Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Reasons for not deploying the LAV to Afghanistan

A new find for me. An NZDF forum where people with field experience are posting. This comment was an eye opener.
Where do I start,

The inquiry will be conducted by the Army, but what frank & balanced discussion / evaluation are you after, for eight years we have been in this province dont you think that the PRT would have a better grip on what the lay of the land is & more importantly the best vehicle to suit that land?, please explain to me who in NZ has beside those people that have served there can possibly offer & frank & balance argument why they are safely tucked away back in Gods own?.

The Army made the call on the NZLAV, have you ever seen photos of the area we operate in, this is not Helmend where its flat our TAO is the same as the Southern Alps but with no infrastructure at all, most MSR are dirt tracks or in some cases river beds. Where the contact occured is goat / thar country that you see on country calendar.

Ah the Pinz yes the GS version is an outstanding vehicle but lets take a gloser look at the armoured LOV or as we call it LOV(A) - 2.5 ltr turbo diesel carrying a 5.5 ton armoured shell unloaded, now lets fit it out for a 28 day patrol, we must add ammo, food, water, spare fuel, assorted batteries for the radios, spare vehicle parts, medical equipment, soldiers gear, soldiers ammo & body armour plus 4 x soldiers & our LOV(A) is in the vicinity of 7 - 8 tons now tell me how that 2.5 ltr motor is going to cope climbing a dirt track that equvilent to climbing up Arthurs pass?.

Heart & Minds or COIN as it called now, "Who has done any REAL research on this" now let me see lets try 1RNZIR & 40 years of Low intensity conflict while based in South East Asia, deployed Malayan emergency, deployed during Confrontation with Indonesia, Conducted Combat Operations during Vietnam but applying lessons learnt during the Emergency & Confrontation, jump ahead, Kosovo & Kiwi 1 Coy same application of lessons being applied, 1998 V Coy then NZBATT 1 in East Timor applyed the same lessons & also had to relearn some of those lessons again, Solomon Islands, Tonga now what research have you done? eight years we have been in Bamiyan do you think that all we do is sit in Kiwi base & play touch, lesson 101 include all local government resources to win an insugent conflict starting with the local Governor first.

What vehicle combo would you like to see?, where we were attacked only one force can clear on hold this terrain and thats Light Infantry so the vehicle traffic can safety transit through, Iraqi lesson now being applied in Afganistan by the insurgents the bigger the Vehicle the bigger the bomb, (note Canada were losing 1 x LAV a week).

Myth busting 101, its not the locals who are attacking the PRT, these people are from another Province, they are mainly criminal elements mixed up with Talibs, they are smuggling contraband from one province to another, usually they only attack from there side of the provincial border & they know that the PRT can not follow them up, they have learnt from 16 rotations, they know our ROE forbid us from clearing them out or crossing over. So what is holding us back our mandate as laid down by Government these then lay out the ROE that the PRT must abide by, Our mandate is Nation Building & force protection not offensive combat ops you want a change in vehicles then the mandate must change first now what government in this country is going to have the balls to do that.

Lastly dont you think that after eights years we have got to know the locals & have won there trust, your say things as if we were thick, we know every leader, every clan & what they want which is peace & the right to live, there children to be educated to have safe drinking water, hospital care the basics which we take for granted. Its a criminal element / talib that is causing trouble in our TAO & there not a thing we can do about it until we catch them on our side of the border or our mandate is altered until then we will carry on.


PM of NZ said...

What's the betting that forum is closed to serving personnel by lunchtime as a witchhunt is initiated?

Anonymous said...

Who would want to fight a war where you are forbidden to chase your enemy to wherever he is and destroy him and whatever is succuoring him?
It's a sick joke.
Politicans really need to stay out once they commit to war and let the army win it by any means they can.
It's so simple.

The Veteran said...

That post should be required reading for all ... there are a number of PRTs operating in theatre and their mandate is quite different from that of purely combat forces ... and you confuse the two at your peril.

Bamiyan (in the scale of Afghanistan) is a relatively safe Province where the work of the PRT has gained considerable respect from the locals. But there were always going to be casualities ... a case of when and not if.

What I guess the Court of Inquiry will examine is whether there are lessons that can be learned from the contact. It will take evidence from those there on the ground and its findings may lead to changes in SOPs.

But the point is well made that it is for the in-theatre commander to call for additional equipment should he consider it necessary.

But from the outside looking in I would have thought that a 28 day patrol, operating outside artillery range and with weather limiting air support, might need something heavier than the LOV.

Perhaps with the 28 day type patrol the PRT is confusing their role.

Perhaps that should be the task of dedicated combat forces.

Whatever, thank you SAGENZ for your very good post.

sagenz said...

Vet - Merely a messenger. I came, I read, I reposted.

Anonymous said...

Soooo, the bright boys in the Army PRT have set traps to catchee monkee on their side of the provincial border, right? No point chasing the burglars half way to Hamilton when you know they are coming to your place - just gotta set the right traps.

And it will be interesting to see if the PRT commander had asked for anything extra - if not, can't blame the politicians for not giving.

The 28 day patrol does sound like combat work - not terribly reconstructive, aye? Tends to suggest they either can't safely stay at local bases (so much for winning local hearts and minds), or are going on long range hunts for insurgents.

Perhaps a strategic withdrawal? And let the Afghans decide what kind of society they want to live in?

I look forward to your restrained death threats ;)

Paul G. Buchanan (Pablo) said...


I agreed completely that the Defense Talk discussion thread on the NZDF is a valuable resource for those interested in NZ military affairs. A must read in fact, precisely because of the contributions of people with first hand knowledge, both past and present, of NZDF deployments and rationales.

Incidentally, my take on the events surrounding Lt. O'Donnell's death are found here:

Murray said...

Screw what gear they use, just give them a mandate to engage the enemy.