05 November, 2006

Paras to drop in on Afghanistan

The Sunday Times reports that the MoD is preparing to drop the Paras into Afghanistan if fighting escalates as a result of the Kabul government's attempts to eradicate poppy cultivation. It is not the first time such a move has been considered:

Paratroopers were expecting to jump into action in Afghanistan earlier this year, the sources said. Two drops into Helmand province were planned, one into the Sangin area in May as part of the US-led Operation Mountain Thrust, and one into the Kajaki area in September.

Parachutes and the RAF dispatchers were sent to Afghanistan ahead of the jumps but there were not enough serviceable C-130s to proceed, the sources said.
Are we really to believe that support for our troops and for our closest ally was not forthcoming because of a shortage of airworthy aircraft? Unfortunately, the answer seems to be yes. Now we know what Colonel Collins meant when he referred to the politicians failing to deal with "the shocking state of our [air] fleet in Afghanistan."

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