contributions they make.
" It will help injured Service personnel and Veterans to access key services and keep in contact with friends and family - giving the freedom to live a more independent life. It is only right that we do everything we can to help personnel injured whilst serving their country and I am pleased to work with the Ministry of Defence to bring these important changes into effect."

Department for Communities and Local Government

Caroline Flint, Housing Minister, said:
" Our service men and women make huge sacrifices to serve and protect our country and it is important that we recognise the unique and considerable demands they face, particularly in relation to housing.
" We are committed to supporting our service people, both during and after they’ve left the military. These new measures will ensure that current and ex-service personnel have access to the accommodation that they and their families need and can have successful and rewarding civilian lives after they’ve left the Services."

Quotes from the Chiefs on the Service Personnel Command Paper

Admiral Sir Jonathon Band, First Sea Lord and Chief of the Naval Staff:
“ I welcome today’s announcement and the Government’s Service Personnel Command Paper. I see this as a hugely significant opportunity to deliver improved cross Government support to our people across the very wide Personnel area: from health care to housing; from education to concessionary travel. I am very encouraged by the potential opportunities this affords to advance the way in which our people are supported by the Nation they in turn support so very well. Royal Navy and Royal Marines personnel staff, together with families and veterans groups, across the Naval Service have been deeply involved in providing advice to this paper and I look forward to seeing the proposals take effect – our people deserve nothing but the best.”

General Sir Richard Dannatt, Chief of the General Staff:
“ Support to current operations is our top priority but, to sustain this effort, my principal concern as the Chief of the General Staff is for our soldiers who we must always put first, along with their families who do so much to support them and our veterans who we must never forget. I am encouraged by the welcome news on compensation for our injured soldiers and that, where appropriate, the uniqueness of life in the Armed Forces should be properly recognised. I therefore welcome this Command Paper as an important step in the right direction for cross-Government support for what we in the Army call the ‘Military Covenant’. However, I am mindful that for any organisation, 20% is about getting the strategy right but 80% is about delivery and so I am pleased that an independently minded External Reference Group will assure the progress of the Command Paper’s recommendations.”

Air Chief Marshal Sir Glenn Torpy, Chief of the Air Staff:
“ The commitments we have secured from across Government are not ‘special’ treatment simply because we are in the military, but are a fair return for the sacrifices that our people willingly make and the risks they take on behalf of the nation. I am delighted that other Government departments have recognised the specific needs of the Service community; their commitments go a long way to address existing inequalities. Equally importantly, the Paper also puts into place the mechanisms to ensure that any developing areas of disadvantage are tackled quickly and effectively.”
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on August 28, 2008, 17:41:45
These are the guys (and gals) who really 'won the war' against the IRA - while we were getting shot and blown up.

Controversial IRA film will continue with TIFF premiere
Fifty Dead Men Walking's makers defend movie

Mark Medley, National Post  Published: Thursday, August 28, 2008

The behind-the-scenes drama surrounding the film Fifty Dead Men Walking, which is scheduled to have its world premiere at next month's Toronto International Film Festival, is quickly becoming as gripping as the memoir it's based on.

On Tuesday, the film's producers released a joint statement confirming the film would still be screening next month at TIFF. It stated that "although inspired by the contents" of Martin McGartland's 1997 memoir of the same name, the film adaptation "is not a representation of Mr. Mc-Gartland's life."

Furthermore, the statement claimed McGartland -- a onetime infiltrator of the Irish Republican Army whose book chronicles his experiences as a British agent, and who threatened legal action against the film's producers this week -- read the script, was given an advance screening and also turned down the chance to have the name of the main character changed.

http://www.nationalpost.com/arts/story.html?id=751911
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: noneck on August 29, 2008, 21:24:07
Is this movie about the agent called "Steaknife" ? This makes two movies from the TIFF that I want to watch. The other is "The Stone of Destiny".
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on August 30, 2008, 00:14:39
Is this movie about the agent called "Steaknife" ? This makes two movies from the TIFF that I want to watch. The other is "The Stone of Destiny".

No, that was another maniac. We'll never know what really went on with these types of agents - I hope. And I'm sure that the war continues on this level...

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/3018537.stm


Stakeknife: Uncovering the hidden war
 
By Dominic Casciani
BBC News Online 


Francisco Notarantonio: Allegedly set-up by rogue agents

The unmasking of a top-level mole in the IRA - named as Freddie Scappaticci - has peeled back another layer of Northern Ireland's secret war. But will we ever know the full extent of what took place in the shadows?

On 9 October 1987, pensioner Francisco Notarantonio was asleep at his home in west Belfast.

As he lay in bed, loyalist gunmen burst into the home and shot him dead in front of his family.

They appeared to be acting in the belief that Mr Notarantonio, a republican sympathiser and old friend of Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adam's father, was a top IRA figure.

He had indeed been in the IRA - the completely different one of the 1940s. For decades, Mr Notarantonio had been nothing more than a taxi driver and grandfather.

Like the later killing of Belfast solicitor Pat Finucane, it became almost an article of faith for many in nationalist areas of Belfast that the secret hand of military intelligence directed the killing for its own ends.

The Notarantonio murder was more than just a tragedy for his family.

However, what made the Notarantonio case unique was the suggestion that he was killed to protect a top-level IRA mole codenamed "Stakeknife".

Today, we know that Stakeknife did indeed operate within the higher echelons of the IRA - a revelation that completely changes our understanding of the secret intelligence war.

 




Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on August 30, 2008, 15:24:35
Sex-swap Para hero wig attack

I used to have mess kit like that. Should my wife be worried?

http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/article1627897.ece
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: Target Up on August 30, 2008, 15:29:14
That yobs lucky he didn't get shyte kicked out of him in the bargain.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on August 31, 2008, 16:06:13

SAS kills hundreds of terrorists in 'secret war' against al-Qaeda in Iraq

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/onthefrontline/2652496/SAS-kill-hundreds-of-terrorists-in-secret-war-against-al-Qaeda-in-Iraq.html

Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: Blackadder1916 on August 31, 2008, 16:59:17
Changing of the guard: Talks over bearskin hats  (http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20080831/wl_uk_afp/britainmilitaryanimalsroyalscanadaoffbeat)
Sun Aug 31, 10:51 AM ET

LONDON (AFP) - Military chiefs are to meet with an animal rights group on Tuesday to discuss alternatives to the traditional bearskin hats famously worn by the guards at Buckingham Palace.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta) are to hald talks with Ministry of Defence (MoD) officials to put forward what they say are ethical alternatives to the 18-inch (46-centimetre) tall fur hats worn by army guards.

Peta has previously discussed fake fur alternatives with the MoD but military bosses were unimpressed by the prototypes.

Now Peta has come up with an alternative shape, but insists its design could be as famous as the traditional hats.

"We can still have very regal-looking guards who look fantastic," said Peta's Europe director Robbie LeBlanc.

"We felt doing this kind of thing was a way of keeping with the times and keeping that iconic status."

He said activists had talked to tourists outside Buckingham Palace, Queen Elizabeth II's official residence in London, and most did not know the hats were made using fur from Canadian black bears.

"Most people think it's fake fur and when they find out it's real and it takes one bear to make a hat, they are appalled," he said.

"Fur farming has been outlawed in Britain but we are paying other people with taxpayers' money.

"We think we are a modern nation but the queen's guards are walking round with an entire dead bear on their heads."

The hats were first worn by British soldiers following the defeat of the French Imperial Guards in the 1815 Battle of Waterloo.

The French grenadiers wore them to appear taller and more intimidating and British guards adopted the hats for ceremonial duties as a mark of their victory.

Between 50 and 100 new hats are needed each year. The MoD has spent more than 321,000 pounds on bearskins in the past five years.

LeBlanc and other Peta representatives are to meet Baroness Ann Taylor, the minister for defence procurement.

"The MoD is not opposed to the use of synthetic materials as an alternative to bearskins, provided such materials meet the requirement for a high quality product that performs adequately in all weather conditions," a ministry spokeswoman said.

"Regrettably, a suitable alternative continues to prove elusive.

"Baroness Taylor will be meeting representatives from Peta this week.

"This is a private meeting and it would be inappropriate to speculate on what will be discussed," she added.

Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on August 31, 2008, 17:39:54
Guys in the Guards regiments were always pretty keen on letting me know that they got their hats from Canadian black bears. I, of course. thanked them for helping to make sure that my folks' garbage cans in North Van were safer...
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: milnews.ca on September 01, 2008, 09:30:08
A bit more on the bearskin hats from Associated Press here:
http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2008/09/01/europe/EU-Britain-Bearskin-Hats.php

as well as our last rousing exchange on this one here:
http://forums.army.ca/forums/index.php/topic,44129.0/all.html
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on September 01, 2008, 21:32:31
Fighting the Taliban: What it's really like

Last week, yet more members of Western forces were killed in Afghanistan. In a new book, Sunday Telegraph defence correspondent Sean Rayment, a former Army officer, describes the horrors of war faced by British soldiers.
 
Sean Rayment joins the Royal Anglians during an operation in the Upper Sangin Valley, Helmand province Photo: JUSTIN SUTCLIFFE
The whispered words "Moving in five minutes" ripple along the column of soldiers standing in the dust of the Helmand desert. Tense faces are illuminated beneath a moonlit sky. After hours of waiting, we are setting off to hunt down the Taliban in the Green Zone, a lush green strip that borders the Helmand river and the most dangerous part of Afghanistan.
The soldiers call it Bandit Country, and for good reason. This is where the Taliban hold sway.
It is one in the morning and, despite a cool breeze, I'm sweating beneath my helmet and body armour. There's a delay but we are not told why. The 120 soldiers who are about to march out on the operation check and re-check their weapons and equipment for a final time. Rifle, bayonet, ammunition, hand grenades, tourniquet, morphine, field dressing, water, rations, spare socks – almost everything the modern British soldier needs for fighting in Helmand. The other thing is luck.
Another message floats along the column of soldiers: "Prepare to move." I look down the line and see young faces illuminated by the glow of cigarettes being sucked for the final time. Others are hauling their impossibly heavy packs on to their backs. There is a flurry of activity and then, without ceremony, we move silently beyond the walls of Patrol Base Inkerman. After 20 minutes we stop in a small hamlet and a soldier crawls towards me and whispers: "If we get ambushed and you find yourself in the killing zone, stick with me." I ask him what he means by "the killing zone". "It's the area of ground in an ambush where you have the greatest chance of being killed. If you're in it, you're in the s**t." He then smiles and says: "And if I'm dead, you're probably f****d."

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/onthefrontline/2609487/Fighting-the-Taliban-What-its-really-like.html
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on September 01, 2008, 21:39:48
Thousands of war veterans locked in British prisons
One in 11 prisoners serving time in UK jails is a former member of the armed forces, a new report reveals.

 http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/onthefrontline/2651148/Thousands-of-war-veterans-locked-in-British-prisons.html

By Ben Leach
Last Updated: 1:14PM BST 31 Aug 2008
More than 8,000 veterans are currently behind bars, many of whom have served their country in Iraq or Afghanistan, researchers found.
A high proportion of the convicts interviewed in the study had suffered some form of post-traumatic stress disorder after leaving the forces. Often their convictions were for drug- or alcohol-related violence.
Ex-services charities said the findings highlighted the difficulty which many former soldiers face in making the transition to civilian life.
The National Association of Probation Officers (NAPO), which carried out the research, called on the Government to do more to tackle mental health problems suffered by people who have fought in war zones.
It said that around 24,000 veterans are either in jail, on parole or serving community punishment orders after having been convicted of crimes. They make up around nine per cent of the prison population.
Opposition MPs and charities called the findings another example of ministers breaking the 'military covenant' – the guarantee that soldiers receive fair treatment in return for putting their lives on the line.
They claimed that if the Ministry of Defence properly screened those discharged from the military for mental illnesses, problems could be identified earlier.
NAPO's conclusions are based on the findings of three separate studies: MoD research at HMP Dartmoor, a survey at eight jails by the Veterans in Prison support groups last year, and a series of Home Office research projects between 2001 and 2004.
In addition, probation officers provided case histories of 74 individuals so that researchers could assess the factors that drove ex-services personnel to commit crimes.
The report concludes: "Most of the soldiers who had served in either the Gulf or Afghanistan were suffering from post traumatic stress. Little support or counselling was available on discharge from the forces.
"Virtually all became involved in heavy drinking or drug taking and in consequence involvement in violence offences, sometimes domestically related, happened routinely."
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: Blackadder1916 on September 02, 2008, 00:43:39
Holdfast secures £3bn MoD deal
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/money/main.jhtml?view=DETAILS&grid=&xml=/money/2008/09/02/cnrsme102.xml
By Rupert Neate The Telegraph Last Updated: 12:05am BST 02/09/2008

A £3bn Public Private Partnership is set to transform accommodation and training at the Ministry of Defence's Royal School of Military Engineering (RSME).

The 30-year deal awarded to Holdfast Training Services, a Babcock and Carillion joint venture, will provide soldiers with 1,700 new beds and training in essential skills.

Babcock, the military training company, will teach Royal Engineers bricklaying, construction and plumbing, and allow about 300 existing military trainers to move to positions in the field.

Carillion, a leading public-sector construction firm, will build new facilities at the RSME's bases in Medway, Minley and Bicester.

The consortium will also manage catering, shops, transport and leisure facilities across the RSME's sites in Hampshire and Kent.

The move comes as the Defence Explosive Ordnance Disposal School and the National Search Centre are relocated from Medway to the RSME's Bicester base in Oxfordshire.

The unit's former Lodge Hill base will be developed into sustainable communities as part of the Thames Gateway regeneration project.

Defence Minister Bob Ainsworth said: "This is a landmark deal for the RSME, which secures the future delivery of world-class training for the Army's engineers. It also provides significant investment in soldiers' accommodation, which will supplement the spending on accommodation already being made across the defence estate."

Babcock chief executive Peter Rogers said: "This contract significantly strengthens our order book, which now stands at over £5bn, and underpins the long-term performance of our business."

Carillion chief executive John McDonough said: "We look forward to delivering improved facilities to meet the existing and future training requirements of the RSME.

"This builds on the excellent relationship we have developed with the MoD across a range of contracts, the largest of which is the £12bn Allenby Connaught Public Private Partnership project."

Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on September 02, 2008, 13:51:36
Brilliant idea - raise $ for charity, get good PR for the army, and write off the BFT for the next 7 years at the same time....

SEVEN soldiers yesterday began the first of seven marathon-length marches in seven days for charity.

The squaddies, from 29 Regiment Royal Logistics Corps based in South Cerney, Gloucs, will hike seven hours a day in full combat kit with a 30lb backpack.
The team – who have all served in Iraq or Afghanistan – aim to raise £50,000 for the Army Benevolent Fund. Captain Alan Tindale said: “It’s payback from us. The care and after-care of soldiers is paramount.”

http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/campaigns/our_boys/article1570611.ece
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on September 03, 2008, 01:39:44
British soldier shot dead sleeping colleague in Saddam Hussein's palace

A British soldier shot dead a sleeping colleague by mistake in Iraq as he "messed about" with a sniper rifle at their barracks in Saddam Hussein's former palace, a court martial heard.
 
By Caroline Gammell
Last Updated: 4:08PM BST 02 Sep 2008

Rifleman Aarron Kendrick, 20, pointed the weapon at Rifleman Edward Vakabua "in jest" and fired - unaware that the gun was loaded.
The court heard how Rifleman Vakabua, from Suava in Fiji, had been hailed a hero only days before his death after he volunteered to drive an injured colleague through intense mortar fire in Basra to safety.
Prosecutor Colonel Nigel Jones told the court at Bulford in Wiltshire that Kendrick, of 4th Battalion, The Rifles, found the L96 weapon under a colleague's bed at Basra Palace on June 6 last year.
"It was not his rifle, he was not authorised to use it and he was not qualified to use it," said Col Jones.
"He picked up the rifle because he was curious, because he was interested in going on a course and qualifying as a sniper.
"His father was also qualified on this rifle and he wanted to follow in his father's footsteps. He was in his own words 'messing about' to see how quickly he could load the rifle.
"He committed the cardinal sin of weapon handling - he pointed it in jest at another soldier."
Col Jones said Kendrick had showed "wanton disregard for normal safety precautions" and "gross negligence" which had led to 23-year-old Rifleman Vakabua's death.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/onthefrontline/2668845/British-soldier-shot-dead-sleeping-colleague-in-Saddam-Husseins-palace.html
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on September 03, 2008, 02:01:14
That's my idea of fun... driving through 50 miles of bandit country at 3km/hr ...

British soldiers kill 200 Taliban in Afghan dam operation
A major secret British operation to boost the economy in Afghanistan's Helmand province has been completed after a force of 5,000 troops fought for a week to drive a huge dam turbine through Taliban lines.
 
By Thomas Harding, Defence Correspondent
Last Updated: 10:08PM BST 02 Sep 2008

British commanders estimate that more than 200 Taliban were killed as they tried to prevent the convoy of 100 vehicles from getting the machinery to Kajaki hydroelectric dam where it will provide a significant increase in energy for up to two million Afghans.

The operation has been described as the biggest of its kind since the Second World War.

For the last five days the force has fought through the heart of Taliban territory to push through the 220 tonne turbine and other equipment that included a 90 tonne crane to lift it into place.

With a third turbine fixed at Kajaki it will mean that the extra electricity could double the irrigation output allowing farmers to plant two crops of wheat a year. With a dramatic rise in world wheat prices this could crucially mean that it becomes more profitable than producing opium which would deprive the Taliban of a major source of revenue.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/onthefrontline/2668595/British-soldiers-kill-200-Taliban-in-Afghan-dam-operation.html

Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on September 04, 2008, 12:36:18
Wounded British soldier forced to sleep in his car after being refused hotel room 'because he was in the Army'
By Liz Hull


A paratrooper who was flown home after he was injured fighting the Afghanistan was forced to sleep in his car overnight when a hotel refused him a room because he was a serving soldier.
Corporal Tomos Stringer, 23, had booked to stay at the Metro Hotel, in Woking, Surrey, while helping organise the funeral of a friend who had been killed in action.
On arrival, staff at the reception desk asked him for some form of identity and the soldier handed them his military pass.
Treated like 'scum': Tomos Stringer needed a hotel room for the night because he was helping with preparations for a friend's funeral killed in the line of duty
But Cpl Stringer, who was not dressed in uniform at the time, was astonished when they turned him away, claiming it was not company policy to allow Armed Forces personnel to stay at the hotel.
Last night Cpl Stringer's mother, Gaynor, 60, criticised the hotel for their 'disgraceful and outrageous' treatment of her son.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1052372/Wounded-British-soldier-forced-sleep-car-refused-hotel-room-Army.html
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: Blackadder1916 on September 06, 2008, 02:30:18
Government bans army pipers from Russian tattoo  (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/onthefrontline/2687233/Government-bans-army-pipers-from-Russian-tattoo.html)
Army pipers have been forbidden from performing in Russia as the Government signals its displeasure over the invasion of Georgia.
 
By Tom Peterkin Telegraph.co.uk Last Updated: 10:56AM BST 05 Sep 2008

The Foreign Office has cancelled a trip planned by 40 musicians to take part in a four day Moscow military tattoo known as the Kremlin Zoria.

The bands from the Royal Gurkha Rifles and the Irish Guards were due to travel to Russia on Monday until the Government stepped in.

Another 20 pipers from Canada have also withdrawn from the event, which was founded last year with the help of the organisers of the world famous Edinburgh Military Tattoo. The Zoria, an independent charity, has no links to the Kremlin or the Russian armed forces.

In a sign of the worsening diplomatic relations between Britain and Russia, a Foreign Office spokesman said: "In the light of Russia's military actions in Georgia, we no longer feel it appropriate for a British Army military band to attend the Kremlin Zoria. As the Foreign Secretary has made clear, it is not "business as usual" with Russia."

The decision was condemned by Scottish and Russian organisers of the event. Brigadier Mel Jameson, the former head of the Edinburgh Tattoo who advises those running the Zoria event, said: "These kinds of links are so very important at times of international tension. Over the years we have established links of great friendship with the Russian organisers and we have benefited from their support and expertise in Edinburgh. This just shows that music apparently does not cross all boundaries."

Vitaly Mironov, the director of the Kremlin Zoria Foundation, said: "We have worked so hard. This is not a good decision, it is a political decision. Ordinary Russians, people who respect Britain, were looking forward to this. Our festival is not a political festival - it has nothing to do with this bloody war."
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: geo on September 06, 2008, 12:54:17
Well... it mighta been an idea of keeping a couple of backdoors open.

Instead, I guess the pot gets to simmer a bit longer.

Who'se the cook in the kitchen I wonder ???
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on September 08, 2008, 00:58:38
Government bans army pipers from Russian tattoo  (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/onthefrontline/2687233/Government-bans-army-pipers-from-Russian-tattoo.html)
Army pipers have been forbidden from performing in Russia as the Government signals its displeasure over the invasion of Georgia.

They must be real gentlemen: Definition of a gentleman? A man who can play the bagpipes, but doesn't  ;)
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: Chris Pook on September 08, 2008, 02:13:00
They must be real gentlemen: Definition of a gentleman? A man who can play the bagpipes, but doesn't  ;)

Dam fine ah kent you wur a sassenach Wull.  Ye huv nae soul.   ;D
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on September 08, 2008, 02:18:32
Bravery? Well, maybe not, but good on him anyways. I'd still like to see the son or daughter of a leading Canadian political figure (Prime Minister?) at 'the front' these days. Two hopes: 1) Bob Hope 2) Envel'ope

Prince Harry in Afghanistan bravery saluted

Everybody who joins a military combat arm - such as the Household Cavalry Regiment - does so in order to fight. Prince Harry is no exception and he was bitterly disappointed when he was not allowed to go to Iraq with his regiment last May.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1580273/Prince-Harry-in-Afghanistan-bravery-saluted.html
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: tango22a on September 08, 2008, 07:21:15
Daft & Barmy:

You are wrong: A Gentleman is a man who gets out of his tub to have a pee!

Cheers,

tango22a
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: geo on September 08, 2008, 08:49:38
:rofl:  Giggle!
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: Blackadder1916 on September 08, 2008, 19:10:36
Territorial Army loses radios to frontline troops (http://www.theherald.co.uk/news/other/display.var.2443259.0.Territorial_Army_loses_radios_to_frontline_troops.php)

IAN BRUCE, The Herald, Defence Correspondent, September 09 2008

THE Territorial Army is being stripped of communications equipment, issued less than a year ago, to replace breakages and shortages on the front line in Afghanistan.

The Herald can reveal that backpack infantry sets for the £2.4bn Bowman tactical radio system and even vehicle-mounted versions have been commandeered from the part-timers to replace damaged kit for the regulars fighting the Taliban.

TA veterans fear wholesale looting of the new digital system will drive many citizen soldiers eager to learn military IT skills out of uniform.

The TA's signallers are to be re-issued with the Cold War-era Clansman radios, dating back to 1982, to allow them to communicate on exercises without resorting to insecure mobile phones.

Some disillusioned TA soldiers who contacted The Herald say that they were due to attend "Bowman camps" next month to undergo intensive instruction on the secure communications network but will now have no equipment on which to train.

One signals officer said: "So much for the One Army' concept being touted by MoD about part-timers and regulars. No one has a problem with the kit ending up where it's needed most but this is a major blow to training plans and to long-term TA capability and credibility.

"We've been told that any TA signaller called up for either Afghanistan or Iraq will be given pre-deployment Bowman training in the main depot at Chilwell near Nottingham to enable him to fulfil his role on operations. No-one believes that. It's a complex system and there's simply not enough time to teach people how to use it properly in a brief few weeks.

"The basic issues here are that not enough radios and other equipment were ordered in the first place and much of what was delivered is too fragile for realistic battlefield use. It's simply not squaddie-proof', with wires that break easily and special batteries that are scarce and also defy recharging."

Bowman was supposed to revolutionise command and control in the Army. Its encryption software allowed commanders to talk securely for the first time without the need to encode messages.

But the radio's coverage sometimes does not extend from one side of a base to the other, while a shortage of batteries means soldiers are being ordered to turn off radios until they come under attack.

An Army source said: "Many TA units have also lost training access to machine-guns and grenade-launchers needed urgently by troops on operations. Realistically, there is only so much kit to go round. It has to be allocated where it is needed most."

Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: geo on September 08, 2008, 20:48:14
Cheez.... this sounds very familiar to anyone in the CF Primary reserves...

I just hope that the MoD (and the CF) generates purchase orders to replace the lost / damaged kit that is being stripped out of the TA / Reserve units for operational use....

Bowman... TCCS... same old same old IMHO
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on September 09, 2008, 00:05:30
Boo friggin' hoo.

In the 80s, the TA units got MILAN and Clansman years before some regular battalions (like mine) because they were tasked for a 'Central Front' role vs. 'Out of NATO Area Ops'. This was way more important than equipping the regiments that might have to go off and fight in the Falklands or something, apparently. Just before the Task Force sailed south in '82, they had to run around and strip the TA units of MILAN and Clansman, then train up 5 Bde and 3 Cdo Bde at light speed before they went into action.

Absurd? Yes.

Payback's a beyatch! ;D
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on September 09, 2008, 00:54:08
Well, if Andy McNab is angry...

SAS author Andy McNab warns of mental breakdown among troops

The SAS veteran Andy McNab has launched a scathing attack on the Government's treatment of British troops after a poll found that two thirds of the public thought their care was "disgraceful".

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/onthefrontline/2700037/SAS-author-Andy-McNab-warns-of-mental-breakdown-among-troops.html
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: Digger Hale on September 09, 2008, 09:26:40
Boo friggin' hoo.

In the 80s, the TA units got MILAN and Clansman years before some regular battalions (like mine) because they were tasked for a 'Central Front' role vs. 'Out of NATO Area Ops'. This was way more important than equipping the regiments that might have to go off and fight in the Falklands or something, apparently. Just before the Task Force sailed south in '82, they had to run around and strip the TA units of MILAN and Clansman, then train up 5 Bde and 3 Cdo Bde at light speed before they went into action.

Absurd? Yes.

Payback's a beyatch! ;D
Its a funny old world isnt it? Its every soldiers right to have a whinge about things, even when they know they're for the greater good. "I was going to get radio qual'd but now i cant cos the Reg's stole our brand spanking new radio's to use in Afghanistan where they'll save lives and help the boys out. How unfair is that!?!?!...Actually not very, they do need it more..."
Better look into building that bridge next weekend boys, it'll help you get over it.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: geo on September 09, 2008, 12:22:44
Hales.... nothing wrong with "borrowing" the kit you need "right this very minute" BUT, someone up the food chain has got to get his pencil working and place an order for replacement kit.... cause there isn't anything left in reserve
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: Blackadder1916 on September 09, 2008, 19:22:20
From Times Online September 8, 2008

Service appointments: Army (http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/court_and_social/article4704111.ece)

Brigadier T. R. Urch (Late RE) to be Commander 1 Mechanised Brigade, with effect from December 2008;
Brigadier R. F. P. Felton (Late AAC) to be Commander 4 Mechanised Brigade, with effect from April 2009;
Brigadier N. Welch, (Late RGBWLI) to be Commander 7 Armoured Brigade, with effect from March 2009;
Brigadier I. Hooper (Late R Signals), to be Commander 1 Signal Brigade, with effect from July 2008;
Brigadier N. Marshall Late RA, to be Commander Artillery HQ 3rd (United Kingdom) Division, with effect from April 2009;
Brigadier I. G. Harrison (Late RA) to be Chief Joint Fires and Influence Branch, Headquarters Allied Command Europe Rapid Reaction Corps, with effect from December 2008;
Brigadier R. M. B. Nitsch (Late REME) to be Commander 102 Logistic Brigade, with effect from December 2008;
Brigadier S. P. Hodder (Late RE) to be Commander 43 (Wessex) Brigade, with effect from January 2009;
Brigadier A. T. Davies (Late RLC) to be Commander 104 Logistic Support brigade, with effect from December 2008;
Brigadier J. I. S. Stevenson (Late RS) to be Commandant School of Infantry, with effect from December 2008;
Brigadier A. J. Deas (Late RLC) to be Commandant Defence College of Logistics and Personnel Administration, with effect from January 2009;
Brigadier M. J. Hallas (Late Int Corps) to be Director Intelligence Corps/Commandant Defence Intelligence and Security Centre, with effect from January 2009;
Brigadier M. A. P. Carleton-Smith (Late IG) to be Director Army Resources and Plans, with effect from January 2009;
Brigadier J. G. Lorimer (Late Para) to be Assistant Chief of Staff J3 Permanent Joint Headquarters, with effect from June 2009;
Brigadier A. P. Bristow (Late R Signals) to be Assistant Chief of Staff, Command and Battlespace Management, Headquarters Land Forces, with effect from July 2008;
Brigadier J. T. Jackson (Late RGJ), to be Commander Recruiting Group, Army Recruiting and Training Division, with effect from January 2009;
Brigadier S. L. Porter (Late R Anglian) to be Division Head (J5 Plans and Policy) Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe, with effect from January 2009;
Brigadier E. O. Forster-Knight (Late AGC(RMP)) to be Provost Marshal (Army), with effect from March 2009;
Brigadier T. P. Evans (Late LI), to be Chief Joint Force Operations, Permanent Joint Headquarters, with effect from December 2008;
Brigadier P. J. Fabricius (Late RAMC) to be Commandant and Defence Postgraduate Medical Dean, with effect from December 2008;
Brigadier W. N. Aldridge (Late RRF), to be Commander 42 (North West) Brigade, with effect from September 2008;
Brigadier A. T. Davis (Late RLC) to be Commander 104 Logistic Support Brigade, with effect from January 2009;
Brigadier M. T. Griffiths (Late KORBR) to be Director Personnel Services (Army), Headquarters Land Forces, with effect from September 2008;
Brigadier D. J. Clements (Late R Anglian), to be Director Army Personnel Strategy, Headquarters Land Forces, with effect from October 2008;
Brigadier R. E. Nugee (Late RA) to be Director Manning (Army), Headquarters Land Forces, with effect from December 2008;
Brigadier M. P. Maer (Late PWRR) to be Chief of Staff Field Army, Headquarters Land Forces, with effect from January 2009;
Brigadier J. D. Bevan (Late RLC) to be Deputy Chief of Staff Combat Service Support, Headquarters Allied Command Europe Rapid Reaction Corps, with effect from December 2008;
Brigadier N. P. Moffat (Late AGC(SPS)) to be Director Staff and Personnel Support (Army), with effect from April 2009;
Brigadier S. G. Vowles (Late AGC(ALS)) to be Brigadier Operational Law Branch, with effect from October 2008;
Brigadier P. D. McEvoy (Late AGC(ALS)) to be Brigadier Prosecutions. Headquarters Army Prosecution Authority, with effect from October 2008;
Brigadier J. M. R. Henderson (Late REME) to be Director Logistics, Headquarters Land Forces, with effect from December 2008;
Brigadier M. P. Dodson (Late HLDRS) to be Deputy Military Secretary, Army Personnel Centre, with effect from August 2008;
Brigadier C. L. Wilks (Late RE) to be Director Engineering Battlefield Infrastructure Group, Director General Land Equipment, Defence Equipment and Support, with effect from November 2008;
Brigadier P. J. Davies (Late R Signals) to be Defence Information Infrastructure Integrated Project Team Leader, Defence Equipment and Support, with effect from October 2008;
Brigadier J. F. Rowan (Late RAMC) to be Commander, Headquarters 2 Medical Brigade, with effect from August 2009;
Brigadier J. T. Graham (Late RAMC) to be Director Medical Plans, Headquarters Army Medical Directorate, with effect from August 2009.

Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on September 09, 2008, 19:42:04
Nice to see a couple of guys who were 'sprogs' under me now outranking me by a huge margin. Still, I've got the dirt!  ;D
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on September 10, 2008, 00:07:10
I will, with effort, restrain myself about making any remarks about the shocking behaviour of Engineers  :o

British soldiers filmed using illegal taser torture device

Two British soldiers, filmed apparently stunning each other with an illegal electric-shock torture device, are facing disciplinary action.
 
 http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/onthefrontline/2682702/British-soldiers-filmed-using-illegal-taser-torture-device.html
By Chris Irvine
Last Updated: 5:21PM BST 04 Sep 2008

The two men, claiming to be from the Royal Engineers, appeared to have filmed themselves with the electric-shock device while off-duty at a military base in Iraq.

The footage, posted on YouTube and entitled 'Taser fun!', involves the two young soldiers commenting on how much it hurts to be tasered.
"We're gonna taser each other," says one, before they move on to attack each other, shouting out in apparent pain. After being shocked with the device, one of the soldiers says: 'Don't get done with a taser - it f****** hurts.'

Human rights organisation Amnesty International confirmed the device was an electric-shock baton, and the organisation is now demanding to know how British troops gained access to them.

Amnesty International UK's Oliver Sprague said: "What Amnesty wants to know is why are British soldiers brandishing an electro-shock baton? These devices are illegal to own or sell in the UK because they are so widely used in torture all over the world.

"Electro-shock batons inflict severe pain at the touch of a button and leave no marks, earning them the title 'the torturer's tool of choice'.

"We're not saying that these soldiers have used this to inflict pain on anyone except each other. But it's seriously worrying if British soldiers are able to obtain these devices so easily and film themselves mucking about with torture equipment."

The pair, who have not yet been identified, are likely to be disciplined, according to military authorities.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: geo on September 10, 2008, 10:00:16
Ummm... Nah - couldnt be a couple of Sappers with too much "down" time on their hands...
Must be Al Quaida impostors trying to get us Sappers into hot water.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: cameron on September 10, 2008, 11:08:26
I'm trying to figure out why this is such a big frigging deal.  They weren't using them on anyone but themselves. ???
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: Target Up on September 10, 2008, 14:56:11
I'm trying to figure out why this is such a big frigging deal.  They weren't using them on anyone but themselves. ???

The problem, as AI sees it, is that these devices are in the hands of British soldiers at all.  I mean, heavy artillery, ATGMs, machine guns, rifles, and bayonets are one thing, but we're talking about ELECTRICITY ,here, man. 
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: geo on September 10, 2008, 15:00:54
Amnesty International UK's Oliver Sprague is just trying to front for the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to (military) Animals 
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on September 10, 2008, 15:36:18
The problem, as AI sees it, is that these devices are in the hands of British soldiers at all.  I mean, heavy artillery, ATGMs, machine guns, rifles, and bayonets are one thing, but we're talking about ELECTRICITY ,here, man. 

Don't underestimate these people.

I've seen British soldiers doing semi-scientific experiments on how many pints of (name the new beer that just came out) can be consumed before unconsciousness was reached, how long you can hold a lit cigarette to your forearm. There was also an MP who tried to replicate a trick he'd seen on TV involving a semi-auto pistol (if you press a loaded one really hard against your skull and pull the trigger the slide won't go fully forward and you'll be saved - wrong again) and shot himself in the head.

Wait until they issue those lasers we keep hearing about. I know for sure that someone will see if they can boil up a brew faster with it, or test it out on their mucker's bugger's grips. 8)
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on September 11, 2008, 02:43:54
Service for Troubles soldiers

Gordon Brown and Baroness Thatcher have attended a service in London to honour the thousands of soldiers who served in Northern Ireland during the Troubles.

More than 300,000 soldiers were involved in Operation Banner, the official title for military operations, between 1969 and 2007. In that time 763 military personnel died and more than 6,000 were injured.
The Prince of Wales and Conservative leader David Cameron also attended the service at St Paul's Cathedral. Hundreds of former soldiers and the widows and families of many of those who were killed also attended. After the service, about 700 veterans marched from the cathedral to Guildhall for a reception, hosted by the Prince of Wales.

Mary Moreland served in the Ulster Defence Regiment with her husband John, who was shot dead in 1988. She said the armed forces should be thanked for their role in Northern Ireland.
"There's a lot of people, a silent majority of people out there who really respect and really appreciate what the services did, and appreciate that they couldn't live the way they're living today if that sacrifice hadn't been made. "Every day is a remembrance for people that suffered, and I think what we have to do is not live in the past, but remember it. Don't let us rewrite history, let us remember it how it was, and let us move forward."

Steve Norman, who served on three tours of NI with the Royal Anglian Regiment, was shot and wounded in the Creggan estate in Londonderry in 1973. "To a great extent, a lot of British soldiers do feel a bit let down or ignored or the sacrifice has not not been recognised, but today goes a long way to redress that," he said.

In his sermon, the Bishop of London, Richard Chartres, praised the "exemplary" way soldiers conducted themselves during their service. "I've been able to see personally in other theatres how the lessons of NI have entered the DNA of the British armed forces, who in my view combined a remarkable degree of military efficiency with a capacity to engage in a humane way with the civilian population."    

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/northern_ireland/7607360.stm
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on September 12, 2008, 01:03:17
IRA intelligence ‘passed to MI5’

The IMC believes the IRA is giving its information on dissidents to the British and Irish governments
June Caldwell

INTELLIGENCE gathered by the Provisional IRA on dissidents is thought to have been passed to the British and Irish governments.
The latest report from the Independent Monitoring Commission (IMC) says that IRA intelligence gathering is set to continue as long as dissident republican organisations are considered a threat.
The report, published last week, confirms that the IRA has “abandoned its terrorist structures, preparations and capability” but reveals that republicans are still gathering information. This is “not in itself improper if it does not involve illegal methods or intent”, the report adds. “We believe that it is for the purpose of ascertaining the nature of any threat from dissidents.”
Des Dalton, vice-president of Republican Sinn Fein, said that the findings of the IMC report confirm what his organisation forecast would be the role of the IRA movement. “They have became part of the apparatus of British rule in Ireland, acting as an arm of the British intelligence service,” he said.
Dissident republicans have been targeted by an increased number of house raids. “There were reports in the last year that about 60% of MI5’s covert technical operations [involved] dissidents,” Dalton said.
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/ireland/article4693038.ece
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: George Wallace on September 12, 2008, 08:32:26
Well.  I guess that news item has "turned off quite a few taps".  Sort of like the TV station broadcasting live from a Hostage Situation, while the perp sits inside the house watching everyting the Police are doing on TV in real time.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on September 12, 2008, 12:50:30
Well.  I guess that news item has "turned off quite a few taps".  Sort of like the TV station broadcasting live from a Hostage Situation, while the perp sits inside the house watching everyting the Police are doing on TV in real time.

I doubt it. It is a time honoured tradition for various Irish paramilitary organizations to let certain information 'leak out' so that someone else can do their dirty work for them.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on September 13, 2008, 13:51:23

Al Slater was one of my section commanders when I was a Pte. Fierce, fit and funny as hell.


From Times Online
September 13, 2008
Life after war: when the guns fall silent
Special Air Service veteran and writer Andy McNab talks about the internal battle that begins when the fight is over
 
“The first time I killed a lad,” says Andy McNab, “it was 1979, I was with the Green Jackets in Northern Ireland, I was 19, and he wasn’t far away, I could see his eyes. I was absolutely sh****** myself. But you can’t say you were scared.” Did he talk to anyone about his feelings? “Absolutely not. It wasn’t the done thing, you’re worried about peer pressure and promotion and being down as a fruit. Besides, nobody wants to know about any failings, it’s a success, it’s what you do. It says in the manual, ‘The role of the infantry is to close with and destroy the enemy.’ The Army calls it ‘being kinetic’, which means blowing things up and killing people.”
When McNab passed selection for the Special Air Service in 1984, there was, he says, among his new elite comrades, more honesty regarding the dangers of combat. “You’re older and more confident, so you do talk about it more, mainly, ‘F*** that, I don’t want to do that again.’ But there was no system, no counselling, although a couple of lads used to sneak off to a charity in Wales for help. Delta Force [the US equivalent of the SAS] used to have an in-house psychologist. We would take the p***, but actually, it was a good idea.”
After McNab led Bravo Two Zero, the SAS patrol behind enemy lines during the first Gulf War which later gave rise to his 1994 bestseller, he had a couple of sessions back in Hereford with Dr Gordon Turnbull. “His claim to fame was he’d looked after the mountain rescue teams who were at Lockerbie. He talked to us about post-traumatic stress, what the symptoms were and so on. At the time I didn’t think I got a lot out of it.”
But as McNab has grown older (he is now 48) and wiser, he has become fully converted to the idea that some, not all, soldiers suffer post-traumatic stress and need help. His new book, his first work of non-fiction (many novels have intervened) since Immediate Action, the sequel to Bravo Two Zero, deals with the consequences of such stress on several of his former SAS colleagues, the members of Seven Troop of the book’s title. In particular, McNab tells the story of Frank Collins and Charles “Nish” Bruce, both of whom committed suicide several years after leaving the regiment, in 1998 and 2002 respectively.

The catalyst for the mental deterioration of both men seems to have been the death of their colleague Al Slater at the hands of the IRA in Co Fermanagh in 1984. Collins and Bruce (and McNab) were present the night Slater was shot. But whereas Collins blamed his superiors for his mate’s death, and Bruce blamed himself, McNab didn’t blame anyone. “It’s not a science,” says McNab, standing at Slater’s grave in the SAS plot in St Martin’s Church, Hereford. “It was foggy, we couldn’t see ten feet, we had no comms, you make the best decision you can make at the time.”
He walks further along the row. All the graves have flowers on them, some have bottles of beer or wine too. Another friend, Paul Hill, “Hillbilly”, is buried here. He died on a covert operation in Cambodia in 1988. And here are Bob Consiglio and Vince Phillips, two of the three members of Bravo Two Zero who perished in Iraq in 1991. How does McNab feel, being here? “Just that they’re dead, and obviously it’d be better if they weren’t. But it’s all part and parcel of it.” McNab may sound callous, but what is there to say? But for pure luck, a bullet on a marginally different trajectory, and one of these men would be pouring a tot of rum on his grave rather than the other way around.
Nish Bruce is not buried in this churchyard. Frank Collins is, but not in the SAS plot, because he was not a serving member when he died. “The thing about Nish and Frank,” says McNab, “is they thought about it all too much.” He doesn’t think they were more intelligent, or introverted, or indeed extroverted, than others, but they were probably more sensitive, more likely to dwell.
“My wife reckons I’m all right because I only ever think about the next three hours,” says McNab. He isn’t joking. “Today’s today. If it works it works, if it doesn’t it doesn’t. You control what you can and the rest, f*** it.”
McNab believes both his friends suffered from post-traumatic stress, yet their condition was more complicated than guilt over Slater’s death or clichéd flashbacks to other battlefield horrors. Both men were involved in the SAS siege of the Iranian embassy in 1980. Both served in the Falklands war. Bruce told McNab he felt guilty about “killing a young [wounded] Argentinian lad, he’s dying, it was like a mercy killing”. And yet, says McNab, their real problems began when they left the forces. Indeed, “post-career anticlimax” may pose as big a problem for ex-soldiers as post-traumatic stress.
“From the day he left, Frank regretted getting out, but he couldn’t admit it. He was always looking for something, but everything was a disappointment.” Collins found religion, becoming an ordained Anglican priest, wrote a book, then asphyxiated himself with exhaust fumes in a friend’s garage. Bruce threw himself, literally, into skydiving, and then one day opted to jump out of a Cessna 5,000ft over Oxfordshire without his parachute. “I hope he was smiling all the way in,” says McNab.
Neither had prepared properly for leaving the Army’s embrace, but that itself is common. “Blokes know it’s coming but they ignore it,” says McNab. “They don’t realise the military is a tribe, a little clan that nobody understands, a very small part of our culture, and once you’re out nobody gives a f***. People don’t understand your language, your humour.”
McNab has studied the problems faced by ex-servicemen. They are massively over-represented among the homeless, in prison, in the divorce courts, among alcoholics and in the suicide statistics. Besides Bruce and Collins, two of his other close-ish colleagues have also killed themselves, and another tried to. “We’re not dropping like flies, but it’s well above average.” Several years ago, it was discovered that the number of Falklands veterans who have killed themselves far exceeded the number killed in the actual conflict (more than 400 as against 255). When an ex-serviceman takes his own life, the average length of time between his doing so and having left the Forces is 13 years.

http://women.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/women/the_way_we_live/article4703333.ece
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on September 14, 2008, 20:12:31
Bomb discovered in border village

A bomb has been discovered concealed in a hedge in a border area of County Armagh, the police have said.
A security alert has been ongoing in Jonesboro since Saturday afternoon, following reports of a device being left in the village.
On Sunday, police said that Army bomb experts were removing what is understood to be "a viable device".
Finnegans Road and Molly Road have been cordoned off while the device is removed.    

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/northern_ireland/foyle_and_west/7615093.stm
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on September 15, 2008, 18:50:57
£60m contract joy for world beating Coventry firm
Sep 9 2008 By Andy Hutson

WORKERS at a world-beating Coventry firm were today celebrating after landing a £60 million contract to supply life-saving equipment to British troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Defence secretary Des Browne announced the £60million contract for NP Aerospace to deliver the next generation Mastiff 2 armoured vehicles.

The move will create 100 new jobs.

During a visit yesterday to the firm, based on the Central City Industrial Estate, Red Lane, Foleshill, Mr Browne praised the company for its outstanding job in transforming basic Cougar vehicles into the sophisticated Mastiffs.

The next generation vehicles will feature improved axles and suspension to cope with the harsh terrain, better thermal imaging for drivers, explosive attenuating seats providing better protection to the soldier on impact, improved armour and greater crew capacity.

"The Mastiff is already a hero in Iraq and Afghanistan," he said.

"Today's contract for Mastiff 2 will deliver a vehicle that is even better - improved thermal-imaging for the drivers, increased armour and specially designed seats that will give the soldiers that extra protection - it is the next generation of vehicles for our commanders on operations."

Mr Browne also praised the firm for providing Osprey body armour plates and MK 6A helmets to British Armed Forces, undoubtedly saving numerous lives in Iraq and Afghanistan.

He added: "NP Aerospace and its workforce are to be congratulated on the support they are providing to our Armed Forces.

"The equipment they deliver from body armour plates to helmets is saving lives on a daily basis."

NP Aerospace is a world-leader in the production of personal equipment and armoured vehicles designed to protect military personnel in combat environments.

The firm also manufactures state-of-the-art full body armour suits worn by bomb disposal operators. They feature integral air conditioning which allows wearers to operate in high temperatures.

Yesterday's announcement was also welcomed by workers at the firm's Red Lane site.

Steve Thomas, a quality engineer who has been with the company for 18 months, said: "It's good for the company and good for us, especially with all the automotive downturn in the city.

"It's nice to know when you go to work every day you are saving lives. That's the ultimate goal at the end of the day."

Team leader Stuart Winn, who has been with the company for five years, said: "I've worked on a couple of projects and this is the best one."

About 70 new jobs will be associated with the manufacturing of the Mastiff 2 with 20 or 30 more being created in support functions.

NP Aerospace will then employ a total of 300 people across its two sites in Red Lane and Foleshill Road.

The base vehicles will be supplied to NP Aerospace for it to apply its armoured technology to the sides, the top and inside to give soldiers better protection.

http://www.coventrytelegraph.net/news/coventry-news/tm_headline=163-60m-contract-joy-for-world-beating-coventry-firm&method=full&objectid=21708580&siteid=92746-name_page.html


Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: Blackadder1916 on September 16, 2008, 15:14:57
Service appointments: Army (http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/court_and_social/article4760102.ece)
From The Times  September 16, 2008
Colonels
Colonel G. T. E. Banner (Late Int Corps) to be Colonel Force Development, Headquarters Director Intelligence Corps, with effect from June 2008;
Colonel R. J. Rawdon-Smith (Late Int Corps) to be Commander Defence Human Intelligence Organisation, Defence Intelligence Staff, with effect from August 2008;
Colonel K. I. Chafer (Late AAC) to be Head of Joint Improvised Explosive Device Analysis Centre, with effect from May 2008
Colonel A. R. Blackwell (Late R Signals) to be Joint Electronic Surveillance Integrated Project Team Leader, with effect from June 2008;
Colonel J. S. S. O’Sullivan (Para), to be Assistant Director Land, Directorate of Joint Commitments, with effect from December 2008;
Colonel I. J. Cave (Mercian), to be Deputy Assistant Chief of Staff Operations / Commitments, Headquarters Land Forces, with effect from December 2008;
Colonel P. A. E. Nanson RRF, to be Chief of Staff, Headquarters 1st (United Kingdom) Armoured Division, with effect from April 2009;
Colonel G. P. Hill (Para) to be Deputy Assistant Chief of Staff J5 (B), Permanent Joint Headquarters, with effect from August 2009;
Colonel F. G. Gedney (Scots DG), to be Deputy Assistant Chief of Staff Future Plans, Headquarters Land Forces, with effect from January 2009;
Colonel I. J. Gibb RTR, to be Colonel General Staff, Directorate of the General Staff, with effect from December 2008;
Colonel A. J. Botterill (R Signals) to be Director Defence Crisis Management Centre, Assistant Chief of the Defence Staff (Operations), with effect from November 2008;
Colonel S. W. Carver (R Anglian), to be Commander, British Army Training Unit Suffield, with effect from September 2009;
Colonel C. R. J. Sloane (Late RE) to be Chief of Staff, Headquarters 4th Division, with effect from October 2008;
Colonel D. F. Capps (RLC) to be Deputy Chief of Staff, Headquarters 1st (United Kingdom) Armoured Division, with effect from December 2008;
Colonel S. J. Shirley (Late RLC) to be Assistant Director Logistic Policy and Plans (Army), Headquarters Land Forces, with effect from January 2009;
Colonel A. P. Duncan (RLC) to be Assistant Director Combat Service Support Operation, Headquarters Land Forces, with effect from January 2009;
Colonel I. G. McKend (RLC) to be Deputy Assistant Chief of Staff J4 Movement and Mounting, Permanent Joint Headquarters, with effect from September 2008;
Colonel P. G. Mitchell (Late REME) to be Deputy Chief of Staff, Headquarters 4th Division, with effect from August 2009;
Colonel W. R. Wieloch (Late QRL) to be Director of Defence Studies (Army), Directorate General Staff, with effect from December 2008;
Colonel F. J. Grundy (AGC(SPS)) to be Assistant Director Support, Headquarters Land Forces, with effect from September 2008;
Colonel M. Cuthbert-Brown (Late AGC(RMP)), to be Director Corps of Army Music, with effect from March 2009;
Colonel A. Brown (Late AGC(SPS)), to be Assistant Director Future Contracts, Service Personnel and Veterans Agency, with effect from March 2009;
Colonel G .H. L. Baxter (RE) to be Assistant Director Manning Policy / Manpower Planning, Directorate Manning (Army), with effect from July 2008;
Colonel J. S. Grinstead (Late RLC) to be Colonel Military Secretary Officers Combat Service Support, Army Personnel Centre, with effect from December 2008;
Colonel J. H. O’H. Pollock (Late IG) to be Team Leader Defence Requirements Organisation, Headquarters Land Warfare Centre, with effect from August 2008;
Colonel I. G. Standen (Late R Signals), to be Deputy Director Command and Battlespace Management, Directorate of Command and Battlespace Management, with effect from April 2009;
Colonel M. J. Gamble (RA) to be Bowman and Tactical Communication and Information Systems Deputy Team Leader, Defence Equipment and Support, with effect from August 2008;
Colonel A. K. Robinson (RLC) to be Commander Logistic Support, Headquarters 1st (United Kingdom) Armoured Division, with effect from August 2008;
Colonel P. J. Bates (RLC) to be Commander Logistic Support / Colonel Infrastructure, Headquarters 2nd Division, with effect from December 2008;
Colonel C. A. Ford (R Signals) to be Assistant Director Operations and Plans, Directorate General Information Systems and Services, with effect from October 2008;
Colonel D. A. McAvoy (Late REME) to be Chief Engineer / Colonel Force Development, Headquarters Directorate of Electrical and Mechanical Engineering (Army), with effect from April 2009;
Colonel H. A. S. Russell (AGC(ETS)) to be Assistant Director Operations, Headquarters Directorate of Education and Training Services (Army), with effect from September 2008;
Colonel J. C. Campbell (Late RA) to be Chief of Staff and Commander Larkhill Garrison, with effect from January 2009;
Colonel M. C. Ross (RA) to be Colonel Capability, Headquarters Director Royal Artillery, with effect from April 2009;
Colonel D. J. Hudson (RA) to be Assistant Chief of Staff Fire Co-ordinator, Headquarters North Atlantic Treaty Organisation Rapid Deployment Corps — Italy, with effect from February 2009;
Colonel G. K. Gibbs (Late RE) to be Chief of Staff, Headquarters Engineer in Chief (Army), with effect from October 2008;
Colonel M. C. Whiteside (Late AAC) to be Commandant School of Army Aviation, with effect from May 2009;
Colonel M. R. H. Burrows (Late RE) to be Branch Head, Defence Planning Land, Headquarters Supreme Allied Command Transformation, with effect from December 2008;
Colonel R. W. Currie (Late QRH) to be Defence Attaché Bogotá, with effect from August 2008;
Colonel C. M. Hainge (Late RE) to be Military and Air Advisor Canberra, with effect from November 2008;
Colonel S. L. C. Diggins (Late RRF) to be Defence Attaché Kabul, with effect from July 2008;
Colonel M. V. Pemberton (Late RAMC) to be Chief of Staff, Headquarters Joint Medical Command, with effect from July 2008;
Colonel I. B. F. Lane (Late RADC) to be Deputy Commander, Headquarters 2 Medical Brigade, with effect from October 2008;
Colonel J. W. Murray (Late RAMC) to be Commanding Officer, 212 Field Hospital (Volunteers), with effect from November 2008;
Colonel I. Amberton (Late RADC) to be Assistant Director Plans, Headquarters Defence Dental Services , with effect from June 2009;
Colonel J. Etherington (RAMC) to be Director Defence Rehabilitation, Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre, with effect from August 2009;
Colonel D. A. Ross (RAMC) to be Assistant Director Health Policy, Headquarters Army Medical Directorate, with effect from September 2009;
Colonel A. C. Boreham (RAMC) to be Colonel Army Medical Services Division, Army Personnel Centre, with effect from October 2009;
Colonel D. Williams (RAMC) to be Deputy Director, British Forces Germany Health Service, with effect from September 2009;
Colonel P. J. Sokolow (Late QARANC) to be Regional Clinical Director, Scotland and North East Region, Army Primary Health Care Service, with effect from November 2009;
Colonel J. P. Owen (Late RAMC) to be Regional Clinical Director, Wales and West Midlands Region, Army Primary Health Care Service, with effect from June 2009;
Colonel D. Bates (QARANC) to be Regional Clinical Director, Wessex Region, Army Primary Health Care Service, with effect from April 2009;
Colonel M. C. M. Bricknell (Late RAMC) to be Medical Director, Headquarters Regional Command (South), with effect from July 2009.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on September 16, 2008, 19:35:39
UK owes Gurkhas 'a special debt'


Retired Gurkhas have launched their High Court battle for the right to live in the UK.

The test case is being brought by five ex-Gurkhas and the widow of another veteran. Their lawyer said Britain owed "a special debt" to all Gurkhas.
Gurkhas who retired from the British Army after the regiment moved its main base from Hong Kong to the UK in 1997 have automatic permission to remain.
But those who left earlier must apply and can be refused and deported.
The outcome of the case could affect more than 2,000 retired Gurkhas who have been denied the right to settle in the UK.    

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/7619295.stm

Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on September 16, 2008, 19:46:24
Well, ECM isn't the only answer to a safe patrol I'm afraid.

Troops killed in Afghanistan had no electronic protection

Two British soldiers were killed because troops did not have enough bomb jamming equipment, an inquest heard.
 
By Thomas Harding Defence Correspondent
Last Updated: 8:06PM BST 16 Sep 2008

A coroner has now called on the Ministry of Defence to fit all vehicles with Electronic Counter Measures (ECM) as a result of the deaths in Helmand, Afghanistan.
An electronic umbrella of protection extended only as far as two British vehicles but not to a third, familes have been told.
As the third weapon-mounted Wimik Land Rover passed the detonation point an insurgent set off the remote-controlled bomb. It killed Ptes Damian Wright, 23, and Ben Ford, 18, the youngest British soldier to lose his life in Afghanistan.
The inquest also heard that British vehicles without ECM were instructed to drive close to Danish vehicles so they would be covered by their bomb-jamming range.
But Wiltshire coroner David Masters Mr Masters said that for vehicles to rely on others for protection was "very difficult" and everyone should be fitted with ECM, adding: "It's as simple as that."
Adrian Hinchcliffe, an expert on ECM from the Ministry of Defence, said it was a position the MoD was "working towards."
The coroner replied: "It's a bit late for that."
Mr Masters, recording verdicts of unlawful killing, said: "If this vehicle had been equipped with ECMs, that device would not have detonated and these two soldiers would not have died."

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/onthefrontline/2971454/Troops-killed-in-Afghanistan-had-no-electronic-protection.html
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: Blackadder1916 on September 16, 2008, 23:11:02
Prince William to train as RAF search and rescue pilot (http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article4758007.ece)
Quote
Valentine low From The Times September 16, 2008

Stranded hillwalkers who need to be rescued by the RAF should in future pay close attention to the pilot flying them to safety: it could be Prince William. He has decided to become a full-time helicopter pilot with the RAF’s search-and-rescue force.

The Prince will begin the 18-month training next year and, once qualified as a Sea King pilot, will take part in the full range of operations, from rescuing sailors in trouble to airlifting people from flood areas.

The Prince’s decision to transfer to the RAF for the next stage of his military career is a compromise between his desire to see active service and the need for the second in line to the throne not to be exposed to unnecessary danger by serving on the front line in Afghanistan or Iraq. His father, the Prince of Wales, is said to be delighted with the move.

Clarence House insiders say that, by joining the search-and-rescue force, Prince William will be able to combine his desire to help people with his love of flying, which he developed while training as a pilot with the RAF this year. It can be safely assumed that he will not be using his Sea King for personal jaunts. The Prince was heavily criticised during his training for landing a helicopter on a field belonging to the parents of Kate Middleton, his girlfriend.

Since being commissioned as an officer in the Blues and Royals, the Prince has tried land, sea and air, with attachments with the Royal Air Force, the Royal Navy and other units: now he has decided that what he likes best is flying. He will be following in the footsteps of his uncle, the Duke of York, who flew Sea Kings during the Falklands conflict.

Prince William said: “I now want to build on the experience and training I have received to serve operationally – especially because, for good reasons, I was not able to deploy to Afghanistan this year.

“Joining search and rescue is a perfect opportunity for me to serve in the Forces operationally, while contributing to a vital part of the country’s emergency services.”

The Prince will learn to fly Sea Kings at RAF Shawbury, in Shropshire, before going on to RAF Valley in North Wales for search-and-rescue training. On completing the course, he will become a fully operational pilot in mid-2010. He will be based at one of the force’s six bases. A typical tour for a pilot is 30 to 36 months, during which he could spend a six-week detachment in Cyprus or the Falkland Islands.


It will probably not be unexpected that, once he is operational, there may be a number of questionable calls for assistance from those who hope to meet him (in a princely hero coming to rescue them fantasy) or to take his picture. 
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: Blackadder1916 on September 18, 2008, 12:38:10
Yelp for Heroes (http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/campaigns/our_boys/article1702642.ece)

by TOM NEWTON DUNN Defence Editor The Sun Published: Today September 18, 2008
 
HUNDREDS of the Army’s hero hounds are forced to live in squalor, a shock Sun probe has found.
 
More than 300 labradors, spaniels and alsatians have been locked in needlessly cruel conditions for 20 hours a day over the last two years.

And because they are so unhappy it takes longer to train them for frontline duties such as sniffing out bombs and weapons.

The scandal is so bad two of the three major kennel sites in the UK have been condemned by MoD vets.

The Veterinary Standards Inspection Team said the largest — the Defence Animal Centre in Melton Mowbray, Leics — is so bad a “complete rebuild is the only viable solution”.

One insider said: “The dogs sleep in ancient sheds with concrete floors covered with a thin layer of hay.

“The staff keep the kennels as clean as they can, but it’s like polishing a t**d.

“There is no heating and with the rotting wood letting the wind whip through it’s just horribly cruel.

“You wouldn’t keep your lawnmower in them.”

Another said: “It’s disgusting to keep these animals like this. They are fantastic, intelligent animals fighting for Queen and country.”

The kennels, where up to 200 dogs are kept at any one time, are run by private Contractors Realm Services.

Repairs have been stalled for three years because defence officials and Realm can’t agree who pays.

The firm’s licence to keep dogs was revoked in April by Melton Borough Council because of the way it ran the site.
 
Some dogs were moved, but others are still kept there. Realm has refused to comment.

At 101 Military Working Dog Support Unit at Buller Barracks in Aldershot, Hants — where 30 or so dogs are kept before frontline duties — the animals live in temporary cages because kennels are so bad.

The site was branded “unfit for animal habitation” by the MoD’s Veterinary Standards Inspection Team in June.

Royal Army Veterinary Corps insiders blame the faults on underfunding.

One senior NCO said yesterday: “The animals are vexed and unhappy, which makes them more dangerous and unpredictable, and means they take longer to train.

“There is a great demand for them and we can’t train enough.

“They’re precious in combat and often do the work of ten men.”

The MoD said all dogs had access to vets, and said training for dogs and handlers “meets operational requirements”.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on September 18, 2008, 18:41:18
Army trainers 'bullied recruits'

 Five training instructors based at Britain's biggest army base have been suspended, a military source has said.
It comes as the BBC prepares to screen a report on an undercover investigation into bullying of recruits at the Catterick Garrison in North Yorkshire.
A reporter who spent six months as an infantry recruit at the base uncovered evidence of physical abuse.
The Ministry of Defence said bullying was "fundamentally at odds with the Army's core values".
The incidents came despite promised changes after four recruits died after bullying at Deepcut Barracks in Surrey.
A military source was reported as saying three instructors were suspended before the authorities were made aware of the BBC programme.
But another two were suspended after the Ministry of Defence (MoD) received further evidence from the BBC, the source said.
BBC reporter Russell Sharp secretly filmed life at the infantry training centre on his mobile phone and recorded his thoughts.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/7622102.stm
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on September 20, 2008, 18:25:04
MoD accused of covering up injuries to troops
Defence chiefs have been accused of covering up the severity of injuries to troops wounded in combat in Afghanistan.
 
By Sean Rayment, Defence Correspondent
Last Updated: 2:32PM BST 20 Sep 2008

Soldiers, MPs and lawyers representing injured servicemen and women claim the real cost to those fighting on the front line in Helmand province, southern Afghanistan, is being hidden from the public for political reasons.

The Sunday Telegraph has learnt that every week dozens of soldiers are being injured, some severely, yet details of the nature and severity of the wounds are never made public.

While the Ministry of Defence argues that details of injuries are not released to protect the soldiers' families from media intrusion, many within the military believe the policy is designed to keep secret the attrition rate being suffered by the Army in Afghanistan.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/onthefrontline/3021973/MoD-accused-of-covering-up-injuries-to-troops.html
 
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: time expired on September 21, 2008, 12:53:01
Saw the program,pure bullshit!, nothing but he said,she said,unsubstantiated
accusations.The BBC should be ashamed they even aired such junk and the
reporter should be charged with some offence,it shouldn't be hard to do as
he lied his way in and lied his way out.I suppose the Guardian agreed with
every lie he told.
                       Regards
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on September 21, 2008, 13:02:16
Saw the program,pure bullshit!, nothing but he said,she said,unsubstantiated
accusations.The BBC should be ashamed they even aired such junk and the
reporter should be charged with some offence,it shouldn't be hard to do as
he lied his way in and lied his way out.I suppose the Guardian agreed with
every lie he told.
                       Regards

See? It works. All the controversy sells advertising quite nicely. And the BB Communists don't care either way.

We had similar BS foisted on us during 'The Paras' TV program, but at least it wasn't an undercover op.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on September 22, 2008, 01:05:31
Army recruit found hanged at barracks

An army recruit was today found hanged at an army camp just a mile away from Deepcut barracks, police said.
The 29-year-old man, who has not been named, died despite attempts by paramedics to resuscitate him just before 8am.
He was found at Alexander barracks at the Pirbright army camp in Surrey, close to Deepcut where four young recruits died as a result of bullet wounds in separate incidents between 1995 and 2002.
A spokeswoman for Surrey police said: "The Ministry of Defence is fully cooperating with the inquiries being made by police."
Recruits Sean Benton, 20, of Hastings, East Sussex; James Collinson, 17, of Perth; Geoff Gray, 17, of Seaham, Co Durham, and Cheryl James, 18, of Llangollen, Denbighshire, all died at the Deepcut training camp.
An investigation into their deaths by Nicolas Blake QC found no evidence for families' claims that they had been "bullied to death".
Alexander barracks at Pirbright opened earlier this year and was designed to offer modern, comfortable accommodation for new recruits.
As part of the army's efforts to improve conditions for new recruits the 12 man dormitory-style rooms are partitioned into four areas to provide a degree of privacy.
A "duty of care" office and a member of training staff is located on each floor. Specific policies to identify and prevent bullying and improve the mental health of the recruits have been in place for some time at the barracks.
Surrey police said a post-mortem is expected to take place later today.
It is understood that the man had arrived at the training centre just days ago.
A MoD spokesperson said: "It is with deep sadness that the MoD confirms the death of a new recruit at Pirbright training centre in Surrey on 21 September 2008.
"Next of kin have been informed and our thoughts and sympathies are with the deceased individual's family and friends at this difficult time.
"Surrey police are conducting an investigation so it would not be appropriate to comment further at this stage."
http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2008/sep/21/military



Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on September 23, 2008, 00:17:46
Labour Party 'must appreciate British troops more', says Des Browne
The Labour Party should do more to respect and appreciate the work of Britain's Armed Forces, Des Browne, the Defence Secretary, has said.
 

Speaking to Labour's annual conference in Manchester, Mr Browne appeared to suggest that some Labour members have not fully supported British troops deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"Special service deserves special treatment," Mr Browne said, outlining recent Government moves to improve the welfare of service personnel, including pay rises, free university places and better health care.

He added: "There is one other thing that they want. They want you to understand what they have achieved and are achieving."
The 2003 invasion of Iraq remains intensely unpopular with many Labour members, but Mr Browne insisted that the party must accept that British troops in both Iraq and Afghanistan are making "a positive difference"
He said: "They deserve your recognition and thanks."
Britain has 4,000 troops in Iraq and 8,000 in Afghanistan.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/politics/3061175/Labour-Party-must-appreciate-British-troops-more-says-Des-Browne.html
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: MarkOttawa on September 24, 2008, 16:18:58
Overstretched and over there (long article)
Prospect Magazine, October 2008, by James Fergusson
http://www.prospect-magazine.co.uk/article_details.php?id=10369

Quote
Britain's armed forces are still formidable in battle, but undermanning and public indifference point to an institution under strain. It is too soon to declare the military covenant broken, but repair work is certainly needed.

Until two years ago, when the army's senior soldier, chief of the general staff Richard Dannatt, popularised the phrase in a now famous interview in the Daily Mail, most people had never heard of the "military covenant." Considering that the military covenant does not, technically speaking, exist, this is forgivable. The legal definition of a covenant is a sealed, written contract. Yet apart from an oblique reference or two in army doctrine, the military covenant does not exist in writing, and has no basis in law. Despite this, since 2006 an important national debate about the military's role in society has coalesced around the phrase.

The covenant means different things to different people but its primary meaning is clear enough: the compact of trust, honour and respect between the government, the armed forces and the public whose interests they serve. Dannatt worries that the military covenant is "out of kilter," and argues that unless balance is restored, the armed forces could eventually "break," with potentially huge consequences for Britain, Europe and the world. This summer he renewed his attack, with a stinging comparison between the basic salary of a traffic warden (about £20,000) and a private soldier (£16,277). "I think, given the insecurity in the world today and what the armed forces of this country are being asked to do, then probably a slightly increased share of the national wealth going to defence would be appropriate," he said. He may have a point. Our military haven't had to fight on two fronts at once—southern Iraq and Helmand—for more than half a century, and they have been continuously engaged in Afghanistan for longer than the whole of the second world war.

The theme of military "overstretch" has become a media staple since the start of the Helmand campaign two and a half years ago. Meanwhile, all three services are struggling to retain their talent or to recruit replacements. Latest figures show that, with a trained strength of 173,000, the armed forces are collectively undermanned by 6,000 personnel. More than 20,000 quit last year, a modern record. Exit rates for officers have increased in each of the last five years. The air force (40,000 people) and the navy (35,000) both have major shortages, although not as significant as the army, which at 98,000 is short of 3,500 personnel: a whole brigade's worth. The only regiment that is truly up to strength is the Gurkhas.

Are things as bad as these figures suggest? Could our forces really "break"? With British troops dying on an almost weekly basis in Afghanistan—August was the deadliest month since the campaign began—the debate has become emotional, and is often distorted. Yet there is no smoke without fire. Stuart Tootal, the battle group commander during Operation Herrick 4—Britain's initial, spectacularly violent deployment to Helmand in the summer of 2006—resigned last November after attacking the ministry of defence (MoD) over poor pay for soldiers, lack of equipment, the standard of army housing and poor medical treatment afforded to his soldiers. I recently spent some months interviewing troops who took part in Herrick 4, and found that while problems were often exaggerated—the squaddie's capacity for whingeing is legendary, after all—the complaints were seldom without some justification...

British troops in the field still feel, and look, invincible. In year three of the southern Afghan campaign, morale at Camp Bastion, their billion-pound Helmand headquarters, remains extraordinarily high. Magnus Linklater, the former Scotsman editor, who recently spent time with Scottish soldiers in Helmand, was amazed not just by their "phlegm," but by their physical prowess. The average squaddie is a seriously fit human being. At Bastion, Linklater reported, many men's idea of rest and recreation was to strip to the waist and pump iron in the glare of the summer sun.

Appearances can be deceptive, though. The "breakage" that Richard Dannatt worries about is seldom visible during a combat tour. Action and adventure, after all, are what most soldiers join up for. The problem, often, is what comes after. Six months after their return to barracks, eight of the 128 Fusiliers who went to Helmand on Herrick 4 had reported to the medics with symptoms of suspected post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)—and the company major feared there were more to come...

What is not disputed is this: of Britain's 98,000 ground troops, 6,600 have been recruited from Commonwealth countries—up from just 300 a decade ago [emphasis added]. The British army is not as British as it once was, a change that worries Richard Dannatt so much that last year he considered limiting the intake of Commonwealth recruits to 10 per cent of the total. This summer, nevertheless, a new recruitment drive was reportedly under way in Jamaica...

Government can only do so much to rebalance Richard Dannatt's covenant. There is unlikely to be much more money. And any proposals Forsyth puts forward have to be "affordable and feasible." Since, by his calculations, the army needs "an extra £4bn to £5bn," the only option, he says, is to reallocate funds earmarked for the other services. This would mean fewer Eurofighters for the RAF, or fewer new destroyers or submarines for the navy. Such a reallocation would bring a bitter three-way fight between the services, but Forsyth, despite his RAF background, is convinced it is necessary: "For the kind of wars we're fighting now, the future is the army."

Mark
Ottawa



Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: Blackadder1916 on September 24, 2008, 18:52:48
Lesbian soldier accuses British Army of trying to silence her over sex case (http://www.thaindian.com/newsportal/india-news/lesbian-soldier-accuses-british-army-of-trying-to-silence-her-over-sex-case_10098838.html)

September 23rd, 2008 - 2:11 pm ICT by ANI -

London, Sep 23 (ANI): A lesbian soldier has claimed that senior British Army officers ordered her to keep quiet about being pestered for sex by a male sergeant at Army stables.

Kerry Fletcher, a former lance bombardier in the Royal Artillery, is seeking 400,000 pounds in compensation from the Ministry of Defence over her experiences, The Telegraph reported.

An employment tribunal in Leeds has already found that she was the victim of direct sexual discrimination and harassment.

Fletcher, 32, described the sergeant, who cannot be identified until completion of the remedy hearing in Leeds, as a known womaniser.

She said he asked her to join in a threesome with another woman and boasted in a text message: Look, I might be able to convert you. You dont know what you are missing.

Fletcher also claimed that the sergeant and other male colleagues tried to destroy her career because she spurned his advances, and that she was signed off sick with stress as a result.

The sergeant insisted he had legitimately enforced discipline at the Royal Artillery stables in Topcliffe, North Yorkshire, after Fletcher had been regularly late for work and insubordinate.

Fletcher told the resumed hearing: I went to those stables and did a good job. I was having quite a bad time with a senior officer. It was not so much the Army, but it was that one person who was making my life a misery. I was depressed and having panic attacks.

I was very disappointed because I was going through a rough time with this guy. I told my regiment and I was basically told to keep quiet. I was having a hard time and felt I was losing my career, she said.

Fletcher is now a member of the Territorial Army in Redditch, Worcs, and is seeking 381,000 pounds in lost earnings plus 25,000 pounds for injury to her feelings.

Despite MoDs denials of any wrongdoing, the tribunal panel found in Fletchers favour on the basis of her powerful evidence.

It found that the stress of coping with persistent and trivial disciplinary allegations that were trumped up into formal charges meant she was unable to continue working. (ANI)
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: George Wallace on September 24, 2008, 18:56:56
Who's next?

We have a Canadian lesbian suing the government twenty five years after the fact.

We have a British lesbian suing the British government for the same thing basically.

Any American.............Australian.............Mexican.............French............Danish...........whatever lesbians suing their governments for mistreatment in their military?

Looks like we are seeing a rash of these things today.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on September 24, 2008, 19:03:04
Is a 'Rash' of Lesbians like a 'Confusion' of Officers?
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: Target Up on September 24, 2008, 19:27:10
...or a "murder" of (idle) crows?
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on September 24, 2008, 19:34:15
Sounds like that boy's bucking for a second star!

Double force in Helmand, says British commander
The senior British commander in Helmand has called for a major troop reinforcement in the war-torn province of Afghanistan to deal with the growing Taliban insurgency.
 
By Thomas Harding, Defence Correspondent


In a highly unusual step Brig Mark Carleton-Smith, commander of 16 Air Assault Brigade, said he could use "an additional brigade" of up to 4,000 troops to deal with the Taliban reinforcements crossing the border from Pakistan and to provide greater stability.
It is the first time a British military commander has openly called for more troops to tackle the growing violence in southern Afghanistan.
The officer's words come after the American defence secretary Robert Gates said last week that the British force in Afghanistan was set to increase despite denials from the Ministry of Defence.
It is believed that the Americans might be trying to pressure the British into redeploying the 4,000 troops expected to leave Iraq next spring straight into Afghanistan.
The Daily Telegraph reported in the summer that a "division light" would be sent to Afghanistan with numbers rising form the current 8,000 to possibly as high as 14,000.
"Currently, we've got deployed in the region of 4,000 troops, supporting 4,000 Afghan soldiers," Brigadier Mark Carlton-Smith said in an interview with Sky News.
"I think we could probably easily consume in Helmand another brigade. And I think that probably forms part of wider ISAF planning as to what the future lay down for southern Afghanistan might look like."
Asked if he would like to at least double the size of the military in Helmand the brigadier said: "I could certainly find sufficient tasks in Helmand today to use an additional brigade."
He added while the Taliban could not change the government it was "strong enough" to "keep the insurgency going" in a conflict that could last up to 15 years.
Extra troops are desperately needed in Helmand if the coalition forces are to tackle the rampant opium problem which supplies the Taliban with a significant income and severely restricts economic and farming development.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/onthefrontline/3074147/Double-force-in-Helmand-says-British-commander.html
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on September 24, 2008, 19:44:35
Warlord No4 killed by Apache

AN Apache gunship blew up a key Taliban warlord after he was tracked down by the SBS, The Sun can reveal.
The British helicopter slammed a Hellfire missile into his Jeep — making him the FOURTH terror boss to die at the hands of the SBS in 18 months.
The precision strike also killed his bodyguard and left a second henchman badly injured as they drove across the southern Helmand desert.
The warlord — whose name is being kept secret — is believed to be a new field commander sent in to coordinate bomb and gun attacks on Our Boys across the Afghan badlands.
But the SBS, the Navy’s special forces, spotted him crossing the border from Pakistan and then trailed him with unmanned “drone” spy planes. Ninety minutes later he was dead.

 
http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/campaigns/our_boys/article1726840.ece
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: geo on September 25, 2008, 09:01:45
BZ to the SBS boys

MIghty hospitable of them to give him a big SBS welcome to Helmand province.

:cheers:
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: milnews.ca on September 25, 2008, 22:34:54
Army's demand for 15% limit on foreign recruits to safeguard 'Britishness' upsets race watchdog
Matthew Hickley and Ryan Kisiel, Daily Mail, 25 Sept 08
Article link (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1062222/Armys-demand-15-limit-foreign-recruits-safeguard-Britishness-upsets-race-watchdog.html)

Army chiefs want foreign recruit numbers to be capped to safeguard 'Britishness' within the ranks.

They have demanded a 15 per cent limit amid fears the soaring numbers of foreign troops would dilute the force's cultural identity.

They also fear that foreign countries could ban their own citizens from fighting Britain's wars, seriously hampering key operations.

The measure has been backed by Defence Secretary Des Browne and was due to be announced two weeks ago.

But the plans have been thrown into chaos by race relations watchdogs who will not support the measure.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission says there are 'large issues of principle'.
graphic

Senior officers are angry over the Government's dithering, and recruiting trips to the West Indies have had to be cancelled until the confusion is cleared up....

More on link
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on September 26, 2008, 00:41:45
Like I always said, 'There'll always be an England - as long as they've got Canadians in their army'.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on September 26, 2008, 02:13:23
Navy has 41 admirals but just 40 warships

The number of admirals serving in the Royal Navy outstrips the number of warships in the fleet, research has disclosed.

There are 41 admirals, vice-admirals and rear-admirals, but with constant cuts the number of fighting ships stands at 40, figures released in the annual UK defence statistics show.

Since Labour came to power in 1997 the Navy has been steadily eroded, losing one aircraft carrier, six frigates, four destroyers and three submarines.
The 41 admirals draw an estimated annual salary of £6.7 million, which would fund 420 able seamen at a time when the Navy has a shortfall of 1,200 sailors.
The news comes after the UK National Defence Association (UKNDA) accused the Government of “chronic underfunding” of the Navy as a result of repeated cuts over the past two decades. If this trend continues, the fleet would be reduced to half its current size by 2020, leaving it “grievously weakened”, the pressure group said in a report earlier this month.

Following the withdrawal from service of the Sea Harrier, the fleet will be left without air cover for the next nine years, the report added.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/onthefrontline/3075936/Navy-has-41-admirals-but-just-40-warships.html
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: geo on September 26, 2008, 09:06:30
Quote
Army's demand for 15% limit on foreign recruits to safeguard 'Britishness' upsets race watchdog

Umm.... there is no reason for the race watchdogs to be upset IMHO..... any resident / UK national regardless on ethnic nationality has every right to join the UK military without being lumped into that 15% foreign content rule...

What's the problem ???
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: Blackadder1916 on September 26, 2008, 15:23:07
Two Army assault rifles go missing 'after soldier falls asleep during training exercise' (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1062529/Assault-rifle-goes-missing-soldier-falls-asleep-training.html)

By Daily Mail Reporter  Last updated at 1:48 PM on 26th September 2008

Two deadly assault rifles have gone missing during an Army training exercise following reports that a soldier fell asleep.

The Ministry of Defence has confirmed that the automatic weapons and a secure portable radio system disappeared during a 42 Engineer Regiment training weekend on Dartmoor, Devon.

But officials refused to confirm whether the weapons were taken when a serviceman fell asleep.

The missing items are now the subject of a military investigation. A spokesman said that the radio has been disabled and is unable to intercept military communications.

It will be rendered useless when it runs out of charge.   

The two rifles are unloaded. A spokesman said: 'The Royal Military Police Special Investigation Branch is investigating the loss of two unloaded SA80 rifles and a Bowman radio. It would be inappropriate to comment further.

'They went missing after a training exercise last weekend on the south side of Dartmoor,' he said.   

The equipment belonging to the Oxfordshire-based regiment went missing in the early hours of Sunday at Homing Beam, a regular military training area near Princetown.   

No ammunition is missing and the MoD Police's special investigation branch was leading the inquiry, a spokesman explained 

In 2006, the BBC discovered that more than 200 weapons had been lost by or stolen from the British military over a nine-year period.   

The SA80 rifle is one of the British military's standard combat weapons. It takes a 30-round magazine and is capable of firing 700 rounds of 5.56mm ammunition per minute.   

There has been a military presence on Dartmoor for more than 200 years. The MoD has licences for firing on 13,000 hectares of National Park land.


Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: ironduke57 on September 28, 2008, 09:38:08
Quote
September 28, 2008

Britain considers £9bn JSF project pullout

Michael Smith

BRITAIN is considering pulling out of a £9 billion project with America to produce the new Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) aircraft, intended to fly off the Royal Navy’s forthcoming aircraft carriers.

The move is part of an increasingly desperate attempt to plug a £1.5 billion shortfall in the defence budget. The RAF’s 25 new Airbus A400 transport aircraft could also be at risk.

Studies have now been commissioned to analyse whether Eurofighters could be adapted to fly off the carriers.

If Britain abandons the JSF, it will be seen as a further snub to the Americans following Gordon Brown’s decision last week not to send 4,000 more troops to Afghanistan.

Only a week earlier, during a visit to London, Robert Gates, the American defence secretary, had said he understood Britain would be sending more troops to meet what commanders say is a 10,000 shortfall.

The possible ditching of the JSF results in part from spiralling costs that have seen the price of the planned 150 British aircraft rise from the original £9 billion estimate to £15 billion.

Britain has already paid out £2.5 billion in preliminary costs but next spring must start paying for actual aircraft. At that point it is committed to the entire project whatever the price.

Once full production begins, Britain will be paying more than £1 billion a year for the aircraft, exacerbating the already dire state of the Ministry of Defence (MoD) budget.

“That has really concentrated minds at the MoD,” said Francis Tusa, editor of Defence Analysis. “Put simply no-one has the faintest idea how much this project will cost.”

The cost is only part of the problem. There is serious concern over the aircraft’s lack of firepower as it can only carry three 500lb bombs, compared with as many as eight on the Eurofighter.

There is also increasing frustration over the continued American refusal to share information on the technology involved.

President George Bush signed a deal with Tony Blair shortly before the former prime minister handed over to Gordon Brown, promising to share top secret technology with Britain.

The deal has still to be ratified by Congress and the Senate foreign relations committee has written to Bush warning him it will not now be ratified until the new president takes office.

There is consternation over the lack of information Britain is receiving on the aircraft and this country’s lack of input into designing its capability.

BAE Systems, manufacturer of the RAF’s Eurofighter, has been asked to produce a study into whether it could be flown from the carriers, which are due to enter service in 2014 and 2016.

The JSF is a short-take-off-and-vertical-landing (STOVL) aircraft similar to the Harrier aircraft that are currently being flown off the Royal Navy’s two old carriers.

Flying Eurofighter from the new carriers would require pilots to learn a completely new skill of landing conventionally at sea — a task likened by experts to a “controlled crash”.

It would also require the Eurofighter fuselage to be strengthened, the attachment of an arrestor hook to stop the aircraft on landing, and protection against saltwater erosion.

The BAE Systems study, carried out earlier this year, determined that the aircraft could be built to land on carriers without major difficulty.

A company spokesman would only confirm that the study had been carried out and that the MoD had seen the results which confirmed the aircraft could be adapted to fly off carriers.

Replacing JSF with some of the 232 Eurofighters the RAF is committed to buying would be attractive for the Treasury, which has always wanted to find ways to cut its £16 billion cost.

The deal committed all four major partners — Britain, Germany, Italy and Spain — to paying for all the aircraft they originally ordered even if they later decided to cut the numbers they needed.

The cost of the project, now running at close to £1.2 billion a year, is the biggest single contributor to the £1.5 billion shortfall in the defence budget.

Efforts to stave off the payments dragged the government into the controversy over the decision to call off a Serious Fraud Office investigation into alleged bribes paid by BAE Systems.

The probe into the company’s £43 billion al-Yamamah arms deal with Saudi Arabia was expected to examine the bank accounts of members of the Saudi royal family.

A £6 billion deal under which Saudi Arabia agreed to take 72 Eurofighters from Britain — earning the MoD a two-year payments holiday on its own aircraft — was dependent on the probe being called off.

That has only served to focus attention on the fact that when the payments holiday ends, Britain will be committed to a decade of paying well in excess of £2 billion a year for two different strike aircraft.

The additional measure of cancelling the military version of the Airbus A400 would only save a total of £1.5 billion but is attractive to the Treasury because it would cost nothing.

The aircraft has consistently failed to meet deadlines with manufacturer EADS admitting last week that it could not meet the deadline for the first test flight.

“The RAF and the MoD would prefer to enforce penalty clauses providing compensation for delays while continuing with the project,” said defence sources. “But the Treasury would happily bin it.”

The MoD said “marinising” Eurofighter had been looked at as an option but “JSF remains our optimum solution to fly off the carriers”.

A spokesman said Britain remained “fully committed to the defence trade cooperation treaty and we are working closely with the American administration to find a way forward.”

- http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article4837746.ece

From an logistical point of view an navalised EF should be the cheapest solution in the long run.

Regards,
ironduke57
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: milnews.ca on September 28, 2008, 09:44:56
More on foreign troops serving in UK forces.....

How dare those foreigners die horribly for us (http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/rod_liddle/article4837638.ece)
Rod Liddle, Times Online, 28 Sept 08
Quote
.... Given that we have franchised our entire manufacturing base to the Third World and now subsist on an entirely fictitious and ectoplasmic economy based on pyramid selling and rumour, it seems sort of fitting that our numerous wars should also be franchised ....  It seems to me a minor miracle that a growing number of people from countries that were once part of our empire still seem prepared to swallow the bile and sign up for the British Army, regardless of our recent behaviour (nobody, one assumes, has told these people about the poor Gurkhas refused British passports despite their brave service). The British Army, meanwhile, would be ill-advised to look such a gift horse in the mouth.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on September 29, 2008, 19:14:36
"They are not angels" - good quote Huw. Watch out for the moratr platoon. Well done 'Gungy' 3....

Para troops welcomed home
Coalition forces are "moving forward" in the fight to bring stability to Afghanistan, a senior paratrooper has said as his battalion returned home.
 
Soldiers from 3 Para made their return to Colchester on Sunday after their six month tour of Afghanistan Photo: PETER LAWSON/EASTNEWS
Lieutenant Colonel Huw Williams spoke as a battle group - the 3rd Battalion, the parachute regiment - returned to its base in Colchester, Essex, from a six month tour of duty without losing any soldiers.
He said he could see a change in the situation after completing his second tour of duty in two years.
"When we went two years ago we didn't know what to expect," said Lt Col Williams.
"This time we expected the worst and to come home having lost no one means a great deal."
He added: "This year we are starting to make progress - moving forward."
He said coalition forces were providing electricity to enable factories to be built and bringing stability to Afghan people.
"There's still a long long way to go," he added. "But we are moving in the right direction.
"In terms of how far are we away from winning - that depends on how you define winning. It's not a straight fight, it will be getting to a point that will be acceptable to the Afghan people."
Lt Col Williams said modern paratroopers were a match for any British soldiers who had gone before them.
He said: "I have never once had to worry about them being scared. I know they are scared sometimes but that never prevents them going forward.
"These are young men of 18 and 19 going into situations where bullets are flying at them but they do not hesitate.
"They go into situations where other people would not go and they do that because they are disciplined and proud of their regiment."
Some 120 British soldiers have died in Afghanistan since the war started in 2001.
Ten British paratroopers have been killed in recent months.
Lt Col Williams said soldiers were today experiencing levels of fighting not seen by the British army for decades.
"Young soldiers today are witnessing things that a generation of their senior officers and sergeants have not experienced," he said.
"In the Falklands, battles tended to be over one day but in Afghanistan they are going on day after day and seeing more and more people get hit and killed and many of them are only 18. It is humbling to see."
"They are not angels. These men are an element of society that does a very dangerous job and it is humbling to be with them and in command of them."

 http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/onthefrontline/3097739/Para-troops-welcomed-home.html
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on September 30, 2008, 03:11:47
Thgis chap's definitely off the Queen's Christmas card list...

Taleban warrior who delights in killing British soldiers

Tom Coghlan in Lashkar Gar

For a self-confessed and enthusiastic killer of British soldiers there was something strangely naive in the manner of the Taleban bomber. The lightly bearded 23-year-old looked younger than his years, with gentle features beneath his black turban and a habit of asking odd questions.
“The British soldiers have shaved their heads but when we see them washing they are still shampooing their heads, but they have no hair.” He looked mystified and then laughed.
Between the moments of naive curiosity, he boiled with a visceral hatred of Westerners. Almost casually, he mentioned the desire he felt to kill me with a pistol he was carrying, before explaining that he was restraining himself because of a promise he had given to tribal intermediaries who set up the interview.
Instead he focused on his enthusiasm for bombs and dead foreign soldiers and his role as a midlevel commander of 20 to 30 fighters.
“Last year, after one attack near the town of Baramcha, there was the hand of one British soldier left on the field. We took it and we hung it as a souvenir in the room and sometimes we would shake the hand.”
He laughed again.
“We have a new magnetic bomb,” he said. “It is from Pakistan. We put it under the vehicle and then wait till there are many British vehicles together, then just press a button.”
Other bombs he improvised using old munitions and cables from a motorcycle clutch, suggesting perhaps that Taleban bomb supplies were limited.
“We enjoy finding the British bombs unexploded. We have some guys with us, they are not Afghan, they use the bomb back on the British. I like to bury a gas canister on top of the bomb, the explosion is very large,” he added.
“We have some other people with us, I can't tell you where from but they don't speak a language we understand. They have a bomb that recognises the number plate of a vehicle and only explodes with the number plate you put in a computer.” His face betrayed a bemused reverence for such voodoo. The bomber learnt his trade last winter as the Taleban began to appreciate the effectiveness of roadside bomb-making tactics perfected by Iraqi insurgents.
Bombs that he and other Taleban makers have built have killed 34 of the 43 British soldiers killed in the country this year. Many more Afghan civilians have also been killed.
If there was no shortage of bravado about the man, some of his answers also betrayed underlying problems that beset the Taleban.
One was an obsession with spies - suggesting that at least a part of the civilian populace detests the Taleban enough to betray them. “We got two spies last Friday,” he said. “I shot them in the head with 16 bullets each. The spy problem has stopped for now.”
Another problem was how to counter the relentless British pursuit of the Taleban's leadership. It was a particular source of concern since the bomber had been told that he was soon to graduate to a higher level of command - one that would make him of greater interest to Western special forces units tasked with decapitating the Taleban command structure.
“The British give special coats to their spies,” he said. “They have mirrors to show where the planes should go. The spies also drop a tiny piece of metal on the roof of a house. It sends a message and the bomb the house.”
Then, suddenly turning on me, he asked: “When we go to a village at night the British soldiers come for us in helicopters. How can they see us? How do they know we are there? They have technology?”
I shrugged. He nodded.
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/asia/article4842542.ece
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: Chris Pook on September 30, 2008, 10:44:33
Thgis chap's definitely off the Queen's Christmas card list...

Taleban warrior who delights in killing British soldiers

Tom Coghlan in Lashkar Gar ......

A great example of why we should encourage reporters to talk to "the enemy" - regardless of the spin they apply.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on September 30, 2008, 20:58:44
They sent me a big 'FO' letter shortly before I was due to retire too. I should apply under the same deal, if I wanted to actually live there again of course, which may not be likely!

Gurkhas win right to stay in UK
 

A group of retired Gurkhas fighting for the right to settle in Britain have won their immigration test case at London's High Court.

They were challenging immigration rules which said that those who retired from the British Army before 1997 did not have an automatic right to stay. Prominent supporter actress Joanna Lumley said it was a "chance to right a great wrong". The government said it would now review all Gurkhas' cases.

The regiment moved its main base from Hong Kong to the UK in 1997 and the government had argued that Gurkhas discharged before that date were unlikely to have strong residential ties with the UK.

That meant those who wanted to settle in the UK had to apply for British residence and could be refused and deported.
The judgement could affect some 2,000 former Gurkhas who retired before 1997.

The judge, Mr Justice Blake, said the Gurkhas' long service, conspicuous acts of bravery and loyalty to the Crown all pointed to a "moral debt of honour" and gratitude felt by British people.

He ruled that instructions given by the Home Office to immigration officials were unlawful and needed urgent revision.
Lawyer Martin Howe said: "Today we have seen a tremendous and historic victory for the gallant Gurkha veterans of Nepal.
"This is a victory that restores honour and dignity to deserving soldiers who faithfully served in Her Majesty's armed forces.
"It is a victory for common sense; a victory for fairness; and a victory for the British sense of what is right."    

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/7644441.stm
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: Strike on September 30, 2008, 21:29:24
Beat you to it...

http://forums.army.ca/forums/index.php/topic,80207.0.html (http://forums.army.ca/forums/index.php/topic,80207.0.html)
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: Blackadder1916 on October 02, 2008, 22:15:19
Army chief who spoke out for his soldiers 'set for early retirement' after being passed over for top job (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1065412/Army-chief-spoke-soldiers-set-early-retirement-passed-job.html)
By Matthew Hickley Daily Mail Last updated at 8:23 PM on 30th September 2008

The head of the British Army is lining up an early retirement, military sources have claimed.

General Sir Richard Dannatt, 57, will go after being passed over for the top job of Chief of the Defence Staff, they say.

The general is thought to have earned respect from rank-and-file soldiers for publicly highlighting the serious strains facing the Armed Forces - as well as calling successfully for improved pay for junior troops.

But according to Ministry of Defence insiders his 'plain speaking' soured relations with Labour ministers after he was appointed as Chief of the General Staff two years ago.

Hopes among his supporters that he would become Britain's most senior commander - in overall charge of all three services - are fading.

Critics are angry that such a widely admired officer appears to have fallen foul of Whitehall politics, and said it would be a 'national scandal' if his views were to curtail his career.

The Chief of the Defence Staff is a political appointment which must be backed by the Prime Minister, and Sir Richard's prospects were effectively ended recently when ministers announced that the current head of the armed forces, Air Chief Marshall Sir Jock Stirrup, will stay in the post for two years longer than normal.

By convention, each of the three single service chiefs and the overall Chief of the Defence Staff serve for around three years, with a single service chief then chosen to move into the top job.

Sir Jock took up his post in April 2006, and when General Dannatt took charge of the Army four months later it appeared he was in a strong position to succeed him.

But because Sir Jock will now serve a five-year term, Sir Richard and his counterparts in the other two services will have retired before he does.

Insiders believe Sir Richard may now step down long before his planned retirement date of late 2009 - possibly before the New Year - to allow David Richards to establish himself in the post and position himself to succeed Sir Jock in 2011.

General Richards is currently Commander-in-Chief Land Forces.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on October 03, 2008, 13:32:49
3 PARA motto: Girls are OK but there's nothing like the real thing  ;D


http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/campaigns/our_boys/article1762942.ece
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: Blackadder1916 on October 03, 2008, 16:48:50
Army bans Christmas parcels after post backlog  (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/onthefrontline/3129857/Army-bans-Christmas-parcels-after-post-backlog.html)
The Army has banned the public from sending Christmas parcels to combat troops unless they are addressed to an individual soldier.

By Graham Tibbetts Telegraph.co.uk  Last Updated: 4:00PM BST 03 Oct 2008

It said the British Forces Post Office system had become overloaded and would only be used to deliver mail from friends and family to service personnel in war zones.

Other people wishing to send cards or donations were urged to use recognised charities instead of simply addressing them to "a British soldier".

Last year the military postal service suffered such a backlog that many soldiers were left without mail from loved ones at Christmas.

Prince Harry, who was serving in Afghanistan, declared the system "pants" after a Christmas card from his father arrived two months late.

The Ministry of Defence said the boxes from well-wishers resulted in more work for staff and meant dangerous trips had to be made to reach the frontline in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Susan Coulthard, a spokesman, said: "Every item of post received by the BFPO has to be checked by hand and scanned to make sure that there is nothing inside that is unsuitable to send.

"Sometimes we get people trying to send things like chocolate which of course just melts when it is sent to the Middle East. If we get thousands and thousands of boxes that we don't know where they came from or what's inside it can really clog up the system.

"It can also put individuals lives at risk if they have to make extra trips through dangerous areas to deliver the post to the front.

"Additional mail in the system can delay the delivery of personal mail from loved ones, which is of huge importance to those away from home for long periods, especially at Christmas."

Since September last year 146,000 bags of mail have been sent out to soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Vice Admiral Peter Wilkinson, Deputy Chief of Defence Staff (Personnel), said: "The generosity and support of the British public has been outstanding and it means a huge amount to all those serving in our Armed Forces.

"When on operations, the receipt of news from home, a letter from your wife or children, is a huge boost to morale, but, unfortunately, this can be delayed by the sheer volume of mail generously donated.

"Last Christmas, the mail created a significant challenge to our logistics chain in theatre, which must also focus on the supply of operational essentials such as ammunition, food and medical supplies.

"These controls mean we will continue to supply free post to the friends, family and loved ones of those serving on operations overseas, whilst ensuring our operational effectiveness is maintained."

The MoD said donations can be made via charities set up to support the servicemen and women, including UK4U Thanks!, the Royal British Legion, Poppyscotland, SSAFA, Army Benevolent Fund and Help for Heroes.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: ivan the tolerable on October 03, 2008, 17:16:01
Prince Harry, who was serving in Afghanistan, declared the system "pants" after a Christmas card from his father arrived two months late.
:rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

Is it wrong of me to be quite amused by that particular quote?
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: Danjanou on October 03, 2008, 17:29:33
3 PARA motto: Girls are OK but there's nothing like the real thing  ;D


http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/campaigns/our_boys/article1762942.ece


Mortar Platoon?  8)
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on October 03, 2008, 18:58:08
Mortar Platoon?  8)

We regarded the majority of 3 PARA with great suspicion. Like I always said "Don't drop your wallet in 3 PARA's lines or you'll have to kick it to Basingstoke before you can bend over to pick it up"
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on October 03, 2008, 19:23:25
'The Mole', Second World War POW tunnel digger, dies aged 95

A Second World War RAF navigator who was nicknamed 'The Mole' because of his persistent attempts to tunnel out of prison camps after being shot down over France, has died, aged 95.
 
By Richard Savill
Last Updated: 2:34PM BST 02 Oct 2008

Warrant Officer John Fancy, who acquired the reputation of being one of the most determined escapers the Germans had encountered, dug eight tunnels under camps in Poland, Lithuania and Germany.
He helped several comrades to escape, and dug himself to freedom on three occasions, only to be recaptured.
Despite harsh punishments, he never gave up and one of his prized possessions in later life was a 10 inch butter knife, issued to him by his German captors to eat meals, which he used to dig the tunnels. His efforts involved drawing elaborate plans and maps.
Mr Fancy spent nearly five years in prison camps after he was shot down over France on May 14, 1940. He and his crew had successfully bombed bridges over the Meuse, near Sedan, which were important to the advancing German army.
Summing up his war, he once said: "After four years, 10 months and four days I landed back in England after taking off on what should have been a four-hour trip."
After his final escape he and two other prisoners made their way to the shores of the Baltic in Lithuania and were out at sea in a stolen boat when they were seen and recaptured.
He was eventually released from his last camp in 1945 and became a market gardener, and was the author of two books about his exploits.
His daughter, Janet Fancy, 68, of Kingsbridge, Devon, who still has the butter knife, inscribed with the German eagle emblem, said: "He was wonderful, and above all else he was a doer.
"He dug at least eight very deep and long tunnels. It was hard work that required great skill and patience.
"After surviving a plane crash and five years of imprisonment the whole family rather felt he was indestructible. He will be greatly missed."
Mr Fancy, who died two weeks ago, was held in numerous camps, including the Stalag Luft VI in occupied Lithuania.
He married his sweetheart Elsie when war broke out, and heard she was expecting their first child in May 1940, the same day that his Blenheim bomber plane was shot down.
His daughter said: "He found out that mother was expecting me on that very day. She always said it was the fact that he knew he was going to be a father that gave him the strength to survive and the will to keep trying to escape."
Mr Fancy, a Yorkshireman, lived in Scarborough, but moved to Slapton, Devon, after his wife died 23 years ago. The village pubs in Slapton had seats reserved for him at the bar, one of which, The Tower Inn, has his portrait above.

http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/woman/real_life/article1762785.ece
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: Old Sweat on October 04, 2008, 08:23:05
According to this story in The Daily Telegraph, the Royal Navy is in dire financial straits. The Labour government pledged that the complement of destroyers would not fall below 25, but there are now only 22 in commission. (I am not all that good at the nuances of sailor speak, so I apologize for any slips here in advance.)

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/onthefrontline/3131155/Exclusive-Cash-strapped-Navy-cuts-destroyer-fleet.html?source=EMC-new_04102008
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on October 04, 2008, 18:50:20
Speaking of dire straights... "You don't have to be crazy to work here, but it helps'


Armed forces facing 'explosion' of mental illness
Britain is facing an "explosion" of psychiatric disorders amongst serving and former members of the armed forces.
 
By Sean Rayment, Defence Correspondent
Last Updated: 7:25PM BST 04 Oct 2008
The Sunday Telegraph has learnt that ex-servicemen's charities have seen a 53% increase in the number of veterans seeking help since 2005, a rate which threatens to "swamp" them within a few years.
The Ministry of Defence's own figures show that up to 2000 members of the armed services are being diagnosed every year with a psychiatric condition after serving in Iraq or Afghanistan.
Former service personnel who fought in earlier campaigns stretching back to the Second World War are also coming forward for treatment after psychological problems have emerged years, sometimes decades, later.
Those problems include post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), manic depression, mood swings, and drug and alcohol dependency. It has also emerged that up to seven service personnel have committed suicide either during or after active duty in Iraq.
Details of the size of the problem were revealed by a senior MoD official speaking on condition of anonymity.
The official said: "We are facing an explosion of psychiatric problems not just from serving military personnel but also from those who served in campaigns dating all the way back to the Second World War. It is a huge problem and something which requires a cross-governmental solution."
The official's comments were supported by Combat Stress, the ex-services mental welfare charity, which has seen an increase in the number of referrals of veterans rise by 53 per cent since 2005.
In 2000, the charity saw just 300 new patients who had an average age of 70. So far this year, the charity has seen 1,160 veterans, with an average age of 43. Of those, 217 saw service in Iraq and 38 fought in Afghanistan. The youngest veteran being cared for by the charity is just 20.
Robert Marsh, the director of fund raising for Combat Stress, said his organisation was working at full capacity.
He said: "There is a strong possibility that we face being swamped by new veterans seeking our help. There has been a 53 per cent increase in the number of veterans seeking our help in just three years. Lord knows what we are going to be faced with in five or 10 years time. We need to develop more capacity for the future because we are already creaking."
The charity, which has three regional treatment centres in the UK - in Surrey, Shropshire and Ayrshire - has 8,490 ex-service personnel on its books of whom around 4000 are currently receiving treatment.
The charity is treating 246 veterans who fought in the Second World War; 57 who fought in Malaya; 128 who were based in Aden; and around 2000 who served in Northern Ireland.
But it is the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, which are likely to produce the most psychiatric casualties over the next few years.
The Iraq War developed into a bitter insurgency in which dozens of soldiers were killed and hundreds were maimed by improvised explosive devices. The war in Afghanistan is now regarded as the bloodiest campaign since Korea.
The latest government figures available show that for the first nine months of 2007, more than 1500 servicemen and women who served in either Iraq or Afghanistan were diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder - a rate of 2000 a year. Personnel who are posted to Afghanistan are 14 times more likely to develop PTSD than those who do not deploy.
But the MoD's own analysis warns that its figures might be hiding the true extent of the problem because of the social stigma associated with mental illness.
Liam Fox, the Tory shadow defence secretary, said: "We are seeing an increasing number of veterans coming forward with mental health problems because of the stresses they faced in places like Northern Ireland and the first Gulf War - this was entirely predictable. But what is absolutely tragic is the fact that these same veterans have been abandoned to their fait by this government."
The military has gone to great lengths to diagnose psychiatric disorders amongst troops. Serving personnel have access to 15 community mental health centres across the country which provide psychiatric out-patient care. Those troops requiring in-patient care are treated at The Priory, which has centres across the UK. Troops also have access to in-service psychiatrists. Junior commanders are trained to recognize the symptoms of psychological trauma at an early stage.
A spokesman for the MoD, said: "Counselling is available to Service Personnel and troops receive pre and post deployment briefings to help recognise the signs of stress disorders. We recognise that operational deployments can be stressful experiences, so we offer individuals briefing prior to returning to their home base. 'Decompression periods' at the home base or in places such as Cyprus are in place for personnel to unwind mentally and physically and talk to colleagues about their experiences in theatre. The families of returning personnel are also offered presentations and leaflets about the possible after-affects of an operational deployment."
Last month it emerged that one in ten of the British prison population was a former member of the armed services. The revelation led to calls for greater welfare improvements for veterans.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/politics/defence/3136251/Armed-forces-facing-explosion-of-mental-illness.html
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on October 06, 2008, 00:02:41
Less painful than shooting yourself in the foot...

Wot? No penal battalions?

Army 10 in drug swoop
By TOM NEWTON DUNN
Defence Editor
Published: 04 Oct 2008
 
TEN soldiers just back from the frontline face the boot for drug use.

The random swoop by military cops on the 1st Battalion the Royal Welsh led to the biggest bust in their history.
Senior officers — already facing a troops exodus — are probing whether the soldiers took narcotics to get caught on purpose.
It can take up to three years to be discharged but want-away squaddies are turning to drugs to get kicked out immediately.
Nine of the group — corporals or below — took cocaine and the tenth took cannabis.
The battalion was called into action in Afghanistan and Iraq before returning to its Chester base in August.
Some soldiers are sick of spending so much time away from their families.
An Army source said: “Popping a pill or doing a line of the coke is the easiest way to get out. More and more blokes are doing it.”

http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/campaigns/our_boys/article1767365.ece
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on October 06, 2008, 01:18:09
Relentless Taliban just keep coming

As their gruelling tour of duty in Afghanistan ends, men of 2 Para tell of relentless battles with an enemy that simply doesn’t know when he is outgunned
 
AS the Afghan sun set over the end-of-tour memorial service last Wednesday at British headquarters in Lashkar Gah, 32 names of the dead, aged between 19 and 52, were solemnly read out, including that of the first woman killed, Corporal Sarah Bryant. Almost every other name, it seemed, was from 2 Para.
The 2nd Battalion the Parachute Regiment lost more lives than any other section of 16 Air Assault Brigade — 11 in total, and five in one week in June — or one in 10 of the unit.
Over the past few days, as the paras flew back to Camp Bastion at the start of their journey home, the mood was sombre. “2 Para took the bulk of the casualties,” said Sergeant Andrew Lamont.

“I lost a few good friends I’ve known for 12 years. Others lost limbs. But when you’re out on the bases you just get on. If anything it encourages you to fight to the best of your ability. Only now, as we’re going home without them, is it really sinking in.”

The most recent victim was popular Lance-Corporal Nicky Mason, killed by a roadside bomb while on patrol keeping the Taliban away from the Kajaki dam. “It was a big shock to everybody,” said Lamont, who was just a few hundred yards away when he heard the blast. “When I got back to camp I actually had a cigarette, the first I’d smoked in 19 years.”

It was not supposed to be that way. Unlike 16 Air Assault Brigade’s first tour in Helmand two years ago, when the then defence secretary John Reid declared that he hoped not a single shot would be fired, they were well prepared this time.

They had almost twice as many men — 7,800 troops and four combat battalions, consisting of the 2nd and 3rd Battalions the Parachute Regiment and two battalions of the Royal Regiment of Scotland. Their commander, Brigadier Mark Carleton-Smith, declared them “the best equipped force the British Army has ever sent”.
But the Taliban have also changed tactics, increasingly using improvised explosive devices (IEDs), hiring foreign fighters from Chechnya and Uzbekistan as well as from Pakistan, and even managing to lure defectors from the Afghan national army who had been trained by British and American forces by offering to double their £90-a-month combat pay.

Capitalising on an increasingly unpopular government in Kabul and growing anger at civilian casualties, the Taliban now present themselves as less hardline, promising if they return to power they will no longer ban kites or demand quite such long beards.

As he prepared to hand over to the marines, Carleton-Smith admitted that it had been “an intense summer”. But he insisted: “That intensity has been less a product of resurgent Taliban and more the result of a larger international military footprint. We’re controlling more, our perimeter is wider, more people are living in our enclaves.”
He said British forces had killed six senior or mid-level Taliban commanders and successfully transported a US-funded turbine to the Kajaki dam to prepare the way for a supply of electricity.

“We’ve taken the sting out of the Taliban for 2008,” he said. “As autumn turns to winter those who are foreign will return home and restore themselves and only reappear after the poppy harvest in May or June.”

The number of civilians caught in the crossfire has also been reduced. “We’ve dropped fewer bombs than on any of the previous missions,” said Carleton-Smith.
Yet, while the British claim 78% of the population lives in their zones, the governor of Helmand says half the province is under Taliban control and they are fighting in Nad Ali, less than 10 miles from brigade headquarters in Lashkar Gah.

Carleton-Smith acknowledges the preponderance of Taliban ringtones proclaiming “Death to the Invader” that are heard on the street, but dismisses them as “quite a good insurance policy to have on your phone”. He insists that “the very conventional battlefield of 2006 no longer applies”.
For those engaged in the fighting, it certainly seemed like war, particularly to the men of 2 Para who lost so many comrades.
Sergeant Phil Stout, 34, commander of one of C company’s three rifle platoons, lost five men from his 30-man unit, one to an IED and the others in firefights. Stationed at Forward Operating Base Gibraltar in the upper Gereshk valley, he had only been in theatre two weeks when two Royal Marines who were due to go home were killed on patrol. “That really brought home there’s a real threat out there,” he said.

The platoon’s first big contact was on June 12. “That day is marked in my head.” Two of his men, Lance-Corporal James Bateman and Private Jeff Doherty, were killed when ambushed by the Taliban while out on patrol. “The amount of firepower was phenomenal; they must have had their finger on the trigger the whole time.
“From then to the present day it never stopped,” said Stout. “We were getting contacts every day, some just pot-shots at the base, others much more. We always outnumber and outpower them with our weapons but they keep coming back. I reckon they’re crazy. Two of them would try to take on a company. That’s not good odds.”
The relentless attacks reduced the area in which British forces could operate. “When we arrived we could patrol up to the top of our operating area, 8-9km north, but by the end we couldn’t go more than 1-1Åkm,” Stout said.
The worst threat was from IEDs. “They’re very crude devices and we got good at identifying them, but it’s always in your head, ‘Am I going to lie on something or kneel on something and get blown up?’”
Conditions were basic. Food was usually 10-man ration packs, ammunition containers sufficed as chairs and tables, and the only washing facilities were solar showers. “It was so basic that I was really excited when we got a welfare pack from a teacher with wet wipes and toothbrushes,” he said.
When he started suffering from stomach pain, Stout blamed the way they were living and dosed himself with paracetamol. Then he collapsed and had to be “medi-vacced” back to the UK. His gall bladder was about to burst and he was lucky to have survived. Yet as soon as he had recovered he returned to Afghanistan, much to the horror of his wife.
With him at FOB Gibraltar was Corporal Scott Bourne, 26. “I knew it was always worse in summer than winter but thought it was ‘bigged up’ in the media before I came,” he laughed. His view changed when, on June 10, he narrowly escaped being blown up by a suicide bomber.
Two days later he was on patrol when there was an ambush by 30-40 Taliban. “After that it was every couple of days. By the end we could go less distance than at the beginning and we were just pushing, pushing, fighting Taliban off.”
Lamont, commander of one of 2 Para’s fire support groups, spent his entire tour based at Kajaki. “When we first arrived it was the poppy harvest, so fighting was low, but then the maize grew so they had more cover and fighting got more intense,” he said.
“If anything I’d say it’s getting worse. Taliban tactics are changing, using more IEDs, and they don’t back down.”
Lamont at first operated from a Wimik, an armed Land Rover, but near the end of the tour he was equipped with one of the new Jackals, a much better protected vehicle.
“It’s one of the best things the government has done for us,” he said. “It saved three of my boys’ lives.”
Two weeks ago they were on patrol when an IED blew up the vehicle behind him. “I heard this huge explosion and turned around thinking the worst,” he said. “All I could see was this massive wall of smoke. Then two guys started to walk towards me, the driver and the commander. The gunman had been thrown out. If we’d had the old vehicles we’d have lost all three guys.”
While getting the turbine to Kajaki was the high point of the tour, Carleton-Smith admits that the low point was sustaining so many casualties. In June Britain’s 100th soldier died in Afghanistan.
“Our casualty figures have been substantial but they have to be kept in context,” he says. “We may in the course of 2008 have in the region of 50 fatalities in Helmand, but in 1972 more than 100 British soldiers were killed in Northern Ireland, on our own streets.”
He insists that time is on the side of the Afghan government. “The young people want betterment of their lives. What the Taliban can’t do is deliver progress and development. As long as the international community can stay the course, over time the Afghan government capacity will grow.”
He argues that the international community should aim not for victory over the Taliban but to reduce the insurgency to a level that can be contained by the new Afghan army.
“If we reduce our expectations then I think realistically in the next three to five years we will be handing over tactical military responsibility to the Afghan army and in the next 10 years the bulk of responsibility for combating insurgency will be with them.”
Flying out through the dustbowl that is Camp Bastion, and watching all the building going on below, it seems the British Army is digging itself in for a very long campaign.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/asia/article4882417.ece
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on October 07, 2008, 02:25:41
Armed forces bosses spend £230 million on hotels and dining

Armed forces bosses spent £230 million on hotels and dining - 13 times more than was spent on upgrading dilapidated living quarters for soldiers.
 
By Graham Tibbetts
Last Updated: 2:55PM BST 06 Oct 2008
Latest figures available, for the year 2006/07, show that £16 million was spent on improving accommodation for servicemen and women.
The discrepancy was condemned by campaigners fighting for better conditions for troops.
Rose Gentle, whose son Gordon, 19, was killed in Iraq in 2004, said: "How dare they spend so much money on themselves when our troops are living in damp, draughty and disgusting conditions?
"I know soldiers' mothers who are having to send their sons money for food so they can eat properly. Then you have a bunch of civil servants living it up in restaurants and hotels on taxpayers' money."
Julie McCarthy, of the Army Families Federation, added: "Accommodation was, and still is, sub-standard and this shows that no one took the situation seriously. There have been no great improvements since last year but hopefully this will move accommodation to the top of the agenda."
Last year 19,000 homes out 70,000 married quarters and 165,000 single quarters were in disrepair.
Civil servants and senior military figures travel first class on trains, business class on flights and enjoy private taxis and wine with dinner.
More than £2.3billion was spent on refurbishing the Ministry of Defence's Whitehall headquarters.
An MoD spokesman defended the hotel and meal bill and said investment in military accommodation was increasing.
She added: "All travel and hotel expenditure is subject to strict guidelines to ensure value for money.
"It is also essential to invest in defence relations with key allies through international, senior level meetings."

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/onthefrontline/3144265/Armed-forces-bosses-spend-230-million-on-hotels-and-dining.html
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: Blackadder1916 on October 07, 2008, 15:55:19
Pair ‘conspired to steal explosives’
http://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/Article.aspx/874811?UserKey=

Scottish soldiers took army munitions to pass on to the criminal underworld, court told
By Elizabeth Barrett  Published: 07/10/2008

Two Scottish soldiers conspired to steal explosives from an Army barracks to pass on to the criminal underworld, a court heard yesterday.

The pair, referred to only as soldier X and soldier Y, were serving members of 5th Battalion the Royal Regiment of Scotland (Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders), stationed at Howe Barracks in Canterbury, Kent.

Their alleged illegal activities were uncovered by Scottish police officers on New Year’s Eve last year, Maidstone Crown Court heard.

Soldier X and soldier Y both deny two charges of conspiracy to possess and steal explosives.

They also deny a third charge of conspiracy to dishonestly undertake or assist in the retention, removal, disposal or realisation of stolen goods.

The explosives at the centre of the charges include detonators, flares, smoke grenades, distraction grenades and other munitions belonging to the Army.

Two other men – soldier A, who is a former serviceman with 5 Scots, and soldier B, of 5 Scots – pleaded guilty in June to conspiring to possess explosives and conspiring to dishonestly undertake or assist in the retention, removal, disposal or realisation of stolen goods.

They denied conspiring to steal explosives.

The offences are alleged to have taken place between October 31, 2007, and February 16 this year, while they were stationed in Canterbury.

Yesterday, judge Sir Robert Akenhead ruled, despite representations from the press, that the identities of the men involved in the trial could not be made public on the grounds of their own safety in custody.

Opening the case for the Crown, prosecutor Anthony Prosser told the jury that officers had carried out a drug raid at soldier A’s Glasgow flat on December 31 last year.

He was found hiding in the premises holding a shoebox containing £6,000.

Alongside 2kg or about 4.4lb of heroin, police discovered a black suitcase in a hall cupboard containing pyrotechnics, smoke grenades, parachute flares, rocket flares, 742 12-bore shotgun cartridges and hundreds of different-sized bullets, the court heard.

Officers found a British Army identification card in a wallet belonging to soldier Y, a long-time friend of soldier A, the jury was told.

DNA found on some of the explosives was traced to soldier B, also stationed at Howe Barracks in Kent.

A forensic search of the flat and soldier A’s vehicle revealed further traces of the compound RDX, an active component of military plastic explosives.

Strathclyde and Kent Police launched a cross-border investigation that led to the arrest of the four men on February 15. In a statement to police, soldier X claimed he had placed the explosives in his locker for safekeeping before going on leave, but denied taking them.

The trial continues.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on October 09, 2008, 00:33:02
Commander: Rescue of paratroopers from minefield 'delayed by red tape'

The battle group commander of a British paratrooper killed by a mine strike in Afghanistan has told how he was hampered by red tape as he fought to save his men.
 
By Aislinn Simpson
Last Updated: 5:40PM BST 08 Oct 2008
 

Colonel Stuart Tootal said he tried to send a US Black Hawk helicopter to rescue Corporal Mark Wright and his wounded colleagues but it was delayed by three and a half hours because he had to wait for clearance "at Nato level".
He told an inquest into Cpl Wright's death that he was forced instead to send a British Chinook which had no winch to lift the men to safety. The Chinook detonated the mine that killed Cpl Wright as it hovered helplessly overhead.
The 27-year-old, from Edinburgh, was posthumously awarded the George Cross for his brave efforts to provide first aid to wounded colleagues and keep up morale during the long wait for rescue.
He died onboard the US helicopter that eventually arrived with a winch while three of his comrades lost legs and a further three soldiers were injured in the tragedy.
Shortly after returning from Afghanistan, Col Tootal, the high-flying commander of 3 Para who was in line to be made a general, quit the Army, citing frustrations about lack of equipment, poor pay and conditions for his men and their families, and "shocking" treatment of the wounded.
He said in an interview shortly afterwards that a shortage of helicopters meant he often had to leave rescue missions to the last minute based on an estimation of how long an injured serviceman had to live.
Col Tootal had just seven Chinooks for his 1,200-strong battle group in a theatre where it was highly risky to move by road because of bombs.
"The lack of helicopters meant I had to make some very hard decisions," he said.
Andrew Walker, the assistant deputy coroner for Oxfordshire, asked him: "It's obvious, isn't it, to those preparing for operations in this type of terrain, that a rescue helicopter should have a winch?"
"I would agree with that, sir," said Col Tootal.
Col Tootal said the death of Cpl Wright came on the "day of days", on September 6, 2006, when he lost three men and had 18 injured in three separate incidents in Helmand Province, in southern Afghanistan.
After the first mine exploded, Col Tootal sent a request out for a Black Hawk helicopter but was told there was none available.
He eventually sent the Chinook despite knowing the potential risks of further mine strikes because, he said, at the time he had no alternative.
"We knew Corporal (Stuart) Hale had been badly injured and casualty evacuation was an absolute necessity," he said.
"We kept on saying 'we need a Black Hawk, we need a Black Hawk'."
When the twin-rotor Chinook arrived at the scene another member of Cpl Wright's patrol, Corporal Stuart Pearson, had had his leg blown off.
As the helicopter tried to land, the soldiers - concerned at the effect of the downdraft - made it clear they wanted it to leave.
Col Tootal said: "As it took off and flew away, there was a third mine detonation which tragically was the one which caused the fatal injuries to Mark Wright."
The Ministry of Defence has suggested that Cpl Wright had detonated the mine by moving.
But Col Tootall said that the injury pattern on Cpl Wright's body showed he had not triggered the mine himself.
"I think there is definitely a causal link to the helicopter and the detonation," he said.
Col Tootal also spoke at his frustration over the constant questioning of his need for a helicopter which, he said, contributed to the delay and subsequent casualty toll.
“I didn’t expect, as a battle group commander, for people to question my judgement in the way they did on September 6,” he said.
“If a British force had had the helicopter, they could have made it readily available in the time frame that I wanted it.
“Had we got the (winch) helicopter when we wanted it, I’m strongly of the belief we would be dealing with one casualty - Cpl Hale - and we would not have got into the subsequent events.”
The inquest continues.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/onthefrontline/3159787/Commander-Rescue-of-paratroopers-from-minefield-delayed-by-red-tape.html

Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: Blackadder1916 on October 10, 2008, 12:59:39
Armed forces personnel details go missing
http://uk.reuters.com/article/domesticNews/idUKTRE49922F20081010
Reuters Fri Oct 10, 2008 10:35am BST
 
LONDON (Reuters) - The Ministry of Defence said on Friday it was investigating the loss of a portable hard drive used for storing personal information of armed forces staff.

The drive contained the private details of 100,000 Army, Navy and Royal Air Force personnel -- around half the armed forces -- the Sun said.

The drive includes passport numbers, addresses, dates of birth, driving licence details, and names and contact numbers for doctors and dentist, the paper said.

The information also included data on 600,000 potential recruits and their references, it reported.

The MoD said IT contractor EDS had told it on Wednesday that the hard drive could not be found.

The loss came to light after EDS conducted an audit of its data handling procedures to comply with new government guidelines brought in after details of 25 million child benefit claimants were lost by the Revenue and Customs department.

In July, the government said 747 laptops had been stolen or lost from the MoD in the last four years and only 32 had been recovered.

The loss is likely to prompt further calls for the government to end plans to bring in national identity cards.

The Conservatives and Liberal Democrats have argued that a series of high profile information losses show the government cannot be trusted with personal data.

(Reporting by Tim Castle)
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on October 10, 2008, 13:33:35
Armed forces personnel details go missing
http://uk.reuters.com/article/domesticNews/idUKTRE49922F20081010
Reuters Fri Oct 10, 2008 10:35am BST
 
LONDON (Reuters) - The Ministry of Defence said on Friday it was investigating the loss of a portable hard drive used for storing personal information of armed forces staff.

The drive contained the private details of 100,000 Army, Navy and Royal Air Force personnel -- around half the armed forces -- the Sun said.

The drive includes passport numbers, addresses, dates of birth, driving licence details, and names and contact numbers for doctors and dentist, the paper said.

The information also included data on 600,000 potential recruits and their references, it reported.

The MoD said IT contractor EDS had told it on Wednesday that the hard drive could not be found.

The loss came to light after EDS conducted an audit of its data handling procedures to comply with new government guidelines brought in after details of 25 million child benefit claimants were lost by the Revenue and Customs department.

In July, the government said 747 laptops had been stolen or lost from the MoD in the last four years and only 32 had been recovered.

The loss is likely to prompt further calls for the government to end plans to bring in national identity cards.

The Conservatives and Liberal Democrats have argued that a series of high profile information losses show the government cannot be trusted with personal data.

(Reporting by Tim Castle)

This feels like Groundhog Day. Hasn't this happened to them a couple of times before this, recently?
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: Hamish Seggie on October 10, 2008, 13:36:45
Not just there. Here too in Manitoba, two laptops belonging to the Justice Department were stolen.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on October 12, 2008, 02:29:18
I bet they'll get this right soon after making sure a suitable number of 'visible minorities' are serving in the Guards Divsion.... like never

Army's top general makes history by addressing conference on homosexuality
The head of the British Army has made military history by addressing a conference on homosexuality, The Sunday Telegraph can reveal.

 http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/onthefrontline/3179261/Armys-top-general-makes-history-by-addressing-conference-on-homosexuality.html

By Sean Rayment, Defence Correspondents
Last Updated: 1:31AM BST 12 Oct 2008

Gen Sir Richard said that respect for gays, lesbian, bi-sexual and trans-sexual officers and soldiers was now 'a command responsibility' for the Army Photo: GETTY
General Sir Richard Dannatt, the chief of the general staff, told members of the Army-sponsored Fourth Joint Conference on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transexual Matters that homosexuals were welcome to serve in the Army.
In a speech to the conference in London on Thursday, – the first of its kind by any Army chief – Gen Sir Richard said that respect for gays, lesbian, bi-sexual and trans-sexual officers and soldiers was now "a command responsibility" and was vital for "operational effectiveness".
In the speech, he said: "We have made real progress in our understanding of equality and diversity in the military context, and there is a desire to achieve more yet. My recent Equality and Diversity Directive for the Army sets the standard that we must live by, and, importantly, it communicates that standard to everyone in the chain of command.
"Respect for Others", one of the Army's core values, is at the heart of this directive.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: Blackadder1916 on October 12, 2008, 03:18:39
. . .  respect for gays, lesbian, bi-sexual and trans-sexual officers and soldiers was now 'a command responsibility'
. . . were welcome to serve in the Army.

Isn't that what the major in the Paras was doing?  Exercising his "command responsibility" and "welcoming" someone of the same sex.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on October 13, 2008, 17:15:37
Isn't that what the major in the Paras was doing?  Exercising his "command responsibility" and "welcoming" someone of the same sex.

It was probably a renactment of his last battle where they took the enemy from behind.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: Old Sweat on October 13, 2008, 18:31:55
Maybe it's a bum rap.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: geo on October 13, 2008, 20:14:58
The fella dropped his bar of soap while being followed (a little too closely) from behind .....
and when he bent over to pick the bar up.....WHOA!  Crowbar!!!
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: Blackadder1916 on October 15, 2008, 21:29:38
Armed forces thank a town for caring
http://news.scotsman.com/uk/Armed-forces-thank-a-town.4583956.jp

By Aleisha Scott The Scotsman Published Date: 13 October 2008

MEMBERS of the armed forces yesterday paraded through a small town to thank residents for honouring dead British service personnel.

Since April 2007, Wootton Bassett locals have lined the streets more than 100 times as funeral corteges drive through the town, near RAF Lyneham.

The base is where the bodies of servicemen and women are repatriated after deaths in Afghanistan or Iraq.

Thanking Wootton Bassett for its show of respect, the head of the British Army, Sir Richard Dannatt, said in a letter: "In many respects, it is the things that cost nothing that are the ones that are the most important – a friendly greeting in the street, a prayer in church. But the gestures shown by the people of Wootton Bassett surpass these at every level."
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: geo on October 15, 2008, 22:47:19
BZ to the people of Wootton Bassett for doing the right thing at the right time.

(just a darned shame that the people on the roadway beyond often impede the movement of the fallen.)
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on October 16, 2008, 20:53:56
British soldier faces court martial friendly fire deaths - Telegraph

 
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/onthefrontline/3183824/British-soldier-faces-court-martial-friendly-fire-deaths.html
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on October 17, 2008, 12:35:57
Moral of the story: War sucks...

Military chiefs told to 'hang heads in shame' over paratrooper Cpl Mark Wright's death

British military chiefs should "hang their heads in shame" for a catalogue of failings which led to the death of paratrooper Corporal Mark Wright in a minefield in Afghanistan, a coroner said.

Coroner Andrew Walker ruled that the explosion which killed 27-year-old paratrooper Cpl Wright was caused by the "downwash" from a Chinook helicopter which had been sent to rescue a platoon of soldiers stranded in an unmarked minefield in the Kajaki area of Afghanistan's Helmand Province.
Recording a narrative verdict at the end of a two-week inquest at Oxford Coroner's Court, he said that Cpl Wright's death could have been avoided but for a lack of equipment. He also criticised the availability of British helicopters in Afghanistan, an administrative delay and training methods.
Cpl Wright, from 3rd Battalion, the Parachute Regiment, was marooned with a group of comrades in the minefield on September 6 2006 after going to the rescue of a sniper who had earlier been injured by a mine after straying into the unmarked danger zone.

The disastrous operation, which has become one of the moist notorious incidents of the British mission to Helmand, left six other soldiers injured, including three who lost limbs.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/onthefrontline/3216428/Military-chiefs-told-to-hang-heads-in-shame-over-paratrooper-Cpl-Mark-Wrights-death.html
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: Hamish Seggie on October 17, 2008, 17:32:58
Perhaps the coroner should have told the politicians to hang their heads in shame as well. The generals, admirals and air marshals don't fund the service....the public does via the political process. And we all know politicians and the lace panties they wear. Except for Maggie Thatcher. I'm sure hers were armor plate.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: Blackadder1916 on October 17, 2008, 18:08:46
General Sir David Richards is new head of British Army (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/onthefrontline/3216423/General-Sir-David-Richards-is-new-head-of-British-Army.html)
General Sir David Richards, the former commander of Nato forces in Afghanistan who has called for a troop surge to defeat the Taliban, has been appointed as the new head of the British Army.
 
By Aislinn Simpson Telegragh Last Updated: 1:31PM BST 17 Oct 2008

Sir David, 56, currently Commander in Chief (land) based in Salisbury, will succeed Gen Sir Richard Dannatt as Chief of the General Staff in August 2009.

He has called for an international troop surge in Afghanistan, which could involve up to 30,000 more Nato troops and as many as 5,000 UK troops when forces leave Iraq.

Britain has about 8,000 service personnel currently serving in Afghanistan, and Nato has more than 50,000 in total.

"I think militarily there is a case for more troops, they don't all have to come by any means from the UK," said Sir David, who was the first non-American to command US forces since the Second World War.

"NATO ISAF nations between them have a large number of troops, so I think perhaps we would be looking at others in the first instance."

He will lead a team of senior commanders with extensive experience of operations in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

Lieutenant General Peter Wall, who has served in both countries, will take over as Commander-in-Chief of British land forces, while Lieutenant General Sir Nick Houghton, who served in Iraq, is Vice Chief of Defence Staff.

New heads have also been appointed to lead the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force. Adml Sir Mark Stanhope will become First Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Staff, while Air Marshal Stephen Dalton will be the next Chief of the Air Staff.

Gen Richards led Nato's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan in 2006/7. He also commanded British troops in Sierra Leone in 2000 and as a young officer was mentioned in despatches for his service in Northern Ireland.

He was recently in the public eye as the commanding officer of Corporal Daniel James, an Iranian-born British Army interpreter who is on trial at the Old Bailey accused of spying for his native country.

While Sir David's appointment has been broadly welcomed by Armed Forces personnel and military experts, it results in the departure of Sir Richard, who was passed over for the role of Chief of the Defence Staff, the overall head of the military.

It is believed he was sidelined because he irritated the Government with his outspoken attacks on its defence policy and treatment of service personnel.

Major General Patrick Cordingley, who commanded the renowned Desert Rats in the first Gulf War, said: "David Richards has experience in Afghanistan where our main effort is going to be in the years to come so his appointment makes complete sense.

"He is a man who has cautioned on the use of excessive force and has called for more people to make it less necessary to use such force."

Armed Forces personnel commenting on the changes bemoaned Sir Richard's departure but anticipated that he will make further outspoken attacks on Government's treatment of troops once he leaves the staff.

"I hope (Sir David) does as well as the current incumbent; he has a hard act to follow," one wrote.

Another said: "I worked for him some years ago and he struck me as a very down to earth, soldier's soldier. Good luck to him."

A Ministry of Defence spokesman stressed that while Sir David was in favour of strengthening the ISAF military presence, there are no plans to increase Britain's deployment levels there.

Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on October 20, 2008, 03:17:53
Bomber Command to be honoured after 63 years
Heroes of Bomber Command are to be honoured with a memorial 63 years after their air raids helped secure victory for Britain and the United States in the Second World War.
 
By Alastair Jamieson
Last Updated: 9:38PM BST 18 Oct 2008

More than 55,000 members of the Royal Air Force who died during the bombardment of Germany will be recognised with a circle of statues in Regent's Park, London.
Campaigners are close to raising enough funds for the £2 million memorial, which they say will end a long-standing injustice. While other military personnel have been honoured for their sacrifice, there has been widespread unease over the role of Bomber Command in the carpet-bombing of German cities that led to the horrific death of more than 600,000 civilians.

Former Bee Gees singer Robin Gibb, a supporter of the memorial campaign, said: "The memorial will be up in Regent's Park next year. We have agreed a site, but we still need to raise a bit more money. "I feel very emotional about this. These guys are heroes. Everyone in Britain and the rest of Europe owes them a debt. It has been 63 years and yet successive governments have failed to honour them.

"This is not about glorifying war, it is about honouring sacrifice."

The singer, who is president of the Heritage Foundation which honours noteworthy British achievers, said the memorial would take the form of seven bronze statues of crew members in uniform, facing outwards in a circle.

The bomber offensive played a major role in defeating Hitler's Germany and was initially one of the few ways in which Britain could strike back at the Nazis.
The strategy of carpet-bombing was largely dictated by the technology of the day, because long-range high-level bombers lacked the accuracy to hit individual factories.
Churchill backed the strategy but snubbed Bomber Command in his 1945 victory broadcast, thanking all sections of the RAF except the bomber force.

John Nichol, 44, who was shot down in an RAF Tornado bomber over Iraq in 1991, said: "It will be a great day for the men of Bomber Command and their relatives.
"Many of them still feel today that the country is ashamed of what they did, and that's terribly sad and wrong when you're talking to 80 and 90-year-old men. "More Bomber Command aircrew were lost in a single night in February 1944 than all the fighter pilots killed in the Battle of Britain.

"That in no way denigrates the achievement of Fighter Command, but it highlights the scale of the sacrifice among bomber crews."

RAF Bomber Command carried out 354,514 sorties – 297,663 of them at night – dropping more than a million tons of bombs during the Second World War. For every 100 airmen, 56 could expect to be killed in the air or die from wounds. Of the rest, three would be injured and 14 would survive being shot down.

In all, 55,573 were killed – their average age 22 – and 8,325 were lost. The dead included 38,462 Britons, 9,980 Canadians, 4,050 Australians and 1,703 New Zealanders.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/3224889/Bomber-Command-to-be-honoured-after-63-years.html
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: geo on October 20, 2008, 09:56:37
Ummm... Germany commenced the practice of bombing civilian targets & esp built up areas... 
Once the door was opened, the allies had a choice of permitting the germans to contineu - while keeping to the moral high ground.

War is hell & total and all out war was brought to the german people - wherever it may be.

BZ to the magnificent men in their flying machines who braved the german air defences between 1940 & 1945
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on October 22, 2008, 19:29:25
Pictured: British ex-MOD boss, 70, becomes first transsexual geisha in Japan

The figure of the geisha is one steeped in mystery, tradition and intrigue.
And, until now, becoming a geisha in Japan has been a strictly female-only affair.
But now 70-year-old Mary Murdoch, formerly Malcolm Murdoch and an ex-Ministry of Defence boss, has broken with tradition to become the first ever transsexual allowed to dress as a geisha.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1079616/Pictured-British-ex-MOD-boss-70-transsexual-geisha-Japan.html
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: Hamish Seggie on October 22, 2008, 19:31:07
jeezz is that ugly!!!
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: Old Sweat on October 22, 2008, 19:38:15
That's a lousy pick up line!
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: geo on October 22, 2008, 22:30:21
Ugh... you really know how to ruin an evening meal :P

Saw the pic & the only thing I could think of was.... "the Joker" out of a Batman flick

Yowze!!!
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on October 23, 2008, 00:07:45
Halloween's coming. There are definitely a few good ideas in there for the devil may care set!
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: Blackadder1916 on October 25, 2008, 18:29:32
Gurkhas bow to political correctness worries Army (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/onthefrontline/3251272/Gurkhas-bow-to-political-correctness-worries-Army.html)
 
By Chris Irvine, Telegraph,  Last Updated: 8:05AM BST 24 Oct 2008

A drive to recruit female soldiers to the Gurkhas has lead to fears that the traditional strengths of the regiments could be undermined.

Junior defence minister Derek Twigg last year announced the Army would recruit female Gurkhas from 2009, but gave no details.

The Government is imposing the changes over fears they may be sued by Nepalese women, it has been claimed.

But the Army now fears standards will slip as they reduce the level of combat training for male Gurkha recruits simply to accommodate female members.

Half of the Army's 3,400 Gurkhas are infantry soldiers in the Royal Gurkha Rifles, while the other half serve as specialist 'corps' units providing engineering and medical support among other things.

Unlike the rest of the Army however, these corps members undergo full infantry combat training, meaning that if ever the infantry are in short supply, members of the corps can be called up.

Female Gurkha recruits would only be able to serve in the non-infantry units, in line with Army policy, but it is illegal to recruit and train men and women differently to do the same job.

It is feared if the women are put through the gruelling Gurkha training regime, they will be more at risk of injury and failure, or even sue the Army for sex discrimination - a trial in Nepal last year saw no woman pass the tests.

To get round the problem, the Gurkhas could be trained separately - one for infantry and one for specialist - but this would take away the flexibility that the Gurkhas are admired for.

Tory MP Patrick Mercer told the Daily Mail: "The end result will be a less flexible brigade of Gurkhas and a less capable British Army."

A Ministry of Defence spokesman said: "Work is ongoing to consider recruitment, selection and training. The matter is complex and no final decision has been taken."

The Gurkhas won their battle to settle in Britain following a High Court ruling earlier this month.

The decision means Gurkhas, including veterans of the Falklands and Gulf wars now have the right to live in Britain.

Links with the Gurkhas date back to 1814 when British forces fought a war against Nepal.

British commanders began to recruit them soon after - Gurkhas have fought in both World Wars, the Balkans, Afghanistan and Iraq.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: geo on October 25, 2008, 20:20:27
Brother!!!! here we go again :(
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: Blackadder1916 on October 25, 2008, 20:42:43
And an update on a previously posted item.

Pair ‘conspired to steal explosives’
http://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/Article.aspx/874811?UserKey=

Scottish soldiers took army munitions to pass on to the criminal underworld, court told

Soldiers are found guilty over stolen army explosives (http://news.scotsman.com/uk/Soldiers--are-found-guilty.4629384.jp)

The Scotsman, Edinburgh  Published Date: 25 October 2008

TWO soldiers were yesterday found guilty of conspiring to possess explosives from a British Army barracks to pass to associates connected to the criminal underworld.

The pair, identified only as soldiers X and Y, were convicted of conspiracy to possess explosives at Maidstone Crown Court.

During a three-week trial, the jury heard that soldier Y asked another soldier to "do a bit of business" and transport eADVERTISEMENT xplosives to Scotland in exchange for cash. The pair had been stationed at Howe Barracks in Canterbury, Kent.

Soldier X, 37, a colour sergeant, and soldier Y, 28, a lance corporal, of the Fifth Battalion, the Royal Regiment of Scotland (Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders), had denied the charges.

They were also found guilty of conspiracy to dishonestly undertake or assist in the retention, removal, disposal or realisation of stolen goods.

Among the explosives were detonators, flares, smoke grenades and distraction grenades.

The court heard cross-Border police investigators were led to Howe Barracks, following the discovery of explosives during a drugs raid at the Glasgow home of Andrew Quinn, 26, a former serviceman with the 5 Scots, previously known as soldier A.

Alongside 2kg of heroin, officers searching Quinn's flat on 31 December, 2007 found a suitcase stashed in a cupboard containing three parachute flares, nine smoke grenades, 554 rounds of 5.56mm ammunition, 978 rounds of 9mm ammunition and 742 12-bore shotgun cartridges.

Officers found an army identification card at the flat belonging to soldier Y.

Sentencing on soldiers X and Y was adjourned until Monday. Quinn will be sentenced on Thursday.

Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: Blackadder1916 on October 26, 2008, 00:50:48
New Boer War memorial installed  
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/coventry_warwickshire/7687156.stm

A Warwickshire town's Boer War memorial which was stolen from its plinth two years ago has been replaced.

The 5ft (1.5m) bronze statue of a soldier was taken from Nuneaton's Riversley Park on 14 November 2006, two days after a Remembrance Day service.

It depicted an infantryman wearing a British Army uniform worn in the Boer War between 1899 and 1902.

The replica was unveiled in the gardens in front of the town's museum, close to the main war memorial.

A spokesman for Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council said the replacement of "Old Bill", as the bronze statue is known, was made possible by the generosity of countless individuals and community groups.

It was put in place on Thursday and is due to be officially unveiled on Sunday.
 
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on October 27, 2008, 17:17:24
Back in the UK: Paras tell how they fought Taliban in Afghanistan

Soldiers from the 2nd battalion The Parachute Regiment (2 Para) have returned to the UK after six months of brutal combat in Helmand, southern Afghanistan. S

ean Rayment spoke to some of those who fought in, and survived, some of the most ferocious battles fought by the British Army in southern Afghanistan.
 The two Paras were dead before they hit the ground.
The weight of fire from the Taliban sent the soldiers diving for cover as machine gun fire raked the ground beneath their feet and rocket-propelled grenades exploded above their heads.
"It was the best-initiated ambush I have experienced in 13 years of being in the Army. They opened fire in unison, we couldn't have done it better," said Corporal Matthew "Des" Desmond, a section commander with 2 Para. "The Taliban were brilliant that day."
The Taliban opened fire with both heavy and light machine guns, and rocket-propelled grenades, which were fired to create an "air burst" and spray the troops on the ground with shrapnel. In the opening salvo Lance Corporal James Bateman, 29, and Private Jeff Doherty, who was 20 two days earlier, were both killed instantly with shots to the head and neck. For the 80 soldiers who took part in the battle, June 12 2008 will be etched in their minds forever.
"We were hit by a wall of fire. Bateman and Doherty wouldn't have known a thing about it," said Cpl Desmond, who was in charge of the lead unit when the ambush was sprung.
"Over my radio I heard 'man down'. The sergeant major moved round to go and give first aid and he was shot in the leg, then I heard that there was another casualty and then one of young lads had his faced sliced open by a bullet. In times like that your training kicks in and I knew that the younger lads would look to me and that it was important that my guys didn't see me flap. Inside you might be panicking but outside you must look like you're in control."
Cpl Paul Knapp, 26, another section commander in C Company, added: "We immediately fired back using everything we had, but it had no effect. We had mortars firing at rate 12 – that's the highest rate - and in 18 minutes of solid fighting we dropped 176 mortar bombs on their position and fired more than 9,000 rounds."
As the battle raged on the crops caught fire and eventually the Taliban began to withdraw. The Paras gathered their dead and injured and began to pull back to their base. Cpl Desmond carried the body of Pte Doherty on his back for 400 metres before commandeering a car and driving the dead soldier back to base.
June 12 ended in marked contrast to the early days of the tour which were relatively quiet. Instead of the much-anticipated fighting, the Paras seem to spend most of the time attempting to the win the hearts and minds of the locals by handing out wind-up radios as the poppy harvest concentrated the minds of the Taliban.
Such was the disappointment at the lack of action that the Paras dubbed Operation Herrick, the code name for the war in Afghanistan, "Flop Herrick". But the phoney war ended on the day of the ambush and from that moment on the Taliban attacked relentlessly.
Back in the safety of their compound, the Paras said goodbye to their dead colleagues as their bodies were flown away. There was little time to reflect on lost friends as the Paras prepared for the next battle in the knowledge that the war they had come to fight had finally arrived.
Captain Josh Jones, 32, the company's second in command, explained that the attack was the Taliban's "opening gambit" and from that moment on the militants attacked relentlessly. But he added: "After June 12, every time we confronted the Taliban we decisively defeated them on the ground of their choosing and 99 times out of a hundred we forced them to withdraw."
The battles were fought at close quarters with bayonets fixed, in temperatures in excess of 122F (50C). The average weight the soldiers carried as they marched through the swamp-like green zone often topped 90lbs (41kg). Cpl Desmond said fighting the Taliban was like "trying to kill ghosts – they would just keep coming". He added: "It was guerrilla warfare, and once it started it didn't stop."
But despite the gruelling conditions and a diet based on Army rations, the soldiers maintain their morale never flagged.
"The more they attacked us, the stronger we became," said Cpl Bob Lewis, 25, a quietly-spoken Welshman from Swansea. "Everyone responded to the challenge, even the youngest soldiers."
The Paras learnt that the Taliban described the area patrolled by the Paras as the "Mouth of Hell" after somewhere between 150 and 300 Taliban were killed, according to what the Paras claim is a conservative estimate.
Although there was a certain amount of mutual respect, the Paras felt no pity or remorse for the Taliban. "I felt more emotional about shooting a baby rabbit than I did about killing the Taliban. It wasn't something the soldiers every really thought about."
The men of 2 Para and their parent unit 16 Air Assault Brigade are due to return to Helmand in the winter of 2010.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/politics/defence/3258889/Back-in-the-UK-Paras-tell-how-they-fought-Taliban-in-Afghanistan.html
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: leroi on October 27, 2008, 17:37:14
Very brave lads.

Here's hoping they have a well-deserved rest with family, friends and the honour of their country ...

Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: Blackadder1916 on October 27, 2008, 18:51:52
Prince Harry aims to become pilot
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/7692010.stm
Page last updated at 00:03 GMT, Monday, 27 October 2008

Prince Harry is aiming to follow in his brother's footsteps by becoming a helicopter pilot, Clarence House says.

The royal has started an Army selection process and will be "graded" next month to determine whether he can start the full Army Air Corps programme.

Candidates need to prove their ability to make progress, but the failure rate is said to be high, at around half.

Prince Harry's father, Prince Charles, and uncle, the Duke of York, have also learned to pilot military helicopters.

Prince Harry has passed an initial aptitude test and if he successfully completes a four-week course, he will progress to full flight training in January 2009.

Candidates on the four-week course chalk up 13 hours of flying, during which they need to prove their ability to learn and progress, before undertaking the full training which takes 16 months.

In April this year, Prince William was at the centre of a controversy when he landed a Chinook helicopter in a field belonging to his girlfriend Kate Middleton's family.

Ministry of Defence officials said the sortie had been fully authorised as part of the prince's attachment to the RAF.

In September, it was announced he is to train to become a full-time search and rescue pilot with the RAF.

If Prince Harry successfully completes his selection and training process, he could fly one of three different types of helicopter; a Gazelle, Lynx, or Apache.

The Gazelle and Lynx are use for reconnaissance and moving troops, while the Apache is used for attack purposes.

The prince has already served two-and-a-half years in the Household Cavalry Regiment.

He spent 10 weeks in active service in Afghanistan with the Blues and Royals starting in December last year.

The Ministry of Defence would not comment on how likely he would be to serve in a war zone as a pilot.

Prince Andrew, the Duke of York flew on various missions for the Navy during the Falklands war.

 
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on October 30, 2008, 01:46:01
Life as an Iraqi interpreter for the British Army: Seen as a traitor with no security

The Iraqis who risk their lives acting as interpreters for the British Army come under fire from fellow countrymen who view them as traitorous collaborators, yet can expect no guarantee of security from the coalition forces when they eventually pull out. The photographer Lalage Snow reports from Basra.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/onthefrontline/3280445/Life-as-an-Iraqi-interpreter-for-the-British-Army-Seen-as-a-traitor-with-no-security.html
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on October 30, 2008, 14:20:25
Crowds applaud returning regiment that lost nine soldiers in Afghanistan and faced same chance of dying as WWI troops


Hmmm.... the Daily Mail may be underestimating the casualty rates for infantry in WW1, or even the Battle for Goose Green for that matter. I like this quote though: "You keep sending them and we'll keep killing them”
 
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1081813/Crowds-applaud-returning-regiment-lost-soldiers-Afghanistan-faced-chance-dying-WWI-troops.html
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on October 31, 2008, 12:45:19
A HEARTBROKEN boy proudly wears his fallen big brother’s Parachute Regiment beret – moving dozens of parade onlookers to tears yesterday.

Six-year-old Fin Wakefield idolised Private Jeff Doherty, who was one of 15 members of 2 Para Battle Group to die in Afghanistan this summer.

http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/campaigns/our_boys/article1876392.ece
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: Hamish Seggie on October 31, 2008, 13:11:38
A HEARTBROKEN boy proudly wears his fallen big brother’s Parachute Regiment beret – moving dozens of parade onlookers to tears yesterday.

Six-year-old Fin Wakefield idolised Private Jeff Doherty, who was one of 15 members of 2 Para Battle Group to die in Afghanistan this summer.

http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/campaigns/our_boys/article1876392.ece


Thanks very much daft for posting the link. The sight of this little boy who so admired his older brother that he wore his beret brought tears to my eyes. We must never let our countries forget the sacrifices that men such as Jeff Doherty and Michael Seggie have made.
I am sure that Jeff and Mike have "hooked up" on the big parade square. No doubt that these two, along with many more fine upstanding people, are watching over us, as they did in their time on this earth.
And at the going down of the sun, we shall remember them.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: Blackadder1916 on October 31, 2008, 17:45:03
British military trains in Guyana (http://www.caribbeannetnews.com/news-11791--13-13--.html)
By Oscar Ramjeet Caribbean Net News Special Correspondent Published on Wednesday, October 29, 2008

GEORGETOWN, Guyana: Members of the British Army’s Parachute Regiment are in Guyana to conduct infantry training.

Over the next six weeks some 200 troops will take advantage of the excellent jungle training opportunities in Guyana.

The Kaieteur News reported that a release from the British High Commission noted that with current major deployments for the British military being Iraq and Afghanistan, the regiment needs to continue to hone the skills needed so that it can operate wherever it may be needed in future around the world, including in a jungle environment.

In addition to the land exercise, the troops will be supported by Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) Largs Bay, which will be operating in Guyana's territorial waters towards the end of November.

The RFA Largs Bay is a 15,000 tonne amphibious landing ship.

The Royal Air Force will also play a significant part in supporting the exercise by providing C-17 Globemaster aircraft and Lynx helicopters for the air aspects of the training.

The exercise will run until the first week in December and is being carried out in co-ordination with the Guyana Defence Force (GDF).

While in Guyana, the British team will provide some training for ranks of the GDF

The release stated that the British military is grateful to the government of Guyana and the Guyana Defence Force for the opportunity to train in the Republic, noting that this continues a strong tradition of military co-operation.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on November 02, 2008, 22:59:48
SAS chief: Troopers find the MoD is not fit for purpose
War is not a sanitised business, nor is it an activity for the faint-hearted. It is an endeavour fraught with risk and uncertainty.
 
By Stuart Tootal
Last Updated: 10:17PM GMT 31 Oct 2008
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/onthefrontline/3332486/SAS-chief-Troopers-find-the-MoD-is-not-fit-for-purpose.html
\
Afghanistan is a stark reminder that our soldiers accept that risk and loss is part of the business they are in.
However, taking casualties and seeing people horribly injured is not easy. It is even harder when it is widely believed that casualties might have been avoided but for the lack of proper kit.
I have enormous sympathy for Major Sebastian Morley's decision to resign from the SAS reserves. Not least if it was based on the failure adequately to equip his soldiers and the associated loss of four people under his command. The MoD will continue to claim that it needs a range of vehicles to meet operational capability. The fact that heavily-armoured vehicles will not meet every contingency is true, but it is not a defence for the continued use of the inadequately-armoured Snatch. Five years in Iraq demonstrated that the vehicle was not fit for purpose.
I feel for the frustrations of his troopers. In Afghanistan in 2006 repeated demands for more helicopters fell on deaf ears. It increased risk for my paratroopers, but the decision-makers were not the ones driving into combat when we should have been flying in. They were also not the ones who lay trapped in a minefield when two Black Hawk helicopters that would have made all the difference were not sent to us when they were needed.
But even today the MoD is telling bereaved parents that there are enough helicopters and our forces have all the right types available. Only a few weeks ago, soldiers from The Parachute Regiment who paraded so proudly in Colchester on Thursday will have gone out on patrol against the Taliban lacking the right number of night vision devices.
Some senior Army officers have also made their frustrations known. But the commanders have been disfranchised from the equipment procurement process, which remains in the hands of civil servants and ministers. However, these are not the people who have signed up to the unlimited liability of serving their country in combat.
They are not the ones who zip young soldiers into body bags or give evidence to coroners in front of their families.
* Stuart Tootal was commanding officer of 3rd Bn The Parachute Regiment in Helmand in 2006
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: Hamish Seggie on November 03, 2008, 12:22:08
daftandbarmy: It seems our nations have more in common than language. The procurement system, to put it mildly, is woeful. Too many politicians, bureuacrats and bean counters.
Mr. Tootal's letter/commentary hits the nail right on the head. I bet some lace panty girlie boys are crying for his head!!!

Good for Mr. Tootal!! :salute:
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on November 03, 2008, 19:58:53
daftandbarmy: It seems our nations have more in common than language. The procurement system, to put it mildly, is woeful. Too many politicians, bureuacrats and bean counters.
Mr. Tootal's letter/commentary hits the nail right on the head. I bet some lace panty girlie boys are crying for his head!!!

Good for Mr. Tootal!! :salute:

I've just found this article in the AFJ that backs you up to the 'T'. It looks like we're all guilty of the same problem - declaring victory then demobilizing....

Balancing strategy and budgets

BY MACKENZIE EAGLEN

“Five times in the last 90 years, the United States has disarmed after a conflict: World War I, World War II, Korea, Vietnam and then the Cold War,” testified Defense Secretary Robert Gates on Capitol Hill in March.
Will Iraq make six?
The chairman of the House Appropriations defense subcommittee, John Murtha, D-Pa., recently predicted as much. He snapped his fingers for effect and said he expected procurement funding would dry up once the Iraq war ends. Unfortunately, political pressure to reduce defense spending overall is growing. A general perception holds that the battle in Iraq constitutes the entirety of the war effort, so when major combat operations there wind down, the American people would be entitled to a new peace dividend.

Here’s the difference: The last five times we demobilized after a war, we’d mobilized first.
The Iraq war was not only fought without prior mobilization, but it followed a decade long procurement holiday. If our country cuts the defense budget now without considering America’s worldwide responsibilities or the likely geopolitical landscape the U.S. will face over the next five to 10 years, we’re setting ourselves up for disaster. That’s especially true because the U.S. does not spend enough today to meet its security commitments beyond Iraq.

http://www.afji.com/2008/10/3666455
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on November 04, 2008, 00:04:09
Army machine gun 'fires without trigger being pulled'
A machine gun on the Army's Warrior armoured vehicles has fired without the trigger being pulled on at least 18 occasions, leaving one soldier with crippling leg injuries.
 
By Graham Tibbetts
Last Updated: 11:01AM GMT 02 Nov 2008

A Ministry of Defence investigation into the 7.62mm weapon, fitted to 800 vehicles, found that its perceived reliability was so bad that troops were fearful of using it.
It comes just days after the commander of the SAS in Afghanistan, Major Sebastian Morley, told The Daily Telegraph he was resigning because of the MoD's "gross negligence" in failing to properly protect personnel against the Taliban.
The problems with the Warrior chain gun came to light after Sgt Albert Thompson of the 1st Battalion of the Black Watch was hit in the leg in Iraq in 2003.
He was forced to have his leg amputated below the knee and was awarded more than £1million in compensation.
Initially the MoD blamed Cpt Tam Henderson, the gunner, and convicted him of negligence. He was later cleared on appeal.
But an internal report - a Board of Inquiry - found that the "undemanded firing" of the gun had occurred at least six times between 1999 and 2004. It concluded that the gun "is unpopular with many service users primarily due to a perception of reliability issues".
The MoD has admitted in an email to Mr Henderson that the weapon has also fired at random 12 times this year alone.
Another report by the MoD's Defence Logistics Organisation disclosed that it killed one Iraqi civilian and severely wounded another when it discharged without warning in 2004.
Mr Henderson said: "I can't believe the MoD has finally admitted the gun is dangerous. It has tried to cover up this lethal fault for years. Why does the Government allow so many British troops to die because of poor equipment and funding?
"I resigned my commission last year because I felt I could not lead my troops into a war knowing we were not supported."
The cost of correcting the fault has been estimated at £18 million.
Liam Fox, shadow defence secretary, said: "If this is a correctable fault and nothing has been done because of the cost, then it is a scandal."
An MoD spokesman said: "We accept that there are instances of undemanded firing with the chain gun. There are varying degrees of technical problems and mechanical faults.
"Any problems with the chain gun are investigated immediately and addressed as required. We have confidence in the Warrior chain gun."

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/onthefrontline/3366030/Army-machine-gun-fires-without-trigger-being-pulled.html
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: PMedMoe on November 04, 2008, 10:09:53
Makes you wonder how many other personnel would should be cleared of an ND with this weapon.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on November 06, 2008, 01:11:45
Gurkhas receive Military Cross for Afghanistan bravery

Gurkha soldiers have received the Military Cross for their feats of bravery in Afghanistan.

The four soldiers from the 1st Battalion Royal Gurkha Rifles, who returned from operations in March, were recognised at Buckingham Palace for individual acts while they were based in Kandahar.
Major Paul Pitchfork received the Cross for his leadership under fire, after he and his men fought off Taliban fighters on the fringes of the bazaar in Sangin in December.
The next day he led his men in a firefight that lasted more than 10 hours and through waist-deep river water as the clashes continued.
"It was quite honestly just another day doing what we've been trained to do," the 37-year-old from Gloucestershire said.
"All the soldiers are from Nepal and there are about 20 British officers who are permanently part of the regiment.
"They are just superb soldiers, they are renowned. They are fantastic guys."
Corporal Mohansingh Tangnami, 29, from the western part of Nepal, was recognised for his steadfastness under enemy fire throughout the tour.
On one patrol, he carried a wounded comrade to safety before braving fire again to collect the man's ammunition and gun to prevent it falling into the wrong hands.
"I still don't believe that I met the Queen," he said today.
"My two uncles were Gurkhas and fought in the Borneo conflict, and they used to tell me lots of fighting stories.
"They are really proud - and now I can tell them stories."
Lance Corporal Bhimbahadur Gurung, 25, exposed himself to fire when he carried an injured machine-gunner away from the Taliban to their compound.
"It was very difficult because it was open field and it was muddy as well," he said.
"I couldn't imagine carrying him back to the compound."
The Queen told him "Well done, you've saved a colleague's life," he said.
Corporal Agnish Thapa, 27, was another rewarded for going to the aid of an injured colleague, in his case during a battle to destroy a Taliban stronghold.
After rescuing the soldier and carrying out first aid, he led an attack that allowed others to evacuate casualties.
"I just knew my colleague was lying on the ground so I just grabbed him and dragged him 100 metres," he said.
"I did that not for the honour, but for my job. I'm very happy."
During its tour the battalion suffered one fatality and 15 soldiers were wounded in action.
The Gurkhas' commanding officer Lieutenant Colonel Jonny Bourne was at the ceremony to receive an OBE, while another serviceman - Captain David Dutton of the Royal Navy - received the same honour for his work in Iraq.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/onthefrontline/3380038/Gurkhas-receive-Military-Cross-for-Afghanistan-bravery.html
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: milnews.ca on November 07, 2008, 05:52:36
One-legged hero is on front line
Tom Newton Dunn, The Sun (UK), 7 Nov 08
Article link (http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/campaigns/our_boys/article1903277.ece)

THIS hero squaddie is the first one-legged British soldier to fight on the front line in more than 100 years.

Cpl Barry Whale told surgeons to cut off his limb after shattering his foot in a training accident.

He fought for four years to regain full military fitness — and has now completed a tour in Afghanistan.

The infantryman, 28, was one of just 24 who fought off 400 Taliban fanatics in an epic three-week action dubbed the Siege of Roshan Tower.

Cpl Whale, who joined the 2nd Battalion, the Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment aged 16, fell 30ft from a rock face in Bosnia eight years ago.

He had nine operations on his foot, but doctors said it would always hurt to walk. Finally, after four frustrating years, he asked for an amputation.

Two weeks after the op he was walking unaided, and three months later he went mountaineering in Scotland.

Relentless

He re-joined his battalion as a medic in the Regimental Aid Post and deployed to Afghanistan in June after sailing through tough fitness tests.

The squaddie was at the Roshan Tower — a vital outpost the size of a tennis court near Musa Qala, Helmand — when it came under intense attack .....

More on link
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Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: Target Up on November 07, 2008, 11:03:26
Hard *******, good on 'im.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on November 07, 2008, 19:39:42
Rats! I was just cruising in here to post that one but was beaten to it.

Well done that man!
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: Blackadder1916 on November 08, 2008, 19:52:12
First World War soldier gets posthumous award after son uncovers his bravery
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/3398150/First-World-War-soldier-gets-posthumous-award-after-son-uncovers-his-bravery.html
 
By Richard Savill  Last Updated: 9:47PM GMT 07 Nov 2008

A 'forgotten' British soldier who kept his actions in the First World War trenches a secret has been given a posthumous award by the Ministry of Defence after his bravery was uncovered by his son.

The award of the Silver War Badge to Alfred Gibbins was made after his son Peter researched his family history and discovered his father had been injured in the Battle of Passchendaele in 1917.

Mr Gibbins, who was permanently disabled and walked with the aid of a stick, hid his experiences from his future wife and son, who never knew he had served in the war.

The Passchendaele conflict, officially known as the Third Battle of Ypres, was infamous for the number of casualties as well as for the mud. Over a period of three months it claimed 325,000 Allied and 260,000 German casualties.

Mr Gibbins, who died in 1956, aged 58, was injured while on patrol, possibly by shell fire, and was believed to have remained in no man's land for five days before he was rescued.

He suffered severe frostbite and his right big toe was later amputated.

He did not receive the badge, awarded to soldiers left disabled by military service, apparently due to military clerical errors, and because of his failure to pursue it.

Peter Gibbins, 61, a retired engineer, from Bristol, who was aged nine when his father died, said: "Like so many others, my father laid his life on the line for his country and was badly injured for his troubles.

"He was permanently disabled for the rest of his adult life following Passchendaele, yet he was never honoured for all he did there.

"Receiving the badge on his behalf was an incredibly proud moment for me, because it recognised his lifetime's sacrifice for this country.

"The MoD said it was the last time it would issue a medal for services during the First World War, which makes it more special."

Peter Gibbins said he decided to research his family out of curiosity and as a retirement hobby. He traced his father's history through an internet-based researcher, which supplied some wartime records.

He delved back through those and other records to obtain proof and negotiated with the Ministry of Defence.

"The events that my father was involved in were a surprise to me because he always said that he had never served in World War One, and that his disability was caused by an accident.

"It seemed that he had decided to ignore that part of his life and did not pursue the award due to him."

The badge, which features George V's coat of arms, states: 'King and Empire - Services Rendered.'



http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/documentsonline/medals.asp
Quote
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The Silver War Badge

The Silver War Badge (SWB), sometimes erroneously called the Silver Wound Badge, was authorised in September 1916 and takes the form of a circular badge with the legend "For King and Empire-Services Rendered" surrounding the George V cypher. The badge was awarded to all of those military personnel who were discharged as a result of sickness or wounds contracted or received during the war, either at home or overseas.

 


Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on November 09, 2008, 18:52:43
I guess it would be tacky for 1 PARA to put in for a Battle Honour for this one right now?

A good example of 'trial by PC movement'. I'd like to see a fair and open inquiry launched into the activities of the IRA and their supporters that day, but I'm pretty sure that hell would freeze over first.

The report of the Saville Inquiry into Bloody Sunday has been delayed until the autumn of 2009, causing huge disappointment to relatives.

January 30 1972 - forever Bloody Sunday in the annals of the Troubles in Northern Ireland - was not the bloodiest day, but perhaps the most significant in helping to decide the direction and progress of the bitter conflict in the decades that followed.
Nearly 37 years later and at a cost of £172m and still counting, the most definitive inquiry and re-examination of what really happened is still on hold.
Lord Saville's officials have confirmed it will be autumn 2009, five years after the investigation ended, before the final report is released.

Brutality
The actions of the Parachute Regiment troopers in shooting dead 13 unarmed civil rights protesters in the so-called no-go Bogside district of Derry swelled the ranks of the Provisional IRA and gave invaluable weight to Irish republican arguments within the Catholic community.

 
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/northern_ireland/7715822.stm
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on November 12, 2008, 20:13:11

Broken promise on Snatch vehicles
The Snatch Land Rovers blamed for the deaths of dozens of British soldiers should have been removed from battlefield operations a year ago, according to one of the military's most senior figures, The Daily Telegraph has learnt.
 
By Thomas Harding, Defence Correspondent
Last Updated: 10:22PM GMT 12 Nov 2008
Lt Gen Nick Houghton, the Chief of Joint Operations, told the Commons defence committee in March last year that he had been assured that the vehicles would be replaced by the autumn.
In his evidence to the committee he said that once the replacements were in place "the more vulnerable Snatch would be withdrawn from service in Afghanistan". In June this year, four Special Forces soldiers were killed while travelling in a Snatch, a vehicle they had nicknamed a "mobile coffin". The vehicles are still in use.
Liam Fox, the shadow defence secretary, said yesterday: "We were promised these vulnerable vehicles would be removed. They have not been and as a result people have died. Why did this happen and who is responsible?"
John Hutton, the Defence Secretary, said during questions to the Commons defence committee yesterday that he would be prepared to look "very seriously" at holding an inquiry into the continued use of the lightly-armoured Snatch vehicles on operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Families of more than a dozen of the British troops killed in Snatch Land Rovers have been demanding a public inquiry into why the vehicles are still being used on the front line even though commanders admit that they are "vulnerable".
Despite 38 deaths in attacks on Snatch Land Rovers since their introduction to Iraq in late 2003, the MoD has until now continued to insist that they are still suitable for operations.
The Daily Telegraph disclosed that Major Sebastian Morley, the SAS commander in Afghanistan, had resigned following the death of four of his soldiers in one of the vehicles in June.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/onthefrontline/3449216/Broken-promise-on-Snatch-vehicles.html
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on November 15, 2008, 18:09:14
Complaint fatigue? That's a new one on me. Nice to see that things haven't changed that much:

Morale is damaged, head of Army is told
The morale of soldiers and officers is being damaged by poor pay, undermanning and squalid accommodation, according to report drawn up for the head of the British Army.
 
By Sean Rayment, Defence Correspondent
Last Updated: 7:55PM GMT 15 Nov 2008
 
Gen Sir Richard Dannatt is 'hugely irritated' over standard of accommodation Photo: PA
General Sir Richard Dannatt has been told that thousands of soldiers are falling into poverty while many more are struggling to provide a basic standing of living for their families.
The report also reveals that many soldiers were found not to be eating properly "because they had run out of money by the end of the month".
More than 1,000 single-income soldiers with families now receive tax credits, but the report tells Gen Dannatt that "many junior soldiers feel that they are being forced to leave because they cannot afford to raise a family on current pay".
Entitled the Chief of the General Staff's Briefing Team Report, the document adds that soldiers are suffering from "complaint fatigue", a "frenetic" pace of life and increasing amounts of "nugatory" bureaucracy when they should be training for war.
It is also disclosed for the first time in the report that at there were at least "10 entirely avoidable deaths" on operations in Iraq and Afghanistan in 2007 caused by training failures.
These include three killed when a US aircraft dropped a bomb in the wrong location during a battle in Afghanistan's Helmand province and two killed in southern Afghanistan because electronic counter measures had not been properly fitted onto their vehicle.
The report states that a decent level pay is vital to the maintenance of Army morale, but crucially it adds that low salaries are "the number one issue of dissatisfaction for both soldiers and officers".

The report also adds:
* Thousands of single-income soldiers in the UK are now close to the government's definition of poverty
* Poor pay is the number one area of dissatisfaction in the Army
* Many soldiers were not paid for six months
* Army is suffering from complaint fatigue
* Gen Dannatt is "hugely irritated" over standard of accommodation
* Loss of leave is widespread
* Quality of life is being eroded

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/politics/defence/3463708/Morale-is-damaged-head-of-Army-is-told.html
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: milnews.ca on November 18, 2008, 15:44:06
BUSTED!!!!!!!!  Highlights showing ballsiness mine....
Quote
Medals emblazoned across his uniformed chest, 74-year-old Tom Cattell dutifully attends a Remembrance Day parade in honour of fallen heroes.

Standing to attention, he is no doubt thinking back to his glittering career in the forces that saw him fight in Korea and the Falklands - and the tales he has told about his war time adventures.

It has emerged however that Mr Cattell's stories are far from heroic.

In fact, they are completely made up. And he bought his medals on the internet.

And the only military service Mr Cattell has seen is two years of national service in Malaya and a brief stint with the Territorial Army.

Mr Cattell lied to his wife, his friends and to Royal British Legion clubs across the country about his military record.

When asked to produce evidence of his service, Mr Cattell gave a false army service number and claimed all of his records had been destroyed in a fire at his home.

His deception only came to light when he sent a photo of himself wearing false medals to the RAF with a request for a replacement military baton.

It is understood that officials cross-checked his military credentials and found his claims to be completely false ....

For more, click here (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1087071/War-hero-74-went-Remembrance-Day-parades-year-exposed-fake-bought-medals-internet.html)
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: Blackadder1916 on November 18, 2008, 18:41:14
BUSTED!!!!!!!!  . . .

Quote
. . .
And the only military service Mr Cattell has seen is two years of national service in Malaya and a brief stint with the Territorial Army.
. . .
For more, click here (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1087071/War-hero-74-went-Remembrance-Day-parades-year-exposed-fake-bought-medals-internet.html)

Some additional extracts from the story.
Quote
Although he said he had won the distinguished Military Medal, he confessed his stories were lies and in the Army he was 'just a cook'.

Mr Cattell admitted he had never been to the Falkland Islands and that he bought his medals on the internet.

The only military service he had seen was two years' National Service-and a brief stint with the Territorial Army.

The retired chef had lied to his wife, his friends and to Royal British Legion clubs across the country.

'My real history is that I served in Malaya,' he said yesterday.

'I was attached to the SAS in Malaya but only for a couple of months. It was like a rest centre. I was just a cook.'


Perhaps there is a systemic lack of respect and recognition for Army Catering Corps types that leads them to embellish their military records such as Mr. Cattrell and this guy mentioned here (http://forums.army.ca/forums/index.php/topic,64325.msg731449.html#msg731449).  A recommendation for the "Order of the Deep Fat Fryer" or at least a "Beans on Toast" citation (worn similiar to M.I.D. on a campaign ribbon) may help them in their desire to stand shoulder to shoulder with their fellow ex-soldiers.

Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on November 18, 2008, 20:07:31
Grenade camera to aid UK troops
 
The I-Ball camera allows troops to see into hostile areas
A "grenade" camera, that would enable soldiers to look into hazardous areas, is being developed for UK troops.
Dubbed the I-Ball the wireless device is robust enough to survive being thrown onto a battlefield.
The I-Ball's internal camera gives a 360 degree view, with images being sent from the instant it is launched.
It is thought the new technology would enable soldiers to see into potential danger spots without putting themselves at risk of ambush.
    
We are very excited about the technology's potential to help our troops

The ball can be fired from a grenade launcher - or thrown into a room - giving troops vital information of who - or what - is on the ground or around the corner.
Inside the sphere are image sensors and two fish-eye lenses. The data is then sent back and remapped through a type of processor known as a Field Programmable Gate Array which compensates for spin and tumble and then displays a true 360 image in real time.
The concept came about as part of the Ministry of Defence's (MoD) Competition of Ideas in 2007.

Paul Thompson, from Scotland-based firm Dreampact, which is developing the I-Ball, said that although the gadget was still in the early stages of development, he had high hopes of it being able to perform well on the battlefield.
"We have overcome some significant technological challenges in developing the I-Ball technology," he said.
"Although it is in its early stages, we are very excited about the technology's potential to help our troops to be better prepared for battle. "
The MOD's director of technology development - Professor Andrew Baird - also sounded a positive note.
"The technology behind I-Ball is an exciting new development that has very significant potential across a range of military equipment and operational scenarios, particularly in difficult urban operations," he said.
   
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/7734038.stm
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on November 20, 2008, 13:05:03
"The best sniper rifle in the world"

http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/DefenceNews/EquipmentAndLogistics/theBestSniperRifleInTheWorld.htm
13 Nov 08

British snipers fulfil a vital and enduring role on the battlefield, in terms of intelligence-gathering, target identification and eliminating high value targets. This year they have been using a new weapon, "the best .338 sniper rifle in the world".
 
Unveiled earlier this year the L115A3 rifle, part of the Sniper System Improvement Programme (SSIP), is a larger calibre weapon which provides state-of-the-art telescopic day and night all-weather sights, increasing a sniper's effective range considerably; thereby beating enemy forces' capability.The first batch of SSIP systems was deployed to Afghanistan with members of 16 Air Assault Brigade in May this year with subsequent deliveries being made to training units across the UK.

The last of the L115A3 rifles produced under the £3.7million contract with Portsmouth-based company Accuracy International Limited were handed over to Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S) yesterday, Wednesday 12 November 2008.

Group Captain Paul Ridge, the DE&S Light Weapons, Photography and Batteries Integrated Project Team Leader, said:
"I am delighted to accept the delivery of the last weapon of this order from Accuracy International whose co-operation and performance has been outstanding.

"The new weapon system has already been used on operations and is proving to be an outstanding system. Having just returned from Afghanistan, where I had the opportunity to discuss the weapon system with snipers, it is clear that this battle-winning equipment has already proven to be a reliable and extremely accurate system that is giving our forces a real edge."

Tom Irwin, Managing Director of Accuracy International, said:
"Accuracy International has supplied sniper rifles to the British forces since the eighties. We accepted the challenge to provide a new .338 calibre rifle and were selected by the MOD, after testing and trials, and against international competition.

"The SSIP contract is extremely significant to us and we have exerted all of our effort to complete this programme on time. We are proud to supply the best .338 sniper rifle in the world to our forces."

Designed to achieve a first-round hit at 600 metres and harassing fire out to 1,100 metres, Accuracy International's L96 sniper rifle has also been upgraded with a new x3-x12 x 50 sight and spotting scope.

The L115A3 long range rifle fires an 8.59mm bullet which is heavier than the 7.62mm round of the L96 and less likely to be deflected over extremely long ranges.

Other elements of the Sniper System Improvement Programme include night sights, spotting scopes, laser range finders and tripods, and will be sourced from a variety of suppliers taking the total procurement value to over £11million.


Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on November 21, 2008, 12:56:35
Courts martial after BBC filming

Four Army training instructors will face courts martial after allegations of abuse that came to light during an undercover investigation by the BBC.
Recruits complained of being "battered" by some instructors at Catterick training barracks in Yorkshire. One claimed his shoes had been urinated on.
Junior Defence Minister Kevan Jones said the accused were already under investigation before the broadcast.
BBC reporter Russell Sharp spent six months as a recruit at Catterick.


He secretly filmed life at the infantry training centre on his mobile phone and recorded his thoughts, aired in September.
In a Commons written reply to Labour's Joan Humble MP, Mr Jones said: "We were already aware of some of the allegations made by the BBC in its 'The Undercover Soldier' documentary.

A Royal Military Police (Special Investigation Branch) investigation had been initiated in February.
"For those we were not aware of, an RMP(SIB) investigation was launched as soon as the BBC made us aware of their concerns. These investigations are continuing."
He added: "The Army prosecuting authority has now directed that four individuals, who were the subject of allegations of which we were already aware and which we were investigating, should face trial by court martial."


Russell Sharp spoke in the BBC programme to one recruit who said of an instructor: "Yeah he beat me up... kicked me around. Punched me."
Despite examples of good practice, two recruits claimed they were forced to the ground, one with a rifle loaded and ready to fire.
One corporal is alleged to have urinated on a recruit's boot, and more than one young soldier said he was punched in the face by his instructor.
At the time the broadcast was aired, the then head of the British Army, General Sir Richard Dannatt, said: "Robust training is what we're after - bullying is not acceptable."    
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/7740560.stm
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: Blackadder1916 on November 22, 2008, 20:20:56
Army chief warns of officers on fiddle
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/article5213612.ece

Michael Smith From The Sunday Times November 23, 2008

The incoming head of the British Army has warned in a leaked document of widespread fraud by officers and soldiers fiddling allowances and pilfering.

Lieutenant-General Sir David Richards, who will take over as chief of the general staff in August, said troops had been caught exploiting a trust-based payments system by putting in bogus claims for expenses and allowances.

He accused some of his 94,000 men of reacting to the recession by using the system like “a cash machine”.

“I am becoming concerned over the prevalence of fraudulent behaviour as well as what I can at best describe as ‘sharp practice’ and at worst dishonesty,” he said in a letter to key commanders last week.

Previously all claims had to be signed by a senior officer but the joint personnel administration system (JPA) allows soldiers to put in claims via computer. They are checked randomly. “There are soldiers and even some officers who view JPA as a ‘cash machine’ and are processing fraudulent claims in the belief that if caught they will claim ignorance and hope to refund the monies with no further action,” Richards said.

“While this may be an acceptable excuse for a small number of our young soldiers as they develop competence on JPA, it is inexcusable for our commissioned, warrant and noncommissioned officers.”

A defence source said: “Every single sample they have looked at this year has turned up examples of fraud: journeys that never happened, entertainment that isn’t justified. Richards would not be getting involved if this wasn’t serious.”

Other sources said some soldiers and officers felt justified in padding their claims because when the £250m JPA system was introduced in April last year many soldiers and officers were badly underpaid.

Richards accused senior officers of misusing allowances for entertainment and education: “I am concerned about the abuse of allowances, in particular where individuals may not be in clear breach of the rules but are certainly in breach of the spirit or underlying intent.”

A former commander of international forces in Afghanistan, Richards is commander-in-chief UK land forces. He told all commanders to ensure that any claims were properly supervised “to protect the less virtuous from themselves”.

He added: “Petty pilfering of stationery and other commodities is another area that is not only a clear breach of our values and standards but an unnecessary drain on resources that could be better spent looking after our soldiers.” Members of the army are eligible for allowances ranging from £1.50 a day for staying in another barracks to £11,000 per child for boarding school fees if the parent is based abroad.

Officers above lieutenant-colonel are entitled to first-class travel and the use of expensive hotels. All claims must be justified and receipts must be kept for three years, but some like mileage allowance or travel do not require receipts. If a soldier or officer stays with a friend or relative instead of ina hotel, they can claim a “privately arranged rate” of £25 a night.

A senior officer said any soldier caught deliberately making false claims would be court-martialled and could face a dishonourable discharge.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on November 22, 2008, 23:23:29
If I had a quid for every legitimate claim I submitted 'back in the day' that was disallowed for some uber-trivial reason... I think Monty Python based the movie 'Brazil' on the MoD's travel claim system.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on November 24, 2008, 14:14:59
Coroner's anger over decision to send platoon through river which killed teenage soldier

Private Andrew James Borkertas was swept to his death in Risedale Beck, near Catterick Garrison, North Yorkshire
A coroner has slammed the fateful decision that led to a platoon of young army  recruits crossing a raging torrent of water resulting in the shocking death of  a young private.
Andrew Borkertas, 17, had been with the army for six months and was  nearing the end of his training when his platoon was asked to cross a flooded  beck during a gruelling eight-mile march.
But today Mr Borkertas's family criticised the  'flawed and ill-considered' crossing.
The beck, near the army base at  Catterick Garrison in North Yorkshire, was normally a harmless trickle - but huge rainfall had transformed it  into a lethal hazard and in atrocious weather as many as 11 recruits were swept off their feet attempting to cross.
Some managed to scramble out and others were rescued by colleagues -  but Borkertas, described as one of the 'weaker' recruits, drowned in the murky  water as one boy lost his grip on him.
Acting Sergeant Jason Dudley was in charge of the boys due to the illness of a  more senior commander, and led them on a punishing two-hour trek with each carrying 50 llbs of equipment.
But an inquest heard how he was usually based in the gym and was totally  unprepared for the potential danger posed by the beck, which was not even  covered by any risk assessments.
The hearing also heard how the commanders of two other platoons who had earlier  crossed successfully by linking arms had failed to contact Sgt Dudley to warn  him - and he judged it was safe to cross despite two emergency vehicles  deciding it was too dangerous to drive through.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1089030/Coroners-anger-decision-send-platoon-river-killed-teenage-soldier.html
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: S.M.A. on November 24, 2008, 14:23:32
I don't suppose that Argentina - who actually laid the mines - have offered to help?

Or are we happy to keep them away?

Quote
UK Misses Falklands Mine Deadline

Britain will not clear the Falklands of landmines by next year despite signing an international treaty to do so.

The government will ask more than one hundred other countries which ratified the treaty for another 10 more years.

Campaigners say the move this week could damage the UK's international reputation and set a bad example that other nations may try to follow.

The Foreign Office said the remoteness of the Falklands and its varied terrain made the clearance very difficult.

Angus Crawford reports.

There are thought be about 20,000 unexploded landmines on the Falkland Islands planted by Argentine forces in 1982.


Barbed wire

Mike Summers is spokesman for the Islands Legislative Council. The nearest mines are just a five-minute drive away from his office in the capital Stanley.

"You see beautiful sand hills... surrounded with barbed wire with all sorts of mine signs on, saying it's very dangerous," he said.

But surprisingly, despite living with them for the last 25 years, he says the population is not calling for them to be cleared.

"We're rather agnostic about this."


He explains that no civilians have been injured and that with the mined areas covering 0.1% of potential farming land, no-one has any need to venture near them.
"Clearing the mines here is neither an economic nor a serious social issue," says Mr Summers.

"If the money they were thinking of spending here could be better spent in one of those areas where children are still getting their legs blown off… we would be more than happy with that."

But in 1997 the UK signed the Ottawa convention banning landmines which also imposed a duty to clear the weapons.

Dunes to mountains

Britain was given until March next year, but has now said this is not possible.

The Foreign Office said the sheer range of terrain - from dunes to mountains, rock screes and pastures - requires a wide range of techniques that are expensive and time consuming.

Added to this, is the sheer distance of the Falkland Islands from the UK.

At 7,000 miles (11,265 km) sea freight takes four to six weeks' travel time from Britain.

So, under article five of the treaty, Britain is asking the other signatories to give it another 10 years, and this week more than 100 countries meet again in Geneva and will have to consider the request.


Prince Mired Bin Raad Al-Hussein was president of the last meeting of the countries which signed the treaty. He is also chairman of the group looking at the UK's plan and has voiced concerns over the request.
He said: "It's been quite a difficult issue for us."

He was educated in Britain and is quick to praise its de-mining work around the world, but he is worried that this could set a bad precedent.

"Other countries then might say, 'Since the UK has not de-mined the Falklands, we want to do the same'."

In reality it is unlikely that the signatory countries will refuse the UK's request.

'Fragile treaty'

The fear is that in the future the UK will be less able to demand other countries fulfil their obligations.

There is also a concern that if the UK's request is granted but with reservations it could show up weaknesses within the treaty.

This second possibility is what concerns Seb Taylor, chief executive of the non-governmental organisation Landmine Action.

He said: "The worst-case scenario is that it is passed with a number of abstentions. It will show the fragility of these kinds of treaties."

"I think it reflects badly on the UK as one of the leading state signatories," he added.

Unnecessary depletion

Mr Taylor points out that the British government gives £10m a year to clearance operations around the world and has a good reputation when it comes to arms control.

"It seems to be me this would be depleted unnecessarily."

The Foreign Office stresses that clearing the Falklands will be costly, difficult and possibly damaging to the environment and it points out that 14 other countries are also applying for more time.

A spokesman said: "The UK is fully compliant with all other aspects of the Convention, which sends a positive message to all other... parties."

That leaves Mike Summers and his fellow islanders stuck in the middle of a problem they didn't create.

"The UK government does have this obligation; the fact they can't deliver is I guess regrettable," he concedes.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/7742661.stm
   
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: Chris Pook on November 24, 2008, 14:32:11
And the Islanders themselves don't seem particularly bothered........


The Beeb looking for a story.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on November 25, 2008, 01:34:36
Prison staff drove 40 miles to buy £3,500 worth of takeaway curries for Muslim inmates

By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 2:45 PM on 24th November 2008

Muslim prisoners at a maximum security jail were treated to £3,500 of takeaway curries to mark a religious festival.
Some 200 inmates at Whitemoor prison near March in Cambridgeshire had meals worth around £18 each after complaining about the quality of jail food.
Staff, who also tucked into the meals, drove 40 miles to pick them up from a takeaway in Peterborough.
The meals were bought at the end of October this year to celebrate Eid, a Muslim holiday that marks the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting.
Main dishes included lamb rogan josh and beef madras.
A former non-Muslim inmate said: 'They tried to do the curries in-house but the prison chefs couldn't meet the budget of £1.80 per prisoner - and the Muslim inmates complained that it tasted rubbish.
'The smell of it wafting was torture for the rest of us.'
A Prison Service investigation is to now look at the 'unacceptably' high costs of the meals.
It is also likely to look into reports that standard security checks to ensure weapons or contraband were not being smuggled in with the dishes were not carried out in case the meals got cold.
The prison houses 458 of the most dangerous men in the country, including one third who are Muslim. Among them are al-Qa'eda terrorists.
Stewart Jackson, Tory MP for Peterborough, said yesterday: 'It is an absolute disgrace that this happened. Decent, law-abiding taxpayers will be appalled that their taxes are going on this.
'The Government, and particularly the Ministry of Justice, needs to get a grip on penal policy.'
Mark Wallace, of the TaxPayers' Alliance said: 'This is totally outrageous.
'This is meant to be a prison, not a luxury hotel. If they don't like prison food then don't commit the crime.'
HMP Whitemoor opened in 1992 and two years later was at the centre of a scandal after six prisoners, including five IRA members, escaped from the Special Secure Unit after smuggling guns into the prison.
In recent years its Muslim population has swelled as security services have begun investigating terrorist plots. It now has the highest proportion of Muslim inmates of any jail in the country.
In August, documents revealed emergency plans had been drawn up amid fears a prison officer could be taken hostage and beheaded by Muslim fanatics following mounting racial tension.
There was uproar last week when it emerged a convicted al-Qa'eda terrorist who planned a 'dirty bomb' attack in London had taken part in comedy workshops in the prison.
Zia Ul Haq, 29, who was sentenced to 18 years for his part in the failed plot, joined 17 other inmates on the eight-day course.
It was only halted when details reached Justice Secretary Jack Straw who branded the scheme 'totally unacceptable'.
Whitemoor governor Steve Rodford was unavailable to comment.
A Prison Service spokeswoman said: 'Such high costs for food are not acceptable and an investigation is under way.
'While the Prison Service respects and is required to facilitate religious and cultural festivals, and

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1088883/Prison-staff-drove-40-miles-buy-3-500-worth-takeaway-curries-Muslim-inmates.html
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: cameron on November 25, 2008, 04:51:39
I don't suppose that Argentina - who actually laid the mines - have offered to help?

Or are we happy to keep them away?


I was thinking along the same lines, if the Argentines planted them, why isn't the onus on them to remove them?
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: geo on November 25, 2008, 21:25:54
£3,500 in takeaway curries for Some 200 inmates + staff = £17.5 perperson = > 35$

not bad as far as it goes.... but this is feeding convicted felons - shouldn't have exceeded 3.50$ IMHO
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: milnews.ca on November 26, 2008, 06:38:12
BZ

A Royal Marine rugby-tackles suicide bomber
Ben Farmer, military-world.net, 25 Nov 08
Article link (http://www.military-world.net/Afghanistan/936.html)

The 40-year-old from Devon, who asked not to be named, wrestled the bomber to the ground after spotting him reach for a detonator switch on the motorcycle's petrol tank.

The 20-year-old insurgent had managed to wheel his explosive-laden vehicle close to 130 British and Afghan Army troops when he attempted to blow himself up.

His motorcycle's panniers were packed with enough explosive to have caused devastation over an estimated 200-yard area.

The bomber's first device misfired, but the popping sound of the detonator alerted the marine in time to spot him reaching for another switch connected by a bundle of wires to the saddlebags.

The marine from L Company 42 Commando grappled the bomber to the ground away from the device while comrades rushed to help....

More on link
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: PMedMoe on November 26, 2008, 08:42:37

A Royal Marine rugby-tackles suicide bomber
Ben Farmer, military-world.net, 25 Nov 08
Article link (http://www.military-world.net/Afghanistan/936.html)

The 40-year-old from Devon, who asked not to be named, wrestled the bomber to the ground after spotting him reach for a detonator switch on the motorcycle's petrol tank.

Awesome, and modest, too!  :salute:
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: geo on November 26, 2008, 12:13:26
Rugby players make their foes eat dirt!!!
Hua....BZ
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on November 26, 2008, 23:26:40
42 Cdo eh? I bet that he liberated the guy's wallet and watch as well... ;)
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on November 27, 2008, 12:54:33
Lesbian soldier pestered for sex by her male boss wins 'obscene' £200,000 payout

By Michael Seamark
Last updated at 11:10 AM on 27th November 2008

Lesbian Kerry Fletcher claims she has 'been through hell' after a male colleague pestered her for sex

A lesbian soldier last night celebrated winning almost £200,000 compensation after being subjected to a lewd campaign of sexual harassment by a male sergeant.
Lance Bombardier Kerry Fletcher was pestered for sex by her boss  -  identified for the first time yesterday as Staff Sergeant Ian Brown  -  who sent her a text saying: 'Look, I might be able to convert you.'

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1089685/Lesbian-soldier-pestered-sex-male-boss-wins-obscene-200-000-payout.html
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on December 01, 2008, 17:03:05
A TOP secret RAF spy plane that can spot a man on the ground through cloud from seven miles up has joined the fight against the Taliban.

The Sentinel R1 — crammed with sophisticated radar — is the most advanced surveillance aircraft in the world.
High-definition images are beamed to troops’ monitors on the ground, meaning they can see over the far side of hills, compounds and towns to check for enemy fighters. The pictures they receive are moving and in real time.
The capability will also prove a vital new weapon in the hunt for al-Qaeda and Taliban leaders.
The planes’ high altitude and long range mean their sensors can look into deep valleys where insurgents often go undetected.

http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/campaigns/our_boys/article1989052.ece
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: geo on December 01, 2008, 17:25:52
D&B.... admit it, you were scaning the Sun for the page 3 beauties....
and you were in luck... they had 5 of them in Helman for a morale visit
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on December 01, 2008, 17:33:27
3D terrain analysis always interests me (especially if it concerns size 44D!)  ;D
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on December 01, 2008, 18:55:17
Armed Forces enjoy recruitment surge thanks to the credit crunch
Britain's Armed Forces are enjoying a recruitment boom thanks to the credit crunch, with the promise of job security spurring hundreds more young people to sign up.
 
By Simon Johnson
Last Updated: 2:50PM GMT 30 Nov 2008

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has published figures showing a 14.5 per cent increase year-on-year in the numbers volunteering for active service in the British Army, Royal Navy and Royal Air Force.
An extra 2,190 recruits are expected to pass through the doors of Britain's training barracks in 2008-9 compared to the previous 12 months.
The number entering their initial training is at its highest point since June 2004 and there has also been a 9.1 per cent increase (1,790) in the number of recruits who have been trained up.
In addition, the number of personnel leaving the Armed Forces has fallen 3.5 per cent over the same period and is at its lowest since the year ending June 2005.
More than 3,000 serving men and women are taking advantage of incentive schemes designed to encourage them to stay on. Britain's Armed Forces are now running at 96.8 per cent of its full-time trained strength requirement.
The sudden surge is also being seen in the United States, where new recruits are being told they will have to wait five weeks before entering boot camp because of swelling numbers signing up.
A MoD spokesman said: "No one has ever been made redundant in the armed forces. The retention figures are particularly strong at present.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/financetopics/financialcrisis/3536738/Armed-forces-enjoy-recruitment-surge-thanks-to-the-credit-crunch.html
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: geo on December 01, 2008, 20:23:04
Retention is the ticket..... You can recruit all you want - if you can't hold on to the new troops & the old(er) troops are cashing in at 20 or 25 yrs of service, you've got a problem.

Hopefuly, the CF will benefit from the present civy job (in)security while troops stay in.

The recruitment surge we've seen over the past couple of years needs time for troops to complete their training & get them into the right spots.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: milnews.ca on December 07, 2008, 10:06:15
Weapons technician killed in Afghanistan to receive top award for courage
Michael Smith, Sunday Times, 7 Dec 08
Article link (http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article5294121.ece)

AN army weapons technician who died after rescuing a paratrooper blown up by a landmine is to receive a top award for courage.

Cpl Jay Barnes, 25, from Exeter, was an armourer attached to 2 Battalion, The Parachute Regiment and was supposed to remain back at the forward operating base at Kajaki.

But when news came through that L/Cpl Tom Neathway had been blown up by a mine, Barnes insisted on driving the ambulance on to the frontline to rescue him.

Neathway, a 25-year-old sniper, was part of a force sent out to prevent the Taliban from firing mortars and rockets at their base, near the strategically important Kajaki Dam.

The force came under a hail of Taliban fire during the late afternoon of July 22 and as Neathway sought cover behind some rocks he trod on the pressure plate of a landmine.

Neathway, who subsequently lost both legs and one arm, had to be got out of the line of fire so he could be evacuated back to the army’s frontline hospital at Camp Bastion.

Barnes managed to get to Neathway and get him in the ambulance under heavy Taliban fire and then ensured that he was put safely onto the ambulance and evacuated.

But as he drove the ambulance back to base it was blown up by a roadside bomb, he received medical treatment at the scene but died within a few minutes of the explosion.

Lt-Col Joe O’Sullivan, 2 Para commanding officer, said Barnes “died helping others when he could have taken an easier path, and in doing so demonstrated commitment and bloody-minded determination.”

Paratroopers meeting the Prince of Wales last week suggested Barnes might even get the George Cross, the highest civilian award for bravery, because he was not himself taking part in the fighting.

But a senior officer played down the suggestion he would receive a civilian award since the main element of the courage he showed was that his action took place while under Taliban fire.

“Military personnel can get the George Cross, and there have been a number of examples in Iraq and Afghanistan,” he said. “But that only happens if the enemy isn’t involved.

“Barnes was under heavy Taliban fire so I would expect him to get a top military award. But that is a decision for the honours and awards committee"....

More on link
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on December 07, 2008, 10:19:18
Well done that man. Humbling...

I learned to curb my disdain for the 'loggies' after seeing some excellent people in action - when they didn't technically have to be there. Cooks, drivers, storemen... men and women, I've seen 'em all at one time or another digging out in harm's way. I even had a company clerk and the Padre's assistant as part of my Coy HQ brick at one point and would calss them as 'very good' operators on the ground. Anyways, they sure set the example I needed to make sure that my skills weren't slacking...
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on December 07, 2008, 10:32:24
Unfortunately, he's the only one I know who wears the red beret without having passed P Company. At least 'Steady Eddie' attempted the Commando Course, and failed.

Prince Charles to open 'living Paras' museum
Prince Charles will open a state-of-the-art museum for the Paras on Monday and unveil a unique digital archive which will track the record of every soldier who has served with airborne forces since World War II.
 
By Sean Rayment, Defence Correspondent
Last Updated: 7:25PM GMT 06 Dec 2008
The £4 million complex based at the Imperial War Museum Duxford, in Cambridgeshire, will give visitors a vision of military life from Arnhem to Afghanistan and include an online database detailing all who have served with the red berets.
Planners have spent years designing the museum, which will include a host of exhibits that tell the story of soldiers who go to war from the air and have played a major role in every operational conflict since they were created.
Called ParaData, the system has taken several years to collate and will eventually include the names and details of thousands of airborne soldiers, including Prince Charles, the Colonel in Chief of the Paras, who will see his own details he opens the facility.
ParaData will include historical accounts from men who took part in the Bruneval raid, when paratroopers dropped into occupied France to capture key parts of a radar station, as well as events at Suez, Aden, Sierra Leone, the Balkans and Iraq.
Among those who paid the ultimate price for the regiment was Paratrooper Robert Edward John, who was just 16 years old when he died in Normandy with the 6th Airborne Division. He had lied about his age and joined the Army as a 14-year-old.
On being appointed Colonel-in-Chief of The Parachute Regiment in April 1977, a few months before he turned 30, the Prince volunteered to undergo parachute training. He joined paratroopers for several weeks of basic ground training and then carried out a series of eight jumps from a Hercules wearing a PX4 parachute from a height of 800 feet, jumping on to Weston-on-the-Green in Oxfordshire.
In an interview with Jonathan Dimbleby 15 years later he commented that he could not "look them in the eye" or wear The Parachute Regiment's famous beret and wings badge unless he had done the course.
The Prince, who keeps in close contact with the Paras and is widely admired by its soldiers, said in the interview: "I felt I should lead from the front or at least be able to do some of the things that one expects others to do for the country."

 http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/onthefrontline/3569938/Prince-Charles-to-open-living-Paras-museum.html
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: Blackadder1916 on December 07, 2008, 13:45:01
Admirals walk the plank after Iranian humiliation (http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article5299272.ece)
Naval commanders have paid the price for the fiasco over the arrest of 15 sailors and marines by Revolutionary Guards

Michael Smith From The Sunday Times December 7, 2008

THE Royal Navy has been accused of carrying out a discreet purge of senior figures involved in the fiasco over the arrest by Iranian Revolutionary Guards of 15 British sailors and Marines.

Those involved in the navy’s humiliation have left their high-profile jobs as part of an attempt, it is claimed, to sweep away any reminder of the debacle, regarded as one of the biggest embarrassments to befall the fleet since Admiral Byng failed to relieve Minorca in 1756. He was executed for his incompetence.

Victims include two vice-admirals and the captain of the ship on which the boat crews served. A senior official involved in the “spin” operation that followed their return to Britain has left the Ministry of Defence (MoD).

“Everyone involved in this debacle knew their careers were going nowhere but this was done in a very British way to avoid the impression of a public purge,” said a senior source close to the internal inquiry.

There was widespread anger when eight Royal Marines and seven sailors, including a woman, gave up without firing a shot after being left with no helicopter cover during the incident in March last year. They had been boarding suspect vessels in the northern Gulf to check for insurgents or contraband. Tehran said they were in Iranian waters when seized. The British insisted they were in international waters.

They were released after 13 days’ captivity and shown in front of cameras talking to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Iranian president. They thanked Iran and were even given “goody bags” to take home.

The navy’s embarrassment was compounded by the decision to allow two of them, Leading Seaman Faye Turney and Able Seaman Arthur Batchelor, the youngest at 20, to sell their stories to tabloid newspapers.

Batchelor made things worse when he revealed that the extent of his ordeal while in Iranian custody involved jailers flicking their fingers against his neck, calling him “Mr Bean” and taking his iPod.

Tony Blair, then prime minister, insisted there would be “no witch-hunt” and no individuals were blamed for the fiasco or the decision to allow the sailors to sell their stories. Behind the scenes, however, senior figures have departed.

The most senior was Vice-Admiral Sir Adrian Johns, second sea lord, who publicly took the blame for the decision to allow Turney and Batchelor to sell their stories. He was not given another post and has retired.

Vice-Admiral Charles Style, assistant chief of the defence staff in charge of operations, who had to explain to the media what had happened, was replaced after just 18 months in his post. He was sent to command the Royal College of Defence Studies in London, with the three-year term taking him up to retirement. Defence sources claim he was unfairly treated.

James Clark, director of news at the MoD when the stories were sold, went on a course at the college and has since left to join a consultancy. He insisted he had not been sidelined, saying: “A great job came up so I took it.”

Commander Jeremy Woods, Cornwall’s captain, was relieved of his command in July after an assessment found he was “not in a position to take the ship forward”. He is still in the navy.

Des Browne, then defence secretary, lost his job in October’s reshuffle and was widely seen as having been sacked.

Turney and Batchelor are still serving. Turney, 27, said at home in Plymouth: “I have not he a rd people have been removed from posts.” Batchelor, 21, still serves on the Cornwall and was unavailable.

The MoD denied any purge, insisting those concerned “chose to move to other things”.

Recent naval fluffs

- February 2002. Royal Marines training in Gibraltar misread their maps and invaded Spain by landing on the beach at La Linea. They apologised and quickly retreated.

- July 2002. The destroyer HMS Nottingham ran aground off Australia, tearing a 160ft hole in her side. Returning and repairing the ship cost £42m. Commander Richard Farrington, the captain, was court-martialled and reprimanded and the officer of the watch was “dismissed his ship”.

- January 2008. The aircraft carrier HMS Illustrious set off to head a task group bound for the Indian Ocean but returned to Portsmouth when its fridge broke down. Officers feared that meat might go off in the hot climate.

Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on December 07, 2008, 15:54:58
They forgot one: NLP 8901 surrendering to the Argies in 1982. We were pulling our hair out when we heard about that one. On the plus side, they gave a good account of themselves before they were 'bagged'.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: S.M.A. on December 07, 2008, 20:33:46
They forgot one: NLP 8901 surrendering to the Argies in 1982. We were pulling our hair out when we heard about that one. On the plus side, they gave a good account of themselves before they were 'bagged'.

Weren't they normally embarked on HMS ENDURANCE before the war?
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on December 08, 2008, 01:46:55
Yes, but they were dropped off at the last minute to oppose the Argie landing. After killing a few of the invaders (and almost sinking a destroyer with the Carl G), they were ordered to surrender by Rex Hunt, the Governor.

We went nuts. "Why didn't they E&E into the mountains" we said. Being with the Parachute Regiment, of course, we ragged the Marines mercilessly about it. Ah well, it all sounded good from an armchair several thousand miles away.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: ArmyVern on December 08, 2008, 01:49:32
... (especially if it concerns size 44D!)  ;D

Mother of Gawd - you sure she can walk upright?  :-X
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on December 08, 2008, 01:54:27
Who said anything about wanting her to remain upright?  ;D
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: ArmyVern on December 08, 2008, 01:56:21
Who said anything about wanting her to remain upright?  ;D

How the hell is she supposed to get to the door to pay for the pizza and grab you a beer out of the fridge on the way back to horizontal? Might slide the pizza ... might spill the beer. All of which are BIG no - nos.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: milnews.ca on December 08, 2008, 07:29:00
Shared in accordance with the "fair dealing" provisions, Section 29 (http://www.cb-cda.gc.ca/info/act-e.html#rid-33409), of the Copyright Act.

Insurer's snub to tanks ace
Robin Perrie, The Sun (UK), 8 Dec 08
Article link (http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/campaigns/our_boys/article2013958.ece)

A HERO squaddie has been refused car insurance — because he drives armoured vehicles for the Army.

L/cpl Joe Meecham, 21, returns home today after a six-month stint in Afghanistan, having already served in Iraq.

But he will not be allowed behind the wheel of mum Joanne’s Hyundai Coupé.

Joe has already been covered with Admiral to drive the £9,000 motor — which he sold to 45-year-old Joanne when he was sent to Helmand in July.

For his return, she applied for his name to be added to her policy. But Auto Direct Insurance Services turned her down flat.

Joe — of the Queen’s Royal Lancers — passed his driving test before joining the Army.

He has only three penalty points for speeding.

Office manager Joanne, of Barnsley, South Yorks, said yesterday: “Auto Direct took all his details.

“He’d had a few bumps but nothing serious. Then the woman on the phone said the underwriters, HSBC, had refused him. She said it was because of his occupation.

“So he’s OK to get behind the wheel of what is effectively a tank in a war zone, but not to drive a normal car back home?

“These boys put their lives on the line for us and they are treated like this when they get home. It stinks.”

An HSBC spokesman said: “There seems to have been confusion. We’ll look at this again.”


Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: geo on December 08, 2008, 10:15:53
Maybee they were afraid he'd take the Hyundai to Afghanistan

OR

They might think he took some driving lessons from Toyota driving Afghans at the "In sha Allah" school of better driving >:D
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: Hamish Seggie on December 08, 2008, 12:41:39
How the hell is she supposed to get to the door to pay for the pizza and grab you a beer out of the fridge on the way back to horizontal? Might slide the pizza ... might spill the beer. All of which are BIG no - nos.

44D- wow.....upright or horizontal I wouldn't care.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on December 09, 2008, 02:45:54
I can hear infantrymen throughout the British Isles crying out in sympathy... or not

Sailors on HMS Nottingham sleep in clothes after heating breaks

Sailors living aboard the disaster-prone Royal Navy warship, HMS Nottingham, have been forced to sleep in their clothes because the heating has broken down.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/onthefrontline/3530704/Sailors-on-HMS-Nottingham-sleep-in-clothes-after-heating-breaks.html
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: Chris Pook on December 09, 2008, 03:03:50
The Navy always was a Bolshie lot.   >:D

The Nore (http://www.napoleonguide.com/navy_nore.htm)
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on December 11, 2008, 01:36:54
Speaking of the Navy, here's good way to go out in style. I think I'll run down and get my will changed tomorrow.


Royal Navy diver has ashes scattered by torpedo explosion
A Royal Navy diver has had his ashes scattered on the seabed in a torpedo explosion exercise.

 http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/3548281/Royal-Navy-diver-has-ashes-scattered-by-torpedo-explosion.html

Derick Redfern's dying wish was for his ashes to be scattered at sea and his widow Ann asked the Navy to help.
 
Mr Redfern worked as a diver during more than 30 years in the service after joining up when he was 16 and died this year aged 71 at his home in Cornwall.
His widow Ann, aged 68, contacted the Navy in Plymouth to ask for help and they agreed to see him off in style.
They took a canister with his ashes to a torpedo on the seabed at Jennycliff, near Plymouth, and attached it to the nose of the tube.
The torpedo was then blown up as part of an exercise training divers in how to dispose of dangerous ordnance on the seabed.
Ann watched the blast from the cliff top at a ceremony with a Royal Navy chaplain and said it was exactly what Mr Redfern would have wanted.
She said: "He was a wonderful character, larger than life, and this was the most fitting tribute me and his friends could think of.
"He had such a full life and career with the Royal Navy."
Lieutenant Mark Northcote from the Southern Diving Unit, said: "Of course I agreed to the request.
"When I mentioned to Ann we were due to do a training exercise to explode a torpedo, she thought Mr Redfern would have loved the idea of his ashes being attached to it for the explosion.
"It is the first time I have ever done anything like this. It was a wonderful tribute to a fellow diver."
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: Blackadder1916 on December 12, 2008, 11:26:01
Prince Harry to train to be pilot  
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/7777637.stm
Page last updated at 14:21 GMT, Thursday, 11 December 2008

Prince Harry is to train to become an Army Air Corps helicopter pilot after passing the unit's selection process.

Clarence House said the prince would start training next month now he has completed a four-week course to assess his talent and ability to fly.

Earlier this year, the 24-year-old, an officer in the Household Cavalry Regiment, served in Afghanistan and has said he would like to return.

His brother, Prince William, was awarded his RAF pilot's wings in April.

Prince Harry's father, Prince Charles, and uncle, the Duke of York, have also learned to pilot military helicopters.

Reconnaissance

To pass the selection test, candidates had to chalk up 13 hours of flying, during which they had to prove their ability to learn and progress.

If Prince Harry now goes on to successfully complete the 16-month full training process, he could fly one of three different types of helicopter; a Gazelle, Lynx, or Apache.

The Gazelle and Lynx are used for reconnaissance and moving troops, while the Apache is used for attack purposes.

Last December, Prince Harry flew to Afghanistan with the Blues and Royals where he completed 10 weeks of active service, making him the first royal in over 25 years to serve in a war zone.

But his tour of duty was cut short after a media blackout was broken, leading to fears the leak would make him a target of the Taleban.

After his return, he spoke of the experience as among the happiest of his life and of his desire to return to the frontline "very, very soon".

In September, it was announced Prince William is to train to become a full-time search and rescue pilot with the RAF.

 

Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on December 12, 2008, 13:03:14
Dead British soldier George 'Sparky' Sparks relished his job – and his duty
Chris Terrill on a man who embodied the spirit of the Royal Marines and whose funeral takes place on Saturday – on his 20th birthday.
 
Last Updated: 3:16PM GMT 12 Dec 2008
 
For Queen and country: Marine George Sparks, right, with a colleague
Just over two weeks ago, a young Royal Marine sniper climbed silently but purposefully onto the mud roof of a deserted house in a bullet-pocked Afghani compound. Another marine followed and together they peered over a parapet trying to get an urgent fix on Taliban positions. Eyes darting, they looked for enemy movement. Suddenly, without warning, the lethal sound of an incoming rocket was followed by an ear-splitting explosion. When the smoke cleared both marines lay still – one dead, one mortally wounded.
I am at home, about to leave for the gym, when the phone rings. I really don’t have time for a telephone call, but I answer none the less.
“Hello,” I say.
“Chris,” replies a disembodied voice amid a deafening buzz of static and crackle. “…it’s Orlando…ringing from Afghanistan.”
“Orlando!” I shout delightedly. “How are you mate…?”
Orlando, a friend and Royal Marines officer, phones occasionally for a chat when he’s not on operations. I am eager to hear his news – bugger the gym!
Orlando’s voice comes and goes through the hissing interference, so I am only getting every few words.
“Mate… tell you… direct hit… Sparks…”
“Orlando, I’m not receiving you,” I shout. “Say again…” There is a pause as he moves position to get a better signal.
“Is that any better?” he asks.
“Bit faint – but I can just about hear you. What was that you said?”
“Mate, thought I should tell you. Georgie Sparks was killed today. Direct hit by an RPG [rocket propelled grenade.]”
I open my mouth but say nothing. The news stuns me into silence. This can’t be true. “Sparky?” I stammer eventually. “But he was only 19,” I hear myself saying, as if being 19 should have made him invulnerable to enemy explosives.
“I know mate, it’s f------ s---,” replies Orlando. We talk as best we can for a few minutes before the signal fails completely and we lose contact. I listen to the empty static in a trance of disbelief and tangled memories.
In my mind I can hear the sound of a distant train. It is the 9.28 from Exeter coming into the platform at the Commando Training Centre at Lympstone. The date is June 17, 2006 and I am waiting on the platform for the arrival of 49 new recruits about to start 32 weeks of training to become Royal Marines Commandos – the toughest basic military training in the world.
The young men about to get off the train will comprise 924 Training Troop and, although they don’t yet know it, I will be making a series of films for ITV about their progress as recruits. I swing my camera round as dozens of young men get off the train wearing civilian clothes and dragging heavy cases.
They are quick to line up in front of an impatient looking corporal with a clipboard who starts to check off their names. “Lee!” “Present, corporal!” “John!” “Present, corporal!” “Williams!” “Present, corporal!” “Sparks!” “Present, corporal!” George Sparks looks more like a boy than a young man. Small, fresh faced and ill at ease, he seems out of place alongside some of his more robust, muscular and confident fellow recruits. I make a mental note of George Sparks, partly because he looks so out of place and partly, I admit, because I don’t reckon he is going to make it through the first few weeks of training.
I am not alone in my misgivings about the 17-year-old from Essex. Lieutenant Orlando Rogers, the 924 Troop Commander, a man-mountain, is not convinced that George Sparks has made the right decision to come to Lympstone and is far from confident that his small frame and musculature will stand up to the very considerable physical challenges ahead.
Jon Stratford, the troop’s physical training instructor, is convinced the shy and awkward teenager will fall at a very early hurdle. There is one person, however, who has great belief in George Sparks and that he is made of the right stuff, not only to win the coveted green beret and become a Royal Marines Commando, but that he will become a very fine Royal Marines Commando. That person is George Sparks himself.
Over the following weeks and months, many of the original recruits in 924 Troop fall by the wayside. Some are injured as the rigours of training take their toll on bone, muscle and sinew. Otherwise, the constant demand for self-discipline and mental application defeat all but the most dedicated and able. By week 30, only six original recruits remain. One of those is George Sparks who, by stubborn single-mindedness, strength of mind and firmness of purpose has passed every test necessary and risen to every challenge. But he is not out of the woods yet – far from it. He, like all recruits, must run the famous “Commando Tests” – four final trials of strength and courage – that have to be passed to win the green beret and pass out as a commando. Once again, Sparky has to dig deep.
The first three tests – the seven-mile endurance run in full fighting order, the nine-mile speed march and the Tarzan assault course – are all a taste of hell but Sparky pulls through. There remains the final test – a 30-mile run over Dartmoor carrying 40lb. On paper, the “30 Miler” is a virtual impossibility. At the 20-mile stage everyone is convinced Sparky will collapse with exhaustion and plummeting blood sugar levels, but he summons inner strength and manages, with the help of six Mars bars, to keep his arms and legs pumping long enough to cross the line to claim his green beret. There is no drama, no bragging, no boasting, just a gentle smile and a determination to get on with the job.
We are all incredibly proud of Sparky, not least those that doubted him – people like Orlando Rogers, his troop commander, Jon Stratford, his PTI, and me, by now a friend.
A week later, Sparky’s parents, Wayne and Toni, and his sister Katie, are at Lympstone to see him awarded his green beret at the passing-out parade, as well as the Commando Medal awarded to the recruit who best exhibits the commando qualities of courage, determination, unselfishness and cheerfulness in the face of adversity – an award voted for by fellow recruits. Then, Wayne, Toni and Katie watch Sparky and the rest of 924 Troop receive their final orders at the Commando Training Centre – “Royal Marines to your duties, quick march!”
I was not with Sparky and his fellow marines when they deployed to Afghanistan in September, but I can well imagine how he felt. I have been alongside other Royal Marines fighting for their lives in that war-ravaged country and know how the adrenaline pumps through the veins when advancing into enemy territory. I know the smell of fear that fills the nostrils when the enemy attacks. But most of all I know the feeling of intense togetherness, of brotherhood, that binds marines when facing a common foe.
Back in 2006, as part of my filming, I joined a troop of Royal Marines at Kajaki – a place as desolate as it is remote. There, I ventured out with the troop as they took on the enemy in ferocious fire-fights. I saw Royal Marines Commandos in front-line action, doing their duty, exhibiting jaw-dropping bravery, killing – because that is their trade – and, inevitably, being killed.
Barely 20 months since passing out, Sparky is dead – killed, alongside fellow marine Tony Evans, north-west of Lashkar Gar in southern Afghanistan. They were the 127th and 128th British soldiers to die in this still escalating conflict.
So, was Sparky’s death in vain? And Tony’s, too? Are all the deaths and horrific injuries sustained by our troops in vain? Some would have it so. Sometimes, I confess, I think so myself. But I can tell you this. Sparky would not have thought so. In his understated and modest way he would have argued the toss with anyone who even hinted at such an idea.
It is not that he would have had any great opinions about the need to confront global terrorism or even the promotion of democracy in places like Afghanistan. Sparky was doing what he was trained to do, but more than anything else he was there to protect and defend his comrades. As a specialist sniper, he was watching out for other Royal Marines when he was killed. Protecting his mates. He would not have had it any other way. He relished his job just as he relished his duty but, above all, he valued the bond between marines. Knowing that any marine would die for him, he would not have questioned the need, if it arose, to die for them. That need did arise and Sparky answered the call. It’s not a hero thing. It’s just a soldier thing, a Royal Marine thing or, in this case, a Georgie Sparks thing.
924 Troop disbanded the day the recruits passed out, but now, as I write, it is reforming. I don’t mean in a physical way but an emotional way. Spiritual even. Former members, including some who never made it through training, are contacting each other: phoning, emailing, Facebooking – just to talk about Sparky. It is a way for everyone to keep his candle burning: by remembering him and celebrating the sort of bloke he was.
We will all be at his funeral tomorrow on what would have been his 20th birthday. And we will remind ourselves that Sparky will never grow old. He will always be nearly 20. Forever.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/onthefrontline/3724586/Dead-British-soldier-George-Sparky-Sparks--relished-his-job---and-his-duty.html
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on December 13, 2008, 03:48:07
SAS will take on Taleban after leaving Iraq
 Posted: Fri Dec 12, 2008 3:07 pm

From The Times
December 13, 2008
SAS will take on Taleban after leaving Iraq

Michael Evans, Defence Editor

Two SAS squadrons are to switch from Iraq to Afghanistan next year to mount one of the biggest covert operations for decades against the Taleban leadership and opium smugglers, who help to fund insurgents.

They plan to mount a combined operation with the Special Boat Service (SBS), the Royal Marines' equivalent of the Army's elite regiment, which is currently leading covert missions in Helmand province in southern Afghanistan.

The SAS served with distinction in Afghanistan in the early years of the campaign from 2001. It became involved in highly unusual formation assaults on the Taleban and al-Qaeda terrorists, and also in hunting for Osama bin Laden and drug traffickers.

A decision was taken about three years ago, however, to divide up the roles of special forces, giving the SBS leading responsibility for covert missions in Helmand province, while the SAS took charge in Iraq.

It has been operating from both Baghdad and Basra in the south of Iraq, where the rest of the British forces have been based for the past five years.

Next year, as most of the 4,100 troops are withdrawn, the SAS will also be pulled out, but its expertise and unrivalled experience of covert missions against foreign terrorists and insurgents will be exploited to the full in southern Afghanistan.

www.timesonline.co.uk/...333416.ece
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: Hamish Seggie on December 15, 2008, 10:38:11
SAS will take on Taleban after leaving Iraq
 Posted: Fri Dec 12, 2008 3:07 pm

From The Times
December 13, 2008
SAS will take on Taleban after leaving Iraq

Michael Evans, Defence Editor

Two SAS squadrons are to switch from Iraq to Afghanistan next year to mount one of the biggest covert operations for decades against the Taleban leadership and opium smugglers, who help to fund insurgents.

They plan to mount a combined operation with the Special Boat Service (SBS), the Royal Marines' equivalent of the Army's elite regiment, which is currently leading covert missions in Helmand province in southern Afghanistan.

The SAS served with distinction in Afghanistan in the early years of the campaign from 2001. It became involved in highly unusual formation assaults on the Taleban and al-Qaeda terrorists, and also in hunting for Osama bin Laden and drug traffickers.

A decision was taken about three years ago, however, to divide up the roles of special forces, giving the SBS leading responsibility for covert missions in Helmand province, while the SAS took charge in Iraq.

It has been operating from both Baghdad and Basra in the south of Iraq, where the rest of the British forces have been based for the past five years.

Next year, as most of the 4,100 troops are withdrawn, the SAS will also be pulled out, but its expertise and unrivalled experience of covert missions against foreign terrorists and insurgents will be exploited to the full in southern Afghanistan.

www.timesonline.co.uk/...333416.ece

So much for remaining covert... ;D
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: Old Sweat on December 15, 2008, 10:49:57
I suspect the story is informed speculation. There have been regular and territorial SAS casualties reported, which perhaps explains the two squadron remark, although that could be based upon the alleged Baghdad and Basra deployment. It is possible the regiment will be commited in strength in Afghanistan.


Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on December 15, 2008, 13:31:14
I suspect the story is informed speculation. There have been regular and territorial SAS casualties reported, which perhaps explains the two squadron remark, although that could be based upon the alleged Baghdad and Basra deployment. It is possible the regiment will be commited in strength in Afghanistan.

Most of 21 SAS is already there. Note to Canada... this is a TA (Reservist) SAS squadron!. I assume that they'll send 22 to AFG as there are more bad guys who will need killing there right now.

And just in case you want to join, here is a full briefing (to be filed under 'OMG') for any keen young Walts out there  ;D

http://www.how2become.co.uk/viewProduct.php?product_name=SAS
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on December 16, 2008, 01:58:15
From Downing Street to the front line of the war on terror
The Prime Minister travelled to the front line of the "war on terror" to deliver his message that Britain must not waver from its fight against the Taliban.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/afghanistan/3742596/From-Downing-Street-to-the-front-line-of-the-war-on-terror.html
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on December 16, 2008, 17:21:35
Tens of thousands face pension cut next year in £126million overpayment blunder

Tens of thousands of retired teachers, nurses, doctors, judges, military personnel and civil servants are facing an average cut in their income of £220 next year because of a vast Government pensions blunder.

Gordon Brown is facing growing calls to soften the blow for more than 100,000 affected pensioners who are receiving letters this week telling them they have unknowingly been paid too much for years.

Today the Scottish government increased ministers' discomfort by insisting that it would carry on paying thousands of public sector staff north of the border their inflated pension benefits.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1095054/Gold-plated-pensions-fiasco--100-000-NHS-armed-services-personnel-overpaid-decades-face-cut.html
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: Yrys on December 16, 2008, 21:06:34
Broken promise on Snatch vehicles
The Snatch Land Rovers blamed for the deaths of dozens of British soldiers should have been removed from battlefield operations a year ago,
according to one of the military's most senior figures, The Daily Telegraph has learnt.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/onthefrontline/3449216/Broken-promise-on-Snatch-vehicles.html

 Forces stick with Snatch vehicles (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/7785261.stm) at BBC News

Snatch Land Rovers are to remain in use in Afghanistan and Iraq, Defence Secretary John Hutton has said.

The lightly armoured vehicles have been criticised for offering insufficient protection to troops from bomb blasts.
Mr Hutton told MPs military commanders believed the vehicles were "essential" - but they would be quickly replaced
by better-protected Snatch Vixen models. Shadow defence secretary Liam Fox said it was a "national disgrace" that
UK troops were put at "unnecessary risk".

More ('Clear advice' , 'Investment failure', Manoeuvrability) on link (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/7785261.stm)



 Q&A: Snatch Land Rovers (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/7703703.stm)

What does the army use them for?
Why are they controversial?
What are replacing them?

on  link (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/7703703.stm)
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on December 20, 2008, 02:29:27
Army buys JCBs for warzone

Army had to buy JCB diggers and paint them to camouflage them after plans for new armoured bulldozers to clear warzones were met by long delays.
 
By Chris Irvine
Last Updated: 2:01AM GMT 18 Dec 2008

The £300 million project involved 65 state-of-the-art "Terrier" battlefield engineer vehicles, each costing £5 million to be deployed.
They are designed to clear minefields and potential obstacles for the Army while they also have the ability to dig trenches while under fire.
The Army's Combat Engineer Tractor was withdrawn earlier this year, and due to be replaced with the Terriers.
A National Audit Office report however showed that the vehicles will not be ready for another four years and the Ministry of Defence has had to replace them with 13 JCB excavators from America at a cost of £6.2 million.
The vehicles will be fitted with protective armour and painted camouflage, and will be used by frontline engineers in Afghanistan.
The report by the spending watchdog shows that the MOD's 20 biggest equipment projects are on average two years late.
Conservative MP Edward Leigh, chairman of the Commons Public Accounts Committee condemned the delays and said the "same old failings" threatened to leave British troops exposed on the frontline.
He said: "This is about more than money. This kit will sooner or later be operated, perhaps in anger, by our men and women in the forces."
The latest setback comes as two former heads of the military accused the Government failing the Armed Forces.
Lord Boyce and Lord Craig of Radley, both former Chiefs of the Defence Staff (CDS), said the Government had not demonstrated its "full-hearted commitment to national security''.
Their criticism followed an announcement by Defence Secretary John Hutton that the £ 4 billion aircraft carrier project was to be put back and the Army's Future Rapid Effect System armoured vehicle programme would also be delayed.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/onthefrontline/3817128/Army-buys-JCBs-for-warzone.html
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on December 20, 2008, 03:11:58
Taliban blow up Christmas turkeys destined for British troops

Bah humbug! Lorry-load of frozen birds destroyed in explosion - but Christmas dinner goes ahead as planned

Taliban insurgents have blown up a lorry packed with Christmas turkeys bound for British troops in Afghanistan. The frozen turkey roll breasts were destroyed in an explosion on the route from Pakistan to Camp Bastion.
The consignment, weighing 325kg, was intended for troops in Helmand Province, where up to 3,000 soldiers will spend the festive season. But the Christmas dinner will go ahead as planned after the Ministry of Defence flew out replacement birds, ensuring soldiers will not miss out on their special meal.
Regimental Catering Warrant Officer Nick Townley, who is in charge of organising Christmas dinner for British troops in Afghanistan, said: "Unfortunately one of our Christmas wagons got taken out so a lot of turkeys had to be flown in especially."
The 33-year old-from High Wycombe has been preparing for Christmas since the summer, ordering everything needed to feed the 2,500 to 3,000 troops that will be at Bastion as well as the 2,000 others stationed around Helmand.
On Christmas Day soldiers will be able to tuck into the replacement turkey rolls as well as 135kg of roast pork, 424kg of gammon and 67.5kg of beef, topped with 200 jars of cranberry sauce. Brussels sprouts will not be left off the menu - chefs will prepare 62 boxes, weighing a total of 148.8kg. There will also be 300kg of roast potatoes and 120kg of carrots.
And there will be 222 Christmas puddings, 37 Christmas cakes, and one mince pie and one After Eight mint each. The total cost of feeding the troops in Bastion's four dining rooms is £10,265, or just £3.42 each. But there will be no brandy for the Christmas sauce, with Camp Bastion a dry area. "It wouldn't have made it in there anyway," Townley joked.
As is traditional in the army, senior officers will serve the junior ranks first to show their appreciation. The 35 chefs at Bastion, who never have a day off, will prepare most of the food on Christmas Eve so they are not rushed off their feet on the day. "The plan is for the guys not to slog their guts out on Christmas Day," Townley said. "If guys get days off it means the others have to work even harder."
Special meals are also being sent to the 10 Forward Operating Bases (FOBs) where there are 35 chefs. Townley said: "The only blokes who won't get it are the ones in the PBs (patrol bases) but the idea is to rotate them through the FOBs. They will all get their Christmas dinner at some stage, it just might not be on Christmas Day."
Soldiers in the patrol bases often face the worst of the insurgency and the harshest living conditions. They survive on ration packs, have little in the way of washing or toilet facilities and often come under Taliban attack. Some have labelled Camp Bastion "Camp Easy".
All British soldiers will receive a Christmas box, which includes a multi-tool, three juggling balls, a sewing kit and a travel pillow. They will also receive crackers, party poppers and balloons. For Camp Bastion, Townley has ordered 3,000 crackers, 2,880 party poppers, 3,600 assorted balloons, 2,880 party hats, and 3,000 streamers.
"There's a lot of guess work in our job because we never know how many people we will be feeding. My job is all about trying to guess what's coming up around the corner."
Commander Paula Rowe, spokeswoman for Task Force Helmand, said: "Christmas Day will be business as usual for most of us - operations will be ongoing and we will continue to build on the progress that has been made so far in providing better security for the Afghan people - but never underestimate the ingenuity of the men and women to at least have a little bit of festive cheer, wherever they are!"
She added: "The chefs work non-stop to provide the best they can for everyone and often create a lot from very little - their efforts often go unnoticed and unrecognised, but their contribution is essential to the morale and wellbeing of us all. However we spend the day, our thoughts will inevitably turn to our colleagues who have been killed or injured and their families and loved ones for whom this Christmas will be very different."

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2008/dec/19/taliban-christmas-turkeys-british-soldiers
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: Old Sweat on December 20, 2008, 08:26:06
Brussels sprouts will not be left off the menu - chefs will prepare 62 boxes, weighing a total of 148.8kg.

The mind boggles.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: PMedMoe on December 20, 2008, 10:43:43
Brussels sprouts will not be left off the menu - chefs will prepare 62 boxes, weighing a total of 148.8kg.

The mind boggles.

Eew!  :-X
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: Blackadder1916 on December 20, 2008, 12:34:07
". . . frozen turkey roll . . ."

It's not like it was real bird, but Brit army cooks are . . . . .  maybe this menu will be featured in the next edition of the cook book that was the subject of another thread.

". . .a lot of turkeys had to be flown in especially . . ."  Turkeys can't fly; wasn't that an episode on WKRP?
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: George Wallace on December 20, 2008, 12:37:48
". . .
It's not like it was real bird, but Brit army cooks are . . . . . 

We are all now waiting for the pictures.     ;D
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: geo on December 20, 2008, 13:19:29
". . .a lot of turkeys had to be flown in especially . . ."  Turkeys can't fly; wasn't that an episode on WKRP?

Oh yes... Pi$$ed myself laughing when I saw that episode...
reminds me of when someone thought of a promotion called "ping pong pandemonium" in the commercial centre of Grand Falls NL and also in Labrador City NL...... utter and complete mayhem as the PP balls thundered straight down from beneath a helicopter....
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: Digger Hale on December 22, 2008, 03:19:53
Can anyone find a link about Fusilier Stuart Nash? He's the second last British Soldier to be killed overseas, is Australian and my google-fu is letting me down. I cant find any articles about him
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: Chris Pook on December 22, 2008, 03:36:49
Hales, the Beeb has a reference to him here. (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/7616301.stm)
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: Digger Hale on December 22, 2008, 03:43:34
Hales, the Beeb has a reference to him here. (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/7616301.stm)
Cheers. I'd found that but that seems to be about it. It was on a news for a little bit here last week or so but i havent been able to read anything about it. Seems quite sad that the Australian Press arent writing about him because he was in the British Army and the British Press arent writing about his because he's Australian. He's in a bad spot i feel.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: Chris Pook on December 22, 2008, 03:51:38
Parochialism - I was just looking at this site (http://icasualties.org/OEF/Afghanistan.aspx).  It paints a very different picture of the state of play over there.  We don't hear much about the Danes, for example, that are losing troops on a per capita basis at a rate not much slower than the Canadians.

I hope you didn't know Rifleman Nash.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: Chris Pook on December 22, 2008, 03:54:10
Actually we're both jumping to contusions here.

Try Googling RIFLEMAN Stuart Nash, not Fusilier.

The Australian has a bit on him. (http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,24822426-2702,00.html)
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: Digger Hale on December 22, 2008, 04:38:19
Thanks very much. I didnt know him, but i wish i had. He seems very much like my kind of bloke and a soldier who really wanted to be doing what he was doing.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on December 22, 2008, 18:08:14
British troops suffer four times as many fatalities as Americans

British forces have suffered four times as many fatalities in Afghanistan in the past seven weeks as our American allies.
 
The statistic was emphasised when a Royal Marine was killed by an explosion in Helmand province on Sunday.

Despite contributing more than 8,000 troops to the total foreign force of about 50,000, the British have suffered 14 deaths since Nov 1. The US has lost three soldiers from its deployment of 31,000.

The statistics show that Britain is now experiencing more than a third of all casualties in Afghanistan at a time when other Nato countries have been accused of failing to "step up to the mark" in providing combat forces.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/onthefrontline/3885755/British-troops-suffer-four-times-as-many-fatalities-as-Americans.html
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: Blackadder1916 on December 27, 2008, 12:47:04
Army could allow 'Fat Camp' recruits to tackle staffing shortage http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/onthefrontline/3964791/Army-could-allow-Fat-Camp-recruits-to-tackle-staffing-shortage.html

By Duncan Gardham, Security Correspondent Last Updated: 2:22PM GMT 26 Dec 2008

The Army is considering lowering its entry requirements to allow more overweight applicants and those with criminal records or visible tattoos.

The move is designed to tackle the 3,200 unfilled posts despite the Army's strength of over 98,000 troops, with vacancies particularly in signals, logistics and medical units.

Senior officers want to use the economic downturn, when civilian jobs are hard to come by, to try and boost numbers in the Armed Forces.

A £20 million campaign has been designed, which will include an advertising drive, more recruitment staff and overspill camps to train up extra recruits.

As part of the campaign the Army is considering whether it can "take more risk" with entry standards.

Current regulations mean those with tattoos on their hands or necks are banned from the Army because they are visible on the parade ground.

Offenders with a criminal record for shoplifting, affray or minor assaults are considered on a case by case basis as long as they are not persistent offenders, but new rules would allow recruitment officers to consider those who have been released from jail on licence.

"Clinically obese" recruits have been considered since 2006, when the Army raised its requirement for male soldiers from a Body Mass Index of 28 to 32, two points above the definition of clinically obese laid down by the World Health Organisation.

The number of overweight recruits could now increase as long as they slim down once they are at training camps.

One officer said: "If you're fat, you'll have to burn it off in training. If you've been in trouble with the police, you'll have to show you're matured and moved on.

"But we're not going to put up with dross. This is about giving a chance to more people who might be turned away under current rules.

"Frankly the numbers don't look great. There's a realisation that to make them better we've got to think a bit more flexibly."

Liam Fox, the Shadow Defence Secretary, said the problem was not recruiting new soldiers but trying to keep hold of trained and experienced fighters.

"The Government still doesn't get it, recruitment is not the real problem," he said.

"Too many experienced soldiers are leaving because they don't believe the Government is committed to the welfare of the forces. The answer is not to scrape the social barrel or lower standards.

"We must deal with all the quality-of-life issues which push people to leave such as separation from their loved ones, quality of education and medical care for families and standards of housing."

The Ministry of Defence said: "We will continue to take action to address manning shortages through initiatives including career management, improvement to conditions of service and work-life balance, extensions to normal engagement lengths, commitment bonuses and targeted financial retention initiatives.

"The current Army recruitment campaign highlights the competitive pay and benefits packages along with a wide range of career opportunities and a level of career development that goes far beyond what most organisations provide."
 

Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on December 31, 2008, 15:02:34
No **** Sherlock - successive Commie (oops, I mean Labour) Governments gutted the Forces back then. It would have taken the Household Cavalry 2 days to just reschedule their polo matches!


BRITAIN would have been overrun if the Soviet Union had invaded in the late 1970s, secret government papers revealed yesterday.

RAF jets had enough ammo to fight for only TWO DAYS.
And our overstretched and outclassed Army and Navy were no match for the Cold War enemy.
Labour PM Jim Callaghan, told of the bleak situation in a 1978 briefing by the Chiefs of Staff, scrawled in a note: “Heaven help us if there is a war!” He summoned Defence Secretary Fred Mulley to No 10, but was told money was so tight we would have to rely on Nato in an attack.

http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/article2078812.ece
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: geo on December 31, 2008, 15:35:08
“Heaven help us if there is a war!”

This was the case at the onset of WW2
This was the case throughout the cold war
This is the case throughout the war on terror......

See any pattern forming here ?
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on January 01, 2009, 17:56:37
Royal Marine killed by explosion marks end of bloodiest year for British troops in Afghanistan
Britain's bloodiest year in Afghanistan has ended with the killing of a Royal Marine in an explosion.
 
By Alastair Jamieson
Last Updated: 2:03PM GMT 01 Jan 2009
 
The serviceman, from 45 Commando Royal Marines, died on New Year's Eve in the Sangin district of Helmand province in southern Afghanistan.
He is the 12th Royal Marine to die in the past two months and the 51st to die in Afghanistan during 2008, making it the bloodiest year in that country since the start of operations in October 2001.
Commander Paula Rowe, the spokeswoman for Task Force Helmand, said: "Every death is tragic, yet at the turning of the year, with the celebration and hope it promises, this loss is all the harder to bear. All our thoughts go to his family, friends and colleagues who will be devastated by his sacrifice."

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/afghanistan/4059672/Royal-Marine-killed-by-explosion-marks-end-of-bloodiest-year-for-British-troops-in-Afghanistan.html
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on January 02, 2009, 17:25:05
Medals for the Paras

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=G37ucIGosDI
 
Best bit is at end when whole bn are waiting for Prince Charles to come out and sit in the front rank for the photo - and someone yells out 'Take your time'.  That brings back memories.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on January 05, 2009, 01:00:15
Afghanistan battle like First World War

British, Afghan and coalition forces battled the Taliban at close quarters, knee-deep in mud, over Christmas in fierce trench battles reminiscent of the First World War, it has emerged.
 
Last Updated: 2:09PM GMT 04 Jan 2009
 
Fighting conditions during fierce conflicts over the Christmas period have been compared to those in the trenches of the First World War Photo: Sgt James Elmer ABIPP
The offensive in Afghanistan's central Helmand province involved more than 1,500 troops and was one of the largest operations mounted by Royal Marines since the invasion of Iraq in 2003, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) said.
It was fought over 18 days around the town of Nad-e-Ali to capture four key Taliban strongholds.
Some of the Royal Marines taking part trudged more than 60km through mud with packs on their backs while also fighting insurgents at close quarters, the MoD revealed.
A Lance Corporal, signaller with the 77th Armoured Engineer Squadron, said: "I was in Nad-e-Ali for just over two weeks ... Some of the places we stayed in were a nightmare - sleeping in the mud was the worst.
"(At times) we were exposed and moving ahead of our infantry protection. It felt like we were being watched and it was difficult to tell who the enemy was - it was pretty scary."
The operation, which culminated in a battle on Christmas Day, claimed the lives of five British servicemen and wounded scores of others.
Around 100 Taliban fighters were killed, including a senior commander.
Operation Sond Chara - Pashto for Red Dagger - was named after 3 Commando Brigade's shoulder badge.
Describing Sond Chara, Captain Dave Glendenning, commander of the marines' artillery support team, said: "Almost every day we were involved in intense fire-fights ranging from rocket-propelled grenades and small arms 'shoot-and-scoots' to four-hour battles with the enemy forces as close as 30 metres."
The operation aimed to provide better security in the provincial capital Lashkar Gah following Taliban attacks in October, and to pave the way for a voter registration programme due to start early this year.
The commander of Task Force Helmand, Brigadier Gordon Messenger of the Royal Marines, said: "This was a very successful operation that demonstrated the ability of the task force to surprise, overmatch, manoeuvre and influence over a huge area.
"Whilst our efforts have made a significant contribution to the overall Nad-e-Ali security plan, it has not been without sacrifice, and we will forever remember the contribution of those who died."
The operation, which also involved Danish, Estonian and Afghan troops, was unleashed in full on December 7 with an assault on insurgent positions in a village south of Nad-e-Ali.
A highly mobile team of Afghan and British reconnaissance troops, supported by Danish Leopard tanks, attacked under the cover of darkness, taking the Taliban by surprise.
The insurgents responded with 107mm rockets, but were forced to flee after being pounded with mortars, missiles and tank fire.
In a raid to the south of Lashkar Gah, troops also discovered a cache of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and drugs, including 400kg of opium with a street value of £2 million.
The offensive was put on hold from December 8 to 10 out of respect for the Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha.
But on the night of December 11, it began again in earnest when Royal Marines from 42 Commando launched a ground and air assault on Nad-e-Ali, securing an area which had previously been a key insurgent base.
Over the following days, K Company, known as the Black Knights, waged battles in ditches and trenches to push back insurgents as Royal Engineers struggled to build patrol bases in terrain which had been turned into a sea of mud by heavy rain.
A Corporal, the section commander of the 77th Armoured Engineer Squadron, which was tasked with constructing a patrol base to the south of Nad-e-Ali, said: "Working in these conditions was really difficult - at times we were constructing in torrential rain with mud up to our knees.
"At others, whenever the enemy saw us building they would have a go. There were a couple of close calls."
Meanwhile on December 11, 42 Commando's J Company, C Company and the 2nd Battalion The Princesses of Wales's Royal Regiment and soldiers from the Afghan National Army captured the town of Shin Kalay, west of Lashkar Gah.
The most ferocious fighting of the operation took place during the battle for Zarghun Kalay, north of Lashkar Gah, from December 17 to 19.
Troops had "yomped" through mud to get to the town before encountering a "canny and determined enemy".
They fought hand-to-hand in a "360-degree battle" which brought their "commando qualities to the fore", the MoD said.
On December 18, the insurgents fled to the north as the attack continued with support from Apache helicopters and artillery.
The two-day battle claimed the life of Australian national Rifleman Stuart Nash, 21, from the 1st Battalion The Rifles, who died after he being hit by enemy fire.
On December 21, 33-year-old Corporal Robert Deering, from Solihull in the West Midlands, was killed by an apparent booby trap while trying to help fellow soldiers who had been wounded by an explosion.
Early on Christmas morning (local time), marines began a helicopter assault on Chah-e-Anjir, a key Taliban command and control post from where the October attacks on Lashkar Gah are thought to have been directed.
But before Chah-e-Anjir fell to the British, Lance Corporal Ben Whatley, 20, of Tittleshall, Norfolk, was killed leading his men into action.
Two other marines Tony Evans, 20, from Sunderland, and Georgie Sparks, 19, from Epping, were killed in November during intelligence gathering for Sond Chara.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/afghanistan/4107259/Afghanistan-battle-like-First-World-War.html
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: cameron on January 05, 2009, 09:46:33
Congratulations to these troops for a job well done.  RIP to those who made the ultimate sacrifice in battle and a full and speedy recovery to the wounded :salute:
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: geo on January 05, 2009, 12:47:34
BZ to the Royal Marines.
Proves again that, when the Taliban attempt to put on a large scale offensive against NATO troops, they will lose & lose big.

My condolences to the family, friends & comrades of the fallen.

CHIMO!
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on January 05, 2009, 17:49:54
Britain should be prepared for a 15-year struggle in Afghanistan
After Britain's toughest year in Afghanistan, our defence correspondent argues that the public needs to be convinced that the campaign in Helmand is worth fighting
 
By Thomas Harding
Last Updated: 12:50AM GMT 05 Jan 2009
 

The death on New Year's Eve of Corporal Liam Elms, a 26-year-old Royal Marine from Wigan, took the total number of British fatalities in Afghanistan last year to 51, making it the bloodiest year of the campaign by a wide margin. The following day saw the first British death of 2009, as an explosion in the province's Garmser district accounted for another soldier's life: Sergeant Christopher John Reed, a Territorial Army soldier with the 6th Battalion The Rifles.
In the context of our deployment in Afghanistan, every year is a vital one. But there is a growing sense that 2009 will be more decisive than most. So much hangs in the balance: will the local population reject the presence of foreign forces? Will the Nato alliance hold together, despite the in-fighting that is weakening its command structure? What difference will be made by President Obama, and by the presence of 20,000 more American troops, in a "surge" of the kind that worked so successfully in Iraq? And, most importantly for those of us in Britain, will we be able to sustain another year of high casualties without seeing any tangible gains on the ground?
The numbers of dead are harrowing – but they do not tell the whole story. This is a counter-insurgency campaign, in which the measure of success is more likely to be determined by the miles of new roads built than the numbers of Taliban – or Britons – killed. And even though we have been in Helmand for four years now, almost as long as the First World War, military planners are preparing for a prolonged campaign.
"If we take more casualties this year, the world will not end," says one of the officers involved in plotting our strategy. "Britain will not leave with its tail between its legs. The thing that's keeping us going is that we understand this is a long-term thing, not something that's a quick fix. We have the mindset that this is a 15-year endeavour."
In fact, the main problem might not be in the fields of Helmand, but in the living rooms of Britain and America. The public must be convinced that the war in Afghanistan is worth fighting. The current Defence Secretary, John Hutton, has appreciated more than most the need for Western countries to be in Afghanistan, and for Nato to remain unified. If we do not fight militant Islam in the mud-brick compounds of Helmand, we will be battling it on the streets of London. We should also frequently remind ourselves of where the September 11 attacks came from.
Unfortunately, all too often the only news that reaches the public from Afghanistan is of the deaths of more British troops. It is a complaint that irks those on the front line and undermines morale, because much has been achieved in Helmand despite the bloodshed.
The problem is compounded by the officials who fail to grasp the need for the media to report the story from the front line, or for honest and open debate about our presence and tactics. The Government now seems to be using the system of embedding reporters to reward those who broadcast good news and punish those who reveal difficult truths. But the tone was set from the start of our deployment in Helmand, when we slipped in a force of 3,300 paratroopers, clinging to the forlorn hope, as expressed by the then Defence Secretary, John Reid, that not one bullet would need to be fired. Several million rounds later, that force could soon have increased fivefold: 12,000 British soldiers, reinforced by an extra 5,000 Americans from this spring.
Such measures are long overdue. Following a visit to Helmand in 2006, an officer told me that, rather than the light brigade that was then battling the Taliban, we would need a division of up to 20,000 troops to bring the province to heel. He, like many others, knew that to fight a counter-insurgency you need boots on the ground, to take and hold territory. The current British force of 8,000 can probably secure five major districts, but this means that in the rural areas there is little to protect the population from Taliban warlords.
I spent much of June accompanying the Parachute Regiment as they patrolled on foot through the province's villages. The locals kept their distance, because they knew in a few days the British would be gone and the Taliban would be back, asking questions. We need the numbers in Helmand to reassure the population that if they take the West's side, they need not fear retribution.
It is going to be tough to summon the extra 4,000 British troops for the campaign – and the request will not be warmly received by military chiefs, who know that the Army is exhausted after six years of fighting in Iraq. But our leaders will probably answer the call from the White House, not least because Gordon Brown will want to cement his relationship with the new president.
One positive point is that the equipment failures that hampered the mission are being addressed, albeit in many cases thanks to reports in the media. British commanders should finally get the helicopters needed to fight a campaign that has been ridiculously handicapped by the presence of just eight Chinooks to serve 8,000 troops.
Counter-insurgency is about agility and surprise. The Russians learnt that air assaults against the Mujahideen were mightily effective (at least until the Americans supplied the insurgents with Stinger surface-to-air missiles). By the middle of this year, the first of up to eight Merlin helicopters will arrive in Helmand, followed by a dozen refurbished light Lynxes and another eight heavy Chinooks. Finally, commanders will be able to mount operations that can respond quickly to intelligence on "high-value targets". It will also mean fewer movements by road, which are becoming more of a target for the Taliban's increasingly effective roadside bombs.
Many will also welcome the news that the flimsy Snatch Land Rover will be withdrawn from operations outside our camps' perimeters by the end of this year, and the presence of two US brigade combat teams, which could, along with their substantial air mobility, be crucial in preventing the flow of fighters and guns to the Taliban from over the Pakistan border. The result should be the creation of a breathing space for coalition forces in the centre of Helmand.
Some of our troops' most important accomplishments, however, have little to do with set-piece battles. This summer saw 16 Air Assault Brigade achieve a remarkable feat: getting a third turbine up to Kajaki dam, which will by 2010 be able to bring electricity to much of southern Afghanistan. It was an operation that has enormous potential to win hearts and minds, not to mention an improvement in the Afghans' lives, even though it went largely unnoticed.
Then there is the vexed issue of opium. For four years, we have had to live with British soldiers patrolling through fields of poppies that produce the heroin that sends up to $500 million into Taliban coffers. In 2006, John Reid made great play of tackling Helmand's drug problem, one responsible for 90 per cent of the heroin on Britain's streets. But in order to avoid taking food out of the mouths of impoverished Afghan farmers, we have, in practice, ignored the issue.
With American reinforcements arriving in Helmand, however, the stage is set for us to take on the drug barons at last. That, of course, will stir up an even more vigorous reaction. But if our road-building operations go as planned, farmers' fruit will not rot on the way to market as it does now, making it a more viable crop than non-perishable opium. Similarly, the illegal checkpoints that fleece drivers will go, and Afghan security forces will be able to manoeuvre between towns more easily, despite the risk of roadside bombs.
That last is especially important, because one of the lessons learned from the American success in Iraq was that local security forces are key to fighting an insurgency. The Afghan National Army is to be doubled to 134,000 troops over the next five years, and will, it is hoped, gradually replace the 51,000 Nato troops. For that to happen, however, the soldiers will have to be paid more than the current pittance, which is outstripped by the rewards for service in the Taliban.
"It is going to be an enduring, almighty scrap," says a former British commander in Afghanistan. It is hard to disagree – but withdrawal from the country is unthinkable.
We have got to accept the setbacks that will inevitably come. But we also have to convince the public that the death of a British soldier is not a defeat, but an unfortunate necessity in making Afghanistan, and the rest of the world, a safer place.

 http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/4077401/Britain-should-be-prepared-for-a-15-year-struggle-in-Afghanistan.html
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on January 05, 2009, 18:36:33
A stick in the eye from the Tory-graph...

Our Army failed its test in Iraq
The destruction of the Army's reputation will be one of the most lasting of Tony Blair's legacies, says Christopher Booker.

 http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/columnists/christopherbooker/4092439/Our-Army-failed-its-test-in-Iraq.html

By Christopher Booker
Last Updated: 4:24PM GMT 03 Jan 2009
Comments 23 | Comment on this article

As we enter the year when the last British troops leave Iraq, further evidence is emerging of just what an abject failure Britain’s military intervention in Iraq has been. Despite the bravery of many individual soldiers, the only real success of the Government has been the extent to which it has managed to hide from view how, thanks to its catastrophic misjudgements, this has been the one of the most humiliating chapters in the history of the British Army.
In recent weeks, drawing on a wealth of published and unpublished sources, my colleague Dr Richard North has been compiling the first comprehensive account of this story, for a book to be published this summer as our troops beat their final inglorious retreat. Like any tragedy, it is a story which has unfolded through five main acts or stages,
Stage one began in April 2003 when, after 40,000 British troops took part in the US-led invasion, Britain was given the responsibility of restoring order in the predominantly Shia south-east of the country centred on Basra. We began with hubris, imagining we would be welcomed by the local population as liberators and that, such was our experience in Northern Ireland, establishing order would be no problem, Almost immediately, however, our troops came under sporadic attacks by armed militias, notably the “Mahdi Army’’ run by a militant cleric, Muqtada al-Sadr. Having dismantled the structures of authority and reduced our troop numbers to 11,000, we had nothing like enough men to fulfil our legal duty under the Geneva Convention to maintain public order and safety.
Stage two began with the fateful decision in late 2003, endorsed by General Mike Jackson as head of the Army, to deploy 178 Snatch Land Rovers as our chief patrol vehicle. The intention, as part of the attempt to ''win hearts and minds’’, was to avoid using armoured Warriors in favour of vehicles looking less aggressive. In 2004 Muqtada’s Mahdi Army launched a conventional uprising in several cities, including Baghdad, provoking a massive US response which led to its defeat. In Basra and the south, therefore, the Mahdi Army resorted to guerrilla tactics, notably roadside bombs which caused havoc with the hopelessly unprotected Land Rovers. By summer 2005, as yet more soldiers died, the British were forced to suspend Snatch patrols. As the cities of Basra and Al-Amarah to the north came under militia control, this was where the British lost the confidence of an increasingly terrorised population,
Stage three in 2006 centred on the extraordinary, largely unreported drama surrounding Al-Amarah and the nearby base at Abu Naji, our largest after Basra. Unable to keep control over the city, the British hunkered down in Abu Naji, subjected to constant mortaring which they had neither the men nor the equipment to deal with. In August we retreated, supposedly handing over to the Iraqi army, only for the base to be triumphantly looted by the Mahdi Army, which by the end of October had turned Al-Amarah into a vast bomb-making factory, supplying insurgents all over Iraq.
Stage four in 2007 saw the Americans launch their spectacularly successful ''surge’’ to the north, with 20,000 additional men, equipped with the properly mine-protected vehicles the British so tragically lacked. Now impotently confined to just four bases in Basra, under constant attack, the British could do no more than protect the convoys needed to supply them. Forced to abandon one base after another, in September they retreated to Basra airport. In effect, for the British the war was over.
The fifth and final stage came in March 2008, when the Iraqi government and the US Army, frustrated by the failure of the British to carry out their responsibilities, and determined to end the flow of weaponry out of Al-Amarah, launched the operation known as ''the Charge of the Knights’’.
Entering Basra in overwhelming force, they routed the Mahdi Army, restoring the city to peaceful normality. Last June, Iraqi and US forces similarly liberated Al-Amarah. It was made clear to the British that their presence in Iraq was no longer relevant.
The British Army had entered Iraq in 2003 with a reputation as ''the most professional in the world’’. Six years later it will leave, having failed to fulfil any of its allotted tasks and having earned the contempt of the Iraqis and the Americans after one of our most humiliating defeats in history.
The fault for this lies almost entirely with Tony Blair, abetted by one or two very senior military commanders, who failed at any point after the invasion to provide the men and equipment needed to carry out the task to which Blair had vaingloriously agreed. The price paid has been measured partly in the deaths and injuries of our men – but above all it has been in that destruction of the Army’s reputation which will be one of the most painful and lasting legacies of the Blair era.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: Old Sweat on January 05, 2009, 20:42:35
Geezuz, I hate these feel good puff pieces.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on January 07, 2009, 01:18:31
Watching the British beat themselves up is an entertaining spectator sport...

How to restore Britain's military standing
JAMES FORSYTH 2:04pm
Rachel Sylvester’s column today, highlighted by Pete this morning, raises the question of who should take the blame for the decline in Britain’s utility as a combat ally. This is principally a result of this country fighting wars on a peacetime budget. It was one of Tony Blair’s great failings that he did not tell Gordon Brown that the need for a serious and sustained increase in defence spending was non-negotiable. (When Brown became Prime Minister, the military had to fight two wars for a year without even a full time Secretary of State for Defence).
What the military can be faulted for is a series of high-handed comments and articles about the failings of the US military when it came to counter-insurgency. These were not politic. More seriously, the British military—unlike its American counterparts—has failed to learn the lessons of its recent campaigns. The Americans are now the more skilled force at counter-insurgency.
What has really hurt the special relationship, though, is the Basra debacle. David Kilcullen, an Australian who was General Petraeus’ chief counter-insurgency advisor, has said:
“I think it would be fair to say that in 2006, the British army was defeated in the field in Southern Iraq.”
When we have a public inquiry into Iraq it must concentrate on where the decision was made to effectively hand the city over to Shiite militias. Who made this call—the political advisors on the ground, the Ministry of Defence or 10 Downing Street? Those who did need to be held to account just as much as those responsible for the intelligences failures in the run up to the war.
An increase in defence spending must be a priority for the next Conservative government. The aim should be to raise defence spending over the next decade from 2.6 percent of GDP to 4 percent. But the military’s strategy also needs to be rethought. It would be sensible to ask Lord Ashdown, who has immense experience from his stint in Bosnia, to draft a nation-building doctrine for the British military that would be the intellectual equivalent of Petraeus’ Counter-Insurgency Field Manual.

http://www.spectator.co.uk/coffeehouse/3210101/how-to-restore-britains-military-standing.thtml


From The Times
January 6, 2009

Memo: don't rely on the Brits during a battle

Never mind our colonial past. Confidence in the Armed Forces is the biggest threat to the special relationship
Rachel Sylvester
Tony Blair used to say that the British voters wanted him to have a Love Actually moment - and tell the President of the United States to get lost, as the Prime Minister played by Hugh Grant does in the film. As Barack Obama prepares to move into the White House, Gordon Brown is more likely to find himself in a Mamma Mia! situation. He is one of several people competing to be the political equivalent of the father of the bride.
Along with Nicolas Sarkozy (Piers Brosnan) and Angela Merkel (Colin Firth) the Prime Minister is begging the most popular man on the planet: take a chance on me. In his new year message, he promised to spend money money money on an economic “coalition for change” with Mr Obama. Now he is racing to be the first leader to visit the president in Washington; to the tune I Have a Dream, he is preparing to woo Barack with policy papers at the G20 summit in London this April.
Like Meryl Streep's former lovers on the Greek island, however, Mr Brown will end up having to share Mr Obama. The inauguration of a president who is adored by the British public could ironically spell the end of the special relationship between the UK and the US. Just as the voters in this country decide that it is time to get up close and personal with America, so the Yanks are losing their passion for the Brits. Just as the Prime Minister decides it is time to stand shoulder to shoulder with the US president, so he may find the cold shoulder turned on him.
This is partly but not entirely about Mr Obama. Certainly, the President-elect will be the least Anglophile American leader in living memory. Unlike Bill Clinton, who was educated at Oxford, or George Bush, who kept a bust of Winston Churchill in the Oval Office, Mr Obama has no innate affection for this country - in fact, his grandfather was imprisoned and tortured by British colonialists in Kenya.
When he was looking for a symbolic place from which to address Europe - and the world - he chose not Trafalgar Square but the Brandenburg Gate. It was a deliberate attempt to distance himself from the Bush Administration - by going straight to the heart of what Donald Rumsfeld once called “old Europe”. If he wants to prove his ability to build new alliances, he will not start in this country. “The UK is part of the Bush baggage because of Iraq,” says a senior Foreign Office source. “Obama is not going to be emotional about the transatlantic alliance. He's a free-thinking politician, driven by science and facts. The UK and Europe look less significant than Asia and Latin America and even over here Europe seems a better focus than the UK.”
The British position has not been helped by Sir Nigel Sheinwald, the Ambassador to Washington, a career diplomat educated at Oxford, whose pin-striped demeanour does not fit easily with the open-necked attitude of the Obama camp. A memo, leaked last year, in which our man in DC described the President-elect as “aloof”, “insensitive” and lacking a track record did not go down well with a politician who already suspected the British of having a superiority complex.
There will, of course, be common ground between Mr Brown and Mr Obama on the recession - both men are strong advocates of a global fiscal stimulus. But the Prime Minister's vision of himself as sage adviser, offering a helping hand to the youthful novice, is likely to end up as the audacity of hope. The President-elect's maxim about the challenges being big, but politics being small (which Mr Brown likes to quote) can be transposed on to the transatlantic relationship: rarely has politics in this country seemed so tiny, compared with what is going on in the United States.
Perhaps most important of all, the military alliance between Britain and America - which has cemented the political alliance since the First World War - is beginning to crack. I am told that a report circulating at the highest level in the Ministry of Defence concludes that there are now serious doubts in Washington about the effectiveness of the British Armed Forces. Senior military figures are said to have been surprised, and shocked, by feedback that arrived in Whitehall last month. Described as “highly sensitive”, it raised questions about the worth of the UK contribution to US-led operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. “It showed that the Americans don't value us much,” one source told me. “Britain's military ability is no longer rated as highly as we thought it was.”

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/rachel_sylvester/article5454713.ece
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on January 11, 2009, 01:56:51
Dr Bridget Rose Dugdale

WITH her woolly Celtic FC hat pulled down over her greying hair, Rose Dugdale seems typical of the pensioners braving the cold on her drab Dublin housing estate.
It is only when the elderly mother’s voice slips into an upper-class English accent that she reveals another life lived.
For the 67-year-old in the scruffy jacket and combat trousers is English heiress Dr Bridget Rose Dugdale — who became an IRA terrorist, art heist mastermind and the world’s most wanted woman.

http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/woman/real_life/article2116482
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: Target Up on January 11, 2009, 01:59:06
Page not found
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on January 11, 2009, 02:04:26
Try try again...


http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/woman/real_life/article2116482.ece
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: Target Up on January 11, 2009, 02:15:50
Good to go... loopy old bat!
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on January 11, 2009, 19:21:16
Colonel David Smiley
Special forces and intelligence officer renowned for cloak-and-dagger operations behind enemy lines on many fronts.
 
Last Updated: 7:29PM GMT 09 Jan 2009
Previous
1 of 2 Images
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David Smiley with el Hassan and bodyguard
Colonel David Smiley, who died on Thursday aged 92, was one of the most celebrated cloak-and-dagger agents of the Second World War, serving behind enemy lines in Albania, Greece, Abyssinia and Japanese-controlled eastern Thailand.
After the war he organised secret operations against the Russians and their allies in Albania and Poland, among other places. Later, as Britain's era of domination in the Arabian peninsula drew to a close, he commanded the Sultan of Oman's armed forces in a highly successful counter-insurgency.
After his assignment in Oman, he organised – with the British intelligence service, MI6 – royalist guerrilla resistance against a Soviet-backed Nasserite regime in Yemen. Smiley's efforts helped force the eventual withdrawal of the Egyptians and their Soviet mentors, paved the way for the emergence of a less anti-Western Yemeni government, and confirmed his reputation as one of Britain's leading post-war military Arabists.
In more conventional style, while commanding the Royal Horse Guards (the Blues), Smiley rode alongside the Queen as commander of her escort at the Coronation in 1953.
During the Second World War he was parachuted four times behind enemy lines. On one occasion he was obliged to escape from Albania in a rowing boat. On another mission, in Japanese-controlled eastern Thailand, he was stretchered for three days through the jungle with severe burns after a booby-trap meant for a senior Japanese officer exploded prematurely.
Though a regular soldier, Smiley was frequently seconded to MI6. As an assistant military attaché in Poland after the war, when the Soviet-controlled Communists were tightening their grip, he was beaten up and expelled as a spy, after an operation he was running had incriminated a member of the politburo.
After that he headed the British side of a secret Anglo-American venture to subvert the newly-installed Communist regime in Albania led by the ruthless Enver Hoxha. But Kim Philby, who was secretly working for the Russians, was the liaison between the British and Americans; almost all the 100 or so agents dropped by parachute or landed by boat were betrayed, and nearly all were tortured and shot. This failure haunted Smiley for the rest of his life.
Smiley's exploits led some to suggest that he was, along with several other candidates, a model for James Bond. It was also widely mooted that John le Carré, albeit unconsciously, had taken the name of his hero from the real-life Smiley.
Born on April 11 1916, David de Crespigny Smiley was the youngest son of Major Sir John Smiley, 2nd Bt, and Valerie, youngest daughter of Sir Claude Champion de Crespigny, 4th Bt, a noted jockey, balloonist, all-round sportsman and adventurer, also famed for his feats of derring-do.
After the Pangbourne Nautical College, where he excelled in sport, David went to Sandhurst in 1934. He served in the Blues from 1936 to 1939, based mainly at Windsor, leading the life of a debonair man-about-town, owning a Bentley and a Whitney Straight aircraft. Before the outbreak of war, he won seven races under National Hunt rules. In his first point-to-point with the Garth Hunt, he crashed into a tree, suffering serious injuries. Over the years Smiley was to break more than 80 bones, mainly as a result of sport; on two occasions he broke his skull, once in a steeplechase and once when he dived at night into an almost-empty swimming pool in Thailand.
After the war, he held the record for the most falls in one season on the Cresta Run in St Moritz; bizarrely, he represented Kenya (where he owned a farm) in the Commonwealth Winter Games of 1960.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/4210129/Colonel-David-Smiley.html
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on January 12, 2009, 02:10:50
Oh dear. I do hope he's ditched the Nazi costume as well...


Prince Harry 'Paki' row: MoD launches formal inquiry over video gaffe

Prince Harry is facing a formal Army inquiry over a video in which he called a high-flying Pakistani officer cadet a "Paki".

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/theroyalfamily/4218159/Prince-Harry-Paki-row-MoD-launches-formal-inquiry-over-video-gaffe.html
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: geo on January 12, 2009, 08:41:21
The royal princes have always had a bit of a wild streek... even if you go back to George V & Edward VI - right proper skirt chaser they were.  Methinks that Harry is going to have to make daily declarations of " I have no video camera or recording implement in my posession Mum "... or something of that nature.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on January 12, 2009, 12:28:36
And of course the Daily Mash is on the ball....

http://www.thedailymash.co.uk/news/celebrity/prince-philip-alters-will-200901121504/
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: Hamish Seggie on January 12, 2009, 14:16:49
Let me get this straight:

Prince Harry joins the Army, but the Army won't let him deply to Iraq, but then brokers a deal with the Brit press so he can SERVE his country in Afghanistan.
Prince Harry is then outed by the self serving media.

This kid serves his country but no one cares. All they care about is a somewhat trivial name that even some Pakistani people use.

Some people should get a life.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on January 16, 2009, 14:11:14
I agree. A fully resourced rapid reaction Airborne/Marine Corps would be cheaper and more effective deterrent because it is far more likely to be used. And, after all, it's more fun to invade places than just blow them up from afar... :gunner:



Britain's 'completely useless' Trident nuclear deterrent will be a £20bn waste of money, say retired generals

Britain's decision to spend £20billion on renewing its independent nuclear deterrent was today challenged by a group of retired senior military officers, who branded the Trident system 'completely useless' against the threats of the modern world.
The former head of the armed forces Field Marshal Lord Bramall, backed by General Lord Ramsbotham and General Sir Hugh Beach, argued in a letter to The Times that the nuclear deterrent is no longer truly independent and does not guarantee Britain a seat at the top table of international diplomacy in the United Nations Security Council.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1119285/Trident-nuclear-defence-completely-useless-says-general.html
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: Chris Pook on January 16, 2009, 15:08:03
Keep the subs.  Keep the missiles.  Ditch the warheads.

Load up the carriers, (the missiles) with PGMs targeted at the residences of various head honchos.  The Brits could afford to do what the Yanks might like to do - switch from Nuclear Deterrence to PGM Deterrence.  The Brits could still rely on the Yanks for Nuclear Top Cover (just like Canada does) but because Britain is a UNSC member and a founding member of the Nuclear club its actions would make a significant impact.

Also, if Britain were to declare itself nuke free, but keep its ballistic capability it would have the opportunity to actually use that capability without the other side "worrying" about whether or not it was an nuke launch.  That would permit some real world experimentation in the concept of ballistically delivered PGMs.

I would like to see the day when Nuclear clubs are faced down by PGM rapiers. 
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on January 16, 2009, 18:34:52
Keep the subs.  Keep the missiles.  Ditch the warheads.

Load up the carriers, (the missiles) with PGMs targeted at the residences of various head honchos.  The Brits could afford to do what the Yanks might like to do - switch from Nuclear Deterrence to PGM Deterrence.  The Brits could still rely on the Yanks for Nuclear Top Cover (just like Canada does) but because Britain is a UNSC member and a founding member of the Nuclear club its actions would make a significant impact.

Also, if Britain were to declare itself nuke free, but keep its ballistic capability it would have the opportunity to actually use that capability without the other side "worrying" about whether or not it was an nuke launch.  That would permit some real world experimentation in the concept of ballistically delivered PGMs.

I would like to see the day when Nuclear clubs are faced down by PGM rapiers. 

Brilliant, Holmes... nothing like threating to plop a 5 ton supersonic bunker buster on your parliament building from 10,000 miles away, in 30 minutes, to concentrate the rogue warlord's mind.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on January 16, 2009, 18:52:02
Ministry of Defence launches 'Action Man'
The Ministry of Defence has launched a HM Armed Forces Action Man-like toy doll in a move to raise the profile of British troops.
 
By Thomas Harding Defence Correspondent
Last Updated: 6:47PM GMT 14 Jan 2009


The under-manned military will launch a detailed range of dolls that will go on sale this spring complete with minutely detailed weapons and clothing.
Two decades after the eye-swivelling, rubber-hand-gripping Action Man figures were last deployed in toy shops the 10in doll, sold under the 'HM Armed Forces' brand name, is to step on to the commercial front line.
Precisely modelled on troops fighting in Helmand province today, each Service is represented. The Army's soldier comes complete with SA80 rifle, body armour and Mark 4 Alpha helmet. His hardy glare has to compete on the shelves alongside the steely gaze of the Royal Marine looking studiedly stoic in his green beret. The RAF, who deploy their Tornado bombers to the frontline in Afghanistan this year, have a pilot in full flight gear with a pistol in case he had to eject over enemy lines.
A range of toys accompany the dolls including a remote control Royal Navy assault, Harrier jump jet and armoured vehicles.
They will be launched on May 8 to coincide with VE Day by the toy makers Character Group who have designed and marketed the action figures under a licensing deal that will give a share of profits to the MoD which currently has a £2 billion hole in its budget.
The company said the military range "promises to fill the significant void in the action figure market in recent years caused by the lack of authentic military-inspired toys".
Originally sold in American by Hasbro the Action Man range, made in Britain by Palitoy under licence, appeared in 1966 and was discontinued in 1984.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/onthefrontline/4240762/Ministry-of-Defence-launches-Action-Man.html
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: S.M.A. on January 17, 2009, 02:46:38
Probably old news to some of you since I see the Bronco already mentioned in other threads.

Bronco to UK

more details about the sale of Bronco to UK in video......downloaded from RazorTV......
http://www.zshare.net/video/54246817646e3db2/ (http://www.zshare.net/video/54246817646e3db2/)

(https://Milnet.ca/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi375.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Foo194%2Fspyder-album3%2FSingapore%2FBronco_my14-001-0-myp1.jpg&hash=a774b483f4f686e1ab72bb94c007a524)

(https://Milnet.ca/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi375.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Foo194%2Fspyder-album3%2FSingapore%2FBronco_my14-004-0-myp1.jpg&hash=f3aed949e2409fad35090e4abc612c97)

 (http://i375.photobucket.com/albums/oo194/spyder-album3/Singapore/Bronco_my14-005-0-myp1.jpg)
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: S.M.A. on January 17, 2009, 19:14:48
From the BBC:

Quote
Brown in UK naval offer for Gaza
Prime Minister Gordon Brown has offered British naval resources to help monitor events in the Gaza conflict and stop weapons being smuggled in.


He wants to help ensure protection and monitoring of the crossings into Gaza.

Mr Brown said: "I'm more hopeful that there will be a ceasefire. We will do everything we can to prevent the arms trading at the root of the problems."

The BBC understands the Israeli cabinet is set to approve an end to military activities in the Gaza Strip.

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is expected to address the nation following a meeting with top officials on Saturday. It is thought the deal does not involve Hamas, the militants targeted by Israel during three weeks of military action.

Explaining he had been involved in talks with Mr Olmert and Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas, Mr Brown added: "I believe there is general understanding...
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on January 19, 2009, 18:56:13
MoD launches investigation after racist Facebook comments

An inquiry into racism in the Armed Forces has been launched by the Ministry of Defence after a number of extreme comments were discovered on Facebook from people claiming to be service personnel.
 
By Aislinn Simpson
Last Updated: 1:55PM GMT 19 Jan 2009

In one entry on the social networking website, the writer claimed his political view was "kill the paks" while another listed "ethnic cleansing" and "SS marching music" among his interests.
Many postings referred to "Pakis" and "ragheads" and one writer from the West Midlands claimed that many UK service personnel had a deep-seated hatred of immigrants to this country and were sick of seeing people burn flags and preach hatred on our streets.
People claiming to be service personnel also wrote on Facebook that they supported the far-right British National Party (BNP), and one writer who purported to supply his Army number and base asked: "Anyone fancy a spot of Paki bashing?"
The discovery comes after the revelation of a video filmed by Prince Harry in which he refers to a Pakistani comrade as "our little Paki friend" and telling another colleague he looked "like a rag head". The film, which was made three years ago when the prince was 21, provoked fury among race groups who accused him of insensitivity.
The Equality and Human Rights Commission pressed for an inquiry and for strenuous attempts by the MoD to dismantle a "barrack-room culture" that is seen as more tolerant to racism.
Mohammed Shafiq, chief executive of Muslim youth group the Ramadan Foundation, said the postings showed that the positive change in the attitudes of senior officers had not yet been universally embraced by rank and file troops.
He said: "These comments show quite clearly that racism still exists within the Army," he said. "If the Army truly wants to start recruiting more people from an ethnic minority background, this has got to be addressed as a matter of urgency."
The MoD said the Armed Forces are "fully committed to a working environment which is free from harassment, intimidation and unlawful discrimination."

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/onthefrontline/4288896/MoD-launches-investigation-after-racist-Facebook-comments.html
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: Blackadder1916 on January 20, 2009, 11:08:31
British military policewoman who 'worked as prostitute' forced out of Army
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/politics/defence/4296021/British-military-policewoman-who-worked-as-prostitute-forced-out-of-Army.html
By Aislinn Simpson Last Updated: 11:01AM GMT 20 Jan 2009

A British military policewoman has been forced to leave the Army after she was allegedly discovered to have been working as a prostitute.
 
Welsh Lance Corporal Rebecca Smith, 21, was reportedly caught by a superior using a work computer to update her details on an bisexual escort website.

A subsequent investigation by the Royal Military Police's Special Investigations Branch allegedly revealed that she had been providing clients with a range of sexual services costing around £100 a hour.

During working hours, L/Cpl Smith was a junior non-commissioned officer tasked with enforcing discipline among soldiers from the RMP's 160 Company at Provost Barracks in Aldershot, Hampshire.

Posing as Roxi Llewelyn, the blonde reportedly posted pictures of herself on the website dressed in a red top, showing off an impressive tattooed cleavage.

One post on the website said she was "gorgeous" while another thanked her for a "nice time".

Smith, who was named "most promising candidate" on her Army preparation course in Cardiff three years ago, was interviewed by a senior officer before being sacked for serious misconduct. She is now thought to be living back in Cwmbach, near Aberdare.

A Ministry of Defence spokesman said: "This matter was fully investigated and this individual is no longer serving in the Army. All those found to fall short of the Army's high standards or who are found to have committed an offence under the Army Act are dealt with robustly."
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: geo on January 20, 2009, 12:05:58
.... Just like the RCMP.... she always got her man >:D
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on January 20, 2009, 12:35:55
"This matter was fully investigated and this individual is no longer serving in the Army. All those found to fall short of the Army's high standards or who are found to have committed an offence under the Army Act are dealt with robustly."


Forget the hookers, I propose that we deal robustly with anyone using the stupid term 'robustly' in future.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: milnews.ca on January 20, 2009, 12:46:06
With the usual tasteful, understated headline treatment of the same story by the Sun (http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/article2149322.ece?OTC-RSS&ATTR=News).....   ;D
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on January 20, 2009, 12:51:08
A 'Killer App'... I like that one:

Sniper rifle software launched for iPod touch - Telegraph

 A new application has been launched for the iPod touch to help gun users line up a clean shot at their target.
The BulletFlight app, which costs £6.99 to download from the iTunes store, has been developed by Runaway App to turn the iPod touch into a ballistics computer which the company says can provide “quick solutions in the field”.
Users can mount their iPod touch to their rifle, and then use the iPod’s touch-screen to tap in details about the wind conditions, ammunition type, distance to the intended target and even the wind speed.
“Unlike other apps, BulletFlight does not output information in table format,” says the application’s iTunes page. “What it does do is dynamically give you the solution you need now to take that shot.”
The application features built-in profiles for three weapons – the M110 semi-automatic precision rifle, the KAC PDW, and the 14.5in SR16 rifle – although users can add more weapons into the app.
“Environmental calculations are based on the Sierra Bullet model,” says the BulletFlight iTunes entry. “Up to five ballistic co-efficients with corresponding velocity thresholds may be used for each profile.”
BulletFlight is not the first shooting application for the iPhone and iPod touch – that honour goes to iSnipe – but it’s the latest in a long line of unusal apps for the devices, which have included simulated beer-pouring, a fart machine, and even “breathalysers”.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/scienceandtechnology/technology/apple/4297205/Sniper-rifle-software-launched-for-iPod-touch.html
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on January 20, 2009, 13:03:21
Go on mate, pull the other one, it's got bells on....




Army chief pledges to ease pressure of combat tours on soldiers' families
By Matthew Hickley
Last updated at 11:41 PM on 19th January 2009

The head of the Army yesterday pledged to tackle the 'unacceptable' pressure of constant tours overseas which has torn apart many soldiers' marriages.
General Sir Richard Dannatt revealed that he and his fellow commanders had been forced to accept lower manpower levels than they believed were necessary.
He also said there was a 'very strong argument' for expanding the Army in future.
In his most outspoken comments since becoming Chief of the General Staff in 2006, General Dannatt stated bluntly that his forces were ' undermanned'.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1123146/Army-chief-pledges-ease-pressure-combat-tours-soldiers-families.html
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on January 23, 2009, 21:04:39
Guardsman Kicks Tourist Butt. Oh man, this made my day. Well done that wooden top!

http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/article2161655.ece
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on January 24, 2009, 00:38:00
Farewell to a warrior: Falklands veteran broken up (and you can claim a piece on eBay)


In her finest hour, she survived the threat of Argentine attack and became host to the historic signing of the surrender when Britain reclaimed the Falklands in 1982.
But now HMS Intrepid has come to the end of her distinguished career serving the nation.
In what will be a poignant sight for those who served on the assault ship, she is being taken apart in Britain's biggest recycling project.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1126951/Pictured-The-sad-sight-Falklands-warship-HMS-Intrepid-torn-apart-wrecking-yard.html
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on January 26, 2009, 18:16:54
Soldier takes dip wearing bearskin

 
http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/campaigns/our_boys/article2171116.ece
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on January 29, 2009, 16:36:30
Overstretched, overwhelmed and over there
Jan 29th 2009
From The Economist print edition

Seven years of war in Iraq and Afghanistan have exposed Britain’s military failings. It can and must do better

EVERY year but one since the end of the second world war British soldiers have died in action in some corner of the world. Britain no longer has an empire, but it still does a lot of fighting and keeping the peace. Britons are proud of their armed forces. What makes them good is, in part, the experience of fighting and losing men, and they have certainly done a lot of both in Iraq and Afghanistan. But as well as hardening soldiers, wars expose military weaknesses. British forces are overstretched and have struggled to adapt to modern counter-insurgency campaigns. The country’s most important allies, the Americans, are questioning Britain’s commitment and military performance (see article).
Britain was seen to give up the fight in Iraq just as America acted to stem the bloodbath. British troops are due to leave Iraq this summer, but in Afghanistan the military effort is faltering. President Barack Obama sees Afghanistan as his military priority; he is likely to pour in more resources than George Bush did with the “surge” in Iraq. But British commanders say their forces are already under “unacceptable” strain.
 
The air force’s transport fleet is in a poor state and the navy is shrinking, but the army is worst off. It was not designed to fight two protracted wars, and the strains are made worse by shortages of men and equipment. Battalions are up to one-fifth below their regular size; a further fifth or so are ill, injured or otherwise unfit to deploy. A multi-billion-pound hole in the budget for military equipment means new systems have to be scaled back, delayed or hollowed out. Buying kit is so expensive and takes so long that spending is out of kilter with current needs: most money now goes on fighter jets, aircraft carriers and submarines, which are of little use in Afghanistan. Good front-line equipment is being purchased with emergency funds, but there is too little of it to train with.
George Bernard Shaw once quipped that “the British soldier can stand up to anything except the British War Office.” But bureaucrats are not the only ones to blame. The generals have failed to update their counter-insurgency doctrine and units still rotate every six months (American soldiers stay for 12). This leads to discontinuity and short-term thinking.

Power at a price
The withdrawal from Iraq will ease some of the pressures but not all. Britain needs to rethink its defence policy from the ground up; the last big review took place in 1998. The question is whether to increase defence spending, reallocate existing resources or scale back national ambitions; and that raises the deeper question of what kind of country Britain wants to be.
Like some European states, Britain could limit itself to defending its national territory while sheltering under NATO and America’s nuclear umbrella. For an island nation, that would require only a modest navy and air force, and a small army. But for reasons mainly of history and pride, Britain has wanted to sit at the top table, to be a “force for good” in the world. It has seen its best chance of doing so in being America’s closest friend, ready to take on a hard fight; and this role has won it not just diplomatic clout but also preferential access to intelligence and technology.
But being America’s best military friend is an expensive business. It requires expeditionary capabilities—transport aircraft, field hospitals, aircraft carriers, deep-strike bombers—and, arguably, a nuclear deterrent. Among west Europeans, only France comes close.
Many maintain that Britain should give up the pretence of being a busy power. After the chaos in Iraq and the stalemate in Afghanistan, it is surely time to stop meddling in other countries, which only breeds resentment and more terrorism. As recession squeezes the budget back home, better to divert money from defence to tutoring poor children, developing green technologies—and bailing out banks.
Such arguments are tempting, but wrong. The Iraq invasion did raise Britain’s profile among jihadists, but given its history in the Muslim world and its demographic links to Pakistan, Britain was anyway unlikely to avoid their wrath. Less martial countries too are in the terrorists’ sights, to judge from the Madrid bombings in 2004, foiled plots in Germany and the attack on the Danish embassy in Pakistan last year.

Playing it safe
A direct military threat to Britain or NATO is unlikely but not impossible. A world in economic turmoil may well be more dangerous, not less so—as the spread of totalitarian ideologies in the 1930s suggests. Russia has gone to war with Georgia, uses oil and gas as a weapon, and sends its bombers buzzing close to Britain. Iran is probably building a nuclear bomb. In any case, defence policy is also about creating a more ordered world. The number of UN peacekeepers has grown sevenfold in a decade. Whatever the negative lessons of Iraq, intervention will sometimes be necessary to defend allies, stop mass killings, shore up fragile states, close down terrorist havens and relieve suffering. These jobs should not be left to America or to the poor states that contribute the most troops to the UN. Europe must do its share. The burden falls unfairly on countries that are willing to get involved. But without the lead given by Britain (and France), other Europeans would do even less.
If it is to maintain its troops’ effectiveness, Britain will have to make some difficult choices. Like any form of insurance, defence policy must cover a range of risks: the safety of sea lanes is vital to move supplies in wartime and to trade in peacetime; supremacy of the skies is the prerequisite for success on land or sea. But Afghanistan is the priority, and although a lot more aid there would help, that war will be won or lost on the ground. The army needs more soldiers, helicopters and drones. If Britain cannot increase defence spending, then it must scale back less urgent projects, such as new fighter jets and aircraft carriers.
Abandoning Afghanistan, leaving a vacuum for the Taliban to fill, would mean a victory for extremism everywhere, a destabilised Pakistan and a less safe world. Losing today’s war could make tomorrow’s wars more likely.

http://www.economist.com/opinion/displaystory.cfm?story_id=13022029
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: GurneyHalleck on January 30, 2009, 00:38:11
Strained the british forces may be, but I was shocked the other day to see their CDS telling the media that the mistakes and shortcomings of the common soldier were doing more to harm the army than the taliban. I mean, whether it's true or not...he's the bloody chief of the defense staff. In my book you don't say stuff like that to the press..
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on January 30, 2009, 00:42:16
Strained the british forces may be, but I was shocked the other day to see their CDS telling the media that the mistakes and shortcomings of the common soldier were doing more to harm the army than the taliban. I mean, whether it's true or not...he's the bloody chief of the defense staff. In my book you don't say stuff like that to the press..

Have you got a link to an article?
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: GurneyHalleck on January 30, 2009, 00:50:53
Have you got a link to an article?
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/politics/defence/4329353/Defence-chiefs-blame-misakes-by-troops-for-damaging-UKs-fighting-ability.html

In part, I think he's attacking the "if you don't report it, you won't get in trouble for it" attitude that often prevails in militaries and prevents learning from basic mistakes. The tone is however highly offensive to the troops in question imo. Must be because he's RAF not army, lol

edit: "In the article, the CDS writes that mistakes made by British troops on the battlefields in Helmand are having more of an effect on the fighting capability of the armed forces than the Taliban.
He writes: "Evidence shows that more than half our accidents and incidents are down to human factors. In other words it is our people who are causing the most damage to our fighting capability. We must do something to drive down the number of accidents and incidents."
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on January 30, 2009, 01:15:04
You know, I have to agree with him.

I have seen units and individuals do things on operations that were totally out to lunch. Many, at one time or another, could be accused of being far too complacent or switched off. Some of them got away with it, some were caught out by a cunning enemy and were killed or maimed for their folly. Unfortunately, there were also leaders at all levels who were incompetent and 'got people hurt'. I, of course, was not one of these!  ;D

A good kick in the arse might be what's needed to switch people back on and save some lives. I know that I and my peers had to do this occasionally, so why not the big cheese? Whether or not he had to go public with his comments is another question.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: GurneyHalleck on January 30, 2009, 01:21:18
You know, I have to agree with him.

I have seen units and individuals do things on operations that were totally out to lunch. Many, at one time or another, could be accused of being far too complacent or switched off. Some of them got away with it, some were caught out by a cunning enemy and were killed or maimed for their folly. Unfortunately, there were also leaders at all levels who were incompetent and 'got people hurt'. I, of course, was not one of these!  ;D

A good kick in the arse might be what's needed to switch people back on and save some lives. I know that I and my peers had to do this occasionally, so why not the big cheese? Whether or not he had to go public with his comments is another question.

Oh I am not saying he is wrong, lol. My father was an RCD back in the 80s and some of the horror stories he told me about stupidity in the CF almost made me abandon my application (which is almost finished, hooray. They're holding me up over a non-life threatening, easily avoidable shellfish allergy). I might well defect if I ever see a truck in a combat zone labeled "DANGER: EXPLOSIVES"

But to say so in public is an entirely different matter. This is clearly something that should be dealt with internally. I would have thought that if anyone understood that, it'd be the British army - given that it is still very much an old boys club.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: geo on January 30, 2009, 10:18:08
Well... identifying a problem & calling a spade a spade is where you have to start - if you are planning on fixing things.
It might hurt the ego having your dirty laundry aired out in public - but it'll give a little bit of motivation to fix it /or prove them wrong.

One thing that is / was prevalent in the UK was that some hooligans, once caught and hauled before the judge for nefarious misdeeds - are/were given the choice of 5 years in the klink or 3 years in the army.  In the end, you get some rough & tough types who like drink & brawl... instead of doing their job.
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: Yrys on February 01, 2009, 20:31:57
 Armed forces 'smug about ability'a (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/7859707.stm)

(https://Milnet.ca/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fnewsimg.bbc.co.uk%2Fmedia%2Fimages%2F45189000%2Fjpg%2F_45189145_-60.jpg&hash=76c1a7968381c7483c631d1a67040d74)
The comments were made in an
interview with the Economist magazine

UK armed forces have been "complacent" about their abilities in overseas
counter-insurgency operations, the head of the military has suggested. Air
Chief Marshal Sir Jock Stirrup, said there had been a tendency to "rest on
their laurels" due to lengthy experience in Northern Ireland.

There are around 4,100 British troops in Iraq and 7,800 in Afghanistan. The
Ministry of Defence said the armed forces had consistently won tactical
battles in the two countries.

The comments were made in an interview with The Economist magazine,
to be published on Friday.

'Bit too smug'

Air Chief Marshal Stirrup said: "I think that we were a bit too complacent about
our experiences in Northern Ireland and certainly, on occasion, we were a bit
too smug about those experiences. "You are only as good as your next success
not your last one. You can never rest on your laurels and I think we may have
done that."

He also acknowledged British forces had faced criticism from some Americans
over their performance in Afghanistan. "If you go around and ask enough
Americans you will find some who are critical to a degree or other of the way
that the British do things and the approach that the British take," he said.

There were some "inevitable differences" in how the countries approached tasks
due to differences in military and social structures, he said. "I see nothing wrong
in that provided that they do not become issues that, frankly, fracture and
disintegrate the cohesion of your overall approach," he said.

He warned there was a limit to what the UK could do in Afghanistan and other
European allies would need to provide more forces in order to achieve a strategic
breakthrough. "Both the UK government and the US government are going to be
looking in particular at seeing whether there isn't some more of that burden that
can be assumed by other members of the alliance," he said.

The Ministry of Defence said that Air Chief Marshal Stirrup's remarks over
complacency had been intended to refer to the early days of British operations
in Iraq rather than Afghanistan. "The British armed forces have consistently won
tactical battles in Iraq and Afghanistan in a complex and continually evolving
environment," a spokesman said. "The chief of defence staff was making the
point that initially in Iraq our traditional counter-insurgency strategies, developed
on successes in Northern Ireland, needed to evolve to meet the changing threat.

"They did and this ensured the overall military success in Iraq."
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: daftandbarmy on February 02, 2009, 15:39:35
A Memorable Tandem Jump

A first-time tandem skydiver was forced to parachute to the ground on his own after his instructor died of a heart attack in the air. The learner, who is a soldier, managed to land safely while strapped to his teacher before trying to revive him following the six-minute jump.Tragically, too much time had elapsed during the 13,000ft-high dive to effectively carry out CPR treatment on victim George ‘Chip’ Steele, 49.

For photo and full article see: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1134203/Novice-skydiver-steers-safety-tandem-instructor-dies-mid-air-heart-attack.html

Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: geo on February 02, 2009, 22:24:55
Well... that'll be a jump he'll remember for the rest of his life....
Title: Re: British Military Current Events
Post by: milnews.ca on February 03, 2009, 08:07:42
Pub refuses to serve two Marines who fought on Afghanistan frontline... because they only had their military ID
Daily Mail, 3 Feb 09
Article link (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1134612/Pub-refuses-serve-Marin