Posts tagged ‘military’

July 11, 2011

‘Safety link’ to military crashes

By Tim Reid Political correspondent, BBC Scotland The wreckage of RAF Chinook ZD576 Twenty-nine people were killed when the Chinook helicopter crashed on the Mull of Kintyre in 1994 A former engineer has claimed there may be links between two of the worst fatal accidents in modern military history.


Jimmy Jones believes there were safety issues years before the 1994 Chinook crash in Scotland and the loss of a Nimrod in Afghanistan 12 years later.


He is convinced the danger signs lie in official reports of both aircraft, one of which the MoD said has been lost.


His call to the defence secretary to release the paper comes days before a report into the Mull of Kintyre crash.


In September last year, Liam Fox ordered a review into the cause of the 1994 Chinook crash, in which 29 people died.


The two pilots were blamed for gross negligence by RAF air marshals but the findings have been disputed by campaigners ever since.


The review, chaired by Lord Alexander Philip, is due to report shortly.


‘Carbon copy’


Mr Jones, who worked on Nimrod fleet and advises the bereaved families of the 2006 crash, wants Mr Fox to give Lord Philip a 1998 report on the Nimrod’s airworthiness.


He said it should be considered alongside a similar report which casts doubt over the safety of the Chinook fleet two years before that crash.


The MoD said it could not find the Nimrod report.


Mr Jones said the Nimrod airworthiness review in 1998 was “almost a carbon copy” of the 1992 Chinook report.


He said both papers revealed a period of “neglect” during the 1990s culminating in lower staff levels and experience, inadequate training, over flying, failure to investigate faults, out-dated publications and poor communication.


Mr Jones said extracts of the Nimrod report could be found in the 2009 Charles Haddon-Cave QC report – a highly critical paper on the MoD’s safety procedures prior to the 2006 Nimrod crash.


Fourteen crewmen, based at RAF Kinloss in Moray, died when the aircraft – XV230 – blew up after air-to-air refuelling over Afghanistan when leaking fuel made contact with a hot air pipe.


The Chinook Mark 2 helicopter crashed on 2 June 1994 en route from Northern Ireland to Inverness in the worst RAF helicopter accident in peacetime.

July 8, 2011

‘Safety link’ to military crashes

 The wreckage of RAF Chinook ZD576 By Tim Reid Political correspondent, BBC Scotland Twenty-nine people were killed when the Chinook helicopter crashed on the Mull of Kintyre in 1994 A former engineer has claimed there may be links between two of the worst fatal accidents in modern military history.


Jimmy Jones believes there were safety issues years before the 1994 Chinook crash in Scotland and the loss of a Nimrod in Afghanistan 12 years later.


He is convinced the danger signs lie in official reports of both aircraft, one of which the MoD said has been lost.


His call to the defence secretary to release the paper comes days before a report into the Mull of Kintyre crash.


In September last year, Liam Fox ordered a review into the cause of the 1994 Chinook crash, in which 29 people died.


The two pilots were blamed for gross negligence by RAF air marshals but the findings have been disputed by campaigners ever since.


The review, chaired by Lord Alexander Philip, is due to report shortly.


‘Carbon copy’


Mr Jones, who worked on Nimrod fleet and advises the bereaved families of the 2006 crash, wants Mr Fox to give Lord Philip a 1998 report on the Nimrod’s airworthiness.


He said it should be considered alongside a similar report which casts doubt over the safety of the Chinook fleet two years before that crash.


The MoD said it could not find the Nimrod report.


Mr Jones said the Nimrod airworthiness review in 1998 was “almost a carbon copy” of the 1992 Chinook report.


He said both papers revealed a period of “neglect” during the 1990s culminating in lower staff levels and experience, inadequate training, over flying, failure to investigate faults, out-dated publications and poor communication.


Mr Jones said extracts of the Nimrod report could be found in the 2009 Charles Haddon-Cave QC report – a highly critical paper on the MoD’s safety procedures prior to the 2006 Nimrod crash.


Fourteen crewmen, based at RAF Kinloss in Moray, died when the aircraft – XV230 – blew up after air-to-air refuelling over Afghanistan when leaking fuel made contact with a hot air pipe.


The Chinook Mark 2 helicopter crashed on 2 June 1994 en route from Northern Ireland to Inverness in the worst RAF helicopter accident in peacetime.

June 30, 2011

China says military talks with India successful

Both sides say they are willing to work hard together to ensure peace and tranquility on the border. PHOTO: AFP

BEIJING: China’s Defence Ministry said on Wednesday that a recent visit by an Indian military delegation had been successful and would benefit relations after a freeze in ties last year over a visa row.

“Last year, Sino-Indian military exchanges experienced some
difficulties, but both sides worked hard to find a good way
of resolving this,” ministry spokesman Yang Yujun told a news
conference, according to a transcript posted on the ministry’s
website.

“Both sides said that they were willing to work hard
together to ensure peace and tranquility on the border and
further promote exchanges between their militaries,” Yang said.

India and China, emerging rivals for resources and global
influence, fought a border in the 1960s and have been wary
neighbours ever since. China also occupies a part of the
Himalayan region of Kashmir which India claims as its own.
Yang said he believed the visit had been conducive towards
promoting trust and the development of military relations.

“China hopes that China and India can further promote
the development of military ties,” Yang said, without giving any
other details.

China last August denied a visa to an Indian general in
charge of operations in the disputed Kashmir region, which lead
to a suspension of military contacts between the two growing
powers.

India protested in 2009 against a Chinese embassy policy of
issuing different visas to residents of Indian Kashmir. New
Delhi bristles at any hint that Kashmir, where a separatist
insurgency has raged for two decades, is not part of India.
India’s old rival Pakistan also claims Kashmir.

June 30, 2011

“Security concerns” behind withdrawal of British military advisers: Hague

British Foreign Secretary Minister William Hague (C) is escorted by security personnel during his visit to a court house in Benghazi. Upon his return to London from a trip to the Afghanistan and Pakistan, he said that UK was committed to working with Pakistan. PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON: The request for withdrawal of eighteen British military advisers from Pakistan had been based on security concerns and was understandable said British Foreign Secretary William Hague. It was a difficult situation, he said, and the withdrawal would not affect the ‘Enhanced Strategic Dialogue’ between the two nations.

The British military advisers were reportedly part of a £15 million programme to train Pakistan’s Frontier Corps which began last August and was scheduled to run until at least summer of 2013.

The British Foreign Secretary was speaking to the press following his recent tour of Afghanistan and Pakistan. The Afghanistan visit, he said, reinforced his government’s support for Afghan led reconciliation and he also welcomed the initiatives between Afghanistan and Pakistan in this regard. The framework for greater co-operation between the countries now exists, he said, and we understand that Pakistan can play a great role with regard to reconciliation efforts.

In response to a question regarding the alleged involvement of certain Pakistan army officers with the Hizbut Tahrir, Mr Hague responded that the British government was keeping a close eye on the activities of the Hizbut Tahrir in Britain. However, before banning an organisation the government required sufficient evidence that the ban would be legally sustainable, he said.

Before coming into power the Conservative Party repeatedly called for Hizb to be outlawed and criticised the previous Labour government for failing to introduce a ban. After over a year in government the Tories have also failed to ban the Islamist organisation.

Describing his discussions with Pakistan’s acting foreign minister Hina Rabbani Khar, Mr Hague said that he had reiterated Britain’s commitment to an enhanced relationship with Pakistan which included increased trade and a focus on getting more than 4 million Pakistani children into school. Recognising the huge military effort Pakistan has made in the fight against terrorism he said that “it is like 9/11 every year in Pakistan”. However he said Pakistan needed to “work closer with the US and UK in fighting terrorism”.