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10 May 12. Squirrel Helicopter: Board of Inquiry. The Personnel Minister informed the House of Commons (10 May 12) of the findings of the Board of Inquiry into the accident involving Squirrel XJ247 on 29 May 08. The purpose of the Board is to establish the circumstances of the loss and to learn lessons; it does not seek to apportion blame. Operating as one of a pair of aircraft during a training sortie, the helicopter struck a set of three 33 kilo volt wires strung across the Kingscott Valley in Devon thus causing the accident. Both aircrew lost their lives.
Comment: The aircrew who were killed were a Lieutenant of the Army Air Corps and his instructor on the Army Pilots’ Course, an experienced Warrant Officer in the Army Air Corps. Contributory factors in the accident included a general lack of wire awareness and maps providing insufficient information about the wires within Kingscott Valley.
(Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 12/19, 14 May 12)

09 May 12. New Parliamentary Session: HM The Queen’s Speech. HM The Queen’s Speech (9 May 12) outlining the Parliamentary timetable included the undertaking that the Government would “work to support a secure and stable Afghanistan, to reduce the threat of nuclear proliferation including in Iran and to bring greater stability to the Horn of Africa”.
Comment: The Most Gracious Speech (as it is known) contained no other reference to the Armed Forces although the “intelligence agencies” featured. Legislation is to be introduced to strengthen oversight of these agencies and measures are to be taken to allow such agencies “to access vital communications data”.
(Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 12/19, 14 May 12)

09 May 12. Defence Committee. Select Committee ORAL EVIDENCE: DEFENCE ACQUISITION – Tuesday 15 May 2012. Wilson Room, Portcullis House (room subject to change) – At 2.30 pm
* Peter Luff MP, Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology
* Bernard Grey, Chief of Defence Materiel, Ministry of Defence

10 May 12. Defence Committee. Select Committee NEW INQUIRY:
Defence Implications of Possible Scottish Independence
The Defence Committee today announces a new inquiry into the Defence Implications of possible Scottish Independence. The Committee expects to hold the first oral evidence session for this inquiry before the end of July 2012 and further evidence sessions are expected to take place periodically during the present session leading to a Report in 2013. Terms of reference will be published at a later date, at which stage the Committee will invite submissions of written evidence.
If you wish to be kept up to date with the progress of the inquiry you will find information on the Committee’s website as it becomes available.

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