UK troops, another year without enough vehicles in Afghan

From Times Online
September 30, 2009
British troops face another year without enough vehicles in Afghanistan
(Richard Pohle/The Times)

Michael Evans, Defence Editor

The 9,000 British troops in Afghanistan will not have all the armoured vehicles they need for patrols until the end of next year, senior military commanders admitted today.

The size of the British force was boosted from 8,100 to 9,000 this year following a decision to send a special team of 200 bomb-disposal specialists and 700 extra troops for the election period. Gordon Brown subsequently agreed to keep the reinforcements there permanently to maintain a presence of 9,000.

However, it has been a struggle to match the increase in troop numbers with an appropriate number of additional armoured vehicles and drivers trained to operate them.

Brigadier Kevin Abraham, head of joint capability at the Ministry of Defence responsible for delivering armoured vehicles to Afganistan, revealed that even the previous force of 8,100 was not equipped with the right number of vehicles.

“They will not all be in theatre until the spring of 2010, and the vehicles for the current force of 9,000 will not be delivered until the end of next year,” he said.

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