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"Royal Marines commandos force US troops into a humiliating surrender" @ Twentynine Palms

Humphrey Bogart

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Would you accept the USMC has a Sgt who is a Squad Leader in four years.
Produces usually confirms quality ;)

The largest issue I see in the US Military (and the USMC is slower at promoting than the Army) is the speed that the enlisted ranks progress - which leads to a much less experienced NCO than the Commonwealth Armies.
I think comparing a Commando Force like the Royal Marines to the average US Marine Battalion is a bit like comparing Apples and Oranges.

Highly specialized elite Infantry vs average big Army unit. The Royal Marines aren't technically SOF but they have elements that aren't far off.
 

Good2Golf

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And their looking to win friends by crowing about a “humiliating defeat” during a war game where the Marines’ enablers they normally have were kept on the ground.

Maybe MoD should have sent the fantastic RM to Helmand in 2006 instead of the craptastic spectacular that was 3 Para bumbling it’s way around the South asking others for help…

Then again, Brits were never short on patting themselves on the back and telling others how good they are/we’re. True sign of an ascending super power… 😆
 

SeaKingTacco

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And their looking to win friends by crowing about a “humiliating defeat” during a war game where the Marines’ enablers they normally have were kept on the ground.

Maybe MoD should have sent the fantastic RM to Helmand in 2006 instead of the craptastic spectacular that was 3 Para bumbling it’s way around the South asking others for help…

Then again, Brits were never short on patting themselves on the back and telling others how good they are/we’re. True sign of an ascending super power… 😆
Losing during an exercise is the sign of a mature military. It shows that the exercise designers pushed a unit to the breaking point, which is where the learning begins.

we might want to try it, once in a while…
 

Good2Golf

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Losing during an exercise is the sign of a mature military. It shows that the exercise designers pushed a unit to the breaking point, which is where the learning begins.

we might want to try it, once in a while…
Yup. To be honest, the Royal Marines need to be ashamed of the tripe they got the Daily Mail to write about them…
 

Kirkhill

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And their looking to win friends by crowing about a “humiliating defeat” during a war game where the Marines’ enablers they normally have were kept on the ground.

Maybe MoD should have sent the fantastic RM to Helmand in 2006 instead of the craptastic spectacular that was 3 Para bumbling it’s way around the South asking others for help…

Then again, Brits were never short on patting themselves on the back and telling others how good they are/we’re. True sign of an ascending super power… 😆


3 Para in Helmand? Was that 3 Para with or without the single round that their Minister of Defence said they wouldn't need?


Agreed though. Crowing is never a good plan.


 

Kirkhill

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Losing during an exercise is the sign of a mature military. It shows that the exercise designers pushed a unit to the breaking point, which is where the learning begins.

we might want to try it, once in a while…


From the Telegraph opinion piece on the same exercise

Britain cannot buy its way to military dominance. The Armed Forces are keenly aware they need to innovate, build global alliances and work with the grain of shifting societal developments. Consequently, in recent years, money – and, arguably more importantly, time – has been released by military chiefs for experimentation, in exercises such as the one that took place in the Twentynine Palms training area this week. There is a new mantra: fail, fail fast, fail better. It sounds like a Californian tech startup, but with guns.

The Public Affairs people need to work on their Build Global Alliances training though.
 

daftandbarmy

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And their looking to win friends by crowing about a “humiliating defeat” during a war game where the Marines’ enablers they normally have were kept on the ground.

Maybe MoD should have sent the fantastic RM to Helmand in 2006 instead of the craptastic spectacular that was 3 Para bumbling it’s way around the South asking others for help…

Then again, Brits were never short on patting themselves on the back and telling others how good they are/we’re. True sign of an ascending super power… 😆

I say old chap, I assume that you actually meant to say "Real Heroes, Real Stories - In Their Own Words." at bejillions of quid per engagement ;)

 

Kat Stevens

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I forgot about RNTP! The Reserve Non-Commissioned Officer Training Program, just add water, instant Infantry Section Commander. Instant NCOs are a staple of some conscript armies — I forgot about our brief flirtation with the concept.
I think it was called DAPS in the NCM world, recruit to TQ3 to CLC/ISCC to Sgt in about 3 years.
 

daftandbarmy

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I think it was called DAPS in the NCM world, recruit to TQ3 to CLC/ISCC to Sgt in about 3 years.

It didn't work at all well in the Reserves, as I recall, because of the usual math: one Militia Year = approx. one or two Reg F months.

There just wasn't enough time to do the right OJT.
 

Kat Stevens

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It didn't work at all well in the Reserves, as I recall, because of the usual math: one Militia Year = approx. one or two Reg F months.

There just wasn't enough time to do the right OJT.
It didn't work in the regs for shit, either. 21 year old MCpls/Sgts commanding field sections full of old grumpy Cpls and senior Ptes.
 

CBH99

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Maybe MoD should have sent the fantastic RM to Helmand in 2006 instead of the craptastic spectacular that was 3 Para bumbling it’s way around the South asking others for help…

Then again, Brits were never short on patting themselves on the back and telling others how good they are/we’re. True sign of an ascending super power… 😆
I’m genuinely curious about 3 Para in the sandbox in 2006??

Obviously there is the easy to find stuff on Google. But what did the Brits lack in 2006 that prevented them from being more effective?

Helmand was a crapshoot on a good day. The Brits, Dutch, USMC, and SOF stayed busy year round killing baddies and Helmand stayed a huge challenge nonetheless. (The Dutch and USMC certainly didn’t muck about.)


I do remember watching one of those series from Afghanistan about various allied militaries - one was about the British Army and one of their tours.

I remember one piece of a radio antennae broke off while the member was quickly entering through a doorway, as they maneuvered during a firefight. That one small piece that broke off resulted in them not being able to talk to Apaches flying overhead…. Eventually having the Apaches RTB as the troops in contact couldn’t communicate their position, position of baddies, etc.

I remember thinking ‘That’s it? Your entire ability to communicate with air support in a war zone is relying on this flimsy 6” rod??”



Curious if anybody can share or expand on 3 Para in 2006, in a ‘what can we learn from them’ kind of way?
 

FJAG

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And their looking to win friends by crowing about a “humiliating defeat” during a war game where the Marines’ enablers they normally have were kept on the ground.

Maybe MoD should have sent the fantastic RM to Helmand in 2006 instead of the craptastic spectacular that was 3 Para bumbling it’s way around the South asking others for help…

Then again, Brits were never short on patting themselves on the back and telling others how good they are/we’re. True sign of an ascending super power… 😆

They did. Op Herrick V Oct 2006 to April 2007 was 3 Commando Brigade based on 45 Commando RM augmented by 43 Commando and a bunch of other folks. Nonetheless the support from others continued - see for example Op Achilles.

🍻
 

FJAG

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I’m genuinely curious about 3 Para in the sandbox in 2006??

Obviously there is the easy to find stuff on Google. But what did the Brits lack in 2006 that prevented them from being more effective?

Helmand was a crapshoot on a good day. The Brits, Dutch, USMC, and SOF stayed busy year round killing baddies and Helmand stayed a huge challenge nonetheless. (The Dutch and USMC certainly didn’t muck about.)

I do remember watching one of those series from Afghanistan about various allied militaries - one was about the British Army and one of their tours.

I remember one piece of a radio antennae broke off while the member was quickly entering through a doorway, as they maneuvered during a firefight. That one small piece that broke off resulted in them not being able to talk to Apaches flying overhead…. Eventually having the Apaches RTB as the troops in contact couldn’t communicate their position, position of baddies, etc.

I remember thinking ‘That’s it? Your entire ability to communicate with air support in a war zone is relying on this flimsy 6” rod??”

Curious if anybody can share or expand on 3 Para in 2006, in a ‘what can we learn from them’ kind of way?

This book by their CO, Stuart Tootal, pretty much covers it.


Tootal was subsequently promoted to Colonel but in 2008 resigned from the Army in protest of the poor state of the Army's equipment and treatment of soldiers (He was also quite unhappy with the bureaucratic leadership coming out of the UK's Permanent Joint Headquarters (their rough equivalent to our CJOC)

🍻
 

CBH99

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I’m actually going to order that book tomorrow morning. Thank you for the suggestion :)

Ironically enough I just finished googling about British troops in Afghanistan in 2005 to 2006, and watched a brief talk of his, when you posted.

I knew the British were under equipped for that theatre at the time, based on media articles and common chitchat the way mess chats go.

I knew that the British army did undergo a very impressive modernization subsequent at the individual kit level - in comparing a soldier from 2005 to even 2010 was night and day. (Thanks to Ross Kemp show.)


What also stood out from watching several seasons of that show - where he was in bedded with both USMC and British Army - were just how different those two organizations approached the war.

*I don’t have enough experience to comment on this in a big way, most of the members just on this forum have plenty more experience than I. But what really stood out was that the USMC culture focused on killing the enemy & winning the fight, first and foremost. The way they manoeuvred was very obviously different than how the British did, and that series did a great job of showing that.

They also seemed very aware that their #1 objective was essentially 2 objectives in 1… protect civilians as much as possible/inconvenience them as little as possible, and kill as many enemy as possible. The rest was just noise.

It goes to show you just how important the culture of an organization is.


0.02
 

CBH99

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Went head first into a hornet nest, completely unprepared for that particular conflict - as I think we all did.

Every country in NATO was using their own version of a UOR to quickly upgrade and mould their capabilities to the fight at hand, as most NATO countries had been focused on the Balkans, UN ops, etc.

Equipped proper beforehand or not, holy crap. By the numbers given in the link I attached, that would be an absolute mess for anybody to find themselves in.
 

Good2Golf

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They did. Op Herrick V Oct 2006 to April 2007 was 3 Commando Brigade based on 45 Commando RM augmented by 43 Commando and a bunch of other folks. Nonetheless the support from others continued - see for example Op Achilles.

🍻
Eventually, but not as the initial force, and still with augmentation, and not just TF 1-06 to help out 3 Para but a lot of 3-06’s capability set even with 45 & 43. And, the Brits were the ones to sign up for Helmand themselves. That all pales in comparison to what the US was dealing with in RC(E). The Korengal Valley made Helmand look like a walk in the park. I believe my point about the Brits having a habit of puffing themselves up, remains.
 

CBH99

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G2G,

Not disagreeing with you at all. I am wondering if comparing Helmond to RC(E) is a fair comparison though? (My thoughts primarily being the huge difference in terrain, and what assets were more ideal for one type compared to another.)

The US Army was heavily engaged in that area - the Korengal being what seems most widely known. Mostly foot patrols due to the steep and rocky terrain…literally a game of cat & mouse between friendly squads vs enemy squads.

The USMC in Helmand had tanks, fast air that could engage enemy more easily/quickly, as well as the British covering some areas & the Dutch covering others. And Helmand certainly wasn’t a walk in the park by any means, even compared to RC(E).


I do agree with your main point - the Brits do like to talk themselves up quite a bit. And a piece written by the media that really talked themselves up over this exercise is great for both national morale, and morale of the armed forces as a whole. Details be damned.

Which obviously works well from a PR perspective, but for anybody in our circles that is aware of their short comings/results…



The RM do seem quite keenly aggressive in remaking themselves.

Their personal kit, experimentation with new types of utility drones, etc is progressing rapidly compared to other elements. And they have mastered the PR/video production aspect to help with that.
 

KevinB

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Eventually, but not as the initial force, and still with augmentation, and not just TF 1-06 to help out 3 Para but a lot of 3-06’s capability set even with 45 & 43. And, the Brits were the ones to sign up for Helmand themselves. That all pales in comparison to what the US was dealing with in RC(E). The Korengal Valley made Helmand look like a walk in the park. I believe my point about the Brits having a habit of puffing themselves up, remains.
IMHO the Brits and Canadians would have been much better suited for the KV - having an exponentially better dismounted patrolling/fighting skills.

While the US Army could have brought its heavier weight in Helmand and parts of Kandahar.
 

CBH99

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IMHO the Brits and Canadians would have been much better suited for the KV - having an exponentially better dismounted patrolling/fighting skills.

While the US Army could have brought its heavier weight in Helmand and parts of Kandahar.
I had actually never thought about that before. I think you’re bang on.
 

Good2Golf

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IMHO the Brits and Canadians would have been much better suited for the KV - having an exponentially better dismounted patrolling/fighting skills.

While the US Army could have brought its heavier weight in Helmand and parts of Kandahar.
KevinB, I appreciate your take in this, given your boots on the ground view at least with two of those orgs. KV was a tough go with a garrisoning focus, no doubt, and having a far more challenging (less forgiving?) patrol/presence environment in the valley. That said, no matter how well the Canadian soldier would perform, I don’t think the Govt would ever come close to having a cajones to commit general forces to theatres the likes of KV…
 
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