Defence in the Media: Sunday 20 May 2018

Today's news is dominated by yesterday's Royal wedding, with all of today's newspaper front pages featuring images of the Duke of Sussex in the uniform of his former Regiment, the Blues & Royals. Also reported today is news that the Defence Secretary is looking to reduce food waste by recycling or gifting to charities unused military ration packs, while there is concern over an offer to Armed Forces personnel on Kaspersky Lab anti-virus software.

Royal Wedding

The Armed Forces played an important role in the Royal Wedding yesterday with more than 250 personnel involved in the ceremonial aspects of the day and many of the guests having links to the Armed Forces. Images of those taking part and reporting on the Duke of Sussex's own military career feature prominently in today's news. After much speculation, His Royal Highness chose to wear the uniform of his former Regiment, the Blues & Royals, having been given permission by Her Majesty The Queen to do so.

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said:

I am proud that so many servicemen and women from the Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force took part in the ceremonial aspects of the Royal couple’s wedding day.

For the whole country this is a joyous occasion and the presence of our troops reminds our nation and the entire world of the special and unique relationship between our Armed Forces and the Royal family.

Reducing Food Waste

A number of papers including The Sunday Telegraph, Sunday Mirror and People report that surplus military rations could be handed out to feed the homeless after the Defence Secretary asked for advice on the whether rations packs could be given to charities.

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said:

I have commissioned urgent advice on what more the Armed Forces can do to minimize our food waste. We already take steps to ensure that only 0.4% of the ration packs we produce are disposed of, but I am determined that more could be done.

Both recycling and gifting to charities are options that I would like to see explored. We are seeing more and more schemes whereby restaurants and supermarkets donate their food waste and I would like to see more examples of this in the Armed Forces. It is right that Defence plays its part to help protect our natural world and ensure we leave our environment in a better condition than we inherited it.

Kaspersky Labs

Concerns that Kaspersky Labs anti-virus software is being offered at a discount to member of the Armed Forces and Police in a potentially risk to personnel security are highlighted in The Sunday Times and Sun on Sunday.

A Government spokesperson said:

We remain vigilant to the risk that specific anti-virus software may pose to our systems and our personnel dealing exclusively with defence, policing and national security matters. Anti-virus products are a useful tool to protect UK business, Government agencies and the wider economy from a range of malicious software on the internet and we strongly recommend keeping these up-to-date. The NCSC constantly reviews and manages threats to the UK, and takes this into account when providing customers with advice.

Image of the Day

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex emerge on the steps of St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle.
250 members of the Armed Forces were on parade in Windsor to help celebrate the Royal Wedding. Some of the troops performing ceremonial duties served alongside Prince Harry during his ten years in the Army.

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