The troops for the increased Iraqi commitment are currently ensconced in Darwin for pre-operational training. Much difficulty securing stores and equipment for the training elements, appears that Chief of Army, GEN Leahy has indicated that he may have to personally step in to try to unblock the system.

Despite nice words from John’s General Cosgrove about the latest and most up to date equipment being issued – in fact body armour is in drastic short supply (check out if practice body armour has been issued) and helmets (Kevlar) are from the army pool, as distinct from the new pattern helmet being sourced from Israel. Main body departs 22/23 Apr 05 (with advance party of Training Team) – arrive Kuwait 24 Apr – 7 days assembly and pre-deployment.

Main body first training element arrives in Kuwait early May 05. Communications and IT equipment in desperate short supply and no ballistic protection kits fitted to the Fitted For Radio (FFR) Land Rovers.

And retired Air Force officer Mike Burke comments:


Full marks to the ABC for declining to report live the mawkish display of public grief and political posturing that this whole Sea King business has become. Don’t get me wrong. I am a retired career air force officer who feels as much grief as anyone else for the victims of this tragedy and their families. But, like most military personnel of my acquaintance – past and present – I am disgusted by the media’s disgraceful exploitation of these sorts of events for what, from long and bitter experience, we know only too well to be the most cynical of motives.

The media couldn’t give a sh*t for the loss of military lives. It never has done, in war or in peacetime. It’s just grist for the mill.

Most journalists are abysmally ignorant about the role of the military, politically opposed to the entire concept of defence, despise the Australian Defence Force as an institution, and have nothing but contempt for military personnel in general. These endemic attitudes in the media are by no means compensated for by their brief interludes of wallowing in mock-grief for people who, no matter how tragic the circumstances of their deaths, are really no more special than anyone else killed while doing their jobs.

Can we really justify all this hysteria? Are the people killed in the Sea King accident really heroes? It would be hilarious if it weren’t so pathetic.

Thank God someone at the ABC had some sense of proportion. It’s a very rare thing in these ridiculously hysterical times.

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Peter Fray
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