We must not take our eyes off the ball. important debate on defence continues
The House of Commons Defence Select Committee proceedings on Tuesday 12th May is a 2 hour must watch/listen, echoing the many critical thoughts of Defence UK on the MOD and Government. Chaired by Tobias Ellwood, its subject "Defence industrial policy, procurement and prosperity" masked what turned out to be a rich and strikingly frank exposition of MOD challenges and issues. Importantly with no MOD representatives, attendees during the first session focused on the state of the UK’s defence industrial strategy; major issues related to the MOD’s procurement processes; the absence of a UK land strategy; and the importance of the UK’s defence sovereignty. In particular, both Lieutenant General (Retired) Sir Mark Poffley (Former Deputy Chief of Defence Staff - Military Capability 2016-2018, Ministry of Defence) and Francis Tusa (defence journalist) pull no punches and offer some hard but welcome evidence and advice. This was then followed by a second session with Rt Hon Philip Dunne MP, concerning the UK’s defence prosperity.
Link to the proceeding is here:
Let us not forget the role of the armed forces in the corona-virus emergency
How many people know that within all levels of local government there exists, an emergency reaction department (a relic of the former civil defence organisation)? Part of their contingency planning is to identify possible refuge centres and, to this end, village halls, schools, sports centres and other public venues have been identified and in some cases slightly modified to act as emergency accommodation. Centres such as the London Excel and Birmingham NEC, with their labyrinth of flexible under floor electrical connections, water supplies, toilets, kitchens and good access for ambulances and other vehicles, will not have avoided attention. Thus, working to NHS requirements, the Army, with the local authorities and the people who normally re-arrange these centres for exhibitions, have been able to quickly set them up so that the screened compartments are for patients, not exhibitors.
the Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy
After years of underfunding Defence, this Review offers a golden opportunity for Britain to press the re-set button and ensure that the Defence of the Realm returns to its central position in public policy and spending commitments.
This review comes at a time of enormous financial upheaval and calls on the public purse caused by the Corona Virus, but it is at times like this that we have to reiterate the fundamental truth that without defence and security we have nothing. They must remain the first duty of the government come what may, something which the Prime Minister confirmed during the recent election campaign.
pro patria - Journal of defence uk - 2019 volume 1
At the official launch of Defence UK on 16th October 2019 the first edition of Pro Patria, the Journal of Defence UK was published. It can be read online by selecting the heading above. Hard copies are available from Defence UK, PO Box 819, Portsmouth PO1 9FF.
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“Defence UK is an independent pressure group that campaigns for a strong and well-resourced Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force, to ensure the security of the United Kingdom, her Sovereign Territories, trade and commerce, and to protect her citizens wherever they may be. We also call for a greater commitment by the UK Government to the nation's defence industries, and to non-military services such as the Merchant Navy, Coastguard, Border Control and Homeland Security that are essential to the Defence of the Realm.”