The United States and Britain asked their NATO allies Thursday for more help in transporting and equipping their forces in the Persian Gulf.

At a NATO defense ministers meeting, British Defense Secretary Tom King urged his colleagues to provide more ammunition, medical equipment and chemical-warfare gear as well as ships and planes to transport troops to the gulf.King told reporters Defense Secretary Dick Cheney made a similar request on the opening day of the two-day meeting at the NATO headquarters here.

The United States, with about 300,000 troops in the gulf, has the largest force, followed by Britain, whose deployment will reach 30,000 over the next few weeks.

All 16 NATO members except Germany, Iceland, Luxembourg and Turkey have sent forces to the gulf.

In recent weeks, Washington issued two separate appeals to its allies for help in flying and shipping American forces to the gulf.