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Beyond belief………………….

This story absolutely defies belief.

If there is even one thread of truth in this someone needs a serious talking to………..

The battle group commander of a British paratrooper killed by a mine strike in Afghanistan has told how he was hampered by red tape as he fought to save his men.

Colonel Stuart Tootal said he tried to send a US Black Hawk helicopter to rescue Corporal Mark Wright and his wounded colleagues but it was delayed by three and a half hours because he had to wait for clearance “at Nato level”.

He told an inquest into Cpl Wright’s death that he was forced instead to send a British Chinook which had no winch to lift the men to safety. The Chinook detonated the mine that killed Cpl Wright as it hovered helplessly overhead.

The 27-year-old, from Edinburgh, was posthumously awarded the George Cross for his brave efforts to provide first aid to wounded colleagues and keep up morale during the long wait for rescue.

He died onboard the US helicopter that eventually arrived with a winch while three of his comrades lost legs and a further three soldiers were injured in the tragedy.

Shortly after returning from Afghanistan, Col Tootal, the high-flying commander of 3 Para who was in line to be made a general, quit the Army, citing frustrations about lack of equipment, poor pay and conditions for his men and their families, and “shocking” treatment of the wounded.

The Ministry of Defence has suggested that Cpl Wright had detonated the mine by moving.


8 Responses

  1. Unfortunately it doesn’t defy belief, the forces have been asking for more helicopters since 2001.

    The gov’t have recently pulled 1/5 of UK SAR crews to go to ‘stan. Leaving UK SAR short. Good governance in action.

  2. I’m currently reading about this in the book about 3 Para’s tour, the military certainly do suffer from red tape as much if not more than we do. At least we don’t have to suffer landmines and snipers but how many officers have been injured because of red tape and lack of resources. It’s got Labour written all over it, they hate the military and the police just as much as the thought of actually punishing people and holding them accountable for their own actions.

  3. Labour Govts never look after the Police or Armed Services.

  4. Pete,

    Do you want us Civvies to empathise with the troops or not?

  5. Pete

    What’s your point? I’ve never trod on a mine – does that make me incapable of holding an opinion about minefield casevac drills?

    For the record, my opinion is that hovering a Chinook over a minefield is a bad idea (having once amusingly seen a Chinook downdraft blow a portaloo in cartwheels down an LZ, much to the distress of the Major inside at the time)

  6. It’s amazing what even a small lightweight helicopter can shift in a prolonged hover. What a Chinook can blow away has to be seen to be believed. If the mine was an anti personnel one, it’s detonation would be assured.

    And yes, Nulabour are all about greed and pocket lining, they don’t care about anything but short-termism and ‘rights’.

  7. I work in the support arm of the forces – you’d never believe the work we manage to carry out with funding that is cut month on month on month.

    For example, we have equipment that is 40+ years old still in daily use and needs replacing at a cost of about £1M but I can’t get the funds to do it. I do however get the funds to support it at £0.5M per year. The support costs of the replacement is about £40k per year. Frustrating isn’t the word.

    Our guys and gals do excellent work on the front line and what do we give them? Nothing, absolutely nothing (apart from MRSA if you come back into a British hospital). The UK as a whole needs to adopt a similar attitude that the Americans have. We need to get behind our troops (all 3 services) and support them.

  8. Black Dog, Hear Hear! I suspect the Battle of Britain Flight will have to be declared to NATO to make up for the lack of modern equipment. I appreciate the Typhoon is needed for er, something, However, decent equipment for the troops on the ground would be good. I am glad I am out of it now. I remember even when I was in, we were doing too much with too few. I think that the only reason we didn’t have any serious accidents was because the personnel doing the work had a ‘can do attitude’ unfortunately being thwarted by nulabour. We were hoist by our own success. A friend of mine whom is still in told me that they were doing ‘see offs’ with fully armed aircraft without the specified number of ground handlers. Even in war time this practice would be frowned on, as each person in the see off crew has an important function to carry out. In peace time, it could result in a devastating accident. I don’t know about you, but I don’t fancy having a fully spammed up Tornado coming through my roof because something was missed.

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