Author Topic: Dissention in the ranks? Don’t go where IEDs are?  (Read 8746 times)

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Offline MCG

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Dissention in the ranks? Don’t go where IEDs are?
« on: June 12, 2007, 18:35:35 »
It would be great if we could do all the CSS runs on helicopters, but there are only so many helicopters with a finite amount of space to move things around.

Quote
Road where trooper died prone to ambushes
Tom Blackwell, CanWest News Service
Published: Tuesday, June 12, 2007

SHAHWALI KOT, Afghanistan — A vehicle commander who watched as a roadside bomb killed a young army driver says he warned his bosses days ago that the route where the blast took place is too dangerous and should not be used by Canadian troops.

The dirt track to a remote base for U.S. and Canadian forces is full of narrow ravines and highpoints on either side that would be perfect for Taliban ambushes, said Master Cpl. Richard Breen.

In fact, in a report on his last convoy there, Breen urged higher ups to stop trucking supplies into the base and fly them by helicopter instead.

“Maybe now they’ll take a look at it,” he said a day after the death of Trooper Darryl Caswell, driver of the lead vehicle in Monday’s convoy. “I’ve been telling them the road isn’t fit … They’ll have a hard time getting me back on that road.”

Caswell, 25, from Bracebridge, Ont., was driving a Coyote armoured car when it hit what appears to have been a powerful mine. Two other crew members suffered non-life threatening injuries.

A member of the Royal Canadian Dragoon’s reconnaissance squadron, he was the 57th Canadian to die by accident or enemy attack in Afghanistan since 2002.

Canada has sent forces to Shahwali Kot district north of Kandahar only in the last several of weeks amid reports of growing insurgent strength in the area.

A spokesman for the Afghanistan task force said he would not comment directly on Breen’s comments.

However, the Forces automatically review such incidents to see if there are any lessons that can be learned from them, said Capt. Martell Thompson.

Canadians are in the area for the very reason that there is significant Taliban activity there, he noted.

If convoys were never sent to places with a risk of improvised explosive devices or other kinds of insurgent attack, none would ever leave the main base, said Thompson.

Monday’s assault came, as roadside bombs usually do, with no warning and no chance to fight back. The “combat logistics patrol” had been dispatched to bring water, food and ammunition to the Canadian artillery unit stationed in north Shahwali Kot district with American infantry and special forces.

Offline MikeM

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Re: Dissention in the ranks? Don’t go where IEDs are?
« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2007, 18:46:21 »
Not many routes to take over there, I understand where the person is coming from but it's a danger we have to accept and work with. IED's aren't going away anytime soon.

Offline geo

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Re: Dissention in the ranks? Don’t go where IEDs are?
« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2007, 19:27:37 »
anyhow.... helicopters can be shot down too!
Chimo!

Offline Northern Ranger

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Re: Dissention in the ranks? Don’t go where IEDs are?
« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2007, 19:54:58 »
I feel for the guy 100%.  Days earlier he states that "don't use the roads in this spot"  day later a son of Canada is dead that was under his charge.  I suspect that is something that he will deal with for the rest of his life.  Telling him that helo's can get shot down is like telling the parents of the troop that "you can get killed in Canada just by crossing the road"!  :salute:

Online MJP

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Re: Dissention in the ranks? Don’t go where IEDs are?
« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2007, 19:58:41 »
I don't understand where he is coming from at all.  It's not like he doesn't get paid well for the fact he is in a war zone and that he as a SOLDIER has to assume there will be risks to his life as a soldier.  It would be a different story if he recieved poor training or inadequate equipment to deal with the situation but that isn't the case.  I find his blabbing to the media assine and the good MCpl should zip his mouth and soldier on.  Concentrating on leading and caring for the soldiers around him, and his situational awareness (including hey signs of IEDs) would be a more prudent course of action for him instead of whining and bleating to the media.
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Offline BulletMagnet

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Re: Dissention in the ranks? Don’t go where IEDs are?
« Reply #5 on: June 12, 2007, 20:23:50 »
+1 MJP

In the end there is a risk to our job and sometimes higher makes a call regardless of our recommendations. The price of command is that sometimes bad things happen when you make a decision. Our job is to Carry out the commanders intent to the best of our ability. Perhaps the good MCpl needs some refresher training on staying in ones lane while talking to media.
"Often have I regretted my speech, never my silence" Cpl Jordan Anderson 1981-2007 RIP

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Offline KevinB

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Re: Dissention in the ranks? Don’t go where IEDs are?
« Reply #6 on: June 13, 2007, 10:59:38 »
Ditto to MJP and HitorMiss.

 Maybe this guy needs a lesson in unemployment.

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Offline Teflon

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Re: Dissention in the ranks? Don’t go where IEDs are?
« Reply #7 on: June 13, 2007, 11:48:45 »
I spent a good portion of my tour in the SHAHWALI KOT region of Kandahar and delt with the IED threat quite often (once my own vehicle hit and responded to about 6 other incidents oif other vehicles) We consently advised on the use of helicopters for resupply in that area and used the American route clearence guys when they where available but alas, they weren't always available, during those periods we still patroled and conducted resupply in that reason because it had to be done. Many hours of nervous teeth grinding as you wait for the possibility of the floor of your vehicle to explode and shoot up through your legs and A**. But it was done as required and it took more time as we would sweep certain "higher risk" areas on foot before driving through. I understand where he's comming from but we can't just not go there because then the bad guys do go there.

My thoughts and prayers to the families of all the fallen
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Re: Dissention in the ranks? Don’t go where IEDs are?
« Reply #8 on: June 13, 2007, 12:21:07 »
Ditto to MJP and HitorMiss.

 Maybe this guy needs a lesson in unemployment.



Damn straight, nothing more has to be said.

Offline GAP

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Re: Dissention in the ranks? Don’t go where IEDs are?
« Reply #9 on: June 13, 2007, 12:37:43 »
This is an excellent example of why troops should keep their opinions to themselves. That is not to say that they can't have the opinions, and voice them within the ranks where the situation is generally understood by those around them. His comments in that context would have been proper.

Telling the same thing to a reporter who is not looking at it from the same perspective is asking for trouble. He has just made a whole lot of work for a lot of people to dispel the impressions the reporter created in his report.
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Offline seamus

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Re: Dissention in the ranks? Don’t go where IEDs are?
« Reply #10 on: June 13, 2007, 12:48:38 »
I spent a good portion of my tour in the SHAHWALI KOT region of Kandahar and delt with the IED threat quite often (once my own vehicle hit and responded to about 6 other incidents of other vehicles) We contently advised on the use of helicopters for resupply in that area and used the American route clearence guys when they where available but alas, they weren't always available, during those periods we still patrolled and conducted resupply in that reason because it had to be done. Many hours of nervous teeth grinding as you wait for the possibility of the floor of your vehicle to explode and shoot up through your legs and A**. But it was done as required and it took more time as we would sweep certain "higher risk" areas on foot before driving through. I understand where he's coming from but we can't just not go there because then the bad guys do go there.

My thoughts and prayers to the families of all the fallen
Overseas if we did not travel on every road with possible IED's I doubt we would have had a direct route to get to the KAF gate. It's the job over there, and sometimes tragedies happen. You have to suck it up and carry on. And as far as airlift goes, well we all know the answers to that one,(or many answers) as covered by various posts on this site. But if you think this soldier is the first or the last to make comments like that, then you are  terribly mistaken.
There are two things that are infinite in this world, the universe and human stupidity. And I am not sure about the universe.
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Offline stealthylizard

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Re: Dissention in the ranks? Don’t go where IEDs are?
« Reply #11 on: June 13, 2007, 12:59:33 »
It seems to be pretty clear that military should not talk to press at all.

Offline Michael O'Leary

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Re: Dissention in the ranks? Don’t go where IEDs are?
« Reply #12 on: June 13, 2007, 13:02:54 »
It seems to be pretty clear that military should not talk to press at all.

No, that is not the correct conclusion at all.  The current policy of "staying in one's lane" is effective when it is adhered to.  A "gag order" is not the solution here.


Offline Teflon

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Re: Dissention in the ranks? Don’t go where IEDs are?
« Reply #13 on: June 13, 2007, 13:05:54 »
It seems to be pretty clear that military should not talk to press at all.

Now that wouldn't really assist in getting the whole story across now would it? Would pretty much allow the media to continue printing whatever they dig or dream up unabaited.

People just have to think about what they are saying to members of the media, stay in their lanes and ensure that the context of what they are saying is clearly understood by who they are talking to.
When you meet somebody new,
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Offline Colin P

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Re: Dissention in the ranks? Don’t go where IEDs are?
« Reply #14 on: June 13, 2007, 13:12:39 »
Seems like he was venting and indiscreet about who he vented to. A "good" reporter is adept at making people talk and appear to be sympathetic and offering a chance for people to get stuff off their chest. Just remember that you never say anything to a reporter you don't want to see in tomorrows headline.

Offline scoutfinch

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Re: Dissention in the ranks? Don’t go where IEDs are?
« Reply #15 on: June 13, 2007, 13:12:56 »
Maybe there should be a self imposed professional prohibition on  reporters seeking comments from people who have witnessed the recent loss of a colleague however I suspect that would require far more sensitivity or humanity than most journalists could muster.
All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing ~ Edmund Burke

Offline stealthylizard

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Re: Dissention in the ranks? Don’t go where IEDs are?
« Reply #16 on: June 13, 2007, 13:19:04 »
Now that wouldn't really assist in getting the whole story across now would it? Would pretty much allow the media to continue printing whatever they dig or dream up unabated.

They seem to do this already. 

I do agree with no official gag order, but a voluntary one.  I'm just getting a bit p'd off at the media and their inability to properly report the facts.

Offline Teflon

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Re: Dissention in the ranks? Don’t go where IEDs are?
« Reply #17 on: June 13, 2007, 13:25:45 »
Now that wouldn't really assist in getting the whole story across now would it? Would pretty much allow the media to continue printing whatever they dig or dream up unabated.

They seem to do this already. 

I do agree with no official gag order, but a voluntary one.  I'm just getting a bit p'd off at the media and their inability to properly report the facts.

Thank you for taking the time to correct and high light the spelling error I made, now if only you took the same amount of time to consider the content of the post. What the media does with the information they get is pretty much up to them, if one fails to give a clear and accurate picture of what they are talking about then it will be reported as such, unclear and or inaccurately.

Also, don't kid yourself, that reporter gets his/her pay for writing stories that will sell pappers or capture viewers not to "report the facts"

You don't have to talk to the press at any time

Please feel free to corect any spelling errors I may have missed
« Last Edit: June 13, 2007, 13:28:45 by Teflon »
When you meet somebody new,
don't get excited, because
9 out of ten times
they're stupid

Offline stealthylizard

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Re: Dissention in the ranks? Don’t go where IEDs are?
« Reply #18 on: June 13, 2007, 13:29:42 »
If one doesn't volunteer them any information, then it will be harder to spin it.  But of course they would then spin the lack of information.  Lose, lose situation.

Offline Teflon

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Re: Dissention in the ranks? Don’t go where IEDs are?
« Reply #19 on: June 13, 2007, 13:31:41 »
Kind of what I was getting at
When you meet somebody new,
don't get excited, because
9 out of ten times
they're stupid

Offline bruce7711

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Re: Dissention in the ranks? Don’t go where IEDs are?
« Reply #20 on: June 13, 2007, 14:18:43 »
Media or no media, who really cares.  If there is no story they will make one.  They have their orders much the same as we have ours.  Now, staying in ones lanes, and gag orders and all this other talk is fine.  But remember that this is a open source website, anyone can see it.  We preach about OPSEC on here, yet we continue to bash the media.  Whose to say that they don't read this and formulate opinions from what they read.  As for the MCpl, his opinion is his opinion.  We were not there and cannot in any way critcize his actions or comments.  Nice to do it from back here where its all nice and safe, but give it a rest.  Theres enough armchair experst and retired wannabes out there already, lets not make anymore.

Offline Zip

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Re: Dissention in the ranks? Don’t go where IEDs are?
« Reply #21 on: June 13, 2007, 14:26:27 »

Seems like this guy forgot the gist of the lecture on the "Strategic Cpl",  I know he got it, hell I even know who gave it...he's here too.  ::)

Damage is done, the civvies won't understand, the media will play it up and the next thing you know we'll have Taliban Jack calling for an inquest into the mission based on the incompetence of the CF's leadership.
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Offline KevinB

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Re: Dissention in the ranks? Don’t go where IEDs are?
« Reply #22 on: June 14, 2007, 04:48:04 »
Lets wind our necks in here guys...

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Offline pbi

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Re: Dissention in the ranks? Don’t go where IEDs are?
« Reply #23 on: June 14, 2007, 07:09:02 »
The true problem ain't the Strategic Corporal - it is the nano-tactical 3 star......

Ahh, yes. The sock-checkers...the sewing kit inspectors....the sentence re-structurers. Their motto: "Take care of the little things and the big things will go right into the ditch take care of themselves".

Cheers
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Offline reccecrewman

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Re: Dissention in the ranks? Don’t go where IEDs are?
« Reply #24 on: June 14, 2007, 10:29:24 »
On a smilar note WRT the strategic corporal.......... Don't believe it's a mere coincidence that quite often, Cpl Riggins is being interviewed by the media. Media plugs know that Privates and Corporals are more apt to speak exactly whats on their mind as they usually don't have that much time in the Military.  Go interview Sgt. Crusty and chances are, he'll throw up blocks to every single attempt to draw him into saying something off the cuff and re-direct masterfully......... He ain't going to make for juicy headlines. Ahhh...... But Cpl. Riggins over there may well be willing to spew accusations about "Incompetent leadership" and many other indescretions that most certainly will sell newspapers and get ol Taliban Jack and his gang up in arms in the House of Commons.

After Sgt Gillam and Cpl Mitchell were killed last fall, I met a roaming reporter in the parking lot at Timmie's on Base, and the guy would approach an individual coming out of Timmies, see a Crown or 3 hooks on the epaulet and turn around and walk away, but a blank epaulet or 2 hooks, he was all over them..........  I loved being asked "What do YOU think of Canada's mission in Afghanistan after hearing about the death of more of your comrades?"  "Well, my job isn't to decide on the role Canada should play, my job is to do what Canada's elected Government tells my superiors to do, and that information is in turn passed down to me and I do what I'm told"  He poked and prodded for a few minutes, lost interest in me and left me to my solitude, cigarette and coffee.........

I may be out in left field with my thoughts, but I do think there may be some substance to them.

Regards
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