A Bridge Too Far

I have waited a while after uncovering the stupid defence cuts because writing in a Red Mist is not good for a chap of my great age;  The Cameroons in their infinite wisdom have decided that the Parachute Regiment are being forced to train without parachutes as part of the defence cuts.  Also the Tank Regiments will no longer have tanks – You really couldn’t make it up.

I reckon it would be a great idea if Cameron, Clegg, Cable and the ‘two Ed’s are better than one’, could take part in a sponsored parachute jump, sans parachutes.  I’ll start of the sponsorship for a fiver a head – collection on completion.

As usual I must declare an interest.  Not many Matelots get a chance to jump out of a plane but during the 1950s I did three HALO jumps (High Altitude Low Opening) into the sea.  We trained with the French Foreign Legion (2e Régiment étranger de parachutistes, 2e REP) which is an airborne regiment of the Legion, training in Cartagena in Spain.

All mad bastards together hurtling down without pulling the cord until we reached a terrifyingly low level when thank the Lord the chute opened, then before we could settle our nerves, hitting the button at about 12 feet above the sea hitting the water with a force that caused us to swallow half the Mediterranean.

We certainly thanked our Lord for our deliverance, for the fanatical training regime we were put through and naturally our parachutes.  I’m not sure what this coalition is about – one minute ‘Call me Dave’ is developing a taste for military intervention from Libya to Mali and arming rebels in Syria.  The next they are taking parachutes from the Para’s, scrapping their dedicated Hercules Transports and taking the tanks away from the ‘Tankies’.

Gordon Brown (spit) commissioned two Aircraft Carriers to buy Labour votes in Scotland, now the M.O.D. have cancelled the order for a new generation of aircraft to fly from them, they have scrapped our existing Harriers.  Is it any wonder that morale in our armed forces is at an all time low?  I would forecast that with plans to sack up to 20% of our service personnel who cannot strike and rarely complain in public, will be queuing up to volunteer to leave such an underfunded and unappreciated service – jump before they are pushed.

I wrote a blog recently about American Servicemen on a Civilian Flight when other passengers showed their appreciation by paying for their food and drinks and a few bucks more to see them to their destination before their onward deployment in Afghanistan.  Like Our government the British public treat our servicemen as second class citizens.

Take the recent story of the jumped up G4S Security Guard who refused to allow a female Royal Navy Petty Officer to board a Virgin Flight unless she changed out of her uniform.  That G4S the company who employed such an idiotic jobsworth is the same company who made such a dreadful job at the 2012 Olympics and had to be bailed out by our Armed Forces.

Because of my age I do try very hard not to say “I don’t believe it” but really I don’t Fxxxxxg believe it!  No doubt most of you will have read that incident in the newspapers whom were somewhat critical.  The Forces Forums on the Internet were less polite.

I can but hope the G4S idiot isn’t named and shamed or he could be found, double tapped, in a ditch somewhere.  That is of course providing that ‘Call me Dave’ hasn’t taken away their live ammunition to send to the rebels in Syria.

About Jake

Long retired travel writer, author and freelance journalist. Educated at Wolverton Grammar and Greenwich Naval College. Happily married since 1958, with a married son and daughter, a married granddaughter and an adult grandson. Hobbies rock-climbing, dinghy racing and ocean racing. Still regularly working out in the gym.

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