Iraq Inquiry: Last minute planning caused body armour shortage

Iraq Inquiry: operational equipment.

British forces went into Iraq without enough body armour because planning for the war took place “at the last minute”, Air Chief Marshal Sir Jock Stirrup told the inquiry into the conflict.

By James Kirkup, Political Correspondent, The Daily Telegraph

Published: 12:35PM GMT 01 Feb 2010

Sir Jock, the head of the Armed Forces, also told the Chilcot inquiry that military aircraft programmes were not properly funded in the run-up to the war.

He was in charge of defence equipment in 2002 and 2003. He told the inquiry that several mistakes were made in the years and months before the war.

Sir Jock admitted that some troops sent into Iraq did not have the proper desert combat clothing and boots, because supplies did not reach the right units.

He also said that some troops did not get the body armour they should have had.

“The other area where we could have done better is Enhanced Combat Body Armour. We didn’t have enough of that in theatre at the time," he said.

“It was all being done so rapidly at the last minute so no one knew who had what.”

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