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British Military Current Events

daftandbarmy

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From the Regiment's FB Page:


"Boris Johnson visits 16 Air Assault Brigade : The Prime Minister, Boris Johnson MP paid a snap visit to the troops of 16 Air Assault Brigade in Colchester today ( 2nd September ) to thank them for their work in helping evacuate UK and Afghan nationals from Afghanistan. During his brief visit, he met many soldiers from the various Brigade units who deployed in mid August, including Paratroopers from 2 and 3 PARA.

All the troops are currently isolating in various parts of the garrison, adhering to the Government guidelines, after flying home from the 'red list' country.

The Prime Minister addressed the soldiers, 'Mainly, I want to say what an incredible thing you have just done.' 'There is literally nothing like it, not just in my lifetime, but I don't think in this century or for the last 100 years or longer.' ' This was the biggest ever humanitarian airlift in the history of this country.'

Speaking to reporters about the soldiers he had just met, the Prime Minister said, 'They should all be very, very proud of what they have achieved.'

( 2 PARA were lead Battle Group, supported by 3 PARA, breaking readiness to deploy over 250 troops in under 12 hours notice. Our soldiers are expected to deploy at a moments notice, even when not on VHR. It soon became clear that the operation urgently required more Paratroopers and within 24 hours, the HQ and 2 Company Groups were on their way to Kabul. The culture of the Parachute Regiment is built around these three keywords, 'Ready For Anything'.)"

Photos : PA / Getty Images.1-Boris.jpg
 

FJAG

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And then there's this as a counterpoint:

RAF unit's fury at being left out of Afghan rescue mission: Top commander is blasted in letter from 63 officers telling him he had 'no clue' how to use the regiment​

  • RAF head and Air Chief Marshal Mike Wigston was accused of damaging morale
  • Attack came in a letter signed by 53 senior and junior officers in No 1 Squadron
  • It describes failure to use RAF Regiment in Afghanistan as an 'embarrassment'
  • It said it was proof Sir Mike Wigston had 'no clue' how to use the RAF Regiment
By SEAN RAYMENT FOR THE MAIL ON SUNDAY

PUBLISHED: 20:12 EDT, 4 September 2021 | UPDATED: 20:16 EDT, 4 September 2021

One of Britain's most senior defence chiefs has been criticised by his own troops for failing to use a specialist RAF unit in the evacuation of British nationals from Afghanistan.
Air Chief Marshal Sir Mike Wigston, the head of the RAF, has been accused of damaging morale and showing a lack of moral courage by members of the RAF Regiment.
The attack came in a letter signed by 63 senior and junior non-commissioned officers serving in the regiment's No 1 Squadron based at RAF Honington in Suffolk.


Air Chief Marshal Sir Mike Wigston (pictured), the head of the RAF, has been accused of damaging morale and showing a lack of moral courage by members of the RAF Regiment
It describes the failure to use the RAF Regiment in Afghanistan as an 'embarrassment' and proof that Air Chief Marshal Wigston had 'no clue' how to use the RAF Regiment, comprising 1,800 men and women across seven squadrons, properly. ...
Not hard to figure out where any reduction in the RAF manpower will come from first.

🍻
 

daftandbarmy

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And then there's this as a counterpoint:


Not hard to figure out where any reduction in the RAF manpower will come from first.

🍻

Funny thing, in all the years that I did NEO Ops training in the airborne world in the UK we never interacted with the RAF Regiment. Not Once.

I assume that's because the airfields we were planning on seizing would not usually host a 5 star hotel :)
 

daftandbarmy

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It's all over bar the shouting.... about medals, predictably :)

Row brewing over awarding British soldiers medals for Afghanistan evacuation​



Lt Gen Sir John Lorimer, the former Chief of Joint Operations, called on the Government to award medals to soldiers in light of the severity of the operation.

He said: “The Kabul evacuation was an extraordinary, no notice, joint multinational operation, involving many parts of the UK Armed Forces. It was strategically sensitive and operationally complex.”

Sir John said that the performance and conduct of soldiers on the ground “was incredible, in horrendous and dangerous circumstances”, adding that from what he had seen “medallic recognition is entirely appropriate”.

On Tuesday night, the Ministry of Defence told The Telegraph it would consider a change but cautioned this would be a “lengthy consideration”.

An MoD spokesman added that medals or awards for “individual acts of bravery or leadership” would also be considered for the operation on a citation-by-citation basis as they are “separate to the length of deployment criteria”.

Soldiers who have since returned from Kabul expressed frustration with the 30-day time period.

“I only care about the young lads that don’t have anything, and it’s them that worked the hardest, they deserve something to show for it,” a soldier who served in Operation Pitting said.

Another soldier said it was “hypocritical” to focus medals on a time period and questioned how it was fair “one-month peacekeeping tours” had medallic recognition but rescuing civilians from the Taliban, coupled with the constant threat of Isis-K, did not.

Military sources said discussions were underway about adding a clasp with the words “Kabul Evacuation” to the current Afghanistan medal, while younger soldiers who had not previously served there would be awarded the medal in its entirety with the new clasp.

However, soldiers claimed a “bespoke medal” would be “more appropriate” and could set a precedent for “humanitarian operations being viewed differently from normal operational service”.

 

Kirkhill

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Under Future Soldier, the Global Response Force is to be centred around an Air Manoeuvre Brigade Combat Team (BCT) and a newly established Combat Aviation BCT. They will be equipped with upgraded Apache and Chinook helicopters and integrated with strategic air transport from the RAF.

This force will measure its global response time in hours and days, with the versatility to deliver humanitarian to warfighting crisis response.

Much of the time was spent working on company-level training, with the chance to work alongside the RAF and become familiar with the A400M during a parachuted stores drop, known as a CDS, or container delivery system. The new aircraft will replace the C130, or the Hercules, which has been a familiar workhorse for soldiers for decades.

Drops of equipment from the back of the A400M from 800 ft were carried out, including quad bikes plus trailers - weighing about 2 tonnes - which deploy with their own parachutes and soft-landing material, to protect them on landing.

The exercise ensured that 16 Air Assault had all the skills and equipment ready for deployment.



An awful lot of quads, trailers, ultra-light vehicles and UGVs being show-cased these days.
 

FJAG

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Bad Yorkies, Bad!

Nineteen soldiers from one regiment test positive for cocaine and cannabis in army's 'biggest ever drugs bust'​

  • Squaddies from the 1st Battalion the Yorkshire Regiment took drugs in barracks
  • Soldiers in the Catterick Garrison in North Yorkshire said they were bored
  • The majority were soldiers of Private rank but at least one was a Lance Corporal

🍻
 

daftandbarmy

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An awful lot of quads, trailers, ultra-light vehicles and UGVs being show-cased these days.

Nice... but I'm guessing that they haven't yet figured out how to staff up the maintenance capacity to keep all these 'toys' operational.

Back when we had 3 x LWB landrovers per rifle company it was hard enough to make sure they were all operational at the same time.
 

daftandbarmy

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Epic finger pointing.... go!

Boris Johnson to tell MPs he will ‘do right by’ UK Afghanistan veterans​

Prime minister’s statement follows criticism from leading military figures of west’s withdrawal

Boris Johnson will tell British veterans of Afghanistan that he will “do right by” soldiers who served during the 20-year campaign, after significant criticism by prominent military figures of the west’s withdrawal.

The prime minister is likely to come under pressure from MPs to explain how the UK intends to resettle the thousands of Afghans who were potentially eligible to come to Britain but could not be airlifted out in time.

Johnson will tell MPs on Monday that Britain will “use every economic, political and diplomatic lever to protect our country from harm and help the Afghan people” in the wake of the withdrawal and will commend the “courage and ingenuity” of all involved in the Kabul airlift.

Last week it was reported that a number of British soldiers were “a matter of metres” from last week’s deadly bomb blast at Kabul airport and are taking part in decompression therapy to help deal with any trauma they suffered during the two-week evacuation.

The soldiers-turned-politicians Tobias Ellwood, Rory Stewart and Tom Tugendhat have been among the staunchest critics of the US and UK strategy which led to the fall of Kabul to the Taliban. Former senior officers have warned that many Afghans who served British forces have been left behind.

Johnson will make a statement to mark the 20th anniversary of the September 11 attacks on New York and pledge an additional £5m to military charities to support veterans struggling with the fallout. “Thanks to their efforts, no terrorist attack against this country or any of our western allies has been launched from Afghanistan for 20 years,” he will say.

“They fulfilled the first duty of the British armed forces – to keep our people safe – and they and their families should take pride in everything they did. Just as they kept us safe, so we shall do right by our veterans.”

Johnson’s first statement to MPs since the emergency recall of parliament last month comes amid significant tensions over intelligence failures between the Foreign Office and the Ministry of Defence.

On Sunday, Britain’s most senior military officer, Gen Sir Nick Carter, hit back at suggestions from the foreign secretary, Dominic Raab, that intelligence about the strength of the Taliban was flawed.

Raab told MPs that he had believed the Afghan capital would remain safe until next year, backed by the prevailing intelligence assessment. The defence secretary, Ben Wallace, had said he first thought “the game was up” in Afghanistan, and the western-backed government would fall, “back in July”.

 

daftandbarmy

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Ironic that they're going with a Euro plane now that they've exited the EU...

Royal Air Force satisfied with Airbus A400M, confirms C-130 Hercules retirement​


After reviewing the evacuation of Afghanistan by the Royal Air Force, named Operation Pitting, the British Chief of the Air Staff said he was satisfied with the performance of the Airbus A400M and thus would not postpone the retirement of the C-130J Hercules, announced in March 2021.

“This is the first large-scale operation that we’ve done with our A400s, and it’s demonstrated that this is an aircraft with real potential and enormous capacity,” Wigston told Defense News. “It will be with a heavy heart that we retire the C-130 in two years’ time because it’s been an absolute workhorse, but I have absolute confidence in the A400 and what that aircraft is able to do going forward.”

During the latest British defense and security review, the British Ministry of Defence announced that the 14 C-130J Hercules Mk4 currently in the fleet of the RAF, and which were to continue flying until the mid-2030s, would instead be retired by 2023 to make way for the A400M.

The 22 A400M Atlas ordered by the Royal Air Force, alongside the 8 Boeing C-17A Globemaster III (which were also involved in Operation Pitting) will provide “a more capable and flexible transport fleet,” British Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said at the time.

Airbus has already delivered 20 A400M transport aircraft to the Royal Air Force, according to its latest order book.

In December 2020, the Ejército del Aire, the Spanish Air Force, also bid farewell to its Lockheed C-130 Hercules transport aircraft after 47 years of service.

But the C-130 is not going out of fashion in all European air forces. In fact, France and Germany are currently setting up a bi-national squadron to be based in Évreux-Fauville Air Base, northwest of Paris. It will be composed of 4 aircraft of the French Air Force and 6 German planes. Half of the fleet will be the refueling variant of the Hercules, the KC-130J.

 

Weinie

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Did somebody say "Grandad's Used Axe?" All I want is the tail number.
Don't use Grandad's Used Axe. We still have Grandad's Used Axe, on the (by my reckoning) 15th handle, and it still splits wood very well. However, I wouldn't want to face someone with it who was carrying an AR .
 

Kirkhill

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Don't use Grandad's Used Axe. We still have Grandad's Used Axe, on the (by my reckoning) 15th handle, and it still splits wood very well. However, I wouldn't want to face someone with it who was carrying an AR .

So, if we bought all of their C-130J-30s, as is, and got Lockmart to replace all the components, completely assembled off the end of their existing production line, with the old tail numbers - you don't think you could sell that to Canadian politicians and accountants?
 

Weinie

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So, if we bought all of their C-130J-30s, as is, and got Lockmart to replace all the components, completely assembled off the end of their existing production line, with the old tail numbers - you don't think you could sell that to Canadian politicians and accountants?
One truncated word. Subs
 

OldSolduer

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One truncated word. Subs
WARNING - off on a tangent and a bit of a rant.

I recall listening to the news that one of our new used subs had caught fire in the mid Atlantic while bringing it back. One sailor died during that transit and IIRC the RCN tried to cover it up. I could be wrong on this point though.
 

Weinie

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So you're saying not every idea is a good idea?
So I am saying that we have had some good ideas, and some bad ideas. The subs looked good, in principle, until we came to the understanding /realization that the Brits had walked away from a concept that even they hadn't worked out all the bugs worth paying attention to. -1

Then we bought used Aussie F-18's. There are numerous articles on what that means for the CAF (none of which seems to be trending positive)
-1


I would rather buy new, the C-117's and Chinooks have proved that.
 
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