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Defence in the media

Defence in the Media: 7 August 2016

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Items of interest for Defence in today’s news include safety for troops on holiday, potential new warships and hen harrier chicks under Ministry of Defence protection.

Holiday warning

The Sunday People has splashed on its front page reports that British troops have been given an official warning they could be targeted by terrorists while on their family holiday. The paper claims soldiers have been warned to cover up tattoos showing regimental logos, slogans or numbers during summer breaks abroad.

A Ministry of Defence spokesperson said:

We do not comment on matters of operational security but confirm that our security posture is kept under constant review.


The Sun on Sunday reports that the Armed Forces are short of part-time soldiers, stating that some famous regiments are understaffed.

A Ministry of Defence spokesperson said:

Army reserve numbers are up nine per cent in the past 12 months, and we are already ahead of our targets for this financial year. We are attracting and retaining Reservists by offering them a challenging and rewarding experience and are focused on meeting the target of 30,000 by April 2019.


The Sunday Times claims that Defence Chiefs are studying four rival blueprints for a new warship which could help to keep Britain’s shipyards in operation. The article states that BAE Systems is thought to have submitted two designs with one from Babcock International and another from BMT.

A Ministry of Defence spokesperson said:

We welcome industry looking ahead to consider realistic concepts but it is important to note that this programme is in its early stages and we have only recently commenced work to develop the requirement for these ships.

IPA rating

The Sunday Herald claims that the UK’s £31 billion programme to replace Trident submarines is in major doubt according to a report by the Infrastructure and Projects Authority (IPA). The article states that this is despite the overwhelming vote in the House of Commons last month in favour of replacing the deterrent.

A Ministry of Defence spokesperson said:

This rating recognises the complexity and scale of delivering the most advanced submarines ever commissioned by the Royal Navy, the ultimate guarantee of our national security.

We are determined to get the Successor programme right, that’s why we have established a new Director General Nuclear sponsor organisation and will set up a new submarine delivery body, as set out in the 2015 Strategic Defence and Security Review.

Hen harrier chicks

And The Times Scotland, The Scottish Sun, The Scotsman and The Herald all report on two hen harrier chicks which are under Ministry of Defence protection after they were found on the site of the storage and loading facility for the UK's nuclear submarines. The male and female have been monitored by the RSPB using satnav tags since their nest was discovered at HM Naval Base Clyde’s high security Coulport site.

Sgt John Simpson, MOD Police wildlife crime officer, said:

The Security at HM Naval Base Clyde that protects the Submarine Service also provides a sanctuary for hen harriers, the most endangered bird of prey in the UK. We understand that hen harriers are a necessary part of a healthy functioning countryside and are please we can play some part in helping to protect them.


Naval Secretary Rear Admiral Williams in one of the competitors cars.
5th August 2016, The Rally For Heroes, in aid of SSAFA (Soldiers, Sailors, Air Force Association) started from HMS Victory in Portsmouth Naval Base.
The Rally for Heroes is a nine-day driving event across Europe that has already raised £118000 for SSAFA.
SSAFA provides practical, emotional and financial support to anyone who is serving or has ever served and their families.
Pictured - Naval Secretary Rear Admiral Williams in one of the competitors cars.
Consent held at FRPU(E)

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