NZDF ‘begs, borrows, steals’ equipment
Thu, 30 Aug 2012 5:00a.m.
By Lloyd Burr
A private security operative working in Afghanistan says the New Zealand military has to ‘beg for, borrow or steal’ equipment and it’s not just Humvees they’re cutting costs on.
Jack Waldron, who himself survived an IED explosion, says the New Zealand Government and military officials need to supply troops with better gear or more lives will be lost.
Waldron spoke frankly with 3 News earlier in the week about the realities of working in a war-zone, in the wake of the recent deaths of five Kiwi soldiers.
He says New Zealand troops have cheap, archaic gear and are "easy targets" for insurgents, compared with the Americans who always where Kevlar helmets, goggles, special gloves and body armour.
“I see kiwi troops day in, day out – although it looks cool – they’ll have a headset on with no helmet. It’s just stupid and comes down to poor leadership or poor funding.”
He says Humvees – the vehicle three Kiwi soldiers were killed in this month – are a good logistics vehicle but not safe in the frontline.
“The Humvees must go. We’ve been targeted by the Taliban. We’re a soft target and the easy target,’ he says.
“The Americans got rid of that vehicle in 2007 because the IED threats were killing their soldiers in big numbers.”
New Zealand’s Humvees are handoffs from the Americans, says Waldron, and were likely given for free.
Waldron says troops using Humvees are “asking to be blown up”.
“They are very cheap and you are almost laughed at in the Middle East now if you are cruising past in an armoured vehicle in a red zone.”
In his opinion, the New Zealand military are cheap-skates who will “beg, borrow or steal” for equipment.
“We are probably one of the only coalition forces over there that are rolling around in the antiquated Humvees.”
Waldron says Defence Force claims that no vehicle could’ve survived the recent deadly bomb blast are "bullshit".
“What our chief of Defence Force has neglected to say to the public is that there are a number of different MRAPs (mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicles) that are available in Afghanistan and can be brought in.”
Despite the area being relatively low-threat, it is not an excuse to give New Zealand troops substandard equipment, he says.
“If the Kiwis continue to ride around in these vehicles, we will continue to see more bloodshed amongst our own. If the Taliban wanted to take us out, it’s just another day in the office for them.”
He says it comes down to poor leadership over there and poor funding from the Government.
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7/09/2012 4:38:11 p.m.
Now all of you want to complain, I suggest that you all waste your time on something els, what has happened has happened we as soldiers (real soldiers) will crack on. the loss has come a great price but our govt ant going to do much so instead of arguing who right and who's wrong why don't we all just get along thats what us soldier really want.
31/08/2012 10:20:55 p.m.
Give them tanks and attack helicopters or bring them home, the resource wars are shit anyway may as well spend the money on research for alternatives. Good on the NZDF Great to hear some soldiers comments.Watch The Oil Factor documentary, its available online.
31/08/2012 6:19:03 a.m.
Yes I have seen plenty of MRAP's thanks mate. They do not survive all IED's, UXO, Mines etc. Anyone who thinks MRAPs are the answer to the problem needs to do some research. Dont think anyone said gear was first rate or best in the AO but it sure aint the worst out there like it has been suggested by a few. But hey this is a media driven story so why let the truth get in the way of a good story.
30/08/2012 8:38:14 p.m.
Have you ever seen an MRAP? ...those machines will survive the biggest mines and Unexplosive ordanance.Troops are safe in MRAPs. The only dangerous part to an MRAP is getting out of one.
NZ has a sub standard military. Trainings is just as good as anywhere else, we have never doudted that; and fighting with you is great and honoured, but you cant for one.second think you gear is.first rate?
As for Hummmmmers.... they are aged, but still provide troops with good mobility and protection for what they are worth. They are not good when it comes.to surviving med-large IEDs...but general small arms, your average soldier has great survivabilty.
..... & they provide you with more protection than our jackals... so don't complain too much ;-)
30/08/2012 4:11:27 p.m.
Yes, our Humvees are vulnerable to IED strikes. Im not sure when the last time you came here and saw how we operated, but all those things you mentioned, that apparantly only the americans wear.. we have it all too, and wear it whenever we leave the wire. all of our five fallen this year, were wearing all the protection availiable. Do some proper research before trying to make us look like a second string force using "substandard" equipment.
30/08/2012 1:27:43 p.m.
Ross McDonald wrote:
So when your MRAP gets blown in half then what are you going to say...... There is always something bigger and better. Just lke IED's. They are not invincible pieces of kit. Most of the kit I have seen the boys up there using is of better or equal quality han a few other nations they work alongside. TV3 is getting bad intel, I suggest you try more than one source of information before causing distress to families of the deployed and making public statements that are just not true.
30/08/2012 12:51:18 p.m.
Zebedee Schulz wrote:
The NZ Defence should look into some Australian Bushmasters, they are great vehicles and have an excellent reputation for IED attacks.
30/08/2012 12:30:54 p.m.
Nothing new there- this countries Govt has been underfunding and under equipping the military for decades. One of the main reasons I got out in the 90"s was because the then National Govt was under funding us- sending us to Bosnia in 40yr old armour that couldn't stop a RPG.
Mean while- current govt ministers get brand new BMW limos because their 3yr old BMW limos are too old.
What a joke. Sell the bloody Beemers and give the boys MRAPs!!!
30/08/2012 11:19:16 a.m.
The Up armored HMMWV (High Mobility Multi-Purpose Wheeled Vehicle) is a versatile vehicle. It has its drawbacks and it's advantages. If your purpose is to increase survivability in a hostile and dangerous area it is not ideal. This would be the place for an MRAP.If you need a tactical advantage The HMMWV is more appropriate. It is fast and low can be hidden easier and can if equipped properly can pack a pretty powerful punch to the enemy.An IED of the same size will definitely without a doubt be more devastating if struck a HMMWV rather than a MRAP.My take on the matter is you send your troops into battle with the best gear you can possibly send them with. Every thing that a soldier can use to increase his or her surviveability on the battle field is to their advantage. To send troops under equipped into battle is of the utmost disrespect to them and to the citizens of your nation.
30/08/2012 11:12:42 a.m.
Wow here we go again all about the personal politics again. The truth is nz millitary funding has been continually reduced untill this is what you end up with. Reductions in training and equipment budgets has left us completly un prepared, not to mention stupid purchases e.g 105 nzlavs which when can barely crew 40. Also morale has dropped so much that some of our best have left to find better jobs. The quality of our soilders can only account for so much.
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