Puzzle Palazzo view on "Urban myths"....

Goatman

ADC
Book Reviewer
#1
From Defencenet this week:
Combating 'Urban Myths' about defence
17/02/2006


Over the last few months a number of inaccurate stories in the British media have taken on a life of their own, becoming "Urban Myths". The Ministry of Defence here provides a list, not exhaustive, of the most prevalent of these myths, together with the actual position.


The 100th "soldier" was killed in Iraq
Referring to all Armed Forces and civilian personnel as 'soldiers' fails to acknowledge the sacrifice made by Royal Navy (including Royal Marines), Royal Air Force and civilian personnel to Operation TELIC. Details of all Op Telic fatalities can be found on the MoD website.

The MoD "will not say" how many UK personnel have been wounded in Iraq

Between March 2003 and December 2005, 230 UK personnel were treated at UK medical facilities in the operational theatre for wounds received as a result of hostile action. Over the same period, some 40 personnel were categorised as Very Seriously Ill/Injured/Wounded (VSI), meaning that their life was imminently endangered. Between February 2003 and December 2005, some 4,000 military and civilian personnel (including some Iraqis) were medically evacuated from operational theatre, mainly due to illness or accidental injury, not hostile action.

Britain is preparing to drawdown forces in Iraq

We will stay in Iraq until the job is done and the conditions for handover to the Iraqi security forces have been met. This depends on the following conditions having been met: a manageable level of threat from insurgents, be they criminal or political; Iraqi Security Forces' ability to deal with the threat themselves; effective provincial government; the ability of the international community to provide support and backup to local forces if needed.

Assisting the Iraqis to improve the security environment everywhere remains our top priority. Our strategy is the same as the US: to build the capacity and capability of the Iraqi Security Forces so that they are increasingly able to take responsibility for their own security. Over the next year or so we expect the process of handover to the Iraqi Security Forces to make good progress, and, as this occurs, so the level of coalition forces can be adjusted.

Attacks in Afghanistan are now running at more than 500 a month

Even during the peak of activity in Afghanistan around the time of the September 2005 elections, the number of violent incidents across the entire country did not rise above 400 a month. At present such incidents have declined to below 200 per month.

UK Armed Forces approach to counter-narcotics in Afghanistan

Stopping the opium trade is fundamental to Afghanistan’s future stability and the international community is determined to help the Afghans to combat their drugs industry. The way to do this is to help to develop Afghan counter-narcotics institutions and to assist with Afghanistan’s economic development to provide alternative livelihoods. We are therefore committed to supporting the Afghans as they target traffickers, to strengthen legal livelihoods for opium farmers and to develop effective counter narcotics institutions.

Territorial Army is at its lowest ever strength … because of Iraq

Not true. Under-manning in the Territorial Army has been a problem for many years, which we continue to work hard to address. Over the past few years, the manning of the Volunteer Reserves has varied between about 78%-85% of its target. Current manning is nearly 82% of establishment; which remains manageable within current operational requirements. Major efforts are underway, as part of a 'TA manning action plan' to increase recruitment and retention. Improvements to the support package already available include improved financial support for reservists and employers; greater access to training courses; improved redeployment training; improved welfare support; and a new Reserve Forces Pensions and Compensation Scheme. There has been no significant increase in outflow from the TA since the UK’s involvement in Iraq and surveys of TA soldiers who are leaving do not point to an Iraq factor.

Scottish infantry recruiting is in freefall

According to the Commander of Regional Recruiting, Lt Col David Steele, "Scottish Infantry Recruiting is as good this year as ever, despite a crowded recruiting marketplace."

Royal Navy sonar suspected of contributing to the death of the 'Thames whale'

The post-mortem of the Thames whale showed conclusively that it died of dehydration and related causes. It is unsurprising that the Royal Navy sonar had no impact whatsoever on the whale as no Royal Navy ships were using their sonar in, or anywhere near, the Thames Estuary area at the time.

Less than 1% of man-made noise in British waters is as a result of Royal Navy activity. A diesel fishing boat chasing a shoal of fish puts more sound into the water than Royal Navy sonar at 500 meters. A marine mammal would have to be within 500 meters of active sonar for more than 15 minutes for it to suffer any permanent damage. This is extremely unlikely as marine mammals usually swim away from the source of the noise. If they do not, then the Royal Navy operator turns the sonar off.

The Royal Navy needs to use sonar for navigation and to detect a new generation of increasingly stealthy submarines. It operates its sonar legally within UK environmental legislation and international conventions. Each use of modern active sonar is preceded by an Environmental Impact Assessment that evaluates the possible impact on marine fauna and puts in place measures, including continuous monitoring of the operational area, the avoidance of known sensitive sites such as breeding grounds, beginning transmissions at low output levels to give marine life the opportunity to move away and establishing a minimum range from known diving sites.

The process of selling a minority of QinetiQ to Carlyle in 2002/3 "did not offer good value for money"

Best value for money was secured through an open and competitive auction between about 40 serious potential investors. All of the short-listed auction bidders had access to the same full information to enable them to value the business, including the 25-year Long-Term Partnering Arrangement. Carlyle made the best value for money offer available at the time.

Because the QinetiQ sale has been completed in stages, the taxpayer has benefited from the injection of private investment and expertise that has helped to grow the firm. To date, the public has received about £600m, and still remain the largest shareholder in the company. Part of the civil service has been developed into an international business that sustains highly-skilled British jobs and supports the need of our Armed Forces to access the very best of international research and technology. Meanwhile, those parts of defence research and development that need to be have been kept 100% in public hands. The Government has also retained a special share in QinetiQ that will safeguard wider defence and security interests.

QinetiQ Initial Public Offering "was not open to the Public"

Any individual was able to apply for the QinetiQ Initial Public Offering through a registered stockbroker. The allocation to private client brokers was broadly at the same proportion relative to demand as institutional investors and provided sufficient shares to allow private client brokers to allocate in full to those of their clients who applied for £1,000 of shares or less. After taking expert advice on the best value for money approach, the Ministry of Defence chose not to spend over £20m of taxpayers' money on advertising and discounting the shares.

RAF Coltishall closure "will see the end of the last remaining Battle of Britain Station"

RAF Coltishall is not the last Battle of Britain base still open, although it is the last fighter station from that time that is still operating fighter aircraft. RAF Northolt, which will remain open, was a fighter command operational unit during the Battle of Britain, as will RAF Wittering which was a 'Sector Airfield'. RAF Coltishall ceases to operate aircraft on 01 Apr 06, although it will not close completely until a later date.

Speculation over Typhoon following the crash at RAF Coningsby

Typhoon is already proving to be an extremely effective aircraft which is already in RAF service with Nos. 17(R) and 29(R) Sqn, the first operational squadron will stand up as No 3(F) Sqn on 1 Apr 06. Whilst the incident at RAF Coningsby is still being investigated, it is clear is that the nose-wheel malfunction was not caused by a computer fault. There are no failures of the computer system that are continuing to compromise crew safety nor have there been incidents of pilots reporting "they do not feel Typhoon is safe".

The pilots made an excellent landing in the circumstances and deployed the brake parachute, which is part of the normal stopping/braking system and is used regularly; it is not solely an emergency system. It should also be noted that it is Joint Strike Fighter and not Typhoon (Eurofighter) which will operate from the two new carriers in the future.

hmmmm....." AD Def Publicity Army in No-Win situation........"The papers LIE about us , dammit".......cover-up suspected......corgi bites Guardsman,pic P.3 ....Prince of Whales speaks out in private journal (circulated to several hundred)......."


The line on Wally whale completely ( and deliberately) side steps the issue.....nobody ever suggested RN had deployed a Towed array system from Kew Bridge to the Knock buoy, thus confusin' Wally with their deadly Rays (bugg'rem)....

TA undermanning " a problem for many years " ?....So-o-o-o- that'll be why we've amalgamated and down-sized since Options for change then......

"sale of ex-DERA facilities to US company partially owned by Dick Cheney perfectly reasonable"......uh-huh......


Sorry guys....losing me here.....

Le Chevre
 
#2
This had been on the MOD website for a while. I was expecting something like this for a long time. Typical spin :?
 
#4
Goatman said:
From Defencenet this week
Combating 'Urban Myths' about defence
17/02/2006
...

The process of selling a minority of QinetiQ to Carlyle in 2002/3 "did not offer good value for money"

Best value for money was secured through an open and competitive auction between about 40 serious potential investors. All of the short-listed auction bidders had access to the same full information to enable them to value the business, including the 25-year Long-Term Partnering Arrangement. Carlyle made the best value for money offer available at the time.

Because the QinetiQ sale has been completed in stages, the taxpayer has benefited from the injection of private investment and expertise that has helped to grow the firm. To date, the public has received about £600m, and still remain the largest shareholder in the company. Part of the civil service has been developed into an international business that sustains highly-skilled British jobs and supports the need of our Armed Forces to access the very best of international research and technology. Meanwhile, those parts of defence research and development that need to be have been kept 100% in public hands. The Government has also retained a special share in QinetiQ that will safeguard wider defence and security interests.

QinetiQ Initial Public Offering "was not open to the Public"

Any individual was able to apply for the QinetiQ Initial Public Offering through a registered stockbroker. The allocation to private client brokers was broadly at the same proportion relative to demand as institutional investors and provided sufficient shares to allow private client brokers to allocate in full to those of their clients who applied for £1,000 of shares or less. After taking expert advice on the best value for money approach, the Ministry of Defence chose not to spend over £20m of taxpayers' money on advertising and discounting the shares.

...

Best they explain this to the NAO, after all, it was the NAO that ordered an investigation into this farce, and no Dr Reid, the NAO does not investigate every public sale as a matter of routine.

http://newswww.bbc.net.uk/1/hi/business/4653722.stm

Good to know that the NAO is the cause of an urban myth though. The MOD Spokesman might like to consider that the £20m "saving" to the British tax payer mentioned above, is small change against the reported £370m profit that QinetiQ are expected to make from their original £42m investment. Of course the only major event that's taken place since 2002 that would have affected, QinetiQ's business, would be, uhmm, the war in Iraq. It's making sense now isn't it!

And as for the "expert advice" - no doubt we paid the experts well.
 
#5
Under-manning in the Territorial Army has been a problem for many years, which we continue to work hard to address.
It has been a real problem since the "Strategic Defence Review" or did we forget that already?

Coltishall was the last remaing 11 sector? Operational station. Northolt remains open , because Ministers don't want to fight their way up the M4 of a Friday night to Heathrow. It's a damn shame it's closing.
 

Goatman

ADC
Book Reviewer
#6
ABrighter2006 said:
[. Of course the only major event that's taken place since 2002 that would have affected, QinetiQ's business, would be, uhmm, the war in Iraq. It's making sense now isn't it!
So...hang on....Goat brain ruminating slowly on this.....let me see if I have this correct:

> Dick Cheney, Vice President of US has a personal stake in a company called the Carlyle Group
> British government approves sale of a substantial share-holding in Qinetiq - Europe's most advanced military research organisation - to the Carlyle Group
> US subsequently engages in a long term military engagement in the Middle East
> which increases the Qinetiq share price
> which benefits the Carlyle Group
> .....in which the Vice President of the United states has a major shareholding ?


....is that...more or less....what we're saying ? ...and the view from Private Eye is....?

Le Chevre
 
#7
Goatman, yep - that's pretty much the conclusion. But keep it to yourself and don't mention it to anyone, I can't really see you and I suiting those orange jump suits.

Having only read the article here, was the MOD source named, or is this yet another MOD spokesman that can't be tracked down by the MOD Press Office? Try it sometime, read a MOD Press release, in national or BBC / Sky / Ch4 newsfeed or similar, and call them - ask to speak to the person responsible - you'll be amazed.
 

Goatman

ADC
Book Reviewer
#8
ABrighter2006 said:
Goatman, yep - that's pretty much the conclusion. But keep it to yourself and don't mention it to anyone, I can't really see you and I suiting those orange jump suits.

Having only read the article here, was the MOD source named, or is this yet another MOD spokesman that can't be tracked down by the MOD Press Office? Try it sometime, read a MOD Press release, in national or BBC / Sky / Ch4 newsfeed or similar, and call them - ask to speak to the person responsible - you'll be amazed.
This'll be a composite piece cut and pasted from many Policy sources....how much do YOU know about both Typhoon and marine propagation of sonar as it affects cetaceans ? Okay, fair go - now take this phone call from IRN will you......

" Former TA soldier and OIL veteran in 'extraordinary rendition' to Cuban holiday paradise......exclusive interview with Minty McGinty p4......'Tell Gay Flashman at Channel Four News I still love her! ' cries forlorn figure in orange jumpsuit as ac taxis down Mildenhall runway....".....nah, can't see it myself....make a good straight-to-video movie though.....Bob Hoskins can play my role - what about you ?

G'man

<< Quelles helicopteres noir? Ils n'existent....rien a voir ci....rompez Citoyens ! >>
 
#9
RAF Coltishall closure "will see the end of the last remaining Battle of Britain Station"
Northolt is remaining open, partly for the reasons PTP has given, partly because it generates income because various business people/'celebrities'/foreign dictators/CIA a/c use it. However, they are planning to close RAF Uxbridge, which not only played a central role in the Battle of Britain, but has other historically significant features as well.

The 11 Gp Bunker, from which the battle of Britain was controlled, and where both the King and Churchill were regular visitors, is there. It's maintained by the RAF as a museum, now, incidentally, and well worth a visit. More info here.
 
#10
The Carlyle group is a private equity equity firm with over $30 billion in capital. There are four founders that hold controlling interest in the firm. One was said to have been forced out by the other three. The original founders are Stephen L. Norris, William E. Conway, Jr., Daniel A. D'Aniello, and David M. Rubenstein. Norris is no longer with the firm. These three own over 50% of the general partnership. Defense investments only represent 1% of the total portfolio.

http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Carlyle_Group

http://www.thecarlylegroup.com/eng/company/l3-company737.html
 
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