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Thread: (UK) MOD attacked by Coroner

  1. #1
    Contributor VarSity's Avatar
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    (UK) MOD attacked by Coroner

    BBC NEWS | England | Beds/Bucks/Herts | Coroner attacks MoD over failure
    A coroner criticised the Ministry of Defence for failing to supply soldiers in Afghanistan with basic equipment.

    The comments came at the end of an inquest in Oxford into the death of Captain James Philippson, 29, who died in a firefight with Taleban fighters.

    Andrew Walker said 7 Parachute Regiment Royal Horse Artillery was defeated by the "lack of basic equipment."

    Capt Philippson, of Hertfordshire, was the first casualty after troops were deployed in the region in June 2006.

    The inquest heard how, before the incident on 11 June, 7 Para soldiers had complained repeatedly about a lack of proper equipment - chiefly standard night vision kits and weaponry.

    Mr Walker, assistant coroner for Oxfordshire, said: "They (the soldiers) were defeated not by the terrorists but by the lack of basic equipment."

    He said sending troops into a combat zone without basic kit was "unforgivable and inexcusable" and "a breach of trust between the soldiers and those who govern them".

    He recorded a narrative verdict in which he said Capt Philippson was unlawfully killed.

    During the inquest Mr Walker asked Major Johnny Bristow, Capt Philippson's commanding officer, if they would have been a match for their attackers had they been supplied with Minimi machine guns and under-slung grenade launchers.

    "It would have made a hell of a difference," Major Bristow said.

    He said there were three or four kits between as many as 30 men.

    The hearing was told that the Taleban forces had multiple rocket-propelled grenade launchers and a wealth of other firepower.

    'Outgunned by terrorists'

    But even after his death, the much-needed equipment did not arrive, the hearing was told.

    Capt Philippson's father, Anthony Philippson, said after the verdict: "He (the coroner) laid into them, particularly badly for the lack of equipment.

    "They were outgunned by a bunch of terrorists. I do hold the Ministry of Defence (MoD) responsible for James's death but it is not just the MoD - it goes much deeper than that.

    "The Treasury and the then chancellor, Gordon Brown, will be really to blame for what happened.

    "It's not really the MoD who are responsible - it's that miserable, harsh, parsimonious Scotsman we now have as prime minister who starved the MoD of funds."

    'Starved of cash'

    Capt Philippson was part of a quick-reaction force dispatched to assist another group of British soldiers who had come under fire after they were sent to retrieve an unmanned aerial reconnaissance vehicle (UAV) which had come down.

    As he ran to help, Capt Philippson was hit in the temple by a bullet. Cause of death was given as a gunshot wound to the head.

    The troops were deployed in Afghanistan to help train soldiers from the Afghan national army with a view to them controlling the Sangin area of Helmand Province, where 7 Para were based.

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    I think the quotes "They (the soldiers) were defeated not by the terrorists but by the lack of basic equipment." and "They were outgunned by a bunch of terrorists." are some of the most shaming things I have read.

    Thinks like this make me feel sick.

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    Military Professional T_igger_cs_30's Avatar
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    It is an age old cry, soldiers never get 100% of what is needed in the field, even if it is a war zone, however it is shameful and scandalous and any government worth there salt should be striving to put it right.
    Rip Capt.Philippson and condolences to the family..........
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    In Memoriam Military Professional dave lukins's Avatar
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    Nearly two years down the line Soldiers are still asking for more and better equipment. Whilst the Government are discussing their own pay packets, families of Troops are sending food parcels to their loved ones on the front line

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    Quote Originally Posted by dave lukins View Post
    Nearly two years down the line Soldiers are still asking for more and better equipment. Whilst the Government are discussing their own pay packets, families of Troops are sending food parcels to their loved ones on the front line
    Strange how there's funds aplenty for the governments pet projects. What a pity the serving soldiery are'nt one of them,
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    In Memoriam/OAF-Old Aggravating Fart Senior Contributor Shamus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dave lukins View Post
    Nearly two years down the line Soldiers are still asking for more and better equipment. Whilst the Government are discussing their own pay packets, families of Troops are sending food parcels to their loved ones on the front line
    This is beyond sad.A soldier gives the most precious commodity any of us have,his life,while his government haggles over the price of the war.My condolences to Captain Phillipson's family.
    "Every government degenerates when trusted to the rulers of the people alone. The people themselves, therefore, are its only safe depositories." Thomas Jefferson

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    It's sad and my condolences go to the families.

    It's not nice at all. But the Tories don't seem to be proposing to do anything about it. Remember they slashed the defence budget under Major (probably more than was needed after the Cold War).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Silent Hunter View Post
    It's sad and my condolences go to the families.

    It's not nice at all. But the Tories don't seem to be proposing to do anything about it. Remember they slashed the defence budget under Major (probably more than was needed after the Cold War).
    You keep knocking the Tories. At least some of their MPs have served in the Forces - which is more than can be said for the greater numbers of New Labour MPs.
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    Contributor VarSity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by glyn View Post
    You keep knocking the Tories. At least some of their MPs have served in the Forces - which is more than can be said for the greater numbers of New Labour MPs.
    Interesting point.

    I like the fact Military service seems to be a big thing for a wannabe President in the USA. No one really seems to care over here.

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    Quote Originally Posted by glyn View Post
    You keep knocking the Tories. At least some of their MPs have served in the Forces - which is more than can be said for the greater numbers of New Labour MPs.
    I'm a member of the Labour Party. That's what I do.

    Labour members haven't been historically in the military as much as the Tories. Remember, to some of them, it would be anathema to them.

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    Armchair Worrier Senior Contributor bolo121's Avatar
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    Welfare wins votes while warfare loses votes.
    So naturally the bloated monster of the NHS and other social services swallows everything, leaving the fourth richest nation on earth with a military that is nothing short of pathetic.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Silent Hunter View Post
    I'm a member of the Labour Party. That's what I do.

    Labour members haven't been historically in the military as much as the Tories. Remember, to some of them, it would be anathema to them.
    How true. As much an anathema as working for a living. I loathe and detest Labour with a passion you will never understand. My view of that party is the same as bluesmans detestation of the Democratic party in the States.
    Semper in excretum. Solum profunda variat.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bolo121 View Post
    Welfare wins votes while warfare loses votes.
    So naturally the bloated monster of the NHS and other social services swallows everything, leaving the fourth richest nation on earth with a military that is nothing short of pathetic.
    Back to your snide remarks again, are you? It is patently obvious that you know nothing about the British military services.
    Semper in excretum. Solum profunda variat.

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    Something we can both agree on, glyn. I'd hardly call having SSNs, SSBNs and three VTOL carriers pathetic.

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    Armchair Worrier Senior Contributor bolo121's Avatar
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    Hey now....no way was i trying to be snide
    I never said anything bad about fighting quality of British forces, they are among if not the best in the world. As cilivian i try never to say anything related to fighting abilities of any army
    What i was saying was lack of funding for weapon systems, low troop numbers and MOD messes have reduced British forces to a very sad level.
    For example the small number of dashing class vessels and astute class subs that are being commisioned.
    As a wealthy nation Britain should have much more.

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