Des Browne statement on Afghanistan

#3
and that BBC site includes ...
In a Commons statement, Mr Browne said 320 engineers from 28 Regiment Royal Engineers would be used to "accelerate the reconstruction effort".

A company from 3 Commando Brigade Royal Marines would provide force protection for them and those deployments would take place from September.

An extra infantry company, taken from the 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, will also provide more mobile forces.

And two platoons from the 1st Battalion, The Royal Irish Regiment would provide additional force protection.

The defence secretary said there would also be a "small increase" in HQ staff and medical and logistical support
And this adds up to 900. Sappers (320), 1coy RM (100?), 1 Coy RF (100?), 2 Pl RIR (60?) = 580. So the small HQ increase and more helicopters = 320 people. The largest a 'small increase' could be is 120, so how many helicopters do we get for the other 200 people?. 4 or 5 ?.
 
#4
Des Browne's statement was delivered in a hideous and stilted manner; it was clear that he knew bugger all about what he was talking about.
 
#5
Another masterful performance from Swiss Tony. "Sending two platoons of the Royal Irish is like making love to a beautiful woman...".

WTF does he think that this feeble "re-inforcement' will achieve? Having just looked at my crystal balls I predict that they will have bugger all effect apart from providing a few more moving targets for the locals. How will these extra people be replened in the field (all the newspapers reported that the 4 Tonners' armour is not due to arrive for another couple of months)?

Arrse!

When Tony 'I am the biggest liar in the world and a total c**t' Blair is out of office, I hope that everytime he meets an ex-serviceman he collects a good old fashioned right cross followed by a stamp to his genitalia.

Edited for language - PTP
 
#6
whiffler said:
and that BBC site includes ...
In a Commons statement, Mr Browne said 320 engineers from 28 Regiment Royal Engineers would be used to "accelerate the reconstruction effort".

A company from 3 Commando Brigade Royal Marines would provide force protection for them and those deployments would take place from September.

An extra infantry company, taken from the 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, will also provide more mobile forces.

And two platoons from the 1st Battalion, The Royal Irish Regiment would provide additional force protection.

The defence secretary said there would also be a "small increase" in HQ staff and medical and logistical support
And this adds up to 900. Sappers (320), 1coy RM (100?), 1 Coy RF (100?), 2 Pl RIR (60?) = 580. So the small HQ increase and more helicopters = 320 people. The largest a 'small increase' could be is 120, so how many helicopters do we get for the other 200 people?. 4 or 5 ?.
450 Reserves to be called up as well to provide 400 troops.
 
I

In_my_day

Guest
#7
It will be interesting to see were the extra flying hours come from, extra airframes or stretching the maintainance schedules of those already deployed (and overstretched). With the RM and RIRISH providing FP, that gives CLF a whole rifle coy to stem the rising tide of violence. If Bliar truly believes this is the battleground for Western Culture (quoted today on R4) shouldn't he be publicly demanding more combat support from the rest of NATO?

IMD
 
#8
I know that we are overstretched at the moment but is this the best they can scrape together or is it

1 a token effort reacting to the current media pressure but on the cheap

2 A reluctance to spend the money required to reinforce properly

3 A realisation that finding 4000 troops every six months who are not already busy is going to be difficult without more boots on the ground

4 ackniowledgement that the TA Bucket is nearing empty for deployable soldiers who are not time barred

5 A consequence of not monitoring the regular reserve so that they dont know where they live to brown letter them less the pensioners

Or is it because having trimmed the fat from the Forces and then a fair bit of the meat the goverment is writing cheques the army can not cash

5
 
#9
from Lib Dem website - http://www.libdems.org.uk/parliament/afghanistan-a-tough-but-necessary-mission100706.html
[hr]
Afghanistan - a tough but necessary mission
10 July 2006

The Afghanistan operation is vital to our long term security, but there will be increasing problems in sustaining the level of effort that is needed. says Lord Tim Garden

The deaths of six British soldiers in a matter of days has raised Afghanistan high on the political agenda. The public seem surprised that we seem to have found ourselves in yet another dangerous battle in distant parts. Questions are now being raised about whether we have sent enough troops, whether they have the right kit, and whether they should be there at all.

The Afghanistan operation stems directly from the 9/11 attacks on the Washington and New York nearly 5 years ago. Unlike over Iraq, the international community rallied to support the American-led operation to destroy the al-Qaeda training camps in late 2001. The Taleban regime fell, and the United Nations supported the development of democracy which has led to the Afghan government of Hamad Karzai. The British Foreign Secretary at the time, Jack Straw, made a promise that we would support the rebuilding of Afghanistan into a viable democratic state, so that terrorists had no haven there.

Unfortunately, the intervention in Iraq in 2003, and the subsequent chaos there, meant that interest in the problems of Afganistan declined. Hamad Karzai asked for 50,000 troops to help him secure the country. NATO sent a tenth of that number, and could do little more than secure the capital Kabul. Meanwhile, the United States continued its offensive operations in the East of the country to try to find Osama bin Ladin using special forces and airpower. Gradually NATO extended reconstruction in the more peaceful North and West of the Country, but the South and East along the border with Pakistan have remained bandit country. The opium poppy harvest has again flourished, and finds its way to the streets of Britain.

Left unchallenged, the Taleban would return and with them the training of terrorists. The only way for Afghan farmers to make money would be through poppy growing. These are direct threats to Western security. NATO, after much heart searching, agreed this year to extend its mission again. British forces have taken on Helmand province, and will also provide the bulk of the NATO headquarters staff in Kabul for some time. Given that the local warlords, drug producers and Taleban insurgents have had a free run for the past 4 years, this was always going to be a difficult mission.

The British deployment of 3700 troops is a serious force. Yet it is still in the initial deployment phase. NATO does not take over control of the area from the US until the end of July. Commanders are exploring their sectors, testing for resistance and establishing contacts with the local authorities. The intensity of the engagements makes it clear that the area is even more challenging than had been hoped, and tactics will have to change accordingly.

There is much speculation about whether more forces are needed. Only the local British commanders are in a position to decide that. What is clear is that more transport helicopters would help. The terrain is difficult and vehicles are liable to ambush or bombs. Troops can get in fast by Chinook or other helicopters, and can be reinforced when the fighting calls for reinforcements. Troops pinned down also rely on air support – ground attack Harriers or Apache helicopters – to bring firepower to bear on the enemy quickly. The signs are that they may need more of this. If more fighting troops are needed, it would ratchet up the helicopter and armoured vehicle bill even more.

Tony Blair promised last week that our commanders would get whatever they needed in people or equipment. While the promise is helpful, there are limits to what is possible. With simultaneous operations in Iraq, the shortages of key specialists and vital capabilities like helicopters are beginning to bite. You cannot produce a trained pilot overnight or get a helicopter from your local supermarket. The Afghanistan operation is vital to our long term security, but there will be increasing problems in sustaining the level of effort that is needed.

Air Marshal Lord Garden is the Lib Dem Defence spokesman in the Lords, and a former assistant chief of the defence staff.
 
#10
All of the above Chelwood14. This is a disgrace. Trying to make the despatch of 200 soldiers, one RRF company and two platoons of Royal Irish sound like a major reinforcement. The Commandos were always going in October, the engineers going in September arent fighting troops, and the field hospital can mean nothing more than we expect more casualties. If they keep reinforcing it bit by bit like this then that is what they will get. They should have bitten the bullet and sent at least one infantry battlegroup. Now there will come a time when they have to send more troops, what will they do then, just another company of infantry?
 
#11
And of course guys these people are gonna want to go home at some point. Where do we keep getting the troops to backfill the gaps that will be appearing in the proposed next roulement?
Cake to go with Arrse anyone?
 
#12
micksmith said:
They should have bitten the bullet and sent at least one infantry battlegroup. Now there will come a time when they have to send more troops, what will they do then, just another company of infantry?
While I agree that major reinforcement is needed, do we actually have anything more than they've announced today left spare?
 
#13
Surely if your going to deploy two platoons of Royal Irish then at least go the whole hog and deploy a company. Could a potential solution be the formation of fully deployable TA battalions, would this work?
Also are the RI an Armoured Infantry battalion or Light role? To me, which I admit means next to nothing, a dozen warriors wouldn't go amiss out there.
RH
 
#15
When are the politicians going to wake up and see that the Armed Forces can not continue in this manner? We are seriously overstretched me and Dh have been married 7 years yet he is on his 4th tour at the moment (not to mention the training in USA Canada and Norway that has taken him away from home a further 5 times in that period) and is due to go to Afghanistan just 6 months after getting back from Iraq. Yet I know he has had it lucky the past few years and done less tours than other branches of the army.

Obviously I don't know how things are as well as he (or most serving personnel) does but I believe that recruitment is not the major problem it is retention. How do we retain forces personnel and/or increase recruitment when they see the daily news stories?

If there was less mejya coverage on the lack of equipment and support I think things would look different to people. We all expect that sadly people will be lost or injured in these conflicts and dread our loved ones getting involved but it is made harder to take when the news carries stories of no boots, no helicopters etc etc: When we found out DH was unexpectedly going to Iraq this spring my parents asked him if it would be helpful if they got him some equipment/ clothing so he wasn't without things he needed!

I vote we send all poiticians on a 6 month active tour before they are allowed to have an opinion on what our troops need!
 

Mr_Fingerz

LE
Book Reviewer
#17
Swiss Tony said that involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan was "stretching" but that the "armed forces are not overstretched". Methinks that the politicians have over-reached themselves.
 
#18
jonwilly said:
http//www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2006/07/11/nafg211.xml&sSheet=/news/2006/07/11/ixuknews.html

Mr Browne's real Enemey is the other Mr Brown.
john
Is there any truth in reports in today's papers that the operation in Afghanistan is budget restricted by the treasury. Reports say that the six Harriers were only allowed to extend their stay out there if the cost was neutral to the treasury! In other words don't fly them except in a dire emergency. If this operation was so important to the future credibility of NATO why is there such little enthusiasm in terms of teeth arms and logistical support from these NATO nations? If it was critical to the future security of this country why do we have so much verbal support from this government and so little in the way of financial and material support. Don't we have ten heavy lift helicopters in a shed that could be used if there was a will to do so? It all amounts to money and sadly soldiers lives are cheap in that respect. Is there any truth in the rumour that we may be called on before September to fulfill our UN commitment, along with others, and supply troops for the Sudan or the present African Union force will pack up and go home? The government must will the means to its foreign policy ends to convince me.
 
#19
Overstretch I dont think that politicians care much about how much time that forces spend away from home seem to remember that Hoon of all people made a crass statement that the forces should get used to spending more time away, and that was during a period when i recall we were admittedly over stretched.

Cant see des Browne being any different and having come from the treasury i suspect that he is unlikely to upset a possible future PM (god forbid) by asking for more money and resources.

My point is the likelyhood that if you do more and more with less resources ie on a shoestring at some stage we are going to get a bloody nose,the goverment should wake up to this before it happens
 
#20
Can someone explain to a civvy a bit more about harmony guidelines. I have come across a statement by John Reid in March saying that harmony was down to 21.1 instead of 24 months. But there are other reports saying that soldiers are being asked to do another tour after having been back for only six months. Was harmony supposed to show what was sustainable? If so, why are the Chiefs saying that although this reinforcement is outside of harmony guidelines we are not over stretched and it is (Afg Deployment) sustainable? Also. does anyone have the figures for harmony now? Surely this is a subject for BAFF to sink its teeth into? Should we scrap harmony if it is being ignored in such an outrageous way?

Cheers,

NG
 

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