Defence in the media: Sunday 29 July 2018

Today’s defence-related news includes coverage of military accommodation, mental health and the RAF Voyager fleet.

Military accommodation

The Sun reports on the numbers of military homes which we left empty before new tenants move in.

An MOD spokesperson said:

A percentage of our housing stock needs to be empty to allow for essential maintenance to take place before new tenants move in. Military personnel move around the country regularly and a certain number of houses need to be kept in reserve to accommodate them. Where possible we sub-let vacant properties on the private rental market.

RAF Voyager fleet

The Mail On Sunday continues its reporting on the RAF Voyager fleet, claiming that it cannot refuel some other RAF aircraft.

An MOD spokesperson said:

Voyagers are able to refuel all our fighter jets mid-air, including Tornados, Typhoons and F-35s, so they can protect our airspace for longer. The likes of C-17s and P-8s have significant range and don’t usually require refuelling. On the rare occasions that they are required to fly longer, our NATO allies can air-to-air refuel them as part of a reciprocal agreement which also sees our Voyagers assist their aircraft.

Anti-depressants prescriptions

The Sunday People reports that at least 6,000 troops have been prescribed anti-depressants over the last three years.

An MOD spokesperson said:

All medication prescribed to military personnel is done so by trained medical professionals, in line with NHS standards and guidelines. Anti-depressant medication is not solely used to treat depression and individuals suffering from side effects should contact their doctor.

Fleet solid support ships

The Observer reports on the competition for the Royal Navy’s new fleet solid support ships.

An MOD spokesperson said:

All our warships are built in the UK. Our fleet of solid support ships are being procured through international competition because there is no demonstrable national security reason why procurement needs to be restricted. British shipbuilding yards are encouraged to bid."

Image of the day

The first RAF pilot to be awarded a Victoria Cross (VC) was honoured on Friday with a new memorial paving stone in Whitehall Gardens, London.

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