PQ Concerning lack of overhead protection in Basra

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by nigegilb, Sep 12, 2007.

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  1. Mate of mine came back from theatre recently and said it was cr*p. Thought it best for Des to explain what was going on.

    Not much of an answer.

    Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what risk assessments have been carried out on (a) RAF and (b) Army accommodation in Basra with particular reference to (i) overhead protection and (ii) protection from shrapnel; what action (A) was taken and (B) is planned as a result; and if he will make a statement. [153460]

    Des Browne: There is no distinction made in an operational theatre on the standard of accommodation, or protection afforded to it, on the basis of service.

    Commanders in theatre keep all force protection measures including that of accommodation under constant review, against an ever-evolving threat and a number of measures are being developed to further improve protection.

    Force protection arrangements in Basra employ multiple layers of defence. This is in addition to operations to disrupt attacks against UK forces and other protective equipment, tactics, techniques and procedures designed to minimise the chance of a successful attack. Details of these measures cannot be released as disclosure would, or would be likely to prejudice the capability, effectiveness and security of the armed forces.
  2. I see that the Sun has a double page spread on this subject yesterday
  3. msr

    msr LE

    Wrong question: what should have been asked was "Why do the Foreign and Commonwealth Office insist on overhead protection for their staff while the MOD does not?"

    Joined up government? Thought not...

  4. "Wrong question: what should have been asked was "Why do the Foreign and Commonwealth Office insist on overhead protection for their staff while the MOD does not?"

    Because FCO have a much smaller footprint in theatre and hence the budget to afford to build better protected accom. Also their staff are in theatre for an average of 2 years each, so they try to build decent accom for them for this time. Most simply though, FCO take advice from MOD and their own advisors on the appropriate level of protection and this clearly differs from MOD views.
  5. consider it done.
  6. msr

    msr LE

    The size of the footprint is not relevant - it is the size of the risk which is.

  7. "The size of the footprint is not relevant - it is the size of the risk which is"

    I completely agree - but fundamentally when you have less than 100 people to worry about, its easier to afford to build protected accom for that many people than for 5,000!
  8. In WW2 our relatives dug air-raid shelters in the back garden of their houses, with tonnes of earth over, to protect themselves on the off-chance a bomb would land on top of them. Chances of it happening were slim, out of the thousands of houses, but the then Government deemed it suitable.

    50 odd years later, we put poxy breeze blocks around our dining tables in the cooks tent in Basra Air Station, in case one of the daily mortar/rocket rounds might hit us!!!
    According to the Sun's mortar/rocket hit map, the chances of being hit look rather greater then it was in WW2!!
  9. Jim30 speaks sense

    Msr always appears to launch off at the FCO when ever IDF protection is mentioned.............I suppose its better than twine-ing about swimming pools
  10. One assumes the price of a soldiers life is lower than that of a FCO employee. Last time I checked occupation has been in existence for 4 years. Plenty time to afford protection for everyone.

    Unless the price was considered too high......
  11. What's length of time of deployment got to do with it? If an individual soldier deploys for six months or two years it's immaterial: that bedspace is permanently occupied by someone throughout the two year period you refer to.
    It's a question of priorities: while my guys were repairing Shaibah's wire and filling sandbags daily the powers that be decided that the RE should be repairing the camp swimming pool instead. I had two platoons to protect Shaibah: more teeth and less blanket-stacking would seem to be in order..
  12. British forces lack of protection cannot be blamed on FCO staff full stop.
  13. msr

    msr LE

    I am not blaming the FCO. It just strikes me as odd that the same risk assessment can come up with two very different answers.

  14. The point is FCO are doing their bit for their staff. MOD clearly aren't.