Wednesday, 22 August 2012

"Right mate, I'll have a half ton of Chicken, same again for potatoes..."

Apology's for a lack of activity, I've been somewhat busy. Couple of things that caught my eye over the last few days;

-- The latest design for the Type 26 frigate has been released. Think Defence covered it in about as much detail as anyone could hope (especially if you go through the comments) so I'll just link back to that article. My only issue looking at the design is that the rear ramp for launching small craft appears to have gone missing.

As I understood it the restrictions on launching of small craft (at high speeds, in rough sea states, the time taken etc) was one of the main flaws highlighted with current RN escorts that was supposed to be solved by this new design, so I find the omission of this capability a little odd.

Other than that though it looks like a good design. One wonders if in the future this design might be adapted as an all purpose escort, in the same way that current fighter aircraft are touted as multi-role? That mast looks like it could hold a Sampson from the Type 45 and with the addition of some more missile silos could be adapted to the AAW role in the future? Intriguing.

-- Sir Humphrey, over at the Thin Pinstriped Line, has two good articles. The first highlights how difficult it would be now to build two additional Type 45's. I fear there was a chance for this to happen at an earlier stage, but now the opportunity is lost. The second explains why much of the press storm surrounding cuts to the senior staff in the armed forces isn't quite what it would seem at first glance. Both good stuff.

-- And lastly for now we come to the bizarre title of this post, courtesy of two pieces from British Forces News that I thought were quite interesting. The first relates to the Forward Feeding Team at Camp Bastion, responsible for ordering in and then distributing the food for front line forces;

Next is a video about how that food is then turned into tasty grub at the sharp end, with chefs devising ever more inventive ways of taking standard ration allocations and making them into delicious, interesting and varied meals. The reason this struck a chord with me was due to something I'd read a very long time ago, about how valuable a good chef was to the morale of military units operating away from large, organised kitchens.

Variety in the meals was mentioned in particular as a desirable trait, especially as cooked meals are less regular as you move ever closer towards the front lines and they become more and more of a treat, in the same manner that letters and packages from home become more infrequent and more and more valuable as their scarcity rises.

I'm fairly certain the improvised oven used in the next video is a bin, resting on grates that are raised up by sitting them on empty ammunition boxes, but I could be wrong. If nothing else then we should take away the lesson from this to never under estimate the value of human ingenuity when applied to problem solving in warfare!

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