Cpl Mark Wright Inquest Verdict

#2
Just saw it on BBC. I think we all had a good idea what the verdict would be, but will it change anything?
 
#3
tangosix said:
Hello,

the inquest's verdict has just been announced:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7675824.stm

Extract:

"Cpl Wright's death could have been avoided but for a lack of equipment and said those responsible "should hang their heads in shame"."


tangosix.
This is so tragic ,Lets hope lessons will be learnt .
 
#4
Unfortunately all the money we need for such kit is wasted on bailing out greedy bankers, keeping archaic organisations such as the SBA Authorities in their jobs, civil servants in theirs, illegal immigrants in nice, warm housing, out of work wasters in food, beer and fags and in supplying money, assistance and costly bureaucracy to assist our transgender, transvestite and other minority populations.

Ah well, maybe one day we will get a leader and government with a little common sense and decency.
 
#5
To paraphrase General Robert E Lee, if only the Coroners were in charge of our troops on ops instead of the Officers everything would go swimmingly...
 
#6
No surprises in their briefs statement;

Sytemic failures...
training, intelligence & resources

Modern battlefield communication system is essential...

etc
 

Ventress

LE
Moderator
#7
Not sure the MoD are one for "hanging their heads in shame!" They are much more ready to "Who gives a fuc&!" sort of routine. They havent given a $hit for 400 years so I doubt if they will change now.
 
#8
Any of this to do with Bowman and batteries? I would like to add the following statement from Def Min A Ingram to HCDC dated 30 Mar 06 in reply to my own letter expressing concern about the lack of CSAR capability in Afghanistan.

COMBAT SEARCH AND RESCUE (CSAR)

Mr Gilb is concerned about our CSAR capability for forthcoming operations in Afghanistan and alleges that the Afghanistan task "has all the hallmarks of a rushed deployment". There are rescue plans, but for reasons of operational security, and to protect our troops, I cannot provide details of them; I do not want to compromise the safety of our troops should such a situation arise. In terms of planning for the next stage of tasking in Afghanistan, you will have gathered from the evidence I provided on 7 March this year that our deployment of more troops to Afghanistan is long-planned and part of a coherent international plan. This is not a rushed mission as Mr Gilb alleges.


So then Adam, totally inadequate training for dealing with minefields in PDT and helos with no winch constitutes a sound and effective plan does it?

In a statement from Cpl Wright's family, their solicitor said the coroner had made it clear there had been "really serious systemic failures" in providing the correct training, intelligence and resources for troops to do their jobs.

I wonder if the members of HCDC will also be hanging their heads in shame for believing the utter rubbish spouted by the Ministry of Defence.
 
#9
MotorMan said:
To paraphrase General Robert E Lee, if only the Coroners were in charge of our troops on ops instead of the Officers everything would go swimmingly...
Surely you mean instead of politicians? For shame!
 
#10
First and foremost, thoughts are not only with the family of Cpl Wright GC but also all of the lads who lost limbs in this incident.
As always, the Oxford coroner is displaying his superb ability to use hindsight to best effect. Yes, I am sure there were f*ck ups but there always are in military ops. I would support these inquest verdicts more if this particular coroner didn't always use them as a hobby horse. Military ops are not a safe area where H&S considerations come first - this is what Andrew Walker always forgets.
 
#11
wehappyfew said:
First and foremost, thoughts are not only with the family of Cpl Wright GC but also all of the lads who lost limbs in this incident.
As always, the Oxford coroner is displaying his superb ability to use hindsight to best effect. Yes, I am sure there were f*ck ups but there always are in military ops. I would support these inquest verdicts more if this particular coroner didn't always use them as a hobby horse. Military ops are not a safe area where H&S considerations come first - this is what Andrew Walker always forgets.
So you think he should just STFU then? At least he is attempting to shame the feckers who are behind such inadequate planning and financing.
 
#12
I applaud the Coroner for being so thorough and clear with his deliberations including the strong statement "Hang Their heads in Shame" and my thoughts are with the Parents for what they have suffered.

It is no time to be rolling out lame and most weak excuses, be it lack of money and coroners are not in the line of fire or action. Some can't or will never see fault with the Military.
 
#13
Well done the coroner for speaking out and we should be grateful that there is at least some process by which a non-MOD view is heard.

On Radio 4's PM Rear Admiral Tony Johnson-Bird came on to put the MOD's point of view.
Quite what his objective was I don't know but he went a long way to confirm the view of many that the MOD is shifty, disloyal, completely out of touch and would sell servicemen & women down the river to score political points and preserve its cosy ivory towers.

TBH his bleating & pathetic excuses made me want to puke.
 
#14
wehappyfew said:
First and foremost, thoughts are not only with the family of Cpl Wright GC but also all of the lads who lost limbs in this incident.
As always, the Oxford coroner is displaying his superb ability to use hindsight to best effect. Yes, I am sure there were f*ck ups but there always are in military ops. I would support these inquest verdicts more if this particular coroner didn't always use them as a hobby horse. Military ops are not a safe area where H&S considerations come first - this is what Andrew Walker always forgets.
Soldiers deployed in sandy places have enough opportunities to get killed without MoD 'f*ck ups' adding to them.

If people died in civ div because of the type of gross negligence that's coming to light in these inquests, the directors of the company concerned would be in prison. The Labour government would be leading a mob baying for blood.

In these cases, it's the government's fault and they raise two fingers to the relatives of the victims. No wonder the government was trying to get these inquests heard in secret. I bet they're sh1tting themselves about this case being brought by the relatives of those who died in the Nimrod crash.
 
#15
MotorMan said:
To paraphrase General Robert E Lee, if only the Coroners were in charge of our troops on ops instead of the Officers everything would go swimmingly...
Read this. Then see if you can still be so glib.

The following is the full statement from Coroner Andrew Walker in the Corporal Mark Wright case: May I begin by offering once again my deepest sympathies to members of Cpl Wright's family.

Nothing I will ever be able to say will be enough to comfort them in their grief.

Cpl Wright was an exceptional soldier amongst those rare breeds who can, and do, act with unhesitating courage in the most desperate circumstances that are faced by soldiers almost daily in Afghanistan.
advertisement

The loss of Cpl Wright will, I have no doubt, be keenly felt by his family, his friends, his unit and our armed forces.

I have frequently encountered bravery and courage as I have sat here listening to the sad circumstances of many military inquests but it must not pass without comment that this exceptional soldier, who was rightly awarded the George Cross, not only organised a rescue party from the observation point at Athens following the first mine explosion but, despite being gravely injured and knowing that help was a long time away, joked and kept up the spirits of those trapped in the minefield. Cpl Wright's last act was to reach over to check the condition of the wounded soldier placed next to him on the aircraft, only relaxing when the medic told him the injured soldier would be all right.

This selfless courage forms part of a tradition within our armed forces and Cpl Wright will continue to be an inspiration to those who follow.

That a brave soldier is lost in battle is always a matter of deep sadness but when that life is lost where it need not have been because of a lack of equipment and assets those responsible should hang their heads in shame.

This tragedy has its roots in the expectation that a small force of dedicated professional soldiers would be expected to extend the scope and number of their operations without the necessary support.

To reach the position where soldiers stationed at two important observation posts, through a shortage of radio batteries and re-chargers, had to resort to firing shots into the air to attract their colleagues' attention to the presence of a threat simply beggars belief.

In fact the battery situation was so dire that a radio communication channel between the two outposts at Athens and Normandy that should have been open all the time could be opened for only one minute every two hours.

In my view there can be no criticism leveled to LCpl Hale, Cpl Pearson or any of those who participated in mounting this mission (the sniper patrol).

Col Tootal cannot be criticised for the action he took. As he said, he had an injured man and was desperate to do something to help.

In my judgment it was the downwash of the Chinook that was directly responsible for the explosion that injured Cpl Wright.

What was needed was a medium-frame helicopter with a winch.

The actions of the US personnel who flew into the minefield is without doubt heroism of the highest order, by the specialist rescue and recovery team.

Those who survived owe their lives to the Americans.

It is lamentable that the UK is not able to provide dedicated helicopters for the same service.

Cpl Wright died of haemorrhagic shock on his way to hospital. He would have survived if he had been taken sooner.

Narrative verdict: Cpl Mark William Wright died while on active service in Afghanistan on the sixth of September 2006 when, having an entered an area 1800m to the south west of the Kajaki Dam to rescue a soldier who had stepped on a mine, became trapped in a minefield with other soldiers.

Cpl Wright died on his way to hospital having satisfied himself that other injured soldiers were safe.

There were three factors that caused Cpl Mark Wrights death: The first, a lack of appropriate UK helicopters in Afghanistan fitted with a winch, the second was the downwash from the Chinook helicopter sent to land in the minefield and the third was the administrative delay in sending a suitable helicopter with a winch.

There was a really serious failure not to ensure that there were sufficient batteries and radio battery charges at the observation posts and this serious failure reduced the ability to communicate by radio. This was a defect in the system that contributed to the death of Cpl Mark William Wright.

There was a really serious failure not to provide meaningful information to soldiers stationed at these observation posts about the threat of mines in the areas where they were to operate and this was a defect in the system that contributed to the death of Cpl Wright.

There were failures in the teaching methods used both as part of OPTAG and in the delivery of RSOI training that resulted in the soldiers, who operated at these forward observation posts, not appreciating that the traditional training to locate and mark mines, as part of clearing a path out of a mined area, were unsuitable for the terrain at Kajaki and that training failed to take account of the technology that was available to better address the detection of mines. This was a defect in the system that contributed to the death of Cpl Wright.

There was a serious failure to make an assessment of the threat from mines at Kajaki or to take account of local knowledge of the threat from mines until a visit by an EOD expert following Cpl Wright's death and this was a factor relevant to the circumstances of Cpl Wright's death.

There was a serious failure on the part of those responsible for briefing the Chinook helicopter command without making reference to a mine map that indicated the presence of an area known to be mined and the pilot unknowingly planned to land his aircraft in this area. This was a factor relevant to the circumstances of Cpl Wright's death.

There was a serious failure to meet the NATO doctrine to provide, within one hour, advanced resuscitation measures and this was a defect in the system which contributed to Cpl Wright's death.

There was an individual failure in that the officer responsible for passing updated information about the mine threat did not understand the information set out in the maps he had been provided with and therefore he was unable to interpret these maps and this was a factor relevant to the circumstances of the death of Cpl Wright.

There was a failure to properly take account of and act on local information made available about the mine threat at the start of the occupation of the Kajaki area. This was a factor relevant to the circumstances of Cpl Wright's death.

http://www.theherald.co.uk/news/new...right_inquest_Full_statement_from_coroner.php
The fighting in AFG is the most intense and sustained of my lifetime*.

It is also the most underfunded, and it only has Suez in '57 as a competitor for most ill-considered.

The mess that Tootal's men found themselves in - from which only Unca Sam had resources to retrieve the survivors - is entirely down to a failure of gunmint to properly resource its Army, and to plan for the kind of conflicts into which it has sent our soldiers over the last decade.

This is our Crimea.
 
#16
I too heard the words of Rear Admiral Tony Johnson-Bird, who was fielded by MOD as a spokesman because surprise surprise no minister was available for comment.

His reasoning and excuses were a total insult to the family of Mark Wright, querying the verdict reached by the inquest and almost requesting a rerun of the inquest to seek an alternate finding. He claimed that there were airframes fitted with winches available and on call to the troops throughout the duration of this incident, and that extracting troops from a minefield should not be attempted by winching.

I hope somebody ensures that rear admiral is as far as this man gets in his career.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/console/b00dvbcp

Edited to add the Iplayer of the programme, his interview and the solicitors comments are in the first 15 minutes of the programme
 
#17
runski said:
Well done the coroner for speaking out and we should be grateful that there is at least some process by which a non-MOD view is heard.

On Radio 4's PM Rear Admiral Tony Johnson-Bird came on to put the MOD's point of view.
Quite what his objective was I don't know but he went a long way to confirm the view of many that the MOD is shifty, disloyal, completely out of touch and would sell servicemen & women down the river to score political points and preserve its cosy ivory towers.

TBH his bleating & pathetic excuses made me want to puke.
Yes I heard him too, on the World at One. Apart from the very fulsome heartfelt condolences to the families etc, you can usually guess what was coming and it was no surprise, he said that everything that could possibly have been done had been done, ie made no mention of a three and a half hour delay. Also totally denied there was a shortage of batteries, or helicopters fitted with winches. And if I heard him correctly he also denied that the explosion that mortally wounded Cpl Mark Wright was triggered by the Chinook, according to him he moved and his elbow triggered a mine. I may have misheard that bit, I was shouting at the radio by then.

I did hear him say he did not agree with the Coroners verdict. Unbelievable! Nothing else has made me so angry for years. At least we were spared the old chestnut "lessons have been learned" - trouble is they damn well should be.
 
#18
wehappyfew said:
First and foremost, thoughts are not only with the family of Cpl Wright GC but also all of the lads who lost limbs in this incident.
As always, the Oxford coroner is displaying his superb ability to use hindsight to best effect. Yes, I am sure there were f*ck ups but there always are in military ops. I would support these inquest verdicts more if this particular coroner didn't always use them as a hobby horse. Military ops are not a safe area where H&S considerations come first - this is what Andrew Walker always forgets.
I sincerely hope that you are not in a position of command. H&S should be, always has been and always will be at the forefront of a competent commander's mind. It is about minimising the risk of performing a task. It is not about crippling initiative, momentum or opportunity but ensuring that people are trained, equipped and supported correctly. I shiver at the thought of the decisions that men like Colonel Tootal had to make on a daily basis, knowing that the system that supported him was not providing the resources that could be - and should've been there.
 
#19
Sappers_Gal said:
runski said:
Well done the coroner for speaking out and we should be grateful that there is at least some process by which a non-MOD view is heard.

On Radio 4's PM Rear Admiral Tony Johnson-Bird came on to put the MOD's point of view.
Quite what his objective was I don't know but he went a long way to confirm the view of many that the MOD is shifty, disloyal, completely out of touch and would sell servicemen & women down the river to score political points and preserve its cosy ivory towers.

TBH his bleating & pathetic excuses made me want to puke.
Yes I heard him too, on the World at One. Apart from the very fulsome heartfelt condolences to the families etc, you can usually guess what was coming and it was no surprise, he said that everything that could possibly have been done had been done, ie made no mention of a three and a half hour delay. Also totally denied there was a shortage of batteries, or helicopters fitted with winches. And if I heard him correctly he also denied that the explosion that mortally wounded Cpl Mark Wright was triggered by the Chinook, according to him he moved and his elbow triggered a mine. I may have misheard that bit, I was shouting at the radio by then.

I did hear him say he did not agree with the Coroners verdict. Unbelievable! Nothing else has made me so angry for years. At least we were spared the old chestnut "lessons have been learned" - trouble is they damn well should be.
Completely agree - rarely has a senior officer made such crass comments in a bid to justify the MOD's under-resourcing. Like runski, I could have thrown up.

His attempts to smear the findings of Andrew Walker were a disgrace. This was line-towing at its very worst, and anyone listening / watching the subsequent TV news interviews with him, probably felt the same.

See NigeGilb's earlier post - why was a Minister of the Crown not called to respond?

Rear Admiral Tony Johnson-Bird should look up "Standards and Values" and then consider his own moral courage. He appears devoid of any.

Interesting to see the references back to the death of Sgt Steven Roberts, and the government's responses of the time. "There were one or two minor kit shortages, and CBA was not in the right place" - Having personally requested thousands, yes thousands of sets of CBA from the US, during March and April 2003, I think this consitutes something greater than a "minor" kit shortage. With troops entering Basra, CBA in Southern Kuwait, definately did qualify as "not in the right place".

The commendations to those in the patrol are richly deserved. Few can comprehend the bravery and tragedy of the incident, I salute all of them, brave, brave men. RIP Cpl Wright GC, I hope his family know that inspite of Rear Admiral Tony Johnson-Bird's dribble, many see through the politcal ARRSE covering that has been broadcast today.
 
#20
I listened in disbelief,as the Rear Admiral stated that we are now so well equipped, and seemed to be trying to say that here was a helicopter with a winch available - but it was a command decision that it was needed more urgently elsewhere. Time after time they trot out this drivel. Has nobody at MOD got a conscience ??
 

Similar threads

Latest Threads

Top