The Irish Army took a brand new UAV to Chad, and sent it on it's first mission, but had not reprogramed it to the new location. It was last seen trying to find it's way back to the Curragh 2,990 miles away, but only had an endurance of 1 1/2 hrs. Air Force Monthly March 2009
but none of us here had the bad manners to mention it
if your going to tell a story tell the full story
Unbeknownst to us their was a default mechanism on the craft that
if their was a recognised problem then the craft would return to a default
setting- When travelling inland across a barren roadless area the craft was jarred and the default return setting kicked in
it was never found- but the manufacturers warranty kicked in
and we received a brand new updated model which is now back in Chad.
on the transport up from the coast on African roads the transport was jarred and the UAV was damaged internally
there was an unknown default mechanism on the UAV that in the event of damage it would return to its home base- ( The DFTC)
the self test system didnt detect a problem and the operators sent it up- the problem kicked in and the UAV
headed for home.
The manufacturers warranty kicked in and they replaced the UAV with a newer model
which is now flying around Chad.
Third-world UN mission struggles to keep peace
Irish troops are under threat in Chad as the region again descends into war and genocide, writes Jim Cusack
By Jim Cusack
Sunday May 10 2009
Since March 19, when the European mission to Chad and Darfur was handed over to the United Nations, news agencies have reported increased rebel activity and late last week were reporting the killing of civilians and the start of another refugee crisis. Last Thursday Irish troops were called on to help evacuate aid workers as the region tumbled back into war and genocide.
According to senior military sources, it is no coincidence that the crisis in the Sudan/Chad/Central African Republic region has escalated since the ending of the European Union military mission and the assumption of "peace-keeping" by what is termed in military circles a "third-world" United Nations force.
During the period of service by the EU force from February last year to March 2009, the area was, if not entirely peaceful, at least under control. There were no reports of any large-scale atrocities or refugee crises and warring factions were kept well apart.
The EU mission was made up of troops from France, who had the largest contingent with 2,000 troops, followed by Ireland with 450, Italy, Spain, Finland and Belgium, with special services troops from Slovenia, Croatia and Denmark. The foothold in the region was established by a company of soldiers from the Irish Army Ranger Wing in February last year.
From the outset, the EU mission was to be a "transitionary" one, where the rapid reaction EU force would arrive in an area suffering from genocide and refugee crises, establish peace and then hand over to the United Nations.
The United Nations had over a year's advance notice of the take-over scheduled for March 19 but, as revealed in the Dail last week by Defence Minister Willie O'Dea, the UN force is nowhere near its target strength. This has allowed the warring forces to regroup.
Chadian rebels were, at the end of last week, advancing on Abeche and Goz Beida where the Irish troops, with their depleted resources, are based.
Fine Gael's Jimmy Deenihan told the Dail last week that there may not be enough fuel or helicopters to evacuate Irish troops if they come under siege.
The UN force, known as MINURCAT, has been in the region for several years and has been criticised by aid agencies whose public outcry led to the decision to send in the EU force. The Irish and French agreed to keep troops on the ground until the UN mission was up and running.
MINURCAT is largely made up of troops from some of the poorest countries in the world, including Bangladesh, Ecuador, Gabon, Kyrgyzstan, Mali, Nepal, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Yemen, Burkina Faso, Guinea, Madagascar and Togo. Senior military sources say there are severe communication difficulties and few have the experience and training of European armies.
This was more or less acknowledged by Mr O'Dea last Wednesday when Mr Deenihan asked if he was concerned by the "apparent lack of fuel to run generators in the (Irish) camp, which has led to a shortage of fuel for lighting and vehicles, for example, with the result that the mission is confined to camp".
Mr O'Dea admitted being concerned at what he termed "some teething problems".
He went on: "It is not true to say that the Irish troops are confined to camp. They have been forced to cut back on some routine patrols due to the fuel shortage. However, I am also assured by the military powers that they have sufficient fuel to undertake any emergency journeys that are necessary.
"It is expected that the rationing will come to an end in approximately three weeks, but that is not to say there will not be future crises of that nature in Chad. We are on notice of that now."
The signs on the ground are alarming. On April 24, the French news agency, AFP, reported that though the UN had pledged 5,200 troops to replace the European force of 3,700, only 2,425 UN troops were so far in place.
Last Wednesday, AFP reported that rebels were advancing on the Chadian capital of Ndjamena. Irish troops were evacuating civilian aid workers from the town of Goz Beida after residents of the town were shocked by the sound of heavy gunfire on the outskirts last Wednesday.
The only way the Irish can resupply with fuel is for a convoy to travel 900km to Ndjamena across wasteland. The invasion by Sudanese-backed forces has made this more perilous. With the onset of the rainy season the route becomes impassible.
Part of the reason that the EU set up the rapid reaction force was that its military no longer have faith in UN-led peace keeping. The ineffectiveness of the UN was highlighted in the conflict in former Yugoslavia. The UN sent a badly equipped contingent of Bangladeshi troops to Krijina and failed to properly supply them.
In Somalia, the UN also failed miserably. Pakistani troops in Mogadishu were blamed for kidnapping and raping children. On June 5, 1993, the Somali militias responded by killing 24 Pakistani UN troops.
This in turn led to the deaths of several American military personnel, its withdrawal from Somalia and the collapse of the mission.
Thank god we didn't send any more troops to that horribly dangerous Afghanistan place. Much safer out in the desert trying to establish comms between your digital encrypted radio and your neighbouring contingent's network of tin cans on a string.
MINURCAT is largely made up of troops from some of the poorest countries in the world, including Bangladesh, Ecuador, Gabon, Kyrgyzstan, Mali, Nepal, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Yemen, Burkina Faso, Guinea, Madagascar and Togo.