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25 janvier 2016 1 25 /01 /janvier /2016 17:50
Defence Secretary welcomes deeper security relationship with Germany

 

25 January 2016 Ministry of Defence and The Rt Hon Michael Fallon MP

 

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon discussed the strengthening of Britain’s security ties with Germany when he met counterpart Ursula Von der Leyen in Berlin today, where the Ministers confirmed their shared vision for a closer and stronger partnership.

 

Germany is a key ally for the UK – a fact that was formally recognised in November’s Strategic Defence and Security Review when Germany was elevated to a ‘tier one’ defence relationship, alongside the US and France.

Mr Fallon and Dr Von der Leyen discussed how the countries’ Armed Forces can develop their collaboration on operations, missions and training. This will be in evidence as Britain becomes a lead nation for the Transatlantic Capability Enhancement and Training (TACET) initiative, working alongside Germany and the US to deliver a robust military presence in Eastern Europe. Both countries will also work together to ensure NATO remains strong and united; tackle terrorist threats; build capacity outside of Europe; and enhance the interoperability between their Armed Forces.

The Ministers also announced a new UK-Germany ‘Ministerial Dialogue on Equipment and Capability Cooperation’. At the first meeting, in March, Ministers will discuss reducing support costs on common aircraft, notably A400M and Typhoon, and exploring future innovation.

The Defence Secretary also took the opportunity to welcome Germany’s expanded role in the counter-Daesh coalition, following last week’s meeting in Paris where it was agreed to intensify strikes against the militants’ infrastructure in Iraq and Syria.

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said:

Our defence review elevated Germany to a top tier ally, alongside France and the United States. We are already working closely together within NATO and in the fight against Daesh. Now I want to see more collaboration on operations, missions and training and deeper industrial cooperation.

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22 janvier 2016 5 22 /01 /janvier /2016 08:50
Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach - photo UK MoD

Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach - photo UK MoD

 

 

Her Majesty the Queen has approved the appointment of Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach GBE KCB ADC DL to take over from General Sir Nicholas Houghton GCB CBE ADC as the next Chief of the Defence Staff this summer.

 

Michael Fallon, Secretary of State for Defence, said:

I am delighted to announce that Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach will assume the role of Chief of the Defence Staff this summer when General Sir Nicholas Houghton retires.

Sir Stuart has been an outstanding VCDS and I look forward to working closely with him in taking the fight to Daesh and ensuring we have the best Armed Forces to keep Britain safe.

A biography for Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach can be found on the here.

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21 janvier 2016 4 21 /01 /janvier /2016 17:50
Defence Secretary Michael Fallon visiting HMNB Clyde.  Photo UK MoD

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon visiting HMNB Clyde. Photo UK MoD

 

21 January 2016 Ministry of Defence and The Rt Hon Michael Fallon MP

 

Defence Secretary has visited the home of the Royal Navy’s submarine service to make clear the Government’s commitment to the nuclear deterrent.

 

Michael Fallon met submariners today (Thursday) and visited the Vanguard class submarine HMS Vigilant at HM Naval Base Clyde, at Faslane near Glasgow.

Vigilant is one of the four 16,000-tonne vessels which patrol the oceans and make up the UK’s independent strategic nuclear deterrent, which the Royal Navy has operated for more than 40 years.

Mr Fallon was briefed on the submarine’s operations by Vigilant’s commanding officer, Commander Dan Martyn, who guided him through the boat’s control room, missile compartment and missile control centre.

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said:

Around the clock nuclear deterrent is as crucial to Britain’s defence now as it has ever been. It is the ultimate guarantee of the nation’s security.

We use our nuclear deterrent every day to deter a nuclear attack, nuclear blackmail and extreme threats that cannot be countered by any other means.

The Defence Secretary also had a chance to take in some of the infrastructure and world-class training facilities at the base.

Rear Admiral John Weale, Rear Admiral Submarines, said:

As a highly professional Service, the Royal Navy is entrusted with safely delivering continuous at sea deterrence. Since 1969 we have ensured at least one submarine was deployed at all times, as the nation’s ultimate security insurance policy.

We are now witnessing a resurgence in the Submarine Service; new submarines and driven personnel. Within the next four years all the UK’s submarines will be based in Scotland. This will lead to the creation of 1,400 new jobs taking the total number employed at HM Naval Base Clyde to 8,200 by 2022.

Commander Dan Martyn, Captain of HMS Vigilant, said:

The men and women of the Vanguard class submarines fully understand their role and responsibility in ultimately protecting the people of the United Kingdom.

The Submarine Service’s absolute professionalism ensures that the country’s nuclear deterrent provides safety and security for us all every hour of every day.

Vanguard Submarine infographic Photo UK MoD

Vanguard Submarine infographic Photo UK MoD

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4 novembre 2015 3 04 /11 /novembre /2015 12:50
photo UK MoD

photo UK MoD

 

03/11/2015 Tribune conjointe du Ministre de la Défense Jean-Yves Le Drian et de son homologue britannique Michael Fallon

 

Il y a 5 ans, le 2 novembre 2010, nos deux pays ont signé deux traités à Lancaster House : un traité sur la défense et la sécurité et un autre sur la coopération nucléaire. Cela constituait un engagement historique visant à construire un partenariat de long terme dans le domaine de la défense et de la sécurité, reflétant notre histoire, nos intérêts, nos valeurs et responsabilités partagés, ainsi qu’une analyse convergente des menaces auxquelles nous sommes confrontés ; ils représentent un gage sans précédent de notre confiance mutuelle. Demain nous nous rencontrons de nouveau pour souligner cet engagement et continuer à faire face ensemble aux défis sécuritaires que nous partageons.

 

La coopération franco-britannique de défense n’est pas nouvelle. Depuis plus d’un siècle nos forces armées ont combattu côte à côte. En 2016, nous commémorerons le courage et le sacrifice de tous ceux qui, il y a un siècle, ont servi ensemble la défense de nos pays durant la Bataille de la Somme. Depuis 1945, nos deux pays ont consacré une part substantielle de leur richesse nationale à la défense, reflétant nos responsabilités en tant que membres permanents du conseil de sécurité des Nations unies, désireux et capables de déployer et maintenir des forces armées à travers le monde entier.

 

Depuis la Déclaration du Président Jacques Chirac et du Premier ministre John Major lors de leur rencontre à Chequers en octobre 1995, nous avons reconnu l’importante convergence de nos intérêts vitaux. La somme de nos deux budgets de défense représente près de la moitié des dépenses totales de tous les Etats membres de l’Union européenne en matière de défense et une part plus large encore en matière de recherche et développement de défense.

Nous avons atteint d’importants objectifs ces 5 dernières années. Nous avons démontré que la France et le Royaume-Uni ont les capacités militaires nécessaires et la volonté politique de les utiliser dans tout le spectre des missions de gestion de crise. Nos forces armées ont lutté ensemble contre les Talibans en Afghanistan et au large de la Corne de l’Afrique ; elles sont restées engagées côte à côte contre Daech, en Méditerranée et au sein de la mission de l’UE de formation et de conseil au Mali (EUTM Mali). Ensemble, nous sommes engagés dans des missions de police du ciel de l’OTAN. Le Royaume-Uni a fourni des moyens de transport aérien stratégique et de surveillance aux opérations françaises au Mali et en République centrafricaine. Réciproquement, la France a soutenu le détachement britannique d’avions Tornado déployé dans sa lutte contre Boko Haram. Dans un même esprit de coopération, la base de Lossiemouth de la Royal Air Force en Ecosse a accueilli des avions français de patrouille maritime Atlantique 2.

 

Depuis 2010, nous avons travaillé régulièrement à consolider notre capacité à nous déployer et à mener des opérations conjointement et sur très court préavis via la Force expéditionnaire commune interarmées (CJEF) jusqu’à 10.000 hommes. Cette Force doit obtenir sa certification finale le printemps prochain, comme prévu, lors de l’exercice GRIFFIN STRIKE. Par ailleurs, nous comptons désormais quelque 50 officiers insérés au sein de nos forces armées respectives. Les officiers français ont été déployés dans le cadre d’opérations britanniques et des officiers britanniques dans le cadre d’opérations françaises.

 

Notre coopération en matière industrielle et d’armement s’est développée sans interruption ces cinq dernières années. Elle s’est concentrée sur des domaines clés tels que la coopération de long terme sur les missiles de nouvelle génération, le projet de système de combat aérien du futur, lancé au Sommet de Brize Norton en janvier 2014, ou le projet de guerre de mines navales. Cela comprend un travail conjoint pour accroître notre efficience commune grâce à une plus grande interdépendance. Nous avons franchi une étape supplémentaire en ce sens en signant à Paris, en septembre dernier, un accord intergouvernemental qui permettra de créer au sein de MBDA plusieurs centres d’excellence en France et au Royaume-Uni consacrés aux systèmes communs missiliers.

 

Dans le secteur nucléaire qui, plus que tout autre domaine, reflète la profondeur de nos liens et de notre confiance mutuelle, nous avons développé des outils communs afin d’assurer la sûreté et la fiabilité des armes qui représentent l’ultima ratio pour protéger nos intérêts vitaux. Cela inclut la construction d’une installation conjointe radiographique et hydrodynamique à Valduc en Bourgogne où les équipements britanniques seront inaugurés en 2016.

 

Ces succès nous encouragent à approfondir, élargir et pérenniser notre coopération dans le cadre des accords de Lancaster House. Demain marquera notre neuvième rencontre de l’année, preuve de notre engagement sans précédent au niveau ministériel. Nos équipes travaillent désormais sur un très large spectre, allant de l’analyse stratégique à la sécurité du continent africain et la réforme de l’OTAN, en passant par la lutte contre la prolifération et la politique nucléaire. Il y a seulement quelques semaines, nous avons lancé ensemble la première conférence sur la cyber-défense à Paris. A la suite des attaques contre Charlie Hebdo, nous travaillons ensemble à la manière dont les armées peuvent contribuer à la sécurité intérieure. Nous sommes déterminés à entretenir cette dynamique positive en 2016 et au-delà.

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3 novembre 2015 2 03 /11 /novembre /2015 14:50
Defence Secretary Michael Fallon and French Minister for Defence Monsieur Le Drian. photo UK MoD

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon and French Minister for Defence Monsieur Le Drian. photo UK MoD

 

3 November 2015 Ministry of Defence and The Rt Hon Michael Fallon MP

 

On the fifth anniversary of the Lancaster House Agreement, Defence Secretary Michael Fallon and French Minister for Defence Monsieur Le Drian reaffirm the defence relationship between their countries.

 

Five years ago, on the 2nd of November 2010, our two countries signed two treaties at Lancaster House: on defence and security, and on nuclear cooperation. This was a historic commitment to build a long term partnership in defence and security, reflecting our common history, interests, values and responsibilities, and understanding of the threats we face, and an unprecedented token of our mutual confidence. Tomorrow we meet there again to mark that commitment and continue tackling together our shared security challenges.

 

UK-French defence cooperation is nothing new. For more than a century our Armed Forces have fought side by side. In 2016, we will commemorate the courage and sacrifice of all those who, one hundred years ago served alongside each other in defence of our countries during the Battle of the Somme. World War I claimed more than two million lives in our two countries alone. Since 1945 our two countries have dedicated a substantial proportion of our national wealth to defence, reflecting our responsibilities as permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, willing and able to deploy and sustain armed forces around the world. Since October 1995, as President Jacques Chirac and Prime Minister John Major set out in their Declaration when they met at Chequers, we have recognised the significant convergence of our vital interests. Together, both our defence budgets put together represent almost half of total defence expenditure of the EU Member States, and an even larger proportion of European defence research and development.

 

We have achieved a great deal in the last five years. We have shown that France and the United Kingdom have powerful military capabilities and the political will to use them on the whole spectrum of crisis management missions. Our Armed Forces operated together against the Taliban in Afghanistan and off the Horn of Africa; they remain engaged side-by-side against ISIL, in the Mediterranean and in the EU training and advisory mission in Mali. Together, we are engaged in air-policing duties within NATO. The UK has provided strategic air transport and surveillance support to French operations in Mali and the Central African Republic. France supported the UK Tornado deployment to help the Nigerian Government in its fight against Boko Haram. French Atlantique Maritime Patrol Aircraft have operated from RAF Lossiemouth in Scotland.

 

And since 2010, we have been working steadily to deepen and embed our capacity to deploy and operate jointly at short notice a Combined Joint Expeditionary Force (CJEF) up to 10,000 strong. We expect this to be fully validated next spring, on schedule, in Exercise GRIFFIN STRIKE. And we now have about 50 officers within each other’s Armed Forces. French officers have deployed on UK operations and UK officers on French operations.

 

Our equipment and industrial cooperation has also grown steadily stronger over the last five years, focused on key domains such as our long-standing cooperation on advanced missiles, the Future Combat Air System project launched at the Brize Norton Summit in January 2014, and naval mine warfare. It includes working together to deliver shared efficiencies through greater mutual dependence. Now we are taking this one step further with the signing of an agreement to create within MBDA a number of Centres of Excellence in France and the UK dedicated to common missile systems.

 

In the nuclear field, which more than any other domain reflects the closeness of our bonds and of our mutual confidence, we have developed common tools and facilities to ensure the safety and reliability of the weapons that represent a last resort defence of our vital interests. This includes construction of the joint radiographic and hydrodynamics facility at Valduc in Burgundy, where the British installations will be inaugurated in 2016.

 

These successes encourage us further to deepen, broaden and sustain our cooperation under the Lancaster House agreements. Tomorrow is our ninth meeting in the last year, an unprecedented drumbeat of Ministerial engagement. Defence and security policy teams now engage on a range of issues from strategic and intelligence analysis, non-proliferation and nuclear policy to African security and NATO reform. Only a few weeks ago we jointly opened the first defence cyber conference in Paris. Since the Charlie Hebdo attacks we have been working together over the issue of military contribution to domestic security. We are committed to maintaining this momentum in 2016 and beyond.

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30 octobre 2015 5 30 /10 /octobre /2015 08:50
Defence Secretary Michael Fallon visits home of the Joint Forces Intelligence Group

 

29 October 2015 Ministry of Defence and The Rt Hon Michael Fallon MP

 

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon today visited RAF Wyton, home to the Joint Forces Intelligence Group, which is part of Defence Intelligence.

 

The Defence Secretary met some of the 1,000 individuals who work at RAF Wyton, where intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance from across Defence and a wide range of public sources is coordinated and analysed. The work carried out by these individuals towards the identification of current and emerging threats is crucial in enabling Government to develop the appropriate responses to protect the UK and its allies.

Defence Intelligence, which operates from a number of sites around the UK, is also tasked to tackle the online threats that the UK faces. These threats can be found in cyberspace and on social media, and this visit follows last month’s Cyber Symposium in Paris where Defence Secretary Michael Fallon stressed that the dangers of activity occurring in cyberspace are only likely to grow, citing the Russian use of cyber in order to gain military advantage and Isil’s efforts to radicalise individuals and spread misinformation.

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said:

There is no escaping the fact that the scale, diversity and complexity of the challenges all nations, governments and industries face with Cyber is getting bigger.

As I have said before, much of the 2010 SDSR analysis holds good. We were right to identify cyber as key areas for investment.

Next month’s SDSR will review where Cyber sits in the overall prioritisation of security threats and responses. However we are clear that we must continue to invest in our cyber defence capabilities.

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27 octobre 2015 2 27 /10 /octobre /2015 17:35
Training at the ANAOA - photo UK MoD

Training at the ANAOA - photo UK MoD

 

27 October 2015 Ministry of Defence and The Rt Hon Michael Fallon MP

 

The Defence Secretary has announced that the UK will maintain its military presence in Afghanistan, underlining its support to the country.

 

Michael Fallon informed parliament today (27 October) that the UK will uphold its current military commitment of around 450 British troops in Afghanistan throughout 2016, which also emphasises UK support for the NATO’s Resolute Support Mission.

The decision follows a planned review of the UK’s commitment in light of the performance of the Afghan National Defence and Security Forces (ANDSF) over the year and the overall security situation.

Non-combat roles being carried out by UK Armed Forces personnel include mentoring instructors in the Afghan National Army Officer Academy (ANAOA), advising in the Afghan Security Ministries and providing vital support to NATO’s mission in Kabul, including leading the Kabul Security Force.

The pledge to maintain UK military support in Afghanistan follows the announcement by President Obama that the US will also uphold its military presence throughout 2016. The UK will work with the US and other NATO Allies and partners to ensure that the delivery of invaluable support to the ANDSF continues.

The terrorist threat to the UK from this region has reduced, and although the UK’s combat mission has ended, we continue to support the Afghanistan government to build a peaceful, secure and prosperous future for the country.

The UK has a long-term commitment to Afghanistan, including financial aid and political support, which was reaffirmed by Prime Minister David Cameron during a phone call to the Afghan president on 26 October.

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said:

The Afghan National Defence and Security Forces have shown dedication and professionalism in response to the challenges they have faced, since taking leadership of the country’s security.

Maintaining our military presence will provide crucial assistance to them as they continue to grow stronger.

It underlines our resolve to help build a safe and prosperous Afghanistan.

The Written Ministerial Statement is here

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8 octobre 2015 4 08 /10 /octobre /2015 16:50
Defence Secretary Michael Fallon, left, attends the NATO Defence Ministerial in Brussels. Picture: NATO

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon, left, attends the NATO Defence Ministerial in Brussels. Picture: NATO

 

8 October 2015 Ministry of Defence and The Rt Hon Michael Fallon MP

 

Michael Fallon has announced persistent UK troop deployments to the Baltic states and increased training for the Ukraine Armed Forces.

 

Speaking at the NATO Defence Ministerial in Brussels today (8 October), Defence Secretary Michael Fallon announced that company sized units will now be deployed to the Baltics and Poland on a regular basis to provide reassurance and training support. The deployed units will build on existing deployments wherever possible.

The move, which will form part of the US-German Transatlantic Capability Enhancement and Training (TACET) initiative, builds on Britain’s contribution to policing Baltic air space. RAF Typhoons have been deployed to the region each year since May 2014 and will return in 2016.

This contribution will benefit the UK in several ways, including building the capacity and capability of our regional allies, enhancing interoperability with our armed forces, maintaining the UK’s regional leadership, reaffirming the UK’s commitment to NATO and collective security, and offering training opportunities and regional knowledge.

The initiative also gives the UK the opportunity to coordinate its deployments with the US and Germany, which demonstrates a clear UK commitment to enhance our bilateral relationships with Germany, and sustains our relationship with the US.

One of the aims of TACET is to coordinate military training and exercises in the Baltic States and Poland, to provide reassurance and develop capability and resilience.

Mr Fallon has also announced an uplift to the number of UK training personnel based in Ukraine and an increase in the capacity to deliver training by a third.

The UK has already stepped up the training programme in Ukraine to include additional infantry, medical and survival skills, and increase the number of Ukrainian soldiers being trained.

We are providing non-lethal assistance that has been requested by the Ukrainian Government to enhance the capability of their armed forces to defend themselves.

19 UK teams have operated in Ukraine to train nearly 1,600 members of the UAF at eight training sites. The operation remains on course to have trained more than 2,000 UAF troops by the end of the financial year.

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said:

We are committed to supporting the sovereignty of the democratic nations of Eastern Europe. We are already deploying RAF jets to the Baltics and providing crucial training to the Ukrainian armed forces.

Now we will have a more regular drumbeat of troops deploying in the Baltics and Poland, and will step up our training effort in Ukraine.

The UK’s permanent representative to NATO, Sir Adam Thomson, said:

This meeting came at a crucial time for the Alliance. There’s an arc of instability along NATO’s periphery, with new challenges and threats.

Change is already underway in NATO to respond. The Readiness Action Plan is on track. The spearhead force is launched. All Allies are contributing to Assurance Measures - 28 for 28.

And the UK is playing a leading role - as today’s announcement clearly shows. The UK is committed to the defence of our Allies and to projecting stability in NATO’s neighbourhood.

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3 juillet 2015 5 03 /07 /juillet /2015 12:30
photo UK MoD

photo UK MoD

 

02/07/2015 lorientlejour.com (AFP)

 

Le ministre britannique de la Défense, Michael Fallon, a appelé jeudi à un consensus au sein des députés de la chambre des Communes pour autoriser des frappes aériennes contre l'organisation Etat islamique (EI) en Syrie.

 

Les députés britanniques avaient autorisé à l'automne dernier des frappes en Irak, se ralliant à la coalition internationale qui lutte contre le groupe extrémiste dans cette région, mais pas contre la Syrie. Jeudi, M. Fallon a souligné "le bien fondé" d'effectuer de frapper également dans ce dernier pays soulignant que l'EI ne connaît lui pas de frontière. Mais "le Premier ministre tient compte des réserves de certains membres de cette chambre et n'y présentera pas de motion en ce sens s'il n'y a pas de consensus", a-t-il dit.

 

En 2013, le Parlement avait infligé un camouflet à David Cameron en votant contre sa demande d'intervention en Syrie, à l'époque contre le régime du président Bachar el-Assad pour son utilisation d'armes chimiques. "Il appartient à tous les membres de cette chambre d'évaluer la meilleure manière de lutter contre l'EI, un califat diabolique qui ne respecte pas de frontières", a ajouté le ministre de la Défense.

 

Il a toutefois souligné que le gouvernement ne consulterait pas le Parlement avant de mener des frappes dans le cas où "l'intérêt national supérieur britannique serait menacé ou pour prévenir une catastrophe humanitaire". Il a aussi fait valoir que "toute action" qui pourra être prise par Londres "n'apportera aucune aide" au président syrien Bachar el-Assad ni à son régime.

 

Un éventuel vote ne devrait pas avoir lieu avant l'automne et la désignation du nouveau leader du parti travailliste le 12 septembre prochain.

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3 juin 2015 3 03 /06 /juin /2015 16:50
UK Defence Spending

 

2 June 2015 — MOD News Team


Yesterday, Defence Secretary Michael Fallon appeared on BBC Radio 4’s World at One Programme to discuss defence spending.

 

As the Secretary of State pointed out, Britain has always punched above its weight and the US has long seen us as an indispensable partner in operations right around the world. With nearly 4,000 personnel engaged in global operations, ranging from tackling Ebola in Sierra Leone, helping to deter Russian aggression in Ukraine, to fighting ISIL in the Middle East.

We have made it very clear that when the target was published last year that we met it then, and we have made it very clear that we’re going to go on meeting it in this financial year.

 

The 2015 Strategic Defence and Security Review will be driven by a hard-headed appraisal of our foreign policy and security objectives and the role we wish our country to play, as well as the risks we face in a rapidly changing world. By undertaking such a full and comprehensive look at future threats, alongside the Comprehensive Spending Review, we are able to look at the future and be sure that Armed Forces have what they need.

It is now a balanced Defence budget… It tells you that we can run a defence budget properly, and so well that you can invest for the future. We’re building two aircraft carriers, seven Hunter-Killer submarines, there are new armoured vehicles on order for the army, we’re buying the Joint Strike Fighter to go on the carriers. It is because we have sorted out the defence budget that we’re able to invest in equipment.

 

The US have always wanted European members of NATO to take a greater share of the burden, the UK is one of only four countries that does spend 2%.

 When the Defence Secretary was asked whether we should scrap Trident to make savings, he committed to renewing our continuous at sea nuclear deterrent with four submarines.

Every successive government has renewed the nuclear deterrent and that decision faces this Parliament next year when we have to replace the boats. We have to be sure that we can keep this country safe for the period right up to 2060.

 

You can listen to the full interview here (13:15).

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19 mai 2015 2 19 /05 /mai /2015 12:50
Defence Secretary Michael Fallon: My key defence priorities

Rt Hon Michael Fallon MP Secretary of State for Defence visited Army HQ in Andover  to speak to senior officers on his plans for Defence over the next five years of Conservative Government. He was met by General Sir Nick Carter, Chief of General Staff. The Secretary of State emphasised the need for the Army to remain 'ready' to deter against threats and protect the UK and our NATO allies.

 

MOD News Team, 18 May 2015 — Ministerial comment

 

It was a great honour to be asked by the Prime Minister to accept again the role of Defence Secretary. Continuity is important, but make no mistake: this is a new Government, elected with a clear mandate to implement the Conservative manifesto.

 

When the Prime Minister re-appointed me, he stressed just how important he believes our role is in Defence. We are here to deliver.

 

The incredible VE Day 70 celebrations recalled the triumph of the forces of freedom over the forces of fascism. We need no reminding that the world today remains an equally dangerous place. In the Middle East, ISIL barbarians perpetrate atrocity after atrocity while, on the fringes of Europe, an aggressive Russia agitates against the Ukraine and threatens NATO. Meanwhile, other disasters both natural and man-made continue to demand our response.

 

In just the last few weeks, our roster of activity has included:

    targeting terrorists in Iraq

    policing Baltic skies

    supplying equipment to Ukrainian forces

    taking part in the largest ever NATO anti-submarine exercise off Estonia

    assisting in the relief effort in Nepal

    and sending HMS Bulwark and three of our Merlin helicopters to the Mediterranean to alleviate the migrant crisis

 

It is critical for us to remain ready respond to concurrent crises on multiple fronts in the future. That’s why I have identified three key priorities in the coming months.

 

First, to take a leading role in the Strategic Defence and Security Review. This will enable us to establish where, when and from whom future threats may come.

 

Second, to make sure we have the right capabilities to do the job. That means getting the right mix of manpower in our Armed Forces - whether Regulars, Reserves or civilians. That means making the most of our £163bn Equipment Plan to give our Armed Forces the high-end capability they need. And it means ensuring we maintain our Continuous-At-Sea Deterrence by building the next generation of Successor submarines.

 

Lastly, my third priority is to strengthen our international partnerships. Global problems require global solutions. We need to do everything we can to work bi-laterally with our partners such as the US and France – and I will be speaking to my counterparts in those countries this week. We also need to work multilaterally, with NATO – the cornerstone of our Defence, and with our other European partners.

 

Ultimately, success in all these areas depends on the quality of our people both military and civilian. That is why I am going out and about to meet our staff up and down the country.  I’ve already spoken already to Defence colleagues in London, Andover and High Wycombe.

 

That is why we will be building on the success of our Armed Forces Covenant, ensuring Armed Forces personnel, veterans and their families continue to get the resources they need. And that is why we will be acting decisively to ensure our Armed Forces overseas are not subject to persistent human rights claims that undermine their ability to do their job.

 

So there’s an enormous amount to be getting on with. But there's a mandate behind our momentum. And make no mistake, we will inject all our energy and enthusiasm into the task. Doing everything in our power to guarantee the safety, the security and the prosperity of citizens across the United Kingdom.

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26 mars 2015 4 26 /03 /mars /2015 13:30
MOD responds to Defence Committee report on ISIL action

 

25 March 2015 Ministry of Defence

 

The Government has responded to the Defence Select Committee’s report on the UK’s activity to tackle ISIL, rejecting the suggestion that the UK’s contribution has been “modest”.

 

The UK has been and remains at the forefront of the international diplomatic and military effort to support the Iraqi Government and moderate Syrian Opposition to defeat ISIL. The Committee’s conclusions are based on out of date or inaccurate information and do not recognise the major role the UK Government has played since the beginning of operations.

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon Said:

The report recognises the UK is right to respond actively to the threat posed by ISIL but we reject the Committee’s conclusion that we are making a ‘strikingly modest’ contribution. We have played a major role in the military campaign from the start and have conducted 194 airstrikes in Iraq, second only to the US.

Throughout the campaign we have focused our military contribution where it can have the most impact – supporting Iraqi forces from the air, providing vital intelligence, surveillance and air-to-air refuelling capabilities. The RAF has contributed assets that few coalition partners can match and the US and other partners have acknowledged the impact these are having on the campaign.

The UK now has over 600 military personnel supporting operations, including over 140 in Iraq. We have trained over 1000 Iraqi ground forces and have gifted around 400 tonnes of equipment and ammunition. As a world leader in countering improvised explosive devices (C-IED) we are leading the coordination of the coalition’s C-IED training programme.

Clear strategy - In contrast with the Committee view that the UK lacks a clear strategy for the fight against ISIL the Government has been clear that the first priority is to minimise the threat to UK security and interests in the Middle East by pursuing three objectives. These include disrupting threats to the UK, working as part of an international coalition to defeat ISIL and to discredit its violent ideology and to mitigate the impact of ISIL and other violent extremist groups. The criticisms of the Service Chief’s “inability or unwillingness… to provide a clear, and articulate statement of the UK’s objectives” are unfounded and based around an outdated understanding of their role within Defence as responsibility for setting out a clear governance structure for military strategy does not lie with the Service Chiefs.

Number of airstrikes - The Committee also stated that the UK has only conducted 6% of air strikes – this is inaccurate. It is based on figures for Iraq and Syria and we only have parliamentary permission to conduct strikes over Iraq.

Number of military personnel - The Committee has also inaccurately compared the UK’s commitment with that of other countries, for example they stated that there were 400 Australian military personnel outside of Kurdish regions compared to only three UK military personnel. To date the Australians have deployed a similar number to the UK’s current deployment of around 140 military personnel.

Outside of Defence, the UK has contributed £39.5 million in humanitarian support to Iraq and the UK Government is supporting Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi’s steps towards political reconciliation and economic reform. Furthermore, the UK is taking action to counter ISIL’s finances and messaging and to restrict the flow of foreign fighters.

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25 mars 2015 3 25 /03 /mars /2015 17:50
Michael Fallon with Romanian Defence Minister Mircea Dusa

Michael Fallon with Romanian Defence Minister Mircea Dusa

 

24 March 2015 From: Ministry of Defence and The Rt Hon Michael Fallon MP

 

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon visits Romania to discuss regional defence and ongoing allegiances.


 

In the first bilateral visit to Romania by a UK Defence Secretary in over a decade, Michael Fallon has re-affirmed the UK’s relationship with the country, sending a strong message of support and maintaining Romanian backing to the UK in implementing NATO commitments.

At a time when Romania has committed to increase defence spending to 2% of GDP by 2017, the Secretary of State for Defence was keen to promote UK industry interests and position the UK as a partner of choice for future Romanian procurements.

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon, said:

Supporting and reassuring our partners on NATO’s Eastern flank is an important priority. So I’m delighted that my discussions went so well. I am particularly pleased to welcome the Romanian commitment to the NATO 2% target.

As an indication of the strength of our relationship, I am pleased to announce that a Royal Navy Type 45 Destroyer will be visiting Romania in the autumn.

The UK is seeking to help Romania modernise and reduce reliance on Russian legacy equipment through the Type 22 frigate upgrade programme which will enable the nation to further its military capability and increase its standing within NATO.

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16 mars 2015 1 16 /03 /mars /2015 17:50
Victory in Europe (VE) Day celebrations

Winston Churchill waves to crowds in Whitehall on the day he broadcast to the nation that the war with Germany had been won, 8 May 1945 (VE Day). Photo  Imperial War Museum H 41849

 

15 March 2015 from Ministry of Defence, Prime Minister's Office, 10 Downing Street, Office of the Leader of the House of Commons, The Rt Hon Michael Fallon MP, The Rt Hon William Hague MP, + others

 

A 3-day weekend of events will mark the 70th anniversary of Victory in Europe (VE) Day.

 

William Hague, Leader of the House of Commons, has today announced 3 days of commemorations to mark the 70th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day (VE Day 70) this summer.

The plans include events across the UK to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of the Second World War in Europe. Events will range from a parade, a service of thanksgiving and a star-studded concert in central London, to street parties around the UK.

Mr Hague, Leader of the House of Commons, said:

I am delighted to announce 3 days of celebrations, which will pay fitting tribute to those who did so much to defend this country and ensure victory in Europe.

It is right that we take time to reflect on the sacrifices made, not just by those in the Armed Forces, but by civilians such as Land Girls and those in Reserved Occupations and make sure that the whole country has the chance to take part in commemorating this momentous anniversary and remembering those who gave so much for our freedom.

The celebrations in London will be echoed by other events across the country to mark VE Day 70 with local authorities and communities encouraged to participate. They will celebrate with members of their communities who contributed to the war effort throughout the Second World War. The Royal British Legion, as the national custodian of Remembrance, will act as the government’s key partner in leading the nation in marking the commemoration, including hosting a major reception for 2,000 veterans in St James’s Park.

Vice Admiral Peter Wilkinson CB CVO, National President of the Royal British Legion said:

We are honoured to play our part in helping the nation mark 70 years since the end of the Second World War in Europe. The Legion has a responsibility to help the memories of those of who have fought and died in our nation’s Armed Forces live on for future generations. The commemoration of this conflict, still in living memory, gives us the opportunity to salute the Second World War generation.

We hope that all communities will use the VE Day 70 commemorations to thank them and celebrate the role they played in our nation’s history.

Eric Goldrein, 94, from Hale Village, Liverpool, served with the Royal Artillery during the Second World War and was in Italy when the news came through that the war in Europe was over.

We celebrated in a field, the Signallers set up speakers playing music and the locals came out and joined in too, happy that the war was finally over. I heard about the street parties back home and I’m looking forward to being part of these 70th Anniversary celebrations.

Friday 8 May

VE Day itself (Friday 8 May) will be a day of remembrance. A service of remembrance will be held at The Cenotaph, including a national 2 minute silence at 3pm, marking the moment Winston Churchill broadcast his historic speech formally announcing the end of the war.

The Department for Education will be encouraging schools across the country to observe the 2 minute silence and to celebrate and commemorate in their own way – for example, by reading out Churchill’s historic speech, holding special VE Day-themed assemblies or organising tea parties.

In the evening a chain of over 100 beacons will be lit across the UK. Local communities that have already made plans for the day include Great Yarmouth, Island of Unst, Craig-Y-Dorth, Monmouthshire; Stokesby, Norfolk; and Lowestoft, Suffolk.

 

Saturday 9 May

Saturday 9 May will be a day of celebration. At around 11am, cathedrals across the country, from Durham to Canterbury, will be invited to ring their bells in celebration.

Festivities will peak with a star-studded 1940s themed concert held on Horse Guards Parade on Saturday night, featuring a line-up of international recording artists, stars and celebrities. The show will be one of the highlights of the year and will be broadcast that evening on BBC One.

 

Sunday 10 May

A service of thanksgiving will be held at Westminster Abbey, attended by veterans and their families, members of the Royal Family, representatives of allied nations and Commonwealth countries who fought alongside Britain in the conflict, along with other diplomatic representatives and senior members of government and the armed forces.

Following the service, there will be a parade of current personnel and veterans, supported by bands, from the Abbey along Whitehall, past the balcony of HM Treasury where Winston Churchill made his historic appearance before crowds on VE Day. Veterans who have taken part in the service and parade will then be invited to a reception in St James’s Park hosted by The Royal British Legion.

During the afternoon there will be a flypast of current and historic aircraft from the Royal Air Force – including the Hurricane, Spitfire and Lancaster of the famous Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, which played such a famous role in the European War. The Spitfire, with its unmistakable design, won the admiration of many for its daring role in the Battle of Britain, engaging in dogfights in the sky against enemy aircraft in the defence of the nation. The Avro Lancaster is perhaps the most famous of the aircraft used by Bomber Command during the Second World War, used in many raids on enemy territory, including the famous Dambuster Raids on the Ruhr Valley.

Central London will also be transported back to the 1940s by a display of period vehicles from the 1940s in St James’s Park.

Further details on the commemorations, including event listings, are available at https://www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/ve-day-70th-anniversary. Information on how veterans will be able to join in the London celebrations, including how to get involved in the lighting of the VE Day Beacons on 8 May and participating in the parade on 10 May, will be announced shortly.

In the coming weeks, the government will also announce plans to mark the 70th anniversary of VJ Day, which will include a day of major events on 15 August 2015.

 

Notes to editors

  1. The line-up for the Horse Guards concert and details of how to get tickets will be announced in the coming weeks.
  2. The Royal British Legion was recently awarded £6 million of LIBOR funding by HM Treasury to support the work of commemorations over the next 5 years: they will use part of these funds for VE Day 70.
  3. VE Day images are available to license directly from the IWM Archive. To license images for press use, please browse the collection, take note of the reference number on the image and contact the IWM image sales team directly: Telephone: 020 7416 5215/5309 Email: imagesales@iwm.org.uk.
  4. For the latest news, follow MoD on Twitter at @DefenceHQ or search #VEDay70
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16 mars 2015 1 16 /03 /mars /2015 17:50
UK agrees closer working on NATO military exercises

 

13 March 2015 Ministry of Defence, Prime Minister's Office, 10 Downing Street, The Rt Hon David Cameron MP and The Rt Hon Michael Fallon MP

 

The Prime Minister has announced greater collaboration with NATO on its military training exercises to tackle new threats faced by the Alliance.

 

The agreement comes as the Prime Minister met with the new NATO Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg, at Downing Street ahead of the Afghanistan Service of Commemoration.

From next month, the UK’s flagship series of military exercises – Joint Warrior – will officially become part of NATO’s exercise programme and will see up to 12,000 personnel from more than a dozen NATO nations and close partners taking part.

This will be one of the largest air, land and sea training exercises run in Europe and will feature more than 58 warships and submarines, over 50 fixed wing aircraft and nearly 3,000 land forces from the participating nations.

Joint Warrior will prepare personnel for NATO’s next exercise – Trident Juncture – which will take place in the Iberian Peninsula between September and November this year and will be the largest live NATO exercise for over a decade.

The UK’s contribution to this exercise will include an Army Brigade Headquarters and Battlegroup, a Naval Task Force including helicopter carrier, assault ship, a frigate and Mine Counter Measure Vessel and RAF Typhoon fighter aircraft.

Prime Minister, David Cameron, said:

These exercises showcase the breadth of the UK’s military capability and demonstrate the strength of the NATO Alliance.

We will continue to play a leading role in NATO and, by working together with our Allies, we send a clear message to those who threaten us – that the UK and NATO have the military capabilities, resolve and ability to support our Eastern Allies and defend our own waters and airspace.

In preparation for NATO’s HQ Allied Rapid Reaction Corps – based in Gloucestershire – becoming the standby Joint Task Force Headquarters in 2015-16, NATO will run a training exercise involving around 850 UK troops.

Exercise Arrcade Fusion will take place in the Baltic States towards the end of the year and will contribute to the development of NATO’s Very High Readiness Joint Taskforce, which the UK will be the lead nation on once it is established in 2017.

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said:

Exercise Joint Warrior provides realistic training platforms for our armed forces, testing the vast capabilities of the three services while working very closely alongside our Allies. Making it part of the NATO programme will act as a timely reminder to the world of just how proud and powerful the Alliance is.

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16 mars 2015 1 16 /03 /mars /2015 17:50
Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg meets with UK Defence Secretary Michael Fallon - photo NATO

Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg meets with UK Defence Secretary Michael Fallon - photo NATO

 

13 March 2015 Ministry of Defence and The Rt Hon Michael Fallon MP

 

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon has today met with the NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg to discuss the UK’s leading role in the alliance.

 

Building on meetings held in the margins of the Munich Security Conference last month, Mr Fallon used the talks to reaffirm the UK’s commitment to NATO as demonstrated by the leading role Britain will play in NATO’s Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF).

The meeting focused on this significant contribution and included discussions on ways to ensure the quick deployment of the Task Force whenever and where ever necessary.

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said:

The UK’s commitment to NATO remains as strong as ever. Our discussions built significantly on the considerable progress made since Newport. In particular, we agreed on the importance of Member States contributing to the high readiness task force and deploying as part of the Baltic Air Policing Mission. The UK is playing a key role in these areas, and we will continue to work with our closest allies to overcome the threats to security which we collectively face.

The UK is at the forefront of VJTF development, and at last September’s NATO summit in Wales the Prime Minister said the UK would commit 1,000 personnel to the task force on a rotational basis, a pledge reaffirmed by Mr. Fallon earlier this year.

Building on his recent trip to Washington and meetings with US Defence Secretary Ashton Carter, the discussions looked at further cooperation with NATO Allies on countering propaganda and misinformation with the Defence Secretary exploring the potential to share intelligence more rapidly with Allies.

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12 mars 2015 4 12 /03 /mars /2015 08:20
UK Defence Secretary first to visit US counterpart

Secretary of Defense Ash Carter and U.K. Defense Secretary Michael C. Fallon walk through an honor cordon at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. March 11, 2015.- (DoD News photo by EJ Hersom)

 

11 March 2015 Ministry of Defence and The Rt Hon Michael Fallon MP

 

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon has become the first defence minister to be hosted by his US opposite number since Defense Secretary Ash Carter was sworn in.

 

Mr Fallon today re-affirmed the UK’s resolve to provide help to Ukraine and reassurance to NATO Allies in the face of Russian aggression and to support the international coalition in combating ISIL. Mr Fallon also emphasised the UK’s commitment to investing in Defence during his visit, announcing over a quarter of a billion pounds of funding to the UK’s submarine industry.

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said:

The US-UK defence partnership is the broadest, deepest and most advanced in the world. As close allies in NATO, permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, and leading nuclear powers, our partnership has repeatedly proved vital to international peace and security, and will continue to do so far into the future.

For the UK’s part, the close co-operation between our two countries makes clear our commitment to facing up to present-day challenges, including the threat to Ukraine’s sovereignty and independence from Russia’s aggression.

Our deployment of training teams, gifting of non-lethal equipment and our regular participation in reassurance exercises in Eastern Europe demonstrates the strength of that commitment.

Mr Fallon also took the opportunity to reaffirm the UK’s resolve to support the international effort in combating ISIL; having conducted 176 airstrikes in Iraq to date, the UK is the second biggest contributor to the coalition airstrikes after the USA.

In Iraq the UK has provided over 50 tonnes of non lethal support, 40 heavy machine guns and nearly half a million rounds of ammunition to the Iraqi ground forces. British forces have trained 144 Peshmerga fighters on the gifted heavy machine guns and have successfully implemented a training course for Peshmerga fighters on combat infantry skills, including sharp-shooting and first aid.

More recently, the UK has gifted 1,000 surplus counter-IED VALLON detectors to Iraqi Security Forces (incl Kurdish Fighters); and delivered over 300 tonnes of weapons and ammunition on behalf of other coalition nations. The UK also announced it will be sending additional trainers to support Iraqi Security Forces to take on ISIL. 20 trainers will depart later this month to help tackle the growing threat of improvised explosive devices being used by ISIL.

The UK, like the US, has been committed to continuous at-sea deterrence for more than 45 years in order to protect its citizens, and Mr Fallon also spoke about the £285 million pound investment to continue design work for the Royal Navy’s next generation of nuclear deterrent submarines.

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7 mars 2015 6 07 /03 /mars /2015 23:50
Defence Secretary announces further UK support to Ukrainian Armed Forces

 

6 March 2015 Ministry of Defence and The Rt Hon Michael Fallon MP

 

The Defence Secretary has today confirmed that the UK will provide a new package of non-lethal equipment to the Ukrainian armed forces.

 

Five high-priority items will be gifted that will provide immediate benefit and help save lives.

The items to be gifted are:

  • 2,000 Mark 6 helmets
  • 150 helmet-mounted monocular night vision goggles (MNVGs)
  • 200 global positioning units (GPS)
  • 220 hardened laptops
  • 1,000 first aid kits

The total value of this package is approximately £850,000, including transportation and contingency costs.

The package has been provided in response to requests from the Ukrainian Government. It is due to be delivered to Ukrainian Armed Forces over the coming weeks and is designed to increase Ukraine’s defensive capacity and awareness of tactical situations on the ground.

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said:

The UK is committed to supporting Ukraine’s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity in the face of Russia’s aggression.

This gift of non-lethal equipment is designed to prevent further Ukrainian fatalities and casualties and to help improve situational awareness on the ground. Our overall aim is to strengthen the defensive capability of the Ukrainian armed forces and build the resilience that they need.

The package is being provided alongside other short term training activities, which were announced by the Prime Minister last week. These will be delivered by UK military personnel to the Ukrainians in-country.

This support is in addition to ongoing Defence engagement activities with Ukraine. They include support on crisis management, anti-corruption, Defence reform and strategic communications. The MOD will also be delivering procurement training in the coming weeks. Over the last year the UK has provided personal protective equipment, winter fuel, medical kits, winter clothing and sleeping bags to the Ukrainian Armed Forces. This prior support totals more than £1.2 million and is separate to today’s announcement.

UK policy since the start of the crisis has been to provide non-lethal assistance to Ukrainian armed forces, in line with HMG’s assessment that there must be a political solution to this crisis. The MOD will continue to focus on support and assistance that will reduce fatalities and casualties amongst members of the Ukrainian armed forces, whilst building their capacity and resilience.

The MOD is also working closely with key allies through the US / Canada / Ukraine Joint Commission for Cooperation and Defence Reform.

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3 mars 2015 2 03 /03 /mars /2015 12:30
Defence Secretary pledges to train Syrian Moderate Opposition

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon meets US Commander of the Combined Joint Task Force Lt General James Terry - photo UK Gov

 

2 March 2015 Ministry of Defence and The Rt Hon Michael Fallon MP

 

In Kuwait today, the Defence Secretary met the senior military figures overseeing the international coalition’s response to the ISIL threat.

 

Michael Fallon met with the US Commander of the Combined Joint Task Force Lt General James Terry and the UK Deputy Commander Major General Bob Bruce at Camp ‘Arifjan, the Headquarters for anti-ISIL operations.

During talks, Mr Fallon received an update on operational activity against ISIL. He emphasised the UK’s position that ISIL must be defeated in both Iraq and Syria and reaffirmed the UK’s intention to contribute to a US-led programme to train the Syrian Moderate Opposition at training sites across the Middle East.

Mr Fallon also discussed the UK’s significant contribution to the international coalition’s air campaign and the training and assistance provided to the Iraqi military.

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said:

I came here to review progress in the campaign to defeat ISIL with Lt General Terry and Major General Bruce and to consider what more we can do counter its violent ideology.

This is a fight that ultimately can only be won on the ground and we are making a major contribution to assist Iraqi forces. Our aircraft have conducted around 160 strikes and provided vital refuelling capability; and the recently deployed E3-D aircraft will boost the coalition’s command and control and surveillance capabilities.

But ISIL must be defeated in both Iraq and Syria. Our actions and surveillance capabilities are freeing up other countries to strike in Syria. I reiterated today that Britain intends to contribute to the coalition’s training of moderate Syrian opposition.

Mr Fallon travelled to Kuwait as part of a wider Gulf visit as UK air activity over Iraq increased significantly recently, with RAF Tornados attacking a number of ISIL positions threatening Iraqi ground operations over the weekend. The trip will focus on how countries in the region can continue to tackle extremist groups. He met with the Kuwaiti Prime Minister His Highness Sheikh Jaber Al Mubarak Al Hamad Al Sabah and Defence Minister Sheikh Khaled al-Jarrah al-Sabah to welcome Kuwait’s contribution to anti-ISIL efforts and to reiterate the strength and importance of relations between the two countries.

En route to Kuwait, Michael Fallon also met with His Majesty King Abdullah II and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mashal M. Al-Zaben in Jordan to reinforce the UK’s commitment to the Jordanian Armed Forces and to explore the country’s vision for countering the treat of ISIL to the region.

  • For regular RAF airstrike updates visit please click here

  • For further information on the UK Government’s response to the threat of ISIL, including updates on the Coalition airstrikes please click here

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3 mars 2015 2 03 /03 /mars /2015 12:30
Defence Secretary thanks UK military personnel tackling ISIL

Michael Fallon speaks to UK military personnel during a trip to RAF Akrotiri [Picture: Corporal Lee Goddard RAF, Crown copyright]

 

1 March 2015 Ministry of Defence and The Rt Hon Michael Fallon MP

 

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon today thanked UK personnel directly involved in the fight against ISIL during a trip to RAF Akrotiri.

 

During his second visit to Cyprus, Mr Fallon met RAF personnel from 903 Expeditionary Air Wing who are providing the UK’s contribution to coalition air operations against ISIL.

He discussed the campaign and spoke to the pilots who are flying twice daily missions as the UK continues to make the second largest contribution to coalition airstrikes in support of Iraqi forces.

The Defence Secretary also met troops from 2nd Battalion, Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment, and received a briefing on the key role they are playing in the training programme to build the capacity of the Iraqi Security Forces.

So far over 1000 Kurdish Peshmerga have completed training and the UK will lead the Coalition’s counter-IED training programme which is due to start this month.

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said:

I am proud of the work the 400 personnel based here are doing to help the Iraqi Government to defend their country against the ISIL ‘cancer’.

While this fight will take time, the coalition’s airstrikes are having a direct effect in supporting Iraqi ground operations against ISIL.

In the North, areas around Mount Sinjar have been retaken, bringing relief to the local Yazidi population and applying pressure to ISIL forces in Mosul. In the South, Iraqi forces operations are beginning to push back ISIL.

Britain’s contribution is playing to our strengths. By leading the counter-IED training this month our troops will be using their expertise to give Iraqi forces a vital capability in taking the fight to ISIL.

The RAF base has been home to extensive air capabilities since coalition air operations began last year.

These include:

  • Tornado GR4s which have conducted 90 strikes (as of 2nd March 2015)
  • Reaper Remotely Piloted Aircraft which have conducted 70 strikes (as of 2nd March 2015)
  • Voyager which has played a crucial role in refuelling UK and coalition aircraft
  • C130 transport aircraft which have delivered both humanitarian aid and military support
  • and finally the recently deployed E3-D Sentry which has enhanced the coalition’s airborne control and surveillance capability.
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27 février 2015 5 27 /02 /février /2015 15:50
Jorge Domecq in the UK for cooperation talks

 

London - 25 February, 2015 European Defence Agency

 

EDA Chief Executive Jorge Domecq visited the United Kingdom on 24 February 2015 to exchange views on the upcoming European Council in June.

 

The visit allowed Jorge Domecq to meet with Julian Brazier, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State and Minister for Reserves, as well as senior Ministry of Defence and Foreign and Commonwealth Office officials ahead of the June 2015 European Council where Heads of State and Government will again put the spotlight on defence, eighteen months after the December 2013 Council.

Mr. Domecq also accompanied High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs & Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission Federica Mogherini for a meeting with Secretary of State for Defence Michael Fallon.

 

A lean Agency

“I want to stress that we are a lean organisation whose mission is to support Member States’ efforts to improve capabilities in a pragmatic and flexible manner”, the EDA Chief Executive said during his visit. “Therefore we need to exploit all available instruments and synergies with partners such as NATO, OCCAR or the European Commission”, he underlined.

 

More information

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24 février 2015 2 24 /02 /février /2015 12:40
Medical training - photo UK MoD

Medical training - photo UK MoD

 

24 February 2015 Ministry of Defence and The Rt Hon Michael Fallon MP

 

The Prime Minister has announced today that the UK will provide further non-lethal support to Ukraine by sending advisory and short-term training teams to build the capacity and resilience of its Armed Forces.

 

As part of wider efforts to support Ukraine and ensure a robust international response to Russia’s aggression, the teams will provide medical, logistics, infantry and intelligence capacity building training from mid March.

The UK Service Personnel will be based in Ukraine delivering support and training to their counterparts. The majority of this advisory and training support will take place in Ukraine, well away from the areas affected by the conflict in the East of the country.

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said:

In light of continued Russian-backed aggression, the UK is committed to providing additional non-lethal support to Ukraine to help them deal with the pressures they are facing.

Today’s announcement builds upon the work that we have already undertaken through NATO and bilaterally. This will help the Ukrainian Armed Forces develop and maintain the capacity and resilience that they need.

 

Medical Short Term Training Team

We will be providing combat life support training. It is envisaged that this will include a ‘train the trainer’ package so that Ukrainian personnel can develop the capability to train their own personnel in due course. We will be using individual first aid kits to support this training and, in due course, will seek to gift further kits to help support the ongoing Ukrainian capacity building effort.

 

Logistics Short Term Training Team

The team will help the Ukrainian Armed Forces understand the deficiencies within their logistics distribution system and then help to provide training and support to improve their practices and processes.

 

Infantry Short Term Training Team

A small team will travel out to identify what training requirements the Ukrainian Armed Forces need.

 

Intelligence Capacity Building Short Term Training Team

The aim is to provide tactical level analysis training, which would help individuals to analyse information and from this disseminate intelligence to allow them better to understand their environment.

This support is in addition to ongoing defence engagement activities with Ukraine which include support on crisis management, anti-corruption, defence reform and strategic communications, and we will also be delivering procurement training in the coming weeks. Over the last year the UK has also provided personal protective equipment, winter fuel, medical kits, winter clothing and sleeping bags to the Ukrainian Armed Forces: this support totals over £1.2 million.

Our policy since the start of the crisis has been to provide non-lethal assistance to Ukrainian armed forces, in line with our assessment that there must be a political solution to this crisis.

We will continue to focus on support and assistance that will reduce fatalities and casualties amongst members of the Ukrainian Armed Forces and build their capacity and resilience.

We are also working closely with key allies through the Ukraine/ US Joint Commission for Bilateral Cooperation and Defence Reform.

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20 janvier 2015 2 20 /01 /janvier /2015 11:50
UK and Ireland sign historic defence agreement

Michael Fallon and Simon Coveney signing a Memorandum of Understanding – photo UK MoD

 

19 January 2015 Ministry of Defence and The Rt Hon Michael Fallon MP

 

A Memorandum of Understanding between the UK and the Republic of Ireland has been signed to ensure greater defence collaboration in the future.

 

UK Defence Secretary, Michael Fallon, and his Irish counterpart, Simon Coveney, today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the UK and the Republic of Ireland to ensure greater defence collaboration in the future.

The visit marked a historic moment for both countries, with Defence Secretary, Michael Fallon, being the first UK Defence Minister ever to make an official visit to Ireland.

The signing of the MoU represents a major step forward in the process of formalising the already broad and strong relationship the UK and Ireland have, recognising the 2 countries’ shared interests, values and responsibilities.

The MoU will provide both the UK and Ireland with a means for developing and furthering their already excellent defence and security relations and will help to enhance cooperation in exercises, training as well as peacekeeping and crisis management operations.

Examples of the UK and Irish Armed Forces already working together include during peacekeeping missions in Mali during 2013, and more recently, alongside each other in Sierra Leone, where the UK is leading international efforts to halt the spread of the Ebola Virus.

Defence Secretary, Michael Fallon, said:

I welcome today’s opportunity to sign the Memorandum of Understanding with Ireland.
It very much reaffirms our resolve to build on and strengthen the existing strong links between the Armed Forces of Ireland and the UK.
Looking to the future, this agreement will importantly help us both to improve our defence and security cooperation, including conflict prevention and crisis management.

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13 décembre 2014 6 13 /12 /décembre /2014 12:50
Dr Ursula von der Leyen inspects the Guard of Honour - Picture Harland Quarrington UK MoD

Dr Ursula von der Leyen inspects the Guard of Honour - Picture Harland Quarrington UK MoD

 

11 December 2014 Ministry of Defence and The Rt Hon Michael Fallon MP

 

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon has met with his German counterpart Dr Ursula von der Leyen to discuss shared European security challenges.

 

Their talks focused on how to best implement the measures agreed at the 2014 NATO Summit in Wales, the situation in Ukraine, the future of Afghanistan and the threat posed by ISIL.

Before the talks Dr von der Leyen inspected a Guard of Honour on Horse Guards Parade.

Mr Fallon met Dr von der Leyen in August in Berlin shortly after he was appointed Defence Secretary and again during the NATO Summit in Newport in September.

The UK and Germany have a longstanding and close defence relationship, working closely together within NATO.

The Ministers agreed that the UK and Germany should continue to develop and deepen their defence cooperation.

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said:

In this 100th anniversary of the Great War it is important to recognise the strong co-operation between us as partners in pursuit of peace.

Whether contributing to security operations in Afghanistan or the international response to the ISIL threat, Britain and Germany enjoy a successful and enduring defence relationship.

It is vital that like-minded countries such as ours address the varied common security challenges that we face.

Meeting with Dr von der Leyen has enabled us to affirm our mutual commitment to meeting these challenges.

German Defence Minister Dr Ursula von der Leyen said:

For decades, the presence of British Forces in Germany has been a sign of our joint successful efforts to promote peace and freedom in Europe.

During those years, numerous ties of friendship have developed. Subsequently today we stand united to face the various global challenges and dangers to stability, peace and humanity.

Today’s visit underlines our cohesion and serves the purpose of close information exchange on recent developments to continuously advance our longstanding and pragmatic cooperation.

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4 décembre 2014 4 04 /12 /décembre /2014 13:50
Defence Secretary gets update on aircraft carrier project

 

1 December 2014 Ministry of Defence, Defence Equipment and Support and The Rt Hon Michael Fallon MP

 

Michael Fallon visited Scotland to see the progress being made in building the UK's Queen Elizabeth Class (QEC) aircraft carriers.

 

While visiting the Aircraft Carrier Alliance, in Rosyth, Mr Fallon met with the project team to discuss the build progress of the second carrier, HMS Prince of Wales.

HMS Queen Elizabeth, which was formally named by Her Majesty the Queen in July this year, is currently being fitted out in Rosyth dockyard before arriving in Portsmouth.

Assembly of HMS Prince of Wales is also well underway. Speaking from the flight deck of HMS Queen Elizabeth, Mr Fallon said:

I came here to see for myself that the project is on track and on time to give Britain carrier strike capability, with HMS Queen Elizabeth operating with new F-35 planes by 2020.

These carriers will spearhead Britain’s sea power for the next 50 years, keeping the nation safe at home and protecting our interests abroad.

These magnificent ships are testament to the skill of the British shipbuilding industry and have created jobs not only in Rosyth and Scotland but across the UK. Our investment demonstrates the Government’s commitment that UK warships are only built in UK shipyards.

Work on the QEC carriers has created or sustained around 8,000 highly skilled jobs.

In Scotland alone, the QEC work has helped to directly support some 4,000 jobs and hundreds of apprentices at the Rosyth and Clyde shipyards.

With the MOD having invested some £2.66 billion in the programme at these shipyards so far – it is clear that Defence is making an unequivocal and continuing commitment to Scottish industry.

Ian Booth, Managing Director of the Aircraft Carrier Alliance, said:

We’re incredibly proud to be delivering the nation’s flagships and delighted to have the opportunity to show the Defence Secretary the progress we’re making on both ships following the naming ceremony in July.

HMS Queen Elizabeth has now reached an important engineering milestone which allows us to bring all her systems to life and HMS Prince of Wales, which only started assembly in September here in Rosyth, is now more than 40% complete.

HMS Queen Elizabeth will be handed over to the Royal Navy in 2017 and are expected to enter service by 2020.

With an expected service life of up to 50 years, the QEC carriers will be highly versatile and powerful joint Defence assets, able to meet the widest range of tasks around the world.

They are the largest, most capable and effective surface warships ever constructed in the UK.

The Defence Secretary also reiterated that there has been no change in the delivery programme for the F-35B strike aircraft which will fly from the carriers.

The phased approach to ordering F35 is working, with the first batch on track to enter initial maritime operating capability alongside HMS Queen Elizabeth in December 2020 as planned.

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