The only problem with giving people here a Hansard HoC report to look at is.........they can seldom be Arrsed.....
The issue of aviation assets in theatre has been a hot topic ( and a political embarassment )for the whole of Op HERRICK - and it should not be permitted to go away........this is what the Defence Select Committee have actually said in the Report you quoted:
96. Helicopters are a critical component of operations in Afghanistan. General Capewell told us that the UK Forces had sufficient helicopters in Afghanistan, in particular, with the delivery of further Chinook helicopters:
If you spoke to any commander today on the ground they would say the same as I am about to say. There are sufficient aviation assets across the whole range of helicopter requirements to deliver the mission.
97. The MoD told us that since November 2006, it has doubled the number of battlefield helicopters and increased the number of helicopter flying hours by 140 per cent (October 2010) - achieved through an increase in the number of aircraft and improved logistic support. Further helicopters have since been delivered to theatre. We are conscious that our predecessor Committee was told in previous inquiries that UK Forces have enough helicopters only to discover subsequently that this was not true. We are not convinced that UK Forces yet have access to sufficient helicopter hours. We recommend that, in response to this Report, the MoD 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 USA and other countries
There are two sets of polictics involved with this kind of embarrassment -
Westminster style politics - " All this happened under the previous administration " ( but are WE doing anything to make it better ?)
Army politics - " Well of course decisions were made by my predecessor ( the fackin' useless Crab) which were........unsound. However, we are where we are......and I can't point the finger without the question being asked ' How have things changed on MY watch ? "
Ask our nearest allies whether they think the current British operation is fully resourced.......ask the Odiham Air engineers what miracles they have had to achieve to keep the existing Chinooks airborne.....and how many air-frame hours they have squeezed out of aircraft that have been in service since Reagan was president.....