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Apache and Royal Marines

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Apache and Royal Marines

Old 17th Jan 2007, 21:50
  #41 (permalink)  
 
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Isn't it about time someone registered their disgust at the total lack of helicopters available for our brave troops in the Helmand sh1*hole? Tony Blair must bow his head in total shame at the fact that our brave armed forces must ride into battle strapped to the outside skin of a helicopter.

As for the heroes of the day.. Awesome.
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Old 17th Jan 2007, 22:26
  #42 (permalink)  
 
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With sympathy to L/Cpl Ford's family and friends.


BFBS reported it was a US Apache..either way, good work fellas!
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Old 17th Jan 2007, 22:34
  #43 (permalink)  
 
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Letsby, while not detracting from the overall shame of T Bliar esq, I think you may find that riding "into battle strapped to the outside skin of a helicopter" was the prefered option. Not there, not a marine, not a helicopter pilot but maybe they didn't want to go in from the back of a Chinook for reasons various?

sw
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Old 18th Jan 2007, 10:31
  #44 (permalink)  
 
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Stitchbitch Wrote
"BFBS reported it was a US Apache..either way, good work fellas!
Yesterday 21:50"


Read the reports, know the crews, most definitely UK AH.

Hats off to 656 et al, nice work.

RIP L/Cpl Ford
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Old 18th Jan 2007, 13:31
  #45 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by GOLF_BRAVO_ZULU View Post
If he was believed to be possibly alive, I modify my Post accordingly.
GBZ, PM please, you will see why I didn't post here.
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Old 18th Jan 2007, 14:13
  #46 (permalink)  
 
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Wader2

Copied, thanks, with response.

Much appreciated,

GBZ
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Old 18th Jan 2007, 17:03
  #47 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Safeware View Post
Letsby, while not detracting from the overall shame of T Bliar esq, I think you may find that riding "into battle strapped to the outside skin of a helicopter" was the prefered option. Not there, not a marine, not a helicopter pilot but maybe they didn't want to go in from the back of a Chinook for reasons various?
sw
Letsby / Safeware

All involved have balls the size of Snowdon and I hope their names crop up on Op Honours list before long. Can't praise them enough.
But agree with Letsby's point.
Preplanned op by 200 men on a defended enemy position, and no utility helicopter on task, at least close by, in case of casevac?
I'm reliably and specifically told AH were used because no Lynx or Chinook were in the neighbourhood, hence a sapper and three Royals have to do their Spiderman act.
Not that we're short of helicopters, of course. Perish the thought.

Right, carping switch off. If I ever have the honour of meeting guys involved, I'll be honoured to empty my wallet at the bar. Hoofing indeed.

Another small point. Pictures appear to show the cheap seats on outside of Apache pretty close to the air intakes. Isn't there a suction issue???!!
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Old 18th Jan 2007, 17:31
  #48 (permalink)  
 
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Most certainly not.
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Old 18th Jan 2007, 18:30
  #49 (permalink)  
 
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CSAR Rescue

It is a procedure that the Americans developed and is taught to AAC crews.
It has been used in combat before, however I think this was the first time people were carried INTO the danger area in this manner!
Full article can be read http://www.defenselink.mil/news/Nov2...004110501.html and http://www.defendamerica.mil/article.../a110404d.html
Still a fantastic action by all units concerned in the true spirit of the UK Armed Forces




The original Wizard
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Old 18th Jan 2007, 19:05
  #50 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by scribbler614 View Post
Letsby / Safeware

hence a sapper and three Royals have to do their Spiderman act.

Sapper? News to me, where is that info posted? Everywhere I have looked mentions four Royal Marine Commandos.
 
Old 18th Jan 2007, 19:11
  #51 (permalink)  
 
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It's on ARRSE as one source: See the eleventh post down and others later in the thread.

Top work, lads. RIP L/Cpl Ford.
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Old 18th Jan 2007, 19:43
  #52 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by GPMG View Post
Sapper? News to me, where is that info posted? Everywhere I have looked mentions four Royal Marine Commandos.
GPMG,
One guy was 28 Eng Regt, one from Z Company 45 Cdo, 2 from Landing Force Support Command Group.
Aircraft were all 9 Regt.
And they're all nails!
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Old 18th Jan 2007, 20:20
  #53 (permalink)  
 
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So What If?

I think it is a great achievement - do not get me wrong - and I do not know the crews/Marines but I am sure that they all had massive balls - and it is re-assuring to know that all of the stops were pulled out in an attempt to recover what was belived to be a live comrade.
But.....and sadly it is a big but
What if we had woken to the news that 2 AH plus crews, and some marines strapped onto to the sides had been lost trying to attempt this desperate mission (and further lives had been lost in the recovery of those downed crews).
I say desperate because despite all of the bravery and superior flying skills I have to ask the question where were the SH, what was the Combat Recovery plan, are we in UK training incorrectly for JPR if this is the way that it is done for real?
Now if the Chinnie boys were unserviceable or on another job or out of crew duty or whatever then this post belongs in the wrong thread as yet again despite NAO reports and all of the advice to the Lords and Masters, there is still a huge shortage of lift capability.
In this case, so short of lift that what looks like a deliberate assault by the Royal Marines did not have adequate SH assets or a trained ground party to effect an immediate combat recovery if/when required.
THIS IS THE WORST CASE OF RISK TAKING
Someone high up knows all of this and has elected to take it on risk. Actually it is not the Public or the Politicians or the Generals or Squadron Commander that physically/mentally takes the risk - it is the crews doing the actual mission. Not only the risk of the actual recovery (being shot at, brownout etc) but also being forced to break rules and regulations (we all know the very good DASC article on operational Flight Safety).
I am not an AH driver and I am not too sure if this action falls into JSP, FOB, Training Manual or RTS (and quite frankly I really don't care as the job was done) - but one thing I am pretty sure about is that if it had gone wrong there would have been people at all levels, behind all desks looking for their sh!t deflectors and going through every rule and regulation to cover their risk averse arses. Another sure thing - it most certainly would have got Big Brother off the number one news slot (UK public hate good news/success - much prefer a bit of negative spin, acutely embarrassed about the Prime Ministers war (nothing to do with them you see)).
My point is SH orientated and I really wonder what will it take to get the rumoured Chinnies procured or the HC3s out of the shed or NH90 at the rush - does someone really have to get put on the spot (as these crews did) to take such risks to do something that we are supposedly able to do and supposedly have resourced and supposedly have trained for? If the CH47 is too big for this kind of scenario (and lets be honest it was only a matter of time before a JPR op was going to be required in theatre), then lets get a Merlin/Sea King to do it. Surely, anything (dare I say Lynx?) must be better than the situation of an AH flying back into the fire fight with the so called 'Ground Protection Party' strapped to the wings? Those AH boys should have been doing what they do very well indeed - escort/rescort and not troop 'lifting'.
Forgive me if this sounds jealous or bitter - I am not. Although RAF I have worked with Teeney Weenies before on Ops and especially with AH I am really impressed all round (and although we would never admit in public all of us are impressed with how the whole AH programme has gone for you lot - and there is no doubt that the actions of this thread leave me feeling very humble. It really does show true fighting ethos.
My rather long winded point is that if we are going to do these kind of high tempo, high risk ground ops then lets support them correctly and not on a shoe string transferring the known risk to the operators on the ground that are already taking significant risk - lives will be lost unless firstly we procure more SH and secondly take the whole CSAR/Combat Recovery/JPR (whatever todays term is) seriously.
Well done boys.

Last edited by MaroonMan4; 18th Jan 2007 at 20:32.
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Old 18th Jan 2007, 20:33
  #54 (permalink)  
 
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Bravo MaroonMAn, Bravo!
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Old 18th Jan 2007, 21:28
  #55 (permalink)  
 
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Scibbler / Letsby et al,

Then yes I'll second the motion that the SH support needs sorted. My post was meant in a 'let's not jump to conclusions about why AH was used' kind of way.

I hope that when the HC3s come out of 'refit' that they can be put to good use quickly.

sw
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Old 18th Jan 2007, 21:57
  #56 (permalink)  
 
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Or the other type HC3s and crews that are already validated in that particular type of role!

(Oops that could come back to haunt me in the future!)
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Old 18th Jan 2007, 22:05
  #57 (permalink)  
 
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I do not believe what my eyes saw in print here.....

Now if the Chinnie boys were unserviceable or on another job or out of crew duty or whatever...
When brave men are fighting and dying there are no "crew duty limits to be considered beyond getting into the aircraft and going to their aid and assistance!

In case you overlooked a small point of fact.....there's a war on!

The Marines and Apache folks demonstrated the concept for all to see....and admire!

Tied up on other Ops and unable to leave a routine mission for a Tactical Emergency....who is setting the priorities out there?

There may very well be a shortage of aircraft but a unit in contact with the enemy has priority over all others.
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Old 18th Jan 2007, 23:12
  #58 (permalink)  
 
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Have to agree with the bravery of the Marines/Sapper's and the AAC aircrew. I also agree with Maroonman that had it gone pearshaped then numerous staffofficers would be deploying sh1t deflectors so the guys on the ground receive it all instead of which they are of course trying to bask in the glory. I do hope the only people directly invloved get op gongs for it and not some SO3/2/1 who was nowhere near the incident.

I would also sujest the scandelous shortage of Helecopters should be all over the papers with fleet street clamouring for political scalps.
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Old 19th Jan 2007, 00:40
  #59 (permalink)  
 
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Sensless,

We have "jousted" many times on here but I can assure you that all the SH folk I know and the many I don't would no sooner "blow" their own dad than call "crew duty" in the scenario mentioned here

Unlike you guys we are hanging out of our arses here on all aviation fronts, both hardware and pink irreplaceable ware and what these AH, booty and sapper guys have done is because we are so desperately underfunded.

But, and most [email protected] definitely worth mentioning is that this was an act of the most OUTSTANDING BRAVERY THAT I DEFY ANYONE POSTING ON HERE TO REPLICATE, cos I am pretty sure I would not have had the "minerals"

Hats off guys
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Old 19th Jan 2007, 04:05
  #60 (permalink)  
 
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ABIW,

The Marines and Apache folks demonstrated the concept for all to see....and admire!
As a civvie wandering around loose in Mogadishu years ago I learned something by watching our latest generation of war fighters. A huge slanging match cranked up just outside the perimeter fence where we were assembling our helicopters. I put our guys in a safe place and went to see if we might want to do a runner someplace else. As I nosed around a bit looking for someone in a position to read me my tea leaves....I observed every single young person (of both sexes) either advancing to the gunfire or take up defensive positions facing the gunfire. Now I will readily admit some of them may not have qualifed as Super Troopers but at least they were rallying towards the sounds of the gunfire.

Our Lads and Lasses in Iraq and Afghanistan have us done us old farts proud. When one reads of actions like this one, it reinforces how remarkable their performance and devotion to duty and fellows is, has been and continues to be.

My angst is towards those who are not out there where the bullets are zinging about that deprive those that are, of the equipment, training, and support they deserve. I may poke fun now and then but I have never nor shall I ever denigrate these brave men and women of our armed forces.

Please accept the notion that as a US Army helicopter pilot who has served in combat, our creed requires us to go get the wounded no matter the risk. In Vietnam it was something we just did. Our whole mission was the support of the ground troops. I am quite sure British helicopter pilots are no different in that regard.
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