Wednesday 6 July 2016

HOW KIT COST LIVES Brit troops died because of a lack of proper equipment, report finds - TheSun

BRITISH soldiers died in Iraq because of a lack of equipment, the Chilcot report found today.

It said the disastrous failure to plan properly for both the war and keeping the peace after it led to serious equipment shortfalls and an inadequate plan.

It also found that both military and political leaders failed to act quickly enough to counter the threat from Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs).

The report said the MOD was “slow” in responding to the potential for casualties from the home-made bombs.

Sir John’s report said: “Between 2003 and 2009, UK forces in Iraq faced gaps in some key capability areas, including protected mobility, Istar and helicopter support.”

Speaking today he said: “We have found that the Ministry of Defence was slow in responding to the threat from Improvised Explosive Devices and that delays in providing adequate medium weight protected patrol vehicles should not have been tolerated.”

The inquiry into the war had already heard how troops did not have sufficient body armour because the military “simply didn’t have enough time” to get the necessary equipment.

Air Chief Marshal Sir Jock Stirrup, then head of the UK’s armed forces, told the hearing they weren’t given enough time to prepare.

He told the Chilcot inquiry that being given six months to prepare – instead of the four defence chiefs were given – would have made a “significant difference” to the provision of kit.

Stirrup said: “The problem of course was that we simply didn’t have enough time, as it turned out, to do everything we needed to do before the operation started.”

He added: “I think in part for both clothing and body armour, the issue was it was all done so rapidly at the last minute, no one was quite sure who had what.

“For example, just before the start of operations, the clear message that we were receiving in the Ministry of Defence was that all unit demands for enhanced combat body armour had been met. But quite clearly not everybody who needed it in theatre got it.”

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