Bang, bang - you're dead....

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Tommy, Dec 31, 2004.

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  1. Britain's finest subject to the cheapest bidder - was it ever thus....

    Bang, bang you're dead
    By Michael Smith, Defence Correspondent
    (Filed: 31/12/2004)

    British soldiers training for Iraq are saying "bang bang" instead of firing their grenade launchers because the Ministry of Defence did not buy enough, defence sources said yesterday.

    The MoD did not have the money to order sufficient Under-Barrel Grenade Launchers for the SA80 rifle, so all those available have had to be sent to Iraq.

    British soldiers take position behind an armoured vehicle in Basra

    They also failed to buy any training rounds so soldiers cannot be trained on the weapon until they reach Iraq.

    They are having similar problems with the Minimi Light Machinegun because there are no blank attachments, which allow blank rounds to be fired safely, or cleaning kits. Those for other weapons are not suitable.

    "The Under-Barrel Grenade Launcher is a success and the boys love it," one source said. "But all that's been bought is the high-explosive ammunition. There has been no buy for any training ammunition." Troops from 12 Mechanised Brigade, who are scheduled to go to Iraq in April, will spend the next three months carrying out training for the deployment.

    But they will be unable to use either the Minimi machinegun or the grenade launcher because the attempts to cut costs mean that they will not be able to train properly on either equipment until they get to Iraq.

    The lack of grenade launchers means that most members of the brigade will not even have fired one until they deploy on operations in Iraq.

    During recently held training for Iraq, held in pouring rain at the Castlemartin ranges in South Wales, members of the Staffordshire Regiment, one of the brigade's two armoured infantry regiments, had to shout "bang bang" to simulate the firing of the grenade launchers.

    Although they did have the Minimi, they could not fire it because there were no blank attachments and no way of cleaning it even if they fired live rounds. "It's ridiculous," the source said. "Everybody understands the need to save money but what was the point of buying the Minimi if they don't get the cleaning kits?

    "What makes it worse is they know that most of the problems they had with the new SA80 were down to the fact it wasn't being cleaned properly."

    Earlier this month, the Army lost three infantry battalions as part of a major restructuring of its regiments. But Geoff Hoon, the Defence Secretary, was insisting until the very last minute that four should go in order to meet the budget cuts the Treasury was demanding.

    Pressure on the defence budget, partly because of a Treasury squeeze and partly because MoD accountants failed to take proper account of Treasury changes to the way in which departmental budgets are calculated, have led to widespread defence cuts.

    The cuts in the forces, estimated to be worth between £1.2 billion and £2 billion, include the loss of the Royal Air Force's entire fleet of Jaguar ground attack aircraft, 14 Royal Navy vessels, three Army battalions and more than 20,000 jobs.

    The MoD has persistently portrayed the cuts as a restructuring to cope with the new war on terrorism, but defence analysts say that most will leave Britain's defences weaker, not stronger and that the prime driver was saving money, not fighting terrorism.

    The Commons Defence Committee issued a damning report on the MoD's procurement programmes which were leading to "unacceptable" cuts, cancellations and delays in vital equipment projects because of cost over-runs of more than £3 billion in the past year alone.

    The MoD said it was correct to say there was a "disparity in the timeline between receiving the Minimi and the cleaning kits" and that stocks of grenade launchers and ammunition were "limited".

    However, it insisted that the contract was "sufficient to meet the projected rate of usage".

    SA 80 Individual Weapon and Light Support Weapon
  2. maybe they'll be filling little plastic baggies with flour to simulate grenades...
  3. Ah defence on the cheap, thank you oh Chancellor of the Exchequer, nay sweat the squaddei will pay with blood.
    How many MP's have children/grandchildren serving ?
  4. Does this extend to filling 'pretend' body bags full of stage blood and 'mock' body parts on a simulated C130 back to Brize with a card board cut out of a randomly picked member of the current cabinet?

    Well at least all the "Lesbian inner city theatre groups, asylum seekers focus cadres, Art for Under privileged joy riders, Anti hunt action groups, Poetry against war meetings, Comfy shoes and Dungarees 'R' us outlets, Passports for MPs nannies discussion committees, Travel expenses to unify diverse ethnic backgrounds, under water basket weaving classes for known former Irish 'Freedom fighters', single chav mothers with four babies of different colours family planning clinics, traumatised burglars and anyone who has written to the Guardian regarding infringement of human rights regardless of the victims" can sleep safely at night in their 4 bedroom, thatched roofed (with 2 acres of paddock/stables and amenities) with new car (taxed, MOTd, driving licence supplied) and a bypass to the NHS, SKY TV (with movie and sports package), knowing that the force and system of democracy that allows them to walk free in a country that has everyone else paying for their 'individualism', has nothing whatsoever to do with a few blokes (getting fewer by the day) who are being treated less favourably than a mongrel puppy purchased as a Christmas present for a retarded Burger King customer with the social skills of a 'Big Brother' fan. The very same people who ensure that the vermin of society, the spongers, the inbred, the illegal, the takers, the Labour party can sleep soundly at night with nothing more than bits of kit, uniforms, weapons, training budgets and the assurance of their own futures being supplied by a pile of money that looks minimal next to a good roll over on the national lottery.

    Insurance policy? My arrse. The country gets what it deserves.

  5. HERE HERE!!! Totaly agree, the government should spend more time and money properly equiping the armed forces rather than funding "pc" brigades who are so busy trying to satisfy illegal immigrants that they forget which country they are in! :x
  6. Lord Flash!! Ace post, right on the nose!!!!!! Vote flash in at the next general election maybe he pould sort the barstewards out!!!!! You got my vote. D.D. :twisted:
  7. It's enough to make you weep. Yes, I'll vote for Lord Flash; good post, telling it how it is. Maybe we could kidnap the treasury wallahs and put them on an (Iraqi) live fire range and then see who shouts bang?!
  8. Flash - Star post. makes me sick that this government will waste cash on cack including voting themselves a significant pay rise not so long back.

    Want to save money - i vote that all the fleet cars for the MPs are swapped for Astras and Focus', all MPs should take a pay CUT, afterall they are there because we put them there, they are there to serve us and be in our interest, but i think more often than not, they serve thier own agenda - take fox hunting as an example, my MP voted to ban without asking anyone, being a rural community we were not impressed...but there you go.

    so with the cash saving of downgrading the cars to cheaper and more efficient vehicles and by them getting a public imposed pay cut, theres the shortfall for the defence budget closed!!! how good am i?

    next question - how do we get public support for a imposed pay cut (remember they server the people and answer to the people, meaning surely the people should have a say in what they are paid?)

  9. A very good point! do we NEED all those MPs anyway? shurely some restructuring is necessary in the "venerable" house?
  10. Culling? Send them on 'fact finding missions' to Iraq and issue them the same kit etc. See how they like it.

    Then again, wouldn't they be more usefully employed as targets on a live firing range? On a 40mm range, but not using chalk/paint?
  11. BK!

    BK! Old-Salt

    All very well putting them on a live firing range, but there aren't any bullets.
    Bayonet practice on the other hand.......?
  12. we have all suffered through pennypincing. But being an MP is not about "representing the people" its all about scoring points off of the opposition or working on your overseas profile.
  13. Well said Flashy!

    Reference the defence budget: For most of the 1980's the defence budget was around 5.2% of the GDP (Gross Domestic Product). This has fallen progressively to (I think) around 2.8% GDP - in a world where the unexpected seems to happen on a regular basis. Yes, there was a sizeable threat back then but look at where we have been deployed in the last 15 years since the cold war effectively ended. The government are still cutting our budget and our manpower, it defies all reasonable logic. I don't think we even have sufficient forces to defend the UK if so required. A very, very sad state of affairs to be in.

  14. And that was arrse too, everyone followed the guidlines of no/little oil in desert conditions, only to be told it was wrong and to slap loads on!! Cnuts