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British Military Current Events

dapaterson

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Was he a gunner by any chance? Behaviour lines up with a gentleman I knew...
 

daftandbarmy

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Looks like she made it. Wow....

British Sikh Army officer becomes first woman of color to ski solo to the South Pole​


British-born Sikh army officer Preet Chandi has become the first woman of color to complete a solo expedition to the South Pole
Chandi, who has spent the past few months skiing solo and unsupported across Antarctica, announced on January 3 that she'd completed the 700 mile trek in 40 days.

"Feeling so many emotions right now," said Chandi, via her blog.

Before departing on her trip in November 2021, 32-year-old Chandi told CNN she hoped her adventure would inspire others to push their boundaries and defy cultural norms.

It's a sentiment Chandi reiterated in her finish line blog post.

"The expedition was always about so much more than me," reads her January 3 update. "I want to encourage people to push their boundaries and to believe in themselves, and I want you to be able to do it without being labeled a rebel."

 

daftandbarmy

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The war that keeps on giving:



🍻

Meanwhile, at Change.org:

Tony Blair: Petition to block knighthood tops 700,000 signatures​


The ex-Labour leader, who was in power from 1997 to 2007, was given the title as the New Year's Honours were awarded.

But the petition complains that his role in the Iraq war makes him "personally responsible" for many deaths and accuses him of "war crimes".
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said Sir Tony had "earned" a knighthood.

And a government minister said it was "only right" to reward the former prime minister, who had done "many good things" for the UK.



 

Blackadder1916

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Tony Blair: Petition to block knighthood tops 700,000 signatures

An almost mandatory link is required


In going down the internet rabbit hole, I went to the Honours Forfeiture Committee link in the BBC story. Reading the examples listed for situations that could be grounds for removing honours, i.e.

"The Forfeiture Committee considers cases put to it when the holder of an honour has brought the honours system into disrepute. Examples include if an individual:
  • has been found guilty by the courts of a criminal offence and sentenced to a term of imprisonment of more than three months
  • has been censured or struck off by the relevant regulatory authority or professional body, for actions or failures to act, especially which are directly relevant to the granting of the honour
  • has been found guilty by the courts of a criminal offence covered by the Sexual Offences Act 2003 (England and Wales), Sexual Offences Order 2008 (Northern Ireland) or Sexual Offences Act 2009 (Scotland);
  • has been found to have committed a sexual act which is listed in the Acts above following a ‘trial of the facts’.
But the Committee is not restricted to these two criteria, and any case can be considered where there is evidence to suggest that the retention of an honour would bring the honours system into disrepute.

The Committee is not an investigatory body – it does not decide whether or not someone is guilty or innocent of a particular act. Instead, it reflects the findings of official investigations and makes a recommendation of whether or not the honours system has been brought into disrepute."


A thought came to mind (unrelated to the Blair's honours) having seen another story on the BBC site; that one that dealt with the increasing legal problems of the Duke of York. How then does "Mother" respond, should the once cheekily nicknamed "Randy Andy" be found liable in the civil case against him for committing one such listed sexual act?
 

Jarnhamar

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Looks like she made it. Wow....

British Sikh Army officer becomes first woman of color to ski solo to the South Pole​


British-born Sikh army officer Preet Chandi has become the first woman of color to complete a solo expedition to the South Pole
Chandi, who has spent the past few months skiing solo and unsupported across Antarctica, announced on January 3 that she'd completed the 700 mile trek in 40 days.
Incredible.

To think the first trek to the pole and back took 99 days with 5 men, 52 dogs pulling sleds and pre-positioned food and supply caches.

Did she trek back on her own as well? It sounds like the 40 days was 1 way but it doesn't mention returning.
 

daftandbarmy

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Incredible.

To think the first trek to the pole and back took 99 days with 5 men, 52 dogs pulling sleds and pre-positioned food and supply caches.

Did she trek back on her own as well? It sounds like the 40 days was 1 way but it doesn't mention returning.

I think she was on a 'one way' trip. Amazing effort. She's pulled off an epic feat.

I know a guy who did that trip in the 80s with the first 'unsupported' expedition - In the Footsteps of Scott - led by Robert Swan that kicked off all the more recent foot-borne attempts.

Gareth Wood was the only Canadian on this British expedition and therefore, the first Canuck to walk to the South Pole. Gareth was a 2Lt in 5 Fd Regt RCA at one point so not bad for a 'Class A Gunner' ;)

It took them 70 days, with no possibility for daily calls home to Mummy and Daddy... or rescue aircraft.

 

Blackadder1916

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Well done, Captain Chandi RAMC ! (had to highlight that)


I had to chuckle at her description of "preparing for the cold" as including a course in Norway where the temp got down to -20C. The thermometer out my backdoor currently reads -26C. Luxury.
 

daftandbarmy

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Well done, Captain Chandi RAMC ! (had to highlight that)


I had to chuckle at her description of "preparing for the cold" as including a course in Norway where the temp got down to -20C. The thermometer out my backdoor currently reads -26C. Luxury.

Well, it IS summer down there right now ;)

 

daftandbarmy

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There's alot here that applies to us as well. BLUF:

"The Army Reserve is being asked to do a great deal more. It needs the structures and processes to achieve that, and senior reservists – including DCFA – need to be at the heart of designing and implementing them."

A Strong Army Reserve Requires Senior Representation​


Despite great ambitions for the Army Reserve in the Integrated Review, the UK is far behind its allies and is marginalising senior reservists.
The narrative for the Army Reserve emerging from the Integrated Review states that it will play ‘a vital and pivotal role … We require a more capable, more ready and more usable Army Reserve, which is assured to deliver against mandated tasks across the UK or overseas. Every part of the Army Reserve will have a clear warfighting role and stand ready to fight as part of the Whole Force in time of war. Over the coming years the Army Reserve will increasingly take responsibility for Homeland Protect and Resilience operations, supported by the regular component’.

In principle, this makes excellent sense; at the peak, reserves made up one fifth of British forces in Iraq and one eighth in Afghanistan, and, more recently, they have shone in the COVID emergency and dealing with cyber threats. The narrative is grounded in the Future Reserves 30 study.
Indeed, reserves form a larger proportion of the forces in the UK’s Five Eyes sister countries – including half of all US land forces – but the practical difference is that the US, Canada and Australia have a better understanding of how to organise reserve forces than the UK does. In each of them, the voice of volunteer reservists – people who have combined a career in civilian life with one in the military – is stronger.

The US has many senior reservists, including a two-star National Guard commander in every state. In Australia, the senior reservist commander is a major general commanding a division. Australia’s most famous wartime divisional commander, Leslie Morehead of the 9th Division and Tobruk fame, was a teacher.

At its best, a reserve unit offers lower readiness capability at 20–25% of the cost of equivalent regular units and access to skills not available in the regulars. Reserves can also offer a bridge to civilian communities and the nation, at a time when regular forces are concentrating on a few super-garrisons. Many Territorial units shone in both world wars, with figures like Bill Slim, David Stirling and Shimi Lovat emerging from reserve backgrounds – indeed, Stirling saw the centrality of civilian thinking as pivotal in the birth of the SAS.


Yet this heritage was largely abandoned. The earlier Future Reserves 20 report found that there had been a failure to resource and understand the reserves throughout the 1990s, which was compounded by their use exclusively as augmentees in the final stages of Operation Herrick in Afghanistan. As a result, the then Territorial Army had suffered a collapse in the number of junior commanders. This has had to be painstakingly rebuilt.

Visiting US National Guard units in Afghanistan – and in the US itself – it was impossible not to be struck by how much better designed their supporting structures and processes are than those in the UK, where ‘integration’ too often means trying to cram people with civilian jobs into a regular mould. The muddled processes involved in mobilising comparatively small numbers for Operation Rescript, identified by the RFCA External Scrutiny Team, were rooted in a lack of reserve experience in key branches, including the Land Operations Centre.

The current reserves recruiting programme has not produced the surge the Army Reserve needed after the inevitable outflow of people during the near paralysis of the coronavirus pandemic. It appears to have operated last year without consultation with reserve units or the RFCA, with their regional and local contacts.

More widely, rebuilding credible reserves involves a policy and skillset from outside regular training and thinking. This includes a much greater focus on marketing – not just for recruiting but to maximise routine attendance and build local presence.

It also involves understanding how to apply what the Australians call the reserve pattern of employment to training: how to get the best out of people with busy day jobs – rather than simply defaulting to sending them on regular courses, matching civilian working hours at distant establishments, as some British corps still do. After all, reservists are required to have higher educational attainment than regulars precisely to allow accelerated learning.

Central to devising the reshaping of the citizen force must be senior representation by part-time reservists themselves, people who understand all the differences in dealing with people whose main job is not the Army. Yet today, with 30% of the planned establishment of the total Army, the Army Reserve has just two major generals who have combined a civilian job with a military one. There is a third reservist major general currently occupying a competed, tri-service post. This contrasts with 65 regular general officers.


Unbelievably, instead of plans to develop senior reserve presence in critical areas, there is a proposal circulating to eliminate one of the two posts currently occupied by reservists: Deputy Commander Field Army (DCFA). This will leave no two-star reservist voice in the Field Army’s command group – the body which will organise most of the reserves restructuring. Such a move would send a dreadful message to reserve commanding officers: that the Regular Army – despite all the evidence to the contrary – thinks it knows all about reserves and will crack on regardless. It flies in the face of the clear statements of intent from the secretary of state on the importance of reserve forces.

Similarly, the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst controls all the University Officers’ Training Corps (OTCs), who are tasked with the early training for most reserve officers. Yet the key one-star post of Deputy Commandant (Reserves) disappeared three years ago, and the critical role of the remaining reserve colonel in co-ordinating the OTCs has just been marginalised by the creation of a new regular post. The reserve voice is being frozen out of another pivotal area for the health and regeneration of the Army Reserve.

There is a wider point here. Sir Richard Haldane’s vision was of OTCs as evangelising movements for the military in the upper echelons of civilian society, and agents for the growth of a reserve officer corps. Today they risk becoming little more than recruiting organisations for regular officers and another example of the forces’ wider retreat from the civilian world.

Many in the Army Reserve welcome the confidence expressed in the reserve component, and the increased clarity of purpose and focus should be encouraging and exciting. But regular commanders must understand that the worst way to integrate two very different components is to try to pretend they are the same. The best reserve leaders are usually those who have the most demanding civilian jobs. Regular decision processes must adjust to take account of this.

The Army Reserve is being asked to do a great deal more. It needs the structures and processes to achieve that, and senior reservists – including DCFA – need to be at the heart of designing and implementing them.

 

FJAG

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A Strong Army Reserve Requires Senior Representation
Probably the wrong thread for this but I really have a problem with the concept - yup it would be nice to have that senior representation ... But ... how effective is ours?

Can we build a system that creates good majors for actual command but then diverts the best of those to advance upward to fill advisory and staff functions without having a command slot which they would be incapable of filling on deployment?

:unsure:
 

daftandbarmy

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Probably the wrong thread for this but I really have a problem with the concept - yup it would be nice to have that senior representation ... But ... how effective is ours?

Can we build a system that creates good majors for actual command but then diverts the best of those to advance upward to fill advisory and staff functions without having a command slot which they would be incapable of filling on deployment?

:unsure:

Yeah, I'm always a bit skeptical about the whole 'Reservist General' thing myself.

I guess the message is: if you want the Reserves to change, it will take time and money and not just wishful thinking.
 

Kirkhill

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Probably the wrong thread for this but I really have a problem with the concept - yup it would be nice to have that senior representation ... But ... how effective is ours?

Can we build a system that creates good majors for actual command but then diverts the best of those to advance upward to fill advisory and staff functions without having a command slot which they would be incapable of filling on deployment?

:unsure:

the US, Canada and Australia have a better understanding of how to organise reserve forces than the UK does. In each of them, the voice of volunteer reservists – people who have combined a career in civilian life with one in the military – is stronger.

The US has many senior reservists, including a two-star National Guard commander in every state. In Australia, the senior reservist commander is a major general commanding a division. Australia’s most famous wartime divisional commander, Leslie Morehead of the 9th Division and Tobruk fame, was a teacher.

Mixing two different thoughts here I think. One is can "civilians" make effective Generals? History suggests that in war time they can. In addition to the examples cited I would add the WW1 examples of Currie, Monash and Jan Smuts (with previous success as an anti-British Boer commando).

But what happens when peace breaks out and armies get back to "real soldiering" instead of faffing about with all these strange and innovative ideas?

Here I think the US has the advantage in having 51 separate "armies" of which only one is Federal. The State, in the United States, is famously the "laboratory of democracy". Some of that freedom of movement, independence, obstinacy is reflected in the National Guards. Those tendencies exert pulls that are absent in centralized armies like Canada's and the UK's. Canada's provinces just don't exert the same influence. I can't speak for Aussie States.

I know many people shudder at the notion of Canadian National Guards but, at the local level, more provincial involvement could be advantageous to the Militia based Reserves.
 

daftandbarmy

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Marching to the sound of the guns....

British military aircraft rapidly supplying weapons to Ukraine​

British C-17 transport aircraft are currently moving “light anti-armour” weapons into Ukraine in light of “increasingly threatening” behaviour from Russia.​


The C-17 transport aircraft are in flight as we speak, Germany has apparently denied overflight rights judging by the path taken.

According to a statement given by the Defence Secretary in the House of Commons today, the 17th of January 2022.

“As of today, tens of thousands of Russian troops are positioned close to the Ukrainian border. Their deployment is not routine, and they are equipped with tanks, armoured fighting vehicles, rocket artillery, and short-range ballistic missiles.

I can today confirm to the House that, in light of the increasingly threatening behaviour from Russia, and in addition to our current support, the UK is providing a new security assistance package to increase Ukraine’s defensive capabilities.

We have taken the decision to supply Ukraine with light, anti-armour, defensive weapon systems. A small number of UK personnel will also provide early-stage training for a short period of time, within the framework of Operation ORBITAL, before then returning to the United Kingdom.

This security assistance package complements the training and capabilities that Ukraine already has, and those that are also being provided by the UK and other Allies in Europe and the United States. Ukraine has every right to defend its borders, and this new package of aid further enhances its ability to do so.

Let me be clear: this support is for short-range, and clearly defensive weapons capabilities; they are not strategic weapons and pose no threat to Russia. They are to use in self-defence and the UK personnel providing the early-stage training will return to the United Kingdom after completing it.”

British military aircraft rapidly supplying weapons to Ukraine
 
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