Clarkson , Sunday Times today

#3
Skynet said:
He hit it right on the head and if conditions don't improve the situation will rectify itself. There will be no soldiers to go!
He hit it right on the head? Have you been to Camp Bastion then? It's nowhere near as bad as JC makes out. If anyone believes it is then i guess they never left Bastion to see the real shitholes.
 
#5
Fallschirmjager said:
Skynet said:
He hit it right on the head and if conditions don't improve the situation will rectify itself. There will be no soldiers to go!
He hit it right on the head? Have you been to Camp Bastion then? It's nowhere near as bad as JC makes out. If anyone believes it is then i guess they never left Bastion to see the real shitholes.
No I haven't however I can well envisage what it is like having served through the ranks for 30 years. The point he seemed to be making was that you will never recruit retain and keep an army motivated over a decade of expeditionary type warfare if you are not prepared to look after your troops better. It is clear that this war is being run on a budget to the detriment to those who are in it. Suggest you read this link

http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/features/2007/0712.tilghman.html which I think just about sums up the problem for us as well.
 
#6
I'd go with Skynet on this one Fallschirmjager.

He isn't trying to make out the lads at Bastian have it worse, just putting forward HIS OWN experience. As he points out, he never left Bastian so he can't describe anywhere else.
 
#7
No, but JC is trying to make out Camp Bastion is something it is not. It's an R&R centre for those on the front line. It has good food, heated/air conditioned tents, running water and showers, a big naafi, internet, an excellent gym and is totally safe from anything except cruise missiles! Of course JC's experience will be hard as he's a millionarre who lives a life of luxury on a daily basis! For us troops Bastion is fine. Nobody can whinge about conditions there except whingers.
 
#8
Oh, cmon mate, give the guy a break. There's some excellent black humour in there. Made me laugh anyway. Clarkson's about the only journo who comes close to understanding squaddie humour - and probably strikes the right cord in getting the mesage across as far as the average civvy is concerned.
 
#9
the point he's making (and doing it well) is that JP often forget about the less 'glamorous' capbadges who work equally hard to keep the F Echs doing their thing...

...even on the excellent panorama doc t'other day it was the royal welsh (or whomever they are now) who were credited with running the resupply ops in Basrah. Sure, they were doing the FP, Escorts & C2 (in WR/CR2) but no mention of REMEs/RLC etc who were daily running the gauntlet in B Vehs

...This is not a p!ssing contest, nor meant to denigrate the excellent efforts of those at the front....i think just a short dit saying remember all of those deployed this xmas (even the RAF)....not just the ones you're seeing in action on nightly news / tv docs etc
 
#10
The big challenge to the UK as I see it is this:

How do we maintain a volunteer Army, on a very low budget in what is effectively permanent war fighting / deployments of varying intensity? My answer is that I do not know. I haven't got a clue. But I can not think of any other western, democratic nation that has ever tried it for any extended period. Vietnam was very rough. But the conscripts did one tour. Of the 12 months they tried to give the guys six months in an HQ / admin role where possible. But that was it. Our guys are backwards and forwards.
 
#11
Fallschirmjager said:
No, but JC is trying to make out Camp Bastion is something it is not. It's an R&R centre for those on the front line. It has good food, heated/air conditioned tents, running water and showers, a big naafi, internet, an excellent gym and is totally safe from anything except cruise missiles! Of course JC's experience will be hard as he's a millionarre who lives a life of luxury on a daily basis! For us troops Bastion is fine. Nobody can whinge about conditions there except whingers.
Can it be made better? Will you be still happy with it when you are on your 4th tour there? It reminds me of the situation in Belfast in late 69/70 if it hadn't been for the press we would have still been living in double decker buses! Rather an exaggeration however if you don't keep pushing for improvements the political class will let you live in the conditions you are prepared to put up with. Did you read the link? We must improve the lot of the troops or we may not have the talent we need to field a professional army which can do the business. Watch the trend and innovate to keep the standards up and if that means better conditions so be it.
 
#12
The big challenge to the UK as I see it is this:

How can we maintain a volunteer army when the youth of today are mostly fannies who don't like the idea of hard work?
 
#13
Fallschirmjager said:
The big challenge to the UK as I see it is this:

How can we maintain a volunteer army when the youth of today are mostly fannies who don't like the idea of hard work?
Fally, that is extremely well put, sir. Some of the youngsters I know have asked me about my time in and have said "all that time working for that kind of money, you must be mad"
I personally know of one youngster who is considering joining and his mates just laugh at him for it.
 
#14
Fallschirmjager said:
The big challenge to the UK as I see it is this:

How can we maintain a volunteer army when the youth of today are mostly fannies who don't like the idea of hard work?
Raise the upper age limit so older ex-squaddies that are still capable of doing the job can rejoin.
 
#16
Skynet said:
Can it be made better?

Of course it could. We could erect an Odeon cinema, build a pizza hut, have a fun fair or import the cast of Hollyoaks. Anything can be made better, it doesn't mean it's not adequate at present.

Will you be still happy with it when you are on your 4th tour there?

Well next year will sadly be my last though yes i'd be happy. I actually like operational tours. It's what i joined for.

It reminds me of the situation in Belfast in late 69/70 if it hadn't been for the press we would have still been living in double decker buses! Rather an exaggeration however if you don't keep pushing for improvements the political class will let you live in the conditions you are prepared to put up with.

Yes i entirely agree though i had no problems with the conditions on Herrick 4 and I know the conditions are much better there now.

We must improve the lot of the troops or we may not have the talent we need to field a professional army which can do the business.

Troops don't need cushy conditions. They need kit that works, good weapons and the best training.
 
#17
Fallschirmjager said:
The big challenge to the UK as I see it is this:

How can we maintain a volunteer army when the youth of today are mostly fannies who don't like the idea of hard work?
These fannies seem to be getting an awful lot of medals and soldiering in an exemplary way. I say bring on the fannies!
 
#18
Fallschirmjager said:
No, but JC is trying to make out Camp Bastion is something it is not. It's an R&R centre for those on the front line. It has good food, heated/air conditioned tents, running water and showers, a big naafi, internet, an excellent gym and is totally safe from anything except cruise missiles! Of course JC's experience will be hard as he's a millionarre who lives a life of luxury on a daily basis! For us troops Bastion is fine. Nobody can whinge about conditions there except whingers.
You are looking at it like a soldier. I doubt the lads in Bastion share the view of JC. However, JC is hardly going to write "Yeah, the conditions at Bastion are pretty dire, but the boys just get on with it."

To civvies the conditions at Bastion are horrendous, even though many soldiers of differing capbadges may be just about able to survive :p .

Civvies expect us to just get on with it, JC is simply pointing out hte conditions that many do get on with it in.

Besides if it is that bad at Bastion, how grim is it when you aren't there? After all JC wasn't allowed out of Bastion. That is what all the civvies are thinking now.
 
#20
Wonderful stuff even if it does contain some journalistic license. JC shares the serving and ex-serving person's love of irony in his humorous treatment of such arduous conditions and the everyday prospect of tragedy, day after depressing day. His description of the surreal politically correct Elf & Safety aspects are worthy of Catch-22.

It is up to those of us for whom the biggest worry is what to get Uncle Arthur for Christmas to heed his words and ensure that our people receive the recognition, care and attention they deserve on their return - and they are returning all the time. Their (literally) long-suffering families also deserve all the support we and the Government can provide.

JC for PM!
 

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