At last the truth about our Afgan helicopters

  Belatucadrus 11:16 12 Aug 09
Locked

It appears we can't deploy enough helicopters because the Americans have nicked the parking spaces.
click here

"The British often borrow US helicopters, but the American aircraft may also be limiting the scope for British deployments."

Words fail me.

  Belatucadrus 11:25 12 Aug 09

Apologies for the spelling of Afghanistan in the title I hapear to ave dropped a haitch.

  Clapton is God 12:13 12 Aug 09

"nicked the parking spaces"

If this story didn't have such serious undertones for our troops, it would be laughable.

Germans, sun loungers and beach towels spring to mind however ....

  bremner 12:18 12 Aug 09

There are 50,000+ US troops in Afghanistan and 9000 British is it any surprise they have 5 times more helicopters than us?

  dagbladet 12:32 12 Aug 09

Belatucadrus

Why do words fail you?

  peter99co 14:43 12 Aug 09

Have you seen that our (Puma?)Helicopters from Iraq have been returned to GB and need a lot of modifications to allow their use in the Higher Altitudes of Afghanistan. As well as this the pilots need more training to cope with the higher altitude they will encounter.

  Belatucadrus 15:07 12 Aug 09

Because if I used the words I want to to express my feelings on this issue which has been running since the days of Blair, FE would quite rightly delete the post for gratuitous use of obscenities.

  Forum Editor 16:23 12 Aug 09

is the Deputy Commander of the joint helicopter command, so it would be reasonable to assume that he knows a thing or two about the logistics of flying helicopters in a relatively confined air space in a combat zone.

He said “When you get a headline saying there are more helicopters in Hampshire than Helmand, there might well be, but there’s a bloody good reason for that.”

Which seems fairly unambiguous - there's a reason for it. The reason, according to the Air Commodore, is that there simply isn't enough space (or people) to park, manoeuvre, and maintain more helicopters at the moment. Obviously there's a good deal of land-space in Helmand, but you can't just slap a bunch of extra helicopters out in the open with maintenance technicians swarming all over them - that would be the ultimate sitting duck for a few Taliban blokes with missile launchers. It takes time to construct safe parking, fuelling, and maintenance facilities.

Words might fail you, but I suggest that's because you may be taking a piece of Telegraph journalistic nonsense at face value, rather than looking any deeper.

  Kevscar1 16:49 12 Aug 09

FE
How much time does it take to construct safe parking, fuelling and maintainence facilities.
How long have we been out there.

  Chris the Ancient 16:59 12 Aug 09

And then they would sit there - but unable to go anywhere because they wouldn't have the logistics support and the ground crew available to keep them flying?

  Forum Editor 17:04 12 Aug 09

If only it was that simple.

Quite apart from the construction aspects, helicopters must be adapted to operate in the theatre in which they'll be flying, and logistical support has to be in place before the helicopters arrive.

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