Search for:
kralbetz.com1xbit güncelTipobet365Anadolu Casino GirişMariobet GirişSupertotobet mobil girişBetistbahis.comSahabetTarafbetMatadorbetbeylikdüzü korsan taksiBetturkey
Ben Wallace: Defence secretary orders audit of military flying training as RAF leadership in ‘tailspin’ over leaks | UK News

The defence secretary has ordered an internal inspection of the UK’s military flying training after Sky News revealed the system to generate RAF pilots is in crisis, it can be revealed.

The move by Ben Wallace is an embarrassing blow for Air Chief Marshal Sir Mike Wigston, the head of the Royal Air Force (RAF), a defence source said.

Mr Wallace gave his chief of the air staff the task of fixing the RAF’s problem-plagued flying training pipeline as his only priority more than two and a half years ago.

However, leaked documents exposed by Sky News last Friday showed that nearly 350 trainee pilots – more than half of the total pool of RAF, Royal Navy and army trainee aviators – were in limbo as of May.

They are either holding for a slot on a flying training course to open-up or taking a refresher course.

The Royal Air Force's Typhoon Eurofighter jets are made by BAE Systems

It can also be revealed that these so-called “holdies” have effectively been warned the leaking of the documents that shed light on their predicament might even worsen their situation rather than improve it.

A message, which has since been seen by Sky News, was distributed widely throughout the RAF, warning against leaking information to the media.

RAF leadership in ‘tailspin’ over leaks

The author of the official-sounding note said they suspected Air Chief Marshal Wigston and the rest of the senior RAF leadership “are in a total tailspin about this”.

“They will feel let down and disappointed,” the note said.

“They will now be less likely to view the student cohort’s predicament favourably, too.

“Would you, in their position. The military is all about trust, if you betray that knowingly by leaking reams of official information (it’s not exactly a small slip-up in a personal post on social media!), then you can expect that betrayal will have consequences.”

A Ministry of Defence spokesperson confirmed Mr Wallace had instigated the internal inspection, known as a Defence Operational Capability (DOC) audit.

“At the direction of the defence secretary, the MOD is conducting an internal audit of flying training, in recognition of continued challenges with the training pipeline.”

The scope of the audit is still being defined, it is understood.

Four Royal Air Force Typhoon FGR4 have arrived at RAF Akrotiri after transiting from the UK. UK’s substantial contribution to NATO’s uplift in Eastern Europe is strengthening the Alliance’s Defences on land, sea and air, amid ongoing tensions with Russia. Issue date: Wednesday February 16, 2022.

Hundreds of DOC audits taken place in 30 years

The DOC mechanism was set up in 1995 when Malcolm Rifkind was defence secretary.

It is a tool a defence secretary can use to secure what is meant to be impartial analysis on a topic.

The team of personnel that conduct the audit will sit outside the chain of command of whatever is being inspected, giving it more independence.

Some 220 audits of various issues have taken place over the past nearly three decades.

On flying training, the MOD has already acknowledged that there are challenges to the training pipeline and said that the number of pilots being held now is less than in 2019.

The length of the holding time for trainees can vary from months to even years.

The reasons for the delays are multiple, including most recently a fault with the Rolls Royce-made engine on the Hawk aircraft used to train fast jet pilots.

Four Royal Air Force Typhoon FGR4 have arrived at RAF Akrotiri after transiting from the UK. UK’s substantial contribution to NATO’s uplift in Eastern Europe is strengthening the Alliance’s Defences on land, sea and air, amid ongoing tensions with Russia. Issue date: Wednesday February 16, 2022.

Ukraine war has put pressure on RAF pilots

Demands on the RAF to fly more missions to defend NATO allies in the wake of Russia’s war in Ukraine also put pressure on the small pool of pilots that are qualified to fly operationally and to instruct trainees.

In addition, a sweeping review of defence last year made changes to the types of aircraft needed on the frontline, which has reduced the number of places available for trainee pilots.

More broadly, pilot training has been under chronic strain since the mid-1990s as successive governments repeatedly cut chunks out of the size of the armed forces, including the RAF, and contracted out large parts of the flying training system to industry.

Under pressure from the Treasury to make as many efficiency savings as possible, the RAF then designed its contractor-run flying training pipeline to meet a minimal requirement rather than include spare capacity to be able to absorb shocks if things go wrong.

‘Arrogant’ defence chiefs condemned for refusing to review cuts to army numbers | UK News

MPs have challenged a decision to shrink the size of Britain’s army by thousands of soldiers as a war rages in Europe, demonstrating the need for large land forces.

The Defence Select Committee also criticised cost-saving plans to retire dozens of tanks and other armoured vehicles before replacements are ready.

The MPs urged the Ministry of Defence at the very least to review the timelines for any changes to avoid creating capability gaps that could leave the armed forces vulnerable.

And they accused defence chiefs of appearing “arrogant and unwilling to learn lessons” from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine or from last year’s disastrous retreat from Afghanistan.

Tobias Ellwood, chair of the committee, called on the next prime minister to commit more funds to defence.

“It is clear that now is not the time for personnel cuts or budget shortfalls in our armed forces,” he said. “We cannot afford for our [armed] services to become poorer and weaker. We need to spend more and spend it wisely.”

The cross-party committee has published a report into a major review of defence, security and foreign policy and accompanying papers released by the government last year.

It criticised commanders and mandarins for a reluctance to look again at the conclusions of their work – which set out the future size, capabilities and priorities of the Army, Royal Navy and Royal Air Force – in the wake of the subsequent Afghan withdrawal and Russian war.

“No strategy should be set in stone nor subject to constant revision,” the committee said.

“However, there is a need for government to be able to respond to major events… rather than downplaying the potential implications of such geopolitical shocks.”

Read more: World entering ‘dangerous new age’ of threats, says UK’s top national security adviser

A move that came in for particular criticism was the plan to reduce the size of the army by almost 10,000 troops, from a target of 82,000 to 72,500, by 2025 – a reduction that would diminish the force to its smallest in more than 300 years.

The MPs said it was a worry given – on top of security threats – the UK’s already over-stretched soldiers are increasingly called upon to help in non-military emergencies such as floods and the response to COVID.

“We are especially concerned about the proposed cuts to personnel numbers and the effective reduction in mass, particularly since that we are seeing defence being used more and more often as an emergency measure to relieve exceptional pressures on public services and perform such tasks that otherwise might be expected to be carried out by others,” the committee said in its report.

At the same time, it noted that General Sir Patrick Sanders, the new head of the army, had described the cuts as “perverse” and that Ben Wallace, the defence secretary, appeared to support a review of the decision.

Separately to the evidence considered by the committee, Mr Wallace told Sky News this week that the army would likely grow rather than shrink if the next prime minister commits to a significant uplift in defence spending at a time of growing threats.