RAF widow hits out at "cutbacks"


And to get back on thread.

A couple of nights ago I emailed a friend who was called back to flying in Nimrods at the beginning of the Iraq war, and knew many of the guys who died. This is what he had to say

".......Clearly the aircraft is getting old and keeping them servicable gets harder and harder but the ground engineers are excellent and would never let the aircraft go if they were worried about safety"

Needless to say he will know the ground engineers well.
Sven said:
So, if You want to keep politics out of it - do so, but if You come out with Your usual "I blame Blair for everything including the Tsunami" type crap then expect to be responded to.

I don't blame Bliar for everything, I also blame both oppostion parties for being ineffectual, the establishment for being cowardly, the Labour Party for being corrupt and the Conservatives for claiming that they are pro-forces on a track record that suggests the contary.

Sven said:
And incidentally - if Blair wanted to keep the war a secret, why did He spend four months trying to convince the UN to go to war.

That should be obvious even to you, the without the UN mandate Bliar would be forced to resign by his own backbenchers, even Bush realised this and made every effort to help give tony a bit of legitimacy in the eyes of his own party. The illusion of not ordering equipment was only to keep backbench rebels quiet while he waved the UN nonsense at them.
Sven said:
..Clearly the aircraft is getting old and keeping them servicable gets harder and harder but the ground engineers are excellent and would never let the aircraft go if they were worried about safety"

Needless to say he will know the ground engineers well.

I don't argue with the fact that the engineers are excellent, but in todays operational climate I would doubt very much if the CoC would allow their opinion to stop flying missions.

Like everyone else on todays ops they are told to do what they can within 'an acceptable margin of safety' decided by the MOD. As has been pointed out earlier in the thread, dead Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen are in MOD / Treasury accountancy terms cheaper than replacing redundant or decaying systems.
Malteser said:
The press release following the article was typical spin saying how they have invreased by 50% the maintainence funds for the Nimrods. I can see far more interest is going to be shown into the management of defence funding.

Having seen another thread on here about an ITV interview, it seems the media are out for scalps when the whole piece is titled " Betrayed? An Investigaton - We probe how Britain treats its frontline wounded"

Source: ITV News

50% of nothing is still nothing.
ABrighter2006 said:
.....and if it takes from March 2003 to midway through TELIC 2 to locate the stuff - somebody should ask just how we track our assets.

We don't! We stuff them into a container and then onto a ship, or we shove them onto an aircraft. We then play catch-up at the far end. During Mar 03, there was a team touring Kuwait breaking open containers and inspecting the contents. We knew the stuff was in theatre - we just didn't know where.

As nigeglib pointed out, this was the direct result of not being allowed to prepare for the war by the Govt. The movers did a wonderful task of getting us into theatre in very short order, but the subsequent logistic mess was horrendous. If the Govt had allowed us the agreed timescales for a medium level deployment, which was, IIRC, 12 months, we would have got it right. Less than 4 months was not adequate!

Litotes - I know you're right, I suppose the logical question now is; How much money has the MOD spent since GW1 on Asset Tracking Systems?

Your comment about 4 months not being adequate - yes - completely agree. Who's job role do you think it is, to inform HMG that 4 months wouldn't be long enough?
I recall General Jackson saying that with war, preparation is never perfect. He accepted that as a result of saying to Blair, "we are ready" when we were not, he realised that casualties might result. I accept that this is not the same as saying that troops are expendable, but the human consequences of these tragedies linger. Fortunately the press are now taking a big interest in the human tragedy behind some of the casualty statistics. Should Jackson have said no we are not ready? The US President gave his troops plenty of time to prepare for war. In a sense Blair is too political, he was juggling balls, trying to keep everyone happy. He probably judged that the least political risk was to keep his own forces in the dark. Well, it is rightly biting him in the arrse now.

To keep this on thread, Nimrod crews were ordered into the air days after this tragedy and no explanation was offered to the aircrew as to why given this aircraft broke up mid air. This is not leadership, this a CoC allowing the task to override personal safety. Much like General Jackson's willingness to start a war when his forces were not ready.

A full public inquiry should be ordered into the Invasion of Iraq. Blair has caused much damage to our institution. I am sure he will try and change policy and remain in office, but it is time we claimed back an independent foreign policy. A first step would be to remove Blair and his dreadful Govt from power.


War Hero
acrab! said:
Stores tracked using VITAL which works great if everyone uses it properly.

But no one does - because it's so old and user unfriendly! Good example - Bicester - anyone been to the Traffic Building (E1)? How anyone knows whats going on there is beyond me!