Friday, 16 January 2009

Give the guys a break! 

The welfare of thousands of British troops is being endangered because the Army is breaking its own rules which guarantee them two years rest between tours of duty. Figures released by the MoD show that 46% of all Army units are now in breach of the "harmony guidelines".
The MoD data shows that 18 of the Army's 36 infantry regiments, 8 of the 15 regiments which make up the Royal Regiment of Artillery and three of the 11 regiments in the Royal Armoured Corps, have failed to give troops enough leave between combat tours.
The number of soldiers thought to have been affected by the breach is estimated at 10,000!
Psychiatrists believe that prolonged period in combat zones without proper rest and recuperation leads to increased risks of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), alcoholism and family breakdown.
The British Armed Forces Association maintains that: "Over-frequent operational tours place a huge strain on individual service personnel, on their families and on the efficiency of the Armed Forces as a whole. The Armed Forces need to be funded and manned to deal with the commitments we have now, and those we are likely to have in a realistic future; not on projections made in the very different environment of the late '90s."
With the intensification of the fighting in Afghanistan and the Government's intention to send more troops out there, it is essential that, when our brave soldiers return to the UK, they are given adequate leave and time to rest and recuperate, both mentally and physically, and spend time with their families before they return to foreign battlefields.

The Telegraph: Overstretch pushes British troops to the brink