Saturday, 16 May 2009

Government Still Ignoring Military Covenant.

It seems the MOD are still failing to supply our front line troops on time and with reliable equipment. More detail here, which really is shocking.

Just over half of consignments reach troops on time and the replacement for the snatch Landrovers are proving unreliable: on the replacement (called the Mastiff), there is insufficient armour(!) and axles and hubs are failing "due to the harsh off-road" conditions. Bugger me... the army having to drive off-road, who'd have thought?

This government have proved time and time again that it blatantly disregards the military covenant, the agreement between civillian and military that establishes that forces put in harm's way will be supplied with all they require to complete their task. Sure, troops are trained to overcome short-term logistical problems, but to only have half of supplies arrive when required and when equipment provisioned by the MOD isn't up to the task, something is going seriously wrong.

The report also note Helicopters are still not reaching decent levels of servicability. Most likely down to the fact that Chinooks (which are notoriously complex) need more servicing in the punishing hot and high environment of Afghanistan.

If the helicopters aren't available and the proper armoured vehicles aren't available, that means soldiers are being moved in theatre by inappropriate soft-skinned vehicles. No wonder the number of deaths seems to be on the rise again.

Its time the MOD lost its love affair with the Chinook. Sure, it can carry large numbers of soldiers, but if its not available, it may as well not be there. Far better to have a larger number of smaller, less complex helicopters that can be maintained sufficiently in theatre.

That way, soldiers can be ferried to the front line by air, avoiding IEDs and landmines altogether.

But these ongoing problems show the juxtaposition of New Labour: a government that has sent soldiers into more conflicts than before, whilst continuing to have a Left-Wing, anti-forces bias.

How else do you explain the PC nonsense that puts emphasis on new ethnic rations, but falls to supply safe, reliable troop transport and personal protection?
How do you explain continuing with the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Project, but in effect cancelling the Carriers they will fly from?

As an example of how easy it is to provision the right equipment, South Africa has been making blast-resistant vehicles for a generation. Why aren't we using their proven vehicles?
China and Russia produce helicopters that can be serviced with a sledge hammer (I kid you not!), so why aren't we buying kit from them, as opposed to expensive Chinooks we can't use?

I just wonder how many lives have been lost because of the piss-poor management of the MOD? I just hope that a new government will sort this problem out once and for all.

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