Ministry of Defence
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MoD responds to PAC report on support to high intensity operations
The MoD today responded to the Public Accounts Committee’s (PAC) report into the Department’s Support for High Intensity Operations.
Armed Forces Minister Bill Rammell said:
“I welcome this report by the Public Accounts Committee. They have rightly recognised the successes MOD has had in supporting operations in the challenging environments of Iraq and Afghanistan. The committee correctly pays tribute to the life-saving frontline medical care our injured personnel receive, pointing out that higher numbers of the severely wounded, who would have previously died, are now surviving.
“The report is clear about the challenges and pressures faced by the MoD, including balancing the need to send new kit to the frontline as soon as possible and providing the best possible equipment for training purposes. We have made huge improvements in meeting supply chain targets to get supplies to the front line, overcoming challenges posed by enemy action, climate and terrain. Over the last 12 months vital supplies delivered to theatre have included some 500 vehicles, 2,000 tonnes of ammunition and 1,100 tonnes of fresh rations.
“The allocation of new equipment has to be split between training and operations to allow personnel to train properly and then link up with their equipment on deployment. We will not compromise on the quality of training and we have purchased additional vehicles for the training fleet. The number of vehicles available to 11 Light Brigade, currently deployed to Afghanistan, is significantly bigger than that available to previous Brigades.
“The MoD will carefully consider the Committee’s detailed conclusions and recommendations and make a full response in due course.”
Responding to the report’s comments on the Urgent Operational Requirements (UOR) programme and shortage of spare parts, Mr Rammell, added:
“Our Forces in Afghanistan are equipped and supported from long-term core capabilities. These have been supplemented by the UOR process to respond to specific requirements particular to the operational environment and emerging threats, as identified by commanders on the ground. The UOR process has been extremely effective, both in Afghanistan and in other operational theatres to respond to unforeseen urgent operational requirements.
“We are working extremely hard to source spares from alternative suppliers based within the UK to ensure that demand is met. For Mastiff 2 and Ridgback we have invested in a full inventory of parts and an advanced stock of spares has been issued to theatre.”
MOD accepts the need for further improvements in some areas and is now looking seriously at the report’s recommendations. In many cases the Department is already taking steps to address the shortcomings identified.
Notes to editors
The PAC report follows an audit undertaken by the National Audit Office (NAO) into support to High Intensity Operations, focusing on four key areas: Equipment; Logistics; Pre-Deployment Training; and Support to Personnel. The NAO published its own report in May 09. The PAC took evidence from the MoD to discuss the NAO report’s findings on 8 July 2009.
For more information contact Paul Leat in the MoD Press Office on 020 7218 3254.
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