Defence in the Media: 19 March 2018

Today’s defence-related news includes continued coverage of the UK's response to the incident in Salisbury and a trial involving Army instructors coming to an end.

Incident in Salisbury

All national outlets cover the fact that Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) inspectors are due to arrive in the UK today, on the back of the Sergei Skripal poisoning in Salisbury. They refer to the role of the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory in the investigation.

A UK Government spokesperson said:

Independent investigators from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) will arrive in the UK today to kick off their investigation into the nerve agent used in the attempted assassinations of Mr Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury on 4 March.

The team from The Hague will meet with officials from the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory and the police to discuss the process for collecting samples, including environmental ones.

These will then be despatched to highly reputable international laboratories selected by the OPCW for testing with results expected to take a minimum of two weeks.

This is the next step in the process to independently verify the analysis carried out by the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory at Porton Down.

Harrogate trial

A trial focused on alleged recruit abuse by Army instructors at the Army Foundation College has been ended by the judge.

Army Spokesman Colonel Marcus Simson said:

We care about our soldiers above all else and do everything we can to ensure they live and train in a safe and secure environment. That is why as soon as these allegations were made in 2014, we asked the Royal Military Police to conduct an investigation.

While there have been no criminal convictions, we will consider carefully whether any internal action or sanction is necessary.


Image of the Day

Royal Navy submarine HMS Trenchant has broken through the metre-thick ice of the Arctic Ocean to join two US boats on major exercise. Crown copyright.

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