Friday, 26 June 2009

Equipment for pre-deployment training: should be there by 2010

In response to a recent parliamentary question from Shadow Defence Sec. Liam Fox MP about equipment available during pre-deployment training, Bill Rammell MP, Armed Forces Minister of State, gave the following reply.

Dismounted Close Combat (DCC) equipment.
Availability ranges from above 90% for small arms to below 50% for complex items such as night vision equipment and Osprey body armour. The situation continues to improve; 75% of the funded requirement is expected to be met by December 2009 and 100% by mid-2010.

Urgent Operational Requirement (UOR) procured vehicles
The availability of these new types of vehicles is improving from the current figure of just below 50%. As the pace of delivery increases this year, at least 80% of the funded training fleet for Mastiff, Ridgback and Jackal are expected to be available by November and 100% is expected to be available by mid-2010.

Existing vehicles modified to Theatre Entry Standard (TES)
Vehicles such as Panther, Viking, CVR(T) and Warrior come from the existing fleet of vehicles; there is no shortage for training and crews and users are largely already qualified and practised in their use. There are some shortages in the number of vehicles specifically modified to TES; availability ranges from below 50% (CVR(T)) to nearly 60% (Panther).

It's all very well for the Minister of State to say that all the appropriate equipment should be available in 12 months time, but hasn'e deployment been going on for the last six years?