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UK "friendly fire" vehicles returned home.

The UK Ministry of Defense (MoD) reported that three armored vehicles, badly damaged in what are believed to have been "friendly fire" incidents during Operation Telic, the UK contribution to the Iraq War, have been returned home. They have been taken to the UK Army depot at Ashchurch in Gloucestershire for detailed examination and will then be disposed of. Two of the vehicles, a Challenger 2 and a Scimitar, may have low levels of depleted uranium contamination. The MoD said that the transportation and storage of the vehicles is, therefore, being handled with all appropriate safeguards.

A MoD report, "Operations in Iraq: First Reflections," indicated that improving combat identification remained a priority in the UK and US armed forces and that both needed to do a better job in the future. "Sadly, a number of UK and US Service personnel were killed in so-called 'friendly fire' incidents," the report said. "These are still under investigation, but experience in this and previous campaigns indicate that we cannot relax our efforts or underestimate the importance of training, tactics and procedures in this vital area." While a range of new equipment was procured to improve combat identification, including identification-friend-or-foe (IFF) systems and the US Blue Force Tracking system, it has been reported that 22 of the UK's 32 combat deaths during the war were due to friendly fire.

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Title Annotation:Mid-East/Africa Report
Author:Puttre, Michael
Publication:Journal of Electronic Defense
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:7IRAQ
Date:Sep 1, 2003
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