Chopper letter from D.Cameron MP

I was some surprised to receive a letter (via email) from David Cameron this morning regarding the helicopter situation in Afghanistan. Whilst I'm gratified that he wishes to keep me personally informed I'm not entirely sure what I can do to help.

It also included a link to a film which had nothing to do with helicopters but was in fact McNab and Fox talking about combat stress.

Dear Bigeye,

There's been a tragic loss of life in our armed forces over the last two weeks. I think they have reminded all of us that over three thousand miles away from our daily lives, several thousand men and women are putting their lives on the line to help keep this country safe.

The very least we can do here at home is make sure everything is done to give them what they need to fulfil their dangerous mission, and to reduce the risks as much as we can. That's why I have been saying for three years that our forces in Helmand desperately need more helicopters.

When he was Chancellor, Gordon Brown cut the helicopter budget by £1.4billion - a bad mistake. The result is that after eight years in Afghanistan our troops have fewer than 30 helicopters in Helmand. This compares to over 100 helicopters that the Americans have for the same number of troops. It's a scandal that the Government has not dealt with this shortage.

It's also important that we remember that the dangers our troops face don't disappear when they leave the battlefield - the battlefield can leave mental as well as physical scars. That's why we held a conference this week to highlight the severe mental health problems that some veterans have.

Andy McNab video

Liam Fox and ex-SAS man Andy McNab explain the issues in the video above - it's worth watching.

David Cameron (signature)

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