Defence in the media: Sunday 16 July 2017

In today's defence related news there is further coverage of Op NORTHMOOR investigations of personnel in Afghanistan, reporting on The Sunday People's Save Our Soldiers campaign and speculation around the Type 26 programme.


The Sunday Times Insight team continues its investigation into allegations made against UK, Australian and US Special Forces in Afghanistan as well as calls for an investigation into New Zealand’s SAS Regiments conduct. The Mail on Sunday carries an interview with a former SBS Sgt who was questioned by the Royal Military Police as part of Operation NORTHMOOR.

A Ministry of Defence spokesperson said:

Our military served with great courage and professionalism and we proudly hold them to the highest standards. Where credible allegations are raised it is right they are effectively investigated by an independent police force like the Royal Military Police. They have found no evidence of criminal behaviour by the Armed Forces in Afghanistan, have discontinued over 90% of the 675 allegations made and less than 10 investigations now remain.

Save Our Soldiers campaign

As part of the Save Our Soldiers campaign, which is demanding the Government improves the support for serving and former personnel, The People examined the case of former Paratrooper, in which a serious-incident mental health review has admitted more should have been done.

A Ministry of Defence spokesperson said:

This Government has made mental health support both in an out of the services a top priority. Military medical practices provide out-of-hours medical support and are able to arrange emergency admission of personnel whenever necessary. The relatively small number of Service personnel and veterans who suffer from acute mental health episodes can access a high standard of medical treatment out of hours, 24 hours a day, wherever it is needed. We ensure this by working through a variety of different organisations, including the NHS and Service charities.

Type 26 frigate programme 

In the Sunday Express, it is speculated that the UK does not have enough destroyers and frigates to protect the HMS Queen Elizabeth. The paper suggests that France will be asked to provide protection for the carrier as the Type 26 programme is delayed.

A Ministry of Defence spokesperson said:

NATO allies working together is sign of our international strength and resolve. These close working relationships has made the coalition campaign to push Isis our of Mosul possible. We have the largest navy in Europe and Royal Navy frigates and destroyers regularly guard US and French carriers. We are completely committed to NATO, and our strong working relationship will continue with our European allies after we leave the EU.

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