Defence in the Media: Thursday 7 September 2017

Today’s defence-related news includes coverage of the Royal Navy ship RFA Mounts Bay standing ready to help victims of Hurricane Irma in the Caribbean.

RFA Mounts Bay

The BBC, The Daily Telegraph, Daily Star and Daily Mirror all cover the increasing threat from Hurricane Irma, and carries comments on RFA Mount Bay’s and the 40 Royal Marines who have been diverted to the area, stating that  ‘Britain has already taken swift action to respond’.

The Defence Secretary has confirmed that Royal Fleet Auxiliary Mounts Bay is standing ready to help those affected by Hurricane Irma.

RFA MOUNTS BAY is one of the most capable disaster response vessels anywhere in the world. Whilst on North Atlantic Patrol, it is a core task to provide humanitarian and disaster relief to UK overseas territories and Commonwealth nations, and her crew is able to provide emergency supplies and personnel by sea and helicopter.

Defence Secretary, Sir Michael Fallon, said:

The Royal Navy is a constant presence around the Globe helping keep Britain safe, and is always ready to respond when natural disaster leaves people stricken and in need.  Today it is RFA Mounts Bay and the specialists from the Royal Marines and Army Engineers who stand ready to provide support to those hit by Hurricane Irma if called for.

 The Humanitarian and Disaster Relief Team (HADR) on board includes about 40 Royal Marines and Army engineering personnel with access to earth-moving and water transporting equipment. The crew also has the capacity to assist in the repair of infrastructure, such as the provision of clean water, medical support, temporary shelter and sanitation facilities.

The ship has been monitoring the progress of Hurricane Irma and is currently positioned to provide an urgent humanitarian relief mission if required.

RFA MOUNTS BAY is deployed to the North Atlantic Patrol in order to provide security and assurance to UK overseas territories there. Whilst there, RFA MOUNTS BAY will also be performing regional security and anti-smuggling operations.


Future Naval Shipbuilding in the UK

Following the Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon unveiling the new National Shipbuilding Strategy yesterday, there is continued coverage in The Press & JournalThe Scotsman, The Daily Mirror, The Dundee Courier, The Daily Record and The Herald.

The Strategy sees the Government accept Sir John’s recommendations and step up to what he called a prospective ‘renaissance’ in British shipbuilding. Building on the Government’s industrial strategy, it outlines an ambition to transform the procurement of naval ships, make the UK’s maritime industry more competitive, grow the Royal Navy fleet by the 2030s, export British ships overseas, and boost innovation, skills, jobs, and productivity across the UK.

Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon said:

This new approach will lead to more cutting-edge ships for the growing Royal Navy that will be designed to maximise exports and be attractive to navies around the world.

Backed up by a commitment to spend billions on new ships, our plan will help boost jobs, skills, and growth in shipyards and the supply chain across the UK.

The Strategy meets the challenges set by Sir John Parker last November and sets out plans for the first batch of Type 31e frigates.

Sir John Parker’s independent report into British naval shipbuilding proposed far-reaching recommendations to transform the UK maritime industry and boost the prosperity of regions, shipyards and maritime supply chains across the country.

Soldiers arrested over alleged links to neo-Nazi group

The Independent, The Daily Telegraph, The Times and Western Daily Press continue coverage of the four members of the Army arrested under the Terrorism Act on suspicion of being associated with the proscribed far right group, National Action.

An MOD spokesperson said:

National Action is a proscribed organisation and its ideology is completely at odds with the values and ethos of the Armed Forces. The Armed Forces have robust measures in place to ensure those exhibiting extremist views are neither tolerated nor permitted to serve.

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