Op Bracken/Camp Dogwood

#1
Media speculation that a company of the Scots Guards in Basra area may be detached to reinforce the Black Watch battle group.

Posted for info, as already in the public domain.
 
#2
Source seems to be the Scottish Daily Record, not the most magisterial of Scottish newspapers :roll: but the story has been picked up by the Scottish Press Association and the Scotsman.
 
#4
Watch out to see if the Scots Gaurds are then reinforced with the rest of the Battalion and then their mission extended as the BW pull out :roll:
 
#5
dui-lai said:
Watch out to see if the Scots Gaurds are then reinforced with the rest of the Battalion and then their mission extended as the BW pull out :roll:
I'd bet my pension on it :evil:

I wouldn't be at all supprised if more are sent to "support" the BW / SG as well.
 
#6
link to a piece by BBC's David Loyn about how things are going at Dogwood.

When the Black Watch battle group made their move north, there was an "intelligence vacuum" in the area according to an army source here; they did not know exactly what they would face.
The Americans have done little patrolling here since they took Iraq last year, so the British are starting from scratch.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/4003025.stm

Anyone know what happened to Ben Brown? I know I did mildly criticise what I thought was 'over-sensitive' reporting of the BW's reaction to threats and casualties, but Arrse doesnt have that amount of influence ... does it?
 
#7
In the pictures from Falluja I did see a British soldier in a position. Your helmet is distinctive as was the Union Jack on the shoulder of the soldier.
 
#8
hackle said:
Anyone know what happened to Ben Brown? I know I did mildly criticise what I thought was 'over-sensitive' reporting of the BW's reaction to threats and casualties, but Arrse doesnt have that amount of influence ... does it?
MoD's rotating the embedded journos through Dogwood a handful and a week or so at a time.
 

Goatman

ADC
Book Reviewer
#9
hackle said:
Anyone know what happened to Ben Brown? I know I did mildly criticise what I thought was 'over-sensitive' reporting of the BW's reaction to threats and casualties, but Arrse doesnt have that amount of influence ... does it?

hmmmm......wait till the MP's forum is open and we'll see....I wonder whether Bruce George will front up or use a pseudonym..if so what ?

( Miss Whiplash of Walsall springs to mind)
 
#10
Good capture by the BW Battle Gp. Well done BW and AAC. Story from PA via The Scotsman, http://news.scotsman.com/latest.cfm?id=3751811

Fri 12 Nov 2004 6:26pm (UK)
Black Watch Captures Two Bomb Suspects

By PA Reporters

Black Watch troops today snared two suspected suicide bombers after a four-hour firefight with a mob of insurgents and a dramatic helicopter chase south of Baghdad.

Military officials are tonight interrogating the captured men at Camp Dogwood military base and said a cache of lethal bomb making equipment had been recovered from one of their cars.

The arrests mark the first real success for the Scots regiment, which arrived in North Babil province, 25 miles south of Baghdad, two weeks ago.

It is understood that the gang of 10 insurgents had earlier opened fire on troops in two Warrior fighting vehicles, after they were spotted operating an illegal vehicle checkpoint on a bridge over the River Euphrates.

Soldiers returned fire forcing the gang to flee in three cars, but tracked two of the insurgents by Army Air Corps Lynx helicopters and arrested them close to a mosque.

A cleric in the area assisted the troops when he pointed out one of the rebels, who had fled into a crowd of 100 onlookers.

Searches were made of two vehicles, recovering an arsenal of plunger detonation devices, electrical circuit boards and three 155mm artillery shells – parts used to create vehicle-borne bombs.

The arrests were a timely morale boost for the Scottish battalion who have had four soldiers killed and 12 injured in the last 10 days.

Commanding Major Alastair Aitken, 34, A Company’s Officer, said: “We know that the plungers we found are used by suicide bombers. There’s a real feeling of achievement over this among the lads tonight.

“It’s always good to achieve a success. We have disrupted insurgents’ movements and broken a specific operation. That will send them a strong message.”

Black Watch adjutant Captain Neil Tomlin said: “This was a fast and aggressive reactive operation, combining Black Watch infantry companies and Army Air Corps helicopters”.
 
#11
Bliar being interviewed on Sky News has just said that he and Bush43/44 have plans to increase the forces in and around Fallujah, though he doesn't say where they will come from. In response to Adam Bolton's persistent questions regarding how long we'll be in Iraq, the Dear Leader just evaded giving an answer.
 
#12
ViroBono said:
Bliar being interviewed on Sky News has just said that he and Bush43/44 have plans to increase the forces in and around Fallujah, though he doesn't say where they will come from. In response to Adam Bolton's persistent questions regarding how long we'll be in Iraq, the Dear Leader just evaded giving an answer.
I should have been paying more attention, but I thought he said virtually the opposite on Ch4 News - I understood him to tell Eleanor Goodman that there would not be another Brit contingent for Fallujah after the Black Watch. (Despite it being purely military decision! :roll: )
 
#13
Hackel that was very good news out of Dogwood with the capture of the terrorists. Also important was a local cleric who helped to point out a terrorist that tried to hide amongst the crowd. Aggressive patrolling like this is the best defense against IED ambushes.
 
#16
from Kim Sengupta in Camp Dogwood (The Independent Online edition)
What the Black Watch are up against
14 November 2004

It was not until yesterday that we discovered that the Black Watch forward base, east of the Euphrates, was actually at the looted al-Qaqa'a military complex, the place American soldiers stood and watched lorryloads of weapons and explosives being carted away.

So we are, in effect, in the middle of the biggest insurgency supply depot in Iraq - hardly surprising that there have been so many rockets, mortars and car bombs.

The British military here know the complex as ELM. They say the Americans have left an intelligence vacuum here, and perhaps this includes a failure to disclose the full import of what happened at al-Qaqa'a. Apart from anything else, it was one of the most damaging charges laid against George Bush by his election opponent, John Kerry.

To recap, 350 tons of explosives and weapons were taken from the military industrial complex after US troops left the area - refusing, it has been claimed, requests to secure the site. The International Atomic Energy Agency has revealed that among the weaponry stolen were rockets, mortars and tank shells as well as HMX and RDX, key components in making plastic explosives such as C-4 and Semtex, much favoured by insurgent groups.

Al-Qaqa'a was named in Tony Blair's Iraq weapons dossier in September 2002 as a place allegedly producing phosgene, a precursor for nerve agents. On the day the dossier appeared I was among a group of British journalists in Baghdad taken by the Iraqi regime to some of the sites named as production centres for chemical and biological weapons. We reported we had seen nothing overtly suspicious, stressing that since we did not have scientific knowledge, ours was a superficial judgment. Downing Street said we were "naive dupes", :evil: :evil: :evil: but the United Nations, the IAEA and the Iraq Survey Group have all subsequently found the claims in the dossier to be false.

The factories did, however, legitimately produce explosives for Iraq's armed forces. Just before the war, IAEA inspectors checked the seals in the bunker where the material was stored and found them to be intact. These were the weapons and explosives that were stolen.

The attacks on Camp Dogwood, the main Black Watch base, have now fallen into a pattern. These are certainly not every day, but we had three attacks in the space of 24 hours with rockets landing in the centre of the camp. The target appears to be the helicopter pad, which was hit once. But the insurgents are mainly firing Chinese versions of elderly 107mm Katyushka rockets, very much "fire and forget" weapons, and the apprehension is that they will take out a lot else, including the press tent, in the process.

The tempo of the Black Watch's operations has gone up significantly in the past few days. As the American onslaught on Fallujah continued, the resistance carried out more attacks elsewhere - not just in Baghdad, Ramadi and Mosul, but also on the British soldiers right next door.

The types of operations carried out by the militants have also changed. The British force was apparently surprised by being hit with a campaign of suicide bombings after their deployment north from Basra, where they had not faced such attacks.

But there have also been recoveries of weapons and explosives, and arrests in proactive operations. There are also less overt successes: the supply lines to Fallujah have been blocked, and there is little sign of resistance fighters from Fallujah getting away through the southern route.

Camp Dogwood itself is a vast wilderness of rock and sand, desolate and dangerous. Living conditions are as basic as can be. But no one wants to put down signs of permanency here. Tony Blair has told the Black Watch that they will be going home for Christmas, and they are holding him to it.
http://news.independent.co.uk/world/middle_east/story.jsp?story=582713
 

Goatman

ADC
Book Reviewer
#17
hackle said:
from Kim Sengupta in Camp Dogwood (The Independent Online edition)
What the Black Watch are up against
14 November 2004

[HMX and RDX, key components in making plastic explosives such as C-4 and Semtex, much favoured by insurgent groups.

Don't thinks so - some bombhead will correct me but IIRC both HMX and RDX are explosives in their own right rather than components.

as a place allegedly producing phosgene, a precursor for nerve agents.
Nah...phosgene was a WW1 war gas in it's own right, one of the first to be used operationally, not a precursor.

Kim, tell 'The Independent' head-shed they need a sub editor who has at least a vague interest in military history.

Volunteers ? Right, form an orderly queue!

Lee Shaver

PS if Kim Sengupta reads this....respect for being there, unlike most of the Grubb Street field marshals....
 
#18
Goatman said:
[HMX and RDX, key components in making plastic explosives such as C-4 and Semtex, much favoured by insurgent groups.

Don't thinks so - some bombhead will correct me but IIRC both HMX and RDX are explosives in their own right rather than components.[/b]
Well if you insist. You're both right, although you're more right than the journo is. RDX and HMX are both explosives in their own right. RDX is also the explosive constituent in PE4 and one of the explosive constituents in Semtex-H. I don't know of any plastic explosives that use HMX though.
 
#19
HMX can be plasticised in much the same way as RDX and is also often used as a booster in munitions containing TNT. I have read somewhere (dont know where it was now) that the facility contained tubes (?) filled with a white powder suggesting that the explosives were in pure, crystaline form and not as has been suggested plasticised.

Ditto as far as phosgene is concerned.

Here's a question for all you chemists what percentage of phosphor is in phosgene?
 
#20
Fuchs66 said:
Here's a question for all you chemists what percentage of phosphor is in phosgene?
None - phosgene is COCl2 :lol:

It's very easy to make, too!!!! /had a cool chemistry teacher at school
 
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