Read about how political leaders have united behind a campaign to help homeless veterans this Christmas in the Independent. Proceeds from the joint campaign with the Evening Standard will be split between ABF The Soldiers' Charity and Veterans Aid.
Meanwhile the Daily Mirror features a series on reserves which today focuses on Corporal Rebecca Boot who works in 202 Field Hospital as well as Birmingham’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital.
Last night’s BBC2 Newsnight’s programme speculated that US Marine Corps planes may be asked to fly from the Queen Elizabeth aircraft carriers to occupy a gap between the ship’s readiness and the arrival of UK jets. This was followed up in today’s Times and Telegraph.
In response to the stories, an MOD spokesman said:
“The F-35 and Carrier programmes are on track to deliver as scheduled.
“The Lightning II Force will be manned by Royal Navy and RAF pilots and we can be clear that aircraft used for the first of class flying trials in 2018 will be UK F35Bs, flown by UK pilots.
“We are also working closely with our key allies; specifically the US Marine Corps and the US Navy to regenerate our carrier strike capability and we will seek further opportunities to do so in the future.”
Responding to a United Nations World Food Programme request, Royal Navy helicopters have delivered essential materials to northern Sierra Leone as part of the UK’s ongoing efforts to tackle Ebola. Read more here. In the picture, a Royal Navy Merlin helicopter delivers supplies for the medical teams and aid experts working in country [Picture: Lieutenant Steve Dunning, Crown copyright]
Minister for Reserves Julian Brazier is attending the launch of the Scottish & North Irish Yeomanry Regiment at Edinburgh Castle. A Written Ministerial Statement has been laid in the House of Commons today on the reporting of Future Reserves 2020. The MOD annual report and accounts are due to be published today.
Read the feature on Laura Small a Manufacturing Engineer at Rolls-Royce, but she also has a successful career in the Royal Engineers Army Reserves – in the Daily Mirror.
The Daily Express this morning reports that dozens of military dogs that served in Britain’s Armed Forces were destroyed by the Ministry of Defence this year. The paper reports that many of the 51 dogs that were killed had seen action on the frontline in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Responding to the story, Minister for Defence Personnel, Welfare and Veterans, Anna Soubry, said:
“The decision to euthanise is only taken by a veterinarian officer after all possible treatment avenues have been exhausted and where it is considered the most humane option for an animal. Whenever possible, Military Working Animals are rehomed at the end of their service life. However, sadly there are occasions where veterinary reasons indicate that rehoming would compromise the welfare of the animal or pose an unacceptable risk to public safety as a result of the animal's service life.”
A memorial service to celebrate the achievements of the first Jewish soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross, Lieutenant Frank Alexander de Pass VC, has been held at Victoria Embankment Gardens, Westminster. Lieutenant de Pass of the 34th Prince Albert Victor's Own Poona Horse, 9th (Secunderabad) Cavalry Brigade, 2nd Cavalry Division, Indian Army, was honoured yesterday, 25 November, with a commemorative paving stone beside the Ministry of Defence Main Building. In the picture, the Lord Mayor of Westminster, Councillor Audrey Lewis and Lieutenant Colonel Jonny Kitson, The Rifles, a great nephew of de Pass unveil the pavement. [Picture: Sergeant Rupert Frere RLC, Crown copyright]
Minister for Defence Personnel, Welfare and Veterans, Anna Soubry visit to Tidworth to meet a Forces Help to Buy family as they move into their new home. Read more about Forces Help to Buy here. Chief of the Defence Staff is attending the Air League Andrew Memorial lecture. Chief of the Air Staff is attending the Schools Aerospace Challenge. House of Commons Defence Committee pre-appointment hearing for the Service Complaints Commissioner.
Read about the Royal Navy's Trafalgar Class submarines are being moved to the Clyde naval base from their current site in Plymouth – on BBC News Online. Meanwhile The Independent has launched a Christmas campaign to support homeless veterans who fall on tough times.
Members of the public gathered to welcome back more than 200 military medics from Afghanistan as they paraded through York and attended a Thanksgiving Service in York Minster on Saturday. In the picture, soldiers from 34 Field Hospital on parade in Duncombe Place, York city centre. [Picture: Sergeant Si Longworth RLC, Crown copyright]