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12 Oct 07. Queen unveils new forces memorial. The Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh and the Prince of Wales have attended the dedication of the new national Armed Forces Memorial. The £6m stone circle in Alrewas, Staffordshire, bears the names of 16,000 service personnel who have died since World War II. The Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams led prayers at the event. He said the memorial was about naming the “invisible” ready to risk their lives for the country and world. There is room for 15,000 more names to be carved on the Portland stone walls of the memorial, at the National Memorial Arboretum. Vice-Admiral Sir John Dunt, chairman of the Armed Forces Memorial Trustees, opened the ceremony with a speech in which he spoke of the sorrow and pride of the families of the deceased. He said: “I hope that those who have been bereaved and colleagues of those whose names are engraved find this a fitting place to remember and reflect. (Source: BBC)

12 Oct 07. Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills John Denham, opened a new £1m satellite test facility at Astrium’s Portsmouth site. The “Triton Range”, refurbished over 18 months at a cost of more than £1m,
gives Astrium the capability to test the entire range of satellites at its
flagship Portsmouth site, including Earth observation telecommunications and
exploration spacecraft. Astrium Managing Director Colin Paynter said: “The new Triton Range gives Astrium in the UK a unique world-leading capability in the testing of satellites. We build some of the world’s most sophisticated satellites in Portsmouth – including telecommunications satellites capable of broadcasting 500 TV channels and up to 4000 radio stations – and this new facility helps us stay at the forefront of satellite technology. This investment of £1m on a facility that would cost some £40m to build from scratch today, demonstrates Astrium’s long-term commitment to the UK space industry.”


15 Oct 07. Sir Menzies Campbell has resigned as leader of the Liberal Democrats with immediate effect. In a letter to party president Simon Hughes he said questions about his leadership were “getting in the way of further progress by the party”. Mr Hughes said the party owed Sir Menzies “a huge debt of gratitude”. (Source: BBC)

15 Oct 07. Pentagon’s Public Affairs Chief Resigns. Dorrance Smith, assistant secretary of defense for public affairs, told his staff yesterday that he is leaving around the end of the month. (Source: Yahoo.com/Defense News)



18 Oct 07. Combat Brigade to Leave Iraq. Neighboring Unit to Cover Diyala Province. The U.S. military will reduce the number of combat brigades in Iraq from 20 to 19 by the end of this year, the first part of a plan to withdraw thousands of American troops from the war zone by next summer. (Source: Washington Post/Defense News)

08 Oct 07. Recruiting: Minimum Age. The Junior Defence Minister said (8 Oct 07) that the minimum age for entry into the Armed Forces is 16 years. In the 2006/07 financial year, 30% of all new recruits were under 18 years of age. No young person may join the Armed Forces unless their application is accompanied by the formal written consent of his/her parents or guardian. Service personnel under the age of 18 are not deployed on Operations, whether national or on behalf of the United Nations.
Comment: Many of those who have had successful careers in the Services started as ‘Juniors’ and calls for the ending of under-18 recruiting are misplaced.

Oct 07. The White House announced that Navy Lt. Michael P. Murphy will be posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions in combat June 27 to 28, 2005, while leading a special reconnaissance mission deep behind enemy lines in the Hindu Kush of Afghanistan. President Bush is expected to present the Medal of Honor to Lt. Murphy’s parents at a ceremony at the W

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