Saturday, September 23, 2006

The BBC - protecting us from the details

Contrasting reports on Major Loden's leaked emails in which he criticizes the RAF. (The major's name emerged after the Independent piece was written.)

The Independent:
The unnamed major gives an example of failure of air support in one of the emails...

"A female harrier pilot 'couldn't identify the target', fired 2 phosphorous rockets that just missed our own compound so that we thought they were incoming RPGs (rocket-propelled grenades), and then strafed our perimeter missing the enemy by 200 metres."

In "contrast" to the RAF, the US air force had been "fantastic", according to the major. "I would take an A-10 over Eurofighter any day," he adds.
The BBC:
But Maj Loden's e-mail gives an example of the RAF's failure to provide air support.

"... Harrier pilot 'couldn't identify the target', fired two phosphorous rockets that just missed our own compound so that we thought they were incoming RPGs [rocket-propelled grenades], and then strafed our perimeter, missing the enemy by 200 metres," it says.

BBC defence correspondent Paul Wood said Maj Loden's comments reflected what officers were saying privately, but their tone and emphasis were at odds with the MoD's official statements.

Other Parachute Regiment officers had told him they prefer to call in American A-10 Tankbusters for air support when under fire because of what they see as the RAF's ineffectiveness, he added.
How nice of the BBC to protect us from Loden’s un-PC remark about the sex of the pilot, and from his specific criticism of the EU's outrageously expensive and not-fit-for-purpose Eurofighter. Isn't it great that the BBC is there to decide what information we can be trusted with?

EU Referendum has some early thoughts on Loden's criticisms, with a promise of "a more detailed look at the Afghan situation later today".

(Hat tip to Gordon Bennet in the comments at Biased BBC for spotting the petty omission of the word 'female')


Blogger permanentexpat said...

The AlBeeb simply does its normal, callow reporting, sanitized for Septic consumption.
However, it does occur to me that Major Loden, in bravely & correctly speaking his mind, may have infuriated at least 50% of the population by being gender-specific about the Harrier pilot who, I'm reasonably sure, is not the only pilot to have blundered.
I am also reasonably sure that there aren't too many female Harrier pilots in that area of conflict, thus making Major Loden's comment a personal, if justified criticism.....I am sure that, were I a woman, I would not be enamoured with Major Loden for his over-attention to detail.

12:04 pm  
Anonymous me said...

This is O/T but what the hell.
Given the flack in this area, I thought this may be interesting. Apologies if already covered

1:46 pm  
Blogger Man in a shed said...

Yes I noted the female pilot ommission also. However this time the BBC could have a point, as it probably identifies the person, and she can't defend herself. She is no doubt brave and at least deserves a proper enquiry.

The A10's will be very useful as they will be able to fly as much slower speeds. We nearly built planes like that - there's a picture of a design in the Brookland museum in Weybridge.

Still the RAF should be worried - this sort of reporting will cost them squadrons and maybe even their independance.

2:00 pm  
Anonymous Reading on the Bog said...

How did he know she was female?

Was she flying with her hand outside the cockpit ...drying her nail varnish?

10:30 pm  
Blogger Brad said...

Uhm Reading, apparently you haven't been in the military...
They keep RECORDS of who does what.

12:31 am  
Anonymous Reading on the Bog said...

Hi Brad,

"They keep RECORDS of who does what"

Who Does What? ...sorry ...I haven't heard of that group


2:08 am  
Anonymous Geoff said...

A fundimental problem with this story is that the Harrier does not have a cannon (the development of the 25mm ADEN to fit the aircraft was scrapped as it was a technical failure)and they have not fitted the original 30mm ADEN from the GR3,s

10:05 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It would great if the RAF had the A10 or even something like the old A1 Skyraider. The Eurofighter is a white elephant.

3:17 pm  
Anonymous Nigel Sedgwick said...

Does this throw any light on the issue?

Typhoon takes on ground attack role, 10 Aug 06

"The contract will provide the basis to meet the RAF’s air-to-surface operational capability in 2008 and is being driven by the UK’s requirement to bridge the planned drawdown of the Jaguar fleet."

Best regards

7:44 pm  
Anonymous Stuart said...

"well, in my day when you called in air support it was traditional to TALK to the pilot......

2:01 am  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home