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UK helo shortage remains, Parliament warns

The UK's House of Commons defence committee warned this week that British forces fighting in Afghanistan still don't have enough helicopters, reports Robert Wall of DTI. British troops' helo shortage has been the cause of some big political rows in London, and this Parliamentary report could fuel another one.

Writes Wall:

"We are conscious that our predecessor committee was told in previous inquiries that U.K. forces have enough helicopters only to discover subsequently that this was not true. We are not convinced that U.K. forces yet have access to sufficient helicopter hours," the House of Commons defense committee states in a new report on Afghanistan.

The legislators are requesting more data from the defense ministry, in particular that the ministry "set out how the new helicopters delivered into theatre have impacted on the availability of helicopter hours, any outstanding delivery of helicopters and how much reliance and use we are making of helicopters from the U.S.A. and other countries."

The legislators also express concern that the defense ministry is not moving fast enough to get vehicles, equipment for countering roadside bombs, and body army into troop hands and say that spending should be prioritized.

Problem is, everybody is creeping toward the exits in Afghanistan, and by the time the British Army buys and fields the number of helicopters or other equipment it would take to satisfy these MPs, it might be just in time for the last of them to come home. Show Full Article

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