James Blunt - James Blunt Frustrated With Raf Failings
Singer James Blunt has taken aim at Britain's Royal Air Force bosses over his three failed trips to Afghanistan, branding the incidents "inefficient and costly".
The You're Beautiful hitmaker, who forged a career in the armed forces before he found fame, was due to sing for troops in late 2010, but technical problems forced organisers to scrap the trip - the second time a planned performance by the singer had been axed.
Earlier this month (Mar12), Blunt and Katherine Jenkins boarded a plane for the Middle East but they ended up flying back to Britain after two failed attempts to reach their destination.
Blunt has now opened up about his frustrations in a piece for Britain's Daily Telegraph, which he wrote as he waited for the aircraft to be fixed on his most recent attempted trip.
He writes, "On the first occasion, we flew from London to Dubai, then sat on a runway for three days while they tried unsuccessfully to fix our broken aircraft. The soldiers were used to it, and in a way, they didn't mind: it meant three fewer days being shot at.
"But the delay must have been wildly irritating for the men in Afghanistan who were waiting to be picked up and taken home to wives and girlfriends. And for the troops going into battle that day without their buddies stuck in Dubai, it must have been life-threatening.
"And now here I am, with more soldiers, failing once again to get to a war we have been fighting for 10 years. And although the military says more funds have been spent, I wonder if they have been spent in the right place. The soldiers may be better equipped, but a well-equipped soldier sitting in an airfield in the middle of nowhere isn't going to scare the Taliban much.
"Why can't we deliver people to the front line as required? Have we bought too many fast jets and not enough transport aircraft? Is it down to mismanagement of resources? Poor bureaucracy at the top? I don't know. But I do know that our deployment of manpower is inefficient and costly (the fuel we dumped over the Mediterranean would be worth £55,000 at the pumps)."