Sunday, August 01, 2021

An article by the BAFF Chairman appears in the Defence section of the Sep-Oct 2010 edition of Government Gazette magazine, which was available at the recent party conferences. The full article can be downloaded below.

“There seems to be something wrong with our bloody ships today…” said Admiral Beatty after watching his battle cruisers blowing up at Jutland, “And with our system.”

Nearly a century later the Coalition Government sees a lot wrong with the system of Defence, and with its funding.

How will armed forces personnel fare in the Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR) and its aftermath? Speculation has been mounting about the possible closure of major airbases, disbandment of armoured regiments, scrapping of helicopters, cancellation or cutback of equipment orders, cull of senior officers and further reduction of the fleet.

Any one of such cuts would (directly or indirectly) affect armed forces personnel. In the past, many discharged or reassigned personnel felt they had been treated well enough but at other times, under any hue of Government and especially during previous periods of national economic difficulty, service men and women have been let down by a system which utterly failed to represent their interests.

BAFF therefore welcomed the Defence Ministry’s indication that the Military Covenant will in some way be reflected in the SDSR.

The concept of a Military Covenant applies by extension to all the armed services, but is based on an Army publication which says that in return for their sacrifices, British soldiers must always be able to expect fair treatment, to be valued and respected as individuals, and that they (and their families) will be sustained and rewarded by commensurate terms and conditions of service. ...