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Coroner attacks minefield rescue

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Coroner attacks minefield rescue

Old 17th Oct 2008, 13:22
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Inter Arma Enim Silentius Lex Legis
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Angel Coroner attacks minefield rescue

Another Coroner sticks it to the MOD!

BBC NEWS | UK | Coroner attacks minefield rescue

"Very difficult reading" for the MOD.

If they can find anybody who can read maybe.

From the report:

A lack of availability in Afghanistan of appropriate UK helicopters fitted with a winch

The downwash from the Chinook helicopter sent to the minefield

The administrative delay in sending a suitable helicopter.

Mr Walker also criticised a lack of batteries for radios at observation posts, which hampered the ability to communicate, as well as a failure to provide meaningful information to soldiers about the threat of mines in the area.



Absolutely incredible.

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Old 17th Oct 2008, 14:40
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Any of this to do with Bowman and batteries? I would like to add the following statement from Def Min A Ingram to HCDC dated 30 Mar 06 in reply to my own letter expressing concern about the lack of CSAR capability in Afghanistan.

COMBAT SEARCH AND RESCUE (CSAR)

Mr Gilb is concerned about our CSAR capability for forthcoming operations in Afghanistan and alleges that the Afghanistan task "has all the hallmarks of a rushed deployment". There are rescue plans, but for reasons of operational security, and to protect our troops, I cannot provide details of them; I do not want to compromise the safety of our troops should such a situation arise. In terms of planning for the next stage of tasking in Afghanistan, you will have gathered from the evidence I provided on 7 March this year that our deployment of more troops to Afghanistan is long-planned and part of a coherent international plan. This is not a rushed mission as Mr Gilb alleges.


So then Adam, totally inadequate training for dealing with minefields in PDT and helos with no winch constitutes a sound and effective plan does it?

In a statement from Cpl Wright's family, their solicitor said the coroner had made it clear there had been "really serious systemic failures" in providing the correct training, intelligence and resources for troops to do their jobs.

I wonder if the members of HCDC will also be hanging their heads in shame for believing the utter rubbish spouted by the Ministry of Defence.
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Old 17th Oct 2008, 15:04
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Any of this to do with Bowman and batteries?
A fair question in my opinion. Correct me if I'm wrong, but BOWMAN HF is the radio of choice in mountainous regions. At the time in question, there was a total recall of BOWMAN HF batteries due to their nasty habit of bursting into flames, caused by poor quality design and production. Compounded by the fact the problem with that particular manufacturer is well known and understood by every other IPT in MoD that buys this battery type, so they tend to buy batteries that cost half the price, last longer, weigh less, don't explode and can be recharged 500 times (to spec) instead of a handful. But not with a BOWMAN charger, because they're crap as well.

This amounts to tens of millions wasted each year, which could have bought a few winches (and ESF). Having said that, we probably have enough winches, they're just lying unserviceable somewhere as nobody can be bothered to arrange repair.

In 1986 I attended a SAR policy meeting in Empress State. The final details of the CSAR conversion programme were agreed. Then the beancounter walked in..........
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Old 17th Oct 2008, 15:58
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May I please ask you a question that confuses and absolutely is not meant to cause offense.
So here I go...
Why do you have a civil inquest when a military person is killed on duty?
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Old 17th Oct 2008, 16:03
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Why do you have a civil inquest when a military person is killed on duty?
It's the law in the UK. To call it a civil inquest is a bit confusing - there are no military inquests. The nearest the military authorities get is a Board of Inquiry, but these do not just cover deaths. There may well be a BOI for this event as well, but its proceedings are not in public.
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Old 17th Oct 2008, 16:05
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A reasonable question.

The Coroner is duty bound to investigate the circumstances of ANY sudden or unexplained death. Since the bodies of Servicemen killed abroad are repatriated through RAF Brize Norton, it falls to the Oxfordshire Coroner to carry out this task. I understand that the volume of work (the military cases being in many circumstances controversial) has caused additional resources to be made available to the Oxfordshire Coroner's office.

Sven
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Old 17th Oct 2008, 16:06
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Why do you have a civil inquest when a military person is killed on duty?
Just as well with this lot they hide enough as it is. No Labour government has ever been "forces friendly".
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Old 17th Oct 2008, 16:08
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Thank god their are decent people who speak out.

I am thoroughly ashamed of this government. Who don't give a f**** about our boys and girls. Bring back Maggie.
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Old 17th Oct 2008, 16:11
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Thank you very much.
But is there one inquest for each man killed or is if many die it then, as you say, rubber stamped?
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Old 17th Oct 2008, 16:15
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There's normally one inquest for each set of circumstances, so for example, there's just one inquest for all those killed on board the Nimrod that crashed in Afghanistan.
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Old 17th Oct 2008, 16:16
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One inquest can cover multiple casualties if they arise from the same cause - the entire crew of a large aircraft, for example.

The Oxfordshire Coroner, to his great credit, has been thorough and fearless in carrying out his duty on many occassions. No rubber stamp in evidence anywhere.

Sven
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Old 17th Oct 2008, 16:16
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Thanks to all that is very kind of you.
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Old 17th Oct 2008, 19:10
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The comments, to those responsible for deployment and procurement by Mr Walker, should in his words " hang their heads in shame".

The serpents at the MoD are already trying to spin the, "it's not our fault" line. Jack Straw ( f**k w*t ) saying Mr Walker is being 'strident' in his remarks tonight on Radio 4.

We as individuals must take care that this Government does not slip through the changes in the up-coming Coroner's Court Act that will allow cases to be held in secret, therefore stopping brave Coroner's like Mr Walker speaking out. The Government would try to supress the truth coming out by using secrecy laws.
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Old 17th Oct 2008, 19:39
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Sadly Air Pig it's very rarely the "serpents" to blame once you start digging.
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Old 17th Oct 2008, 20:29
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CK:
Sadly Air Pig it's very rarely the "serpents" to blame once you start digging.
Well I'm afraid I'm with air pig on this one CK. The Bowman fiasco, so well described by tucumseh above is a case in point. There is no moral justification in "merely obeying orders" as a CS or SO at the MOD if you know that the result is going to be as tuc describes. The lives of our servicemen and woman are directly threatened when this expensive tat is foisted on them. If Lt Caley tells you to go into a Vietnamese village and "take out" the occupants you must refuse the order and encourage others to do likewise, reporting him to higher authority ASAP. To my mind orders to deliberately ignore Airworthiness Regulations which you are mandated to uphold are also illegal, as are those to pass off equipment that is clearly not fit for purpose. One hopes against hope for a change of attitude to such "procedures" at the Ministry of Defence.
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Old 17th Oct 2008, 20:30
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Did anyone else hear the Head of all Helicopters on Radio 4 this evening?

Commander of Joint Helicopter Command, Rear Admiral Tony Johnstone-Burt.

If a message could be relayed to him or his staff let it be this:

Dear Rear Admiral Johnstone-Burt, A big well done for your superb performance on Radio 4 this evening. Despite tenacious questioning concerning the "lamentable" failings of your service you played the straight bat and were resilient under fire. Your capacity to avoid answering the questions was superb, though one tricky moment when you both stated that hovering over landmine fields was not a good idea and then explaining how your Wokka did just that seemed to escape the notice of the reporter.

All in all a good use of 10 minutes air time. Now everyone knows you are a complete ******. Good show.

Copies in triplicate to CinC, Rt Hon John Hutton MP and Editor, Private Eye
 
Old 17th Oct 2008, 20:41
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You must have been listening to a different Radio 4 than I was. I though TJB came across as compassionate, articulate and he talked a lot of sense. He didn't offer excuses and nor did he point the finger of blame. Well done TJB.
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Old 17th Oct 2008, 20:50
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He's actually a very good bloke in an awkward position doing the best job he can with what he is given. Several layers of beaurocracy under him and above him that I could not say the same for.......
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Old 17th Oct 2008, 21:36
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Dear Rear Admiral Johnstone-Burt

"The first casualty of war is the truth"
US Senator Hiram Warren Johnson 1918

PS.The Herc Inquest finishes next week I wonder who the MOD will put up for that one Sir Glenn Torpy or Air Marshal Stephen Dalton.

I see Air Chief Marshal Sir Glenn Torpy and Air Chief Marshal Sir Clive Loader are retiring .
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Old 17th Oct 2008, 22:39
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Rear Admiral Johnstone-Burt can be heard at;

iPlayer Radio Console

Starts at point 07.30.

For what it's worth, I thought he played it pretty straight as well. It's not particularly useful to assume that officers of Flag rank are Government stooges or idiots.
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