1 Apr 07. RAF Brize Norton: Transfer of Ceremonial Flights. From 1 Apr 07 ceremonial flights, including repatriation flights, are being transferred from RAF Brize Norton to RAF Lyneham. Resurfacing and other work is being carried out at Brize Norton for the next two years, but routine flights will not be affected.
Comment: Resurfacing of the two-mile long runway at Brize was completed in February 2006, as part of a seven-year programme transferring aircraft and facilities from Lyneham by 2012. A further 180,000 square metres is now to be resurfaced at Brize, including 18 new aircraft parking stands (‘pans’ or ‘aprons’). Military fatalities have been repatriated through Brize as follows: 53 in 2003; 39 in 2004; 15 in 2005; 50 in 2006 and 12 in 2007 up to 23 Mar 07. Contractors’ muddles would not add to the dignity of such ceremonies. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 0714, 02 Apr 07)
30 Mar 07. Control of Royal Hospital Haslar passes to Portsmouth Hospitals Trust The Royal Hospital Haslar, which has to date been run by the MOD in partnership with Portsmouth Hospitals Trust (PHT), today passes to the control of PHT.
01 Apr 07. Defence Equipment and Support: Formation. The Defence Procurement Agency (DPA) and the Defence Logistics Organisation (DLO) merged on 1 Apr 07 to form Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S). The Defence Equipment Minister is formally launching the new organisation on 2 Apr 07. DE&S is to “equip, support and sustain Britain’s front-line Armed Forces”.
Comment: Membership of the Defence Council is now as shown on page 3. Lord Drayson’s Ministerial promotion and change of appointment is at serial 3. General O’Donoghue’s change of appointment (note spelling of “Materiel”) is at serial 10. Sir Peter Spencer has left the Council since the appointment of Chief of Defence Procurement no longer exists. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 0714, 02 Apr 07)
28 Mar 07. Type 45 Destroyers: Third of Class Launch. BAE Systems announced (28 Mar 07) that construction of the third Type 45 destroyer, HMS DIAMOND, was on course for the planned launch on 27 Nov 07.
Comment: Six Type 45s have been ordered. First of Class HMS DARING was launched on 1 Feb 06 and the second, HMS DAUNTLESS, on 23 Jan 07. The forecast cost of the first six destroyers is £6,110m and Ministers continue to vacillate over when further orders may be placed. An order for two further ships remains a possibility. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 0714, 02 Apr 07)
26 Mar 07. The aircraft carrier USS John F. Kennedy (CV 67) was decommissioned in Mayport, Fla., March 23. After a 17 gun salute, USS John F. Kennedy Commanding Officer Capt. Todd Zecchin addressed the more than 5,000 guests, former commanding officers, city officials and distinguished visitors. In his speech, he described his feelings for the ship and the legacy of its crew. (Source: Military.com)
30 Mar 07. The Department of Defense announced that the United States will cease operations at two military facilities in the United Kingdom. With the U.S. European Command’s force structure realignment and transformation, it was determined that RAF West Ruislip and RAF Daws Hill are no longer required. Facilities affected by this decision will begin the process of return to the host nation. As with all stationing actions, the United States coordinated with host nation officials before making this announcement.
30 Mar 07. The U.S. Navy announced today that the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier, the USS Carl Vinson, will conduct a homeport change, returning to the West Coast and likely relocation to San Diego in early 2010. After a thorough review of prospective homeports, the secretary of the Navy selected San Diego as the preferred alternative after evaluating a number of factors, including its existing infrastructure, family support facilities, and proximity to training areas. The decision is subject to a supplemental environmental impact statement (SEI