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22 Oct 10. Military Corrective Training Centre (MCTC): Inspected. The Personnel Minister welcomed (22 Oct 10) an Independent Report by HM Inspectorate of Prisons into the MCTC at Colchester. Inspectors made an unannounced visit to the Army-run MCTC from 7 to 10 Jun 10 and found that detainee safety had improved, bullying issues had been addressed and those at risk of self-harm were being well supported. Some 12 further recommendations were made, with particular concern for the under-18s in detention.
Comment: The MCTC is the single central custodial facility for detainees from the RN/RM, Army and RAF. Most detainees are sentenced by Court Martial for up to two years (and are expected to return to duty). Service personnel committed to civilian prisons are not required back in uniform. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 10/41, 25 Oct 10)
21 Oct 10. The United Arab Emirates has opened a naval base on its east coast as part of efforts to secure its ability to export oil in the
event Iran closes the strategic Strait of Hormuz, local media said on Thursday. Almost all oil exports from OPEC’s fourth-largest producer now go through Gulf waters and the narrow strait which separates the UAE from Iran before reaching the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean. The opening ceremony for the new base, in the emirate of Fujairah on the Arabian Sea, was held on Wednesday. The base will “provide a quick response to natural and man-made disasters that may occur at sea, in addition to… ensuring safe and quick passage for its oil exports,” the official WAM news agency said. The emirate of Abu Dhabi, which holds more than 90 percent of UAE crude reserves, is reportedly building a huge oil export facility and an oil storage terminal in Fujairah, and an oil pipeline to it. Having “a naval base in Fujairah would give the UAE more capabilities to protect its economic zone and its strategic facility, the port down there, which will be a major point of export for oil and gas,” Riad Kahwaji, founder of the Institute for Near East and Gulf Military Analysis in Dubai, told AFP. Kahwaji said that two pipelines from Abu Dhabi to Fujairah — one for oil and another for gas — have been announced. (Source: ASD Network/AFP)
28 Oct 10. BAE Systems has opened a new advanced titanium machining facility at its Samlesbury site in Lancashire, UK. The robotic facility will be used to manufacture detail and assembly components of the aft fuselage, vertical tail and horizontal tail for the F-35 Lightning II combat aircraft. The facility will include two computerised flexible manufacturing systems (FMS) to manage the manufacturing requirements and machine tool utilisation. Each FMS will contain eight large hard metal milling machines and two long spar longeron machines.The facility is equipped to allow two titanium components to be produced at the same time, doubling manufacturing efficiency during full rate production. (Source: army-technology.com)
23 Oct 10. The Department of the Air Force announced today Great Falls International Airport, Mont.,as the preferred alternative to be the seventh C-27J operational location for bedding down four aircraft. Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley and Chief of Staff of the Air Force Gen. Norton Schwartz announced in July 2010 two candidate bases that included Boise Air Terminal Air Guard Station (AGS), Idaho, and Great Falls International Airport. Site survey teams evaluated the two candidate sites for feasibility, timing, cost and planning purposes to meet initial operational capability requirements.
28 Oct 10. Australia’s Rotary Wing Group rotation and its CH-47 Chinook helicop