23 Pioneer Regt RLC on Sky News

Discussion in 'RLC' started by BaggyInBlack, Sep 6, 2007.

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  1. 23 Pioneer Regt gets a mention on the following news clip from Sky News. Keep yer heads down out there lads.


    Pounding the 10 Dollar Taliban
    By Alex Crawford
    Helmand, Afghanistan
    Updated: 05:36, Thursday September 06, 2007

    British troops have been pounding Taliban positions in the Upper Gareshk Valley in southern Afghanistan in an attempt to hold the front line.

    Sky's Alex Crawford in HelmandA small outpost of hope is in the firing line but despite almost daily attacks the soldiers of Alpha X-Ray patrol base are holding out.

    A cardboard sign with "Welcome To The Frontline" greets you when you arrive at the camp. Underneath are the words "Caravan - 200 Metres".

    And this must be the closest camp to the Taliban fighting position.

    The troops of 2nd Battalion The Mercian Regiment and 23 Pioneer Regiment, who are attached, have been holding out here for four months now, and it's survival of the fittest.

    This is where sleep is short and you can see the enemy almost daily.

    Days are spent patrolling and reassuring the villagers of Rahim Kalay, which used to be a Taliban stronghold until British troops took control in June.

    Three soldiers died in the battle to secure the area, and four months on their fellow soldiers are still fighting to keep the Taliban out.

    Even as we arrive at the camp, we are ushered quickly inside the barbed wire and beyond the armed soldiers.

    "We have reports there are Taliban moving out there," says Lt Aaron Browne, commander fire support group 2nd Battalion The Mercian Regiment.

    And so begins another typical day for Alpha X-Ray. They don't sleep much here.

    Sleep is short: a soldier on night watchSeveral smoke bombs are fired to try to flush the Taliban fighters out of the compound opposite the base, just a couple of hundred metres away and used regularly by the fighters to launch attacks against the British.

    The troops can actually see them in their long-range lenses. And as soon as one fighter dies, another replaces him.

    Lt Gregg McLeod, platoon commander 23 Pioneer Regiment, which is part of Royal Logistics Corps, described them as "like a conveyor belt" of fighters.

    "The dead are just replaced. The commanders don't care. They just keep sending the 10 dollar Taliban forward as cannon fodder."

    The closest camp to the Taliban positionAnd the Taliban keep on getting hammered but keep on coming back for more.

    At dark, Alpha X-Ray quickly spot a group of fighters moving towards them. First they fire smoke bombs to scare them, even flush them out.

    When that has no effect, they fire mortars, round after round. Then the rooftop is crowded with soldiers opening fire, using rapid-fire machine guns, even rifles.

    And then air support is called in. The back-up team at FOB (Forward Operating Base) Sandford co-ordinates US F-15s to fly over and then unleash a 500lb bomb on Taliban positions.

    The troops on the rooftops whoop with relief and joy. For them it's a job well done. The trouble is they may well be doing this all over again tomorrow.
  2. Good news for the Corps, it's about time the Corps got some recongnition
  3. I second that as ex 518 SQN 23 Pioneer Regt, Go The lads
  4. I meant the Corps as a whole and not just the Chunks
  5. How come when I was in no-one liked the chunks and there was many a battle and bitching between the different RLC trades slagging off the Pioneers. It wouldnt be that you are jumping on the bandwagon just cause the RLC got mentioned???

    "I could say that if I wanted to be childish, but I am now more grown up. So I won't"
  6. ex 518 myself too. go the lads indeed. stay safe
  7. On the contrary, I just thought the Corps as a whole and not just the Pioneers
  8. Whoops
    On the contrary, I just thought the Corps as a whole and not just the Pioneers
  9. Kudos to Lt Mcleod for an excellent ops beard. Excellent work all round, well done and return safely guys.
  10. More Lt McLeod again today on Sky News.


    Primitive Conditions On The Front Line
    By Alex Crawford
    Helmand, Afghanistan
    Updated: 05:00, Saturday September 08, 2007

    British troops battling Taliban militants in southern Afghanistan feel unappreciated and undervalued by many people back home, despite the numerous risks they are taking and the worst fighting since the Second World War.

    Worst fighting since WWII"I don't think people really know what we are doing here," says Corporal Andrew Bright - known as Stretch - of 2nd Battalion Royal Regiment of Scotland the Royal Highland Fusiliers.

    "Iraq has taken front stage politically and here we are doing our jobs at the dirty end of it."

    They are up against a tough "army" fuelled by religious ideology.

    The weather is steaming with temperatures of up to 40 degrees at the moment, with large areas of desert but also a jungle environment around the Helmand River, where there is lush vegetation, perfect for hiding and mounting ambushes.

    Lt Gregg McLeod, platoon commander 23 Pioneer Regiment, said 7ft high cornfields were ideal cover for Taliban fighters.

    Some have even been known to throw hand grenades from the water after swimming up the river to get near the British bases.

    "They aren't the rag-tag army that people back home think they are," he said.

    "They are highly motivated and the commanders are well organised. The terrain makes it more difficult to defeat them too. It's their country and they know it well."

    Lt Aaron Browne, commander fire support group 2nd Battalion The Mercian Regiment said: "It's like a jungle environment.

    "Visibility drops in some areas to 10ft and the vegetation gives the Taliban the chance to dig in. We don't see them until we are almost on top of them and they open fire."

    With casualties running at higher than the Second World War, there is a feeling that few really comprehend the massive challenges the troops face.

    Private Patrick Sherry, of 2nd Battalion The Mercian Regiment, said: "They (the British public) realise the heat factor and some of them might realise the terrain.

    "But in other aspects I don't think people realise what we are up against because these people are willing to die for their religion and they will go to any lengths to kill us."

    7ft high cornfields hide the TalibanThe troops right on the front line are enduring primitive conditions as well as daily or nightly attacks by the militants.

    At Alpha X-Ray, just 200 metres from the enemy positions, their food supplies have to be airlifted in by Chinook helicopter because of the threat of roadside bombs.

    They have been living on army rations ever since they set up base nearly five months ago at this tiny farmhouse across from the Taliban position fighting positions where the two sides can actually see each other with the naked eye.

    So to relieve the eating boredom they are even catching the local mongoose with homemade traps and cooking up roasts for themselves.

    They wash in water drawn from a well and, in between firefights, run out and swim in the river which meanders past the Taliban positions.

    Yet morale is high and there is a strong camaraderie. But it is mixed with a certain wistfulness about the British public's perception of their mission.

    "Even my mother doesn't know what I'm doing here," one soldier on the front line said. "She thinks I am working in a stockroom at headquarters."
  11. I was also ex 518(1993-1996) 187(1989-1992)522(AWGU Gulf) 521, 204SigSqn(4th Armed Bde) 144Coy(8 Regt late 80s).

    It is good to see 23 Pioneer Regiment RLC on the box. Keep your heads up lads.
  12. Keep your heads down lads and as always prove your just as effective as a fighting force as everyone else. :salut: "Honi soit qui mal y pense"
  13. Heads down, but chins up is far better :)
  14. as an ex 187 coy rpc and 187 sqn RLC all i can say is heads down lads and return safe.....