Help the Boys - Lobby for better kit

Discussion in 'Weapons, Equipment & Rations' started by Salvador, Nov 13, 2005.

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  1. All,

    Like many if not all serving and ex serving men and women, you are no doubt appalled at quality of the kit that is issued and the kit that is not issued, but needed. Hence you have to spend what meagre pennies the MOD give as an excuse for pay on kit that they (the MOD) should be providing.

    Well ever since I left (1988) I have become more and more angry that things have not improved. We have all seen numerous articles in the press and on TV (melting boots, no desert kit, Sand Filters, Clansmen, Saxon and of course the Fx@#ing SA80), to name but a few. Well every month or so it gets to me and I send a snotty letter to the MOD and get back a load of official Bollocks. I then write to my MP and get the same Bollocks back only on nicer paper!

    Well I seem like I am pissing in the wind, but if enough of us, make enough noise, often enough in enough places, maybe, just maybe we can get things to improve. Now I have a load of articles that I can make available, but I am looking for ideas, dare I say help to really get things moving.

    One I idea ,is that we could make noises about all of the things that are wrong, but the trouble with that, is there is soo much, Where would we start? Another option would be to take one or two and make these a priority, say getting the SA80A2 replaced, my prefernce would be the G36. To me this has a very good argument for adopting this:

    A)We all ready have the AG36
    B) The Civvey police have this weapon. Crazy that the police have a better rifle than the Army.
    C) The yanks are about to adopt the XM8, (a G36 in disguise)
    D) It was the weapon we would have got if the "Turncoat Jackson" AKA POD had not made a "Pension Saving" U-turn and backed the SA80A2

    What do you think?

  2. msr

    msr LE

    Just for the record, when I mobilised in April this year I was issued 3 sets of deserts, a camelback, a shemagh, an A2 rifle and pair of boots which didn't melt at any time, as was everyone else who went on TELIC 6.

    Kit wise, things are in a different league to the stuff you remember.

    I think you should stick to complaining about how the youth of today have such an easy life, no manners and no respect for their elders and when you was a lad...... (as doubtless I will be when I reach your age)

  3. MSR,

    Well it seems you were one of the lucky ones. My mates (from 4Para) who were called up (to serve with 3Para) when the war broke out (some 2 years ago) were not as fortunate. It is true, now that the pressure is off and they have had some much bad publicity, things have got a little better. Don't be fooled in to thinking you're experience is the norm.

    And for the record, i don't like the tone of your email. It is to help people who are in that I am writting this stuff. Don't be so F**king ungrateful

  4. I was also issued 3 sets of deserts, one of those very nice new desert windproof jacket, an A2 rifle and even one of those lovely assault vests.

    I am quite happy with the 'standard' issue kit I took to Iraq with me recently. Obviously I still supplemented the issue kit with kit I purchased myself but the MoD can't anticipate the every whim of personnel under its control. Kit has to be issued that will satisfy the basic needs of the many, not the whims of the few.

    Of course there are still problems with kit but overall the issue personnel kit is, I believe, pretty good. Its been a while coming but it finally seems to have been sorted for the basics.

    Obviously though the Armed Forces running out of ammunition whilst preparing to fight a war is a pretty serious feck up and someone should have swung for that.

    Anyway, I admire your support Salvador but I feel your comments to MSR are a little harsh. You left in 1988, MSR (like myself) is currently serving, so I'd suggest is a little more able to comment accurately being closer to the grind stone.

    The SA80A2 is a vast improvement over the SA80A1, it may not be the most 'Gucci' bang stick available at the mo but it is fairly accurate, infrastructure is in place to support it and conversion training from A1 to A2 mods is very straight forward. The introduction of a new weapon system would throw up a lot more problems at the mo than just buying the the weapons. Yes the civvy police have a nice Gucci weapon but they also have a lot less personnel to equip and train. As for 'Turncoat Jackson', yes I agree that his jellyfish like spine in the defence of 'his troops' is indefensible but it wasn't just his say so that approved the weapon, a Tri-service development team with many personnel drawn from the teeth arms also approved of the A2 version, possibly more important than a paper shuffling Whitehall lackey (no matter how senior). Of course if you ask the average Tom he'll tell you he wants something different, every serviceman (as I'm sure you know from your service days) will find a reason to grumble, no matter how well equipped and looked after. I don't count myself out of this.

    Anyway, I don't think my comments will change your mind, you seem to have swallowed a nice chunk of 'The Sun' (the Armed Forces favorite boycotted paper) but this is just my 2p worth, based on my recent experience rather than the press version.
  5. Is that the same as ungrateful?
  6. Do you swear when you write to MPs?
  7. Things aren't great, we're always not going to have quite the right kit, but it is better and it is getting better.
    I am involved in work to improve the supply chain - lots of different things happening to improve the delivery of the right materiel to the right place at the right time.
  8. Any chance of some of those mythical silver plated boxers then?

  9. Response to the helpfustacker. Appreciate your response. Pleased to see that, for some at least, things are getting better. Don't read The SUN, but do know guys who are still in and let me know what is happening now, and for many the kit is still poor.

    With regard to the SA80, how could any Army issue a weapon that can only be fired Right-handed?

    What about the Enhanced Body armour. the kevlar plate is so small it is a joke. Just look at what other Armies, say ther Germans are issuing their troops. Sometimes it is good to look at alternatives, it is a real eye opener. What bugs me more then anything is the MODs claims that they provide us with the best kit. The idiots that read the SUN, who are not in know, actually buy this b*llocks.

    Anyway, I'll keep on trying to make things better, if at all possible.

  10. Just been issued my kit for going to visit our friends with the teacloth titfers

    Looks ok to me. I would say it seems lessons have been learnt with regards supply chain procedures and as promised whilst on course by a certain man at Bicester, the kit is there, does get task packed out, and is decent enough to actually use.

    I can only echo helpfulstacker:

  11. There's fook all wrong with the current UK issue kit, including the bucket & spade stuff - as long as you look after it!

    It might not be some of the best selling kit around the planet or in Storms Army Surplus Store but it gets the job done! A bit of TLC goes a long way.

    SA80's are all right hookers, are you left handed??? If you have trouble firing right handed, get your arse behind a GPMG, MINIMI or a Mortar - You can use both hands with them! :lol:

    If you think the Army will fork out on better body armour - think again. Cheap body armour is great incentive to improve your field craft!


    Edited due mong-mode spelling!
  12. Those mobilised for Telic 2 also received "3 sets of deserts, a camelback, a shemagh, an A2 rifle and pair of boots which didn't melt at any time" (though the shemagh was really just an outsize cotton handkerchief). Given the problems with kit that those on Telic 1 had, getting the right stuff in place within three months isn't bad going. The only complaints that I had (with regard to kit) were with the colour - issued T-shirts were brown (sand-coloured were quickly bought from EFI by the fashion conscious) and most of the CBAs in my unit were green (but then, it matched the webbing).

    As far as the comment about right-handed weapons are concerned, the same was true about the SMG, so the issue isn't new. Having said that, not many soldiers learn how to use a rifle before joining, so if all weapons were left-handed, it wouldn't make a difference. For the record, I'm right-handed but left-eyed, a combination that can be made to work (uncomfortably) with bolt-action, but not with a pistol grip.

    I laud Salvador's well-intentioned efforts, but most of the kit is effective. The rocket pouches need a re-think and the SA80 cleaning kit could be improved (probably by re-designing the rifle ;) ). The layer-system of CS95, while effective, requires a lot more packing space than the old uniform and if worn as intended, to meet the personal needs of the soldier, ceases to be "uniform." Hence it's worn as uniform, rather than to suit individual needs. But these are issues that require refinement rather than outright change and so are not the province of MPs and probably not of the people at the top of MOD.
  13. CC_TA: The 81mm mortar is all right-handed. No.1 - C2 sight unit; No.2 - bomb fed by right hand, allowing him to duck below the muzzle, No.3 - removal of screw-thread cap on fuze (or have all DA162s been used up by now?).

    Similarly, the GPMG - the belt is fed in with the left hand while holding the top cover with the right.

    Sorry. ;)
  14. I wouldn't know about firing them puttee, I just use to sit on my range/in my cave and fix em all day! :lol:

    If Salvador's having trouble shooting right handed, he could always carry them for someone else! :wink:

  15. And to take the line back a bit further, the LMG (and previously the Bren) had the sights to the left of the vertical magazine. So it seems the British Army has a tradition of right-hand firing.

    The Aussies put the sights to the right of the Owen (another SMG with a vertical magazine), but then again, they would have been upside down anyway....