MANAGEMENT ON THE MOVE
07 Mar 08. Germany’s Federal Office for Defence Technology and Procurement (BWB) has awarded Rheinmetall Defence a contract for a major expansion of the German
Army’s Combat Training Centre (GÜZ) in the Altmark district of Saxony-Anhalt, which has been steadily ramping up operations ever since 2001. The order encompasses new GÜZ system technology for the previously non-instrumented
southern part of the Altmark Major Training Area as well as additional mobile online video technology. For Rheinmetall Defence’s Simulation and Training Division, the order is worth some €25m.
11 Mar 08. The Communications Shore Development Facility (CSDF) managed and operated by Babcock Marine at Devonport to support Vanguard class submarines, was officially opened today (Tuesday 11 March) by the MoD’s Chief Engineer & Safety Director, Submarines, Howard Mathers. The CSDF is a fully operational shore-based representation of the Vanguard class submarine radio room and is housed within a secure and controlled electromagnetically-shielded enclosure, with all the necessary clearances, licences and accreditations. Having shipborne antennas installed on the roof, it is capable of live communication links and transmissions to support risk reduction for system integration and capability upgrade. Babcock Marine (then DML) was awarded the contract last year to re-site the CSDF from Portsdown to Devonport, and to manage the facility on behalf of the MoD.
05 Mar 08. HM Naval Bases: Devonport Remains Open. A short Debate on the future of Devonport as a Naval Base was held (Commons Hansard, 5 Mar 08, Column 1885). The Armed Forces’ Minister was clear “that recent suggestions that we are planning to close the Naval Base at Devonport are without foundation and I can confirm that there are no plans for Flag Officer Sea Training to move from Devonport.”. In conclusion, the Minister reiterated “that we have no plans to close any of the Naval Bases, including Devonport.”.
Comment: Rumours about Devonport were started by an irresponsible ‘Sunday Times’ article on 24 Feb 08 (‘End looms for Plymouth,…’). The story was picked up by the media in South West England, causing considerable consternation. As announced on 25 Jul 07, the Naval Base Review concluded that all three Bases (Clyde (Faslane), Devonport & Portsmouth) are to remain open. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 0811, 10 Mar 08)
06 Mar 08. Surface Fleet: Unavailable Ships. The Armed Forces’ Minister confirmed (6 Mar 08) that, in addition to HMS INVINCIBLE, four surface ships are currently at ‘low’ or ‘very low’ readiness as they are in refit. The ships are HMS OCEAN, YORK, SUTHERLAND and ST ALBANS.
Comment: The term ‘extended’ readiness is no longer used by the MoD with regard to the Fleet. It remains MoD policy not to publish details of the readiness states of individual RN vessels, other than for those in refit. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 0811, 10 Mar 08)
06 Mar 08. RAF Welford: Security. A short Debate on the Security at RAF Welford was held (Commons Hansard, 6 Mar 08, Column 2022). Welford is now an ammunition storage facility covering over 800 acres (324 hectares) of Berkshire. The
facility is under command of the 420th Munitions Squadron and supports the 501st Combat Support Wing, US Air Force, at Fairford.
Comment: RAF Welford has been made available to US Visiting Forces (USVF) under a 1951 NATO Status of Forces Agreement. There are some 12,000 USVF stationed at 10 bases in the UK, together with an equal number of dependents. The bases are designated as ‘nominal’ RAF Stations. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 0811, 10 Mar 08)
12 Mar 08. Babcock gets Grimsby back in action. HMS Grimsby achieved contract acceptance last week and returns to the fleet on Friday (14 March) after a massive 11 month repair programme and five month refit period undertaken by through life defence support specialist Babcock Marine at