Today's defence news includes the first day of the RUSI Land Warfare Conference, the contract to run the Defence Fire and Rescue service and the decision by the Director of Public Prosecutions in Northern Ireland to charge a former soldier over the shooting of a man in 1988.
RUSI Land Warfare Conference
The annual Land Warfare Conference, hosted by RUSI on behalf of the Chief of the General Staff, featured in a number of today's national newspapers and on the BBC Radio 4 Today Programme. BBC Defence Correspondent Jonathan Beale reported that Exercise Autonomous Warrior later this year will be the largest military exercise using drones, robots and unmanned vehicles. The Telegraph, The Times and The Guardian all pick up comments to be made today by the new Chief of the General Staff, General Mark Carleton-Smith that the world has never been so unpredictable and from Defence Minister Mark Lancaster on the announcement of Autonomous Warrior.
Defence Minister Mark Lancaster said:
Our Armed Forces continue to push the limits of innovative warfare to ensure that we stay ahead of any adversaries or threats faced on the battlefield.
Autonomous Warrior sets an ambitious vision for Army operations in the 21st Century as we integrate drones, unmanned vehicles and personnel into a world-class force for decades to come.
Defence Fire and Rescue Service contract
In an article on the award of the Defence Fire and Rescue Service contract to Capita, The Financial Times incorrectly reports that an MOD assessment had found Capita’s financial health as poor. The document is actually an internal briefing, which includes figures from a third party website, Company Watch.
An MOD spokesperson said:
All our suppliers are subject to robust assessments ahead of any contract placement and closely monitored throughout.
This document provides background information, using a range of statistics and figures from external sources. The ratings in question are from Company Watch, not the MOD.
The Director of Public Prosecutions in Northern Ireland yesterday announced that they will be prosecuting former Grenadier Guardsman David Jonathan Holden for the death of Aidan McAnespie in 1988 when he was shot on his way to a football match. The news featured on the front page of The Daily Telegraph and also in The Times, Sun, Guardian, Daily Mail, Daily Mirror and Daily Express.
A Government spokesperson said:
The welfare of our personnel and veterans is of the utmost importance and we provide legal and pastoral support to any veteran who requires it.
This includes paying for all legal fees and providing a dedicated military team to offer support and advice to veterans.
As legal proceedings are ongoing it would be inappropriate to comment further.
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