Saturday, 26 July 2014
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Promotions, new jobs and retirements in the UK Armed Forces. One stars on next page

It is our intention to publish brief biographies of all officers serving at three and four star levels

lorimer 10552811523 a0185c021d zLieutenant-General John Gordon Lorimer, DSO MBE is about to leave the post of Deputy Commander, ISAF. Born 1962, he read Arabic and Islamic Studies at Cambridge. Commissioned into the Parachute Regiment 1982, his early service included commanding at platoon, company and battalion levels, including in Belize, Norway, Northern Ireland and Iraq.

Promoted to lieutenant 1984, to captain 1988 and to major 1994. Served in the Ministry of Defence from 1998-2000. Promoted to lieutenant-colonel 1999 and to colonel on 2003. Appointed Commander of 12th Mechanised Brigade in June 2005. Deployed to Iraq and then Afghanistan. Promoted to brigadier 2005, to major general 2010. Appointed as the Chief of the Defence Staff's Strategic Communications Officer. Appointed General Officer Commanding 3rd (UK) Mechanised Division 2011. Promoted to lieutenant general 2013, appointed Deputy Commander, International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). In February 2014, it was announced that Lorimer would become Chief of Joint Operations from January 2015.

16AABimagesThe 2010 Strategic Defence and Security Review stipulated that the Ministry of Defence (MOD) would suffer a 7.7% reduction in its budget in real terms over four years; resulting in the loss of 7,000 Army, 5,000 RAF and 5,000 Royal Navy personnel by 2015. These savings will be reinforced with myriad cuts to defence procurement projects, in an attempt to ensure that British forces are organised both efficiently and cost effectively to meet the future security challenges of the United Kingdom. Combined with the Army 2020 programme of cutbacks, the SDSR has reduced the requirement of high readiness forces that can conduct airborne operations by parachute, or assault operations by aircraft, at short notice. Due to this, the 16th Air Assault Brigade, the UK's elite rapid reaction force will be hit particularly hard by the cuts, losing an estimated 3,000 of its 8,000 troops by the end of the year.

The newly reduced and restructured force will have the Parachute Regiment at its core, supported by two regular Army Air Corps regiments and some supporting units, and be focused on providing one Air Assault Task Force (AATF) that can be mobilised within 72 hours. Only one battalion will make up the AATF at a time. The other two will provide the role on rotation for twelve-month periods, with only one company-sized group of troops providing the parachute role at any time. The cuts will also result in the 1st and 2nd Battalions of the Royal Irish Regiment being transferred to a lower-readiness force, and 5 SCOTS of the Royal Regiment of Scotland disbanded, bar one company placed on ceremonial duties and located in Scotland.

Standing on top of the Roman citadel in the heart of Amman, the muezzin flowed round me like water, bathing the hectic city in a sense of preternatural calm. The city seemed to slow down, be-quieting itself to midday rest as the call to prayer vaunted high above its landscape. It was a rare moment of calm in this wonderfully busy city, cloaking the normal cacophony of voices and horns in a spiritual balm. Moments later, the microphones stopped broadcasting, and the chaos of the city resumed. writes Charlie Pratt.

Situated in the heart of Jordan, Amman is megalopolis summoned out of the deserts and built amidst the ruins of great civilizations. Today, it is nothing if not a city of immigrants, and a fitting tribute to the social mosaic of the Levant. Amidst the Palestinians and Iraqis, Lebanese and Syrians, the city is calm and close, the tensions of the Syrian and Iraq crises absent here. But outside of Amman, in the dusty refugee camps, and on its long, striated borders, the crisis seems omnipresent. Amman may be insulated from them, but for how much longer?


Thinking the Unthinkable: ISIS, Iran, Al Qaeda & Syria. by Nehad Ismail (See also Axis of Opportinity Part 3 published by Defence Viewpoints on 25th June 2014)

Part Two

That leading members of al Qaeda were based in Iran from 2002 onward was known to the U.S. government at the time. In a letter that bin Laden wrote just five days before he died, he described a document from his son Saad, who had lived in Iran for years. The document exposes the truth of the Iranian regime's relations with al-Qaeda.

A letter to bin Laden from his chief of staff, dated 11 June 2009, contains a detailed account of a group of "mid-level" al Qaeda members recently released by Iran, including three Egyptians, a Yemeni, an Iraqi and a Libyan. In Feb 2014, the Lebanese Daily Star reported that the Obama administration accused Tehran of assisting al-Qaeda operatives based in Iran to transfer Sunni fighters to Syria.

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Send submissions in Word format to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  with a sentence about your qualifications at the foot.

Thinking the Unthinkable: ISIS, Iran, Al Qaeda & Syria. Part One (a supplement to Axis of Opportunity Part 3, published by Defence Viewpoints 25th June 2014)

In a response to al Qaeda Emir Ayman al Zawahiri's latest attempt at reconciliation with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham, ISIS spokesman Abu Muhammad al Adnani made a startling admission: Al Qaeda has ordered its fighters and branches to refrain from attacking the Iranian state in order to preserve the group's network in the country. (Long War Journal, May 2014)

ISIS was established on April 8, 2013, when its subsidiary organisation, Jabhat al Nusra, merged with the Islamic State of Iraq (ISI), itself a successor to al-Qaeda in Iraq.

Marking the passing of those who have served this country. Comments from relatives, friends and comrades welcome

ELLICOCK Lt Col John (Jack) Henry Ellicock RA died 20th July 2014 aged 87

HEATHCOTE Brigadier Sir Gilbert Heathcote Bt CBE 21 September 1913 - 15 April 2014

Royal Artillery. Landed on D-Day, Op Market Garden. Devised fireplan for airborne phase of Rhine crossing 1945.

HEMPSALL Major Ernest Hempsall died 29th June 2014

JONES Sqn Ldr William John Cambell Jnes died 4th July 2014 aged 94

KEMBALL Brig Humphrey Gurdon Kemball CBE, MC 6 Nov 1919- 6 May 2014

BEF France with South Lancashires. Wounded, MC. After D day HQ 21st Army Group. Later Military Attache in Moscow

LEWIS Sqn Ldr Laurence Godfrey (Larry) Lewis DFC, DFM, AE

Sgt air gunner in Wellington attack in Scharnhorst, commissioned as pilot. first 2 1000 bomber raids, Dakota resupply over "the Hump"

PATTERSON Lt Col Howard "Pat" Paterson died 7th July 2014 aged 94

SWINLEY Captain Casper William Carnegie Swinley OBE, RN died 24th June 2014


Source : Defence Contract Bulletin : July 2014

Competitive Contract Awards

UK-Telford: Parts of Military Vehicles
Parts of military vehicles. The Authority has awarded a 4 year Enabling Contract for the supply of Challenger II Transmission Filters
Economic Operator: MC Air Filtration Ltd
Total final value of Contract: Lowest offer: £348 000. Highest offer: £870 000 (exc VAT)

UK-Telford: Weighing Machinery and Scales
Supply, Calibration, Maintenance and Minor Repairs of a range of mass and force measuring equipment and accessories.
Economic Operator: Avery Weigh Tronix Lrd
Total final value of Contract: £1 126 000 exc. VAT

UK-Telford: Miscellaneous Repair and Maintenance Services
Repair and Storage of Operational Hygiene Systems: Laundry Transportable, Personal Sanitation Portable, and Burner Module
Economic Operator: G3 Systems Ltd
Total final value of Contract: £1 126 000

UK-Bristol: Repair and Maintenance Services of Military Vehicles
A 3 year repair contract for the Auxiliary Power Unit on Challenger 2
Economic Operator: Van Kappel UK Ltd
Total final value of Contract: £1 800 000

GB-Telford: Provision of Navigational Comms Ramp Test Set
Instruments for the supply of IFR4000 Ramp Test Set
Economic Operator: Aeroflex Services Ltd
Total final value of Contract: £38 572

GB-Bristol: Challenger 2 Track Pads
Manufacture and supply of approved parts
Economic Operator: Cook Defence Systems Ltd
Total final value of Contract: £331 025

UK-Bristol: Repair and Maintenance Services of Ships
Repair, maintenance, design support and logistics services of ships.
Economic Operator: Andrew Weir Shipping Ltd
Total final value of Contract: £7 656 993 exc. VAT

Non-Competitive Contract Awards

UK-Bristol: Safety Consultancy Services
Safety consultancy services. Warrior Capability Sustainability Programme Converted Vehicle Part 2 Safety & Environment Case.
Total final value of Contract: £10 000 000 exc. VAT
Information on value of contract: not provided

UK-Bristol: Marine Equipment
Marine equipment. To extend existing capability of a sub-sea sonar location beacon locating/tracking system. The system is required to locate sonar locator beacons from ditched military and civilian aircraft and be able to guide a diver or ROV to the beacon with sufficient accuracy to allow effective recovery of the beacon.
Economic operator: ACSA
Total final value of Contract: £127 237 inc VAT

GB-Bristol: Specialist Support for Noise Testing and Compliance with Health and Safety Legislation
Noise control services. To provide the DE&S with access to a competent body to support development and validation of DE&S Health and Safety Policy and Guidance, covering noise measurement and analysis with recommendations for mitigation or hearing protection being provided to the DE&S to support compliance with Health and Safety Legislation.
Awarded to: Health and Safety Laboratory (HSL)
Total final value of Contract: £56 961

UK-Bristol: Transceivers
Transceivers for Repair of SR(SA) 929 Airborne Systems
Economic Operator: Thales UK Ltd
Total final value of Contract: £1 645 000

UK-Bristol: Training Simulators
Requirement for Post Design Service for the MoD-owned Area Weapons Effects Simulator
Economic Operator: Cubic Defence Applications Inc
Total final value of Contract: £5 000 000

GB-Catterick: provision of New Combined Mess and SLA at RAF Spadeadam
Construction of new combined mess and single living accommodation at RAF Spadeadam.
Awarded to: Carillion Enterprise
Total final value of Contract: £9 000 000

UK-Bristol: Military vehicles and Associated Parts
The Armoured Vehicle Programme In-Service Platforms Team intends to place a contract for the supply of a Battery Management System (BMS) to be installed across the Viking fleet.
Awarded to: Ultra Electronics Ltd
Total final value of Contract: £783 994

Contract Bidders Notices

GB-Bristol: Refurbishment of Falkland Island Single Point Mooring (SPM) no. 2 Fuelling Buoy
Repair, maintenance and associated services related to marine and other equipment. To repair and refurbish a 5 product CALM type single point mooring (SPM) no. 2 refuelling buoy, originally built by Imodco in 1990. The 8.5 diameter SPM Buoy is currently in the Falkland Islands (FI) awaiting refurbishment. It is to be recovered from the sea, repaired, refurbished and returned to this location in a fully serviced condition.
Contractors invited to bid: Fendercare Marine: Bridge Marine Contractors Ltd.

GB-Bristol: Customisation, Capability Assessment Trials and Support (UKCCATS)
Repair and maintenance services of ships. To customise, complete Capability Trials and deliver support to 4 new Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) Tide Class Tankers after completion of build. The successful bidder will be required to design, plan and implement the customisation activities consisting of various upgrade packages, support the Authority during the capability Assessment Trials programme, and provide inservice support. The inservice support package will not be limited to but will include worldwide fleet time support and the planning, management and implementation of maintenance periods from delivery of the ships through to June 2018.
Contractors invited to bid: Babcock International Group: A&P Group Ltd: Cammell Laird Shiprepairers & Shipbuilders Ltd: BAE Systems Surface Ships Support Ltd

GB-Bristol: LRT/SIBCRA In Service Support
Nuclear, Biological, Chemical and Radiological protection equipment. Support of Chemical, Biological and Radiological detection, Identification, Monitoring and Sample Collection Systems.
Contractors invited to bid: Smiths Detection Ltd: Northrop Grumman Mission Systems Europe Ltd: Marshall Land Systems Ltd: Babcock Land Ltd: Serco Ltd

The news stories that dominated the Farnborough air show this year were probably not the ones that everybody expected: the non-appearance of the F3-5B and the replacement of Phillip Hammond by Michael Fallon as defence secretary. 

Rumours about the non-appearance of the F35 surfaced during last week's airpower conference in London, reflects Nick Watts, Deputy Director of the U K Defence Forum, whose report on it was published here on 14th July. The planned programme had envisaged a fly past by the F35-B Lightening ll at the naming ceremony of the Royal Navy's new Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier at Rosyth on July 4th. This would have been followed by a flying display at the Fairford air tattoo, over the weekend, and then on to Farnborough. But technology intervened, in the form of an engine fire and the aircraft has been grounded pending investigation.

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