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MOD Police recruits complete firearms course

A dozen newly qualified MOD Police officers have completedthe first-ever Initial Firearms Officer Course to be held at the base.

During the six-week course the students carried out real-lifescenarios in the base and at Fort Blockhouse, Gosport.

The first two weeks saw them learn how to handle the MP7 orSA80 weapons, plus tasers. The remaining weeks consisted of tactical training,interceptions, vehicle drills and dealing with armed threats.

Recruits taking part in firearms training Credit: Royal Navy

"The course has been really good. After thefirst two weeks everyone qualified on either the MP7 or SA80 plus the taser. Weinclude real-life scenario assessments and, as in real life, it changes duringthe exercise. It has worked really well.”

– Sergeant Mick Flynn who taught the course
Recruits taking part in firearms training Credit: Royal Navy

"The course is very intensive and is both mentally and physically demanding and has many challenging aspects that require the ability to react in a professional and legal manner to ensure a positive outcome.”

– HMNB Portsmouth Inspector Michelle Mahony
Recruits taking part in firearms training Credit: Royal Navy
  1. Martin Dowse

See the Army's new £6m 'Terrier' vehicle in action

The Army has been showing off its newest and most advanced vehicle - a remote-controlled armoured digger.

Each 'Terrier' costs six million pounds to build, and weighs as much as 15 transit vans.

The vehicles are driven by using a video game-style controller, which means soldiers can carry out a number of tasks a safe distance away.

Our Correspondent, Martin Dowse, has been to Bovington Camp in Dorset to see 'The Terrier' in action.

The interviewees are: Colonel Simon Hulme, Assistant Director, Military Engineering Capability; and David Bond from BAE Systems.


  1. Martin Dowse

Army's new 'Terrier' armoured vehicle is state-of-the-art

The British Army has unveiled what it is calling the most sophisticated armoured vehicle ever developed. Troops have been demonstrating their latest bit of kit in Dorset.

The "Terrier" is a highly versatile engineering vehicle with a trick up its sleeve which is hoped will save lives. Martin Dowse reports.

The interviewee is Colonel Simon Hulme, Director of Military Engineering Capability.

Garrison issues statement about Arborfield death

Police have confirmed that Krishnamaya Mabo is the woman found in a field in Berkshire Credit: Thames Valley Police

Officials at the military garrison in Arborfield near Reading have issued a statement following the formal identification of a woman whose body was found in a field near the base in Berkshire on Monday 3rd June 2013.

Earlier today Thames Valley Police said the woman had been formally identified as 39-year-old Krishnamaya Mabo, a Nepalese national. Detectives have been granted a 36-hour extension to continue questioning a 30-year-old man arrested on suspicion of her murder.

The statement from the garrison reads:

'It is with deep sadness that the community of Arborfield Garrison learned of the tragic loss of Krishnamaya Mabo, the wife of a Ministry of Defence Employee serving within the Garrison. Naturally our thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends at this difficult time.'.

The army's newest vehicle the 'Terrier' is unveiled

The Army has order sixty terrier vehicles for use in the UK and abroad Credit: UK Crown copyright

The British Army's newest vehicle is being tested in Dorset. The "Terrier" is a remote-controlled armoured digger weighing 30 tonnes. The Army says it will be a key part of the Royal Engineers' capability for decades to come.

The 'Terrier' is an armoured digger Credit: UK Crown copyright

Sixty terriers have been ordered as part of a £360m project with BAE Systems. The firm has designed and built the diggers in the UK.


MoD bomb deal secures defence jobs

Two Royal Air Force Armourers work on a Paveway 2 laser guided bomb on a GR7 Harrier aircraft. Credit: PA

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has announced a new £25 million contract for more laser-guided bombs, in a move set to secure jobs in the South East.

The additional Paveway IV bombs will be carried by Tornado jets in Afghanistan, and are also due to be carried by new Typhoon and Lightning II aircraft.

Used during last year's air campaign over Libya, the RAF precision weapons use GPS technology which allows the UK to conduct 24-hour attacks against a range of targets.

Aircrew have the ability to reprogram the weapon during a mission, allowing them to attack a wider range of targets.

The MoD announced a new £25 million contract for more Paveway IV bombs from Raytheon UK, securing hundreds of jobs.

It will sustain around 450 jobs at the firm's UK plants - 300 in Glenrothes, Scotland, responsible for the Guidance Control Section of the weapon, and 150 in Harlow, Essex.

The contract will also support jobs at Raytheon's subcontractors - Portsmouth Aviation Ltd, Exelis in Brighton, Chemring in Ardeer, Ayrshire, and Thales in Basingstoke.

This year, the MoD has awarded more than £100 million of contracts to Raytheon for around 1,600 Paveway IV bombs, a spokesman said.

Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology Philip Dunne said: "This highly sophisticated UK-developed and manufactured weapon is the backbone of the RAF's precision bombing capability.

"This contract to boost the MoD's weapon stocks will sustain hundreds of skilled jobs in the defence manufacturing sector in both Scotland and England.

"By balancing the defence budget, we are able to commit with confidence to equipment programmes which help to safeguard our national security."

Wife's tribute after soldier shot dead in Afghanistan

Corporal Michael John Thacker Credit: MOD

27 year old Corporal Michael Thacker was part of the Fire Support Group manning an observation post in the Helmand district when he was shot. He could not be saved, despite the best efforts of medical staff.

Corporal Thacker was born in Swindon, Wiltshire and joined The Royal Welsh Fusiliers in 2004. He leaves behind a wife, parents and two year old daughter.

His wife Catherine said: "Michael was the love of my life. He was an amazing husband and father who will always be remembers as a funny loving and kind man."

Continued MOD investment in Berks

The MoD has reached an agreement with AWE Management Limited (AWEML), which will see the MoD invest £1 billion a year over the next five years. This will provide investment in skills and facilities at the company’s site in Aldermaston and Burghfield, Berks, where more than 4,500 staff are based.

Around 40 per cent of this money will be invested in essential capital projects, including production and research facilities. The remainder will be spent on operating and maintaining the AWE.

Atomic Weapons Establishment is a centre of scientific and technological excellence, with some of the most advanced research, design and production facilities in the world. This investment announced today will help maintain 4,500 jobs and a key capability, which is essential for our national security.”

– Peter Luff, Defence Equipment and Support Minister
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