Today's defence related news includes reporting of asbestos in Sea King helicopters and women joining the Royal Marines in ground close combat roles.
Sea King helicopters
Several outlets have followed up on the Mail on Sunday’s story regarding the risk of harm posed by asbestos to engineers working on Sea King helicopters. The Times, BBC, The Sun, The Herald, The Daily Record all report on the news.
An MOD spokesperson said:
The safety of our personnel and our partners is always our highest priority. All Sea King items suspected to contain asbestos have been removed from our stores.
Women in the Ground Close Combat Roles
The Telegraph, The Guardian, The Times, The Sun, The Scotsman, The Press & Journal all report that up to 20 women have begun preparation for a ground close combat role in the Royal Marines. In 2016 the decision was made to open ground close combat roles in the Royal Navy, Royal Marines and Army to women, with all roles expected to be open to women by the end of 2018.
A Royal Navy spokesperson said:
On applications to the Royal Marines:
“There has already been early interest from female recruits and last year, a number of female recruits who had expressed an interest visited CTC Lympstone for a familiarisation visit.”
“Full inclusion is required to achieve necessary cohesion and is when men and women are recruited, trained, operate and live together as equals with no distinction by gender.
“Women will be accommodated with the male recruits but will be afforded an appropriate level of privacy and safeguards such as separate toilets and showers.”