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24 septembre 2014 3 24 /09 /septembre /2014 12:30
Defence Secretary Michael Fallon

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon


23 September 2014 Ministry of Defence and The Rt Hon Michael Fallon MP


Michael Fallon meets Middle East partners to discuss international response to ISIL.


Mr Fallon met with allies in Saudi Arabia yesterday and Bahrain today to discuss regional security and international co-ordination to counter ISIL ahead of this week’s United Nations General Assembly.

He said:

At the Jeddah and Paris conferences there was strong agreement on the need for a co-ordinated response to the ISIL threat. In taking action to degrade and destroy ISIL terrorists it is important that key regional partners continue to play a leading role.

The UK supports the air strikes launched by the US and regional allies last night which run alongside the action the UK has already taken in the form of reconnaissance flights, military equipment and humanitarian aid.

The UK government continues to discuss what further contribution the UK may make to international efforts to tackle the threat we all face from ISIL.

The UK has a long-standing defence relationship with both Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. In Saudi Arabia the UK assists with the delivery and support of Typhoon and Tornado aircraft. Bahrain is also a key location for the UK, with onshore basing and ships located at Mina Salman Port.

While meeting serving Royal Navy personnel in Bahrain Mr Fallon witnessed the structural work being carried out to improve the navy’s facilities.

He added:

The UK already has a long-established presence in the region and in my discussions I have re-emphasised the UK’s continuing commitment and opportunities to strengthen co-operation.

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18 septembre 2014 4 18 /09 /septembre /2014 16:50
Defence Secretary Michael Fallon meeting soldiers at Tidworth [Picture: Richard Watt, UK MoD]

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon meeting soldiers at Tidworth [Picture: Richard Watt, UK MoD]


17 September 2014 Ministry of Defence and The Rt Hon Michael Fallon MP


Michael Fallon has visited British troops due to deploy on a major training exercise with NATO partner Poland.


Exercise Black Eagle is a significant demonstration of the UK’s support to the region, as the UK continues to play a leading role in delivering NATO’s measures to reassure eastern allies.

Troops from the UK have engaged in a series of exercises on eastern allied territory, the largest of which is Exercise Black Eagle, where around 1,300 troops will train with their Polish counterparts from 10th Armoured Brigade.

Speaking at the visit the Defence Secretary said:

I think it’s important for NATO forces to be seen to exercise together. We are stepping up the scale of these exercises, so there are more of them, they are more continuous, they are of a larger scale and they involve more and more forces from across NATO.

That’s what’s important. To show that NATO members are working together to carry out their responsibilities to defend each other from any kind of aggression.

Soldier shows Michael Fallon his weapon
A soldier from 1st Battalion The Royal Welsh shows Michael Fallon one of the weapons he will be using on the exercise [Picture: Richard Watt, Crown copyright]

Members of the King’s Royal Hussars and 1st Battalion The Royal Welsh met the Defence Secretary to demonstrate the vehicles and equipment they will operate on Exercise Black Eagle.

The Defence Secretary said:

There is huge enthusiasm here for the task that they are being sent on. This is one of the most important allied exercises for years which will help reassure and demonstrate our commitment to our eastern allies. That’s what they train for, and that is what they are ready for.

Lieutenant Colonel Justin Kingsford, commanding officer of the King’s Royal Hussars, said:

This was a great opportunity to show the capabilities and readiness of this battle group. Most soldiers in my battle group returned from Afghanistan about 2 years ago, so in many ways our very intense training in Canada was the culmination of 2 years’ worth of getting back onto these complex armoured vehicles.

Although we are still committed in Afghanistan, there are significant parts of the Army concentrating on contingency operations, like training for conventional war in armoured vehicles, and we are looking forward to getting out to Poland to train alongside the Polish 10th Armoured Brigade.

Michael Fallon and Sergeant Simon Ashton
Sergeant Simon Ashton from 1st Battalion The Royal Welsh explaining the Warrior armoured fighting vehicle to Michael Fallon [Picture: Richard Watt, Crown copyright]

The King’s Royal Hussars make up a large part of the deploying battle group alongside 1st Battalion The Royal Welsh. Over 100 armoured vehicles and 250 other vehicles will make up the deployment, including vehicles such as the Challenger 2 main battle tank and the Warrior armoured fighting vehicle.

Alongside these exercises, the UK is currently providing Sentry E3-D aircraft to NATO’s Baltic air policing mission and between May and August deployed 4 Typhoons to support the mission. The UK also participated in BALTOPS, a major allied maritime exercise in the Baltic.

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15 juillet 2014 2 15 /07 /juillet /2014 12:50
Michael Fallon appointed as Defence Secretary


15 July 2014     Ministry of Defence and The Rt Hon Michael Fallon MP


Today, 15 July, the Prime Minister has announced the appointment of the Right Honourable Michael Fallon MP as Defence Secretary.


Previously Mr Fallon was Minister for Business and Enterprise, Minister of State for Energy and Minister for Portsmouth.


For more information see his official biography page on GOV.UK.

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16 mai 2014 5 16 /05 /mai /2014 07:50
The path to changing Defence


15 May 2014 Ministry of Defence


Defence Secretary Philip Hammond delivered a speech at the Reform Annual Dinner in London on Tuesday 13 May.


During his speech, Mr Hammond looked back on where MOD was 4 years ago and the efforts that have been made to transform Defence into a ‘disciplined department with a clear sense of direction’.

Mr Hammond talked about the efforts MOD has made to effect this change; one of the biggest transformation programmes ever undertaken in the western world.

He spoke of making tough decisions to get the budget under control, retiring long-running capabilities, making cuts to armed forces manpower and overhauling the infrastructure and equipment organisations:

We have balanced the books by taking a hard-headed approach to what we can and cannot afford.

We’ve published a balanced and deliverable equipment plan, something the government has not done before, giving everyone within Defence greater transparency and greater certainty to be able to plan for the future.

The need for a leaner, more strategic workforce was also stressed in Mr Hammond’s speech.

The objective of having the right people in place and fewer people doing a better job were part of the foundations of his argument that MOD is now running in a more businesslike manner.

Making reference to accountability and responsibility in terms of maintaining a stable budget he said:

We chose to delegate budgets downwards to the front line commanders. People now have a vested interest in knowing both the cost and the value of what they are doing. Now they are responsible for managing their multi-billion-pound businesses.

And it has paid off. We only commit when we’re sure we can afford not just the capital cost but the year-on-year running costs as well.

Decisions like whether we invest more in simulation by reducing live flying hours should clearly be taken by the RAF and not by politicians in Whitehall. Already, this devolution of power from the centre has paid dividends in promoting a culture of initiative.

Towards the end of his speech he spoke of the current imperative ‘to institutionalise innovation throughout the organisation’, describing it as ‘the lifeblood for reform’.

He emphasised that it was being achieved by empowering people with clear objectives on what they must deliver but with flexibility about how they deliver it.

Mr Hammond concluded his speech by saying that he was proud of what has been achieved so far but reiterated that there is still work to be done.

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12 novembre 2013 2 12 /11 /novembre /2013 18:35
Philip Hammond joins Afghan president at military academy opening


11 November 2013 Ministry of Defence and Foreign & Commonwealth Office


The UK Defence Secretary has joined President Hamid Karzai at the formal opening of the Afghan National Army Officer Academy in Kabul.


The formal opening marks a significant step in Britain’s long-term commitment to a stable future for the country.

Having paid his respects at a remembrance service in Camp Bastion yesterday, Mr Hammond flew from Helmand province this morning to join President Karzai at Qargha, west of Kabul. There, at the Afghan National Army Officer Academy (ANAOA), he saw teaching rooms, living spaces and training areas where hundreds of officer cadets have recently started training, before addressing more than 1,000 members of the Afghan National Army (ANA) at the official launch of the academy.

There are 265 recruits in the first intake, narrowed down from more than 10,000 initial applications. Candidates will progress through a 42-week course designed to give them essential leadership skills to take into battle. It is inspired by the British Army’s Royal Military Academy Sandhurst model, and adapted to include courses that are Afghanistan-focused.

Following the launch Mr Hammond attended an Armistice Day service at the International Security Assistance Force headquarters in Kabul.

The Defence Secretary lays a wreath during the remembrance service held at Camp Bastion
The Defence Secretary lays a wreath during the remembrance service held at Camp Bastion [Picture: Corporal Ross Fernie, Crown copyright]

Mr Hammond said:

It was a pleasure being here to witness the official opening of the Afghan National Army Officer Academy. The efforts that have brought the academy to this point have been significant.

Modelled on the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, this academy will provide world-class training. It will teach the importance of leadership, of self-reliance, of personal discipline, of dedication and of service to fellow soldiers.

This will help ensure the Afghan officers and those training them will be of the highest quality, helping sustain the progress made in building a capable and professional force.

Warrant Officer Class 1 Peter Witkowski, 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, is the ANAOA sergeant major mentor. He said:

It’s fantastic here. It’s a great opportunity, particularly with the drawdown within Afghanistan, to be able to provide more support and assistance, particularly mentoring support for the ANA beyond 2014 here in Qargha.

The recruits who leave here will be posted to combat units around Afghanistan and will have a really important job. They will be leading young soldiers on operations and will work hard to improve stability in their country.

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