23 Aug 13. Service personnel attached to HM Naval Base in Clyde will soon be enjoying the best possible accommodation as £31.5m is invested in improving facilities across the base, Defence Minister Andrew Murrison has announced. It will provide new accommodation for personnel working and serving their country at HM Naval Base in Clyde, which is the largest employment site in Scotland supporting 6,700 military and civilian jobs, increasing to 8,200 by 2022. The new funding was revealed as the Defence Minister for International Security Strategy visited Scotland to meet defence stakeholders and to take the salute at the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo. The announcement will increase the number of bed spaces on Clyde base by around 600 to support its role as the home of the UK submarine fleet. This £31.5m investment in Clyde demonstrates the Government’s commitment to Scotland and builds on a series of significant investments. These include £100m to create new and improved Army accommodation and facilities across Scotland and £85m for development of RAF Lossiemouth. The funding is also in addition to the £140m the Ministry of Defence spends on average maintaining the defence estate in Scotland.
19 Aug 13. The headquarters of British forces deployed in Afghanistan has moved from Lashkar Gah to Camp Bastion in an early morning helicopter operation hailed as probably the most complex headquarters move on operations ever undertaken by the British Army. The Task Force Helmand headquarters based in Lashkar Gah since May 2006 co-ordinated UK operations across Helmand Province for over seven years. The headquarters has now moved to Camp Bastion, the main hub of UK forces in Afghanistan. The move reflects the fact that Afghan forces now plan and conduct security operations across the province and that, consequently, the UK military presence outside of Camp Bastion is in the process of drawing down. In a carefully planned operation, key staff from the headquarters – which is led by 1 Mechanized Brigade – flew via Chinook to Camp Bastion in the early morning of 9 August to join an advance party already in place. A series of helicopter moves throughout the day ferried the remaining staff over to ensure the transition of control was seamless. Control was formally handed over to the new headquarters at around 10am. A short ceremony was then held in memory of those members of the Armed Forces who have lost their lives on operations in Afghanistan.
16 Aug 13. After years of government denials, the CIA is acknowledging in newly declassified documents the existence of Area 51, the mysterious site in central Nevada that has spawned top-secret tools, weapons and not a few UFO conspiracies. George Washington University’s National Security Archive obtained a CIA history of the U-2 spy plane program through a public records request and released it Thursday. National Security Archive senior fellow Jeffrey Richelson reviewed the history in 2002, but all mentions of Area 51 had been redacted. Richelson said he requested the history again in 2005 and received a version a few weeks ago with mentions of Area 51 restored. Officials have already acknowledged in passing the existence of the facility in central Nevada where the government is believed to test intelligence tools and weapons. Richelson believes the new document shows the CIA is becoming less secretive about Area 51’s existence, if not about what goes on at the site 90 miles north of Las Vegas. The references are found in a CIA history of the U-2 reconnaissance program written in 1992. The history even recalls the first time CIA project director Richard Bissell and Air Force Col. Osmund Ritlandt spotted the site, which was then an old airstrip by the salt flat named Groom Lake. (Source: Defense News)
17 Aug 13. The U.S. Army may relocate two helicopter units from St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport to MacDill Air Force Base. According to The Tampa Tribune,