This afternoon I went on a BCS trip to the Shrivenham Defence Academy. I have rather complex and conflicted thoughts about the military, and here is not really the place to discuss it. However, I've always found military chaps to be extremely good eggs, and our hosts today were no exceptions.
We got to see (and scramble over) lots of tanks and movable guns (and if you buy me a pint, I can tell you the difference). This is an Italian mountain gun, which was designed to be disassembled and carried about by pack mule. Apparently, the mules that had to carry it got better rations. And there's a photo of some loaded mules in a plane hold with parachutes (not Britsh forces) - I do HOPE it was a joke!
This tank was cut in half for training purposes. I found the shop dummies rather unnerving!
It's no coincidence that this looks like a tough X-Box control. They're designed this way, because this is what the kids are used to.
The highlight was a trip to the armoury, where we had a chance to handle lots of small arms. The worst group they've had to date were the Brownies. The girls ran and grabbed lots of really big pieces from the top shelves, then fell over under the weight! I'm looking happy as I've worked out how to hold it!
However, Jenny was a natural - watch out Development Team!
This min-uzi is more like it. A girl could pop it in her handbag, well it fitted in mine!
And finally, here is Jenny with today's standard army issue. Despite it's plastic 'Toys R Us' look - it's damn heavy.
Sadly, I didn't get a pic, but at one point, our party was joined by some veterans, there for an Army Pensions Conference. It was very moving to see and hear a guy explain how he was dropped by glider into Arnhem, and how the model of rifle he was holding had saved his life.