British Forces Lack vehicles in Afghanistan

Funny story written by Bannon Orcus

Wednesday, 2 May 2007

image for British Forces Lack vehicles in Afghanistan
British Forces in a "Convincing Cardboard Bus"

A serious shortage of patrol vehicles is hampering operations in Afghanistan, British commanders have told the BBC.

BBC correspondent Alistair Leithead said a lack of heavily armoured Land Rovers was a particular problem.

Lieutenant Colonel Charlie Mayo, spokesman in Helmand province, said none of the 170 promised were available.

The Ministry of Defense insisted troops were properly equipped to do their job, "they got boots!" a spokesman claimed.

The complaints came just a day after UK forces took control of Afghanistan's southern provinces as part of the Nato mission there.

British soldiers are involved in Operation Silicon to drive Taleban fighters out of opium-producing areas. Stops have been set up and Taleban fighters wait in orderly queues awaiting the long drive out of Afghanistan.

"All our teams have buggered off out of Afghanistan in military vehicles driving them to neighboring countries"

'A hammering'

Armoured Land Rovers - or WMIKs (weapons-mounted installation kits) - are used to protect soldiers while out on patrol or operations.

Mr Leithead, who is embedded with British troops, said an average of one of these vehicles a week was being lost no one can remember where they parked them as the desert looks the same.

"With the desert winds, a nifty corner you parked the jeep in last night is not a corner by the morning" A soldier claimed through sniggers

"British development teams have constructed cardboard cut outs of the Landrovers with inner handholds, that soldiers can hold onto and shimmy through the provinces offering a very convincing illusion we have enough hardware" Mr. Leithead continued.

Lt Col Mayo said the WMIKs were taking "a hell of a hammering" in the hot and dusty conditions and said the situation was "tight, but not critical yet".

A fifth of the cardboard fleet is damaged, ripped or has been destroyed by enemy fire, he added, but more would be arriving soon.

Another cardboard design has been shipped in, a London Bus, has been painted green and crude drawings of with extra armour and weapons to try to cover the shortfall, but there is a limit to the number of men and the amount of equipment they can carry while dashing through the worst parts of Afghanistan in paper vehicles, our correspondent said.

And the strain was increased because extra troops had recently been deployed without extra vehicles, he added.

A spokesman for the MoD denied there was a shortage and said huge investments had been made in cardboard equipment for the Army.

"The success of our forces against the Taleban shows that they are not only among the best joggers in the world, but also among the most convincingly equipped," he said.

The funny story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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