01 Jul 07. New strategic lift coordination centre created. Several European Union and NATO countries took a further step towards better coordinating their strategic air and sea transport by establishing a Movement Coordination Centre Europe at Eindhoven Airbase, the Netherlands, on 1 July. The new Centre (MCCE) will coordinate strategic transport assets and air-to-air refuelling activities between the participating countries, aiming at a more efficient and effective use of the various national assets. In addition, the Centre will coordinate movement support to EU and NATO during deployment and re-deployment operations.
Strategic lift involves transporting troops, equipment and supplies across the globe by air or sea. The MCCE is a merger of the European Airlift Centre (EAC) and the Sealift Coordination Centre (SCC). The EAC and SCC were set up as a result of NATO’s Defence Capability Initiative agreed in 1999. The operations of these two centres have proven to be very successful and participating nations have saved millions of euros by coordinating their lift requirements and avoiding empty legs or space on their transport assets.
25 Jun 07. A400M: Delivery. The Armed Forces’ Minister confirmed (25 Jun 07) that the first A400M aircraft was due to be delivered to the UK in 2010. The planned in-service date, defined as the delivery of the seventh aircraft, is 2011.
Comment: The Major Projects Report 2006 gives the forecast in-service date as March 2011 and the cost to the UK of 25 aircraft as £2,616m. During the Paris Air Show (20 Jun 07), Airbus Military announced that it had selected Thales to be its preferred training partner for the A400M. Training requirements are being prepared for France and the UK. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 0726, 02 Jul 07)
04 Jul 07. A new benchmark training programme for all Royal Navy warfare operators has moved one step closer with the laying of foundations of a new facility at HM Naval Base Devonport in Plymouth. The new facility, built and managed by BAE Systems as part of the new Maritime Composite Training System (MCTS), will house the Royal Navy’s new shore-based Warfare Operator Training for the majority of all current in-service frigates, destroyers, and major surface platforms, as well as the new Type 45 destroyers. The MCTS programme, valued at approximately £100 million, will provide the Royal Navy with a more flexible approach to training. By using generic classroom-based skills instruction for early training requirements, the programme ensures that downselection to a specific platform type can be deferred to the latest possible point. This ensures that the bulk of the training programme can be delivered to sailors at their home port, reducing downtime for specialist operators and cutting travel and subsistence costs.
05 Jul 07. RFA Lyme Bay, the fourth and final ship in the Royal Fleet Auxiliary’s new class of landing ship, has been delivered to the UK Ministry of Defence more than two months ahead of schedule. The vessel has recently completed stage one contractor sea trials off the coast of Scotland and was delivered to Falmouth to join her sister ships before undergoing further tests prior to the official handover ceremony in Portland on 2nd August. RFA Lyme Bay was built and launched at Swan Hunter on Tyneside before being brought to the Clyde in 2006 for completion.
JOB LOSSES AND STRIKES
03 Jul 07. Japan minister quits over gaffe. Fumio Kyuma said he was sorry for the trouble he had caused. Japan’s Defence Minister Fumio Kyuma has resigned amid a furore over comments he made about the US atom bomb attacks on Japan during World War II. His apology, and a public rebuke from PM Shinzo Abe, failed to quell anger over his remarks that the bombs on Nagasaki and Hiroshima were inevitable. (Source: BBC)
MILITARY AND GOVERNMENT
03 Jul 07. Call over armed forces shortages. The overall shortfall stood at 5,850 in April – up fr