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British Military Current Events

FJAG

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Apparently, and ironially, dozens of Class A reservists are begging to be called up to help with the floods in BC, but the red tape is proving harder to get through than the flood waters ;)
I guess that I keep showing my age but we didn't have a giant list of things we had to do in order to send folks out on domops when I was doing RSSO. Essentially our volunteers showed up, were given a kit check to make sure they wouldn't freeze to death and had a sleeping bag and given a paysheet to sign so that they were "legal" and on duty before we put them on a truck.

Mind you, in those days I could run a recruit through enrollment processing, including a medical, in about a week. Officers took a bit longer. (A lot of the guys I enrolled ended up in the Reg F as officers and WOs so we must have been doing it okay)

I never cease to be amazed at the bureaucratic bull**** that today's Res F (and in fairness the Reg F too) have to put up with in order to satisfy the risk averse leadership that has been allowed to proliferate.

Edited to add:

Just came across this which made me feel better.

262892592_208710588111630_893140867590292288_n.jpg


Bombardier Alina Liang from 5th (British Columbia) Field Artillery Regiment and Master Bombardier Joseph Rozario from 15th Field Artillery Regiment build a sandbag wall behind residential homes in order to protect them against potential flooding in Chilliwack, British Columbia on 29 November 2021.

Please credit: MCpl Nicolas Alonso, Canadian Forces Combat Camera, Canadian Armed Forces Photo

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daftandbarmy

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Spent a fair bit of time roaming that part of the world. Not very nice in awful weather, which mean 80% of the time ;)

Six days after Storm Awen, the army was deployed as a house of 15,000 still powerless.​

9dc3a3fa-a694-4a8d-bcd8-a10a4b8367d7.jpg

Thousands of homes in northern England and Scotland faced helplessness on Thursday night as the army cooperated in one of the most affected areas of Storm Arwen.

The British government has deployed 134 soldiers and marines to the Grampian region of Scotland’s mountainous region, making it possible to reach approximately 4,000 homes. Defense Minister Ben Wallace said the soldiers “check the door-to-door of the people at home.”

Over 15,000 households were still losing electricity on Thursday afternoon in Aberdeenshire and Perthshire, Scotland, parts of Wales, Cumbria and Northumberland, England.

Engineers struggled to repair extensive damage after power lines were shut down due to strong winds and heavy snow, initially cutting off power to nearly one million homes in the UK.

According to the Met Office, gusts of over 100mph were recorded throughout the Grampians over the weekend. Business secretary Kwasi Kwaten said the storm caused the greatest turmoil since 2005.

The long outage has led to criticism of energy regulator Ofgem’s response to the crisis, promising to review the resilience of the national power network and the emergency response of operators owning regional power distribution networks. .. The emergency also increased concerns about the resilience of the grid in the face of climate change.

Kwasi acknowledged that lessons must be learned given the prediction that global warming will make severe storms like Arwen more common. “In the future, we need to be prepared for similarly very difficult weather conditions. If that happens, we need to make sure that the system is resilient,” he said earlier this week. I did.

Andy Manning, a civil counseling economic regulation expert, said improvements also needed in terms of “communication with customers and caring for vulnerable people.”

Tricia Thomas, chairman of the Grange-over-Sands town council in Cumbria, said the aftermath of the storm was “catastrophic” for the locals. “Communication with terrifying forces, especially with power companies,” she told the Financial Times.

British energy network operators defended their response, emphasizing that Arwen was “an exception, not a rule.” The necessary repair work was very labor-intensive and complex, and they said that multiple points on the grid were damaged in the affected areas.

Ross Easton, director of the Energy Networks Association, an industry group, said: .. .. This is not something we have experienced before. “
Executives said the unusual direction of the north wind increased the damage. Scott Mathieson, Director of Network Planning and Regulation at Scottish Power, said: “The extent of tree damage cannot be fully emphasized, for example, a small forest just south of Torness has been wiped out,” he added.

The UK network has a historically reliable and resilient record of supply. Nonetheless, this crisis will increase oversight of regional distribution network companies such as SP Energy Networks owned by utility Scottish Power, Northern Powergrid managed by Berkshire Hathaway, and Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks owned by SSE.

 

OldSolduer

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I guess that I keep showing my age but we didn't have a giant list of things we had to do in order to send folks out on domops when I was doing RSSO. Essentially our volunteers showed up, were given a kit check to make sure they wouldn't freeze to death and had a sleeping bag and given a paysheet to sign so that they were "legal" and on duty before we put them on a truck.

Mind you, in those days I could run a recruit through enrollment processing, including a medical, in about a week. Officers took a bit longer. (A lot of the guys I enrolled ended up in the Reg F as officers and WOs so we must have been doing it okay)

I never cease to be amazed at the bureaucratic bull**** that today's Res F (and in fairness the Reg F too) have to put up with in order to satisfy the risk averse leadership that has been allowed to proliferate.

Edited to add:

Just came across this which made me feel better.

262892592_208710588111630_893140867590292288_n.jpg




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The MBdr looks like he could be Boba Fett.
 

ArmyRick

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Thanks. And I agree with your comments about special but would just point out that both Fusiliers and Rifles were special in their day and only lost their specialness when the rest of the army joined them as fusiliers (Brown Bess 1715) and rifles (Enfield 1853).

I don't think the infantry is losing its general utility. If anything I think the biggest problem lies with the Armoured Corps and the Cavalry. Once every infanteer has their own ride, or robot, then you end up with units like this with 16 Air Assault BCT

View attachment 67336

Aka "Rangers"
Light Recce Strike Infantry? Is what now?
 

daftandbarmy

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Light Recce Strike Infantry? Is what now?

Probably not the 'cavalry competition' Kirkhill proposes.

I recall 1 PARA taking charge of 8 x Scimitar light tanks, our Recce Platoon for the AMF (L) BGp.

Although they were enthusiastic new light armoured Infantrymen the 17/21st Lancers, who took them through their workup period, were exponentially better at the armoured recce job. No surprise as that was their bread and butter.

I'm guessing that, perhaps, the role of the Cavalry is therefore secure.
 

FJAG

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Probably not the 'cavalry competition' Kirkhill proposes.

I recall 1 PARA taking charge of 8 x Scimitar light tanks, our Recce Platoon for the AMF (L) BGp.

Although they were enthusiastic new light armoured Infantrymen the 17/21st Lancers, who took them through their workup period, were exponentially better at the armoured recce job. No surprise as that was their bread and butter.

I'm guessing that, perhaps, the role of the Cavalry is therefore secure.
There are two types of cavalry now: armoured cavalry with 3 Div and light cavalry with 1 Div and two of one and one of the other with the Deep Strike Brigade. (I think the 17/21st, like a number of other regiments, are perpetuated in the Royal Lancers an armoured cavalry regiment with the Deep Strike Brigade)

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Kirkhill

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There are two types of cavalry now: armoured cavalry with 3 Div and light cavalry with 1 Div and two of one and one of the other with the Deep Strike Brigade. (I think the 17/21st, like a number of other regiments, are perpetuated in the Royal Lancers an armoured cavalry regiment with the Deep Strike Brigade)

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Do you not mean six of one and a half-dozen of the other?
 

FJAG

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Do you not mean six of one and a half-dozen of the other?
Nope. There are two armoured cavalry regiments and one light cavalry regiments in the Strike brigade (plus another reserve light cavalry regiment)

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daftandbarmy

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Blimey....

Military chief alarmed at rise in rape and sexual assault reports among girls under 18 in armed forces



The UK's military chief has described as "truly shocking" figures shared by an MP that showed a tenfold increase in the number of girls under 18 in the armed forces reporting cases of rape and sexual assault to the military police.

General Sir Nick Carter said - at the same as working to improve behaviours - the army encouraged a "laddish culture" in part because "ultimately our soldiers have to go close and personal with the enemy".

The comments came during more than two hours of questioning by Parliament's defence select committee on Tuesday in his final appearance as Chief of the Defence Staff before he retires at the end of the month.

General Carter also revealed that he had suffered damage to his hearing after riding around in noisy armoured vehicles without adequate ear protection during more than 40 years in the military.

On the collapse of Afghanistan to the Taliban and the withdrawal of UK and other NATO forces, General Carter said it was not a defeat but a political failure.

He suggested that he might be open to a government inquiry, telling MPs: "There are lots of lessons we can learn".



Military chief alarmed at rise in rape and sexual assault reports among girls under 18 in armed forces
 

FJAG

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Interesting:

The British Defence Secretary, Ben Wallace, and his Danish counterpart, Trine Bramsen, signed a joint declaration today in Copenhagen.​

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Joint Declaration, 08 December 2021: UK Secretary of State for Defence, Ben Wallace, and Danish Minister for Defence, Trine Bramsen:-

The United Kingdom and Denmark are close allies and friends. We share democratic values of freedom, rule of law, and tolerance. We have a long history of working closely together in tackling security problems, both in the framework of NATO, in coalitions and bilaterally. We are both proud seafaring nations with common interests in global safe and free navigation upon the seas.

The recent weaponisation of migration against our Polish and Lithuanian allies, along with an aggressive pattern of Russian military build-ups near Ukraine’s border and in illegally-annexed Crimea, cyber-attacks, the use of disinformation, and the deployment of novel weapons systems, add to heightened tensions in Europe.

These concerning developments call for close cooperation among allies. They show us that threats are real and that we need to be alert. In an era of systemic competition, states are becoming increasingly assertive in how they advance their own objectives and while their actions may fall short of open conflict, they can nonetheless threaten our security and risk escalation into conflict. We must work together to act in response to aggression across the range of state and non-state threats: our collective response is greater than the sum of its parts. Malign and destabilising Russian and Belarusian behaviour is unacceptable and any Russian military incursion onto Ukrainian territory will have dire consequences for Russia’s relationship with the West. We are proud to offer our continued support to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Our common efforts in our enhanced Forward Presence in Estonia, our integrated response forces in NATO’s Readiness Initiative and Response Force, and our cooperation on stabilization efforts in Ukraine are important measures to deter and defend against the threats to the Euro-Atlantic region. Our unique relationship and cooperation are built on almost 20 years of active military engagements in Iraq and Afghanistan, among other places.

Today we have discussed areas for a broadened and deepened cooperation. We have agreed upon strengthened cooperation in a number of areas:-

  • The UK and Denmark will enhance cooperation on response forces – both within NATO and with rapid deployable forces for crisis response.
  • The UK and Denmark will continue cooperation in the Baltic region, including within the framework of NATO’s enhanced Forward Presence in Estonia and Multinational Division (North) in Latvia and in Denmark.
  • The UK and Denmark will work together to develop the Joint Expeditionary Force (JEF) to stand with allies and close partners and defend common values.
  • The UK and Denmark will cooperate on and train Host Nation Support to ensure fast deployment of UK forces through Danish territory in case of crises. To deter Russia from aggressive behaviour and other threats, NATO must be able to deploy forces across all its regions at the speed of relevance in order to provide timely reinforcement of allies in a crisis or a military conflict. We will enhance cooperation on military mobility through NATO, the Northern Group and bilaterally.
  • The UK and Denmark remain jointly committed to NATO-EU cooperation, with a view to building a mutually reinforcing partnership.
  • The UK and Denmark will enhance our operational cooperation, including in the North Atlantic, in such areas as air and maritime surveillance, joint training, disaster relief, intelligence-sharing and anti-submarine operations.
  • The UK and Denmark will explore opportunities for enhanced cooperation in tackling terror threats and supporting stability in Africa.
  • The UK and Denmark will cooperate on training, the operational use and maintenance of frigates based on the similar designs of the UK Type 31 frigates and the Danish Ivar Huitfeldt-class frigates.
All this serves to strengthen our common stance against threats to our common security.

We are adamant in our support for, and defence of, our common values and our freedom.


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FJAG

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:ROFLMAO:

Ministry of Defence tells its forces to stop using negative phrases like 'crippled by debt' and 'blind drunk' to avoid giving offence​

  • Ministry of Defence had insisted Inclusive Language Guide was 'practical' toolkit
  • Mail On Sunday raised concerns and 30-page document now being withdrawn
  • It is now being revised as Defence Secretary Ben Wallace is 'unhappy' with it


:ROFLMAO:
 

daftandbarmy

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Well, Canadian bears aren't too happy about this I'm guessing :)


Poll: Should the UK military wear bearskins?​



The Ministry of Defence recently stated it has "no plans" to take a man-made fabric replacement forward.

The Ministry of Defence revealed that the British Army will continue to wear bearskin hats after testing found a man-made fabric replacement, proposed by animal rights charity PETA, "didn't meet the standards required".

PETA, a prominent opponent to the use of the bearskin, has campaigned relentlessly for the wearing of authentic bearskin caps by British Army regiments to end.

However, the man-made alternative only met "one of the five requirements to be considered as a viable alternative" and showed "unacceptable rates of water-shedding".

 

FJAG

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The Ministry of Defence recently stated it has "no plans" to take a man-made fabric replacement forward.

The Ministry of Defence revealed that the British Army will continue to wear bearskin hats after testing found a man-made fabric replacement, proposed by animal rights charity PETA, "didn't meet the standards required".

I can see their point. Would you rather have this:

Grenadier-Guards-Band-rs617-03.jpg


or this:

pink-helmets_2418825k.jpg


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FJAG

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The ongoing Ajax saga:

Army top brass knew about 'serious failings' in Ajax tanks for three years: MoD ignored warning about vibration and loud noise that led to servicemen being discharged with hearing loss​

  • A government review of Ajax said a 2018 safety recommendation saying that the vehicle must be redesigned
  • Had correct action been taken public money would have been saved and troops would not have been injured
  • Defence minister Jeremy Quin admitted the Ajax programme had 'serious failings' but it will not be scrapped
  • The MoD was accused of being a laughing stock at a time when a show of strength was needed towards Russia


(The writer needs some fact checking re that "NATO partner Ukraine" line.)

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FJAG

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NEW ROYAL MARINES POLARIS MRZR-D4​

18 Dec 2021

Features


Members of Alpha Company 40 Cdo RM training in the new Royal Marines Vehicle, the MRZR-D4, in October at MAGCTC in California during GREEN DAGGER 2021 [Crown Copyright / OGL : LPhot Joe Cater]

The UK MoD has released further images of the new Royal Marines Polaris MRZR-D4, this time under Open Government Licence terms.​

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The JOINT-FORCES team has been well aware for some time that the Royal Navy has procured a batch of Polaris MRZR-D4 UTVs (Utility Task Vehicles) for the Royal Marines, it is understood via the NSPA (NATO Support and Procurement Agency) system rather than through a comparative tender and trials process, but although we asked the UK representatives of the American manufacturer for details and quantities supplied they were unable to discuss due to contractual confidentiality clauses. It has also been apparent that a version of the MRZR has been in service with UK Special Forces for a number of years (it has also been adopted by US Special Forces, US Marines and US Airborne) and it appears likely that the new British Army Ranger Regiment, as part of the new UK Special Operations Brigade, will be equipped with this vehicle too.
The new Royal Marines MRZR-D4 at MAGCTC in California during GREEN DAGGER 2021
[Crown Copyright / OGL : LPhot Joe Cater]
This July WO2 Chris Burge, the UK Commando Force’s master driver, was quoted on the Royal Navy’s website as saying: “Because of the Littoral Strike concept and the transformation of the commando forces, Royal Marines are trialling the light mobility vehicle and with that we are using the MRZR-D4 as a proof of concept.” He continued, “The MRZR-D4 is going to be used as an agile, nimble vehicle designed for smaller teams to get across the battlefield… It hasn’t got armour protection, so with that it’s more for manoeuvre and agility than for weapons systems.“
The new Royal Marines MRZR-D4 at MAGCTC in California during GREEN DAGGER 2021
[Crown Copyright / OGL : LPhot Joe Cater]
A small number of official photos of the MRZR-D4 being used by Alpha Company of 40 Commando RM on GREEN DAGGER 2021 were previously released, but only under the highly restrictive UK MoD New Licence which prevented us producing a feature in case we should incur the wrath of the Whitehall seat-polishers. However now that the accompanying images, taken by LPhot Joe Cater at 29 Palms MCAGCC in October, have been released under OGL (Open Government Licence) we can at last produce this feature. The block caption accompanying these images includes:-
Littoral Response Group (South) have been conducting subunit training [in] the deserts of California to take on their US Marine Corps (USMC) counterparts later in a peer-on-peer scenario. Their training is in the excellent, and truly vast, range complex of the Marine [Corps] Air Ground Combat Training Centre at 29 Palms, California. Alpha Company which are 40 Commando Royal Marines Mobility Company have been using the New Royal Marines Vehicle, the MRZR which is a Polaris off road buggy to practise their drill…
The new Royal Marines MRZR-D4 at MAGCTC in California during GREEN DAGGER 2021
[Crown Copyright / OGL : LPhot Joe Cater]
Over the Christmas and New Year period we expect our News sections to be less busy, unless the situation on the borders with Ukraine and Belarus further deteriorates, which should give us a little time to produce a more general feature on the Polaris MRZR complete with some facts and figures on this interesting 4×4 buggy.
To be continued…
~$~
MRZR-Bragg-7239.jpg
US 82nd Airborne Polaris MRZR on Fort Bragg Training Area during CJOAX 15-01 [© Carl Schulze]
 

FJAG

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A very well reasoned and thought provoking article.

MATCHING BRAINPOWER WITH FIREPOWER – THE BRITISH ARMY’S NEW RANGER REGIMENT​

December 14, 2021 UK Land Power Uncategorized 9 comments
By Major (Ret’d) Andrew Fox
The creation of the UK’s new Ranger Regiment was billed as an exciting expansion of the British Army’s capabilities, but many viewed it as a cynical “smoke and mirrors” exercise designed to draw attention away from the fact that Army headcount is being cut further. In this article, former Parachute Regiment major, Andrew Fox, dissects the Ranger concept and considers what else it needs to be a worthwhile addition to the Army’s golf bag of specialist skills.
Contents
01. Introduction – The British Army’s changing emphasis
02. The Ranger Regiment Concept
03. Does the concept add value to the British Army’s offer?
04. Expanding the Ranger Regiment’s offer


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