Brits Plan Para Assault on Poppy Fields (?)

Discussion in 'The Intelligence Cell' started by Trip_Wire, Apr 20, 2006.

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  1. Trip_Wire

    Trip_Wire RIP

    Brits Plan Para Assault on Poppy Fields

    Dramatic plan for parachute assault on poppy fields
    By Sean Rayment
    (Filed: 16/04/2006)

    British Commanders in Afghanistan are planning the first operational parachute assault into "enemy territory" since the Suez crisis, writes Sean Rayment.

    Senior officers hope that a "dramatic show of force" will deter attacks against British troops when they begin anti-drug operations later this year.
    By the end of this month, most of the 3,300 strong British force - including 650 members of the 3rd Battalion of The Parachute Regiment - will have arrived in the Helmand province of southern Afghanistan, a former stronghold of the Taliban.

    It is understood that Army commanders want to demonstrate to Afghan warlords and drugs barons that they have the capability to drop 650 heavily armed men, supported by Apache attack helicopters, virtually anywhere in the country.

    If the mission goes ahead, the troops will jump from Hercules C130 transport aircraft at a height of between 250 and 300 feet and will be ready to fight within seconds of hitting the ground.

    A Parachute Regiment officer confirmed that the troops would be taking their parachute equipment to Afghanistan and said that senior officers had a "very real desire" to carry out an airborne assault. One officer said: "Airborne assaults are very high-risk operations. There is a thin line between success and disaster.

    "An airborne assault on to a poppy field would send out a powerful message of intent. But if there is any intelligence that the enemy may have surface-to-air missiles, then it would not go ahead."

    The last time British troops took part in a airborne assault was during the Suez crisis of 1956 when soldiers from 3 Para jumped into the El Gamil airfield in Egypt as part of an Anglo-French operation to capture the Suez canal.

    The crisis grew out of the British decision to join France and Israel in a bid to prevent the Egyptian President, Gen Gamal Abdel Nasser, from nationalising the Suez canal in the autumn of 1956.

    Despite heavy opposition, 660 members of the 3 Para Group conducted a textbook airborne assault at 4.15am on November 6, 1956. Within four and a half minutes, they were ready to fight.

    However, the military action provoked a furious response from America. President Eisenhower's condemnation forced the government to withdraw from the venture. The episode resulted in the resignation of the prime minister, Anthony Eden.
  2. msr

    msr LE

    I suppose dropping 650 pairs of boots into a poppy field may snap a few stems, but I can't see it having a major reduction in the amount of opium produced.

  3. This seems insane. Then again maybe the chief planner has found out that his wife is sleeping with the CO of the PARA formation to be dropped in? The ultimate hospital pass...
  4. I'm all for this, like what's been said it's a show of force - prevention is better than cure and all that. I hope they do a few of them so i get a go;) 8)
  5. Cheers!!! 8O
  6. Hope it goes well!
  7. Yep, but at least the rest of the Army would stop the old "when was the last operational jump" chestnut. :roll:
  8. msr

    msr LE

    It will change into "Last opposed operational jump"

    I hate to think what sort of thinking is behind such a 'show of force'.

  9. Anyone else concerned about air dropping into one of the most heavily mined countries in the world?????? From what Iv been told pretty much anywhere off main routes has mines scattered on them somewhere
  10. Very thick soled soft rubber boots!
  11. Yep, anything to try and take something away from the blokes who have got the balls to do something most others would never consider.
  12. The Helmand Province is relatively free of mines (supposedly). I'm sure the planners wouldn't be so stupid as to pick a minefield as a DZ

    ............ There again. They are officers!!! 8O
  13. Surely a heli-borne assault would be more effective than 600 blokes dropping into a rocky mountainous ankle eating area watched by ahmed the shepherd and his flock?

    And if it is opposed wasnt the last truly opposed (opposed as in under fire) landing drop by the germans onto crete airfield resulting in horrific casualties for the germans?
  14. Auld-Yin

    Auld-Yin LE Reviewer Book Reviewer Reviews Editor

    What bollox - this is absolute crap. They will go in by C130 to the local airport (not airstrip) and then go by lorry.

    If they do in fact go in by drop, is this just to get the wings for those not yet eligible 'cos RAFF can supply a/c?

    If, and by the jings this is a very big IF, a drop actually takes place - how many journos, cameramen et al will be on the drop site long before to make sure the correct 'message' is recorded.

    This smacks of pre Market Garden when the Airborne were determined to be used just to prove that their existence was (is) warranted.

    Rant off - but ready to defend comments.