Diggers Need Mortar Support.

A Senior soldier has blasted plans to send 100 troops to Afghanistan next month without mortar support.
The Townsville-based Digger, who does not want to be identified, also revealed troops heading off to war against the Taliban have been forced to buy their own combat boots.

More than a dozen Diggers from the 5th Mechanised Battalion have purchased American made Altama and Bates boots for up to $250 a pair because their Q (supply) store ran out of army-issued combat footwear.

“It is a joke,” one soldier said.

Mortars are the most effective form of fire support to infantry.
Especially if they are pinned down like Lance Corporal Jared MacKinney and his mates from the 6th Battalion were in Afghanistan last month.

The young Lance Corporal became Australia’s 21st fatality in Afghanistan and his comrade who sent the explosive email revealed this week by The Advertiser argued that mortar support might have saved the father of two.

While he regards the lack of boots as very serious, the soldier said mortars were a matter of life and death.
“A lot of blokes would be dead if it wasn’t for mortar support, especially in Afghanistan,” he said.

Click here to read the full story in “The Daily Telegraph”

This is beyond a joke. Why haven’t our Troops got all the weapons they need? What on earth is going on ? Surely with all the money that has already been wasted, this would of been better spent for our Troops. Not only are they having to buy their own shoes, but now we find out that lives are at stake. Not Good Enough.
I not long finished reading the above article, when I read this article:-

Rudd Pledges $223M for Foreign Aid.

Kevin Rudd has announced that Australia will boost aid for maternal and child health programs in poor nations with an additional $225 million.
The new Foreign Minister said the bulk of the funding would go to African nations, with $140 million in new funding earmarked for Ethiopia, Tanzania and southern Sudan.

And $85 million in aid announced last month will be provided for Australia’s nearest neighbours, Papua New Guinea and island states in the Pacific, where Mr Rudd said problems remained “huge”.

Speaking in New York, Mr Rudd committed the funding as part of a $US40 billion aid package agreed at the United Nations to potentially save the lives of 16 million children.

He addressed a conference at UN headquarters after discussions held on Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s “global strategy for women’s and children’s health”.

Read the full story in “The Australian”

Australia is in so much debt, yet we seem to be still giving money away for foreign aid, but we haven’t got the money to look after our own troops! Something is terribly wrong with this picture.

Click here to look at Australia’s Debt Clock.

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9 Responses to Diggers Need Mortar Support.

  1. Jill says:

    Whether you agree with the war or not we must support our guys and girls in the Defence Force. I would also like to know why we can give all this money away overseas when we not only need our Hospitals fixed, infrastructure, as well as looking after our Troops, why hasn’t any journalist asked these questions?

  2. gregoryno6 says:

    When I was first trying to get Gina’s Pin-Up calendar to our troops abroad I made contact with a young officer who was originally rather skeptical. Once she’d visited Gina’s website and seen the style, she was quite enthusiastic and spoke to relevant higher-ups. All of whom said to her, yes, it’s a great idea. But it’s not something this department can handle.
    She recommended I write to base commanders around Perth. Five letters, two polite no-thanks-but-thanks-for-thinking-of-us letters. Three non-acknowledgments.
    Get the feeling that the men and women in the field are not being served too well by defence administrators? I certainly do.

  3. travelrat says:

    Maybe we should read between the lines here:

    When I was in the military, we often bought stuff like Lundhags boots, Norwegian Army shirts, Gore-tex jackets etc and the Press picked up on it once or twice, and said we were *forced* to buy these things.

    Not so; the stuff we were issued with was quite adequate, but the bought stuff was better; there was certainly no compulsion involved.

    I *hope* that’s the case here.

  4. travelrat says:

    However … sending them off without mortars just beggars belief; it’s almost like sending them off without rifles!

    • magsx2 says:

      Hi travelrat,
      It is the case as far as the boots go, of course our Defence Forces are issued with boots but they do not last very long from what I have read, the $250 boots that they decided to buy themselves are a lot better in quality and comfort, which I’m sure means a great deal with the amount of distances that are covered by walking.

      There have been a lot of cutbacks in Defence over the last couple of years, this is due naturally to the debt the Country is in, but I do not agree Defence should be cut back at all, also the Government gets away with these cuts as not everyone agrees with this war, but personally I think people need to remember that it is our Men and Women over there, doing what ever needs to be done, and they should get all the help they need, if it’s more expensive boots, then they should be able to have them.

      I don’t know if you read about the latest death of one of our Diggers, as I know each Country has had the same. But our guys are saying that this could of been prevented if they had the right equipment. I believe this to be true. In this case they needed Mortar support. Then you read about all the money given away to other Country’s, in normal circumstances I think it’s great if you can help others out, but not at the expense of your own.

      My Husband is Ex-Navy, and there was issues even back then, my Father was also in the Army as was my Husbands Father, and in each case there was issues over money from the Government. I would really like to see our Troops given all they need to have, and maybe a few lives may be saved. If Australia can give so much money away, then we can look after our Troops a lot better.

      • travelrat says:

        I lived with the spectre of defence cuts for 36 years! Trouble was, they made them in the wrong places.

        What really hurt was writing long screeds pleading the case for a reliable portable ground/air radio that didn’t need two men to carry it, while hearing about ‘the brass’ having his office unnecessarily re-carpeted, at a price which would have bought a decent car. And, seeing ‘Himself’ swanning around in a Daimler, while our ground party had to make do with 20 year old Land Rovers.

  5. magsx2 says:

    Hi travelrat,
    That is exactly what the issue is, I see you also went through the same thing. I agree there is nothing worse than money being spent on the things that do not really matter, such as in your case, doing up an office, and letting the “higher ups” have some luxury. It’s about time ALL Governments starting looking after the Troops on the ground, in the air, or out at sea.

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