AN MP has demanded assurances from government it will learn from the Chilcot report and never let service personnel be sent to war without appropriate equipment.
Shipley MP Philip Davies said “never, ever, again” should there be a repeat of Iraq where members of the public and soldiers’ families resorted to sending equipment as their loved ones were not supplied with essential equipment.
Speaking in the second day of Chilcot debate he said: “Some of the deaths in Iraq were clearly of our soldiers, and Chilcot said that there were some “serious equipment shortfalls when conflict began”.
“Two of my constituents died in action in Iraq— Sergeant Steve Roberts died because he did not have the right body armour, and Flight Lieutenant David Stead died because his Hercules did not have the proper suppressant foam fitted. We should never, ever, again send our armed forces into combat without properly equipping them for the task in hand.”
Sergeant Roberts, 33, of Shipley, was shot dead by one of his own troops as he was attacked by an Iraqi man in 2003 only days after being ordered to hand back his life-saving body armour because of Army equipment shortages.
Flight Lieutenant Stead, 35, of Burley in Wharfedale, was one of ten servicemen who died when a Hercules C130K aircraft was shot down near Baghdad in January 2005.
Mr Davies added: "If our troops are putting their lives at risk fighting for our country, the least they deserve is to know they have the right equipment.”
Chair of the Commons Defence Select Committee Dr Julian Lewis said: “The report clearly brings out that, for far too long while the conflict was going on, equipment deficiencies were not identified and remedied.”