Today’s defence news includes British Army personnel training and advising the Nigerian Armed Forces and the Defence Committee’s preliminary report on the Modernising Defence Programme.
British Army training local forces in Nigeria
The Daily Mirror (30,35) and The Sun (13) both report that British troops are training local forces in Nigeria in countering IEDs and countering Boko Haram ambushes. The coverage carries comments from Brigadier Charles Calder who is the Defence Adviser based out of Nigeria’s capital Abuja. He stated Boko Haram and Daesh in West Africa ‘respect no boundaries’.
The reporting covers the types of training the UK military provides to the Nigerian Armed Forces, with UK forces training about 35,000 Nigerian military personnel thus far through sending small, hand-picked teams out to military training hubs across the country.
The Modernising Defence Programme.
The Times (18), Daily Mail (30), Daily Express (5), Daily Star (5), Daily Mirror (17), The Sun (2), The Scotsman (6), Daily Record (4), The Herald (8) all report on the House of Commons Defence Committee report entitled 'Beyond 2 per cent' which looks in to the Modernising Defence Programme. It argues that Britain must look to spend another £20 billion a year on defence to ensure that the Armed Forces can deter and respond to the full range of threats.
An MOD spokesperson said:
The UK maintains the biggest defence budget in Europe we have been clear we will continue to exceed NATO’s 2% spending target.
The Defence Secretary launched the Modernising Defence Programme to strengthen our Armed Forces in the face of intensifying threats and, while we welcome the Defence Committee’s preliminary report, we will not speculate on the outcome of the Programme before we share our headline conclusions.