The Ministry of Defence has announced that, in the coming days, the UK will deploy an additional four RAF Tornado GR4s to Gioia del Colle air base in Italy, primarily in the reconnaissance role to further support operations over Libya.
You know what it's like one minute your overstretched and morale is rock bottom.
An extra £30 a day and the rush is on to get out there.
"We just found these four Tornadoes lying round so might as well use them"
Fcek me the dam busters it is not. How many did we buy? How many can still fly? OK a couple over a Iraq... too many according to US informed sources... couple in accidents... need a put down, brave pilots but shit firm.
History has shown us time and time again that a desperate army can fight on a small fraction of the supplies that the planners of a resource rich opponent would like to to believe.
In 1944, the Wehrmacht held out for weeks in Normandy despite the Allied air forces having total air supremacy. The heavy bombers hit the rail junctions and virtually stopped train movements. The fighter bombers hit anything that moved in daylight. Yet, it took massive efforts (and heavy loss of life) by the Allies to break out.
In the Vietnam war, the Ho Ci Minh trail was vulnerable to attack along its length and subject to a sustained and determined attempt to interdict supplies. The US Air Force caused heavy casualties and the loss of a significant percentage of the supplies moving down the trail. Despite the best efforts of the USAF, the Viet Cong were sufficiently well supplied to wage a long term offensive in the south.
Gadaffi may be a murderous thug, but he's not an idiot. To stand on the defensive he needs 'boots on the ground' and small arms ammunition. If I were he, I'd be running a daylight shuttle service of apparently innocent civilian cars to his forces, preferable with women and children clearly visible. Each car could also carry a couple of soldiers in civilian clothes and 200Kg of small arms ammo in the boot. 100 cars a day (say 10 an hour) would move 200 soldiers and 20 tonnes of SAA forward. Against the poorly armed rebels, I'd be that would be sufficient for Gadaffi to hold on to a lot of what he's got.
It would also be very difficult to stop. If you hit the cars, you kill women and children - and sooner or later that'll end up on prime time news. There must also be genuine civilian vehicles moving in daylight as well - which makes hitting the cars moving troops and SAA even more difficult.
Somehow, I don't think 4 Tornadoes are going to make much of a difference.
This is a two fold strategy. Firstly, Biggles and pals go to Italy. The economy there is in trouble and if the UK bales out the Italians CMD will be more unpopular.So we contribute to the Italian economy by way of the RAF living in its expensive hotels. ( £2mill a month according to the Sunday Times recently - so it must be true).Secondly the RAF raises its profile and gets to keep its jets which can be paid for by the loss of a few frigates. (After all, when did a frigate do an impressive fly past over Buck House?)
Dark forces in action over this whole Libya business.
Considering that two squadrons have just been disbanded & the a/c split among the remaining squadrons,we've got quite a few.Reason we've sent more Tornado's & not Typhoons is,from what I've been told,the is a shortage of spares for the Typhoon as well as qualified aircrew,as those out there will soon be rotated back to the UK & the aren't enough to replace them.