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Defence in the media

Defence in the media: Chiefs' accommodation

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Today’s coverage of defence issues in the news includes several reports from Baltic Protector and a story on the cost of accommodation for senior military staff.

Military chiefs' accommodation

Yesterday the Mail on Sunday reported on a query under the Freedom of Information Act into the cost of housing for military chiefs. The paper reported that the bill for homes for senior officers has increased by 16%. The Daily Star carries a report today under the headline “Luxury life for Army’s top brass”.

The Star carries the Ministry of Defence’s response to the reports. A Ministry of Defence spokesperson said:

Our accommodation costs are closely monitored in order to ensure value for money for the taxpayer.

A small number of the most senior military appointments require an appropriate property and limited staff support to enable them to fulfil their duties, including official engagement with senior international allies.

The Ministry of Defence abolished official service residences in 2010. Now, only a small number of very senior military appointments require dedicated properties to help chiefs carry out their operational roles and official engagements.

Royal Marines in Estonia

Royal Marines are in Estonia for the UK-led Joint Expeditionary Force (JEF) exercise Baltic Protector. The Marines have conducted amphibious landing drills and other exercises alongside forces from the eight other JEF nations.

In total, nearly 4,000 personnel from all nine partner nations have taken part.

The Daily Express and the Daily Star carry full coverage today after spending time with the Royal Marines in Estonia. Minister for the Armed Forces Mark Lancaster said:

From Denmark to Lithuania, from Sweden to Estonia, Baltic Protector will leave potential adversaries in no doubt of our collective resolve and ability to defend ourselves.

This force is a key component of European security, a force of friends that complements existing structures and demonstrates that we are stronger together.

A helicopter hovers low over the sea as a Royal Marine hangs beneath it from a rope
A Royal Navy Merlin helicopter takes part in amphibious landing drills at Kolga Bay in Estonia.

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