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British Military Current Events


Army.ca Dinosaur
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I thought I'd start a thread where all the stuff that pops up in the daily news can be posted:

This one should really get the ROYAL MARINES going. Note to self: send piss-taking message to the UK...

Medal for SOLDIER who defied Taliban for four hours
My contribution and the usual disclaimer:

Duty call for 1,000 Scots troops

The Ministry of Defence has announced that more than 1,000 Scottish soldiers are to be deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan this autumn.
The move is part of a planned regular rotation of British forces which is expected to come into effect during October and November.

The announcement was made in the form of a written statement to MPs from Defence Secretary Des Browne.

He confirmed about 1,150 soldiers would be deployed.

About 50 soldiers from the 52 Infantry Brigade headquarters in Edinburgh will be sent to Helmund in Afghanistan.

They will replace 12 Mechanised Brigade, as part of International Security Assistance Force, a UN authorised NATO mission.

Challenges Ahead

Brigade commander, Brigadier Andrew Mackay, said: "Everyone within 52 Infantry Brigade has spent the past several months working and training hard towards this deployment to Afghanistan.

  The continuing presence of US and UK forces is not the solution to the disastrous situation in Iraq

Angus Robertson SNP MP

"We are in no doubt that the challenges that will be presented to us in Helmand will be many and varied.

"As individuals the men and woman of the Brigade believe we have much to contribute in facing those challenges."

Fifty soldiers from the 52nd Lowland, 6th Battalion - a TA regiment - will also be deployed.

Soldiers being deployed to Iraq include 450 soldiers from the 1st Battalion the Scots Guards, who are currently based in Munster in Germany.

About 600 soldiers from the Royal Scots Borderers, the 1st Battalion Royal Regiment of Scotland will also go to Iraq.

It is their first operational deployment since they formed from an amalgamation of The Royal Scots and The Kings Own Scottish Borderers on 1 August, 2006.

The battalions will be carrying out security patrols and escorting duties in Iraq as well as surge operations.

They will both stay in Iraq for a six month tour of duty.

SNP defence spokesman Angus Robertson MP restated his call for troops in Iraq to return home, following the announcement.

He said: "The continuing presence of US and UK forces is not the solution to the disastrous situation in Iraq

A little off the thread but the right place to get an answer I think,
do the Death or Glory boys(17/21 Lancers) still exist and if so
where are they now?.
The 17th 21st are now the Queens Royal Lancers are they are in the UK now after coming back from Germany.
Prince Harry's Regiment off to the Front... but will he be going?  What do you think?

UK Troop Reserves 'almost gone'

Commentary on the resignation by Richard Williams, CO 22 SAS

A petition to reinstate Britain's military hospitals (and thereby bringing back the nurses to keep the Parachute Regiment busy)


If you have one to two minutes and agree with this could you please
sign the petition at the link below.

For every death you hear about in Iraq or Afghanistan there are countless
more casualties that never get reported on the news. The current situation
sees injured soldiers being brought back to the UK and put in random
hospitals, often away from where their friends and family live. These
soldiers, who are often on their own, are put in wards with normal civilian
patients who have no
concept of the environment these individuals have just been extracted from.
There have also been a number of cases of these injured soldiers then being
verbally abused by some civilian patients when they realise they have
just returned from Iraq/Afghanistan.

This petition is asking for the government to bring back dedicated Military
Hospitals in the UK so that injured soldiers can be cared for in a safe and
dignified environment with staff and fellow patients who understand the
situation that they have just returned from.

Please take one or two minutes to fill out the Downing Street Petition on
behalf of our injured soldiers bearing in mind we all know what the damage
of war can do. Our comrades returning from Iraq & Afghanistan with horrific
injuries to a health care situation that is a Joke.

With our troops being deployed in greater numbers we must go back to the
dedicated care that they fully deserve - so please lend your support to the
petition to the Prime Minister on the Downing Street Petition Web Site. The
petition is:

We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to bring back dedicated
Military Hospitals to provide adequate facilities (non NHS)for member of the
Armed Forces who are injured or disabled in the course of their duties'

Please visit before the close on 6th August 2007 .
If you do sign you will receive an email from No 10 with a link to confirm
your signature.


The usual disclaimer:
5:32pm, 27 July 2007
Cumbrian troops head to Iraq
By Chris Story

SIX hundred Duke of Lancaster Regiment soldiers will be deployed to Iraq in November.

Defence Secretary Des Browne has confirmed that the regiment’s 1st Battalion, which includes dozens of Cumbrian troops, will be deployed as part of the 4 Mechanised Brigade based in Basra.

The troops involved are currently based at Belfast Barracks in Osnabrück, Germany.

They are the second Duke of Lancaster’s force to be deployed as part of a peacekeeping force in the Gulf country. Members of its 2nd Battalion returned from a six-month tour in June.

The number of UK troops in Basra is expected to fall to about 5,000 when the new force is dispatched during November and December.

In a written statement to MPs, Mr Browne said: “The force package we deploy will depend on conditions on the ground, in particular the security situation in the south and progress on handover of security responsibility to the Iraqi civil authorities in Basra province. We will continue to keep UK force levels in Iraq under review.”

In May, the 1st Battalion Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment prepared for its expected deployment to Iraq with training in Canada designed to simulate the threat of chemical weapons, minefields and insurgent militiahttp://www.cumberland-news.co.uk/news/viewarticle.aspx?id=525200
Well, this is tragic. I knew Mike Wills fairly well. A good way to go... saving the lives of others less expereinced

The Usual Disclaimer:
Monday, 30 July 2007, 12:20 GMT 13:20 UK
Royal Marine dies in Afghanistan
A member of the Royal Marines has been killed during operations in southern Afghanistan on Sunday, the Ministry of Defence has said.
A spokesperson said next of kin have been informed and further details will be issued after a 24-hour period.

The latest death means four members of the UK armed forces have been killed in the region in the past week.

It brings the number of UK military fatalities in Afghanistan since operations began in 2001 to 68.

The UK is among the largest contributors to the Nato mission in Afghanistan, with 7,100 troops based in Helmand province in the south of the country.

Up to 1,500 UK troops and 500 Afghan, Estonian, Danish and US soldiers have been involved in a mission to try to force Taleban insurgents further up the Gereshk Valley.

Lance Corporal Alex Hawkins, 22, of the Royal Anglian Regiment died on Wednesday, when a roadside bomb struck the vehicle he was travelling in.

Guardsman David Atherton, 25, from the Grenadier Guards, died after being shot during a firefight on Thursday after firing an anti-tank missile at Taleban positions.

And Sergeant Barry Keen, 34, serving with 14 Signal Regiment, was fatally wounded when a single mortar round landed next to him on Friday.
The TV news anchor today called it an end to 'the occupation' of NI by the army.... I almost killed the TV set....


British army ends Northern Ireland operation

Matthew Weaver and agencies
Tuesday July 31, 2007
Guardian Unlimited

The British army's longest continuous military operation comes to an end at midnight tonight when responsibility for security in Northern Ireland passes to the police.

Operation Banner lasted 38 years and involved 300,000 personnel, of which 763 were killed by paramilitaries. The last soldier to die was Lance Bombardier Stephen Restorick, who was shot at a vehicle checkpoint in 1997.

From tomorrow there will still be a garrison of 5,000 troops in Ulster, but they will not be on active operations and will be available for deployment anywhere in the world.

Security will become the responsibility of the Northern Ireland police, and the British soldiers will have a limited role in supporting them.

The armed forces minister Bob Ainsworth said: "August 1 marks the beginning of a new era for the UK armed forces in Northern Ireland when, as with other parts of the country, the military will become very much part of the community."

In a statement to MPs he added: "The impact of the commitment since 1969 has been considerable on both the military themselves and on the MoD civilians supporting them.

"They and the community at large have suffered both death and injury.

"We should take this opportunity to remember the commitment, bravery and sacrifice of all those who have served over so many years in helping deliver the current, more settled and more optimistic circumstances."

Jeffrey Donaldson, the senior Democratic Unionist MP, said political progress in Northern Ireland would not have occurred without the British army.

"We would not have got to the place we are in today with a relative degree of peace had it not been for the contribution of the army in holding the line during what was a very intensive terrorist campaign.

"I believe the army has achieved its objective in Northern Ireland in supporting the police in combating terrorism."

But he warned that the troop presence in Ulster might have to increase in the future, if the peace is broken.

"We must not be complacent. We need to ensure we have the capacity, should the need arise, for the army to step into the breach to protect Northern Ireland. Hopefully, that will not need to happen."

UK SF member KIA in Afghanistan named. Looks like he was a Royal Marine, therefore likely with the SBS.

A good mate of mine. Go get 'em Milos (but PLEASE change the scary photo of yourself). Those who served in the former Yugo in the 90s would enjoy his book 'Trusted Mole'.


Army officer sues for £1m over spy claim
Sean Rayment, Defence Correspondent, Sunday Telegraph
Last Updated: 4:01am BST 20/08/2007

A former Paratrooper whose career was destroyed after he was falsely accused of spying is to sue the Government for record damages.

Milos Stankovic: 'I want to get compensation for my loss of earnings and loss of pension'

Milos Stankovic, who was decorated by the Queen for bravery, will claim in the High Court that he was forced to leave the Army by a "malicious investigation" by Ministry of Defence (MoD) police acting on false information.

Mr Stankovic, 44, who at the time of his arrest held the rank of major in The Parachute Regiment, is seeking more than £1 million compensation for the loss of his career, salary and pension, and unpaid legal fees, The Sunday Telegraph has learned.

Mr Stankovic was arrested under the Official Secrets Act on suspicion that, while serving as a Serbo-Croat interpreter for senior British Army officers in Sarajevo, he passed secret information to the Bosnian Serbs.

The major was taken into custody while attending the Joint Services Staff College in Bracknell, Berkshire and subjected to two criminal investigations, one by the Ministry of Defence police, the other by the Royal Military Police.

Neither investigation, which had a combined cost of more than £250,000, found any evidence of espionage, which had been claimed to have taken place in 1994.

More than 100 witnesses were interviewed in Britain and the investigating team travelled to United Nations headquarters in New York in its search for evidence against Mr Stankovic.

His legal team intends to call high-profile former Army officers who will testify to Mr Stankovic's good character and reject the suggestion that the former Army major was a Bosnian spy.

Witnesses due to attend the three-week hearing in October include Gen Sir Mike Jackson, the former chief of the General Staff; Gen Sir Michael Rose, whom Mr Stankovic served as an interpreter during the Bosnian War, Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton, a former SAS commander and now private secretary to Princes William and Harry, and Martin Bell, the former MP and BBC war reporter.

At the time of his arrest in 1997, Mr Stankovic was described by Martin Bell, then MP for Tatton, as a "gallant British soldier" who "had been treated disgracefully".

Mr Stankovic said he was unable to speak freely about the forthcoming case for legal reasons but added: "This is not about vengeance. But I want to get compensation for my loss of earnings and loss of pension. I had a good career in the Army to which I was dedicated and that was wrongfully taken away from me."

He said it would also represent compensation for the lawyers who have represented him on a "no-win, no-fee" basis for the past 10 years.

The former major is said to have been a pivotal figure in brokering the release of UN soldiers and aid workers taken hostage and held as human shields against air strikes on the orders of Radovan Karadzic, the former Bosnian Serb leader, and Ratko Mladic, the head of the Bosnian Serb forces during the war in the former Yugoslavia.

Both men are at the top of the Wanted List of the War Crimes Tribunal in the Hague and are reported to be the targets of SAS snatch squads. Mladic is accused of ordering the massacre of up to 3,000 Muslim men fleeing the so-called safe haven of Srebrenica.

Mr Stankovic, whose father is Serbian but who was brought up in Britain, was a regular figure in Pale, Bosnia-Herzegovina working on behalf of UN commanders.

When UN troops were sent to the Balkans in October 1992, he was one of only two fluent Serbo-Croat speakers in the British Army and was initially attached to the Cheshire Regiment and Col Bob Stewart.

He proved his value both in his knowledge of the language and in his understanding of the people and the ethnic problems between them.

When the Cheshire Regiment returned to the UK after six months, Mr Stankovic remained and became attached to Gen Rose's staff in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo.

The work was often dangerous and Mr Stankovic took to wearing two flak jackets.

He was known as Mike Stanley by colleagues because his real surname marked him out as a Serb.

It was not long before some on the Muslim side complained privately that his relationship with Mladic and Karadzic was too close.

It is widely believed that it was partly the concerns of the Bosnian authorities, passed on to the Americans, that triggered the investigation which led to Mr Stankovic's arrest.

After returning to the UK, he was awarded the MBE in recognition of his work in Bosnia. He received his medal from the Queen during a ceremony at Buckingham Palace.

Qaiser Khanzada, Mr Stankovic's solicitor, said they would be suing the MoD for abuse of public office which caused him to lose his career.

Mr Khanzada said: "We will be seeking significant damages to cover loss of earning, loss of pension rights, false imprisonment and a myriad of other issues including legal costs. We are saying that the actions of the defendant (the MoD) caused Milos to sustain the loss of his career."

I wish the good Major good luck
as an institution, I can expect the MoD to fight this to the very end, dragging their feet all the way.
From The Sunday Times
August 26, 2007

Corporal Braveheart and the battle for Afghanistan


Sending troops to Afghanistan, defence secretary John Reid said he would be ‘very happy’ if they did not fire a shot. After more deaths last week, casualties are the highest since the second world war. Our correspondent reveals the bravery of men fighting an enemy that has too often been underestimated

Patrick Bishop

Hugo Farmer’s first ambition on leaving university with a double first was “to make as much money as possible”. The City snapped him up. It did not take long, however, to feel he was “becoming a grey man”. His colleagues were “just getting richer and fatter and older. I thought to myself, ‘I need to change tack here. I need to do something interesting’.”

He left his job even before he had been accepted for officer training at Sandhurst.

Two-and-a-half years later, in July 2006, 26-year-old Lieutenant Farmer was in command of a platoon of battle-hardened para-troops in Helmand province, Afghanistan.

Extracted from 3 Para, to be published by HarperPress on September 3 at £18.99. It is available for £16.99 including postage from The Sunday Times BooksFirst on 0870 165 8585
General Sir Mike Jackson speaks out (AFTER he retires, of course)

2nd retired British General slams US Iraq post-war planning