Incident at Castle Martin 14-06-2017

Caecilius

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Sometimes commanders aren't around
It's not even sometimes for the RAC. 100% of the time an AFV is operating, the chain of command isn't present. Vehicle commanders can and do operate out of sight of any friendly callsign which is why the cavalry (especially recce) operates with significantly more low-level mission command than the infantry. That's why I would be entirely comfortable with one of my crew commanders making the decision to reduce vehicle safety to increase his rate of fire if the situation demands it. The same goes for just about any other safety rule.
 
Oh yes you are.

Where do you get your percentages from?

If a Commander does not want to put his name to it, why not? (I think you will find that is the crux of the argument)

Could 'sharp practice' on ops seep back into the training environment? That might be the case with the Castlemartin incident.
I made the percentages up. People on the ground will make up their own mind.
The commander wouldn't want to put his name to it because if it goes tits up he'll get the blame. Using the the example of body armour, the MOD wont say soldiers survived 10 times because they could move faster they will just whinge the one time someone gets killed for not wearing it.
 
Probably at the cost of other people's unnecessary loss of life. That's not the point I am making which is if it is acceptable it should be written into Doctrine and Trained for.

Just like the ROE general permission for such decisions should be documented, published and disseminated.
... and keep lawyers in clover forever more!

No politician would ever agree to the level of freedom that is actually needed on the land battlefield, let alone write it down. You do what you have to do and hope you survive to stand in the dock..

ROE works for Air and Sea assets who pootle around in peacetime fully bombed up, often near to or over other folk's turf. It is sensible in these conditions for a fairly strict set of rules to apply as they could easily start a war..

Armies are different, you keep them until you need them, and then unleash the dogs of war.. There us of course a need to maintain discipline, however the concept of formal rules of engagement will always have limitations, particularly at the pointy and nasty end of the activity. It's a nice idea that everything should be documented, but frankly is impossible in practice. War fighting is not a competitive sport and you do what you have to do to survive and win.

The concept that societies can be controlled through bureaucratic methods is a myth..
 
It's not even sometimes for the RAC. 100% of the time an AFV is operating, the chain of command isn't present. Vehicle commanders can and do operate out of sight of any friendly callsign which is why the cavalry (especially recce) operates with significantly more low-level mission command than the infantry. That's why I would be entirely comfortable with one of my crew commanders making the decision to reduce vehicle safety to increase his rate of fire if the situation demands it. The same goes for just about any other safety rule.
Here's hoping he has one up the spout of his personal , safety catch off, finger on the trigger and the barrel pointed at the back of your head while you are travelling across rough ground, ' just in case he feels the need to dismount and engage in a bit of hand to hand.
 
... and keep lawyers in clover forever more!

No politician would ever agree to the level of freedom that is actually needed on the land battlefield, let alone write it down. You do what you have to do and hope you survive to stand in the dock..

ROE works for Air and Sea assets who pootle around in peacetime fully bombed up, often near to or over other folk's turf. It is sensible in these conditions for a fairly strict set of rules to apply as they could easily start a war..

Armies are different, you keep them until you need them, and then unleash the dogs of war.. There us of course a need to maintain discipline, however the concept of formal rules of engagement will always have limitations, particularly when at the pointy and nasty end of the activity. It's a nice idea that everything should be documented, but frankly is impossible in practice. War fighting is not a competitive sport and you do what you have to do to survive and win.

The concept that societies can be controlled through bureaucratic methods is a myth..
You have clearly never been involved in or contributed to the writing of ROE for operations then?
 

Caecilius

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Here's hoping he has one up the spout of his personal , safety catch off, finger on the trigger and the barrel pointed at the back of your head while you are travelling across rough ground, ' just in case he feels the need to dismount and engage in a bit of hand to hand.
Do try not to be ridiculous...
 

Caecilius

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
You don't see any difference between a tiny increase in personal risk in exchange for an increased rate of fire in battle and thereby a lower risk overall, and a monumental increase in risk to someone else in exchange for almost no gain in effectiveness?

The point is you can flex the rules when the operational situation demands it. There is no situation where your silly scenario would be operationally beneficial.
 

chrisg46

LE
Book Reviewer
If i might attempt a possibly poor analogy then (i am not a tankie by any stretch of imagination) - In training and exercises etc, we are taught as part of the reloading drill that the empty magazine is to be put away in pouch etc and you should check pouches before moving and so on.
However, on operations if you are in close proximity to an enemy, drop the empty mag and slam a new one in. Its not taught that way but makes sense to do so as it saves a few moments and therefore your life.
Is this the crux of whats happened here?
 
You don't see any difference between a tiny increase in personal risk in exchange for an increased rate of fire in battle and thereby a lower risk overall, and a monumental increase in risk to someone else in exchange for almost no gain in effectiveness?

The point is you can flex the rules when the operational situation demands it. There is no situation where your silly scenario would be operationally beneficial.
Resorting to silly comments already. My scenario was to illustrate how off the wall yours is and is based on incidents where soldiers have actually lost their lives in similar circumstances on ops, sadly out of contact with the enemy although I can think of at least one in contact.

'Flex the rules' nice bit of jargon that what I am suggesting is formal general authorisation for commanders to do just as you suggest at certain points on operations. Your suggestion though is simply

 

Caecilius

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
My scenario was to illustrate how off the wall yours is
By taking an entirely different example with almost no comparstive factors. It's a poor example that adds nothing to the debate because there is simply never a justification for doing it.

what I am suggesting is formal general authorisation for commanders to do just as you suggest at certain points on operations.
I don't think that works in reality. At what stage is the authorisation given? It's either going to be too early or too late in most situations. What about situations where a rule hasn't been authorised to be broken but urgently needs the crew to do it? Is that situation protected and others not? I would leave it where it is at the moment - vehicle commanders can take risks if they can justify the need to do so.
 

Caecilius

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
If i might attempt a possibly poor analogy then (i am not a tankie by any stretch of imagination) - In training and exercises etc, we are taught as part of the reloading drill that the empty magazine is to be put away in pouch etc and you should check pouches before moving and so on.
However, on operations if you are in close proximity to an enemy, drop the empty mag and slam a new one in. Its not taught that way but makes sense to do so as it saves a few moments and therefore your life.
Is this the crux of whats happened here?
In loose terms, but there's a safety aspect to the tank drills to prevent incidents like this. The infantry drill is about losing mags; the tank drill is about stopping a secondary explosion if something goes wrong in the turret.
 
I don't think that works in reality. At what stage is the authorisation given? It's either going to be too early or too late in most situations. What about situations where a rule hasn't been authorised to be broken but urgently needs the crew to do it? Is that situation protected and others not? I would leave it where it is at the moment - vehicle commanders can take risks if they can justify the need to do so.
ROE seems to work for killing people so why not a general authorisation to abandon safety rules? Face it if eight of your blokes get fried on your say so and your say so alone, it's you in the dock at the moment.
 
What about SH loading more pax onto an airframe because of cas/cpers?

Not sure what the op limits were but I bet they’ve been broken rather than leaving s man on the ground.
 
Maybe I was just a crap soldier but when in NI I did what I thought was right, even if it was a breech of SOP's.
My life my decision.

I seem to remember the Paras had their weapons cocked in NI on foot patrol.
 
You have clearly never been involved in or contributed to the writing of ROE for operations then?
..you would be wrong then! I am absolutely in no doubt about what they are, why they are written and who they are trying to protect..

I am not disputing their existence, or their purpose. What I am questioning is their effectiveness or consequences when badly drafted or applied in situations where they are clearly unwarranted.

It was ROE that led to me being instructed on PDT that I could not shoot an armed aggressor until they were actually in the act of throwing a grenade at me, and that I had to cease fire as soon as the grenade left the throwers hand..!
 
It was ROE that led to me being instructed on PDT that I could not shoot an armed aggressor until they were actually in the act of throwing a grenade at me, and that I had to cease fire as soon as the grenade left the throwers hand..!
Yep, that is one of the most stupid rules ever, clearly the person that wrote that was a lawyer or someone who's not concerned about your life, the person that wrote that was trying to save the Government money in case someone sued them.
It's literally the most stupid rule that the British Army has, and one that the people trying to kill you don't follow - so you're immediately at a disadvantage and your survival chances plummet unless you break those rules (in most circumstances in a battle or whatever).
 

Similar threads

New Posts

Latest Threads

Top