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Subject: Dodgy MOD press release
EssexBoy    10/9/2006 1:25:39 PM
Call me a cynical old b******d, but have the mod just replaced 3 Para with two commando battalions? Have I misunderstood this press release or are the mod trying to avoid drawing attention to the fact that they didn't send enough troops in the first place? "Handover in Helmand as 3 Cdo Brigade replace 3 PARA 9 Oct 06 The Paras of 16 Air Assault Brigade are returning home after fulfilling their mission in Afghanistan and will be replaced by the Marines of 3 Commando Brigade. The deployment of 3 Commando Brigade, led by Brigadier Jerry Thomas, includes 42 Commando, 45 Commando, 29 Commando Royal Artillery, the Command Support Group (a dedicated logistics unit), and 800 Naval Air Squadron (which replaces 4 Squadron RAF). 3 Commando Brigade is a core component of the UK's Joint Rapid Reaction Force, and is based in the south-west of England."
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interestedamateur       10/9/2006 2:21:45 PM
You're sort of right.
Under the previous rotation, 3 Para was supported by a company of the Royal Irish, some Gurkhas and various other odds and s0ds. So there was always more than just 1 Btn group out there.  
Their replacement by 42 and 45 Cdo's has been planned for a while so it isn't a knee-jerk reaction. However this force will be stronger so you're correct from that point of view.
Perhaps a greater irony is that we are now entering winter. It's thus possible that we are sending out more troops just as things become quieter - although that is no doubt also partly due to 3 Para's heroic work. There are rumours on arsse of VC's being dished out to 3 Para around christmas time.
Even if 3 Bde don't end up doing any fighting, I hope they make a serious attempt at hearts and minds. It'd be nice if we have friends out there when or if the Taliban re-emerge next spring.
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neutralizer       10/10/2006 6:11:24 AM
There was a report several months ago that 3 bde would take 2 cdos.  Presumably this means they'll do the Camp Bastion protection coy (previously a RRF coy IIRC), also replace the cdo coy that was also in Afg. 
RM are the obvious candidates for the winter season because they are the MAW experts, presumblably a different BG from 16 bde will be back there next summer.
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