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Equipment and Vehicles: Afghanistan

Volume 503: debated on Monday 11 January 2010

16. To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether new equipment and vehicles being introduced for use in Afghanistan are available for pre-deployment training. (309580)

There is always a difficult balance to strike when we provide new equipment and vehicles for operations in Afghanistan. We want to allow our deployed forces to take advantage of the latest equipment as soon as possible. On the other hand, they must be thoroughly trained on the equipment they use before they face the enemy.

We endeavour to deploy complete equipment capability, which is a combination of trained manpower and sustainable equipment. To do this, often the first delivery of a new item of equipment is required for training to ensure the best effect is achieved from the new capability once deployed. That said, there can be occasions, particularly with less complex equipments, when it makes sense to strike a different balance and train in theatre.