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Subject: SAS chief quits over 'inadequate' troop equipment
gf0012-aust    11/1/2008 12:21:59 AM
SAS chief quits over 'inadequate' troop equipment Posted November 1, 2008 13:46:00 The head of Britain's elite special reservist force in Afghanistan has resigned amid fresh controversy over the quality of equipment available to British troops fighting the Taliban. A newspaper in the UK has reported that Major Sebastian Morley accused the British Government of "chronic underinvestment" in equipment, in his resignation letter. He reportedly warned that people would be killed if military commanders and government officials continued to allow troops to be transported in the lightly armoured Snatch Land Rover vehicles. Opposition Conservative party MP Patrick Mercer says the British Government must act. "We've had at least two ringing reassurances from the Government that Snatch will be withdrawn from patrolling duties in both Iraq and Afghanistan," he said. "It is outrageous that these vehicles still remain in service, that soldiers, sailors and airmen's lives have been placed at risk by vehicles which are simply inadequate for these sorts of duties." - BBC -------------------------------------------------------------------- Curious about this as I've just spent all week at the Land warfare Conf in Brisbane. There was an ex Squaddie at one of the suppliers tables and he'd said that both SAS and SASR (Aust) were borrowing (or getting given kit) by the cousins as they were appalled at how they werebeing treated gear/kit wise. any substance in it? (From an Aust perspective, I've had this comment come back from both a US and UK kit supplier - kit being clothing, acoutrements and weapons/bolt on items)
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gf0012-aust       11/2/2008 4:10:19 PM
neutralizer?  bob the brit?  any takers?
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flamingknives       11/3/2008 4:21:37 PM
What's to say? Are you aiming to start up the Outrage Bus?
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gf0012-aust       11/3/2008 5:08:35 PM
Already outraged at my end re the impact on our blokes, but it does appear to be a universal commonwealth problem at present...
I was always under the impression that UK SFOR/SOCOM were looked after approp - that doesn't seem to be the case.

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flamingknives       11/3/2008 5:38:44 PM
Well, we can't really comment about what Spec Ops have or don't, but this seems to be more aimed at the regulars.

Just to put it into perspective, there are are places that most, if not all, mine protected vehicles cannot go, but Land Rovers can. In addition, the complaints do not address Land Rover WMIK, which has less armour protection than the Snatch.

There has been more action in the past few years regarding kit for the infantry than there has been in the past decade.

My impression was that the spending deficit was in the supporting tasks and actually applying the right amount of resources to the task, but PPVs is a good bandwagon to jump on.
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neutralizer       11/4/2008 3:07:17 AM
The ref to 'reservist' suggest he's something to do with TA SAS (or RM equivalent).  The former did have some KIA a few months back from an IED.  Whether or not they were operating as part of reg SF is anyone's guess, for example they might be being used as part of the BRF or on liaison tasks with the ANA. 
While I've no doubt that new and possibly useful gadgets are appearing the whole time, traditionally SF had not had any real problem in getting them, and these days the UK's UOR system is pretty slick.  The numbers and hence cost are usually small.  Most veh IED casualties seem to have been on roads and tracks, not the sort of place I'd usually expect to see SF unless moving 'logistically'.  Perhaps SF are complaining that they are not far enough up the priority list for re-equipping with Jackal (Nary in Aust).
Interestingly, last night on BBC World Hardtalk a newly retired R Irish offr was interviewed, he'd been one of the originals on the ground in 2006 and had just got back from his second tour.  His line was the equipment was now good.  I think the interviewer was less than happy in not getting a spray about how terrible everything was!
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neutralizer       11/4/2008 4:41:43 AM
On eqpt, the reality is that LRs in various forms are the best option for some types of work.  Back on planet earth its just not always possible to re-equip a unit when its task changes.  Grand standing pollies should be treated as just that, although Mercer (a former inf bn CO) should know better.
On personal eqpt there seems to be a major program underway to replace C95, perhaps keeping some elements that have been recently aquired (eg Osprey armour) but better integration of the whole.  Interestingly they've apparantly rejected digital pattern camo because their trials show it doesn't work, although they may be making some tweaks to the exact shades of the existing stuff (which implies they don't think the Aust type of pattern is great either).  Boots seem to be now everyone's happiness, they offer a choice to individuals, they've also been changing their helmet fittings(?) to give better protection in a blast.  There's a lot going on, it's just not reported or high profile (not tabloid headline material). 
Add to that soldiers have always adapted their gear to some extent (or bought bits for themselves), in post WW2 regular armies often substantially (they could afford it, which conscripts on UK/Europe type 'token' pay couldn't).  What modern personal eqpt really needs to do is to enable 'tailoring' by individuals by offering good options so that guys don't need to buy dodgy stuff (although word of mouth does tend to weed that out).
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The Lizard King       11/10/2008 9:37:22 AM
An American, Russian, Israeli, French, (etc) Special Op's team member would improvise but never quit...
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the British Lion       11/11/2008 12:16:38 AM

An American, Russian, Israeli, French, (etc) Special Op's team member would improvise but never quit...

Never say never, Mr. King...
Besides, I very much doubt that little snippet was the whole story. Just the part of the story the media found interesting.
Also, I get the feeling he was no longer a field operative, meaning it wasn't him that needed to improvise, but rather his men. He seemed to quit in order to draw attention to their plight.
Whether or not what he did was right, your snarky little comment clearly has no relevance here.
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interestedamateur       11/12/2008 3:26:50 PM
As a Civvy, I'm always amazed when Soldiers defend the Snatch/WIMIK because its clear to me that if you're in one and an IED hits you, then you're basically dead.
However, even the permanently outraged old codgers on ARRSE state that these vehicles fulfill an important function, so I suppose that we just have to accept them, and the casualties that inevitably arise when they get hit. 
I personally think that the army is pretty good on equipment now, but it needs to really sort out troop retention.
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flamingknives       11/12/2008 5:05:23 PM
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