Oct 09. The British Limbless Ex-Service Men’s Association (BLESMA) is excited to announce the release of Afghanistan : A Tour of Duty on the 29 October by Third Millennium Publishing. This is the very first book of its kind, which reveals a remarkable photographic portrait of the Afghanistan campaign, taken by a former Grenadier Guards officer operating from the front line in the Helmand province. All profits from the book will be donated by Third Millennium to BLESMA, which will go towards helping those who have lost limbs, use of limbs, eye(s) or sight through combat. During his six month tour of duty in 2007 Captain Alexander Allan Rtd, 28, captured a number of unforgettable images of ordinary British soldiers sweltering in the heat, liaising with the locals, training the Afghan Army, fighting off Taliban attacks and assisting casualties. His feeling for his troops, the camaraderie, sacrifices and how they cope with what they have been sent to do, is evident in every image. The words that accompany the images are by the soldiers themselves. Allan has dedicated the book to one particular colleague, Lance Sergeant Adam Goolie Ball, who towards the end of their tour of duty lost his leg while trying to save two Afghan colleagues injured by landmines. In his introduction Allan says: “Some people write prose, some poems, others are raconteurs telling their stories as best they can to an eager audience. These pictures are my diary; take from them what you wish. At Lance Sergeant Adam Goolie Ball’s request, all the profits go direct to BLESMA. This charity supports and cares for those who have lost limbs in service and they were hugely involved with his rehabilitation and recovery. Captain Patrick Hennessey, author of the Junior Officers” Reading Club, says: “The Army is fond of saying that a picture paints a thousand words – Captain AllanÕs do so with incredible eloquence. Stunning and poignant, nothing I have seen or read in the last few years captures the colour and humanity of the Afghan conflict as well as these brilliant images. A preview of the book is available. The last pages of the book are particularly informative and interesting. Copies of Afghanistan: A Tour of Duty can be ordered in advance online at www.tmiltd.com or by phone (020 7336 0144) direct from Third Millennium at a special pre-publication price of £10.99 + p&p. (RRP on publication will be £12.99). Copies will be available in the book trade from 29th October 2009.
Oct 09. Defence Acquisition: Report Debated. Defence Acquisition (Independent Review) was debated in the House of Commons on 19 Oct 09, following publication of the Review on 15 Oct 09 [DNA 09/39, Item 4]. Indicating the way forward, the Defence Secretary said: “….we will look to publish something in line with the Green Paper in January that brings forward a number of acquisition reform issues.”.
Comment: The Debate is recorded in Hansard for 19 Oct 09, starting in Column 648. The above reference to January  is of passing interest, since earlier remarks have only mentioned “the New Year” in this context.
(Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 10/40, 26 Oct 09)
Oct 09. Service Families Accommodation (SFA): Public Accounts Committee (PAC) Report. The PAC published (20 Oct 09) a Report on SFA. The four main parts of the Report cover: Housing stock; Allocations & moves; Maintenance and Home Ownership. The Chairman of the PAC pointed out that nearly a third of Service families consider their homes to be in poor condition and nearly a quarter think that their properties are poorly maintained.
Comment: The National Audit Office Report on which the PAC took evidence was published on 18 Mar 09, as HC13. The PAC took evidence on 13 May 09 and this is published with its Report, which is HC 531 for £11:00. The PAC Report will only be of interest to those involved with the maintenance of housing stock. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 10/40, 26 Oct 09)