Friday, August 18, 2017

UK civil control and oversight of military produce beneficial results for military families

The BBC News reports on the results of an Inquest conducted into the death of Private Phillip Hewett who was killed by a roadside bomb while travelling in a lightly armoured "snatch" Land Rover in Iraq.  He was the 37th soldier to be killed in the such vehicles in Iraq and Afghanistan which became know as "mobile coffins." Following an Inquest, she sued the Ministry of Defence under the Human Rights Act.   But the UK military continued to contest her case until an Inquiry into the Iraq war conducted by Sir John Chilcot revealed that the Ministry of Defence had known about the vehicle's vulnerability and for years had failed to provide more heavily armoured vehicles.
We have found that the Ministry of Defence was slow in responding to the threat from Improvised Explosive Devices and that delays in providing adequate medium weight protected patrol vehicles should not have been tolerated. It was not clear which person or department within the Ministry of Defence was responsible for identifying and articulating such capability gaps. But it should have been.
The UK government accepted the findings of Sir Chilcot in relation to the Snatch Land Rover which were published on July 6, 2016 and resulted in a settlement of the case and an apology from the Defence Secretary to the late Phillip Hewett's mother by Sir Michael Fallon for failures that "could have saved lives."

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