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PostPosted: Sat Oct 22, 2011 12:26 am 
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Hi all. I hope I find you well. Just thought I'd put in my 2pence worth on this subject as I am a serving soldier of the union, who looks forward to a Scottish Defence Service. I look forward to your comments, opinions and critisism of anything I post here.

I have been given a paper from my local party branch regarding Defence. As one of the minority of declared Nationalists who serve, I had been looking forward to pouring over the pages, picking out anything I thought would cause dramas with the lads, and contributing, purely as a low ranking bloke on the ground. I have so many questions about it now, that I feel it would take several hours to get through them all. It seems as though there has been little consultation with serving soldiers. I have family in the Irish Defence Forces, and their own model which serves Eire well for it's own international outlook, would not suit Scotland if it wishes to encourage soldier with recent combat experience. I worry that we will in fact try to copy the Irish model. I imagine what we want is to have enough serving Scots to join our SDS, as to build an Army with no experience, in the current climate would be criminal. Particularly for a nation with such vast national resources, which currently are protected by the UK MOD, with their vast resources and specifically trained SF unit. Details of a Scottish intervention unit, or the remit for it are lacking in the current paper. A civilian may think that the Police could take this responsibility, but there are certain operational limitations that mean the police would be restricted in their response to a major incident where the military may be more suited to invervene ie use of explosives, direct action to recapture assets. This is a worry because we are not talking about Independance in the context of what if anymore, it is highly likely that within this decade Scotland will shape its own destiny. As for conditions of service, again this is vague. The truth is not many people would volunteer to serve, purely because the salary etc would not be enough to support them or their lifestyle. This is also true of the British Army but they sell the fact you can make up for it by serving abroad and by relatively quick promotion (in the Infantry anyway)


There are many like myself who only joined up to serve in places like Afghanistan and experience the "adventure" of such a deployment. A SDS would not be a member of NATO nor would it seek to involve itself in foreign situations which did not affect Scotland. That is an enviable place to sit, and as a person who has been on several hard tours I would be happy with that, but the fact is, soldiers join to do soldiering. In the IDF this is addresed by the existance of the Irish Ranger Wing, their special forces unit who deploy to several areas and actions where their regular "green" collegues do not. This is a physically and mentally demanding place to reach due to the professionalism of the unit and so many just decide to abandom the notion of joining their own nations military altogether and instead join an Irish regiment of the British Army to get the taste of combat. Currently there is no plan for a Scottish equivalent to provide this option to soldiers and so I believe that the majority will continute to be sold by the British Army's guarentee of action and a progressive career structure.

There is a strong promotion of "reserve forces" in the paper and this brings its own issues which I am probably not qualified to ponder accurately.

The "historic regiments" will be re-established, which is great and would be welcomed by many, but would they offer the same level of oportunity as the current "Royal Regiment of Scotland" which promotes the idea of various different roles for the Scottish Infantryman to master leading to a better and more rounded career and experience of soldiering?

As to counter-terror response, it is stated that elements of regular and reserve SDS will be part of a co-ordinated strategy. This looks like an answer to my previous worry of a lack of Scottish SF capability but in reality would this mean the local butcher responding to an incident in say Grangemouth? When a full time member of a dedicated military response team would more likely be trained to deal with the situation efficientaly and importantly, set out as a deterrant to future threats?

I am in no way criticising the paper, I am aware it is a complicated area where there are still many variables and outcomes to be worked out, but to be honest I think that if we are going to ask our Scottish service communtiy who are among the most combat experienced, culturally aware, and the most respected warriors in the world to give up what they know well, and join a Scottish Defence Service to serve their own community and their own people, who are ethnically, culturally and socially distinct from the term "British" then they at least deserve to know a lot more detail of the plans which are afoot than is currently being presented. I am very welcoming to the commitment to kick the nuclear weapons out of our country, as all you ex serviceman know from your own CBRN training, these devices are not just redundant in 2011 but are nothing more than an evil instrument of immense suffering to civilians, and they have no place on our soil, and the only reason they are here is the fact that the Westminster tribe have seen us Scots as dispensible for decades, and the same tribe have no comprehension of humanity or decency towards fellow human beings. I also welcome the commitment to work with the UK Govt to allow military inquests to be heard here in the case of Scottish troops. I have been through the inquest process myself and found it to be an extremely painful and long drawn process which was littered with inefficiences, though i must say the Coroner was one of the moest decent and supportive officals I have met in my adult life.

I am not a General or even an Officer, so perhaps I am way off line in this thread but I feel it is an area which is not explained fully enough. Please add your own thoughts, opinions and questions to this as I plan to write my own insignificant wee paper on the subject from the POV of a "jock" on the ground. I particularly welcome ex or serving forces to add your own thoughts on this, I apoligise if it comes across as a massive soapbox speech or pretencious, it is just a field I am passionate about as a professional soldier, a career I enjoy and would like to continue after Independance.

Yours aye, Fusilier.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 22, 2011 5:42 pm 
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A great post and I wish there was more exmilitary personell or serving ones to help the SNP with defence policy as I feel its needs a military mind not a politictition to work out the needs of an independent Scotland,we have already seen the mess that the SDR has done to the British armed forces with a badly equiped Army,Navy and Airforce a result and any qualified input I think would be most welcomed to the SNP for a future defence policy of an independent Scotland! :cuddy: :saltire:


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 27, 2011 10:45 pm 
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Can't claim to know very much about soldiering but this http://newsnetscotland.com/index.php/sc ... -like.html article might inform the debate.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2011 3:14 am 
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I dont know about Scottish defence but the way the experts are speaking the only aircraft Britain will have will be pilotless drones operated from the ground by ex-pilots since that is the cheap affordable option ,as for infintary they will always need them to do the jobs that machines cant do.As for the poor navy will they have any ships in twenty years time as with every set of cuts the end up with less ships and will they ever get the planes for their carriers as there is talk that they might get Super Hornets as the price for the original aircraft is getting too expensive!One thing that will be good for an independ Scotland would be getting all the second hand British aircraft and ships off of ebay! :horsekeech:


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2011 9:32 am 
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Rather than buying second-hand over-priced Brit junk, we'd be better looking toward our Nordic partners for advice and assistance. The few ships we'd need we could build ourselves - since we wouldn't need crap like carriers, just coastal defence and fishery/oil protection vessels. I'm sure that Sweden, Norway and the like would either sell us aircraft and armoured vehicles or offer assistance - but how many would we need in any case? Sufficient to defend our borders, and at times assist in a few UN operations - other than that there would be no need for a large standing army. I think a combined forces department which also included the Coastguard and Customs officials would probably suit us best.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2011 10:11 pm 
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fusilier wrote:
I am not a General or even an Officer, so perhaps I am way off line in this thread but I feel it is an area which is not explained fully enough. Please add your own thoughts, opinions and questions to this as I plan to write my own insignificant wee paper on the subject from the POV of a "jock" on the ground. I particularly welcome ex or serving forces to add your own thoughts on this, I apoligise if it comes across as a massive soapbox speech or pretencious, it is just a field I am passionate about as a professional soldier, a career I enjoy and would like to continue after Independance.

Yours aye, Fusilier.


Hi, well, that's a hell of a question to ask mate! And it's a good one.....

Personally, I feel that first and fore most we need to establish independence first. All else will be a progression from that. Should we be a republic? In or out of the EU etc. The SNP will not be the only show in town when we resume the status of a sovereign nation once more.

The size and make up of our forces will depend on a few things, like will we be in NATO? Will we be neutral? The one thing I am sure about is that they will be proffessional and up to whatever task they are asked to do!

I'm ex-RAF. Defence is close to my heart. I would hope Scotland choses to be neutral, in part, it would guarentee defence spending. As you have pointed out, we have considerable assets to protect. The Swiss model is my personal choice, they almost match the manpower of the present UK forces; even with a smaller population, but their equipment is much better. They do participate in UN sanctioned roles, AND they exercise with NATO and also with individual nations such as Norway on the defence of common interests.

Scotland CAN build our own Navy, also our merchant fleet (dual civil and military role) likes of Cal Mac. Made me angry when that Cal Mac contract went to Poland!!! Our ship yards will refurbish the junk we get in our share of the division of assets. Affordable because we wont be paying for the 'white elephant' aka Trident.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2011 3:48 am 
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As Shagpile and Jolly have said Scotland would not need a big standing force and there are plenty of defence models to choose from such as Nordic or Swiss.As for aircraft there are plenty of cheap aircraft that can be fitted out with the latest technology.As for ships the Nordic designes are good and flexable with modular construction so that they have the same hull but the top can be fitted out to different configurations keeping cost down,we might nef a few small hunter killer submarines armed with cruise missiles or torpedoes!As for the Army multi skilled battalions of specialists along with infintary,artillary and a light armoured brigade.With the way that weapon technology is going these days h heavy tanks can be taken out by both aircraft and infintary weapons. Scotland has to have AEW systems in place as well as Maritime reccon which is essenttial in SAR and looking after the oil rigs. A good fleet of different kinds of helicopters including Apache or similar to support ground troops.And I would hope marines and mountain warfare troops since we have an awfull lot of mountains.That is only my veiw based on latest technology available just now! :saltire:


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2012 11:43 am 
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It is a nice post

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