Inquest into death of Captain Dan Shepherd GM

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by dingerr, May 30, 2010.

Welcome to the Army Rumour Service, ARRSE

The UK's largest and busiest UNofficial military website.

The heart of the site is the forum area, including:

  1. Dan was a genuinly nice bloke. When I arrived in Afghan I was looking forward to catching up with him, he was out on the ground. I never did get to speak to him, he was killed four days after I arrived in theatre.

  2. A terrible loss of a brave and courageous man RIP,what makes me really angry is that if the Army had more helicopters then the IED´s wouldn´t be so effective in the first place ie,no vehicles no bombs.Why not just blow up the IED´s in situ,It´s not as if they´re going to take fingerprints or study any new developments as in NI and a quick burst of .50 or a small charge of C4 would almost certainly disrupt or destroy the device.Must every device need an operator to defuse it with his bare hands and even if he was wearing his armoured suit he´s still got to get his head near it to see it.

    Dingerr,I´m sorry to read about your terrible injuries on the loggie site and wish you a speedy recovery,I hope they sort out the shortage of trained operators though that´s probably not realistic in view of the carnage and almost inhumane weight being heaped on the current ones.

    The closest I got to see the ATO in action was standing next to the one in Middletown in 1976 when he pulled the poster off the wall about 5 yards from me!You might have heard about it?

    All the best,
    midnight...........another 5 points in Maths in 1971 and I´d have been off to the RAOC...........phewwww
  3. We still have to dominate ground to be effective. One of the most frustrating things is clearing ground of IEDs only for it to be given up, allowing the taliban to re-sow IEDs. Pointless risk.

    Yes we do, exploitation is a large part of the C-IED battle.

    Again we do, and it's very important when developing effective countermeasures. The discobery of low metal content and no metal content is proof of this.

    Is just as likely to make the bomb angry as to initiate it.


    Someone would still have to place the device near the main charge, this may be located underneath the switch (pressure plate, pull, RC etc) or placed to one side, either way it is best to have a trained operator who can evaluate and render safe devices, especially if they contain multiple charges.

    That's the doctrine at the moment. Our life would be made made much easier if we had our own mastiffs.

    thanks midnight. work is in progress with regards to operators.
  4. spike7451

    spike7451 RIP

    I just got around to watching the Panorama programme last night,I am shocked at the preasure & amount of sheer taskings involved on a day to day basis for the operators.
    It strikes me that the concerns voiced by the HT op's were'nt listned to fully at all levels however the blokes for want of a phrase got on with the task in order to save lives.
    Four operators killed in what,a year is too much imho for such a small team of specialists. Now we in the RAF as well as the Navy have EOD operators trained up,albeit not to the same level as Dinger,Oz ect, who are wanting to go out to Afghan to aid in the HT IED disposal.Why does'nt the MoD take this avenue,not to replace them but supliment them on the ground.
  5. The door has just opened for all personnel to undertake the HT course. Though they will need to qualify at the Joint Service level first.

    Deploying JS operators to theatre has been discussed. The problem is that Afghan is a HT theatre mainly due to the tempo. JS operators vary in experience, to use JS operators in a HT theatre would be increasing the risk.
  6. I was there as RMP response after the explosion. Very traumatic experience especially as some afghan children were caught in a blast shortly afterwards.

    ATO's are exceptional human beings.
  7. Must be just bloody frustrating though that you are unable to get enough trained guys/girls on the ground. Is this the real effect of the (clearly overpaid (todays press)) MOD Staff having "curtailed" training in 2003?
  8. Is there any role for civilian counter ied operators in Afghanistan? I seem to recall lots of em deploying around the world at various points to carry out de-mining operations, sometimes in places where it wasn't exactly healthy to be getting rid of someone's bangy stuff, as the folks who planted the bangy stuff sort of thought it was like pissing in their petunias.

  9. Tam, it is still simply too dangerous for civvies to take any of this work. This is not routine mine clearnace being done in a beign environment like an old front line where no fighting is taking place. Nor are we simply destroying these devices in place, as you could with a standard a/p or a/tk mine.

    Quite the opposite in fact as much of the work is done either in contact with IF or with a very real threat of incoming fire. Additionally our teams are carrying out forensic deconstruction for both evidential and intelligence purposes, hence destruction in place is not a starter.

    Bottom line - no, not yet - that is Phase 4 - Reconstruction.
  10. Oh ok. I must admit I didn't know about the forensic deconstruction stuff.
    Would I be out of line in thinking that that would make things even more of a risky proposition? I always thought that defusing a device was only done if it was safe to do so, otherwise blowing in place was the done thing but I am obviously wrong in that assumption.

    And also the very thought of walking up to a device in the first place must take more courage than I think I would possess.

    Closest thing I ever came to grief with explosives was when some dozy lassie decided to activate one of those bfo trip flares just as I was bending over to pick up my helmet which I had laid next to it. She had been ordered to do so by the sergeant who was in charge of my Det Commanders course, (T.A) at the time, and didn't bother to check if it was safe to do so.

    Sodding flare went bang less than a foot from my head and slightly above it, otherwise me would not be here to type about it, :)
    Loudest bang I ever heard though.

  11. spike7451

    spike7451 RIP


    Although my EOD experience is with the RAF doing dems burns & rendering safe air dropped munitions,I have a basic knowledge (for my rank) of IED's. (re IRA threat ect) not having done DEOD's.

    The can be a lot of good forensic stuff gathered from an bomb,where the explosive came from,when it was made,if the bomber has a pattern due to the way he lays his IED's ect among other stuff along the lines of secret squirrel.

    In NI,it was easy for Pigstick a car bomb or package as the was little,if any,terrorist follow up. (Warrenpoint being an exeption)
  12. Really. No secondary devices. Not even on every mortar baseplate? Not in the battery pack on the firing line to the mortar vehicle in the attack on XMG in 1984? Not in about a hundred other examples I could give?

    Give your head a shake FFS and stop talking shite. You are corect though - basic knowledge - very basic.
  13. I must admit that unless I actually stumble across a bomb I wouldn´t voluntarily want to go near one,let alone sometimes under fire and certainly under obsevation try to dismantle it to try and find out whether it was Ali B or Mustaffa A that had built it.I realise the need to know how the device is built,or do you really need to know more than it goes bang?
    If the enemy know you´re going to spend time on the device then they´ll place secondary devices all around to try to get lucky.I know that the wheelbarrow can´t go everywhere but there seems to be too much interest on the technical side which is probably the reason why so many operators are being lost and wounded.Of course if a bombs in a building or a built up area then by all means try to diffuse but on a muddy track in the middle of a dessert doesn´t seem to be worth the risk.
    I knew an ATO Corporal who watched his No1 get sent back to a suspect car to check it out manualy in NI,whilst using the mirror on a stick he put his hand on the drivers seat to steady himself in his heavy armour, his No1 died just to try and get evidence to convict a scrote who might walk free anyway.
    I think that untill there´s enough operators surplus to requirement there should be more emphasis on his safety than trying to find out how the bomb ticks,and if It looks like threat then blow it up.
    With the current attitude the situation can only get worse,but I´ll stop now as I don´t like to be seen as in the ´Egg Sucking Mode`
    All the best with your recovery Dingerr!
  14. spike7451

    spike7451 RIP