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Journey in the Danger Zone : Iraq BBC2

spaz

LE
I crossed the border on the 22nd of March, I still don't remember ever wearing my NBC suit, why would I have done?

I was in mine in Kuwait for about 72 hours. The Iraqis were firing missiles over the border.

I didn't wear it once we crossed the border though.
 
I went over with the yanks and 7Para RHA on P hour in 3 R and kept it on for at least 3 days as did the yanks.
Noddy suit was worn as a means to keep you warm as much as anything else. First generation desert combats that we had seemed to be made of tissue paper and with the cold wet weather we had there was no urgency to take the suit off. Mine was on for at least the 3 days. Chemical risk may have been low but the benefits of the Noddy came from comfort and warmth
 
I was in mine in Kuwait for about 72 hours. The Iraqis were firing missiles over the border.

I didn't wear it once we crossed the border though.

I have a vague memory of us doing some pointless 24 hour practise in Kuwait but I'm sure that was resi only. I was a bit busy wondering how a ******* loggie regiment managed to cross the border in Combat 95, with 40 (possibly less I forget) rounds and a limited amount of body armour plates.
 
I crossed the border on the 22nd of March, I still don't remember ever wearing my NBC suit, why would I have done?
I have a vague memory of us doing some pointless 24 hour practise in Kuwait but I'm sure that was resi only. I was a bit busy wondering how a ******* loggie regiment managed to cross the border in Combat 95, with 40 (possibly less I forget) rounds and a limited amount of body armour plates.
....ahh..... There may be a confusion over which 'crossing the border' you were referring to. I thought you were meaning GW1... If you crossed on 22 March 1991 you were about a few weeks after the shooty bangy stuff finished so no need for noddy suit and some of us were already back in Germany as returning heroes (or not). If it was 22 March 2003 then I suspect the threat was considered to be quite different on our second attempt.

EDIT: If you were referring to GW1 in 1991 yet you were wearing Combat 95 it would just confirm thoughts about loggies creaming off kit as it arrives out the wrapper from manufacturers
 
....ahh..... There may be a confusion over which 'crossing the border' you were referring to. I thought you were meaning GW1... If you crossed on 22 March 1991 you were about a few weeks after the shooty bangy stuff finished so no need for noddy suit and some of us were already back in Germany as returning heroes (or not). If it was 22 March 2003 then I suspect the threat was considered to be quite different on our second attempt.

EDIT: If you were referring to GW1 in 1991 yet you were wearing Combat 95 it would just confirm our thought about loggies creaming off kit as it arrives out the wrapper from manufacturers

The thread is about Telic in 2003 not Granby.
 

FORMER_FYRDMAN

LE
Book Reviewer
I recall noddy suits and respirators being a fairly regular feature of the first couple of days. In addition to Scuds, they were firing anything that went bang, and much that didn't, from the Al Faw before they cleared out. I thought Seersucker was some sort of fabric until one landed up the road. At that time, everyone was taking the chemical threat pretty seriously, though I don't recall wearing NBC kit after the unit entered Iraq on a permanent basis on Day 3.

Prior to the fun, there were a few drills, including one at the port in Kuwait where we were collecting vehicles. We suited up while the dockworkers opted for the NBC shemagh option and put their head dress over their mouths. The CO instructed us to drive out while we were in full rig so as not to get caught up in further festivities and our appearance caused an interesting ripple effect on some of the military we drove past.

At Arifjan during the build-up, someone sent a fake IED to the post office with a note saying 'Glad you don't have the kit you need'. This was at one end of a hanger containing a thousand or so troops, mostly American, and everyone was evacuated. While standing outside, someone stuck their mask on and the Protect and Survive equivalent of a Mexican Wave rippled up and down the line a couple of times.

We know now that the WMDs were a figment of the CIA's imagination, that Tony Blair is a lying, duplicitous, streak of slime and that the Iraqi Army was a paper tiger but it's easy to forget at this distance and with hindsight that,, at the time, the prospect of fighting in a chemical fog whilst tip-toeing through a vast mine-marsh was a very credible scenario for the invading forces.
 

kevster

Old-Salt
We didn't wear NBC gear routinely during or after crossing the border- though I do remember a couple of NAIAD false alarms and NBC black radio calls which meant we got suited and booted. However, the EOD teams did get involved with looking for WMDs, and dug a few pointless holes (along with JNBC Regt teams) in full 4R.

A few of the teams even had full SCBA kit, but I'm not aware of it actually being used. I do remember a story of the JFEOD teams getting tasked to an Al Samoud missile in (I believe) Al Amarah, which had a particularly nasty propellant, so Its possible NBC/SCBA gear may have been worn in that circumstance.

Also a RAF Regt Flt Lt definitely wore his resi whilst using one of our metal detectors, whilst he looked through the trench of a long drop for his SLP, that had fell out of its holster during an emergency DnV related visit the night before.
 
My auld fella rang me up and told me to watch this. Just finished the first episode.

Presenter seems a wee bit naive and needs to stop calling everyone mate :mrgreen:

I'd do alright in a willy waving competition as I've worked in all the locations he's visited in various levels of bangbangness . So a trip down memory lane for me. Love the Kurds and Kurdistan.

Looking forward to Him going south next episode
 

Goatman

ADC
Book Reviewer
We know now that the WMDs were a figment of the CIA's imagination, that Tony Blair is a lying, duplicitous, streak of slime and that the Iraqi Army was a paper tiger but it's easy to forget at this distance and with hindsight that,, at the time, the prospect of fighting in a chemical fog whilst tip-toeing through a vast mine-marsh was a very credible scenario for the invading forces.

Wotesaid.

Except the CIA told the Bush administration in 2002 that the earlier report that Saddam was buying Uranium ore in Niger was bullsh1t.

The Whitehouse team under Karl Rove, Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney went to to extraordinary lengths to 'cherrypick' the info being offered by CIA analysts in Langley. Anything which did not support their drive for war with Iraq was discarded.

As part of that effort on the orders of Vice President Dick Cheney, the identity of a serving CIA Operations officer was deliberately leaked to the Press, in order to discredit the report of her husband ,former ambassador Joe Wilson.

He had gone back to Niger, at the request of Langley, to look into the disputed report on 500 tonnes of yellow cake uranium ore allegedly purchased by the Iraqis.

The answer he brought back - ' nah, it's all b0llocks' - did not match the NeoCon narrative. So he and his wife were deliberately fed to the wolves of Washington's Right and their friends in the media.

This all went to court, because 'outing' an intelligence operative is a federal offence over there. The only man convicted was Cheney's Chief of Staff one 'Scooter' Libby.

Needless to say, this was a huge and divisive case in the U.S and was debated by the chatterati over there to bits. Not least because of the implications for Government whistle-blowers and the eternal battle by journalists to 'protect their sources' . The New York Times in particular was vocal on this point - thus protecting the venal and callous White House team against two hard-working conscientious uber-patriots who only wanted, in Valerie Plame's words 'to do their duty as proud Americans'

Can't bring to mind much UK coverage but I may have been distracted.

Source

In October 2005, Libby resigned from all three government positions after he was indicted on five counts by a federal grand jury concerning the investigation of the leak of the covert identity of Central Intelligence Agency officer Valerie Plame Wilson.[5] He was subsequently convicted of four counts (one count of obstruction of justice, two counts of perjury, and one count of making false statements),[6] making him the highest-ranking White House official convicted in a government scandal since John Poindexter, the national security adviser to President Ronald Reagan in the Iran–Contra affair.[7]

After a failed appeal, President Bush commuted Libby’s sentence of 30 months in federal prison, leaving the other parts of his sentence intact.[8] As a consequence of his conviction in United States v. Libby, Libby's license to practice law was suspended until being reinstated in 2016.[3] President Donald Trump fully pardoned Libby on April 13, 2018.[9][10][11]



Worth a read : https://tinyurl.com/y7qfsgtq



In 2010 the book was made into a film with Naomi Watts playing Plame - Review here : Fair Game -- Film Review
 
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FORMER_FYRDMAN

LE
Book Reviewer
'Curveball' by Bob Drogin is the best account of the pre-war intelligence snafu that I've come across. Essentially, because no-one would reveal sources, everyone was using Curveball's information to verify Curveball's information.

Mind you. without the Iraq War, I would never have discovered Arrse, so, all in all, it was probably worth it.
 

Goatman

ADC
Book Reviewer
'Curveball' by Bob Drogin is the best account of the pre-war intelligence snafu that I've come across. Essentially, because no-one would reveal sources, everyone was using Curveball's information to verify Curveball's information.

Plame's book makes it clear that the neocons ignored what the anxious intel analysts were telling them. Cheney,Rove and Rumsfeld needed the discredited Iraqi defector to be correct. It bolstered their unwavering belief in Ahmad Chalabi as a credible alternative to Saddam.

The Record on CURVEBALL

I caught up with the second part of the programme yesterday.

The piece where he was sat down with a Jaish commander on a rooftop in Basra was honest.
' Sat opposite this man, who had been responsible for the deaths of two of my friends, I wanted to hit him'

I think Adnan Sarwar was hanging on to a hope that we were there (in Southern Iraq) genuinely to help the Iraqi people. Moqtada Al-Sadr's bezzer disillusioned him. They didn't want us then, they don't want us now. Parts of the country remain a threat to a Western visitor, which is a shame because I think there is a great deal to see.


The section on the Karbala pilgrimage business was an eye-opener - more pilgrims than Mecca if I heard right?
Karbala – Travel guide at Wikivoyage

WARNING: Iraq remains extremely dangerous and is emphatically NOT safe for tourists. Those who are going there on business are strongly advised to consult their own government first, and have an armed guard with them.
 
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The film of the deaf kids suffering what looked to my amateur eye like PTSD was heartbreaking.
ISIS cut the head of one of their fathers off in front of him...

How do you recover from that?
 
The film of the deaf kids suffering what looked to my amateur eye like PTSD was heartbreaking.
ISIS cut the head of one of their fathers off in front of him...

How do you recover from that?

Spend your life in bloody thirsty revenge like everyone else?
 

Goatman

ADC
Book Reviewer
Just for a bit of context:

Iraq travel advice

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise against all travel to:
  • Anbar province
  • Ninewah province
  • Salah-Al-Din province
  • Diyala province
  • Tam’mim (Kirkuk) province
  • in Erbil province, south of Road 80, and within 10km of the border with Ninewah province between Road 80 and Road 2

The FCO advise against all but essential travel to the rest of Iraq, including the remainder of the Kurdistan region.
The Federal Government of Iraq announced the resumption of international flights to and from Erbil and Sulaimaniyah airports from 19 March. Travellers should check with airlines before making plans. According to Iraqi law you must have a visa before you travel, even if you’re intending to travel to the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. See Visas
The Iraqi Prime Minister announced the defeat of Daesh in Iraq on 9 December 2017. However there is still a risk of terrorist attacks and kidnap across the country. You should remain vigilant and monitor media reports. See Terrorism
The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) held a referendum on independence from Iraq on 25 September 2017. This led to ongoing tension with Federal Iraq and in the region. See Safety and security
There have been reports of significant movements of military vehicles and personnel in Kirkuk and Ninewa provinces since 12 October 2017, which have included localised exchanges of fire. The situation remains fluid. See Safety and security
Coalition forces, including the UK, continue to carry out targeted airstrikes against Daesh in northern and western Iraq. Areas recently liberated from Daesh are likely to contain remnants of war and improvised explosive devices.
The security situation throughout Iraq remains uncertain, and could deteriorate quickly. You should monitor media reporting and make sure you have robust contingency plans in place.
Terrorists are very likely to try to carry out attacks in Iraq. There’s also a high kidnap threat. While attacks can take place at any time, there’s a heightened threat during religious or public holidays. See Terrorism
The government of Iraq is taking measures to improve the structural integrity of the Mosul Dam as there is a risk the dam could fail. It’s currently impossible to accurately predict if or when this might occur. See Local travel
The British Embassy in Baghdad and the British Consulate-General in Erbil are able to offer limited consular assistance only.
If you’re abroad and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the nearest British embassy, consulate or high commission.
Take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before you travel.
According to Iraqi law you must get a visa before you travel. You can apply for a visa at Iraqi missions overseas. See Entry requirements.


Still current at:13 June 2018

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