A few comments were posted yesterday on my blog and the last one is attached below this paragraph. Unfortunately as a country I feel that we are in a mess in Defence, we have aircraft carriers getting built with no planes! We have no Nimrods or any other aircraft to patrol our coast nor anyone taken to account for the disaster that was the Nimrod Project. Billions wasted and no accounting for the huge mistakes made. The SAR helicopter Fleet was allowed to become obsolete due to no future planning or funding. The top leadership of the military has rarely impressed me in my 37 years and lives mainly in a cloud that surrounds MOD and their careers! Yet there are still incredible people who make the military work they still produce the goods time and time again, how long will they keep it up?
I loved my time in the military but it amazes me how it keeps producing the goods despite the problems in manning and planning? There are some great comments on various blogs and Breamar MRT have done a video worth a watch. I am in the process of writing a Blog on the end of the Sea Kings!
My variation of Winston Churchill’s great wartime speech as it may apply today:
Rather more than four years have passed since the Government came into power in this country. What a cataract of disaster has poured out upon us since then!… Meanwhile, we have not only been demoralized in our hearts, but despair for our Island. We have de-armed and decimated our armed forces to a degree which would have been deemed impossible a few years ago.… Our whole Island is left defenceless against invaders, from the sea or from the air. …the weaker our armed forces at home, the smaller must the invading expedition be, and the smaller the invading expedition, the more difficult will be the task of the of our once proud Forces in detecting its assembly and in intercepting and destroying it in passage; and the easier it would be in feeding and supplying the invaders if ever they landed… Our Armed Forces are far weaker than they were at the beginning of the decade. The flow of innovation and pride of this great nation, set on foot at the outbreak of this bumbling Government is now beginning to wane and decline into oblivion.
Why do I say all this? Not, assuredly, to boast; not, assuredly, to give the slightest countenance to complacency. The dangers we face are still immeasurable, but so are our advantages and resources. I recount them because the people have a right to know that there are solid grounds for the fears in which we feel, and that we have good reason to believe ourselves incapable, as many Chiefs of the Defence Staff have advised, this once great nation may be incapable of continuing the war on terror, or any war for that matter, if radical change in the continued cuts and marginalisation of our Armed Forces is not reversed considerably.
…It must also be remembered that all the terrorist and enemy plots which are not detected, either at home or overseas, are either successful or at the very least weaken our Country further; whereas a considerable proportion of our valuable resources are diverted to overseas aid or lining the coffers of Europe, our brave Servicemen and Servicewomen are sacrificed on the alter of political expediency, and soon again in many cases will be expected to come into action when called, despite continual neglect on the part of their political masters.… We believe that we shall be unable to continue the struggle for security indefinitely and as long as the “enemy” continues to grow strong, and the longer this situation continues the more rapid will be our demise.
The gratitude of every home in our Island, in our former Empire, and indeed throughout the world, except in the abodes of the guilty, goes out to the British Servicemen who, undaunted by odds, unwearied in their constant challenge and mortal danger, are struggling to turn the tide on the “War on Terror” and maintain this once proud nations safety and security by their prowess and by their devotion. Never in the field of human decency was so much owed by so many to so few. All hearts go out to the British Armed Forces, whose brilliant actions we see with our own eyes day after day, but we must never forget that all the time, night after night, month after month, our Military travel both near and far, find their targets wherever they may be, by the highest navigational skill, aim their attacks, often under the heaviest fire or dangerous situation, often with the risk of serious injury or loss, with deliberate, careful discrimination, and inflict shattering blows upon the whole of the technical and war-making structure on the foes of the free world.
A good many people have written to their political masters asking for a detailed statement on the future of Military spending and the future “vision” of the capabilities to which the “Defence of the Realm” relies, and the kind of peace time Military we wish to make after the many expeditionary wars this Country finds itself involved. I do not think it would be wise at this moment, while the battles rage and the many conflicts are ongoing, to embark upon elaborate speculations about the future shape which should be given to Europe… But before we can undertake the task of rebuilding our military and this once proud and great nation, we have not only to be convinced ourselves, but we have to convince all other countries who rely on the common umbrella of security to pay their fair share. The right to guide the course of world history is the noblest prize of victory. We are still toiling up the hill; we have not yet reached the crest-line of it; we cannot survey the landscape or even imagine what its condition will be when that longed-for morning comes. The task which lies before us immediately is at once more practical, more simple and more stern.…the election of a body of people to the Palace of Westminster, people who have honesty and integrity at their heart, people who are not self serving, people who care for their nation, people who honour the sacrifices made by those who died fighting for this great land, and for all the ideals for which it once stood and for which it must stand again.
Until such a time is achieved, Britain will remain “on the brink”, financial and economic oblivion just around the corner. That is our task.
“It seems the RAF want to let the closing of 202sqdn SAR go with a whimper rather than a big celebration of the lives they touched, saved and made good. That thunk of the sea kings rotors was rescue incarnate. Dont’ ever forget the contribution to all our lives RAF SAR has made over the years both from the air and feet on the ground. We act in haste the way our government’s cut back our armed and unarmed forces, but may well repent at leisure.”