BFBS Radio Sitrep
Sitrep is a unique current affairs radio programme produced by the British Forces News team with expert analysis of Defence and Foreign Affairs as our agenda. Presented by Kate Gerbeau and featuring our Forces News Defence Analyst Christopher Lee, Sitrep is the only place on radio where you'll find a comprehensive look back at the week's most significant events in defence and foreign affairs.
Direct download: 2019-07-18_Sitrep.mp3
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Royal Navy frigate, HMS Montrose has intercepted three Iranian vessels that were trying to block the path of a British oil tanker in the Gulf.  RUSI Director General Dr Karin von Hippel explains what's going on.

The British Ambassador to Washington has resigned after his diplomatic cables were leaked.  What does this mean for future intelligence co-operation between the US and UK?

Our reporter Claire Sadler has been to see what British Troops in South Sudan are doing for the United Nations mission there.

We talk to Lieutenant General Tim Radford who is leaving his role as Commander of NATO's Allied Rapid Reaction Corps to become Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe.

And why the RAF Benevolent Fund is trying to find veteran airmen and women who've fallen "Off the Radar".

Presented by Kate Gerbeau with BFBS Defence Analyst Christopher Lee.

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In today’s Sitrep with Kate Gerbeau and Christopher Lee…

The controversy surrounding the Royal Marines capturing an oil tanker off Gibraltar.

Hong Kong riots - has the UK gone too far in condemning China?

Putin says it's time the West changed its liberal ideas.

The British Ambassador to the United Nations who wanted to be a fighter pilot.

And why Trump won't let the generals rain on his parade.

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13th June 2019

This week on Sitrep:

No more street-fighting. The RAF tracks down IS to the Iraqi mountains.  Air Commodore Justin Reuter talks to Simon Newton

Why two oil tankers were on fire in the Gulf.

Pressure builds in Sudan.  Michelle Gavin, senior fellow for Africa Studies at the Council for Foreign Relations says the country is on a knife edge.

British Forces lead Exercise Baltic Protector.

And what do the Tory Leader hopefuls think about Defence?  Robert Fox from the London Evening Standard has the low-down. Sitrep is presented by Kate Gerbeau and Christopher Lee.


Direct download: Sitrep_13th_July_2019.mp3
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Direct download: 2019-06-06_Sitrep.mp3
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In Sitrep with James Hirst and Christopher Lee…


As Theresa May prepares to step down — what will her legacy be on defence? We hear from one expert who thinks she was never that interested in the forces, and find out which of the candidates vying to replace her has the best defence pedigree.


Before she resigns, Mrs May has to host Donald Trump on his state visit to the UK next week — we head to Washington to find out what’s likely to be on the agenda.


Fierce fighting resumes in Syria, as government and Russian forces try to wipe out the last remaining rebel stronghold. We’ll ask why the west appears to have stopped paying attention.


And ahead of events next week to mark the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings, we hear one veteran’s story from the 6th of June 1944.


Guests include:

Lucy Fisher, Defence Correspondent of The Times

Professor Michael Clarke, former director of RUSI and Professor Paul Rogers, Dept of Peace Studies, University of Bradford.


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In today’s Sitrep with Kate Gerbeau and Christopher Lee…

Why did the Carrier’s Captain have to leave his ship? 

Is Turkey hungry for war with Cyprus?

Should Britain hand back the Chagos (PRO: Chay-gos) Islands?

What are the modern day challenges of UN Peacekeeping operations?

And the essence of being a soldier – the warrant officer’s speech that’s a must-watch for MoD recruiters.

Direct download: 2019-05-23_Sitrep.mp3
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Former Chief of the Defence Staff Lord Dannatt welcomes the Defence Secretary's plans to examine the way historical allegations are handled.

Tensions rise between the Iran and the United States but are they heading towards confrontation? Professor Joshua Landis from the University of Oklahoma explains what's happening and Michael Evans, former Pentagon Correspondent for The Times talks about the mixed messages from the US and UK on the threat level.

US General Michael Garrett explains the how his men will fight in the future.

And the Eurovision Song Contest is taking place in Israel.  Paul "Dr Eurovision" Jordan talks about the politics surrounding this non-political event

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Why MP Johnny Mercer has withdrawn support for the government over historical allegations in Northern Ireland.


Is the special relationship is back on as Pompeo and Hunt have talks in London.


Is Iran a threat to the UK and is Libya being ignored?


And army boxing, why it’s attracting an online audience.


Direct download: 2019-05-09_Sitrep.mp3
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This week on Sitrep with Kate Gerbeau and Christopher Lee:

Gavin Williamson has lost his job as Defence Secretary.  He was sacked by the Prime Minister because she believes he was the source of a leak from the National Security Council.

The Chairman of the House of Commons Defence Committee Dr Julian Lewis gives his views on Williamson, the new woman in the job Penny Mordaunt and Huawei.

He's joined by Professor Anthony Glees from the University of Buckingham.

And Professor Eric Grove talks discusses the growing naval strength of China and Japan.


PROGRAMME TX THURSDAYS at 4:30pm UK TIME on BFBS RADIO 2 and at 6:30pm UK TIME on BFBS & UK Bases


You can listen on BFBS Radio 2 at 1630 (UK time) and at 1830 (UK time) on BFBS (via web & App in the UK and on FM in Scotland, Colchester, Salisbury Plain, Aldershot, Catterick & Blandford Forum).  On Sky Channel 0211.

Alternatively - listen again on-line, or download the Sitrep Podcast.


Direct download: 2019-05-02_Sitrep.mp3
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In today’s Sitrep with Kate Gerbeau and Christopher Lee…


How will Britain stand in NATO after Brexit?

And will NATO get involved in Libya?

Why Trump's veto means the US will continue to back the Saudis in Yemen.

And mine hunting in the Arabian Gulf with the Royal Navy's oldest ship.


PROGRAMME TX THURSDAYS at 4:30pm UK TIME on BFBS RADIO 2 and at 6:30pm UK TIME on BFBS & UK Bases


You can listen on BFBS Radio 2 at 1630 (UK time) and at 1830 (UK time) on BFBS (via web & App in the UK and on FM in Scotland, Colchester, Salisbury Plain, Aldershot, Catterick & Blandford Forum).  On Sky Channel 0211.

Alternatively - listen again on-line, or download the Sitrep Podcast.


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Direct download: 2019-04-04_Sitrep.mp3
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In today’s Sitrep with Kate Gerbeau and Christopher Lee -

Is India now a super-power?

How London and Moscow are trying to improve relations.

Plus, why do people leave the armed forces?  And what should the Mod do to increase retention

And, how one part of Brexit IS happening on time tomorrow.

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This week on Sitrep with Kate Gerbeau and Christopher Lee:

It's 2019 and if you're a woman, you can now apply to do every single job in the British Armed Forces.

We celebrate International Women's Day by hearing from some of the top female voices in defence, including:

  • Dr Karin Von Hippel, Director General of the Royal United Services Institute.
  • Colonel Lucy Giles, President of the Army Selection Board.
  • Madeleine Moon MP, a long-serving member of the House of Commons Defence Committee who says the Ministry of Defence isn't doing enough to recruit more women.
  • Commodore Ellie Ablett MBE, who founded the Naval Servicewomen's Network.
  • Maria Stuttaford who has been studying the impact of the unpaid work done by military wives.

And Sarah Brown, Chair of Theirworld and wife of former Prime Minister Gordon Brown talks about a forgotten casualty of war; the education of girls.


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28th February

This week on Sitrep with Kate Gerbeau and Christopher Lee:

President Trump and Kim Jong-un have said no deal this time on nuclear warheads.  We hear from Professor Robert Kelly of Pusan University in South Korea and Professor Michael Stathis from the University of Southern Utah in the USA.

Why has nobody managed to find a solution to the conflict over Kashmir?  Dr Dan Plesch from SOAS at the University of London explains.

The UN's highest court says Britain should end its control of the Chagos Islands, but what about Diego Garcia where the US keeps its B-52 Bombers?

Officer cadets at Sandhurst are trained by the Red Cross.  It's to teach them how to work with humanitarian agencies in conflict zones. Retired Brigadier Ian McLoed has worked for the ICRC for 20 years and explains why this is so important.

And the former soldier who says his optician refused to make a note of his military service on his medical records.  We hear from Hugh Milroy the CEO of Veterans Aid about the confusion over the Armed Forces Covenant.

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21st February

This week on Sitrep with Tim Cooper and Christopher Lee:

Putin has told Moscow's federal assembly that Russia will deploy new weapons and aim them at the west if the US deploys new short and medium-range missiles in Europe.  So what's Putin's game?  We hear from RUSI's Professor Mark Galleotti and writer on Russian affairs Mary Dejevsky.

Simon Marks reports from Washington on President Trump's plans to give US nuclear powered technology to Saudi Arabia, a sworn enemy of Israel.  Professor Paul Rogers from the University of Bradford explains what this could mean.

The UK's signed a new military pact with Oman which will allow Royal Navy ships and submarines to dock in a new port being built there, putting British "East of Suez" plans into action.

And we mark LGBTQ History Month with a look ahead to next week's special programmes on Forces Radio BFBS including an interview with Caroline Paige, the first transgender officer to serve openly in the British Armed Forces.

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This week on Sitrep with Kate Gerbeau and Christopher Lee:

Professor Michael Clarke from the new counter-terrorist think tank Co-Jit UK explains why British Intelligence Officers might like to speak to the IS bride who wants to come to the UK.

Forces News reporter Laura Mackin-Isherwood reports from the NATO defence ministers meeting in Brussels.

The London Evening Standard's Defence Editor Robert Fox gives his take on the Defence Secretary's "Paper Tiger" speech.

Naval Historian Professor Eric Grove explains why the Defence Secretary wants to send HMS Queen Elizabeth to the South China Sea.

 Dr Julian Lewis talks about his concerns about French involvement in the production of the Type 26 frigate.

And Christopher Lee has a soppy story about Valentine's Day!

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In (today’s) Sitrep with Kate Gerbeau and Christopher Lee:

Are Islamic State really defeated in Syria or is it wishful thinking by President Trump?

The UK hosts the Nato’s 70th summit later this year – is it chance to modernise the alliance?

Find out why there are now more Gurkhas joining the British Army than in the past 30 years.

And as we wave goodbye to the Tornado, Sitrep looks at how it will compare to other “iconic” RAF aircraft

That’s all in  Sitrep, Thurs at 6.30 UK time, or listen to the Podcast at any time.

PROGRAMME TX THURSDAYS at 4:30pm UK TIME on BFBS RADIO 2 and at 6:30pm UK TIME on BFBS & UK Bases

You can listen on BFBS Radio 2 at 1630 (UK time) and at 1830 (UK time) on BFBS (via web & App in the UK and on FM in Scotland, Colchester, Salisbury Plain, Aldershot, Catterick & Blandford Forum).  On Sky Channel 0211.

Alternatively - listen again on-line, or download the Sitrep Podcast.

Direct download: Sitrep_20190207.mp3
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This week on Sitrep with Kate Gerbeau and Christopher Lee:

Defence Minister Tobias Ellwood explains why Brexit defence planning is the number one priority at the Ministry of Defence.

Professor Paul Rogers explains the INF treaty and why President Trump is warning the US may pull out.

The new Commander of British Forces in the Falklands, Brigadier Nick Sawyer, gives his first interview and tells Gini Carlin about his plans to improve training there.

RAF Marham is now running on Biofuel - so how does that work?

And new details about work carried out by the Pentagon's top secret UFO research programme with former MOD UFO man Nick Pope.

Direct download: Sitrep_Febuary_1st_2019.mp3
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What’s behind last weekend’s car bomb in Londonderry?  We speak to Dr Marisa McGlinchey whose forthcoming book "Unfinished Business: The politics of Dissident Irish Republicanism" is out soon.


President Trump and North Korea are planning another summit  - but is North Korea still developing nuclear warheads?  Sitrep looks at the meeting from both the US and North Korean perspective with Robert E Kelly, Professor of Political Science at Pusan University in South Korea and Michael Stathis, Professor of Political Science and International Relations at the University of Southern Utah.


Michael Stathis also comments on the US shutdown and how it’s affecting defence and security.


And Glynn Prysor from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission talks to us about memorials and why they get vandalised.

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17th January edition

 What would a no-deal Brexit mean for defence?


Why France and Germany are strengthening their defence and foreign policies with a new Treaty.


The US Shutdown - how does it affect US Defence? 


Plus what’s the Royal Navy up to in the South China Seas and what was the SAS man doing at a Nairobi Hotel?

Direct download: Sitrep_January_17th_2019.mp3
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It's out with the old and in with the new for the RAF.  The F-35s are deployment ready while the Tornadoes are being prepared to retire, Aviation Expert Paul Beaver explains the significance.

We speak to Christina Lamb, the Sunday Times Chief Foreign Correspondent, who was recently in South Sudan, about how British soldiers intervened to stop the repeated rape of a group of women there.

What will Turkey do if the US withdraws its forces from Syria? Paul Rogers, Professor of Peace studies at the University of Bradford, explains the impact on the region.

And after Captain Louis Rudd’s successful solo Antarctic trek, Sitrep asks Colonel Neil Wilson, Commander of the Army’s Adventurous Training Group, why adventurous training is so important for the forces.

We also have a tribute to Lord Ashdown.

Did you enjoy the programme?  We’d love it if you left us a review!  Follow us on Twitter: @BFBSSitrep

Direct download: Sitrep_January_10th_2019_.mp3
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