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Iraq War: Strategic Communications Networks

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 2:43 pm on 19th January 2004.

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Photo of Lord Bach Lord Bach Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Ministry of Defence, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence) (Procurement) 2:43 pm, 19th January 2004

My Lords, as I understand it, there was training. A considerable amount of training was put into effect before the OSCA system began to be operated. Prior to deployment, personnel received training on all elements of OSCA, which as the noble Lord knows, is the operational and strategic communications architecture, which covered the strategic communications in this case. The training was conducted by a mixture of civilian and military courses and was supplemented by having subject matter experts available in theatre. As the noble Lord knows, we had some experience of using similar equipment in other theatres such as Bosnia and Afghanistan.

On the second part of the noble Lord's question, we are planning to introduce the Cormorant system from May 2004, which will provide, crucially, an in-theatre command and control information infrastructure, thus avoiding the need for what is described as hubbing in the United Kingdom.