Saturday, November 29, 2014

रक्षा मंत्री को " ओ र ओ प " का प्रेम पत्र RAKSHA MANTRI KO "O R O P " KA PREM PATRA


                     रक्षा  मंत्री को  " ओ र ओ प " का  प्रेम पत्र 

                                                                                       29 Nov 2014

Shri Manohar Parrikar
Hon’ble Raksha Mantri
104, South Block
New Delhi


                 ONE PENSION (OROP):


Dear Shri Manohar Parrikar,

This has reference to IESM letters dated 11 Nov 2014 and 19 Nov 2014.

I am writing to you a little longer letter to express our views on a few issues concerning the Defence Fraternity.

Your track record as former Chief Minister of Goa with your no-nonsense attitude, your penchant for transparency, your practice of simplicity shunning all official perks in everyday life inspires confidence in the common man. We have been accustomed to seeing politicians in power wield authority where as you are quite the opposite. Your travelling as Union Defence Minister to attend a Defence function in Goa in Economy class in civil aircraft when you are authorized an exclusive Air Force Embraer aircraft from Communication Wing, Delhi of IAF, in spite of requests made by your bureaucrats to use it, speaks volumes of your character. We faujis are proud of you.

The Defence ministry has been neglected for the last 10 years during misrule and non-governance of UPA I & II and needed a person as Defence Minister who understands nuances of modern warfare. You fit the bill perfectly and hon’ble PM deserves kudos to spot that talent in you.

You will be interacting with bureaucrats in MoD and CGDA more often than the Service Chiefs. You must have seen the interview of Adm DK Joshi, former CNS who accepted moral responsibility for loss of naval vessels and resigned like a true soldier. He has very candidly stated authority, responsibility and accountability rests in various silos in Govt of India. Though the Services have all the responsibility, he ruefully admits as a CNS he does not have power to purchase indigenously available items for running Indian Navy efficiently.

Bureaucrats all along have been improving their service conditions by lowering defence services. Till 1965, there was no Cabinet Secretary and they have got that post created and made it equal to C-in-C Indian Army who was No 2 in pecking order in 1947 next only to Viceroy. The pension of Cabinet secretary till 1973 was only Rs 415 pm while that of Service Chief was Rs 1,000 pm. The pension of defence personnel was 70% of last pay drawn while that of Civilians was only 33.33%. A Superintendent of Police was equated to Capt of Army and he was called Captain sahib by people. A Deputy Commissioner or District Collector was equal to Major. A DIG was equal to Lt Col. All these Civil – Military equations have been systematically downgraded.

Any benefit proposed for Defence Services is opposed tooth and nail by bureaucrats by waving the threat of military coup to the politicians right from our Independence in 1947.

The Kashmir problem we have inherited is caused by Pandit Nehru who referred the matter of occupation of Kashmir by Pakistani Army prematurely to UNO, in spite of pleading by Indian Army that entire Kashmir will be cleared of Pakistani intruders in another two weeks time.

Nehru’s contempt for Army resulted in

              national disgrace in 1962.

Mr Defence Minister, I fear history is being repeated. Our conventional edge over Pakistan has been slowly eroded over the last 10 years and with no induction of any new weapon system into the three services since three decades. China on the other hand has developed infrastructure all along AGLP and they keep intruding in our territory with impunity fully knowing Indians are not capable of taking any strong action.

The Service Chiefs are only invitees in meetings of Cabinet Committee on Security. A generalist IAS officer as Defence Secretary is vested with power to safeguard India’s territorial integrity in your Rules of Business. There cannot be anything more foolishness than this. The three services are only attached offices of Ministry of Defence.

Sir, this to any professional soldier is sure recipe for disaster waiting to happen.

Either you trust Armed Forces who are most loyal and patriotic to defend our Nation who have no desire to stage coup


trust self-serving bureaucrats who have neither responsibility nor accountability.

You have to empower Service Chiefs to run their respective services.

IAS officers and IDAS officers who hold purse strings are nowhere to be seen if emergency hits our beloved country. They will never accept any responsibility and authority. They know how to survive and succeed and leave the baby to be taken care of by Armed Forces.


 your interview to The Economic Times on 18 Nov 2014, to my mind appears to be result of briefing you got from your bureaucrats in your ministry.

Though you stated that you are worried about families of men who are risking their lives, the second part of your interview on One Rank One Pension (OROP) caused immense pain and anguish to over one crore Ex-Servicemen and their families who made sacrifices while in service.

There is disquiet amongst serving fraternity also as they will soon join ranks of veterans.

I wish you had listened to stake holders on OROP ie the Bureaucrats, the Service Chiefs and reputed Ex-Servicemen organizations like IESM and IESL, Air Force Association and War Disabled Association. After hearing all of them, you could have made up your mind.


One Rank One Pension is a three decades old genuine demand of faujis.

 We got our pensions lowered from 70% to 50% in 1974. 85% of our soldiers are thrown on to streets just after 15 years when their needs are maximum. No guaranteed employment is given either by Central Govt or State Govts barring minor percentage of reservation. Most of retired soldiers do not own even a single bedroom house. Lateral movement of soldiers into Para Military and other central Govt departments are opposed tooth and nail. Had these soldiers been absorbed, Govt of India could save Rs 7,000 crores per annum on payment of pension, Gratuity, Provident fund etc.

You have highly disciplined and motivated employees available who with little bit of reorientation training could prove a great asset to any organization which employs them. He carries his soldierly qualities into departments into which he has been laterally moved into and would have great influence on indisciplined civilians to learn from him and become better citizens and employees.

 The productivity of such departments would go up.

On the other hand, Sir, you have 5 lakh civilians working in your ministry. On one hand you throw out well trained soldiers at the age of 35 – 37 years, but you spend enormous amounts to train new civilians in various departments under Min of Def. Why cannot our soldiers be absorbed firstly by Ministry of Defence and then tell other ministries the benefit of lateral
movement of soldiers on completion of their engagement for 15 years in Armed Forces?


you are being told extraneous and irrelevant things on OROP by your bureaucrats and accountants.

OROP means simply same pension for same rank and for same length of service.

This is the easiest principle any one can understand. It means a soldier who retired in 2005 today draws a pension of Rs 5,196 whereas soldier with same service retiring in Nov 2014 gets pension of Rs 8,349 i.e. Rs 3,153 less. With 107% Dearness Relief the gap in two pensions is Rs     6,306 ie 60%.

 When needs of 2005 Sepoy and 2014 Sepoy are same do you not think both should get the same pension today?


You have been misguided to believe that pensions cannot be dynamic. Unless pensions of veterans are enhanced every year, the gap between pensions of old pensioners and new pensioners can never be same. Unless all serving personnel have fixed pay like Army Commanders and Service Chiefs, you cannot have OROP in a sliding scale of pay unless pensions are enhanced. Even in 6th CPC period, a Havildar who retires on 31 Jan 2006 draws pension less than a Naik (one rank lower) who retires on 31 Jul 2014. Can there be more travesty of justice than this?

CGDA who has been tasked to finalise OROP have been dilly-dallying from Apr 2014. They keep putting unconnected conditions like average pension to be taken in a CPC period, length of service in last rank held etc which have no connection with OROP whatsoever.

Government as an employer has the power to either accept or modify or negate demands of employees. If you do not have funds to grant OROP in its accepted form then do not give assurance of grant and implementation of OROP. But do not give a watered down or diluted OROP and call it OROP.

Needless to say veterans have believed promises made by Hon’ble PM during his pre-election meetings on assurance that once his party comes to power OROP will be granted. He repeated his promise wherever he went and the latest one is in Siachen Base Camp on Diwali day. Since no implementation letter has been issued by your ministry, veterans are getting disillusioned with BJP and it may have been the reason of many of them not Voting for BJP in Maharashtra.

The figures of CGDA that it costs Rs 9,000 crores per annum is all hot air. Let them give a copy of their calculations to us and then we will show you how they went wrong in arriving at this figure.

The cost of OROP is not going to be more than Rs 5,000 crores per annum. Why cannot CGDA include ESM organizations like IESM in arriving at OROP? If Ministry of Personnel, Pensions and Public Grievances takes Pensioners into confidence while issuing any letter affecting pensioners,

 why do the Min of Def (ESW) and CGDA never consult Ex Servicemen who are primary stake holders?

Mr Raksha Mantri, it is a norm in the functioning of the Govt that before any scheme is sanctioned, the financial effect is clearly stated along with the allotment of the required funds.  The requirement of Rs 9000 crores as stated by bureaucrats must have been mentioned  and cleared for by the Govt before OROP was sanctioned on 17 Feb 2014.  Then why now the bureaucrats are raising the issue of requirement of Rs 9000 Crores?

Mr Minister, it is now up to you to have an open mind and not get influenced by one section of stake holders ie bureaucrats, Service Chiefs and ESM organizations. Please consult all stake holders, hear their versions and take the best course as you deem fit.

 However, it will be a sad day for the Nation if the Govt has to back out from the sanctioned demand of OROP as per the approved definition. 

The profession of Arms will take a severe beating.

If you, Sir, are able to spare just 30 mins on any day convenient to you, IESM can brief you on OROP and its implementation.

The credibility of BJP is at stake. I hope you will read this letter with an open mind and take a decision in the interest of veterans and the country.

Wishing you all the very best in your tenure as Raksha Mantri and assuring you of total support of veterans in your pursuit to make India a strong regional power.

With regards 

Maj Gen Satbir Singh, SM (Retd)

Chairman IESM

 Mob: +919312404269, 0124-4110570

 Email ID:

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Action at Defence Ministry at last Bigger challenges need to be faced


Action at Defence Ministry at last Bigger challenges need to be faced
                          By                        Inder Malhotra



The Indian armed forces should be liberated from the stranglehold of the generalist BABUs  of the MoD

                  FOR over a quarter of a century the Indian Army has desperately needed artillery guns. But no matter how hard it tried it couldn't get them. One reason for this, of course, was the aftermath of the Bofors scandal, which became the standard excuse of all concerned not to take any decision at all. There was an element of disingenuousness in this posturing. For, despite the commissions worth Rs 64 crore distributed to the still unnamed beneficiaries, the Swedish gun served this country superbly during the Kargil war. Ironically, it was at the peak of this fight that the Army discovered to its dismay that it was running out of ammunition because of the obsession of the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to blacklist all suppliers it suspected or disliked.  Ultimately, we had to buy the ammunition from South Africa at thrice the normal price.  Even this made no difference to the civilian bureaucracy in the MoD and its political bosses.   Indecision remained the ruling doctrine of both.  Sadly, A. K. Antony, a very fine man with an enviable reputation for personal probity, who has been the longest-serving Defence Minister so far, became the biggest hurdle to decision-making.  By doing nothing he was sure of retaining his image as "St. Antony".   BUT how  "St. Antony".   WAS HE BETTER THAN  HAV NATHHA SINGH who like his Defence Minister had decided to do nothing and in his village people   today  address  him as "SANT NATHHA JI "   ( )  Against this bleak backdrop it is greatly to be welcomed that within a few days after his appointment as Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar has ended the paralysis over the procurement of artillery guns by clearing the decks for acquiring 814 long-range mounted artillery guns to fill a serious gap in its equipment and, therefore, in its overall capability.   The cost will be Rs 15,570 crore. The deal was approved after a serious consideration at a Defence Acquisition Council meeting that Mr Parrikar presided over for the first time.   He also said that the DAC should meet oftener than it has done so far even if its agenda is rather short. My first thought on hearing this was that Prime Minister Narendra Modi should have handed over the Defence Ministry to the former Goa Chief Minister while forming his Cabinet on May 26.    Mr Parrikar has laid down that that the acquisition of artillery guns — like all future procurements — will take place within the framework of the Prime Minister’s “Make-in-India” concept.     While the Army will buy 100 guns off the shelf of the foreign vendor, the remaining 714 will be manufactured here. Global tenders will be floated soon, and the Indian manufacturer will have to "tie up" with the selected foreign vendor for building the gun.   Several Indian companies such as the Tatas, Larsen & Toubro and Kalyani, as well as the public sector Ordnance Factory Board have already produced prototypes of 155mm, 52 calibre guns. They are all likely to take part in the bid.     So far, so good. But the real point is that the defenders of the country's freedom and frontiers will be greatly handicapped in discharging their duty until the makers of policy on national security attend to the fundamental task of reforming the higher management of the defence system.    Civilian control over the military is, of course, the basic principle in every democracy. Indeed, even in China the doctrine of the  “Party controlling the Gun”  has prevailed since the time of Mao Zedong. The present Chinese President, Xi Jinping, has reinforced it.   

Bu But in a democracy like India

         the civilian supremacy does not,

           and  must not,mean the

      supremacy of civil servants

 It is long overdue that the Indian armed forcesabsolutely apolitical, unlike the armies of some of our neighbours
— should be liberated from the stranglehold of the generalist babus of the MoD.

In recent years when a service chief informally and politely told the then Prime Minister that he and his two opposite numbers regretted that they were not asked to be present at a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS), the reply he got was:

: “Well, you were represented by the Defence secretary”!

This pattern has to end.

One thing that the Modi government does not need to do is to appoint a commission or committee to suggest what to do. There is a heap of sensible reports on the subject that are gathering dust.

The report of the Kargil Committee — headed by this country's strategic guru K. Subrhamanyam — had, among other things, made a strong case of having a Chief of Defence Staff.

The Atal Behari Vajpayee government took it seriously. A Group of Ministers, chaired by L. K. Advani, endorsed the suggestion. At the last minute, while accepting all the GoM's recommendations, Atalji held over the one on the CDS.

He made no secret of the fact that he had consulted former President R. Venkataraman and former Prime Minister P. V. Narasimha Rao, both of whom had been defence ministers in Congress governments.

 Seven years later, the Manmohan Singh government appointed the Naresh Chandra Task Force on revamping the entire external and internal security setup. Realising that there still was much resistance to having a CDS, it suggested a step in the right direction: the appointment of a permanent Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee with a fixed tenure of two years.

This was a vast improvement over the existing arrangement under which the most senior of the three chiefs acts as chairman of the CSC also until his retirement. He neither has enough time for inter-Services matters because he has to run his own service too, nor a long enough tenure. In one case it lasted precisely 30 days.

The permanent chief, according to the Task Force, would not interfere with the operational matters but handle all inter-Service issues, including determination of priority in the matter of acquisition of weapons and equipment. Most importantly, the permanent chairman would be able to supervise the Strategic Command more effectively than has been happening since 1998. Over to Mr. Parrikar.       



Wednesday, November 26, 2014





Dear Friend, Things You Should Know About India’s Soldiers Defending Siachen

The highest combat zone on planet earth, Siachen glacier is one place where fewer soldiers have died on the line duty due to enemy fire than because of the harsh weather conditions.
Things We Indians Should Know About the Life of Soldiers Defending Siachen
For Indian forces deployed in Siachen, it is less of a challenge to watch out for the frail Pakistani forces but to just stay atop this
76 kilometers long glacier at 5, 400 meters altitude (nearly twice the altitude of Ladakh and Kargil) in itself means you have to defy all of your physical, mental and spiritual limits.
You have to be a super soldier, a hero.
And that’s what each one of our soldiers out there at Siachen glacier and on posts at even greater heights really is!


1. In Siachen, you are at the risk of getting a deadly frostbite if your bare skin touches steel (gun trigger, for example) for just over fifteen seconds.

Things We Indians Should Know About the Life of Soldiers Defending Siachen
Merely touching the trigger or gun barrel with bare hands can be a mistake big enough to result in loss of toes or fingers.
For those who don’t know about frostbite – it’s a condition resulting from abrupt exposure to extreme cold that can leave amputation of fingers or toes as the only alternative. In extreme cases, these organs may just fall off.



2. Mountain climbers climb when the weather is at its best; soldiers serve in these treacherous terrains all year round.

Things We Indians Should Know About the Life of Soldiers Defending Siachen
Minus 60 degrees temperature and over 5,000 meters altitude; low atmospheric pressure and oxygen, well, you keep asking for more of it. There’s 10% of the amount of oxygen available in Siachen than it is in plains.
It’s the weather of the kind that us mortals aren’t simply designed to bear. Not for long and not without the great risk of losing eyes, hands or legs. But these men – they do it, every day.
Because every inch of this land belongs to India and they shall not cede it to some untrustworthy neighbors who no longer have a higher ground in Siachen.

3. The human body just cannot acclimatize over 5,400 meters

When you stay at that altitude for long, you lose your weight, don’t feel like eating, sleep disorders come around in no time and memory loss – that’s a common occurrence. Put simply, the body begins to deteriorate. That’s what happens at Siachen.
Things We Indians Should Know About the Life of Soldiers Defending Siachen
Yes, it is tough. But we cannot climb down because we cannot let the Pakistani Army climb up and take high ground.




4. Speech blurring is as obvious as toothpaste freezing in the tube

It’s fiercer than heaviest of gunfire any day. But our soldiers have taken up the challenge nonetheless.
Things We Indians Should Know About the Life of Soldiers Defending Siachen

5. Snowstorms in Siachen can last 3 weeks.

Winds here can cross the 100 mph limit in no time. The temperature can drop well below minus 60 degrees.
Things We Indians Should Know About the Life of Soldiers Defending Siachen

6. Yearly snowfall in Siachen can be well over 3 dozen feet

When snow storms come around, at least two to three soldiers have to keep using shovels (in snow storm). Else, the military post would become a history; in no time.
Things We Indians Should Know About the Life of Soldiers Defending Siachen

7. The 7th Pay commission may consider the unique challenges faced by the army jawans who man the territory all through the year.

They should.
Things We Indians Should Know About the Life of Soldiers Defending Siachen
The forward areas in Jammu and Kashmir including Siachen were visited by the 7th Pay Commission in October, 2014.

8. Soldiers find ways to entertain themselves when they can.

Things We Indians Should Know About the Life of Soldiers Defending Siachen
We are, after all, a cricket crazy nation.

9. Fresh food – that’s rare. Very rare. At Siachen, an orange or an apple can freeze to the hardness of a cricket ball in no time.

Rations come out of tin cans.
Things We Indians Should Know About the Life of Soldiers Defending Siachen



10. Army pilots literally push their helicopters well beyond their optimal performance, every day!

They drop supplies at forward posts located at an altitude of more than 20 thousand feet.
Things We Indians Should Know About the Life of Soldiers Defending Siachen
Army pilots usually have less than a minute for dropping off the supplies at forward posts.
Pakistani army is merely few hundred meters away and so the choppers must fly off before the enemy guns open up.

11. In the last 30 years, 846 soldiers have sacrificed their lives at Siachen.

In case of Siachen, 846 Indian soldiers have died in Siachen since 1984 due to extreme climate and beyond-imagination terrain conditions are treated as battle causalities and rightly so.

846 Indian soldiers have died in Siachen since 1984
This includes deaths due to the extreme climate and terrain conditions, which causes more casualties in that sector than battle. Hypoxia, ...

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Things We Indians Should Know About the Life of Soldiers Defending Siachen
In last three years alone, 50 Indian soldiers have died in Siachen. These causalities as per the information made available by Defense Minister in Lok Sabha, were due to the very nature of the place our forces are serving. These soldiers sacrificed their lives on the line of duty while combating the floods, avalanches and floods in Siachen.
Things We Indians Should Know About the Life of Soldiers Defending Siachen

The Body of Havaldar Gaya Prasad from 15 Rajput Battalion serving in Siachen was found after 18 long years.

12. A War Memorial at the Bank of Nubra River has the names of Indian soldiers who laid their lives in Siachen.

Things We Indians Should Know About the Life of Soldiers Defending Siachen



13. Local saying: “The land is so barren and the passes so high that only the best of friends and fiercest of enemies come by.’

Things We Indians Should Know About the Life of Soldiers Defending Siachen



14. In Siachen, the Indian Army spends as much as 80% of its time preparing soldiers of deployment.

Things We Indians Should Know About the Life of Soldiers Defending Siachen

15. “We do the difficult as a routine. The impossible may take a little longer”

— So reads a plaque at the headquarters of the Indian Army formation responsible for security of the Siachen sector in Jammu and Kashmir.
Things We Indians Should Know About the Life of Soldiers Defending Siachen


846 Indian soldiers have died in Siachen since 1984

For the first time ever, the government has announced the number of Indian soldiers who have laid down their lives in the Siachen sector, ever since the made its first headlong rush to secure that strategic area in the summer of 1984.

Defence Minister A K Antony, in a written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha, on Monday stated, “A total of 846 armed forces personnel have made supreme sacrifices on the Siachen glaciers since 1984.”

This includes deaths due to the extreme climate and terrain conditions, which causes more casualties in that sector than battle. Hypoxia, high altitude pulmonary edema (or “altitude sickness” in mountaineering lexicon), avalanches and crevasses have taken a heavy toll on Indian lives. Early in this high-altitude war, New Delhi decided not to differentiate between those who died in combat and those who were swept to their deaths in an avalanche.
“(Environment-related) death during the course of duty on Siachen glaciers is treated as a ‘battle casualty’ and enhanced compensation is paid to the next of the kin,” Antony told the Lok Sabha on Monday.

“Operation Meghdoot”, the military nickname for operations in Siachen, began on April 13, 1984, when the Indian Air Force (IAF) helicopters airlifted a platoon of hardy hillmen from the Kumaon Regiment onto the Saltoro Ridge, which overlooks the Siachen Glacier from the west. Building up quickly, more Indian troops moved onto the three main passes on the — Bilafond La; Sia La; and Gyong La.

According to Lt Gen (Retd) V R Raghavan, a respected authority on Siachen, the Pakistan Army had planned a similar operation to occupy the Saltoro Ridge that summer. But they arrived on the Saltoro a month after the Indians, only to find most of the key heights on the ridge already occupied.
For years, Pakistan has mounted bloody, but eventually fruitless, attacks to get atop the Saltoro Ridge. But the Indian army still controls all of Siachen, its tributary glaciers, and all the key passes and heights of the Saltoro Ridge. Shut out even from a view of the Siachen Glacier, Pakistani troops suffer a severe tactical disadvantage all along the 109-kilometre-long Actual Ground Position Line, as the frontline in that sector is called.

“Forced to fight uphill, Pakistan is believed to have suffered the lion’s share of battle casualties on the Saltoro. Indian troops, who hold higher positions with more difficult access, were estimated to have initially suffered more environment-related deaths, before better equipment, procedures and training brought casualties down to a trickle since the mid-1990s. On April 7 this year, an avalanche that slammed into Pakistani headquarters at Gyari swept away more than 130 soldiers. The next day, Pakistan’s President Zardari asked Prime Minister to cooperate in demilitarising Siachen.
New Delhi, however, is sticking to its demand for authentication of ground positions on the Saltoro Ridge before any demilitarisation could be continued. The Indian Army says without authentication on signed map sheets, its hard-won high ground on the Saltoro Ridge could be occupied by Pakistan with impunity. As a result, the 13th round of Siachen talks between the two countries’ defence secretaries was adjourned without any headway towards settling the Siachen dispute. No dates have yet been fixed for the next round of discussions.


Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The Italian Fire Tenders

                           The Italian Fire Tenders
One dark night in a small town of Roselle Park, New Jersey a fire started inside the local sausage factory. In a blink the building was engulfed in flames. The alarm went out to all the fire departments for miles around.
When the first fire fighters appeared on the scene, the sausage company president rushed to the fire chief and said, 'All of our secret sausage recipes are in the vault in the center of the plant. They have to be saved, so I will donate $50,000 to the fire company that brings them out and delivers them to me.'
But the roaring flames held the firefighters off. Soon more fire departments had to be called in because the situation became desperate. As the firemen arrived, the president announced that the offer to extricate the secret recipes was now $100,000!
Suddenly from up the road, a lone siren was heard as another fire truck came into sight. It was the fire engine of the nearby Peterstown section of Elizabeth, NJ. This fire department was composed mainly of Italian firefighters over the age of 65. To everyone's amazement, the little run-down fire engine, operated by these Italian firefighters, passed fire engines parked outside the plant, and drove straight into the middle of the inferno! Outside, the other firemen watched in amazement as the Italian old timers jumped off and began to fight the fire as if they were fighting to save their own lives. Within a short time, the old timers had extinguished the fire and saved the secret recipes.
The grateful sausage company president joyfully announced that for such a superhuman accomplishment he was raising the reward to $200,000, and walked over to personally thank each of the brave elderly Italian firefighters. A TV news crew rushed in after capturing the event on film. The 'on camera' reporter asked the Italian fire chief, 'What are you going to do with all that money?'
'Wella,' said Chief Pasquale De Luccinelli, the 70-year-old fire chief, 'de fursta tinga we gonna do isza fixa de brakes on dat Bloody  truck!'