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.
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”.
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.