BOI recommendations from Snatch IED

Goatman

ADC
Book Reviewer
#1
Army publishes Board of Inquiry into the death of Fusilier Gordon Gentle in Iraq
14/03/2006


The Army's Board of Inquiry (BOI) into the death of Fusilier Gordon Gentle in Basrah, Iraq, on 28 June 2004 has been presented to his family today, Tuesday 14 March 06.

Fusilier Gentle, of C Company, 1st Battalion, The Royal Highland Fusiliers (1 RHF), was killed when the vehicle he was travelling in was attacked with an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) whilst he performed routine escort duty.
The report identified several factors which influenced events on that day and made recommendations for the future. In the vast majority of instances the Army has already made improvements in line with these recommendations and, where it has not, it accepts any other recommendation without reservation.

<snip Doc John: sorry>

Brigadier Stephen Andrews, Director of Personal Services (Army), added:

"The Army feels the death of Fusilier Gordon Gentle keenly, and today all our sympathies are with his family, friends and comrades.

"Today's Board of Inquiry report is a comprehensive review put in place to scrutinize what happened and make recommendations to help us prevent a recurrence of the circumstances that led to Fusilier Gentle being killed.

"We therefore accept without reservation its recommendations and, where we have not already implemented changes in line with these recommendations, are working quickly to respond."

The main findings and recommendations of the BOI are:
The training provided by 1 RHF, both prior to deployment and in theatre, was appropriate and sufficient for its tasks. In the opinion of the Board, the Battalion should be commended for the quality of its training and conduct of operations

Fusilier Gentle was wearing the appropriate body armour, which was penetrated by fragments from the IED. It was accepted that full protection from a close quarter explosion cannot realistically be provided by lightweight body armour, however the BOI recommended body armour should be enhanced with extensions to protect the neck and armpit area. ACTION TAKEN: Enhanced Personnel Protection Equipment with greater neck and shoulder protection and a larger body armour plate has already been delivered to MND(SE). In addition, a second body armour upgrade is in the process of being delivered.

ECM equipment was fitted and working correctly, but was ineffective against the device detonated. Additional ECM equipment was available but had not yet been fitted. A Task Issue order for the unit to collect the new equipment had been issued a fortnight prior to the incident, but was not received by 1 RHF. The Board recommended that where units were tasked with collecting equipment for issue, a series of triggers must be implemented to prompt the supply chain to ensure such equipment is collected promptly. ACTION TAKEN: The supply chain in theatre has already been modified significantly and a programme for additional telephone and e-mail communications has been instigated.

The use of SNATCH land rovers was appropriate to the threat and task. Although it did not prevent the grievous injuries to Fusilier Gentle, it prevented significant further injury to other personnel in the vehicle. The BOI recommends that, as the vehicle was penetrated in a number of places, investigations into increasing protection in certain areas should be carried out and options for greater protection for top cover sentries explored. ACTION TAKEN: MOD Defence Equipment Capability is currently addressing this with a project to upgrade the current SNATCH fleet, which includes several enhancements to the Protected Patrol Vehicle. 1 RHF implemented sensible measures to mitigate the predictability in timings and routes for the task in hand.


The convoy task on the day of the incident was conducted correctly and the use of top cover sentries was appropriate.

All twelve recommendations made by the Board have been accepted by the Chain of Command, and in the vast majority of cases improvements have already been implemented. A summary of the recommendations and the actions taken is below.


The full report can be seen here

Summary of Recommendations and Related Actions from the Board of Inquiry into the Circumstances Surrounding the Death of Fusilier Gentle

Serial: 1
Recommendation: The Board recommends that there should be an examination of options to better integrate routine convoy activities with planned framework presence and profile activities. Where possible, this should provide increased mutual support, or at a minimum, mutual awareness.
Endorsed: Yes
Chain of Command / Action: Permanent Joint Headquarters confirms that Multi-National Division (South East) is responsible for the security and control of non-Corps routes within its area and the control of movement on Corps routes when Divisional movement occurs within its boundaries. Detailed orders and instructions have been issued by Headquarters Multi-National Division (South East) which set out the procedure to be followed when executing all operational and administrative road moves. The measures in place provide a robust and effective framework, which provides the appropriate direction and guidance to all units operating under command of the Division.

Serial: 2
Recommendation: The Board recommends that greater military scrutiny, risk assessment and involvement in composition of all routine civilian convoys should be enacted in order to minimise the requirement wherever possible.
Endorsed: Yes
Chain of Command / Action: Headquarters (United Kingdom) National Support Element confirms that a formal mechanism for determining the size and composition of all convoys, whether military, contractor, or a mixture, has been implemented.

Serial: 3
Recommendation: The Board recommends that investigations should be undertaken into the feasibility of providing additional ballistic protection to the side doors, footwells and forward bulkhead of SNATCH to combat blast/shrapnel penetration.Endorsed: Yes
Chain of Command / Action: MOD Defence Equipment Capability is currently addressing this capability gap with a project to upgrade the current SNATCH fleet which includes several enhancements to the Protected Patrol Vehicle.

Serial: 4
Recommendation: The Board recommends that the most up to date Electronic Counter -measures to meet the prevailing threat should be installed in all military vehicles for moves outside CF bases.
Endorsed: Yes
Chain of Command / Action: The necessary equipment is now in theatre and continues to evolve to match the threat.

Serial: 5
Recommendation: The Board recommends that Equipment (EPPE) for B Vehicle modifications to issued general service Enhanced Combat Body Armour should be investigated in order to provide additional protection to the neck and armpit area. There should
also be an investigation into the possibility of further enhancing ECBA for Top Cover sentries given their exposed position above vehicles.
Endorsed: Yes
Chain of Command / Action: Enhanced Personnel Protection Equipment (EPPE) for B Vehicle Drivers and Topcover Sentries has been delivered to MND(SE). This provides greater neck and shoulder protection as well as a larger body armour plate. In addition, a second body armour upgrade is in the process of being delivered to MND(SE).

Serial: 6
Recommendation: The Board recommends that when Satphones or mobile telephones are used for emergency communications, communication should also be re-transmitted on an all-informed net.
Endorsed: Qualified
Chain of Command / Action: The use of Satphone to transmit a contact report is an in-extremis measure. It was used in this incident because it was nearest means of convoy commander who was communications to hand for the wounded and who had to extract himself from his stricken SNATCH. Despite the one-to-one nature of Satphone comms, the recipient of the call in this incident was the convoy commander's Ops Room, from which all-informed follow up transmissions could be made. In-theatre Standing Operating Instructions (SOIs) now reinforce emergency incident reporting procedures.

Serial: 7
Recommendation: The Board recommends that an effective tracking, reporting and feedback mechanism must be instigated for the flow of all mission-critical equipment, especially with regard to items to be collected by (rather than delivered to) units. There must be a series of triggers which prompt the supply chain to push such items forward and report the progress of fielding these
items to the relevant staff branches until full operational capability is achieved.
Endorsed: Yes
Chain of Command / Action: Headquarters (United Kingdom) National Support Element confirms that the supply chain has been modified significantly and a programme for additional Synergy telephone and e-mail communications has been instigated since this incident, in addition, units must still collect those items subject to a strict security classification.

Serial: 8
Recommendation: The Board recommends that there should be an expansion of the J6 Support Troop to include a dedicated team whose role is to deliver, fit and train units in the use of Electronic Counter Measures on the day of publication of the Task Issue (i.e. when the unit is notified of the equipment's communication with both readiness for Headquarters (United Kingdom)
collection).
Endorsed: Yes
Chain of Command / Action: Headquarters (United Kingdom) National Support Element confirms that the J6 Support Troop has established a four man detachment at Shaibah Logistics Base, co-located with the equipment store and repair facility, which has gathered the equipment storage, repair and issue activity into one location. Additionally, the Foreman of Signals from J6 Support Troop has moved to Shaibah Logistics Base and has been allocated a desk to allow effective National Support Element and the equipment store and repair
facility.

Serial: 9
Recommendation: The Board recommends that briefings on the current Counter Measures programme should be instigated for all units and individuals deploying to theatre, which should include an indication of the likely timelines for issue.
Endorsed: Yes
Chain of Command / Action: Headquarters (United Kingdom) National Support Element confirms that additional Countermeasures (see Recommendations 4 and 8 ) have been procured and are issued as soon as each tranche arrives into theatre. All new units receive a full briefing package shortly after arrival.

Serial: 10
Recommendation: The Board recommends that emergency medical response procedures to serious incidents should be better explained so that troops on the ground fully understand the probable nature and timelines of the various modes of medical response available.
Endorsed: Yes
Chain of Command / Action: Headquarters (United Kingdom) National Support Element confirms that emergency medical response procedures to incidents are now routinely briefed to all troops on the ground.

Serial: 11
Recommendation: The Board recommends that a copy of the BOI Record of Findings should be made available to CO 1RHF for limited viewing.
Endorsed: Yes
Chain of Command / Action: Agreed - through Regimental Headquarters

Serial: 12
Recommendation: The Board recommends that the requirement for close cooperation between Boards of Inquiry and parallel service police investigations should be formalised.
Endorsed: Qualified
Chain of Command / Action: Headquarters Land Command considers that this requirement must be decided on a case by case basis and that where such co-operation is deemed necessary, sufficient provision exists within LAND Standing Order 3207.

Posted here because of the emphasis on equipment issues.

Requiescat Fus. Gentle - its all been said in the condolences thread at the time. Not forgotten.


Le Chevre
 

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