Progress in combat identification: twenty-first report of session 2006-07, report, together with formal minutes, oral and written evidence

Voorkant
Combat identification is the way military personnel distinguish friend from foe and non-combatants during operations, thereby minimising the risk of deaths and injuries from friendly fire as well as damage to property and infrastructure, whilst maintaining operational effectiveness. It is a complex issue as it spans all the military environments (land, maritime and air), particularly when operations are conducted in coalition with allies, as this requires interoperability of equipment and harmonisation of tactics and practices. Following on from an NAO report (HCP 936, session 2005-06, ISBN 9780102937169) published in March 2006, the Committee's report examines three main issues: progress on equipment projects to improve combat identification; Operation TELIC and investigations into friendly fire deaths; and data collection of friendly fire incidents. Amongst its conclusions, the report finds that the MoD has failed to develop viable combat identification solutions to counter the risks of friendly fire incidents, despite their devastating effects and despite the recommendations made by the Committee in 1992 and 2002, with significant delays in equipment programmes such as the Battlefield Target Identification System. Given the considerable delays in the time the MoD took to conclude the investigations into friendly fire incidents and to make the findings publicly available, the report recommends that once investigations into friendly fire incidents are complete, the MoD should publish the findings of Boards of Inquiry within one month.
 

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