Joe Windall: Authorities must change attitude to equipment

Nimrod report: A father's view
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The Independent Online

When I read the findings of the report, my overwhelming feeling was one of vindication. I finally know in detail what happened to my son and why. It was a great relief to know who was responsible and what the shortcomings are in the equipment our servicemen and women have.

I am pushing for the complete replacement of the Nimrod. Anything less would be akin to just putting a new engine in an old car – that is not good enough. Nobody is pretending it won't be expensive, but this country is trying to act like a superpower without properly investing in the safety of its people. The authorities are asking men and women to do a job and just crossing their fingers they come home safe. But they are coming home in body bags.

When I heard that David had been killed, I was taken over by shock. I was lost for words. I just kept thinking: "They've killed my son". Then the tears came, and I cried non-stop for three days. Some of the other parents have said they feel their sons were given death sentences by the Ministry of Defence and their families life sentences; I would go along with that view.

This is no victory. But at least, through our actions, other families may not have to go through what we have endured. I hope most sincerely that will be the case – I am just deeply saddened that it had to come to this to get to the truth.

There has to be a change in the attitude of the authorities towards equipment. They have made promises and it is the responsibility of us, the families left behind, and the public to watch and to make sure they are kept. This is an ongoing battle for me, and it will continue until action is finally taken to make sure our servicemen and women are properly equipped.

Joe Windall is the father of Royal Marine David Windall