Staffords to get combat break ?

Discussion in 'Infantry' started by wheel, Jul 31, 2006.

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  1. This story is a strange one as the Staffords are due to be amalgamated into 3 Mercian next year. So you could say that the Staffords will never get another active deployment.
    Comments please.



    STAFFORDS GET COMBAT BREAK
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    2 readers have commented on this story. Click here to read their views.
    ROB PARSONS

    15:00 - 31 July 2006
    Staffordshire Regiment soldiers should be spared active combat for more than three years when they return from their six-month tour of war-torn Iraq. The regiment is set to depart for Basra in October - less than a year after coming back from a stay in the Middle East which saw five soldiers killed in active service.

    Speaking from the Staffords' training base in Canada, Commanding Officer Lieutenant Colonel Tim Sandyford said plans drawn up by the Ministry of Defence would mean the troops would not return to action until 2010 at the earliest.

    But he admitted the timetable could change if the British armed forces found themselves committed to military action in another part of the world.

    The decision to commit the regiment back to the Maysaan province prompted outrage from the families of many soldiers, with some contacting The Sentinel before the announcement was made official.

    But Burslem-born Lt Col Sandyford said that despite the unexpected news, morale among the troops was still good.

    He said: "I accept the decision was not something that got us putting the bunting around our houses but it was accepted in good, old-fashioned Staffordshire fashion.

    "It is six months earlier than we expected we would be back. In the current plans, it would be at least three years before we have another operational tour.

    "We can't control world events but this is based on the assumptions we have got. Unless we find ourselves committed to another theatre of operation, we will be able to reconstitute."

    He added: "Although we have two tours close together, we have to remember that we had a pretty decent gap before that."

    The Staffords were sent to the Maysaan province for six months last year as part of Operation Telic. Soldiers had to cope with grenade attacks and roadside bombs as they worked to restore order in and around Basra.

    Private Leon Spicer and Private Phillip Hewett, from Tamworth, and Second Lieutenant Richard Shearer, from Nuneaton, were killed by a roadside bomb in the Risaala neighbourhood of central Al Amarah in July 2005.

    In September, an armoured vehicle from the regiment was petrol bombed during a raid on a police station in Basra, where two British soldiers were being held prisoner.

    Many of the troops will know what to expect in Basra, as the regiment's A Company was stationed there in 2005.

    Last month a state of emergency was imposed in the city after increasing outbreaks of sectarian violence.

    Lt Col Sandyford said the decision to take troops back to Iraq was not taken lightly.

    He said: "We know it was a very hard decision the chain of command took."
     
  2. Obviously ommiting that it would do his career loads of good having commanded a Battalion on operations!!! :wink:
     
  3. I'm a little confused by this, it's late and been a long day. The initial part says:

    "Speaking from the Staffords' training base in Canada, Commanding Officer Lieutenant Colonel Tim Sandyford said plans drawn up by the Ministry of Defence would mean the troops would not return to action until 2010 at the earliest.

    But he admitted the timetable could change if the British armed forces found themselves committed to military action in another part of the world."

    And apparently it has because they are on the Op plot! Is the article saying they shouldn't be going until 2010 but are; or that as they tragically lost 5 men on what looked like a pretty hard tour last year they shouldn't be going. For the infanteers, is it really feasible for a 4 year gap between Op tours and what was the "pretty decent gap"; mentioned by the CO before the last tour? If the Regt does go, good luck and best wishes.

    IMD
     
  4. Their last tour before Telic 6 was Kosovo in 2002/3 so not that long a gap really! A four year gap these days is quite unlikely but since NI is being binned soon it could be feasable.
     
  5. Got a mate in A company (I think)
    They are definately going as far as he is aware in october.
    There over in Canada at the mo and have been there for a while now.
    Again like you said its late and im confused but i think it is saying after this tour in october they wont be eligible for mobilisation again until 2010 if things stay the way they are. (Highly unlikely though)

    Hes well up for the coming tour but I can understand the families being a bit peeved. They got back in last october, shipped off to canada and now back off again.
     
  6. Sorry to sound a bit bullish, but you join the army to do your job, see a bit of the world, have a good craic etc. As an Infantry soldier wouldn't you be delighted to get some tours under your belt, get a chance to do what you've been training for ,a bit of overseas pay, nice tan, part-take in some culture(Canadian or Iraqi!) I can understand people being upset about not seeing their loved ones but surely they realised this was going to be the case when they married or became involved with a soldier? A four year gap between ops??? Who wants to be stagging on in the company lines when you could be elsewhere? Just my thoughts.
     
  7. chrisg46

    chrisg46 LE Book Reviewer

    It does seem that some bn's go more often than others. The main example i am thinking is the RGBW (LI), who deployed to Afghan at the end of last year, and have now returned, but before that, they hadnt been anywhere for quite some time. Not counting a two year (accompanied)posting in NI, before then i think they had last deployed to south armagh in 97. My dates could be well off, but i cant remember hearing of them deploying much...
     
  8. The "combat break" is probably caused by their taking on the LWCBG role- following FIS this will rotate around the 3 SPTA based Bns rather than being kept in Warminster. 2 R WELSH should, IIRC, take it over from then and the it will go back to 3 (?) YORKS.