- 21-05-2012, 22:26 #11
I would be hugely surprised if full PPE did not become the theatre entry standard for any future operation, likewise the use of vehicles that offer max survivability (note - not protection). I just don't see "he would have survived if....." being an acceptable position for the department to defend. An issue that has concerned me for some time regarding risk is the balance of the objective vs subjective , when the latter is often greater but cannot be empirically demonstrated. For example, we spend so long training drivers on absolute crap at Leconfield (and thats after they've got the Space Shuttle licence you seem to need to get on a course there!) that they have little/no time to practice tactical employment of the vehicles back at unit. Chances are the latter will get you into more deadly shit than an RTA, but as we can tick the box of "yes he attended the course and met this trg objective" that is what we opt for. This is an extension of the now widely accepted POV (reinforced by Coroners Court verdicts IMO) that we can eliminate risk by just adding another bit of training or ticking another box.
That said, folk do have to be protected from themselves sometimes, and less professional people will often seek to take the easy route and ditch the kit to make life easier whilst convincing themselves "it won't happen to me".
- 21-05-2012, 22:49 #12
A couple of very superficial observations;
1. NI training (when INEBA vests were used in theatre) used the old '70s flak jackets to simulate the weight and bulk without taking the 'real kit' from the 'front line'.
2. Towards the end of my time in the Army, parachute jumps with CBA were the norm rather than the exception - the rational was twofold: You'll need it when you land anyway; It reduces the numbers of casualties on landing (esp in light scales overhead assault).Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery.
- 21-05-2012, 22:49 #13
Your example of driver training is an excellent one. I think this is more than the tired old "elf an' safety gorn maad !" cry; it is about our judgement and inclinations as commanders; are we building operational conservatism and risk aversion into our officers from the start ?
- 21-05-2012, 23:12 #14
- 26-05-2012, 10:40 #15
Alamo has it. The British public are close to a total unacceptance of any death on operations. Look at the reporting of each and every death and the analysis undertaken by 'experts' if there is any sniff of injury without full armour, armoured vehicles and Hesco accommodation. The commander will mitigate that risk every time by enforcing maximum protection for the individual. There is a lot of work going on in the armour world, but that is because it is here to stay.
- 26-05-2012, 10:55 #16
- Join Date
- Jul 2003
From a slightly different stance, the pictures shown of 16 AA Bde are all using TES vests that are worn instead of CBA/OSPREY....Right, you F**kers, I dont Give a Bloody Bugger!
- 26-05-2012, 10:57 #17
A few points:
- Osprey is drifting into core. When Units are issued it now, they keep it. All Brecon courses have Osprey throughout.
- No one has yet specified the HFT force protection stance. We don't know at the moment what we wear outside of Afghan.
- There is yet to be proper modelling to show what limits casualties most; massive body armour or highly mobile troops. Whilst we all feel the latter is better, we don't know for sure.
- Our force protection levels in Afghan are being dictated by the mothers of casualties and media witch hunts. The old triumvirate is "mobility, lethality and protection". We've sacrificed mobility to the other two (mainly protection) at the cost of a fourth consideration; "mission success". At the moment the key driver is limiting casualties, not winning the war.The sand of the desert is sodden red-
Red with the wreck of the square that broke
The gatling's jammed and the colonel dead,
And the regiment blind with dust and smoke.
The river of death has brimmed its banks,
And England's far, and Honour a name,
But the voice of a schoolboy rallies the ranks-
"Play up! Play up! And play the game!"
- 26-05-2012, 12:03 #18
- Join Date
- Jul 2004
We seem to have moved to an attitude that the US had before 9/11. I remember an interview by the person looking into weapon in Iraq before the second war. He was saying how much he liked having UK troops attached to his staff as the UK had a better acceptance of casualties.
The use of PPE has ensured that more casualties survive and that is quite simple to prove but what is harder is pointing out is how many PPE has caused. What is the rate of heat injuries due to PPE? I seem to remember in the early days of Iraq that we had at least one heat related death.
On the H&S side it may be an idea to have reduced H&S requirements once troop enter the training area.He's an absent-minded beggar,
and his weaknesses are great
- 26-05-2012, 12:47 #19
Surely after HERRICK we will have inherited the kit that allows the CoC to be as flexible as possible based in the conditions prevailing in any future operations. Whats wrong with full PPE as a default setting? especially on static tasks or peacekeeping where there isn't a requirment to conduct offensive ops but there is no disadvantage in giving the soldier the maximum possible protection. Our next theatre might not have an IED problem but theres no harm in having that kit if we need it. Im sure it would take some robustness on the part of the CoC when faced with the dual perils inappropriate H&S legislation and media reaction however. Im not trying to be argumentative, indeed this thread looks like becoming quite an interesting one. On a seperate point we've spent ten years trying to define success in Afghanistan, killing hundreds of Insurgents has not brought it, killing hundreds more won't either although it has smoothed the recent success in places like Nad-e-Ali and Lashkar Gah.Calm down Sweetcheeks its only the internet.
- 26-05-2012, 13:02 #20
- Join Date
- Jan 2010
[Edit: this should be in "Why" not "How"]
It seems that casualties have become political ammunition - and the understanding that in armed conflicts people do die is no longer accepted by the press, ever seeking yet another headline/scandal/cause celebre. This press opinion has been forced by simple repetition upon the politicians (and the public), and the backlash is felt by those actually trying to do the job given them by the political masters. It would be interesting to know who dictates press opinion (no, I'm not walking into that minefield).
If politicians insist on sending troops to engage in armed conflict, they should be as much men as those they send, and accept that the casualties will occur, and that the longer men are in country the greater those casualties. However the decision making that sends our troops into these areas is, I fear, often not guided by what is best for the UK., but what looks best on television and to our cousins.
It infuriates me that politicians constantly "regret" the injuries and deaths (Ye Gods the number of crocodile tears they do shed), yet do so little to support the troops on active service (amongst other things the original body armour shortages, unsuitable kit etc etc ad bloody nauseam) not do they ensure the best possible care for those returning who may not be physically wounded but are traumatised by the nature of the fighting they have been engaged in. Yes, I know, soldiers have to take whatever is thrown at them, but when they are fighting in a conflict they know will not have a final result - and that they are leaving no matter what the end will bring - if there is ever an end.
Todays politicians seem to have no backbone at all - it is all about "what looks good" or "what's the best soundbite" and never "why are our people out there anyway." Further, today's politicians (both here and in the US) are more frightened of losing votes than the lives of their fellow countrymen.
I am old and very out of fashion, but in my day we had the feeling that the politicians had a better understanding of the world - sometimes gathered in personal experience in World War II or the Korean War, and would not have entered into such a futile engagement as Afghanistan. This especially when history and ethnography show that a tribal country with heavy religious overtones and little knowledge or interest in central government, let alone US "democracy," is almost impossible to "pacify" let alone unite. The people within the lines on the map that delineate Afghanistan have no wide interest in national matters - their interests are personal, tribal and sometimes religious, but they seem not to give a damn about Kabul and the government there.
Yes, I know, old man's rant; but why the bloody hell should good troops be sacrificed for no apparent other reason than a US President with baggage and a weak UK Prime Minister got it into their joint heads that it would all be over easily - and be good for their own ratings?