Armed Forces Day 2017 – Show Your Support

Armed Forces Day LogoFew countries in the world can claim to have as much pride in their men and women in uniform as the United Kingdom and Armed Forces Day is a chance to show your support to those who safeguard our freedom and way of life from those who would do us harm.

Armed Forces Day is an annual event that takes place on the last Saturday of June which in 2017 is Saturday June 24th. There will be a number of events taking place up and down the country including the National Event taking place in Liverpool. To find an event near you then click on the link below which will take you to the Armed Forces Day official website. Just enter in your postcode and how far you are able to travel and see what’s happening in your area.

Armed Forces Day Event Search

Just in case you need a reminder of just what our fighting men and women do…

Planning on attending an event? Why not share your photos with others on Defence of the Realm? You will of course be given full credit for your images and if you so wish you can have links to your social media/blog/website included in the published article. Just email your photos to

Russia threatens coalition aircraft over Syria after US Navy shoot down Syrian Su-22

Relations between the west and Russia regarding Syria has always been both problematic and risky but it threatens to become even more dangerous following the shootdown of a Syrian Air Force Sukhoi Su-22 “Fitter” on Sunday. This has prompted Russian officials to describe American, British and French aircraft operating over the war-ravaged country as potential threats. In a statement, the Russian Defence Ministry said;

All kinds of airborne vehicles, including aircraft and UAVs of the international coalition detected to the west of the Euphrates River will be tracked by the Russian SAM systems as air targets.

Syrian civil war air force sukhoi su-22 fitterThe US took the extraordinary action against the Syrian Air Force on Sunday when the Su-22 (right) reportedly carried out a strike in proximity to US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces. The Syrian jet was shot down by a US Navy F/A-18E Super Hornet and is the first such air-to-air engagement for the type. The US military’s Central Command said in a statement that the shootdown was carried out in accordance of all established rules of engagement and in accordance with terms agreed upon by coalition partners.

However, the Russian Defence Ministry disagrees saying that the US acted in violation of the agreed upon terms of the de-confliction deal both sides pledged to honour. They also claim that the US made no effort to communicate with them before taking the action against the Syrian jet, describing the shootdown as a violation of Syria’s sovereignty. The Syrian government themselves also claim that the Su-22 was bombing Islamic State forces, not Syrian Democratic Forces, and accused the US of actually helping the terrorist organisation.

The Russians have since suspended their direct line of communication with Washington over the incident leading to their stark warning to the US-led forces. In the last few hours, Downing Street has appealed to the Russians to return to the previously established de-confliction arrangement so as to avoid any future confrontation between coalition aircraft and Russian and Syrian government aircraft.

The Pentagon in Washington responded strongly to the Russian threats made against Coalition aircraft with Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Joseph Dunford telling reporters;

I’m confident that we are still communicating between our operations centre and the Russian Federation’s operations centre — and I’m also confident that our forces have the capability to take care of themselves.

Under Operation: Shader, the Royal Air Force has been engaged in gathering intelligence and conducting air strikes against Islamic State in Syria and neighbouring Iraq. Tornado GR.4 and Typhoon FGR.4 combat aircraft along with Reaper drones continue to fly operations over the region from RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus.

News Round-Up – June 13th 2017

Panavia Tornado GR.4 No.31 Squadron Goldstars paveway brimstone

Here are some of the latest British military news stories making the headlines this past week.

Ongoing News

British military base in Cyprus hit by blast

General News

Britain is sleepwalking into joining EU army, warns top UK military commander

Post UK election, ‘defense will have to fight hard for what it needs’
(Defense News)

US Air Force Says F-35 Tech Can Stop Enemies From Learning New Info on F-35

US warplane ‘in emergency landing’ at RAF base as Trump moves bombers to UK
(Daily Star)

Lessons from The Troubles
(National Review)

British Army News

Ministry of Defence paid nearly £22 million in Iraq War compensation claims

British Army Band performs in Baku

3 ways data has transformed the British Army
(Information Age)

Law firm cleared of misconduct charges over Iraq cases
(Financial Times)

Royal Air Force News

ISIS leader Baghdadi ‘on the run’ as RAF bombers ramp up air offensive in Syria

Dad of missing RAF man, Corrie McKeague, releases new family snaps and says he’d do ‘anything’ to get his son back
(The Sun)

Divers plan to recover Dambuster bouncing bombs in time for 75th anniversary of raid

Is RAF Northolt being turned into ‘little Heathrow’?
(Get West London)

Royal Navy & Marines News

Royal Navy seizes drugs in fishing dhow in Indian Ocean
(Daily Nation)

Wood Group to deliver insulation installation services for UK’s Astute-class submarines

Ultra Electronics Wins Contract From Royal Navy

Disclaimer: All news stories are the property of their respective publishers. Any opinions expressed in the articles are of the person making them. An effort is made to vary news sources as much as possible to avoid political bias.

700 crew take up residence aboard HMS Queen Elizabeth

HMS Queen Elizabeth

After months of familiarisation and training, the ships company of HMS Queen Elizabeth can finally call the ambitious aircraft carrier home. 700 of the ship’s crew have taken up residence aboard the vessel which will become the Royal Navy’s future flagship and the epitome of Britain’s continued commitment to influencing world events.

HMS Queen Elizabeth is now in the advanced stages of her test and commissioning phase which will include her maiden sea trials scheduled to take place this summer. During this period the 65,000 ton aircraft carrier is expected to undertake “simple” air operations involving helicopters such as the Wildcat and Merlin.

HMS Queen Elizabeth UK F-35 Lightning IIThe first operations involving the Lockheed Martin F-35B Lightning II will not take place until the summer of 2018. Even then it will likely consist of a number of United States Marine Corps aircraft and crews until the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force comes up to strength on the type. Given the present acquisition rate, the UK will be able to deploy 24 of the maximum number of 40 F-35Bs onboard the ship some time in 2023 according to the ship’s commanding officer, Captain Jerry Kyd.

However, the whole carrier project continues to draw worried glances from observers regarding manpower shortages within the Royal Navy. This emerged in the wake of a savage cutting of over 4,000 personnel in the 2010 Strategic Defence and Security Review. The Royal Navy has engaged in a recruitment drive in recent months to address the problem with some success but the concern is that putting the aircraft carrier to sea will result in other ships being confined to port. In 2015, there were rumours that the navy was even considering advertising for personnel in Australia, New Zealand and Canada.

According to the Admiralty, the vessel is planned to sail to her future home base of Portsmouth by the end of the year.



News Round-Up – June 1st 2017

Red Arrow

Here are some of the latest British military news stories making the headlines this past week.

General News

Ministry of Defence Police suspends recruitment of firearms officers after ‘high volume of applications’
(Get Surrey)

Could selling warships abroad break BAE’s dominance?
(The Telegraph)

British Army News

Boko Haram: US, British Army here to support operations, not for combat – Nigerian Gen. Irabor

The newly refurbished National Army Museum is full of inaccuracies and post-colonial guilt
(The Spectator)

British Army’s ability to fight undermined by rampant STDs

Protest to be held at Free Derry Museum this week against inclusion of RUC and British Army amongst Troubles victims
(Derry Now)

Royal Air Force News

RAF Typhoon fighters intercept two Russian aircraft near UK airspace

General Election: Candidates challenged on RAF Boulmer
(Northumberland Gazette)

The Red Arrows get go ahead to start 2017 season
(Lincolnshire Live)

Signals Museum at RAF Henlow opens doors to the public
(Biggleswade Today)

I’m sickened by the RAF bomb with ‘Love from Manchester’ written on it
(The Independent)

RAF Bardney to become a Shooting Range
(Aviation Trails)

Royal Navy & Marines News

Royal Navy frigate seize drugs worth £65 million

Four Russian Ships Escorted By Royal Navy On English Channel
(Defense World)

Britain’s Royal Navy delivers Sea King helicopters to Pakistan

Spanish hits out at MoD as ‘floating bomb’ submarine arrives in Gibraltar

Disclaimer: All news stories are the property of their respective publishers. Any opinions expressed in the articles are of the person making them. An effort is made to vary news sources as much as possible to avoid political bias.

“Foxy Lady’s” Wheels-Up Landing At Yeovilton

Following the Sea Vixen’s display at the Duxford Air Show yesterday, the Cold War-era naval fighter suffered an hydraulic failure which prevented the lowering of the landing gear. Skillfully piloted by Commander Simon Hargreaves RN, the aircraft performed a wheels-up landing, scraping along the runway at Yeovilton before coming to a stop. Fortunately, no one was hurt in the incident. An investigation is underway to determine the cause of the malfunction but in the meantime the Sea Vixen has understandably been withdrawn from its immediate upcoming events.



News Round-Up – May 24th 2017

British army uk streets

Here are some of the latest British military news stories making the headlines this past week.

Manchester Attack Latest News

Manchester attack: Police hunt ‘network’ behind bomber

Amber Rudd criticises US for leaking Manchester terror attack information

Manchester bombing: officer among dead as police confirm they are investigating ‘network’

Father and brother of Manchester bomber arrested in Libya

Armed Forces Muslim Association (AFMA) sends heartfelt condolences to all of those affected by the horrific attack in Manchester
(AFMA Forum)

General News

Defence Minister Harriett Baldwin laughed at and accused of electioneering as she is confronted over Tory cuts at Royal United Services Institute

Afghanistan blast scientist Lee Peters receives MoD payout

New EU army headquarters branded little more than a ‘call centre’

British Army News

Soldiers deployed on streets in race to foil second terror attack after threat level raised to ‘critical’
(The Telegraph)

British Army veterans say they have been ‘abandoned’ in bid for justice over IRA attacks
(The Irish News)

Royal Air Force News

RAF Shawbury takes delivery of new training helicopters
(Shropshire Star)

World Fuel Services Becomes Founding Corporate Member and Centenary Partner of the Royal Air Force Museum
(Aviation Pros)

Royal Navy & Marines News

British Royal Navy test fires HMS Diamond’s Sea Viper missile system

ISIS in plot to blow up British ports by planting bombs on fuel tankers

Royal Navy chiefs slapped with £235 million repair bill after aircraft carrier broke out in mystery blisters
(The Scottish Sun)

Royal Navy only has enough sailors to crew five of seven attack subs
(The Sun)

Disclaimer: All news stories are the property of their respective publishers. Any opinions expressed in the articles are of the person making them. An effort is made to vary news sources as much as possible to avoid political bias.