Tuesday, 28 September 2021
Up-to-the-minute perspectives on defence, security and peace
issues from and for policy makers and opinion leaders.

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Three have been three new Chiefs of Staff appointed at the MoD today.


Air Marshal Stephen Dalton joined the RAF after graduating with a 2.1 honours degree in Aeronautical Engineering from Bath University. Subsequently, whilst based in the UK and Germany, he flew the Jaguar on 3 tours in the tactical reconnaissance and ground attack roles. During these tours he flew on exercises in Europe (Norway, Italy, France and Spain), the USA and Canada. On completion of the Advanced Staff Course, Air Marshal Dalton commanded No 13 Squadron flying the Tornado GR1A, during which he was deployed on Operation JURAL flying reconnaissance missions over Iraq; for part of the period he was the Commander British Forces JURAL for Op SOUTHERN WATCH in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

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By Paula Jaegar, Research Associate, U K Defence Forum

Why are so few women in the House of Commons actively interested in defence ?

And what difference would it make - to UK defence policy, the Armed Forces, and to their political careers - if they were?

According to Vacher Dod's parliamentary profiles, nine out of 125 female MPs - just over 7% - named defence as a political interest.

Of their 534 male counterparts, 94 (just over 17.5%) did.

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One of the first debates when the UK Parliament returned to work this week was a debate on Defence in the Uk - an annual event. A full report can be found HERE


The news that two new UK Defence Ministers are to be unpaid has sent waves of disbelief around the defence establishment.

Quentin Davies MP, the new Minister for Defence Equipment and Support, "crossed the floor" to leave the Conservatives for Labour. He's the first minister for defence procurement to sit in the House of Commons since Labour first won the 1997 General Election. His former colleagues will no doubt have the greatest of sport at his expense, not least for being a "gentleman" rather than a "player". (For our global readers, many years ago unpaid cricketers were known as "gentlemen" while the paid professional were "players")

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The deployment of the 2nd Battalion, The Rifles (2 Rifles) to Kosovo as part of the UK's commitment to the NATO/EU shared pan-Balkans Operational Reserve Force (ORF) will last until the end of 2008.

Following a review of the security situation in Kosovo and wider military commitments, the UK has announced that the UK contribution to the ORF will cease on 31 December 2008. "The major milestones in Kosovo's independence have passed without incident and the security situation in Kosovo is stable, if fragile. Against this backdrop, and with over 15,000 personnel currently in theatre, NATO remains well placed to deal with any potential security incidents," said Dnew Defence Secretary John Hutton MP.

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Army: Brigadier Immediate appointments

Brigadier I. Hooper (Late R Signals), to be Commander 1 Signal Brigade, with effect from July 2008;
Brigadier M. P. Dodson (Late HLDRS) to be Deputy Military Secretary, Army Personnel Centre, with effect from August 2008;
Brigadier W. N. Aldridge (Late RRF), to be Commander 42 (North West) Brigade, with effect from September 2008;
Brigadier M. T. Griffiths (Late KORBR) to be Director Personnel Services (Army), Headquarters Land Forces, with effect from September 2008;
Brigadier G. K. Messenger, DSO, OBE, ADC, Royal Marines, to be Brigade Commander, 3 Commando Brigade Royal Marines, in succession to Brigadier F. H. R. Howes with effect from September 15, 2008;

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It's a good day for the Gurkhas who fought for the British Army, who have won their battle to stay in the UK.

In the test case at the High Court, the six men's lawyers argued that the UK owed them a 'special debt' in gratitude for their service in nearly every conflict in British history.
The ruling means that the 2,000 Gurkhas who were denied the right to live in the UK can now apply for residency.

The Government had argued that the Gurkhas lacked "strong ties" with Britain but their lawyer Edward Fitzgerald, QC, said their "long and dedicated service links them inextricably to the people of this country''.

Almost 50,000 of the Nepalese soldiers died during their service for Britain in Malaya, the Falklands, Iraq and Afghanistan, service for which they were awarded won 13 Victoria Crosses for bravery.

Martin Howe, the mens' solicitor, said: "The veteran Gurkhas I represent, with typical humility and strength of character, give theirheartfelt thanks to each and every person: from public life; the media; and the ranks of ordinary decent people who stood by them in their hour of need as indeed the Gurkhas stood by us, in our darkest hours of need.

"The veteran Gurkhas warmly paraphrase to the people of Britain the kind words written of them: 'Never had we more faithful friends than you'."


A well known figure on the UK defence scene is leaving SBAC and moving to AirTanker as Corporate Communications Manager.In recent days Mary Ann Griffiths has been seconded to the MOD-industry Joint Communications Group, but is now returning to industry as part of the AirTanker programme as it (literally) takes off.

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The voice of Britain's big defence companies, the Defence Industries Council today released public opinion polling data showing that both the UK Armed Forces and the British defence industry that provides them with their equipment are both highly regarded by the public.

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Viewpoints sends its support to Corporal Tomos Stringer who had to spend a night sleeping in his car after been turned down for a room at a hotel because he was military personnel.

The MoD is now demanding an explanation to why Corp. Stringer was denied a room at the Metro hotel, Surrey. One Sunday night in June this year he attempted to book a room at the hotel and after showing his military ID he was informed that military staff were 'not welcome.'

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Brigadier C. M. Deverell, MBE is to be promoted Major-General and appointed Director-General Logistics, Support and Equipment, Headquarters Land Forces, from November 2008.
Brigadier R. L. Kirkland, CBE is to be promoted Major-General and appointed General Officer Commanding 4th Division from November 2008.
Brigadier A. D. Mackay, CBE is to be promoted Major-General and appointed General Officer Commanding 2nd Division from May 2009.
Commodore J. A. Morse, Royal Navy, to be appointed Commander United Kingdom Task Group from November 2008.
Commodore D. G. Steel, ADC, Royal Navy, to be appointed Deputy Director Service Personnel Policy from January 2009.
Captain M. W. Westwood, Royal Navy, is to be promoted Commodore and appointed Assistant Chief of Staff (Aviation) in Navy Command Headquarters from January 2009.

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Secretary of State for Defence Dr Liam Fox has this morning announced the strategy for reforming the Ministry of Defence which will include the formation of the Defence Reform Unit that will lead in the reorganisation of the Ministry of Defence into three 'strategic pillars'.

Speaking to an audience at the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors in Westminster, Dr Fox announced that he is launching a full review of how the Ministry of Defence is run and how the Armed Forces can be reformed to "produce more efficient provision of defence capability, and generation and sustainment of operations".

In his speech Dr Fox began by describing the background to the changes, highlighting the fact that the country faces a legacy of debt - the interest on which for the next year alone will exceed the budget of the Ministry of Defence.

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The Ministry of Defence has announced that Team Stellar has won the RJ Mitchell Trophy, the top prize in its Grand Challenge defence technology competition.

The winning Team Stellar used a ground-crawling robot and two flying ones to unmask a range of likely urban-combat threats."We are proud to crown Team Stellar the winners of MOD's most prestigious competition for battlefield innovators," said Baroness Ann Taylor.

"The Grand Challenge has proven a showcase for the wealth of talent that exists in the UK - not just in large Defence firms, but in universities, schools and even garden sheds across the nation. They have brought fresh, exciting ideas to the Defence table which could have battle-winning applications for our Armed Forces."


Gy Great North News staff reporter

It seems the MoD still wants to play its cards close to its chest over the development of RAF St Athan. Witness the following, taken from a recent FOI request for the Minutes of Board meetings on the matter,

"The last Programme Executive Board (PEB) Minutes (dated 16 June 2008) contain some sensitive Programme information which could undermine the confidentiality of the MOD's position in advance of continuing negotiations with the Metrix Consortium. Such information is of a restricted nature and underpins our negotiating position, disclosure of which could hinder the MOD's ability to achieve value for money. It is not in the public interest to have this position eroded and therefore these Minutes will not be published. The Minutes will be withheld under section 43 (Commercial Interests) of the FOI Act."

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By Lt Gen Louis Lillywhite, Surgeon General, Ministry of Defence

The idea that the medical care for our Armed Forces would somehow be better if we created a dedicated military hospital in the UK is just plain wrong. I am absolutely clear that it is no longer clinically viable to maintain such a facility. Simply put, the NHS is the best place to treat our injured Service personnel and to train our military consultants, doctors and nurses.

Our commitment to providing the best medical support for our Servicemen and women begins with the skills of the Defence Medical Services personnel who deploy on operations, who provide world-class medical treatment and care to injured personnel on the front line. And to do so, they need to have the best possible clinical training.

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Rear Admiral A.M. Hussain to be Capability Manager (Precision Attack), effective from May 2009, in succession to Rear Admiral P. Lambert.
Rear Admiral C.A. Snow CBE to be Flag Officer Sea Training from February 19 2009.
Rear Admiral R.T. Love OBE, currently Director General Ships, will also assume the role of Chief Naval Engineering Officer from November 18 2008.
Rear Admiral P.A. Jones to be Commander UK Maritime Forces from September 22 2008.

Detailed career tracking at one star level and above within the U K Armed Forces is carried out by Bergmans Defence Consultancy (tracking@north-house.com)


While UK MP Kevan Jones rails about entertainment carried out by senior UK army personnel with the help of enlisted staff, in the US the scandal is money diverted from the Global War on Terrorism by the U S Air Force to leather bound home away from home "comfort capsules" to be installed in transport aircraft. Read the Washington Post story at



For a full list of the 2008 Birthday Honours click here


Charles Stuart Bell, Chief Executive, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, services to healthcare. Babcock Marine.
Archibald Anderson Bethel formerly chairman, Scottish Enterprise Lanarkshire, services to business and to economic development in Lanarkshire.

Guy Rhodri Griffiths managing director, BAE Systems Integrated Technologies, services to the defence industry
Antony Hales chairman, Navy Army and Air Force Institutes, services to the Armed Forces
Brian Magenis senior civil servant, Ministry of Defence, public and voluntary service
Francis John Sheehan chief fire officer, West Midlands fire and rescue service, services to local government

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By Dr Jeffrey Bradford

Today saw the release of The Ministry of Defence (MoD) Defence Plan including the Government's expenditure plan for 2008-2012 (Cm 7385). The document reflects the outcome of the 2007 Comprehensive Spending Review where all Government departments make their bid for resources based on needs and performance. A senior group of Ministers arbitrate over these competing demands to determine ultimately who gets what. For the Ministry of Defence, there are a number of interesting nuances in the Defence Plan which illustrate the evolving defence priorities of the Brown adminstration:

Defence Policy (Pages 18-19)
* The Defence Plan suggests a much greater focus on Africa, no reference to America's Global War on Terror (GWOT) and in terms of current commitments in Iraq and Afghanistan "Support work to deliver a downtrend in the number of conflicts globally"

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Latest from the Ministry of Defence

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