Surprise, Surprise, Herald gets it wrong again

This morning David Fisher had an article about a “leaked” report from Defense that “blasted army training”.

A leaked report has strongly criticised the training given to an army contingent sent to Afghanistan which lost five of its members in combat.

The Defence Force has admitted the group left New Zealand with gaps in their training.

The report was written by a sergeant in military intelligence who reviewed the group’s preparation in Hawkes Bay, where the troops performed exercises simulating situations they were likely to encounter in Bamiyan province.

The only problem with Fisher’s assertions is that they are wrong. The Defense Force has not admitted anything of the sort (only one sergeant, and in a stolen leaked report)…in fact they have issued a press release saying that Fisher’s article is wrong.

Statement from the Vice Chief of Defence Force, Major General Tim Keating 

A report in the NZ Herald today that states the Defence Force sent ill-prepared soldiers to Afghanistan is incorrect.

Our pre-deployment training (PDT) is designed for individual missions on a case by case requirement to ensure that troops are adequately prepared for a broad range of situations they will and may encounter once deployed into their mission area.

When CRIB 20 assumed command they had been independently assessed as capable, having completed all the appropriate PDT and in-theatre training. CRIB 20 personnel were focused, positive and ready to get on with the job.

The leaked report mentioned in the Herald article is only one report written by one of 23 evaluators and mentors (Subject Matter Experts) who observed Exercise Afghan Step (the field exercise portion of CRIB 20 Pre Deployment Training).?On completion of Ex Afghan Step each evaluator provided his / her assessment of the contingent’s readiness within their specific area of expertise. These assessments were aggregated by the Army’s Collective Training Centre and submitted to Headquarters Joint Forces New Zealand. Any areas of concern were addressed with further training. On review, the bulk of the comments made in the report referred to were not reflected in the final status report. It should also be noted that it was the first time that the author of those comments had observed on a PDT exercise.

There is always a requirement for some level of in-theatre/country specific training for any mission, this in theatre training also addressed the areas identified for further training during Ex Afghan Step in NZ.

The highest priority is given to ensuring the safety of our personnel while in theatre.

You really have to start questioning the integrity of everything Fisher writes these days.


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  • Captain Crab

    Fisher is not a very good journalist is he. No wonder the paper can’t make money with such lying crap. They should sack the lightweight

    • Patrick

      The point is he operates at the level of the readers – playing to his audience. Anyone with half a brain views most articles in the NZ Herald with scepticism. The cuttng & pasting from other more reputable news sources then editing to show only one side of the story is shameful, why would a journo go to Uni to study this trade when any old fool could do it?

      • Captain Crab

        The point of a newspaper is to make money for its shareholders. I would bet Fairfax would sell more copy if they had journalists who wrote the facts and lets the reader form their own opinion instead of having journalists who write their own opinions. To be blunt Fairfax will never get me parting with money to pay for biased scum like Fishers opinion.
        What I would pay for is an impartial presentation of the facts.
        I can think for myself and certainly better than Fisher. His views reveals him to be a moron

  • punctuation police

    No apostrophe required in “gets”.

    • no there isn’t and now there isn’t