British military officials have hit back at James Blunt after he complained about "gross incompetence" in the Royal Air Force (Raf) when his trip to Afghanistan was axed.
The former soldier-turned-singer was due to perform for British troops as part of a morale-boosting trip with opera star Katherine Jenkins in December (10).
He launched a Twitter.com rant after a 15-hour wait at an airport in England, before the visit was scrapped altogether.
The You're Beautiful hitmaker blamed the cancellation on "bad organisation, verging on incompetence" and later sent a complaint email to bosses at the British Forces Foundation.
Now it has emerged that authorities defended the mix-up, while protesting Blunt's claim that the Raf was "helping us to lose" the war.
In a letter to the star, obtained by Britain's Independent on Sunday, Air Vice-Marshal Barry North writes, "I wish to take issue with you with respect to your assertions that: the Raf is not up to the job; there is gross incompetence in the organisation and structure of the Raf; the officers of the Raf are not interested in the events of 20 Dec; the Raf is not 'fighting' the 'war' in Afghanistan; the Raf is 'helping us to lose it'; and that the Raf is failing to move soldiers around the world."
Meanwhile, Jenkins, who performed Silent Night to 160 troops stranded on her plane, was sent a letter thanking her for "in the face of adversity... entertaining the passengers as you did".