[quote]Well…looks like the Paras prefer the yanks to the RAF…and the BBC doesn’t like it.
The military mission in Afghanistan could fail without more manpower and helicopters, a major within Britain’s main battle group warned yesterday.
In three leaked e-mails, Major James Loden, of 3 Para, based in battle-torn Helmand province, said more resources were “desperately” needed. He claimed that the RAF had been “utterly, utterly useless” at protecting British troops.
The leaks will embarrass the Ministry of Defence.
Thirty-five Armed Forces personnel have been killed in combat and non-combat theatres since March. Ministers have admitted that resistance from the Taliban is proving far tougher than expected.
In one of the e-mails, obtained by Sky News, he praises the bravery of Cpl Bryan Budd, who was killed on Aug 20, and describes the battle in which he died.
He tells how troops tried to advance forward to find Cpl Budd but were driven back under heavy fire, and describes how they could see the Taliban “rushing weapons out of a mosque”.
The two platoons were left “exhausted and scared”.
He has very unkind words for the RAF: "Controlling and directing air, arty and mors [artillery and mortars] is the best way to influence the battle. The RAF have been utterly, utterly useless.
"Twice I have had Harriers in support when c/s on the ground have been in heavy contact, on one occasion trying to break clean. A female 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."
In "contrast" to the RAF, the US air force had been "fantastic". He adds: "I would take an A10 over Eurofighter any day.":lol:
The MoD said it was for services in Afghanistan.Major Loden received a Bronze Star medal from the American Army in April 2004
Gen Sir Richard Dannatt, the Chief of the General Staff, last night described Major Loden’s comments about the RAF as “regrettable”.
“The way the RAF has performed in support of our operations in Afghanistan has been exceptional,” he said.
“Irresponsible comments, based on a snapshot, are regrettable.”
I have no idea if the RAF are good bad or indifferent. But the above is simply one person’s view. I too read that story yesterday, but I also saw a paragraph in which it said the RAF Harriers and helicopter gunships are in great demand, and not just from the British over there, precisely because of their effectiveness.