https://modmedia.blog.gov.uk/2018/02/10/defence-in-the-media-saturday-10-february-2018/

Defence in the Media: Saturday 10 February 2018

Today’s defence-related news includes coverage of the Armed Forces Flexible Working Act and HMS Queen Elizabeth visiting Gibraltar. 

HMS Queen Elizabeth in Gibraltar

The Telegraph, The Sun, Daily Mail, The Independent, and The Express all report that HMS Queen Elizabeth left Portsmouth last week for helicopter trials with Chinooks and Merlins stopping at Gibraltar. The papers also report that this year will see the first trials with the F-35B Lightning II strike fighter jets with a fully operational date by 2020.

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said:

As the Rock casts its shadow over the flight deck of our world-class aircraft carrier, Gibraltar rightly marks HMS Queen Elizabeth’s first overseas stop as she refuels and takes on supplies before continuing her sea trials. I’m sure our friends in Gibraltar will be proud to see our future flagship sail through British waters into their famous port.

The Armed Forces Flexible Working Act 2018

The Sun reports that Troops will soon be able to apply for flexible working hours after the bill became law on Thursday.

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said:

This change will make it significantly easier for our dedicated Armed Forces to raise their children, care for elderly relatives, or look after an ill family member.

This will ensure we are able to retain and recruit the brightest and the best from all backgrounds to keep Britain safe.

Minister for Defence People and Veterans Tobias Ellwood said:

Flexible work is key to retaining our expert personnel who we’ve invested in during their military career.

Personnel have told us they want more flexibility and we have listened - that’s what this Act delivers.

Mental Health

The Daily Mail reports on suicide rates and mental health in the Armed Forces, reviewing cases of serving personnel and veterans.

A MOD spokesperson said:

We are committed to tackling the stigma of mental health, and have launched our mental health and wellbeing strategy alongside partnering with the Royal Foundation to improve our mental health services.
We have invested £20 million in mental health services and encourage anyone who is suffering to come forward to access the care and help they deserve.

Image of the day

Image shows HMS Queen Elizabeth as see is escorted in to Gibraltar by MoD Police Marine Units.