See extract from Sunday Telegraph article about the lack of correct kit for frontline troops, the report it refers to is an MOD Internal Post Operational Report: "One section of the report, under the headline "Lessons identified", is understood to be highly critical of the time it took to issue vital equipment and clothing to troops sent to fight in the Gulf. It adds that in many cases those in most need of equipment were the last to receive it. Such deficiencies have also been admitted by senior officers at the Permanent Joint Headquarters (PJHQ) at Northwood, Middlesex, from where the British contribution to the Iraq war effort was planned. They have been forced into making a public response after a non-commissioned officer wrote to the Army's in-house magazine, Soldier, to highlight the failings of the military planners. Colour Sgt S Baillie, a company quartermaster sergeant with the 1st battalion of the Light Infantry, revealed that his troops went into battle without adequate body armour, grenade launchers, rifle grenades, night-vision devices, desert boots, hats, socks and uniforms. Writing from the Gulf, he said: "Before leaving Germany we received an admin instruction which highlighted the kit we would receive as part of a task issue. "After being deployed for eight weeks, out of an infantry company of 164 men we still have only one set of desert combats a man, most of them unserviceable. The men are wearing a mixture of desert and combat 95 [the standard Army camouflage uniform designed for fighting in a European theatre]. I am still waiting for 79 pairs of desert boots and 50 desert hats. We still have no socks or T-shirts. "The issue of body armour and plates was slow, with personnel being sent into battle without plates. The issue of ammunition and weapons was also slow. We received our RGGS [rifle grenades] the day after we attacked Basra - six weeks after arriving in-theatre. "I am writing to highlight these problems because we had been promised that, when needed, necessary kit would be issued. I laughed to myself while writing out 1033s [equipment issue forms] under the sound of gunfire in Basra. Colleagues in other battle groups were in the same boat - peacetime accounting in war. Hopefully, we, the borrowers, can get it right next time, in about 10 years from now?" In response to the letter, Brig Seamus Kerr, an assistant chief of staff at the PJHQ, admitted that mistakes had been made. He replied: "It is worrying to hear about any examples of important equipment not getting through to those that needed it and in this instance we got it wrong and for that I apologise." Brig Kerr goes on to invite CSgt Baillie to visit PJHQ to discuss each issue in detail." Well done CSgt Baillie, I wonder if he ever poped up to PJHQ for his interview without coffee. It proves that Soldier Magazine is worthwhile if this is a spin off. What puzzled me was you always saw RAF guys in immaculate desert combats, mooching around bases, propbably like most things, they are more efficient, the Amry is just too ready to say we will make do or improvise.