BBC3 - New Series of Our War

D

Deleted 20555

Guest
I've been meaning to get it. Does it address the issues I mentioned? Or is it just a .338 praise novel? Either way I just ordered it!
Certainly not a praise novel - bad judgement from on high and then a cascading multiple cock ups all of which in hindsight probably had everyone saying wtf???
 
It was a day when everything that could go wrong seemed to...

That said, it was also a day when pretty much EVERYBODY who needed to stepped up to the plate.

Fcuk me, carrying your opo on your back through a drainage ditch!

Whoever gets that young lad (who is about to return) in their plt (above or below) should count themselves lucky.
 
That last episode really gripped me. I cannot for the life of me begin to explain how frustrating it is to see that vitally important bits of kit still aren't getting through.

Why in this age of mobile phones and the ****ing internet are we still experiencing lost comms between two sections 100m apart never mind speaking to zero and further back?

Why are replacement bits of kit taking two weeks to get through to patrol bases in the same country?

I hate to get onto the "This government" rant that invariably pops up when people are outraged but the traitorous ******* have sold too many good lads up the river. A combination of lack of appropriate funding, poor procurement and idiots pissing budgets up the wall has left lads on the ground up shit creek without a paddle again and again in that hell hole. The sad thing is I reckon it's only going to get worse for the lads who are going to be the last ones out responsible for turning the lights off.

Perhaps the most frustrating this is very soon, when all the troops have withdrawn, we will get to read about how the Taliban have resumed control of the country and maybe not too long in the distant future we will be able to draw comparison to Taliban rule pre 2001.

Will it have been worth the lives of the thousands who have had their lives shattered in that place? Will it ****!

Watching this was an uncomfortable reminder of how lucky I am and how sensible the decision to get out was. To those who are still in the game I can only tip my hat and say credit, where credit is due.
 
My thoughts exactly. Like I said I was literally down the road and had no dramas - the 9 Liner was a cluster**** as well. I'm going to read the book but still can't figure out where the SNCO's or experienced blokes were in this whole situation. Being a former FST bloke I consider the OP to be an invaluable force multiplier - however not the person who should be co-ording casevacs and Inf contacts. Everyone was well out of their depth and the Arty lads did well to keep their shit together.
Maybe the Pl Sgt was on R and R??? Just a thought...
 
S

Screw_The_Nut

Guest
By the way, just a quick point about 2014 - we are not pulling out in 2014, just the combat troops will be taken off the ground. The training and mentoring will still carry on, and I dare say there will be British boots on the ground on occasion past the "hand over". Plus we will probably still be providing fast air etc.
 

Caecilius

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
By the way, just a quick point about 2014 - we are not pulling out in 2014, just the combat troops will be taken off the ground. The training and mentoring will still carry on, and I dare say there will be British boots on the ground on occasion past the "hand over". Plus we will probably still be providing fast air etc.
At the moment the plan is to withdraw the majority of troops, perhaps all, by 2014. The nature of the withdrawal is not yet fully established. A firm decision on the nature of our commitment post-2014 has also not been made by the government; we could stay and mentor, but we may well be pulling out entirely.
 
Z

Zarathustra

Guest
That last episode really gripped me. I cannot for the life of me begin to explain how frustrating it is to see that vitally important bits of kit still aren't getting through.

Why in this age of mobile phones and the ****ing internet are we still experiencing lost comms between two sections 100m apart never mind speaking to zero and further back?

Why are replacement bits of kit taking two weeks to get through to patrol bases in the same country?

I hate to get onto the "This government" rant that invariably pops up when people are outraged but the traitorous ******* have sold too many good lads up the river. A combination of lack of appropriate funding, poor procurement and idiots pissing budgets up the wall has left lads on the ground up shit creek without a paddle again and again in that hell hole. The sad thing is I reckon it's only going to get worse for the lads who are going to be the last ones out responsible for turning the lights off.

Perhaps the most frustrating this is very soon, when all the troops have withdrawn, we will get to read about how the Taliban have resumed control of the country and maybe not too long in the distant future we will be able to draw comparison to Taliban rule pre 2001.

Will it have been worth the lives of the thousands who have had their lives shattered in that place? Will it ****!

Watching this was an uncomfortable reminder of how lucky I am and how sensible the decision to get out was. To those who are still in the game I can only tip my hat and say credit, where credit is due.
Honestly? My experience is that the majority of problems people have with comms is down to user error.

In a rifle company everyone will have experience using Bowman, the ISC (RRU/BRU in old money) is one of the requirements to be a class 1 infantry soldier.

While I was in Afghanistan earlier in the year a lot of problems I had to fix we're due to people either not setting up their radios correctly, not looking after the kit or not following the basics like VLAMP.

As for the cable they broke in the episode, I'm not having that there wasn't a spare coax in the PB, I'm sure they showed an FFR/ops room several times.
 
By the way, just a quick point about 2014 - we are not pulling out in 2014, just the combat troops will be taken off the ground. The training and mentoring will still carry on, and I dare say there will be British boots on the ground on occasion past the "hand over". Plus we will probably still be providing fast air etc.
At the moment the plan is to withdraw the majority of troops, perhaps all, by 2014. The nature of the withdrawal is not yet fully established. A firm decision on the nature of our commitment post-2014 has also not been made by the government; we could stay and mentor, but we may well be pulling out entirely.
CMD has a number of issues to reconcile inrelation to this commitment, not least the cost - which Treasury (regardless of who is PM) will want to minimise.

He will have an election to face up to (NLT 5th may 2015), and it may well suit him to be seen as the bloke who ended an unpopular commitment to the last legacy of that **** B'liar's policies.

On t'other hand, if you want defence on the cheap, you must (so the received wisdom goes) continue to be bezzers with Unca Sam, whose policy on drawdown (many of the public are especting "Outta here by 2015", but may well be disappointed, 'cos Barry O's actual policy . . ) remains similarly open to adaptation, as this [somewhat biased, even naive*] website illustrates:

10 Facts About the US Withdrawal from Afghanistan - Countdown to Drawdown
=========
*Stonkernote: Example of naivety: if a continuing US troop presence is a barrier to negotiating peace with the Taliban, I'm Herz Van Rental the famous cloggy impressionist. The big barrier is that the Taliban have not yet been made to feel like they're going to lose their chance to regain control of the country.
 
My thoughts exactly. Like I said I was literally down the road and had no dramas - the 9 Liner was a cluster**** as well. I'm going to read the book but still can't figure out where the SNCO's or experienced blokes were in this whole situation. Being a former FST bloke I consider the OP to be an invaluable force multiplier - however not the person who should be co-ording casevacs and Inf contacts. Everyone was well out of their depth and the Arty lads did well to keep their shit together.
Been mulling the thing over. Mind turned to 'things they don't teach you in training', and one of FM Bill Slim's lines popped into my head. He used to say he had learned the hard way (meaning as a Pl Comd in Mesopotamia, and Gallipoli) one simple rule of thumb that served him all the rest of his life: "Nothing is ever as bad - or as good - as it is first reported"
 
Honestly? My experience is that the majority of problems people have with comms is down to user error.

In a rifle company everyone will have experience using Bowman, the ISC (RRU/BRU in old money) is one of the requirements to be a class 1 infantry soldier.

While I was in Afghanistan earlier in the year a lot of problems I had to fix we're due to people either not setting up their radios correctly, not looking after the kit or not following the basics like VLAMP.

As for the cable they broke in the episode, I'm not having that there wasn't a spare coax in the PB, I'm sure they showed an FFR/ops room several times.
Just what I was thinking.

If it was just a broken coax, then that's just crazy. I don't think they run an equivelant of clanrep anymore, but anyone who's RS or even RRU should be able to bodge a quick fix solution.

If it was something else, then the fact it took 2 weeks to get a replacement is just shocking.
 
Or on bbc player, watch them at your leesure.
 
Anyone who missed it BBC 3 tonight (Sat 08/09/12) 21.00 all 3 episodes
 
Anyone who missed it BBC 3 tonight (Sat 08/09/12) 21.00 all 3 episodes
Oi, you can't delete and repost underneath mine!!!

I like your style.
 

waffen

Old-Salt
Just what I was thinking.

If it was just a broken coax, then that's just crazy. I don't think they run an equivelant of clanrep anymore, but anyone who's RS or even RRU should be able to bodge a quick fix solution.

If it was something else, then the fact it took 2 weeks to get a replacement is just shocking.
I was on this tour attached to a Welsh Guards Rifle Coy, and resupplying the PB's and Check Points was a major problem due to CLPs getting hit by IEDs, going several weeks without a resupply was not unusual.
 
I was on this tour attached to a Welsh Guards Rifle Coy, and resupplying the PB's and Check Points was a major problem due to CLPs getting hit by EIDs, going several weeks without a resupply was not unusual.
I'm not slating the blokes mate, far from it. But if the JTAC's comms have gone down I would have thought that would be sorted as a matter of priority, even if it means getting it in by air.

As the old saying goes: no comms, no bombs.
 
I had a bit of a chuckle at the "Ant & Dec" element of episode 2 but I have to admit I enjoyed it every bit as much as episode 1. It was good to see Assault Pioneers being used properly too.
 
I was on this tour attached to a Welsh Guards Rifle Coy, and resupplying the PB's and Check Points was a major problem due to CLPs getting hit by EIDs, going several weeks without a resupply was not unusual.
Party time!!!
 

loopintheP

War Hero
Watched Episode 3 last night. Having been an OC on an earlier HERRICK, and currently heavily involved in preparing future pax, it reinforced my belief that we have been living in cloud cuckoo land for a good while. Like many posters on the thread I saw a number of cock ups, but to regard this as a one off unlucky scenario fails to see how random the Afghan deployment has become. Anyway, some thoughts/observations:

- we push the PR that we "win" every firefight...do we ****, we win them when AH, Air and Arty arrive. Forget "heriocs": our low level battle skills are poor.
- our Pl Comds are probably as good a "raw material" as at any stage in the past 30 years, we are attracting the best, and they have inherent confidence but Coy tactics demand oversight from a 2iC and OC...the PB framework is not "Mission Comd" it is simply "Mission by Battlespace" ie there you go crack on and see you in a few months.
- Undermanning was more likely the reason there were so few SNCOs visible? Some of the ORBATs being deployed are extraordinarily thin.
- FSTs: the Artillery used to deploy FOO parties commanded by a Capt who had a Cpl Asst (Bdr Ack). The FST design still sees a Capt/SNCO in charge yet OCs frequently get a 2 x man FST, often commanded by relatively junior JNCOs. It is a pragmatic arrangement caused by manning issues....but it is a risk, and Episode 3 showed why.
 
I just did a quick scan through the opening sequences of those 3. I note that they are none of them more recent than last August, and the worst case scenario, showing Mark Evison's death, dates back to 2009. Whilst I am nonetheless sure they should have been aired, it strikes me that from the perspective of MoD, there is a risk that (as some posts on this thread suggest) many viewers will have taken each of these little vignettes to be representative of the current state of play in AFG: mebbe they are, I don't know. I do know that the US Marines are already supposed to be engaged in their “mandated surge recovery” (drawdown, to you'n'me) from Helmand, and should be down from 17k to 7k troops in that province by this autumn.

That said, if things really are no better now than was the case in August 2011, then we are, at best, treading water, surely, with the genie ready ro pop back out of the bottle sometime soon?
 

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