Army reservists still at risk in SAS selection, Brecon Beacons inquiry finds

21 Apr

However reservists have continued to want the prestige of similar selection tests to regular 22 SAS soldiers and the hill test marches were seen as “non negotiable”.

He said: “Therefore, the appropriateness for the reserve units to conduct the test marches was never questioned and remained a legacy assumption regardless of the development of their role.”

A 2015 inquest into the deaths found there had been a “catalogue of very serious mistakes” before and during the march.

A coroner found the fatal march was blighted by inadequate planning and training and a “chaotic” response once soldiers began to fall ill.

Yet the safety watchdog report said the MoD had been slow to learn the lessons of the incident and had had more “near miss” heat exhaustion incidents since.

Air Marshal Garwood concluded: “It is my opinion that these reserves currently remain vulnerable to a further incident in the future”.

He said improvements would not happen until “the operational requirement and role for these units is clearly defined”.

Clare Stevens, a lawyer representing the father of Cpl James Dunsby, said: “The inquiry admits that information from previous training fatalities was not exploited, lessons were identified but not learnt and opportunities to improve procedures were missed.

“It points to serious failings. Almost four years on, they admit lessons are only just being learnt despite a number of ‘near misses’ in the intervening years. There is no reassurance that this will not happen again. This is just not acceptable.”

The Army said it had already acted on the recommendations made by the coroner.

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