Skip to main content

British Troops (Supplies)

Volume 451: debated on Tuesday 7 November 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what levels of (a) ammunition, (b) supplies and (c) body armour are available to British troops deployed in Afghanistan; and if he will make a statement. (92712)

The Defence Logistics Organisation continues to work extremely hard to ensure that sufficient supplies and ammunition are delivered to our forces in Afghanistan. They ensure that in the vast majority of cases adequate re-supply to theatre takes place in a timely fashion.

In the case of ammunition, there have been occasional instances where units in remote locations have exhausted supplies of a particular ammunition type during a specific attack or operation. At no time, though, have troops on the ground run out of all ammunition types available to them. In such instances, ground forces are re-supplied by helicopters.

In the case of food supplies, most of our troops are fed to a very high standard by the Royal Logistic Corps. In some of the more remote locations this service will not always be available. In such instances, troops are supplied with nutritious, fit-for-purpose ration packs, which can also be augmented by local supplies.

It is departmental policy that all troops deploying to Op HERRICK are provided with enhanced combat body armour (ECBA) as standard. In addition, Kestrel and Osprey variants of body armour, which provide additional protection, are available against specific threats and for specific roles, such as top cover sentry duty. The current combination of ECBA, Osprey and Kestrel provides Commanders with a flexible system of personal protection so that personnel can conduct their tasks effectively, while retaining a level of protection commensurate with the threat assessment. Such flexibility is deemed important because Commanders need to balance the benefits of increased protection body armour against risks such as constraint of movement.