Summarising the military news of the past week.
- A decorated British Army Officer who has been cleared seven times over the death of an Iraqi teenager 15 years ago has learned he is set to be investigated again.
- Events took place across the country this week to mark the RAF’s centenary.
Britain opens first naval overseas base in 50 years in sign of ‘global reach’.
Britain Opens First Naval Overseas Base In 50 Years
Britain’s ability to maintain a global military presence post-Brexit has been greatly enhanced by the opening of the Royal Navy’s new permanent base in the Gulf, according to one of Britain’s most senior officers.
And, at a time when Iran is continuing to pose a serious threat to the security of the oil-rich Gulf region, the Navy’s new HMS Juffair base at the Bahraini port of Mina Salman will enable Britain to play its part in keeping the region’s vital sea-lanes open.
Submariners Assemble At Anniversary Dinner
Members from the Submarine Service gathered at HM Naval Base Clyde to help celebrate the 117th birthday of the Royal Navy Submarine Service.
Founded in 1901, the Royal Navy Submarine Service began with five vessels ordered from Vickers Shipbuilding and Engineering in Barrow-in-Furness. The first British submarine, Holland 1, was launched in 1902.
Iraq Fatalities Investigations Reopen
A decorated British Army Officer who has been cleared seven times over the death of an Iraqi teenager 15 years ago has learned he is set to be investigated again, leaving him “broken” the express reported.
Major Robert Campbell who is disabled from an injury suffered in active service, was first cleared of manslaughter 12 years ago but will now be the subject of an eighth investigation according to The Telegraph.
Conservative MP Johnny Mercer has called for the latest investigation to be stopped immediately.
Major Campbell, who served in the Royal Engineers, said: “This sordid process has broken me.”
“It has been 15 years and there have been no fewer than seven investigations and inquiries. No other army in the world that I know of treats its soldiers as political fodder like this.”
Lance Corporal George Partridge
The Independent reported on the death of Lance Corporal George Partridge who died in a tragic diving incident last week at the National Dive Activity Centre, Chepstow.
Armed Forces Minister Mark Lancaster said:
It is with great sadness we must confirm the death of Lance Corporal George Partridge. It’s clear from the testaments of his colleagues that he had a bright future in the Army and was held in the highest regard. Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this extremely difficult time.
You can read LCpl Partridge’s eulogy here.
Royal Air Force
Events took place across the country this week to mark the RAF’s centenary. Born out of a merger between the Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Naval Air Service seven months before the end of the First World War, the RAF was immediately at the forefront of Great Britain’s war effort. It also became, by necessity, a furnace of innovation, as both sides in that grim conflict sought out advances that would lead to air supremacy.
The Queen sent her heartfelt congratulations to the RAF on its centenary yesterday. She wrote:
“The anniversary of the world’s first independent air force is of great significance and it is fitting to pay tribute to the tenacity, skill and sacrifice of the men and women who have served within its ranks over the last century and who have defended our freedom gallantly.”
On the 1st of April 1918 the Royal Air Force was formed. 100 years to the day we celebrate the anniversary by parading 100 drillsman of the Queen’s Colour Squadron at RAF Northolt. #RAF100 pic.twitter.com/YaHLoKu5CY
— Queen's Colour Sqn (@qcsofficial) April 1, 2018
Armed Forces War On Plastic Waste
The Daily Mail reports that troops have been ordered to cut down their use of plastic at British bases, as Ministers have launched a review to help ‘combat the tide of litter’ polluting oceans and the countryside.
An MOD spokesperson said:
Like all departments we’re working to reduce and, where possible, eliminate the use of single use plastics. We are currently undertaking a review of what plastics the MOD and the Armed Forces use and are working closely with industry and DEFRA to drive this initiative forward.
A DEFENCE minister has admitted the MoD should not have raided millions from a pot for forces charities to do up troops’ bases.
Ministers allowed officials to repeatedly dip into the Libor fund to improve military units’ dilapidated welfare facilities.
An MOD spokesperson said:
“LIBOR money is not used to fund our core responsibilities.”
“The use of LIBOR fines to fund facilities and projects which support good causes and make a real difference to the Armed Forces community is entirely consistent with the fund’s scope.
We of course fund all core welfare provision, however this does not disqualify the use of LIBOR funding for additional facilities and projects.”