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View Article  FORCES PENSIONS (update)

FORCES PENSIONS (update)

You may be interested in reading this petition and supporting it. 

The recent Forces Pension Society newsletter tells of an RPI/CPI e-petition which has been established hoping to reverse the Government's decision to link pension increases to CPI instead of RPI.  The Government will debate e-petitions that achieve 100,000 signatures, so please can you pass on the following link to ex-servicemen that you know in the hope that they'll sign it, as it affects all of us.  The link is:

View Article  Armed Forces Day - Free carvery meal for heroes


Armed Forces Day - Free carvery meal for heroes

We’re serving up carveries fit for heroes in our pub restaurants during the week leading up to Armed Forces Day on 25th June. From Monday 20th to Saturday 25th June inclusive, we’re inviting all Service people, past and present, to enjoy their favourite roast dinner on us.

Are you Armed Forces? Print your voucher

Enjoy a meal out on us
We plan to salute the thousands of Service people enlisted to Her Majesty’s Armed Forces, by offering them a free carvery meal at a Crown Carvery of their choice. The offer is also open to all forces veterans.

Get your free carvery
Enjoying your free carvery meal couldn’t be easier. If you are Armed Forces past or present:

• Download & print your voucher
• Find your nearest Crown Carvery
• Bring along your current ID card (or veteran lapel badge)
• Enjoy a carvery main course on us

You can also download and print a voucher from our Facebook page.

It really is that simple. The hard part is choosing between roast beef, gammon or turkey, or a vegetarian alternative.

And don’t forget you can just drop by at your local Crown Carvery, there’s no need to book. Just don’t forget your voucher!

Terms & Conditions
• Offer valid from 20th June to Saturday 25th June 2011 inclusive
• Offer open to over 18’s only
• A valid Services ID or veterans badge must be shown with the voucher
• Only one ‘free carvery meal’ voucher can be redeemed per ID card or veteran’s badge
• We reserve the right to remove this offer at any time
NOTE: The Ashbank, Stoke-on-Trent will be closed to the public on Monday 20th June

Foxnwolf comments;

Here is the original link in case you think this is a Wind-up....... "Crown Carvery"
View Article  Make Forces Pensions Past & Present Tax Free
A request that I received
from

Tez Watson, RAF Rtd


Dear Peter

A friend of both you and I, Keir Hardie (RM ret'd) suggested that I contact you to see if you might be willing to help the above cause by publicising it through your network of contacts/websites.

A recent post - He took a job knowing he would never get rich. He's missed out on many holidays and special occasions in order to protect lives. He was expected to lay down his life or take a life if necessary. It has been proven that his life expectancy is shorter than yours because of everything he went through. And some think he's not deserving of his pension, or health care benefits. (This also applies to service ladies, of course.)

Mick Clarke an ex-RLC Sergeant has had a pretty rough time of it and is suffering badly from the consequences of his long service career. He has found life very tough since being leaving the mob and started the cause on Facebook to try and help others like him as much as for his own benefit. There are many ex-servicemen and women that deserve better having given so much for their country (and other countries!) and they seem to be at the bottom of the heap when it comes to support from the government - the druggies, the  spongers and the scroungers seem to fare much better having given nothing...

The aim is to try and recruit 100,000 members and then try to convert them a quickly as possible to signatories to a Westminster petition (once it is launched). The window for the e-petition is limited and if it can get 100,000 signatories then apparently a question must be raised in parliament. We also would like to locate well-known faces that have a military career/background be they sports/media/entertainment/politics/etc - anyone willing to help to bring the cause the attention of the media.

I have suggested that a formal parade of ex-servicemen could be organised in London (taking the route of the Remembrance Day parade) - though given recent peaceful protests being hijacked I'm not so sure. However, it could be possible and the event could pay it's respects to the fallen as it would pass the Cenotaph. It may not be easy to mobilise ex-servicemen but if there's a potential financial benefit to them all it may just prove possible.

For my part I served in the RAF for 21 years as an aircraft technician reaching the dizzy heights of Sergeant in 1989 and serving on until 1997. I saw this cause and decided to get involved as I am fit (?) and able unlike many of our former colleagues.

Please take a moment to visit this website and if you can assist in any way, no matter how small your support would be much appreciated.

http://www.causes.com/causes/525673-make-forces-pensions-past-present-tax-free?m=1f955714

Kindest Regards

Tez Watson

Foxnwolf comments;

Thanx Tez for contacting me, I fully support this cause (not that I need the cash but for rightly those that do) If there is anything else you want me to post just let me know.......

PMPT & Semper Fi.......

View Article  Wear Your Poppy With Pride - Online Petition
Wear Your Poppy With Pride - Online Petition

There is a young lady, only 18 years old who was on the TV wanting 100,000 signatures to support her campaign against employers who would not allow her to wear her poppy on poppy day at work.

We all know this country has gone daft but this is to much. On this day when a Muslim was fined £50 for burning our poppies and shouting death to our British soldiers, our boys and girls, our fellow countrymen and women, enough is enough.

I hope you vote and (click onto the link below) and also exhaust the 500 words allowed for your opinion. Please circulate this email to as many as you can, so it makes them at 10, Downing Street sit up, wake up and take notice and bloody do some thing useful for a change.



View Article  ANTHONY MALONE on "HUNGER STRIKE"

ANTHONY MALONE
on

"HUNGER STRIKE"



View Article  The only Royal Marine EVER to win Distinguished Flying Medal

The only Royal Marine EVER to win Distinguished Flying Medal

No other Royal Marine will ever win the medal again as it has now been withdrawn

The only Royal Marine decorated with the coveted Distinguished Flying Medal following the end of his astonishing 38-year career.

Lt Cdr William O'Brien - known as Uncle Bill and one of the finest military men of his generation - flew missions in Afghanistan last year aged 54, the oldest pilot there.

Prior to that his military service involved six tours of Northern Ireland, the Falklands - where he won his rare DFM for valour and courage - and then Iraq in the 1990s.


Lt Cdr William O'Brien on the day of his retirement from the Royal Marines in 1999
Lt Cdr William O'Brien - known as Uncle Bill and one of the finest military men of his generation - flew missions in Afghanistan last year aged 54, the oldest pilot there
Lt Cdr William O'Brien, seen with an impressive array of medals on his retirement day from the Royal Marines in 1999 (top), flew missions in Afghanistan last year aged 54, the oldest pilot there

No other Royal Marine will ever win the DFM because it is no longer awarded


O'Brien in the pilot's seat of a helicopter at U.S. Army base Fort Rucker in Dale County, Alabama
O'Brien in the pilot's seat of a helicopter at U.S. Army base Fort Rucker
in Dale County, Alabama

O'Brien, who was also a major in the army air corps and marines and a Lieutenant Commander in the Royal Navy, joined the Royal Marines in 1972.

He was awarded the King's Badgeman badge as the best all round marine of his troop, No. 29 King's Squad.

Following four tours to Northern Ireland his career literally took off when he qualified as an air gunner.

He then gained his wings in 1981 and won the Bob Bowles Trophy for being the best student.


O'Brien delivering ammunition to British troops on the settlement of Goose Green in Lafonia on East Falkland in 1982
The heroic pilot delivering ammunition to British troops on the settlement of Goose Green in Lafonia on East Falkland in 1982. O'Brien won his rare Distinguished Flying Medal for valour and courage in the Falklands War

Following two more tours of Belfast he headed to the Falklands and won his DFM.

The London Gazette on October 8, 1982 recorded: 'During the attack on Darwin and Goose Green Sergeant O'Brien piloted a Gazelle helicopter.

For two days his helicopter conducted supply and casualty evacuation operations, often under enemy fire.

He also took part in 17 night flying sorties to evacuate wounded personnel and resupply vital ammunition.

At times these sorties necessitated flying forward to company lines in the heat of battle and in appalling weather.

The conspicuous gallantry and cool professionalism displayed on all these occasions was superb and Sergeant O'Brien made an outstanding contribution.' 

O'Brien receiving his Green Beret in 1972. He started as a Royal Marine commando in the 70s before learning to fly helicopters in the Army Air Corp
O'Brien receiving his Green Beret in 1972. He started as a Royal Marine commando in the 70s before learning to fly helicopters in the Army Air Corp

He said afterwards: 'We flew a number of sorties mostly at night in an armed Gazelle, not that we ever used the rockets in anger.

'I am not sure how effective they would have been if we had - they had a fairly basic aiming system just a chinagraph cross on the aircraft windscreen.

'It was the early days of night vision devices.

'They were fairly rudimentary and we taught ourselves how to use them on the way down.' 

After the Falklands, O'Brien qualified on the Lynx helicopter and in 1984 passed as a flying instructor, once again winning the best student award.

He then served in Turkey and Iraq in Operation Haven then became a flying instructor in the US.

In 2008 he was commissioned into the Royal Navy Reserve with the rank of Lieutenant Commander, and volunteered for Afghanistan.

He said at the time: 'I was given an opportunity to deploy and felt obliged to take it, simply because I am still training Apache pilots and I need to see what they are expected to do when they come out of training school.' 

Asked about the differences between flying in Afghanistan and the Falklands, Lt Cdr O'Brien said: 'The intensity is more than I was expecting and is more than I recollect from the other place.

'It is full on all the time. I fly an Apache so I don't feel terribly threatened, although the flying environment is quite hard work sometimes.'

O'Brien flying a helicopter on pre-deployment training at Gila Bend Air Force Auxiliary Field in Arizona, U.S., before a mission in Afghanistan
O'Brien flying a helicopter on pre-deployment training at Gila Bend Air Force Auxiliary Field in Arizona, U.S., before a mission in Afghanistan

Now, the married family man who lives in Somerset, is considering a new career and is putting his six medals, photographs and mementoes up for auction.

'Major O'Brien had an astonishing career with the marines, army and navy and was flying in operations at the age of 54.

'In the Falklands he was there to save lives and more recently in Afghanistan he's been more offensive.

'He came top of the class in pretty much everything he did and of course won his DFM during the Falklands war.

'He has a wife and children and just wants to embark on a new career. He is a lovely, down-to-earth man who has mentioned writing a book about his career.' 

This is the impressive medal set resulting from one of Britain's most glittering military careers

The DFM was introduced in 1918 as the other ranks' equivalent to the DFC, which was awarded to commissioned and warrant officers.

It ceased to exist after 1993


View Article  An extract from Mills & Boon's latest novel
With writing like this, there really is no need for pictures

"We met in a secluded field, the sun almost kissing the horizon. The warm breeze was full of that earthy, musky scent, that only those fortunate to live outside the urban rat race know, and the quiet whispering of leaves in the weeping willow overhead added the final touch to the most romantic scene.

We lay there, both naked. I knew that I had to have her, and have her now.

Without a word being spoken, I moved into a position of dominance. I could feel instantly that this was what she was waiting for, as she frantically thrust her pelvis at my approaching organ. I moved slowly at first, inch by inch, until I was fully inside her.

Then, as the tension rose, we threw caution to the wind, and abandoned ourselves to the moment. 

Although inexperienced, she approached every change of position with enthusiasm, moaning with despair, every time I withdrew to prevent myself from ending it all too soon.

As the sexual tension heightened towards the inevitable, mind-blowing climax, it was all I could do to hold out any longer. Finally, the moment that we had been building towards was upon us, and passed all too quickly.

Breathlessly we rolled together in the now damp grass. As the last deep orange glow of the long setting sun melted into the darkness of approaching night, we lay there still entwined in an amorous embrace.  I kissed her long and lovingly, and whispered reassurance of how good she had been.

She tenderly and sensuously licked my inner ear, then whispered ""Baaaaaaaa"" and rejoined the flock."

Scroll down to continue;





This novel is only for sale in New Zealand, Australia, Wales, Ballymena and certain parts of Yorkshire and Derbyshire.


View Article  38 Warrant Officers in the British Army "Fired by Email"
38 Warrant Officers in the British Army "Fired by Email"

Both the Ministry of Defence and the Army have apologised for "causing distress" after 38 soldiers - including one serving in Afghanistan - were sacked by email.

The warrant officers who were dismissed by email were told it was because the Army also needed to make savings.

The message to the men read: "I write to notify you that with regret, I must issue you with 12 months' Notice of Termination.

"As I'm sure you are aware the Army has to make significant cutbacks and we... are expected to play our part in reductions."

The 38 warrant officers - the highest non-commissioned rank - all have at least 20 years' service and continue in the Army on a rolling contract.

However, The Sun claimed one of the veteran soldiers received the bad news while on the front line in Afghanistan.

An Army spokesperson said: "We apologise for the distress that this will have caused.

British troops in Afghanistan
All the men have at least 20 years' service with the British Army

"Commanding officers have now spoken to the soldiers concerned to ensure that they receive all necessary advice and support."

The MoD has been quick to point out this was not a mistake on the part of civil servants or ministers - but a mistake in terms of sequencing made by the Army.

Army sources said the individual responsible for the gaffe would be spoken to by the chain of command about the need to be sensitive in these matters.

When their contracts are up in a year's time, the servicemen will get their full re-settlement package and thousands of pounds towards future training.

Despite this, shadow defence secretary Jim Murphy said getting fired in such a way was unforgivable.

"To be sacked by email is a shameful and callous way to be treated.

FOXNWOLF COMMENTS;

This is typical of the governments attitude towards our armed forces. Apart from the offending email re "38 Warrant Officers in the British Army Fired by Email". How about;

"Who sent the email"


"Who gave permission for that signal to be sent"

I hope that the person who pressed the "ENTER" button that sent the message winging thru to the unsuspecting 38 W.O.`s also gets notified that they are going to loose their job.


Who ever it is SHOULD BE FIRED....... whether its a Civil Servant or Government Minister they should be out of the door, nothing more and nothing less.

SOMEBODY SHOULD BE NAILED FOR THIS

View Article  Live RPG removed from soldier
Live RPG removed from soldier


The story is about Channing Moss, who was impaled by a live RPG Warhead during a Taliban ambush while on patrol.  Army protocol says that medivac choppers are never to carry anyone with a live round in him.  Even though they feared it could explode, the flight crew said damn the protocol and flew him to the nearest aid station..  Again, protocol said that in such a case the patient is to be put in a sandbagged area away from the surgical unit, given a shot of morphine and left to wait (and die) until others are treated. Again, the medical team ignored the protocol.  Here's a short video put together by the Military Times, which includes actual footage of the surgery where Dr. John Oh, a Korean immigrant who became a naturalized citizen and went to West Point, removed the live round with the help of volunteers and a member of the EOD (explosive ordinance disposal) team.  Moss has undergone Six operations but is doing well at home in Gainesville , GA. I think you'll find the video absolutely remarkable.
View Article  We deserve a say......in your face political ad
I don't want this to be a rant but........

Isn't it time we all had a say on the EU? now before you go yawn and think about turning away......please just give me 2 mins

Whether you are Eurosceptic or Europhile.....or whatever 'camps' and labels they have been given........shouldn't we open up the debate on this huge issue. I don't mean a huge political debate in the Westminster Village but by ordinary citizens. The whole EU project has gone beyond ordinary folk understanding. Most people know it is out there but think of it in some sort of parrallel universe. The debate then gets hi-jacked by either the political elite who speak spin-bollocks-complicated languages or by people from both sides  with such strong views on either side of the argument, it becomes too much to take on.

But seeing as we are entering an age of massive austerity cuts, price hikes, and 'every one tighten your belts' era, surely we should rethink how we go about our business. Our relationship with the EU affects everyone in the UK. The news coming out of the Eurozone isn't great. Things aren't going to get any better in 2011. We know that the relationship with the EU costs billions of £'s. Now whether this is good value for money or not, the sheer scale of the relationship means we need to re-evaluate the situation (just as everything else - so we are being told by the politicians). I think the debate needs to come out into the open - information (that everyone understands) needs to be shared and then the people of the UK should be given a vote to decide, once and for all, what we want.

Personally, I think we would be better off out of the political EU and free to form our own relationships with countries around the world. I would prefer to see us forming closer relationships with the commonwealth. I think it is time to leave the EU and move forward into something new......something better. If we left the EU, I wouldn't want to go 'back' to anything ie back to where we we were before we signed up to the original deal back in the ealry 70's.....yes, have the free-trade agreement but have that with the rest of the world. If we left the EU, the Germans won't stop buying British goods. We won't stop buying French cheese - shit, I want the French to be French and the Germans to be Germans.....and the Spanish to be Spanish...yadda yadda.

Anyway, that is why I run the EU Referendum Campaign. We want the man on the street to understand. That is why we haven't targeted our campaign at the Westminster Village - we keep all our literature free from party politics, left-wing or right-wing bullshit, or rabid rants. We already have the largest active database amongst all eurosceptic campaigns in the UK. The campaign HQ is staffed by professional campaigners, our spokesperson is an ex-LBC radio DJ who speaks to the British public in the language they all understand. We have unrivalled resources, completely independent and won't back down from political pressure from any of the Westminster Village.

But the most important campaign we are running is The Pledge. It is a completely neutral campaign calling for a Referendum. We welcome people from all sides (pro-EU and anti-EU) to join to call for a national referendum so the issue can be brought out in the open, discussed and voted on. We want to organise meetings in universities, town halls, pubs, work places etc where the whole EU project can be debated and arguments put across.
We have written to every MP to see where they stand on the issue. We are now receiving all the answers from them. The MP's that don't agree with our call fro a referendum will be targeted by our campaign. We will go to their constituency office (when they are there) and make our voice heard. We will ask everyone on our database in the constituency to write to the local media, attend protests outside the offices, take part in town hall debates in the constituency, hand out leaflets in the area, etc etc. We will work with the local media to get the exposure. We will work with all the local pubs and local groups to organise events to raise the campaign. Once the sitting MP sees with his/her own eyes how the people really feel, then they will take note. You can have 10,000 people outside the Houses of Parliament and the politicians won't take a blind bit of notice.....but if they see a few hundred people in their own constituancy kicking up a fuss, they will surely take note.

The politcians are hoping this issue will go away.....but it won't.

I know that I havent covered all the areas on this page.....but like I said, it is too complicated a subject to go on and on.

The only way we can win, is for the people to get involved. I hope the attached advert can appear on this posting (thanks Ed :-)) but it is ad from the New Statesman this week and also on the back cover (outside facing) of he House magazine which goes out to all MP's and Peers tomorrow.

Please join up to our campaign on www.eureferendumcampaign.com and don't forget to sign The Pledge - thanks
1 Attachments
View Article  Veteran Imposter Arthur Rex Crane - Jailed
Veteran Imposter Arthur Rex Crane

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Warren Snowdon, welcomed the outcome of the case against veteran imposter Arthur Rex Crane handed down in the Brisbane District Court today.

Mr Crane has today pleaded guilty to defrauding the Commonwealth and ordered to pay back more than $413,000 for falsely claiming he was a prisoner of the Japanese during the Second World War,” Mr Snowdon said.

Mr Crane has been sentenced to four years jail and can be released after serving six months upon entering a good behaviour bond for four years.  He was also ordered to pay the Commonwealth more than $413,000 in falsely claimed pension.

“The Australian Government takes very seriously the recognition and respect of those who have served our country and has no tolerance for those who fraudulently claim that recognition,” Mr Snowdon said.

“The Department of Veterans’ Affairs works hard to ensure that veterans receive their lawful entitlements.  All allegations of fraud are investigated thoroughly.”

The Department has a dedicated compliance section that investigates all suspected cases of fraudulent activity.  Other ongoing measures that act as a deterrent are proof of identify checks, and departmentally initiated reviews.

“Incidences of fraud are very isolated and today’s sentence should be a warning about the serious penalties involved in defrauding the Commonwealth,” Mr Snowdon said.


View Article  Tony Blair - don'cha just love him ?
It gives me no pleasure to reiterate that I loathed and detested this man and all he stood for when he came to public prominence prior to the 1997 election. But, dear reader, please persevere with me and read on.
Many of you may remember that, when he was elected for the first time he said in one speech, " This could be the first ever government who never had to send its sons to war". Now, if you don't know how many he committed us to and how many deaths that he (increasingly, as it gradually appears) is responsible for, then go on the web and count them ! And besides counting the servicemen in bodybags, just imagine the wounded and the countless deaths of innocent people that were the true cost of this man's riches.
Some would suggest that the Iraq War and Afghanistan occurred because he was so far up George W. Bush's rear-end that he was star struck with his popularity in America ........ who will forget his quote, "We, as a country, are prepared to pay the "Blood Price"". I'll bet he didn't even cut himself shaving here in the UK !
He reminds me of one of the Disciples in the Biblical fairy stories - the one who denied Christ ( as in "we don't do God") even though he was paving his way to Catholicism ! He took ( and is still taking) the Septic Tanks for  ride, too !
You want to see his true long-term aim ?
Then Click Here

It is an Australian report originally from the UK's Financial Times.
This creature was never an admirer of Thatcher - more an admirer of Harold Wilson whose only ambition was to be Prime Minister and if it had been the Tories who offered him an easier path, then Wilson would have been a Tory. But to be fair to Wilson, flawed man that he was, he was no Blair - AND he courted displeasure from America by refusing to involve us in the unwinnable war in Viet-Nam.

Now tell me Blair is not the self-serving prostitute that he appeared to be - tell me that he is not one of the most scheming, evil bastards that walked on this earth. He is - just very skillful at hiding it. With the willing support of The Wide Mouthed Frog, Cruella de Ville, that he is wedded to. Congratulations, you too - at least by staying married you cannot make two others unhappy !
View Article  MoD officials have cancelled Christmas
SCROOGE MoD officials have cancelled Christmas for our brave troops by BANNING morale-boosting parties

Cracker flak ... troops partying last Christmas

Commanding officers at home and on the frontline have been ordered NOT to spend their festive allowance on turkey dinners or carol concerts

They get £30 a year per soldier to splash out on spirit-raising events "such as Junior Soldiers' Christmas Lunch", official guidance says.

But penny-pinching civil servants insist the cash must be spent on something else this year because of last month's crippling defence cuts

The Ministry of Defence edict - leaked to The Sun - was written by Peter Whitehead, deputy head of the MoD's Financial Management Policy and Development.

It reads: "It is improper to spend taxpayers' funds on Christmas trees, decorations, carol concerts or parties.

"Team-building or unit cohesiveness events during Christmas would be viewed by taxpayers as partying at their expense and must be avoided."

It adds: "As always, we want to ensure that the Department does all it can to avoid any adverse Parliamentary or media attention on this topic."

Tory MP Patrick Mercer, a former Army CO, last night branded the decision "cowardice".

He said: "At the stroke of a bureaucrat's pen, centuries of tradition have been swept away for tommies and their officers.

"It is a nasty bit of penny-pinching - narrow-minded cowardice from people who would never face the dangers that our fighting men and women have to. My stomach is churning."

The ban is all the more shameful because the MoD has rung up a £38billion debt through its own incompetence

More than 17,000 military jobs were axed in last month's review in the toughest defence cuts in two decades.

Ships, aircraft carriers, tanks and the entire Harrier jump jet fleet were also put on the scrapheap.

MoD officials last night insisted that special Christmas dinners will still be laid on out of MoD funds for all troops serving in the Afghan badlands.

A ministry spokesman added: "The restriction placed on public funds is even more necessary this year given the current financial situation."

Original Link


View Article  The "Forgotten Fourteen"
The "Forgotten Fourteen"

Vigil ... Kier Hardie at new memorial in Forres
Day thirteen

Vigil ... Kier Hardie at new memorial in Forres

FORMER Marine Keir Hardie is staging a one-man demo at a war memorial in a bid to save RAF Lossiemouth

Keir, 58, has so far braved 13 days of rain and snow to stand in protest against defence cuts which have already doomed the nearby RAF Kinloss base.

He launched his vigil at the new plinth in Forres, dedicated to the 14 Kinloss airmen who were killed in the 2006 Nimrod crash over Afghanistan. Last night he said: "Somebody has to stand up somewhere."

Each day of his two-week protest - which ends today - is designed to honour one of the victims of the jet disaster.

Dad-of-one Keir described the Government's decision to axe Kinloss and now threaten Lossiemouth as "madness". He added: "It insults the men and their families."

THE Scottish Sun's Keep The RAF In Moray window stickers are available in Lossiemouth, Elgin and Forres.

You can join our campaign by downloading a special RAF poster

Click here to print our poster

Original link for above story


Day Fourteen

continued`....... The "Forgotten Fourteen" the story.......


Day One

After the Forres Rememberance Day Parade on Sunday, when the troops and crowds had left, I stood by the new memorial for an hour. I have my own protest placard. It is A4.

It says;
David cameron`s Forgotten Fourteen. The Defence Review is Wrong; Tactically, Economically, Morally.  Save RAF Kinloss & RAF Lossiemouth.
 
I also got to speak with some of the families of the 14. It was heartbreaking beyond belief. I am an ex Royal Marine, I dont mind the cold.  I`m pushing 60 but am able to give several hours each day until the 25th of November. I`m doing several hours per day for 14 days. This is a day each for the fourteen.



I only live a few hundred yards away and, although I work part time for Ark Housing as a Support Worker, I am glad to give my time to be part of the necessary fight. I will carry on doing a few hours on my todd each day. I am using a small A4 placard so that people have to come close to read it and then they can be aware of the importance of the memorial. If RAF Kinloss was so important 4 years ago to give the Nimrods and the men who died how can it now be just an unnecessary expense and thus be closed.?


It is an insult to fourteen dead servicemen. And, of course, to those who still serve.
Keep your powder dry. Keir Hunter Hardie RM Rtd.

*******

p.s. my protest is a silent protest because if I start ranting at people I`ll lose it, probably start swearing and I dont want to demean the dignity of the memorial. I would appreciate any support, whether here or directly to the MOD.......

I am writing to ask if any of your reader`s know what will become of the commemerative stain glass church window in the Church at RAF Kinloss and how will relatives be able to retain the connection with their bereaved ones if the station is closed?
  
  I would also like to quote the following;
 
1944. The Under Secretary of State for Air, The Right Hon Harold Balfour MP said
 
"Hats off to Coastal Command who, day and night, whatever the weather, fly the oceans on the allotted duties....Theirs is the physically arduous and equally hazardous job of flying far out in the front Line..."
 
2010. The deputy Prime Minister,Nick Clegg. MP said
 
"Were not going to abandon the families and communities which are dependent for their jobs and their livlihood on those bases."
 
2010. The prime Minister, Rt Hon David cameron MP said
 
"RAF Kinloss would no longer be required."
 
2010. Keir Hardie, RM Rtd says
 
     The Prime Minister has taken the Great out of Britain and the United out of Kingdom. He has insulted the servicemen of Moray who died in WW2, The 2 who died in 1995. The 7 who died in 1995. The 14 who died in 2006. My personal thanks and sympathies go to all of you families who have given so much. I understand your hurt at the contemptuous manner in which you have been treated. I also respect and admire your quiet strength and determination. We are all proud of you.

*******

Friday went well. I was there till half 3. Spoke to many people. A young couple with a sprog appeared. She had brought me a coffee to keep me warm. They had just moved up to Kinloss and bought a house.. he`s in the RAF . now they dont know what their future will be. So,  I`m happy to be here.

My last day is next saturday (27th) and, by happy co-incidence - it is when the memorial is being Dedicated. One of the widows, who was a prime mover of the fund to get the memorial came for a chat. She has asked me to attend the Dedication. Off soon to do todays stint. then only 7 days to go. Roll on summer.

Regards Keir.

View Article  Soldiers' Pensions v Killed in Action
Soldiers' Pensions - Killed in Action

Hi all. PLEASE can you all sign this petition for soldiers pensions on the link below and pass on to all of your friends and families. For those of you who don't know Sgt Matty Telford was killed 3rd Nov 2009 by a rogue Afghan Policeman. Now you will all remember him from the news as 'Sergeant' Matty Telford but the army give his children his pension at corporal rate because he was sergeant for less than a year. The unfairness of this is that he was promoted so he could do this job in Afghan and had he not been promoted he would have been doing a different job and may have been with us today. After this petition was started it came to light that this is happening to a lot of our brave heroes families.


View Article  Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Sailor; Rich Man, Poor Man, Beggarman, Thief !
For all the words spoken by Members of Parliament, for all the flying visits to Afghanistan, especially pre-election ( even though proxy voting for troops deployed could not be organised), for all the crocodile tears ......... this is an example of where you, as service personnel, actually stand in their estimation.

Click Here

Contrast this with how many of these parasites were packed in to the Commons during the debates on their expenses and the abusing of the new expenses regulatory body.
I wonder where all the MPs appeared from at the division bell to achieve those voting figures.



View Article  The E.U. referendum campaign
Please, give this a few minutes of your time - I think that it is important if not for you, then for your children and grandchildren
Have a look at it then, if you agree with it, give some thought to signing up.

Click Here

Of course, there is always the possibility that you would prefer to speak "Napoleon" rather than "Wellington" !
View Article  Scottish WWII piper Bill Millin dies in Devon hospital
Scottish WWII piper Bill Millin dies in Devon hospital



The piper continued to play as enemy fire killed comrades coming ashore

"I didn't notice I was being shot at"

A Scottish bagpiper who played men into battle during World War II has died in Devon.

Bill Millin, who was 88, played his comrades ashore on Sword Beach during the D-Day Normandy landings.

The Glaswegian commando's actions were later immortalised in the film, "The Longest Day".

Mr Millin, who lived at a nursing home in Dawlish since suffering a major stroke seven years ago, died in Torbay Hospital.

A statement released by his family said: "This morning following a short illness piper Bill Millin, a great Scottish hero, passed peacefully away in Torbay hospital."

Mr Millin was serving with 1st Commando Brigade when he landed in France on 6 June, 1944.

His commanding officer, Lord Lovat, asked him to ignore instructions banning the playing of bagpipes in battle and requested he play to rally his comrades.

Iconic part;

Despite being unarmed, Mr Millin marched up and down the shore at Sword Beach in his kilt piping "Highland Laddie".

He continued to play as his friends fell around him and later moved inland to pipe the troops to Pegasus Bridge.

His bagpipes, which were silenced four days later by a piece of shrapnel, were handed over to the National War Museum of Scotland in 2001, along with his kilt, commando beret and knife.

In 2006 when a song was written in his honour by Devon folk singer Sheelagh Allen, Mr Millin told BBC: "I enjoyed playing the pipes, but I didn't notice I was being shot at.

"When you're young you do things you wouldn't dream of doing when you're older."

For the past 66 years, Mr Millin returned to France on numerous occasions to pay his respects to his fallen comrades.

His family said he would always be remembered as an iconic part of all those who gave so much to free Europe from tyranny.

Mr Millin's funeral will be held privately, but a service of remembrance will be held at a later date.

Related Link; July 14th 1922 - August 18th 2010

Related stories

View Article  Forever Young A song for Wootton Bassett
Forever Young A song for Wootton Bassett

Asking friends to watch Forever Young A song for Wootton Bassett is an important way to raise awareness and recruit more people to National Airplay for Forever Young: A song for Wootton Bassett so keep up the great work and invite more friends to watch!



"Click Here to Support the Original Link"


Originally Performed by: Peter, Paul & Mary.

 

Lyric:

 

May God bless and keep you always
May your wishes all come true
May you always do for others
And let others do for you.

May you build a ladder to the stars
And climb on every rung
And may you stay forever young.

Chorus:
Forever young, forever young
May you stay forever young

May you grow up to be righteous
May you grow up to be true
May you always know the truth
And see the light surrounding you.

May you always be courageous
Stand up right and be as strong
And may you stay forever young.

(chorus x2)

May your hands always be busy
May your feet always be swift
May you have a strong foundation
When the winds of changes shift.

May your heart always be joyful
May your song always be sung
And may you stay forever young.

(chorus x2)

May you grow up righteous and true,
See the light surrounding you
May you grow up righteous and true,
See the light surrounding you
May you ...(repeating) with (chorus)


View Article  I am not a very "picky" person ........
I am not a very "picky" person but this obnoxious piece of dross takes the biscuit.


Now - we've all registered our displeasure at that young male student in Sheffield who pissed all over the poppies at Barker's Pool, Sheffield - but the logistics of this vision of loveliness having a pee on a war memorial just beggars belief. AND, she went on to committ a sex act on the memorial ! Just how low can you sink, even with a belly full of booze ?

Click Here

Now, I'm a cynic who believes that mankind can stoop lower than you can imagine - BUT, in all honesty, no matter how much beer you could drink, could you honestly f*ck that monster. I just cannot imagine how good the beer googles were !!!!!!

I've been on dragon competitions, but any bootneck who was seen porking a dog like that would have been the holder of the "All Comer's Record" ( pun intended) !

What do you bet ? A 3 months suspended sentence and a morning after pill for the bloke ( including an eye test) !
What an obnoxious piece of shit - and SHE was even worse.

It just shows you where we are in the view of these pieces of dross !
View Article  Shrinking The USMC

Shrinking The USMC

August 15, 2010: The U.S. Marine Corps is again threatened, this time with a sharp reduction in its size. In response, marine commanders say they would prefer to be a smaller force, one that concentrates on its main mission; amphibious operations. The marines were unhappy with the way they have been used as an army auxiliary over the past decade. The marines consider themselves specialists, while the army are generalists (and, for example, carried out more amphibious operations than the marines did during World War II). But by law (which specifies the minimum size of the Corps, a law that could be changed) and determination (of generations of marines), the marines have come to comprise a quarter of America's ground combat forces. That's active duty, when you could the much larger army reserve force, the marines are 18 percent of ground combat forces. The marines never wanted to be just another part of American ground combat forces.

The marines are also concerned with their relationship with the U.S. Navy, which has now formed another ground combat force. To understand how this came about, you have to understand the relationship between the navy and the marines. The marines are not part of the navy, as they are often described. Both the navy and marines are part of the Department of the Navy. The Department of the Army and Department of the Air Force each have only one component.

Over the years, the marines have acquired more and more autonomy from the navy. When the U.S. Marine Corps was created, over two centuries ago, marines were sailors trained and equipped to fight as infantry, and they were very much part of the navy, and part of ship crews. This changed radically in the late 19th century, when all-metal steam ships replaced wooden sailing ships. The new "iron ships" really didn't need marines, and there were proposals to eliminate them. In response, the American marines got organized and made themselves useful in other ways. For example, the marines performed very well as "State Department Troops" in Latin America for half a century (late 19th century to just before World War II), where American troops were frequently used to deal with civil disorder abroad, and nation building. During World War I (1914-18), they provided a brigade for ground combat in Europe, where they demonstrated exceptional combat skills.

During the 1930s, as World War II approached, the U.S. Marine Corps really ran with the ball when the navy realized they would have to use amphibious assaults to take heavily fortified Japanese islands in any future war. Thus, once the U.S. entered World War II, the marines formed their first division size units, and ended the war with six divisions, organized into two corps.

The Marine Corps was no longer just a minor part of the navy, but on its way to being a fourth service. Over the next half century, it basically achieved that goal. But in doing that, the navy lost control of its ground troops. Navy amphibious ships still went to sea, with battalions of marines on board. But because the marines are mainly an infantry force, and the war on terror is basically an infantry scale battle, the marines spent a lot more time working alongside the U.S. Army.

Thus, over the last five years, the new U.S. Navy has built a new ground combat force, staffed by 40,000 sailors. This is NECC (Navy Expeditionary Combat Command), which is capable of operating along the coast and up rivers, as well as further inland. NECC units have served in Iraq, and are ready to deploy anywhere else they are needed. The 1,200 sailors in the EOD (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) teams are particularly sought after, because of increased use of roadside bombs and booby traps by the enemy. NECC has also organized three Riverine Squadrons, and these served in Iraq. NECC basically consists of most of the combat support units the navy has traditionally put ashore, plus some coastal and river patrol units that have usually only been organized in wartime.

This new navy organization, and the strategy goes with it, still comes as a surprise to many people, especially many of those in Congress who were asked to pay for it. It came as a surprise to many NECC sailors as well. The navy even called on the marines to provide infantry instructors for the few thousand sailors assigned to riverine (armed patrol boat) units. The navy already had infantry training courses for Seabees (naval construction personnel) and members of EOD (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) teams. Now it's combining all that in the new Expeditionary Combat Skills (ECS) course, which will be conducted at a base in Mississippi.

With the marines appropriated by the army for land combat, the navy still wanted and needed land forces. So the navy has created NECC. The navy still considers the marines its primary "infantry force", but the NECC will contain sailors trained and equipped for land operations the navy believes it should be involved in. Some of these are still on the water, like "riverine operations" (small gunboats and troop carriers to control rivers and coastal waters against irregulars), and "naval infantry" to defend navy land bases in hostile territory.

The U.S. Marine Corps has mixed feelings about NECC, for the marines have long been the navy's ground combat troops. The navy says that the USMC mission will remain. Thus the marines want to shrink so they become small enough to handle anticipated navy amphibious operations, and not large enough to have troops available for large scale support of army operations.

In effect, the American marines want to be more like the British marines. That's interesting, because British marines are called Royal Marine Commandos, and are quite different. Britain, which invented the modern concept of the commando, disbanded it's ten army commando's (as the battalion size commando units were called) at the end of World War II. The Royal Marines, however, saw the commando concepts as a welcome addition to their own amphibious doctrine and retained three of their nine Royal Marine Commandos. Since World War II, the Royal Marines have maintained at least three commando battalions (called commandos, instead of battalions.) Artillery and engineer units are supplied by the army.

Like the U.S. Marines, the Royal Marines realized that assault from the sea was always a commando like operation, requiring special training, bold leadership and an aggressive spirit. The Royal Marines, like their American counterparts, continued to innovate. In 1956, it was a Royal Marine Commando that launched the first helicopter assault from ships against a land target (during the invasion of Egypt). The Royal Marine Commandos were used extensively to keep the peace in Ireland during the 1970s and 80s. In 1982, it was two Royal Marine Commandos and one parachute battalion that did most of the fighting to retake the Falkland Islands from Argentina. The Royal Marines have performed peacekeeping duty in the Balkans and Africa, and served as an amphibious fast reaction force.

While the U.S. Marines made a name for themselves with multi-division amphibious operations in the Pacific during World War II, the Royal Marines stuck with the commando type operations that characterize what marines spend most of the time doing between major wars. Remember, the last large scale amphibious operation took place sixty years ago (Inchon, Korea in 1950). Since then, the typical marine mission has been a quick assault using a small (usually battalion size) force.

In anticipation of this, the U.S. Marine Corps Special Operations Command (MARSOC) was created over the last few years. In that time, it has sent some of its 2,400 personnel on over thirty deployments (in South America, the Caribbean, Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia and Southeast Asia). MARSOC is organized into a headquarters, a two battalion Special Operations Regiment, a Foreign Military Training Unit, and a Marine Special Operations Support Group. There are 3-4 Special Operations companies in each battalion. The marines basically lost two of their four Force Recon companies (one of them a reserve unit) in order to build MARSOC. Meanwhile, more troops have been added to division level reconnaissance units, to take up some of that slack. The Special Operations companies (with about 120 personnel each) can provide Force Recon capabilities to marine units they are attached to.  The two Special Operations Battalions provide a combination of services roughly equal to what the U.S. Army Special Forces and Rangers do, as well as some of the functions of the Force Recon units. Eventually, there are to be nine companies in the two Special Operations Battalion.

All the other services, except the marines, contributed to the formation of SOCOM (Special Operations Command) in the late 1980s. The marines finally got around to working with SOCOM in 2005, when it was agreed that they would create a marine special operations command (MARSOC). The Marine Corps had long resisted such a step, largely because of its belief that marines are inherently superior warriors, capable of highly specialized missions. This attitude began to change during the fighting in Afghanistan, when marines were assigned to support SOCOM troops there.

 As a result of that experience, marines were attached to SOCOM for liaison and observation purposes. In 2004, the marines organized a company sized unit of commandos, "Detachment One", using volunteers from their Force Recon troops, the closest thing the marines had to commandos. Detachment One was sent to Iraq, where it's performance convinced SOCOM that marines could operate at the SOCOM level.

The marines see their future as a smaller (by a up to a third, or more), even more elite, force, and better equipped force. The marines want to get back to sea, and the reduction in force (RIF) can be done without losing a lot of the valuable combat experience the marines have gained in the last nine years. Recruiting will be reduced for a few years, and some marines can transfer to the navy (in jobs that both sailors and marines handle), especially the NECC force. Marines have long moved over to the army, and the army would be glad to get an infusion of combat experienced marines, especially NCOs and officers. The marines may also expand their reserve force, and marines who decide to get out, can simply move over to the reserves.

The marines who remain with the Corps will probably continue the more extensive training marines have been getting for several decades now. This makes the marines an even more elite force, which is what many marines are fine with.
http://www.strategypage.com/htmw/htamph/articles/20100815.aspx

Foxnwolf comments;

Why does the UK & US governments want to "shaft" their Marine Corp ???

View Article  Troops returning from Helmand pay for own flights

Troops returning from Helmand pay for own flights

British troops returning from Afghanistan are paying for commercial flights back to the UK because the RAF's ageing transport aircraft keep breaking down
Fresh wave of British soldiers arrive in Afghanistan

Delays to "rest and recuperation" (R and R) flights are now almost routine because of the operational demands being imposed on the TriStar jets, former passenger airliners bought by the RAF in the early 1980s.

Some soldiers and marines have lost up to a quarter of their break as a result of flight disruption and troops are now warned not to book holidays during their time off from the front line, because of the chance of delays to their journey home.

Most flights on the "air bridge", which links Afghanistan to the UK, stop at Cyprus to refuel, and increasing numbers of troops are now opting to pay for commercial flights home from there, rather than take their chances on the TriStars.

Defences sources claim that at least 20 to 30 per cent of flights returning from Afghanistan are delayed at some stage during the journey due to mechanical failure.

In June, more than 200 soldiers returning to Britain on R and R were delayed in Kandahar in southern Afghanistan for several days after a military flight broke down at RAF Akrotiri, the main British base in Cyprus.

The delay also resulted in crucial military personnel, such as bomb disposal experts and medical teams, being stranded in the UK until another aircraft could be found to take them to Afghanistan.

After the R and R flight left Kandahar three days later, dozens of soldiers opted to buy easyJet flights back to the UK when the aircraft refuelled at Cyprus rather than risk further delays.

At the same time, hundreds of troops flying out to Kandahar were forced to spend four nights in transit accommodation in the British base in Cyprus, even though it had been contaminated with sewage following a flood.

Troops are only entitled to 14 days R and R during a six-month tour and no allowance is made for lost days caused by problems with the TriStar fleet.

The Ministry of Defence maintains that there is no reason why any serviceman should have to pay for flights home but it accepts that there have been problems with the RAF aircraft.

During periods of peak travel, such as the change over of troops at the end of tour – known as the relief in place (RIP) – the RAF charters civilian flights to cope with the extra number of passengers.

One RAF source said: "There are only three dedicated RAF TriStars which carry passengers. They are knackered. The engines are airworthy but they are constantly breaking down. The cabins haven't had an upgrade for 25-years – it's a disgrace.

"The air bridge is often pushed to breaking point during the RIP when the RAF can barely cope. You can't blame the soldiers for buying their own flights – most have just lost confidence in the RAF. Who wants to spend their R and R sitting in an airport lounge in Cyprus?"

The RAF TriStar fleet is composed of nine aircraft bought second-hand from the Pan Am and British Airways in the 1980s. Six of the aircraft are used for in-flight refuelling but can also carry passengers.

The role of the remaining three aircraft in the fleet is passenger transport and each of these aircraft can carry up to 266 personnel.

Patrick Mercer, the Tory MP for Newark and a former infantry commander, said: "R and R is absolutely precious to soldiers on operations. Anything which interferes with it will be a major blow to morale, not just for the troops but also for their families. The problem with RAF transport flights has gone on for too long."

The House of Commons Defence Select Committee has previously warned of the morale problems caused by troops returning from operations in Afghanistan. In a report in 2007, James Arbuthnot, chairman of the committee, said: "The UK needs to be able to transport troops, equipment and stores to trouble spots around the globe quickly.

"New transport aircraft, and tanker aircraft which can also carry service personnel, are expected to enter service early in the next decade, but as is often the case with the MoD, it is 'jam tomorrow, but never jam today'. It is not enough to give our troops the best training and the best equipment, if we cannot transport them to where they are needed and support them once deployed."

A spokesman for the MoD said: "TriStar is a hard working aircraft, operating in tough environments which, unfortunately, can sometimes lead to unavoidable delays. Acting upon the concerns of personnel who have experienced problems, the incoming Government has recently made significant changes to ensure they do not lose out on R and R as a result of disruptions to the airbridge.

"We are acutely aware of the inconvenience that this can cause to personnel and their families, as a result those affected are granted additional Post Operational Tour leave on a day for day basis."

Foxnwolf comments;

This is absolutely scandalous, I hear that Easyjet is offering special rates to fly troops on RNR. They and others ought to be offering FREE FLIGHTS not profiteering in any way at all. Come on all you other airlines, chip in and help out.

As far as the MOD is concerned, they as usual should hang their heads in shame.


View Article  Veteran fury at Blackpool memorial sex act

Veteran fury at Blackpool memorial sex act

Blackpool war memorial
Swastikas have been daubed on the monument in the past


War veterans are calling for a woman who urinated and performed a sex act on Blackpool's war monument to be jailed.

Wendy Lewis was convicted in her absence of outraging public decency at Blackpool Magistrates' Court on Friday.

The 32-year-old, of Princess Street, who failed to appear in court, was caught on CCTV relieving herself before performing a sex act on a man on 7 May.

Ian Coleman, president of the town's British Legion, said: "It's a sacrilege to those who didn't come home."

He called for the magistrates to jail her and not just "give her a slap on the wrists".

'Respect for mankind'

"In the past two years we have had at least four incidents when the memorial has been desecrated.

"Swastikas have been daubed by the names of our brave men who fought to give us the freedom we have today - a freedom which some, unfortunately do not deserve."

Several ex-servicemen and women gathered outside Blackpool Magistrates' Court to show their disgust at Friday's hearing.

They have also stood on the court steps in honour of their fallen comrades in response to other court cases involving the desecration of war monuments in the town.

Mr Coleman added: "We want the court to set an example to stop this from happening again.

"A few years ago we had rangers patrolling the area near the monument but now we just have CCTV.

"To be honest, we just need people to have a decent attitude and respect for mankind."

A warrant has been issued for Lewis' arrest.

(scroll down to read further and action yourself)

Foxnwolfs comments;

This keeps on happening and these lowlife keep getting a handslap and told to go away. Proper punishment now needs to be metered out. The last (student) who did this received nothing (because it would affect his future), well blow me down and apologize for wasting the courts time... 

Respect and Decency have just been erroded , lets start learning what it means again.

MAKE YOUR COMMENTS KNOWN;

In writing

Lancashire Constabulary Headquarters
PO Box 77,
Hutton,
Preston,
Lancashire,
PR4 5SB

By email

lancashirepolice@lancashire.pnn.police.uk

By telephone

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To contact your local policing team (Blackpool)

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View Article  Britain - a world power ?
Britain - a world power ?
Would this be tolerated by the U.S., Canada, Australia - or indeed, any country which has contributed troops to the operations in Afghanistan ?

Click Here

I think not. Perhaps it is time we re-evaluated our place in the grand scheme of things and concentrated on "fixing" the country once and for all.
View Article  With Tony Blair ......
With Tony Blair - as usual - it is hard to obtain even a kernel of truth or even a straightforward statement with anything he says or does.
Because of ALL the examples of his mendacity over the years since he became a politician and particularly when he became Leader of New Labour and Prime Minister, you have to view every action and statement as "suspect" until proven otherwise.
My opinions of Blair ( and his fellow travellers such as Campbell, Blunkett, Reid, Mandelson et al) cannot be published even on the adult section of this site but are so poor that even if they were paraded through Baghdad in chains by "the bad guys" live on Al Jazeera, it wouldn't cause me to lose any sleep.
He is about as straight as a dog's hind leg in my opinion. His future should be firmly in the U.S. as they seem to like him so much. Ah, the U.S. . Politically speaking, a country led (a bit like U.K.) by so many wankers and yet they don't have a word for "wanker".
So what is the truth behind this ? This bare-faced attempt to ingratiate himself with his fellow-countrymen - is it a way to try to atone for his actions and the deaths and injuries of so many caused by those same actions ? I doubt it, given his performance at the Inquiry when he said he had "no regrets".

Click Here

Being a cynic ( and loathing the creature and all he stands for) I can only assume that it is a sales pitch because his little chum Mandelson stole his thunder  ......... and that way, any money contributed from the book sales is paid by the mugs who buy the book and not himself.

There's also a link from this article to another one asking where his money goes - considering he was so profligate with tax revenues, you would think that he would be more open. Mind you, he does have Cruella de Ville's spending habits and misplaced self-worth to deal with.
View Article  Royal Marines future
Royal Marines future

You may have either seen or heard of the discussions in the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) and UK press concerning a likely  UK Army initiated suggestion for UK defence budget cuts, which would involve disbanding the Royal Marines in its current and 300+ year old traditional form as part of the Royal Navy, and making the Royal Marines be made part of the UK Army; as part of a special warfare element comprising the UK parachute Regiment and the Royal Marines.
 
When this sort of loose and very dangerous talk is going around MOD things tend to stick unless more informed opinion and facts are brought into play.  In that regard, I thought the Commandant General Royal Marines recent speech to the Royal United Services Institute in London should get wide distribution as it so eloquently and succinctly expresses the extreme value UK defence gets from the Royal Marines, and has done throughout the ages.  Most grateful if you could pass this on widely through USMC circles as a cry for help from one Marine to another.

Letter from CGRM; 7th July 2010

“WHAT LESSONS FROM TODAY'S OPERATIONS ARE

SHAPING CAPABILITY IN THE FUTURE?"


Mark Twain described history as ‘a huge Mississippi of falsehood’ - nevertheless I reflect on the fact that:

 

Yesterday marked the 22nd anniversary (6th july 1088) of the Piper Alpha oil rig explosion, to which the Royal Navy was amongst the first to respond, in the guise of HMS PHOEBE and BLACKWATER

 

Today, in 1932, marked the nadir of the Dow Jones Index – during the maelstrom of the Great Depression

 

We currently grapple with the consequences of the sinking of the DEEP WATER HORIZON - together with a global recession whose full implications are yet to be realised - not least for an island nation state so dependent on international trade

 

All of which suggests that there perhaps really is ‘nothing new under the sun, only history you didn’t know about’ – something to reflect upon when envisaging radical change to time proven capabilities in James Bergeron’s ‘Transitional Age’, where the new rules are poorly understood

 

Today also happens to be the anniversary of a maritime culinary revolution – in 1862, the ‘sea trials’ began of dried potatoes - brackets sliced - and dried meat -  brackets – ground – so eat your heart out Jamie Oliver - the spirit of innovation in the Fleet leaves you astern by a century and a half.  It’s not just the Army which marches on its stomach!

 

[Slide – Significance of Littoral]

Analysis presented in the Future Character of Conflict work coincident with the Defence Green Paper as well as the Foreign Secretary’s remarks, dissected yesterday by Christopher Meyer, indicates that an effective player in the complex; congested, contested cluttered, constrained and connected security environment of the future - must be able to influence through global reach; create time and space for political engagement, and offer scalable capability – from diplomatic to kinetic, to enable and to preserve the maximum range of strategic choices, for as long as possible.


The Secretary of State reaffirmed, here, on the 14th June, that the primary mission of the Armed Forces is the application of lethal force.


But Littoral Manoeuvre – a concept which encompasses Amphibious and Maritime Strike Operations -  is distinguished by its rheostatic nature.  It is scaleable, flexible and agile – even chameleon in character – it can be employed as a precise and responsive instrument to support our Foreign and Security policy. 


Fundamentally it is about manoeuvre not attrition nimbleness not mass adaptability not fixity discrimination not prescription It offers presence. 


The ability to poise; to influence; to apply ‘force on mind’ through a judiciously calibrated posture – without occupation; to deter and coerce without commitment.  It can PREVENT in the widest sense, whether by direct involvement; by facilitating the business of Other Government Departments, or as a visible, powerful symbol of UK interest.


And, if needs be, it can, as a brigade Theatre Entry Force … smash down the door…albeit elegantly, and mindful of the implications of Feng Shui!


The utility of this instrument is writ large through the 29 deployments involving either specialist amphibious shipping and/or the Landing Force, over the past 10 years, applying a carefully calibrated blend of ‘soft’ and ‘hard’ power across the globe.

 

72.5% of the Royal Marines is deployable and 64% will deploy or be at high readiness to deploy over the next 24 months; others are committed to protecting the nuclear deterrent, SFSG and the Band Service. 70 % of the RMR has deployed for 6 months on Operations since 2003.  

 

Acknowledging the current gaps arising from the HERRICK Main Effort, we retain the fundamental capabilities to deliver a Theatre Entry effect independent of Access, Basing and Overflight limitations.

 

That’s the ‘How’ – now the ‘What’

 

We have an Amphibious Fleet in being comprising of 1 x LPH, 2 x LPDs and 4 x LSDAs.  These assets have a mean age of only 7 years. They cost £1.3Bn to procure and they are projected to remain in service beyond 2032.

 

They can manoeuvre to outflank and strike, with strategic agility, over 300 nautical miles, in 24 hours.

 

The Landing Force - 3 Commando Brigade - has the capacity to land 2 Commando Groups ashore in one cycle of darkness, from over the horizon, up to sea state 4, with a first assault wave of 500 men hitting the target simultaneously in a four Company Group lift, two by surface and two by air.

 

I thought I might now use a couple of vignettes from last year, and the present, to demonstrate the utility of this construct - this joint amphibious team:

 

Starting with my deployable 2* Headquarters, which has been committed on operations for 51% of its 8 year life.

 

Based on staff of about 50, this HQ has now deployed as a Maritime, Land, National and Amphibious Component Command.

 

Last year it deployed to Iraq as the last UK divisional headquarters, to set the conditions for, and to orchestrate the TELIC drawdown and transfer of authority to the Iraqi Army – an undertaking which was distinguished by its focus on Iraqi needs and its cultural sensitivity.

 

3 Commando Brigade was engaged at the outset of the TELIC campaign – conducting an opposed amphibious helicopter assault onto the Al Faw peninsula ahead of the main attack.  So first in - and last out …

 

40 Commando deployed for 6 months, as an Amphibious Ready Group on Exercise TAURUS, developing contingent capability toward BSSFI .

 

It trained, exercised, and engaged with Malta, Turkey, Greece/Cyprus, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, The Maldives, India, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, and Brunei.   Countries of significant importance to the UK – either by virtue of their priority in CT terms, as part of our wider regional engagement strategy and trading interests; or their utility to the UK for training purposes.

 

Partnering is maritime core business – it is braided throughout the Royal Navy’s 500 year history.

 

The ARG’s activities ranged from the largest scale UK/Saudi Arabia exercise since Operation GRANBY, in 1991, through to individual small boat training in Yemen, and joint multi-agency planning exercises in Bangladesh.


HMS ALBION delivered capacity building training to the Nigerian Navy enhancing the security operations in the Delta not least to the benefit of UK citizens working in the oil industry. Continuation training was delivered earlier this year by 1 Assault Squadron Royal Marines.

 

Throughout the entire period of TAURUS 40 Commando remained poised as the UK’s high readiness reaction force.

 

Meanwhile the bulk of the Brigade was engaged in Helmand. The rigours of this campaign are well understood.  It places immense demands on our people, their individual judgement, determination, resilience, courage and discrimination.  It requires every Marine to be his own general.   The Corps has been committed to HERRICKs 5, 7, 9, 12 (and soon, 14) … and in the case of the Armoured Support Group, many, and the SBS, all in between.

 

These have been ‘hard yards’, the butcher’s bill makes grim reading - pro rata, Lovat warriors have sustained over 2.5 times both the fatal casualties and the grievously wounded of our Khaki comrades.

 

But the ability to cope and flourish amidst complexity and uncertainty – together with familiarity with a joint and inter-agency approach, bred through training in the amphibious environment, has equipped us well for the demands of such messy wars amongst the people. This willingness to adjust, to endure and to seek understanding is a hallmark of our people, and a theme to which I will return.

 

This year, my 2* Staff, having re-roled as a Maritime Component Command through Ex COLD RESPONSE, now forms the core of the EUNAVFOR Operational Headquarters, running the Counter Piracy Operation off the coast of Somalia.  27 Nations collaborating with NATO and Coalition Maritime Forces to safeguard the Global Commons.  Twenty percent of the world’s trade passes through the Babel Mendeb …one LPG tanker every two days en route to Milford Haven – without which the lights of the United Kingdom would within days start to dim.

 

I have already touched upon 40 Commando and HERRICK 12 – they have been much in the press of late, holding the ring in Sangin.  I will not labour this except to say that they are seamlessly integrated into the US command structure.  There have been many references in this conference, to our relationship with the United States … Special or otherwise – and its importance.  But our relationship with the United States Marine Corps – the acme of American military excellence – is genuinely a special one:  Marine to Marine – even brother to brother, which transcends nationality. A link which I would suggest provides disproportionate leverage to the UK.

 

Meanwhile, as Peter [RAdm Peter Hudson RN, COMUKMARFOR] has said, a sizeable chunk of the Brigade Landing Force is embarked and participating in an Amphibious and Carrier Strike exercise – AURIGA – integrated again with US forces – building on Exercises TAURUS, COLD RESPONSE and foreshadowing COUGAR next year, to regenerate contingent capability

 

One Maritime Force, consisting of two Task Groups, separable but not separate, providing: Contingent, Expeditionary, Scaleable, Independent, Organic, Flexible, Balanced and potentially Forward Deployed forces.

 

So what of the future?

 

For this maritime force to integrate fully, our surface assault capabilities must have speed and reach, enhancing further our ability to manoeuvre and negate an adversary’s access denial (A2D2) capabilities.  The acquisition of the triad of genuine, fast Over the Horizon assault craft between 2016-19, is a priority.

 

30 Commando IX Group is unique, and is the modem for the 3 Commando Brigade’s precision effect.  It is key to its UNDERSTAND and DISCRIMINATE functions.  It comprises 20% of the UK’s Tactical SIGINT.  It has established excellent relationships with other Intelligence Agencies.  As a model of best practice, we should continue to invest in it and to evolve its ISTAR capabilities.

 

I have neglected so far to mention several of the Defence Lines of Development which underpin the future of the LitM capability. Training is one: Lympstone – the centre which provides all of this: training the airmen, sailors, marines and soldiers – the many, many soldiers, who lean into this Commando challenge. Lympstone, of the 12 training organisations scrutinised by OFSTED last year, was cited as the very clear exemplar in terms of effectiveness and efficiency.

 

In conclusion though and tying the past, present and future together, I would focus briefly on the people engaged in this activity. The moral component – the why we fight: the single most important factor.

 

The FCOC Paper states that ‘the future agile force favours the capability of people (physical and mental robustness, flexibility and a premium on training) over platform numbers.’

 

The activities I have described are undertaken by extraordinarily high-calibre people.

 

The Boys and girls are Bright:

 

Forty percent of Royal Marine recruits are educationally qualified to be officers. Over 10% have university degrees. Two currently in training have Masters Degrees and when I was running the Commando Wing fifteen years ago, two fully qualified vets joined up – we only discovered this when none of their respective troops visited the Sickbay because they were being ‘physicked’ with Horse Drench and Saddle Liniment.

 

I visited 539 Assault Squadron in Plymouth a month ago and talked to a group of coxswains who were about to conduct a long navigation exercise in Off Shore Raiding Craft to the Scilly Isles.  One Marine looked older than the rest and I asked him what his background was.  He explained that he had joined the Corps late and had, to use his word, ‘wasted’ some time working at the ‘Hadron Collider’ – smashing atoms - as a Professor of Sub-Atomic Particle Physics.  I told him not to smash my boat up!

 

Fifty percent of my officers finish in the top ten percent at the Joint Staff College. That said, we have the lowest ratio of Officers to other ranks in the 3 Services.

 

No, the Boys are Resilient, indeed I can reassure Julian [Professor Julian Lindley French, Eisenhower Professor of Defence Strategy, Royal Netherlands Defence Academy], that footballers aside, Tommy Atkins has not become soft - 3 weeks into 40 Commando’s recent tour Sergeant Lee Walters was caught up in an intense fire fight and was shot in the neck, the hand and the foot.  He refused to be listed, and sitting up in bed, informed his anxious wife of his misfortunes himself.  Incidentally, on HERRICK 5, Sgt Walters engaged in another battle, on a pitch-black night, fell down a well.  Which his Mates thought – 3,000 miles from the sea- was taking a commitment to amphibious operations a bit too far.

 

Three weeks ago Captain John White, OC Recce Troop, 40 Commando was blown up on patrol.  Barely conscious, having lost both his legs and one of his arms, he sought to reassure his anxious Marines as they loaded his stretcher onto the MEDEVAC flight.  “Don’t worry Boys, ‘gold’ in the Para Olympics Next!”

 

The Corps numbers 3% of the manpower of Defence, but constitutes 37% of the badged manpower of UK Special Forces.

 

And Finally – my Boys are Imaginative and Innovative - One example:

 

The week I became Commandant General, Recruit Phillip Cain, 6 weeks into training contracted Meningitis, despite repeated multiple amputations to stem the spread of the disease, he very quickly died.  His young and still inexperienced Troop were adamant that they would carry his coffin at his military funeral and were issued with Regimental Blues four months early to do so with exemplary precision and self-control. At the 7 month point, they duly completed their four Commando Tests and were, in time honoured tradition, given their green berets at the end of the 30 Mile March on Dartmoor.  Philip Cain’s father was there too and received a piece of precious green felt from Prince Michael of Kent … for in spirit and soul his boy was also a proud Commando Soldier, since his Mates, on their own initiative, had carried his ashes throughout. 

 

I would suggest that whatever the future may hold, precious DNA such as this, will be of value to Her Majesty’s Government.

 

In 1803, Napoleon remarked of the Corps: ‘How much might be done with a hundred thousand soldiers such as these’

 

Thank you
View Article  Airborne Agenda
Airborne Agenda



Parachute Regiment and the Royal Marines to be amalgamated !?

Royal Marines and Paras may face merger in controversial military shake-up

The Royal Marines could be merged with the Paras to form a new expeditionary brigade under a controversial military shake-up.

The ‘nuclear’ option of creating a new expeditionary brigade is being considered as military chiefs try to make budget cuts of up to 20 per cent.

Merging two such fiercely independent, illustrious and highly decorated fighting units is likely to cause resentment.

Working together: The Royal Marines could be merged with the Paras to form a new expeditionary brigade under a controversial military shake-up

Working together: The Royal Marines could be merged with the Paras to form a new expeditionary brigade under a controversial military shake-up

Other plans could see the Marines placed under the control of the Army for the first time in over 250 years.

The Ministry of Defence is considering wrenching operational command of the green-beret commando corps from the Royal Navy – a move previously panned as ‘unthinkable’.

Senior defence sources said the Army had ‘made a grab’ for operational responsibility of the Marines, while leaving the Navy in formal control and footing the bill.

One senior defence source said: ‘Are the plans a touch mad? Possibly. Are they being discussed? Absolutely.’

Mike Codner, director of military science at the Royal United Services Institute defence think-tank, warned that the shake-up in command could weaken the Marines, making them lose their ‘focus and ethos and levels of achievement’.

Some 1,000 Marines are currently serving in Sangin, Afghanistan. Since deploying in April, 14 have been killed.

Foxnwolf comment;

(is this the daily mail & others stirring the pot, trying to sell newspapers????)

Over to you "GD".......
View Article  Release Anthony Malone
Anthony is banged up in the horiffic Pol-e-Charkhi prison in Afghanistan he has been there for two and a half years


...His sentence was for 2 years...

Anthony, a former paratrooper, has served his 2 year sentence but has still not been released, which we believe is a violation of not just Anthony's human rights but also international law.

We are looking for as much public support as possible to help us release Anthony from the appalling conditions he is enduring.

If you can offer help in anyway then please write to your local MP, William Hague and David Cameron.......

You can also sign a petition here
 

You can also support his Facebook page


Embassy Contact(s)

Address:         
British Embassy, 15th Street Roundabout, Wazir Akbar Khan,
PO Box: 334
Kabul, Afghanistan 
Opening Hours:
Sunday - Thursday  08:30  to 16:30 local time
Telephone:     
(93)  (0) 700 102 000 (Switchboard)
Fax:       
(93)  (0) 700 102 250  (Management)
E-mail:
BritishEmbassy.Kabul@fco.gov.uk
View Article  A comment on the Saville Report !
For those of you who may have been there or thereabouts at the time, and for those of you who weren't but are of the age to remember, I give you a comment on the subject of The Saville Report -12 years in the making and eleventyumptynine million pounds cost to make Blair look good when he did sod all except :
a. Concede everything.
b. Brought John Major's initiative to an extremely unsatisfactory end but did bugger all to drive the engine.
c. Launch the most long-winded and expensive whitewash ever known.

I rarely agree with Simon Heffer of The Daily Telegraph because, without any military experience, he is a "Colonel Sir Bufton Tufton - V.C. and six bars, G.M., Mc." of Tunbridge Wells.

But this you have to read :

Read it here

Now, if you read other articles and reports - especially from those in the "know" - you will and indeed have done so for many years, wonder how McGuiness was never charged and was allowed to become an M.P.. and yet was truly believed to have opened fire on the Paras first to provoke such an incident and never mind the inocents caught in the backlash/crossfire ......... however, for that you'll either have to wait 30 or 40 years more or advance on the testicles of that abominable creature Blair with a pair of red hot pliers and a demand for repayment of all his ill-gotten gains and property prtfolio as they are the prceeds of crime.

So let's have a look at the M62 coach bombing, Manchester City Centre, the City of London, the chip shop in Omagh and countless others like Birmingham, The Grand Hotel and Guildford - no enquiries there then ? No criticism of McGuiness - only a "perhaps he may have had a Thompson" ! What ?

At least the lawyers came out of it well, one even managing (allegedly) to purchase a Scottish estate on the proceeds ; McGuiness and Adams have their salaries/expenses as M.P.s even without sitting in Parliament.

This political class - and it hasn't changed even at the last election - should hang its collective head in shame ! Perhaps they, McGuiness and Adams deserve each other. But as sure as eggs are eggs, the people of this country don't.
View Article  A large portion of Gordon Brown's toecap for you chaps - this is what he meant by giving the miitary all he asked for !
This sums up Brown's performance and his continuing farrago of lies regarding the respect that he has for the Armed Forces ........ NOT !

Click here - read it and weep

I wonder if the M.P.s of all parties and the ones who lost their seats are expected to adhere to the same time schedule ?

No - didn't think that these self serving pieces of sh*t would ...... or care.

Kipling rules - "Tommy this, and Tommy that,
                         And "Kick him out, the brute"
                         But he's the saviour of his country
                         When the guns begin to shoot"

Time to write to your M.P.s, lovely boys ......... because the majority of them "don't like it up 'em".
And if you voted Labour then hang your heads in shame !
View Article  This is incredible .......
This is incredible, if true.

Click Here

Apparently he told The Sun that it took him nine rounds to hit the first, then 28 seconds to take out the other four. It makes you think ........ 9 rounds for the first, then the others moved closer together ? Then 4 downed in 28 seconds ? That's one every 7 seconds - from a mile away with a bolt action rifle ? And were they still all close together for the 28 seconds as they started falling ? If so, fantastic .......
Mmmmm !
I do not doubt his skill; I do not doubt his commitment. But somehow, why doesn't this ring true ............ ?????

View Article  The only surprise !
The only surprise about this was that I wasn't surprised.
An astonishing claim and, if true, it makes you question political priorities and the commitment shown by troops to an ungrateful government.

Click Here

It's good to know that this government backs the military 100%, isn't it ?




View Article  Former Service personnel pensions - and the Brown effect.
Drawing a pension for your time in the Armed Forces ? Then you'll no doubt be pleased that Gordon Brown appreciates your efforts and "has given the military everything they asked for" as both Chancellor and P.M..

So how does this latest 'stroke' of his sit with you today ?

Click Here

Not quite the appreciation for your service that you were anticipating, is it ?


View Article  Private Security Firms Poaching Elite Troops


Private Security Firms Poaching Elite Troops

A boom in recruitment by security firms guarding ships against Somali pirates has caused a stream of troops to leave elite units for lucrative contracts in the private sector

The loss of veterans of wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, particularly corporals and sergeants, "rips the skeleton" from the bodies of units like the Royal Marines and Parachute Regiment, the commander of 3 Commando during the Falklands War, Julian Thompson, has warned.

According to Ministry of Defence figures, 570 Royal Marines and 170 members of 2nd and 3rd Battalions of the Parachute Regiment left the forces between 2009 and 2011.

Even though the figure for the Marines includes those who were medically discharged, the rate at which elite soldiers from both units have been leaving is around double the average.


Ben Scott, a former Royal Marine corporal who served in Afghanistan
Ben Scott who served in Afghanistan five years ago
Everyone seems to think at some stage my number might be up, whether it's one tour or two tours or however many tours.
If you have that feeling it certainly puts the wind up you.

Among the Marines, the MOD admitted, the bulk of those leaving voluntarily were senior privates, corporals and sergeants. These non-commissioned officers lead sections of around eight men, or platoons of around 30. They are responsible for life-and-death tactical decisions during fighting.

No definite data is available on what soldiers do when they leave the services but senior officers have been deeply concerned about the losses of experienced troops to the private security companies for more than a year.

"Anecdotally, between 1st June 2011 and 30th November 2011, 54 soldiers from 3 Para have applied for Premature Voluntary Release. Of these, 24 have claimed they were seeking work in the private security industry," an MoD source said.

Britain is the world leader in security companies, which have expanded rapidly into the maritime sector as a consequence of piracy in the Indian Ocean and Arabian Sea.

Recent estimates put the economic costs of piracy at $7bn over the last three years.
At times piracy has threatened to have a strategic impact on countries like the UK because 40% of its liquid natural gas passes through the Suez Canal and interruptions in supply could have driven prices up.

British troops in Afghanistan
Typically private companies look for mature soldiers who have held leadership positions

A private security contractor with a background in the Marines or Paras can expect to earn around £300 a day - up to triple what they could earn in the forces. Typically they work in small teams of around four men and travel on board ships crossing the Indian Ocean. Some are armed.

Maritime security insiders say part of the reason the private sector is able to recruit so easily is that the frequency of deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan has taken a heavy toll on the private lives of soldiers and their families.

They are also aware that their chances of avoiding death or a life changing injury decline with every tour on the front line. Some units who have been involved in the heaviest fighting in Afghanistan since 2006 have suffered casualty rates of one in five.

"Everyone seems to think at some stage my number might be up, whether it's one tour or two tours or however many tours," said Ben Scott, a former Royal Marine corporal who served for seven years and fought in Helmand in 2007.

Ben Scott, a former Royal Marine corporal who served in Afghanistan
Ben Scott who served in Afghanistan five years ago

"If you have that feeling it certainly puts the wind up you. You might not want to really do it anymore, it's not a risk you're going to want to take,"

He left the commandos six weeks ago and is soon to start work guarding ships in the Indian ocean for Plymouth-based Transafe Maritime.

Phil Cole, a director at Maritime Asset Security and Training, which has offices at Stansted and Plymouth in order to maintain close links to nearby Paras and Marines, said that companies looked for mature soldiers who have held leadership positions.

"The jobs on the ships require maturity and quick thinking. Our guys will be required to liaise with government officials, the ship's master, and to face off with pirates. That means that we will be looking to recruit men and women who have been leaders in the forces - often those who have retired or are leaving after a few years because they want a quieter life and better pay.

"The down side is that we don't offer the job security that the forces do. All of our people are self-employed," he added.

But recruitment of NCOs poses a risk to units because "it rips the skeleton out of the structure".

"The structure is built around the skeleton of the junior commanders and they are absolutely vital to make certain that their expertise is passed on to the young guys and they do the leading then the kitchen gets hot," Major General Thompson said.

Marines who sign on for an extra three years beyond their existing contracts are also paid a £15,000 lump sum - and they have been spared from any cuts under the MoD's efforts to balance a budget, which has been £39bn in the red.

Public support in the UK for the war in Afghanistan has been falling. Nearly three-quarters (73%) believe it is unwinnable, according to a recent ComRes poll. In June last year the figure was 60%, while 46% of those surveyed had no idea why Britain was in Afghanistan.

Nonetheless, recruitment to the Armed Forces, including the Royal Marines and Paras, remains strong.

"We know we have a problem with our junior leaders being attracted from some units into the private sector but there is no shortage of recruits, so in the long term this will be balanced out," said an MoD source.

An official statement from the ministry said: "Those who serve in the Armed Forces build up specialist skills over the course of their Service.

"The Services place great value on these, which is why we offer a wide range of benefits to those serving, including housing, an excellent pension scheme and a clear career progression."