Doing it for real



From todays Daily Telegraph Letters page

Re: Gas test guinea pigs
Date: 24 March 2003

Sir - It is reassuring to know that the finest traditions of the forces are being maintained in the current conflict. Stewart Payne reports (Mar 21) that, after a bombing alert, during which our troops were sent to their respective shelters wearing protective suits, "two RAF junior ranks were sent outside to slip their fingers under the seal of their respirators to check the air".

Presumably, if they did not return the rest of the troops would stay suited and safe. Even if we as a nation are so impoverished that we cannot afford to supply our forces with meters to test the air, surely we can afford some canaries in cages. Lions led by donkeys springs to mind. But then one supposes that, given the maintenance problems with some of their equipment, donkeys may after all have their uses.

Mike Pilley, Egerton, Kent

Personally if I was doing it for real I would probably be creating a few vapours of my own!!


No surprise that it was the "junior ranks" doing the sniff test. Aren't officers meant to lead by example? Surely there must have been a spare Flt Lt or two who could have joined in? Maybe someone was worrying a bit too much about their own safety?


Oh dear.  let's not forget the stadard procedure boys.  Always send the lowest rank out to give to test, after all other checks have been made.  This is a typical spin that you would expect from the uninformed public.

Standard SOP (as I was always taught) was send out the guy who is your biggest admin problem or the one you like the least and could live without easiest.
Is there any truth in the rumour that the Morocans have offered 2000 monkeys, to help with mine clearing.
Why not use them for tetsing in a chemical environment.
....Hang on this is Britain well have the RSPCA after us.

Scrub that suggestion we'll use animal rights protetsors instead.