https://modmedia.blog.gov.uk/2018/11/20/defence-in-the-media-tuesday-20-november-2018/

Defence in the media: Tuesday 20 November 2018

Today's defence related news includes coverage of a £160m project to build new facilities at RAF Lakenheath and the Defence Secretary's response to reports of a possible European army.

RAF Lakenheath

BBC Suffolk and the Eastern Daily Press both report on the MOD awarding a £160m contract to Kier VolkerFitzpatrick to build a F-35 flight simulator, maintenance unit, new hangars and storage facilities at RAF Lakenheath. This will ready the Suffolk airbase for two squadrons of US F-35s, making it the first permanent international site for US Air Force F-35s in Europe.

The coverage features commentary from Minister for Defence People and Veterans Tobias Ellwood, who said:

For more than one hundred years now our Armed Forces have fought in defence of our common values and interests. Our two countries have developed the deepest, broadest and most advanced relationship of any two nations.

Today marks another step towards reinforcing the strong partnership between our two nations and an exciting milestone for RAF Lakenheath.

This investment will see substantial benefits to local economy, bringing 1,000 new personnel with their families and we will work hard to ensure that the benefits will last long after construction ends.

At the height of construction of the project it is expected that there will be up to 700 contractors on site.

European Army

The Daily Mail, The Times and Politics Home all report on Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson's response when asked about suggestions of a EU Army.

Last week French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angele Merkel called for a "true European Army".

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said:

Nato has delivered European security for the last 70 years and we should feel very proud of it.

Image of the day

A Soldier from the Kings Troop Royal Horse Artillery lines up on parade before leaving Wellington Barracks for a 41-gun Royal Salute in honour of His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales’s 70th birthday.