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 Post subject: So where are they?
PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2010 2:01 pm 
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A coroner has said there has been an "unacceptable level of mortality" among bomb disposal experts working in Afghanistan.Coroner Stuart Fisher made the comments as he returned a verdict of unlawful killing at an inquest in Lincoln into the death of Captain Daniel Shepherd.Capt Shepherd was killed as he defused an improvised explosive device by hand in Helmand province in July 2009. The coroner said it was critical that remote devices were used on bombs. Well, blow me down with a feather! That's exactly what I said in July 2009, just after it Capt Sheherd's death was reported.

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 Post subject: Re: So where are they?
PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2010 2:24 pm 
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With precious few exceptions...and you are precious to our sanity, Richard...we are a nation comprising only those who won't/can't speak up...and those who won't/can't listen up. Thus we have no sense of direction & thus those who should be speaking & listening simply delegate those responsibilities to Brussels...which isn't in to the listening bit.
No wonder we are paddleless, far up the Ordure delta.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, more deaths & fewer limbs. Who cares? Proud I am.(not)

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 Post subject: Re: So where are they?
PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2010 3:50 pm 
"But the fact is that the Buffalo has a proven record in saving lives – it is ideal for investigating suspect IED which might otherwise kill bomb disposal operators. We should have ordered them in 2005 (or earlier). The Army didn't, and it wasn't until November 2008 that an order was finally placed.

But that was 18 months ago. In the interim, we have heard nothing, and there is little indication of when these life-saving machines are going to go into service. Where are they, and how long is it going to take to get them into action? "

They are either being "up-graded for theatre" at half the cost again of the original vehicles or in storage prior to being sold as surplus to requirements by an MoD keen to show it can cut equipment budgets.


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 Post subject: Re: So where are they?
PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2010 7:46 pm 

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How reliable are Parliamentary questions and answers? As of March this year, according to Bob Ainsworth Talisman is in theatre and being used. As of March this year, according to Gordon Brown Talisman was due to deploy within the next two months.

TALISMAN was meant to be 24 Mastiffs, 12/14 Buffalos, 6 T-HAWK micro-UAVs (Page 107 of this pdf) and some armoured excavators.

As at 12th June 2009 many of the vehicles had been ordered but only 4 excavators had been delivered.(Page 11 of that pdf)

Yet in the same magic March 2010 where the TALISMAN stuff was in theatre but not in theatre Quentin Davis gave a written answer that has got me confused: Halfway down this page Are the 6 TALISMAN systems the UAVs?

The lack of attention on the TALISMAN kit is perhaps explained by Davis' caveat at the bottom of the table: "I am withholding details of covert vehicles, civilian armoured vehicles, EOD vehicles and special forces procurements as this could compromise operational security." Does this hold water? Terry Taleban will know perfectly well what kit our forces are using for EOD because they'll surely be watching!


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 Post subject: Re: So where are they?
PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2010 8:36 pm 
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gareth wrote:
How reliable are Parliamentary questions and answers? As of March this year, according to Bob Ainsworth Talisman is in theatre and being used. As of March this year, according to Gordon Brown Talisman was due to deploy within the next two months.

TALISMAN was meant to be 24 Mastiffs, 12/14 Buffalos, 6 T-HAWK micro-UAVs (Page 107 of this pdf) and some armoured excavators.

As at 12th June 2009 many of the vehicles had been ordered but only 4 excavators had been delivered.(Page 11 of that pdf)

Yet in the same magic March 2010 where the TALISMAN stuff was in theatre but not in theatre Quentin Davis gave a written answer that has got me confused: Halfway down this page Are the 6 TALISMAN systems the UAVs?

The lack of attention on the TALISMAN kit is perhaps explained by Davis' caveat at the bottom of the table: "I am withholding details of covert vehicles, civilian armoured vehicles, EOD vehicles and special forces procurements as this could compromise operational security." Does this hold water? Terry Taleban will know perfectly well what kit our forces are using for EOD because they'll surely be watching!


There could not be anything more obvious or visible than the Buffalo ... it is impossible to disguise it or conceal it. High security would be a nonsense. The fact that we have heard nothing, therefore, is suspicious.

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 Post subject: Re: So where are they?
PostPosted: Sat May 29, 2010 2:11 pm 
We are seeing the roboticisation of war. The most deadly weapon the Taliban have is not their soldiers but improvised expolsive detonated by remote control using mobile phone technology. This is the simplest possible robot but it is still such.

Meanwhile the Americans are winning in both Afghanistan & Pakistna by using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to watch & shoot their enemies - with considerable success in taking out the leaders.

And we are relying on old fashioned bravery. Bravery is a fine thing but it is a war winner only when used in conjunction with not instead of the best technology. Think Zulus against rifles.


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