African Infantryman of the Year

I recall reading a report in the Ops Room in Port Stanley that explained how a BV ended up stuck in the sand in at Surf Bay - obviously no RE buffoonery was involved.

As I recall an errant wave had knocked the BV onto its side and recovery not managing to beat the tide meant that the machine was left in situ until the next morning and VMs statement on the recovery operation & incident did have hint of sarcasm (and dare I say disbelief) that left me in stitches.

Our steely eye BD heros had forgotten to close the roof hatches and as a result the BV filled with sand (much to the annoyance of the REME type) meaning that it wasn't going to be simply pulled back onto its tracks, so after some sucking of teeth the gallant chaps in light blue came to the rescue in a Chinook.
The Crabs adopted the straightforward approach of sticking ropes on the lifting eyes to right the beast with their Wokka. The Fitter expressed his concern to the collection of Magnificent Men, as it was full of sand, and was told not to worry 'I've don't this loads of times'.
Said Chinook then successfully recovered some of the fiberglass cab and lifting eyes.

The VMs write up was far better than mine and I wish I'd photocopied it as the guy clearly had a career in comedy writing.

Ah Jan 1984 Mount Byron , West Falklands. 30 RAF Radar bods, 12 RA with blowpipe and GPMG for Air Defence, poor bastards working 3 man shifts with 17/18 hours of daylight every day. One Siggy , me sleeping 17/18 hours a day as comms are in.

Two BVs.

RAF BV driving Instructor flys up and takes 4 RAF , I R.A. and I for "driver training".

After arrsing about near the Radar site we all go down to "Death Cove" for our tests.

RAF Instructor jumps out and says to one of the RAF.

" As you have been briefed , FI directives state we cannot drive these a amphibious vehicles into the water".

"So, Cpl X RAF . Drive this BV across the bay onto that beach over there" OK wink wink."

ER Ok Sarg.

Off we go.

I and the RA bod were in the back so knew nothing of this until after.

All we knew was we were now driving into the sea?

After a few minutes we see the RAF climbing out the top hatches on the roof of the front and crawling onto the top of the back.

Cpl X tells us .. Started driving into the sea. Going well until Cpl Y said..

" Is it normal for water to be filling the floor?"

Driving instructor turns to Cpl X and said..

"YOU , ( I liked the "YOU" ) did check the bungs were in place to stop water getting in? did YOU?"

Err no.

We all jump off as the water is waste deep, wade to the beach. Front of the BV is now low in the water and only the rear is keeping it from sinking.

RAF driving instructor orders Cpl X to .

"Run back to the site , tell them what has happened . bring down to other BV"

3 hours later he returns but the BV cannot be towed out as its too far out to reach . Not going to risk another BV in the sea.

Onto the radio , after a few hours a Wokka turns up and they did manage to recover it.

We all got our conversions as well.
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Pub chat.
They tried to haul it out with a G6. Nobody read the manual, and the tyres weren't deflated.
Still there, apparently.
Will report back later.
I suspect an extensive overhaul is needed.
Oops. Was there some disciplinary action involved?


Kit Reviewer
Here you go, ..............for the purposes of demonstration and instruction. Undoubtedly the use of the highly classified 'shortbread tin up-armouring' would make it impervious to even higher velocity projectiles.

Mate of mine used to work in a hush-hush Slovak computer outfit in the early 90s...alot of the time the job was fairly boring and he kept a small-bore pistol in his desk for occasional target-practice. He'd stick a phone book at the end of the corridor, tell his colleagues he was firing and pop off a mag or two !!!
Faarkin' Classic!
Just consider who might have packed your parachute. The time to panic is NOW!
I believe that on this exercise, the US provided the airframe. the aircrew, the dispatchers and the parachutes. The despatched cargo was provided by the host nation.


Kit Reviewer
Chatting to Johnny K****r while watching free fall training, the great man looks at me with tears in his eyes and shakes his head in despair. The thing that gnawed at his soul the most was lack of consistency.

His old mob were mongs until the penny dropped and after that there was steady improvement. The complaint with the new troops he was trying to train was that they'd cock it up multiple times, get t right once or twice then cock it up again. There was no improvement in standards with training, just random cock ups with the occasional average to good performance then back to everything they touch turning to shit. Zero consistency thus impossible to train and standardise.

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