Ashamed ex-major wants MoD apology over Sussex soldier's death

Lance Corporal Michael Pritchard

Lance Corporal Michael Pritchard

First published in News by , Crime reporter

A former Army commander has claimed the Ministry of Defence (MoD) should publicly apologise to the family of a Sussex soldier killed during friendly fire because the equipment provided to troops “wasn’t good enough”.

Former major Richard Streatfeild said he had toed the MoD line for years but was now “ashamed” he had defended the Government agency.

Former Mjr Streatfeild, who was based in Helmand province, Afghanistan, claimed the MoD dithered about spending cash on beacons which would allow commanders to identify troops – and added this could have saved Eastbourne soldier Lance Corporal Michael Pritchard’s life.

L Cpl Pritchard was 22 when he died in December 2009 in Sangin in Helmand province.

East Sussex coroner Alan Craze subsequently said his death was an accident but one that could have been avoided.

He added communications failures, an inadequate briefings system and a lack of understanding about where the restricted firing line was contributed to his death.

In an interview with The Guardian ahead of his book Honourable Warriors being published, Mjr Streatfeild said: "It's fundamental: you need to know where your people are. The Americans, the French, Norway, Israelis, the Germans, all have [this] equipment. It is widely available. We still don't have it."

Responding to his remarks, a MoD spokesman said: "Our thoughts remain with the family and friends of Lance Corporal Michael Pritchard.

“The circumstances which led to L Cpl Pritchard's tragic death were fully investigated and the standard operating procedures used in Afghanistan were changed as a result.

"The armed forces constantly review equipment requirements to ensure they are best placed to meet the myriad threats faced on operations.

“In Afghanistan, we encountered a number of new and evolving threats that required different tactics and new, specific kit to be designed and deployed.

“Since 2003, the Urgent Operational Requirements process has delivered more than £5.8bn worth of world-class equipment to the frontline quickly, including thousands of vehicles, personal protection and counter-IED technology that has saved countless lives.

“Training is provided for all new equipment, whether in the UK or in theatre but personnel are never sent into action without the necessary training."

Comments (5)

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10:29am Mon 17 Mar 14

clubrob6 says...

My brother served in Afghanistan the british troops were known as the poor relation as equipment and accommodation was poor compared to other forces especially when BLAIR was in charge.Unfortunately our troops are just a number to our leaders they don't really care about our losses.Leaders such as CAMERON and BLAIR are quite quick to deploy our troops but basically after the cuts and BLAIR taking us to unwinnable unjustified wars we now need to use our troops to protect out own country.We are NOT a superpower and our forces are not there for the likes of CAMERON to make a name for himself.There is a lot of dirty tricks going on involving our troops some like my brother get paid off when they return from Afghanistan,and the government is playing dirty tricks on troops paying them off months before they would qualify for a full pension,its pennies to the government but is a fortune to our brave long service troops.
My brother served in Afghanistan the british troops were known as the poor relation as equipment and accommodation was poor compared to other forces especially when BLAIR was in charge.Unfortunately our troops are just a number to our leaders they don't really care about our losses.Leaders such as CAMERON and BLAIR are quite quick to deploy our troops but basically after the cuts and BLAIR taking us to unwinnable unjustified wars we now need to use our troops to protect out own country.We are NOT a superpower and our forces are not there for the likes of CAMERON to make a name for himself.There is a lot of dirty tricks going on involving our troops some like my brother get paid off when they return from Afghanistan,and the government is playing dirty tricks on troops paying them off months before they would qualify for a full pension,its pennies to the government but is a fortune to our brave long service troops. clubrob6
  • Score: 2

10:56am Mon 17 Mar 14

The Real Phil says...

The Government should also apologize for not trying Blair as a war criminal who is responsible for the death of every soldier in Afghanistan and Iraq since both of those wars were illegally started.
For hundreds of years soldiers have been regarded as the (disposable) dregs of society, and just because many more were dying in larger numbers there would be no reason for our government to change their attitude.
The only positive to come out of any of this is that the Tories (so far) have resisted following Blair's murderous mistakes and taken us into any further conflict.
The Government should also apologize for not trying Blair as a war criminal who is responsible for the death of every soldier in Afghanistan and Iraq since both of those wars were illegally started. For hundreds of years soldiers have been regarded as the (disposable) dregs of society, and just because many more were dying in larger numbers there would be no reason for our government to change their attitude. The only positive to come out of any of this is that the Tories (so far) have resisted following Blair's murderous mistakes and taken us into any further conflict. The Real Phil
  • Score: 0

11:45am Mon 17 Mar 14

clubrob6 says...

The Real Phil wrote:
The Government should also apologize for not trying Blair as a war criminal who is responsible for the death of every soldier in Afghanistan and Iraq since both of those wars were illegally started.
For hundreds of years soldiers have been regarded as the (disposable) dregs of society, and just because many more were dying in larger numbers there would be no reason for our government to change their attitude.
The only positive to come out of any of this is that the Tories (so far) have resisted following Blair's murderous mistakes and taken us into any further conflict.
CAMERON wanted to take us into conflict but was voted against.I totally agree about BLAIR he is a war criminal,he took us to unwinnable unjustifiable wars killing hundreds of troops and tens of thousands of civilians.He has now turned religious probably trying to find forgiveness at the same time he opened our borders to immigrants from countries he was attacking who quite understandably now have a grudge against us.But they should blame BLAIR not the British.My 95 yr old dad who voted labour all of his life says BLAIR is the biggest TRAITOR this country has ever had.Notice BLAIR did not send his sons to war.
[quote][p][bold]The Real Phil[/bold] wrote: The Government should also apologize for not trying Blair as a war criminal who is responsible for the death of every soldier in Afghanistan and Iraq since both of those wars were illegally started. For hundreds of years soldiers have been regarded as the (disposable) dregs of society, and just because many more were dying in larger numbers there would be no reason for our government to change their attitude. The only positive to come out of any of this is that the Tories (so far) have resisted following Blair's murderous mistakes and taken us into any further conflict.[/p][/quote]CAMERON wanted to take us into conflict but was voted against.I totally agree about BLAIR he is a war criminal,he took us to unwinnable unjustifiable wars killing hundreds of troops and tens of thousands of civilians.He has now turned religious probably trying to find forgiveness at the same time he opened our borders to immigrants from countries he was attacking who quite understandably now have a grudge against us.But they should blame BLAIR not the British.My 95 yr old dad who voted labour all of his life says BLAIR is the biggest TRAITOR this country has ever had.Notice BLAIR did not send his sons to war. clubrob6
  • Score: 1

11:14pm Mon 17 Mar 14

getThisCoalitionOut says...

Our troops don't even have warm clothing, socks, etc supplied. It is disgraceful how badly kitted out our troops are.

All prime ministers should have all their children made to serve in war zones for 2 years, then we'd see a difference - I hope.
Our troops don't even have warm clothing, socks, etc supplied. It is disgraceful how badly kitted out our troops are. All prime ministers should have all their children made to serve in war zones for 2 years, then we'd see a difference - I hope. getThisCoalitionOut
  • Score: 1

4:07pm Tue 18 Mar 14

clubrob6 says...

getThisCoalitionOut wrote:
Our troops don't even have warm clothing, socks, etc supplied. It is disgraceful how badly kitted out our troops are.

All prime ministers should have all their children made to serve in war zones for 2 years, then we'd see a difference - I hope.
BLAIR after the damage he done will have to have security the rest of his life he must be the most hated primeminister of modern times closely followed by thatcher.
[quote][p][bold]getThisCoalitionOut[/bold] wrote: Our troops don't even have warm clothing, socks, etc supplied. It is disgraceful how badly kitted out our troops are. All prime ministers should have all their children made to serve in war zones for 2 years, then we'd see a difference - I hope.[/p][/quote]BLAIR after the damage he done will have to have security the rest of his life he must be the most hated primeminister of modern times closely followed by thatcher. clubrob6
  • Score: 0

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