Some of this is not new, except perhaps a story involving a crash of a Nimrod that I will outline below.
But the disgusting attitude of the British Military needs to be documented here on ATS, I believe that the scale of cost cutting will shock some
It will also be shocking to know that it has actually cost US lives as well.
The very minimum a service person should expect is that any and all equipment is adequately provided, serviced and suitable for the job. If you're
expecting young men and women to lay down their lives for their country, this is the very minimum.
THE MILITARY COVENANT History
Soldiers will be called upon to make personal sacrifices – including the ultimate sacrifice – in the service of the Nation. In putting the
needs of the Nation and the Army before their own, they forego some of the rights enjoyed by those outside the Armed Forces. In return, British
soldiers must always be able to expect fair treatment, to be valued and respected as individuals, and that they (and their families) will be sustained
and rewarded by commensurate terms and conditions of service. In the same way the unique nature of military land operations means that the Army
differs from all other institutions, and must be sustained and provided for accordingly by the Nation. This mutual obligation forms the Military
Covenant between the Nation, the Army and each individual soldier; an unbreakable common bond of identity, loyalty and responsibility which has
sustained the Army throughout its history. It has perhaps its greatest manifestation in the annual commemoration of Armistice Day, when the Nation
keeps covenant with those who have made the ultimate sacrifice, giving their lives in action.
I'll let you be the judge if the Government of the United Kingdom could look us in the eyes and say they have lived up to this covenant.
My interest (although long standing) in this peaked this week after a report in respected UK papers that
cost-cutting led to Nimrod spy plane crash that killed 14
A Nimrod spy plane crashed in Afghanistan in 2006 with the loss of 14 personnel because the MoD placed business and financial targets ahead of the
safety of those on board, a report said.
The damning verdict, from leading aviation lawyer Charles Haddon-Cave QC, attributed the tragedy to a "systematic breach of the military
He said: "There was a shift in culture and priorities in the MoD towards 'business' and financial targets, at the expense of functional values such
as safety and airworthiness."
Aircraft XV230 exploded in mid-air over Kandahar in September 2006, causing the biggest single loss of life for UK forces since the Falklands War.
The Nimrod crash report noted: "Its production is a story of incompetence, complacency and cynicism. The best chance to prevent the accident to XV230
was, tragically, lost."
men died as a direct result of MoD (Ministry of Defence) policy putting Pounds ahead of Safety.
Just as disgusting is the report's shameful attempt to deflect culpability away from the MoD and onto two officers that have left their posts.
He singled out two Chiefs of Defence Logistics, General Sir Sam Cowan and Air Chief Marshal Sir Malcolm Pledger, who held their posts between
April 1999 and December 2004, for criticism.
He said they bear responsibility for "the episode of cuts, change, dilution and distraction and its consequences". The two officers have been moved
to new posts where they have no responsibility for safety or airworthiness.
Not surprising really.
Examples of Military Deaths resulting from lack of funding.
Iraq death due to kit shortage
A British soldier died in Iraq because he was not wearing the enhanced body armour he had had to give up because of shortages, an Army report
Sgt Steven Roberts, of Shipley, West Yorks, was accidentally shot dead when UK troops opened fire during a disturbance near Basra in March 2003.
The board of inquiry said bullet-proof plates on his Enhanced Combat Body Armour (ECBA) would have saved him.
Body armour, this is sick. How can you expect soldiers to go out on combat missions without sufficient protection.
You may as well send them out with no bullets, well read this:
Criticism over Red Caps' deaths
Six Red Caps killed by a mob in Iraq in 2003 should have been better equipped, but their deaths could not have been avoided, a coroner has
Oh really, couldn't have been avoided?
The coroner said the men should not have been given antiquated radios and inadequate ammunition, and said he would write to Defence Secretary John
Reid about army equipment and procedures.
The soldiers had 50 rounds rather than the standard 150 rounds and had left base without an iridium satellite phone.
I'm no soldier, but I'd imagine Six Guys with 150 rounds each, could hold off a crowd longer than Six Guys with 50 rounds, and if they had decent
radios they may have been able to call for assistance.
But as usual:
Then we have transport, or lack thereof:
MoD sent men to die in ‘unsafe’ helicopter
But the coroner said having and using better communications would not have saved the men on that day.
The overruling of aircraft safety warnings by the Ministry of Defence resulted in the deaths of six British servicemen in a helicopter crash, a
senior official has revealed.
That is bad enough, but a cover up reportedly ensued.
He also alleged that documents were withheld from the board of inquiry and the inquest to cover up the way in which airworthiness regulations were
ignored. The former civil servant said he had refused to declare the Royal Navy’s Sea King Mk7 helicopters airworthy, but was overruled by
superiors trying to save money.
This crash also involve and American
He said that two years before two Sea Kings collided off Iraq in 2003, killing six Royal Navy officers and one American serviceman, he issued
warnings about the risks. Anti-collision lights on Sea Kings had been replaced with strobe lights that “blinded the pilots at low level, over water
or in mist — so they switched them off”.
This article is from November 1st 2009, and follows revelations yesterday that:
Commander issued helicopter warning weeks before
that Lieutenant Colonel Rupert Thorneloe, the most senior British officer to have died in Afghanistan, had warned his superiors that helicopter
operations there were “not fit for purpose”.
Tragically this fallen officer was correct.
Another example of inadequate equipment provided to UK servicemen is the Snatch Land Rover
Why are they controversial?
A number of incidents in Afghanistan and Iraq have raised concerns about the safety of the Land Rovers.
The thin-skinned vehicles are designed to withstand small arms fire, but have been criticised for offering insufficient protection against roadside
At least 37 British soldiers have been killed in Iraq and Afghanistan while using the vehicles since 2005.
Concerns over the vehicles have been raised by MPs, military personnel and the families of dead soldiers.
Even though they was widespread concern over the use of, and deaths in this inadequately armed vehicle:
Hutton (Minister of Defence): Snatch
essential to operations
I think we're seeing a familiar pattern here, MoD cuts corners - People die- MoD tries to avoid being held accountable.
Defence Secretary John Hutton has announced today that he will not be instituting a public inquiry into the use of Snatch Land Rovers by
the British military on operations in Afghanistan and Iraq.
It is unbelievable that several years after embarking on a war in Afghanistan and Iraq, I can sit here in 2009, quoting stories from Today's
. that highlight the continued failure of the British Government's Ministry of Defence.
I find it abhorrent to see time and time again the efforts to cover up the extent of the issue, ignore warnings, and continually fail to improve the
situation. If they can find £200 Billion to bail out the bankers, then they can, no they MUST send our servicemen and women to war with everything
Lets send the Sons and Daughters of MPs and Aristocrats to War and see how quickly the equipment situation changes.
I leave you with one more story from 2007, keep in mind there are to years of death and failure since then:
sacrifice: Revealed: 88 casualties of MoD's failures
More than one in three servicemen killed in Iraq and Afghanistan might still be alive if not for avoidable blunders and equipment problems, an
investigation by The Independent on Sunday has revealed.
Please read the article, as I have just run out of room. I hope you've been enlightened by this thread, only when you see the failures all in one
place does it really hit home.
[edit on 1-11-2009 by kiwifoot]