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Coroner attacks minefield rescue

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Coroner attacks minefield rescue

Old 19th Oct 2008, 13:09
  #41 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
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how does a man size, man shaped and man weight object behave when suspended
Probably giggling until he realises the aircrew are about to dunk him in the nearest open water...

More seriously abseiling or parachuting from Chinook was no different from any other helo, so I don't think there would be any unforeseen issue dangling somebody on the end of a long fixed line. Certainly worth a try IMO.

Last edited by CirrusF; 19th Oct 2008 at 14:58.
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Old 19th Oct 2008, 14:20
  #42 (permalink)  
 
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There are very few senior officers that I would say this about, but T J-B is one of the good guys.
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Old 19th Oct 2008, 16:32
  #43 (permalink)  
 
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I have the utmost respect for the Admiral,and undoubtedly he has inherited an HQ that has no real say/clout (Land ensure its future through funding tanks and guns, Strike the same with zoomie things and the true blue Fisheads with the sacred cow of the CVF/JCA).

So instantly JHC has no teeth or any real 'protection', especially when handed to previous JHC Commanders that look for promotion rather than morale courage.

I am sure that the Admiral's team have already put forward and staffed a requirement for a dedicated recovery capability. But as we all know with the current environment and PR massacre that defence will have to wait until after the election and then even longer for the 'new' Defence Review.

Until that time no money, funding, resources or requirements are going anywhere and this risk I am sure has been fully communicated to the MoD.

At best all we can try and do is join the frantic scrabble for resources for UORs etc, at worst we can all shuffle paper pretending to do something, but in reality all knowing that no one is going to make a decision until after the post election Defence Review.

The Admiral knows this and was used as the media sacrificial lamb because the Politicians and top brass were trying their hardest to distance themselves as far as possible from this incident.

I really do hope that we do invest in a proper recovery capability as there is nothing worst then flying into a job knowing that you are not the best crew/aircraft for the task, but equally knowing that there is nothing else in the 'tool box' or 'golf bag' to use to satisfy the golden hour.

This is resource intensive, but I do not think it requires a shiney new Dauphin or A109 or whatever and personally I believe that this capability could come from either the Merlin or Sea King Fleet. The cost is in the training and the readiness levels (and in removing scarce SH assets from other pure lift tasks). Wide and varied environmental training, guaranteed peacetime flying rates and working with a dedicated ground party (protection party and specialists - EOD/Medics etc).

This cannot be too much to ask when we are fighting such bloody battles with high casualty rates......can it?
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Old 19th Oct 2008, 16:50
  #44 (permalink)  
 
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Incidentally, I simply do not believe that downwash of itself can set off an anti-personnel mine. Debris blown onto a mine, possibly.
Some AP mines have little prongs that protrude just above the surface, and only need the slightest touch to set them off. The prongs can be connected with tripwires to increase the likelihood of someone setting them off. So, yes, the debris kicked up by a helo could easily set one off.
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Old 19th Oct 2008, 18:37
  #45 (permalink)  
 
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There are CSAR assets in theatre, they're just not British. Why spend the money doubling up on a capability that already exists? what is required is extra lift, remember this incident was over 2 years ago, things have evolved in theatre since.
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Old 19th Oct 2008, 20:32
  #46 (permalink)  
 
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PTC,

Yes I agree in part with your post - our US bretheren do have the CSAR capability and yes things have 'evolved' - as you know the Junglies were not in theatre at the time of this incident.

But, I reitterate, the spectrum of 'recovery' is vast and therefore may not warrant the US CSAR activation, many of the tasks are actually CASEVAC/MEDVAC/IRT/MRT etc etc - which the US do not have the assets to cover the entire coalition forces, hence UK PLc taking on its own organic role.

It is this organic role that one could argue is not resourced properly with both equipment (aircraft mods etc) and training. One could also take it a step further and identify that due to the paucity of pure SH lift that everything is 'double hatted' and multi-role. On the surface this appears an efficient use of assets, but when the actually job needs doing a dedicated, fully trained and experienced team with the right aircraft/equipment/modifications would significantly reduce the risk to the mission and more importantly increase the chance of a life being saved.

To further expand the personal observation and opinion, I believe that in this media fuelled and political spin environment that whenever an overseas 'mission' takes place it should have a dedicated recovery capability. Whether this is a future NEO, CT task, or another conflict. Strategic and Political failure can come from one British serviceman/woman being dragged naked through the streets or in an Orange Boiler suit on You Tube - wherever it is in the world. If not it becomes an 'implied' task to the deploying unit, and as we know implied tasks do not get funding or the levels of training to the standard that may be required should a recovery be required. With this training I am not just talking about the aircrews and engineers, I am also talking about the staff that provide advice to the HQs. Whether CH47 downwash or AH as a recovery asset - an experienced specialist in recovery on the Staff (rahter than a generic joint aviation Staff Officer from any background/service) may also reduce risk and provide life saving advice.

Again, personally although such a capability is not 'cost neutral' it is not a significant amount of money and can be formed from within an extant capability until FRC does eventually appear.

Just a thought?
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Old 19th Oct 2008, 21:06
  #47 (permalink)  
 
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Maroon Man- hear hear.

TJB is a very capable bloke put in a bad position by politicos and MOD heirarchy.

JHC has very little clout when it comes to funding so TJB cant exactly go out, buy OTS and remedy the situation. MOD procurement is in a bad way, fundamentally bankrupt thru the next 10 years. Why do you think Drayson left? In year measures are going to hurt the current fleets and the ability to train even more.

Will we get new helis to replace SK, Puma, all very soon coming to the end of their shelf life? Not while we have this government.... but I read today we will get lots more hospitals and schools... so as a result we make do and we will have more inquests which reflect badly and unfortunates like TJB are made the whipping boy.

and the media sees it thus...

Soldiers' families furious over £100m perks for top brass - Home News, UK - The Independent

so watch where the axe will fall next.

Last edited by seakinger; 19th Oct 2008 at 21:08. Reason: afterthought
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Old 19th Oct 2008, 23:37
  #48 (permalink)  
 
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CirrusF. Thanks for the one and only response to a serous question.

I don't suppose we'll see much of this "f**k for virginity" initiative;

www.telegraph.co.uk/fi...ssion.html
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Old 20th Oct 2008, 00:05
  #49 (permalink)  
 
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What about their training?

GBZ I think the quote that seals it is :

"This a time when you have to support the economy," he said. "You will see us switching our spending priorities to areas which make a difference."

The military do not 'make a difference' in this context so expect more pressure to hand back the Defence vote to the Treasury.

Starting with this perhaps from Seakinger's link:

" The MoD argues that the children of all service personnel are eligible for the Continuity of Education Allowance, which reimburses up to 90 per cent of school fees. But ministers are so concerned about this system that the defence minister Kevan Jones has ordered a review."

That should help stave off all those PVRs and option point departures . . . . .

Getting back to the thread.

Whilst everyone was focused on the issue of helicopters and winches, what about the basic training the guys had? If there were no helicopters available, what was their Plan B? How could a ground unit deploy to Afg (of all places) and not expect to encounter minefields and train their personnel how to extract themselves from one?

BTW I also thought the Admiral made a valiant effort to explain the issues rather than respond to the near hysterical ranting of the interviewer.
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Old 20th Oct 2008, 00:18
  #50 (permalink)  
 
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If they're willing to send you/I to fight wars on the basis of lies, do you really think they are bothered about welfare/training/equipment/deaths etc??

They appear to not give a f**k because they really don't give a f**k. Don't kid yourselves that the tories would be any better, I'm sure they're still equally as useless.

Like a good few on this forum, It's all pretty simple.
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Old 20th Oct 2008, 09:18
  #51 (permalink)  
 
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Actual Link

Link

BBC iPlayer - PM: 17/10/2008
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Old 20th Oct 2008, 10:26
  #52 (permalink)  
 
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Spending is an issue, and with this push to bring major projects forwards to bolster the economy, surely we should be seeing something happening to hasten SLAM or MQ improvements?.... (not holding my breath...)


As for that article in the independent... <rant>things like that just give me rage... (and go to show how anyone can spin statistics to make them give the correct leaning!)


" 86.8m was spent on private education for officers' children. "


CEA, which is available to all ranks. It's uptake may differ, but I know plenty of SNCOs who make use of it....


"In the RAF alone, 1m was spent on chauffeurs, 3.4m on waiters and waitresses in officers' messes and a further 800,000 on bar staff."

That would be "MT drivers" & "Stewards" then... Both service trades, the first an invaluable one, the second last time I checked didn't solely exist to bring the gold-plated cutlery to the table in the Os' Mess as I'm pretty sure they have roles in the air and in other messes on camp... and last time I ate in the JRM-equiv (PAYD unit...) I'm pretty sure that there was someone serving behind the bar.</rant>.....
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Old 20th Oct 2008, 10:55
  #53 (permalink)  
 
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Oh deary me -

If the politicians believe that they can start to re-coup their fianancial ignorance and bailing out of failing incompetent banks by starting to attack military ethos and services then standby for that convenant to be not only broken, but visciously severed.

Is someone going to get a grip of the media - they are fuelling much of the troubles in the economy and this kind of inaccurate reporting on CEA and the like is shameful. All to increase their sales with sensationalist stories.

Normally the press are given much assistance when visiting military establishments and when the media visit military units there is every attempt to let the guys on the shop floor tell their story unhindered by Senior Officers.

Perhaps we should start a black list (official or unofficial) of media agencies and outlets that continue to deliver and publish half truths and misleading articles. Naturally, 'we' would never say 'no' to a visit by the media - but we can stop being so helpful and wilco and give them a very dull, non informative visit.
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Old 20th Oct 2008, 12:06
  #54 (permalink)  
 
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Most of the above makes me glad I left the army during the summer - in one way. Having served as the JHF(A) Ops officer I saw some of the decisions that had to be made on the basis of availability of kit (or more usually the lack of it). Winches were generally u/s, but there is no guarantee that a winch in itself is the solution to such a casevac, as previous posters have noted.

I think that, while the bravery of aircrew and troops involved in IRT duties is unquestionably of the finest calibre, the lack of a dedicated cadre of Combat SAR crews and suitably equipped helicopters (Red-illume capability etc) is, and will continue to be, a significant factor in the outcome of complex rescues for years to come.

This government will pay billions to rescue a bank, but nothing to rescue a soldier from a minefield.

For the record, Admiral Tony Johnstone-Burt is undoubtedly the finest officer I ever worked for. He has moral courage in spades and I have no doubt he will do all the lobbying that he can to solve the problem, but even a passing familiarity with defence acquisition structures will show that he has no power to change anything - yet. My prediction in an envelope is that he is destined for much greater things and may yet find himself in a stronger position to do so later on.
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Old 20th Oct 2008, 17:48
  #55 (permalink)  
 
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Just wondering how long the internal winch is in the Chinook? I have been winched out of the centre hatch a few times. Does the cab carry the cabin roof mounted pulley as standard?
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Old 20th Oct 2008, 18:47
  #56 (permalink)  
 
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I think the issue here has been a bit distorted.Its not that the mod has not spent millions on winches but why is it that the mine fields were known and maps made but not made available. It seems that the heli support guys are being made scapegoats because it makes better headlines.
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Old 22nd Oct 2008, 00:08
  #57 (permalink)  
 
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Information, not winches, would have saved lives

Gar,

I think you're hitting the nail squarely there. The maps and location of minefields around that position were known - why didn't the guys in that position have the information?

Additionally, why weren't the coy and bn commander front and centre at the coroner's court to explain these lapses?

I think the whole issue of winches is spurious to the more basic and simple failings of the immediate command chain and training system.
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Old 22nd Oct 2008, 02:28
  #58 (permalink)  
 
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What I was trying to get at was that USAF CSAR guys are primary CFACC personnel recovery assets. How many times does the CFACC require that capability? When I was in Afghanistan in 06 there were two, the Dutch F-16 and the Nimrod crash. The rest of the time, we sit around waiting. Sure we help out the army doing some medevac stuff, but that's because they aren't afraid to ask. That's mostly because we also supply some birds to do pure medevac in an in lue of type tasking, but the mold has been cast. If you find yourself over there and in need of help, freaking ask. We can't help until the request is made. I promise you that the crews are champing at the bit to help in any way possible. PLEASE dont' be afraid of asking for help if you need it, lord knows we want to help.

Off soapbox.
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Old 22nd Oct 2008, 22:23
  #59 (permalink)  
 
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Well Said

Bus Driver

Another nail hit.

Lots of the time the system is in place but nobody asks. We all need to work at explaining who is there and why and what we bring to the party - and because people change in theatre every few months we need to keep saying it.

Talk to each other and stay safe.

Sven
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