TA Soldier Blogged Of Lack Of Equipment

RIP young man.

This stuff really makes my blood boil:-


TA Soldier Blogged Of Lack Of Equipment

A Territorial Army soldier shot dead two weeks after arriving in Afghanistan earlier told friends that troops were "still waiting" for promised new body armour and helmets.
Rifleman Andrew Fentiman, 23, of Cambridge, died after coming under fire while on foot patrol near Sangin in Helmand Province on Sunday.

The soldier wrote an internet blog on November 2 to let friends know that he had arrived in Afghanistan.

"We are still waiting on these new body armour and helmets that were promised to us," he wrote in the blog, entitled "Hello From Afghan".

"You would have seen the story splashed all over the news, they said they would be ready for us but we hope they will arrive soon..."

The blog was started in Afghanistan

Rifleman Fentiman, of 7th Battalion The Rifles, had put his career as a sales manager on hold to follow his dream of becoming an officer in the regular army, deploying to Afghanistan as part of the 3 Rifles Battle Group.

The soldier, known to his comrades as Fen, studied mechanical engineering at Leicester University before starting work at Huntingdon-based software firm Team Studio.

After two years in the East Midlands University Officer Training Corps, he joined TA battalion 7 Rifles as a potential officer in 2007.

He volunteered to serve in Afghanistan to gain experience as a step towards achieving his goal of winning a commission as an officer in the regular Army.

To come to Afghanistan as a soldier takes courage, to volunteer takes more so.

Lance Corporal Mathew Davies

He leaves his parents, Kevin and Lynda, brother Adam and sister Elizabeth.

Lieutenant Colonel Nick Kitson, Commanding Officer of 3 Rifles Battle Group, paid tribute to Rifleman Fentiman's sacrifice.

"It was an honour and a great act of commitment that he chose to accompany us and share the burden," he said.

"A real ambassador for the great British public that supports us so well, he was up for the challenge and gave of himself selflessly."

Major Tim Harris, officer commanding A Company of 3 Rifles, said Rifleman Fentiman quickly fitted in with his fellow soldiers.

"He was quickly accepted as 'one of the boys' in 1 Platoon, who good-naturedly ribbed him for being 'posh' as they saw it.

"In reality, he had no airs or graces. He was prepared to endure the same privations and do the same job as everyone else, and that is why we loved him."

Lance Corporal Mathew Davies, second-in-command of Rifleman Fentiman's section, said: "To come to Afghanistan as a soldier takes courage, to volunteer takes more so."

Another British soldier, from 33 Engineer Regiment, was killed in a blast near Gereshk in Helmand on Sunday afternoon, bringing the number of UK troops who have died since operations began in Afghanistan in 2001 to 234, with 97 deaths this year alone.
A desperately sad loss, but we need to be clear that either version of Osprey would not have saved him, and I understand that there is no difference between the two in terms of physical protection. This is one of those occasions where the media are going to be jumping on the MOD citing equipment shortages (doubtless linking to £300m bonus payments), when in fact he had the necessary equipment to do the job in hand. This will no doubt be forgotten in the rush to "blame" someone for this incident by the Media.
He had good equipment. The MK7 isn't really any better ballistic wise then the MK6A. Added to that, no helmet on issue to ANY forces stops bullets. The new body armour is only comfier and lighter. It doesn't afford any more protection as the plates are the same.
Have to agree with Fallschirmjager. I have just returned from Afghanistan, where I wore the new body armour for the last few weeks of my tour. It offers exactly the same level of protection as the osprey it has replaced.

Osprey is about as good as it gets, as is the 6A helmet. Sadly, there are occasions when all the equipment in the world is not going to save you. This was one of them.

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