Defence in the media blog: Friday 1 September

In today's defence-related news, the RAF is the first service open to women in all branches and trades, the UK steps up commitment to countering Daesh and Defence Minister Harriett Baldwin marks 100 years of Thales supplying periscopes to the Royal Navy.

RAF opens all roles to women

In broadcast news, BBC BreakfastITV Good Morning Britain and Radio 4 Today report that the RAF Regiment is opening applications to female recruits. This makes the RAF the first branch of the British Military to open every role in the service to women.

BBC News, The Daily Telegraph and The Sun also report the news, quoting Sir Michael Fallon who welcomed the applications from women to create a more diverse and operationally effective force.

Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon said:

A diverse force is a more operationally effective force. So I’m delighted that the RAF Regiment is today open to applications from women. Anybody who is capable of meeting the standards for the regiment will be given the opportunity to serve, regardless of their gender. This is a defining moment for the RAF, as it becomes the first service to have every trade and branch open to both genders.

UK steps up commitment to countering Daesh

Amid claims that the fight against Daesh is coming to its final phase, The GuardianThe Times, and The Sun report on the announcement that the UK footprint in Iraq will increase to a total of 600 troops.The Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail add that Daesh have lost their grip in recent battles with Iraqi forces in Tal Afar and Mosul. The Daily Mirror cites sources stating that reinforcements could be sent from RAF Brize Norton within hours.

Coverage also appears in The IndependentPress & JournalDaily Star, The Scotsman and The Herald (Glasgow).

Defence Secretary, Sir Michael Fallon, said:

We are stepping up our contribution to the fight against Daesh and fulfilling Britain’s role as a key player in the global coalition.

Daesh is being defeated. Iraqi forces, backed by coalition airstrikes, have now liberated 70% of the territory Daesh held and the victims of its barbarism are being helped by our humanitarian support. These extra troops will help support operations to bring the defeat of Daesh a step closer.

Defence Minister Harriett Baldwin marks 100 years of Thales supplying periscopes to the Royal Navy

The Daily RecordGlasgow Live and Forces Network report that Glasgow-based Thales has marked the centenary of being the sole supplier of periscopes to the British Navy. Based in Govan, and employing around 600 people, the firm supplies the Royal Navy, Army, and Royal Air force with optronic systems.

Defence Procurement Minister, Harriett Baldwin said:

 This anniversary marks a proud record of Scottish engineering contributing directly to UK defence and national security by providing the eyes and ears for our nuclear deterrent and attacksubmarines.

Generations of highly skilled engineers across Scotland have applied battle winning technologies to meet the needs of their UK armed forces, as well as exporting their innovations to dozens of navies around the world.

Image of the day

Royal Navy submarine M3 was fitted with the first FY1 No.1 periscope.
Royal Navy submarine M3 was fitted with the first FY1 No.1 periscope, produced by Glasgow-based engineering firm Thales.


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