Well, Y’know?

Treating our brave soldiers the same as evil murderers turns my stomach

The problem is that brave soldiers and evil murderers are not mutually incompatible groups. If the allegation is that some are both then, well, we’d better try to find out, eh?

Dunno really

Rocket suits could be worn by Royal Navy sailors to ambush rival ships, the Defence Secretary has suggested.

Gavin Williamson enthused about the potential of jetpack-propelled marine units after seeing a flying demonstration at a base in Portsmouth, where he unveiled a £75 million fund for new technology.

Ship to ship encounters tend to take place over the horizon from each other what with missiles etc. Be a heck of a jet pack which manages that.

This isn’t new

Army rejects applicants with acne

My brother tried to join up for years. Continually rejected for acne. Did TA and all that, still couldn’t get into the regulars. Think he was a non com in the TA or reserves or some level of it all. As a qualified chef and doing the catering stuff that’s what they do I think – like Doctors always starting out as Captains.

Not acne as in the odd pimple, acne as in back stuff meaning that pack carrying was going to be difficult. Seems a decent enough reason to be turned down on medical grounds to be honest.

Squaddies are squaddies

Further east than grandpa got”

I’m told this is a real thing.

Could be wrong, but I was under the impression that the Hun (eventually) put a medical unit into Afghanistan, with a protection/security unit attached. Which caused enough internal political grief, what with the post-war constitution and all.

Which the Kraut squaddies promptly added to, getting photographed wearing t-shirts proudly emblazoned with the slogan “further east than grandpa got”.

But in German, obv.

I’m also told that this might be true:

Pcar – so you’re saying that the Battle of Britain Memorial flight has more functioning warplanes than the Luftwaffe!


Both delight for different reasons.

Wondrous logic isn’t it?

Drones caused havoc at Gatwick, so why are governments still spending billions on tanks and aircraft carriers?

Dunno really, perhaps the ability to deliver tonnes of ordinance is still valuable? Or that 100 tonnes of tank does more to take ground than 2 kg of drone?

The disruption caused by reports of drones flying over Gatwick airport in December 2018 was a magnificent illustration of the uselessness of the UK’s big-ticket defence spending.


What a change this is

The Army and Capita have introduced some “significant changes” in the last year, but none have resulted in enough soldiers being recruited, according to the NAO.

The report found that it took up to 321 days for new recruits to go from starting an application to beginning basic training, and that many drop out of the process while waiting

Used to be you drank the free beer, signed up and were marched away with the hangover. Grab ’em as soon as they say yes that is.

OK, we might want a bit more of a consistent desire rather than a transient one these days. But still, nearly a year?

Others around here know much more about this than I. So, what’s the basic problem here? Is it Crapita? Or is something deeper wrong?

Am I being fair here?

A “generation of innovators” has been appointed to run the military in a shake-up of the top ranks of the Army, Navy and RAF.

The Ministry of Defence has announced new heads for the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force and two major promotions in key roles across the Armed Forces.

Senior military sources said the incoming defence chiefs were “innovators” who could ensure Britain’s armed forces would be fit to embrace new technology and a “reformist agenda”.

Innovator” here meaning woke and into the SJW mindset?

Right on Manny

President Emmanuel Macron of France has called for a “real European army” to defend the continent against Russia, China, and even America.

Mr Macron, who has pushed for a joint EU military force since his election last year, issued the call while on a tour of northern France in the run-up to the centenary of the end of the First World War.

“We will not protect the Europeans unless we decide to have a true European army,” Mr Macron said in the interview at Verdun, the scene of France’s most bloody battle.

Dunno really, Nato did pretty well for decades…..

Would a civilian court have reached the same verdict?

An interesting question:

A court martial took less than an hour to clear a Royal Navy Commander of sexual assault after he begged them not to ruin his career over a “schoolboy prank”.

Commander Steven Heap allegedly left a female colleague’s bottom sore after shocking her with two “firm slaps” during a Christmas party, in what he said was an “amusing not sexual” act of “drunken buffoonery”.

The 48-year-old, who received an MBE from Prince Charles, told the hearing he was very drunk when he slapped her backside on the dance floor but insisted it was a “prank” and he was “showboating”.

The panel of five senior male officers cleared Cdr Heap of two counts of sexual assault after 57 minutes of deliberations.

Assistant Judge Advocate General Robert Hill said: “To convict him, you must be sure there was a sexual purpose to the slaps”.

Prosecutors had alleged the Commander, who joined the Navy as a submariner 30 years ago, had been sexually motivated when he slapped the woman’s backside.

Given the current hysteria perhaps not.

About time for this again, isn’t it?

The reason being:

MAY 2018 • 5:57PM
Only four of Germany’s 128 Eurofighter aircraft are operational and ready for combat in the event of a crisis, it was claimed yesterday (WED), in revelations that will deepen pressure on Germany to live up to its defence commitments.

The remaining aircraft have been grounded by technical problems and a shortage of combat missiles, according to a report in Spiegel magazine.

But that’s not the problem

How 1,000C car park inferno vaporised the FLOOR: Apocalyptic images show gutted multi-storey with no sprinklers where all 1,400 vehicles were reduced to ashes by heat that could melt aluminium

Melting aluminium isn’t really the problem. It’s when the aluminium catches fire that you really want to worry.

As we found out in the Falklands…..

I thought the Septics were good with guns?

A US Airforce base in Suffolk suffered a major security breach when a driver forced his way through the main security checkpoint.

American military guards opened fire as the car travelled a significant way inside RAF Mildenhall after passing through a hail of bullets – stopping just metres short of a military aircraft, The Telegraph understands.

Suffolk Police confirmed a 44-year-old British man forced his way onto the airfield at RAF Mildenhall on Monday afternoon, having initially entered into a dispute at the base’s entrance.

The incident triggered a security lockdown. Suffolk Police confirmed the incident was not terrorist-related and a 44-year-old man had been arrested on suspicion of criminal trespass.

A spokesman said: “Shots were fired by American service personnel and a man has been detained with cuts and bruises and taken into custody.”

Allow us to introduce the media to the phrase “sea trials”

The UK’s new £3.1 billion aircraft carrier, HMS Queen Elizabeth, is leaking as a result of an issue with a shaft seal less than a month after the warship was accepted into the Royal Navy fleet by The Queen.

At 280m long and with an estimated half-a-century working life, the behemoth is the biggest and most powerful ever built by the UK.

However, it is understood the vessel has been leaking for some time.

A Royal Navy spokesman said: “An issue with a shaft seal has been identified during HMS Queen Elizabeth’s sea trials; this is scheduled for repair while she is alongside at Portsmouth.

“It does not prevent her from sailing again and her sea trials programme will not be affected.”

Warships are one off builds. Somewhat at the edge of technology. They’re, therefore, prototypes rather than something coming off a production line. OK, not entirely, but…..

So, when we get one, we stick it the water and try to work out what is still wrong with it. These are called “sea trials.”


Well, yes, military equipment

French warplanes and helicopters may be battling jihadists in the deserts of Africa and the Middle East, but the French Air Force on the whole is in a disastrous state, with 56 per cent of all its aircraft unfit to fly at any given moment, according to a senior minister.

“If I compare the current situation … of our planes with a car, it is as if I wanted to have a car every morning that works, I would have to own four cars,” Florence Parly, the armed forces minister, said during a visit to an air base in Evreux in Normandy.

Not that I really know about this area but this doesn’t sound too abnormal.

We have to have 4 Trident subs to have one at sea at any time, don’t we?

OK, slightly less flippancy. But military planes are built at the limits of the technology of the time. This makes them maintenance heavy. I don’t know what you actually expect, that 50% or 10% or what ever are undergoing airframe tune ups or whatever at any one time. But you’d expect – OK, I would – to have a lot more of the fleet out of action at any one time for normal scheduled reasons than you would for a civilian technology, no?

Which leads to, well, what is the correct number?

On the battlefield perhaps

British Isil fighters should be killed in Syria rather than be allowed to return to UK, a Government minister has said. Rory Stewart said converts who leave Britain to fight for the terror group are guilty of horrific acts and the only way of dealing with them is to kill them “in almost every case”.

Not sure we can quite do that later on, after they’ve come back to serve kebabs again.

Military man might know better perhaps?

So forget all the bullshit about “gun control.” Only if the Congress passes a law banning the manufacture, import, and sale of gas operated weapons except for use by the military and police will this be a safer country. The United States Army knows how dangerous these weapons are and controls their possession and use accordingly. It’s time the rest of the country followed the military’s example. One mass killing after another has proven that gas operated weapons are way too dangerous for civilians to own and use. Ban them.

Throughout he keeps talking about semi- and automatic rifles.

Sorta missing the pistols thing.

On the use of Captain as a title years into retirement

Something that slightly puzzles. I can understand someone using Captain RN as a title off into retirement. Significant job, real career progression etc, takes decades to get there.

Captain Army I understand less. It seems to me, and of course this could just be because I’m very blinkered here, that it’s something rather reserved for members of the landed gentry. No, not aristocracy. Capt Chumleyumly, Master of Hounds, sounds about right. But it does seem, in my limited experience, to be only those in that sort of position who keep using the rank.

So, why is this?

Stay in long enough and you’ll be a Major. So, Captain means you left early, or when you wanted to, or something. Or of course that you got fired but that’s difficult. Even today it tends to be not getting promoted which is the signal, not actual firing.

The only thing I can really think of is that as a non-graduate it takes 5 years to get to Capt. Thus retiring as a Capt. shows that you did at least 5 years, not some very short term commission (which, umm, do the three year ones even exist any more?). So, a little more than just Sandhurst and skiing with the Blues and Royals for 2.5 years.

Is that it? Military peeps around here? Or is there something else I’m missing? For as far as I can see it really does seem to be a particular section of sciety which does use Army Captain as a title off into decades of retirement. Why do they?

How joyous about trans and the military

So, Obama said trans people can serve. Trump’s just said nope, they can’t. At which point we get this:

A California congressman fired back at President Donald Trump’s Twitter announcement barring transgendered service members, saying the decision will affect thousands of people.

Hmm, well, no, not really. Because we’re using different definitions here.

Lieu spokesman Jack d’Annabale said the congressman got his estimate from a May 2014 brief by researchers at UCLA’s Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Law and Public Policy.

They used responses to the National Transgender Discrimination Survey, sent to respondents by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and the National Center for Transgender Equality. The definition of transgender included “those whose gender identity or expression differs from those traditionally associated with their assigned sex at birth,” according to the study.

That’s one possible definition of trans. How people view themselves inside their heads.

Another study published in the New England Journal of Medicine in September 2015 used data from the UCLA brief and other sources to determine that 12,800 service member would be eligible for transgender health care. The study suggested of those, 188 would use benefits for transition services, at a cost of $4.2 million to $5.6 million.

That’s another possible definition, how many people go under the knife. Neither definition is actually the correct one, with the emphasis on the there. Either definition is useful at times. The trick is to work out which time is useful in what circumstances. No, I don’t know the answer for the military either. But my own prejudices would lead me to the idea that the first definition isn’t the relevant one while the second could be.

My actual point here is the trivial one that we’ve always got to examine the composition of any statistic which is thrown at us. Thousands you say? OK, how are you defining what you’re claiming thousands of? As with that perennial around here, poverty? Yes, but what is it that you mean by poverty? Having to cut back on the tabs in order to be able to afford beer? OK, sure, that’s a form of poverty but are you sure you want to go to the barricades for that one? In the same manner you want to over whether without tabs or beer, or pleasures, someone can get 2,000 calories a day?

Bad idea here, bad idea

Army leaders will be recruited direct from the civilian world rather than rising up through the ranks, under a proposed overhaul to bring in specialist skills for 21st century warfare.

The plan to hire straight into the regular Army’s middle and possibly even higher ranks will overturn generations of tradition and a career structure that has seen leaders work their way up from the bottom.

Yes, I know they’re saying not in the combat arms and yes, I understand the basic problem they’ve got of certain specialist skills. But the answer, I would strongly suspect, is to have an entirely new status, career structure, ranking system even, rather than try to shoehorn into the current structure. Instead of Major (Specialist) something more like Specialist (Major). There are those around here with much moire military experience than myself so what say them?

From memory Doctors and Padres go in directly as Captains, so this isn’t entirely unknown already. But they are considered very, very, different from line officers, aren’t they?