BFBS Radio Sitrep
NYF and Sony Radio Award winning Sitrep brings you discussion and analysis on defence, foreign policy and the stories affecting the British Forces. Presented by Kate Gerbeau with defence analyst Christopher Lee.

As the western evacuation from Afghanistan enters its final phase, what are the key mistakes that led to the country’s fall to the Taliban?

This week, we hear from an analyst who only left Kabul as the city was being taken over — she claims the US effectively sold out the Afghan government, and encouraged the Taliban to wait out the clock.

We discuss what impact the withdrawal will have on other countries’ faith in western military powers, and whether it will prompt a fracture between the US and UK.

Plus we ask what impact this last deployment in Afghanistan will have on the hundreds of British troops now pulling out of Kabul, and how it’s affecting veterans of the last twenty years.

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Category: -- posted at: 2:19pm UTC

The Service Complaints Ombudsman tells Sitrep that - despite progress - the system for raising and addressing grievances in the military is not efficient, effective, or fair.

Sitrep looks at what we know so far about the promised Type 32 Frigate first mentioned by the Prime Minister in the funding settlement statement.
And you can hear a special report from Cyprus where Royal Marines are testing new technology and systems.

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Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:00pm UTC

Sitrep focuses on future Defence priorities and funding with the Armed Forces Minister James Heappey, Labour's Shadow Defence Secretary John Healey, the former Chief of the Defence Staff, Lord Richards and Professor Michael Clarke from RUSI .

Plus Hannah King reports on how 'gun bubbles' are helping troops train for a deployment to Estonia.


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Direct download: Sitrep_2611_Edit_4.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:30am UTC

Defence is to get a four year funding deal - what should the new money be spent on and how will it reshape the UK's defence policy? 

President Trump orders more US troops out of Afghanistan - but what does that mean for the fragile peace process?

And how RFA Argus is supporting Hurricane relief efforts.

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Direct download: Sitrep_1911_Final_1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:30am UTC

What is the future for US-NATO relations under a Joe Biden Presidency?  

The mission to rid the Falklands of landmines nearly 40 years after the conflict

And we look at the role for defence in Space.

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Direct download: Sitrep_1211_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:30am UTC

The armed forces helping to carry out rapid coronavirus testing in the government’s first mass pilot...

What are the future defence, foreign and security challenges for the winner of the Presidential election in the US? 

And how different will Remembrance be this year due to the Covid pandemic?


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Direct download: Sitrep_0511_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:30am UTC

In less than a week, the United States chooses its next President. In this week’s Sitrep, we get the latest on the race for military votes, and ask what four more years of Donald Trump, or a new start under Joe Biden, would mean for the UK, and for Nato.

In the week special forces raided an oil tanker in trouble off the Isle of Wight, we ask whether the military could dragged into the ongoing Channel migrant and refugee crisis.

We’ll find out how the coronavirus pandemic has impacted Gurkha recruitment, and hear from a former head of GCHQ who says we could all learn a lot by thinking the way spies do.

Plus the Speaker of the House of Commons, Sir Lindsay Hoyle, tells us about his own relationship with the military, and why he thinks MPs should spend time with the forces learning how they work.

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Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm UTC

The future of the Integrated Security and Defence Review. 

Why is NATO planning to open a new Space Centre?

How will Drone technology change combat?

And what impact did GCHQ have in the Falklands War? 


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Direct download: Sitrep_2210_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:30am UTC

How has Army recruitment been impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic?  Sitrep speaks to the Assistant Director of Army Recruiting.

What lies behind North Korea’s decision to showcase its latest missile?

The RAF has welcomed the arrival of the first of the P-8A Poseidon Maritime Patrol Aircraft to its permanent home at RAF Lossiemouth.

And the campaign to honour armed forces personnel from the Caribbean with a new monument at the National Memorial Arboretum


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Direct download: Sitrep_1510_Edit_4.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:30am UTC

A new report from the IISS think tank says the Russian armed forces are significantly smaller than their Soviet predecessors, but better equipped with more professional personnel. 

We mark thirty years since women were first deployed operationally at sea with the Royal Navy... 

And why the Gurkhas are doing ‘wet gap crossing’ training in Northumberland.

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Direct download: Sitrep_0810_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:30am UTC

The Chief of the Defence Staff, General Sir Nicholas Carter, has set out the 'Integrated Operating Concept' this week. It's been described as the most significant shift in military thinking in generations. What is it and what impact could it have on the armed forces in the future?

The new carrier, HMS Queen Elizabeth, is to join a major NATO exercise from this weekend. We hear from a former Naval commander.

What’s the best way to improve NHS services for serving armed forces families and veterans?

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Direct download: Sitrep_0110_Final_2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:56pm UTC

Lord Sedwill, the former National Security Adviser and Cabinet Secretary who stepped down this month, talks exclusively to Sitrep about chemical and biological weapons, the changing nature of threats and the Integrated Defence Review.

Why a new institute has been set up to study air and space power issues in defence and security and - out mortar training with the Duke of Lancaster’s regiment.


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Direct download: Sitrep_2409_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:30am UTC

NATO’s Assistant Secretary-General talks exclusively to Sitrep about the possible long-term extreme threats to the UK and other NATO members

And remembering the Battle of Britain 80 years on - we hear about the letters written by a Pilot Officer about the battle to his wife in occupied France.

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Direct download: Sitrep_17_September_2020.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:30am UTC

Where are the Cyber threats to the UK coming from? The former head of the National Cyber Security Centre, Ciaran Martin, on Russia, China and the impact of Covid 19.

More than two thousand US troops are to leave Iraq but is it the right time to draw down forces? We speak to the Chair of the Commons Defence Committee Tobias Ellwood.

More than a million British soldiers have lived and served in Germany over the past 75 years. A new exhibition at the National Army Museum opens on Saturday looking at this unique deployment . 

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Direct download: Sitrep_10_September_2020.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:30am UTC

Germany says that Novichok has been used on a rival of President Putin - how will the international community react this time?

What’s behind the recent tensions between Greece and Turkey in the Eastern Mediterranean?

Plus, Sitrep looks at how the Gurkhas are changing their recruitment process. We join the Royal Marines on training exercises and how some of Britain’s rarest reptiles are thriving in a military fuel site.

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Direct download: Sitrep_3_September_2020.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:30am UTC

We look at the options facing the government as part of their Integrated Review of foreign policy, defence and security. Lord Dannatt, former Chief of the General Staff, tells us that the government must find more money for defence. 

We ask what will be the impact of the recent coup in the West African state of Mali on plans to send 250 British troops there as part of a UN mission?  

Sitrep reports on how German soldiers are using the British run Sennelager training area to prepare for a mission in Afghanistan next year - and we hear how the last surviving landing craft from D-Day has finally reached its new home.


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Category:general -- posted at: 11:30am UTC

As protests continue in Belarus, Sitrep looks at the wider implications.

We hear from the man who was Britain’s ambassador in Minsk when Lukashenko took power 26 years ago on what’s likely to happen next.

In the United States, the race for the White House is hotting up, with Joe Biden setting out his pitch to American voters.

We ask a former head of the Royal United Services Institute what a Biden victory could mean for US allies, and find out why there’s talk about the military potentially being asked to remove Donald Trump from the White House if he loses, and then refuses to leave.

A former head of GCHQ joins us to discuss the idea of “principled spying” — is it even possible?

And we find out why Chelsea Football Club has adopted an historic Lancaster bomber.

Plus we report from Biggin Hill airfield, 80 years after it played a key role in the “hardest day” of the Battle of Britain.

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Direct download: Sitrep_20_August_2020.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm UTC

75 years on - what’s the legacy of VJ day?

How should the government review the UK’s security and defence needs?

We hear what military personnel are doing to help after the devastating explosion in Beirut

And why the script of the film 'The Bridge on the River Kwai' caused concern in the War Office.

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Direct download: Sitrep_13_August_2020.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:30am UTC

The Government offers aid and help from military personnel after the massive explosion in Beirut.

What impact is the Covid 19 pandemic having on food supplies around the world? 

Sitrep has a special report on training with the UK Gurkha Company   

And the Battle of Balaclava, one man’s story as part of the Charge of the Heavy Brigade.

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Direct download: Sitrep_6_August_2020_re-edit.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:20pm UTC

The Chair of the Defence Select Committee Tobias Ellwood on Donald Trump's plans to withdraw 12 thousand troops from Germany.

We assess the role of artificial intelligence in future combat air systems. 

Why did Iran fire missiles at a mock-up of a US aircraft carrier?

And what led to the abolition of the daily tot of Navy rum…50 years ago this week?

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Direct download: Sitrep_30_July_2020.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:30am UTC

What should be done to counter cyber threats from Russia?

A new report says there needs to be more investment in armed forces personnel and their families to keep them in the military.

We report on Exercise Merlin Storm with Commando Helicopter Force

And a reservist’s personal insight into what it's been like to work in hospitals throughout the Covid pandemic.

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Direct download: Sitrep_23_July_2020.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:30am UTC

Vice Admiral Sir Jeremy Blackham on the future deployment of aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth. 

The Red Cross tells Sitrep how the conflict in Yemen is having a devastating impact on the treatment of those affected by COVID-19.

And we report from Germany on the 75th anniversary of the Potsdam Conference that shaped the future of post-war Europe. 


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Category:general -- posted at: 11:30am UTC

The Chief of the Defence staff on the future shape of the armed forces.

Why have so many countries become involved in the conflict going on in Libya?

A day in the life of military personnel working on coronavirus Mobile Testing units.

What will the Government do about Huawei and 5G? The significance of the Battle of Britain in the Second World War.


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Direct download: Sitrep_9_July_2020.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:30am UTC

As Afghanistan deals with the spread of Coronavirus, a British Army spokesperson tells the programme what precautions are being taken on their deployment in the country.

A new National Security Adviser has been appointed but what will be the impact of the change at the top of Whitehall? Professor Michael Clarke unpicks the changes.

And searching for the right words to find fitting inscriptions for military graves. We speak to Peter Francis from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. 

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Direct download: Sitrep_2_July_2020.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:30am UTC

We assess the impact of the military's response to Covid 19: Russia's security services under the spotlight.

One of the RAF’s first female fast jet pilots tells Sitrep what it was like to be a pioneer in her field and our ambassador to Washington enlists the help of the Army, the Navy and the RAF in making the perfect cup of tea!

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Direct download: Sitrep_25_June_2020.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:49am UTC

Tributes paid to Dame Vera Lynn, the forces sweetheart.

President Trump has confirmed that 9,500 US troops are to leave Germany, so how will that affect NATO's strategy in Europe?

The Chair of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee tells Sitrep of his deep concern over the fatal clashes at the border between China and India

Plus -  why a new research project has been launched to see how veterans are coping during the Covid 19 pandemic. 

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Direct download: Sitrep_18_June_2020.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:39am UTC

One of the Army’s most senior officers has told BFBS Sitrep why he wrote an open letter about tackling racism, following the protests over the death of George Floyd.

Commander, Home Command, Lieutenant General Tyrone Urch told Sitrep that the British Army was not immune to incidences of racism and he's written to all commanders saying he is determined the army will push back against racism, hatred and division.

We also hear from a former United States permanent representative to NATO about a warning this week from the organisation's head about the growing economic and military power of China. Jens Stoltenberg said the West must stand together to face any challenges.

And the oldest Admiral in the fleet... we look at Prince Philip's war time experiences - including witnessing  Japan's surrender - in the week he celebrates his 99th birthday.

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Direct download: Sitrep_11_June_2020.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:27pm UTC

We hear about the new regiment being formed to counter the threat from digital attacks. The first dedicated Cyber regiment is designed to protect defence networks at home and on operations overseas. Brigadier John Collyer - the Commander of 1st Signal Brigade - tells us about the threats and explains how the 13th Signal regiment is made up from different specialist teams. 


The military have been widely praised for their work throughout the COVID 19 crisis but questions are being asked now about the impact of the pandemic on government spending overall, and on defence spending in particular. We hear from the Defence Secretary giving evidence in parliament and from defence experts.


And what advice on leadership and motivation would you give a 14 year old? We hear from a father who, when working at Downing St, asked world leaders, authors and sports stars to write down their life advice for his son we hear what George W Bush, Mikhail Gorbachev and J.K. Rowling, among others.

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Direct download: Sitrep_4_June_2020.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:32pm UTC

We hear from scientists at the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory at Porton Down who have been using their expertise to assess how the coronavirus behaves and to support the government's testing programme.

We assess the impact of Dunkirk 80 years after the evacuation of over 300,000 thousand British and Allied troops from the beaches and hear from a 100 year old veteran who was taken prisoner.

And we hear how the US Army is using skilled gamers in its ranks to reach out to prospective recruits  at a time when coronavirus makes career fairs difficult. The army e-sports team competes full time and organises large online tournaments where they can meet prospective soldiers.


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Direct download: Sitrep_28_May.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:31am UTC

It’s Mental Health Awareness week, and this year’s theme is “kindness” — in this week’s Sitrep we hear how one military charity’s helping some of those struggling to cope with the coronavirus pandemic.

We’ll find out how NATO’s combating disinformation around the virus — with help from the British military.

And we’ll hear from the head of the UN relief mission in Yemen — a country battered by years of civil war, and now struggling with Covid-19.

Plus updates on how the pandemic’s affecting British forces communities in Canada and Cyprus — and the Red Arrows have a new home — not too far from the old one.

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Direct download: Sitrep_21_May_2020.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:04am UTC

MPs on the Commons Defence Select Committee want to know if the military could have been used sooner to boost Britain's response to the coronavirus pandemic -- we'll speak to the committee's chairman.

We'll also ask why America sent its fleet of bombers into the skies above Europe and the Indo-Pacific this week in a show of strength — aimed in part at China.

Most military personnel who think they have a valid complaint about their treatment don’t actually make one. And according to the Ombudsman overseeing service complaints, the system is neither efficient or fair.

We hear from Nicola Williams about what’s working, what’s not, and why women in the military are nearly five times more likely to file a complaint than men.

We’ve updates on how the coronavirus outbreak is affecting reserves in Northern Ireland, and the impact of a slight easing of restrictions in Germany.

Plus we take to the skies with the Covid Aviation Task Force, which has been helping the NHS in its response to the pandemic.

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Direct download: Sitrep_14_May_2020.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:50am UTC

We look at the government’s plans to re-start military training programmes, despite the continuing coronavirus lockdown. Ministers say it’ll be done in a “responsible, socially distanced way” — but how?

Who could be trying to hack into the labs working on a coronavirus vaccine? A warning this week pointed the finger at “hostile actors” — we’ll look at why it’s happening.

We’ll hear from one military charity worried about the mental health of veterans dealing with the pandemic.

And ahead of the VE Day anniversary, we’ll find out how it’s being marked at home and online, hear from Cyprus about the role the island played in the war, and we’ve a special report from Germany on what surrender meant for its citizens.


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Direct download: Sitrep_7_May_2020.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:52am UTC

What will the world look like when the coronavirus pandemic is in the past? Will relations with China collapse? How will Russia respond? And where does it leave Britain? We’ll discuss the potential for major change with the director-general of RUSI

We report on the military’s latest role responding to the pandemic — setting up dozens of mobile testing facilities

We get updates on how forces communities around the world are coping with the lockdown.

And on Captain Tom Moore’s 100th birthday, we hear from the postmaster who’s had to cope with more than 100-thousand cards.

Plus, a former MoD expert on UFOs tells us why the Pentagon’s suddenly being so open about potential close encounters.

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Direct download: Sitrep_30_April.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:04am UTC

Thousands of military personnel are part of Britain’s response to the Coronavirus crisis, but should they be doing more?

What are the parallels between being in a war zone and being on the frontline of the medical battle against Covid-19?  Sitrep speaks to an expert in military mental health,

And, as the head of MI5 steps down, what are the security threats we need to be worried about once the pandemic has passed?

Plus, how are military charities coping as many face financial crisis?


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Direct download: Sitrep_23_April_2020.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:35am UTC

The coronavirus pandemic respects no borders, striking the wealthiest countries, and the poorest. This week, we look at the potential impact on conflict zones.

A former adviser to the US State Department tells us Afghanistan will have to cope without much international support.

In the United States, Donald Trump comes under more pressure over his response to the pandemic. Will it prompt him to withdraw even further from America’s decades-old role as global leader?

We get an update from Cyprus on how the outbreak is affecting the lives of the British forces community.

And we tell the story of Captain Tom Moore, the 99-year-old veteran who’s raised millions for the NHS.

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Category:general -- posted at: 11:37am UTC

With the Prime Minister in hospital, who’s in charge of Britain’s security? As the Government continues to fight against the coronavirus pandemic, former RUSI head Professor Michael Clarke tells us some will see an opportunity to exploit.

The Chief of the Defence Staff is telling the forces to treat the virus response as a long-term operation — we speak to retired Major General Tim Robinson, formerly in charge of military assistance to civilian authorities, about the different mindset that’s required.

And as the coronavirus reaches Africa, are there lessons from the way British forces helped to tackle the Ebola outbreak there in 2014. We hear from Kate Dooley, from the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change, who’s normally based in Sierra Leone.

Plus care homes call on the public to get in touch with lonely veterans, forced to isolate while the outbreak continues.

Direct download: Sitrep_9_April_2020.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:44am UTC

The giant NHS Nightingale Hospital in London’s docklands prepares to receive patients — built in just a few days with help from the Army. We’ve a special report from inside the hospital.

As thousands of reservists are called up and the RAF and Royal Navy make their own contributions to the national response to the pandemic, we’ll hear from the First Sea Lord, and get updates from forces communities in Germany, the Falklands and Cyprus.

Plus we learn more about the call to veterans to help their local communities cope with the virus.

Fake news connected to the pandemic is spreading around the world — we’ll explore the task facing the new government unit set up to combat conspiracy theories.

And we hear how a group of veterans in Scotland are using technology to keep in touch despite the rules on social distancing.

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Direct download: Sitrep_2_April_2020_v2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:58am UTC

We hear from some of those in the forces helping the UK’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Former Chief of the Defence Staff Lord Richards tells us the Army’s “perfect” to help build a giant new hospital in London — and remembers his experiences of being drafted in to help in past civil emergencies.

We learn about the military personnel training to deliver vital oxygen supplies to hospitals up and down the country, and find out how the outbreak could threaten charities working with veterans.

Plus we look at how prepared the UK was for this emergency — do we need to think more about civil defence?

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Direct download: Sitrep_26_March.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:24am UTC

After an extraordinary week for the UK and the world, this week’s Sitrep looks at the role the military is likely play in the response to the coronavirus outbreak.

We’ve a full update on the MoD’s plans so far, and former defence minister Tobias Ellwood tells us how the military will fit into the overall response.

Michael Clarke, the former director-general at the Royal United Services Institute, remembers past occasions where the military’s been called in to help out, and chemical weapons expert Hamish de Bretton Gordon talks through the lessons from the Novichok attack in Salisbury that could come in handy in the coming weeks.

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Direct download: 11_Sitrep_Pod.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:48am UTC

It’s five years since Saudi Arabia first intervened in the fighting in Yemen. Since then it’s escalated into the world’s worst humanitarian disaster — and this week aid agencies have warned the situation could get even worse.

We’ll hear from the Red Cross, on the ground in Yemen, on the crisis facing its population — and learn more about Saudi Arabia’s huge surge in arms imports during the conflict — and who’s selling them the weapons.

Plus a special report from Africa on Britain’s growing military role in the continent, and find out more about the coming deployment to Mali.

And if you thought you’d soon see the back of Vladimir Putin — think again. Find out how Russia’s leader plans to effectively become president for life with Russia analyst Stephen Dalziel

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Category:general -- posted at: 1:47pm UTC

Should the military be helping in the fight against coronavirus?  

Lord Dannatt, former head of the Army, tells Sitrep his thoughts.

How British troops are training African soldiers to combat the Islamist extremists in the Sahel.

And find out what it's like to be a RAF reservist....

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Direct download: 09_Sitrep_Podcast.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:01am UTC

Downing Street has launched a huge review of defence, security and foreign policy. It's like nothing we've seen before.  Lucy Fisher, Defence Editor at The Times and Professor Michael Clarke, Distinguished Fellow at RUSI explain how it might work.

Our reporter Sian Grzeszczyk talks to former Major General John Henderson who is now Chief Executive of Staffordshire County Council about life after service.

And Ed Jennings reports on the new technology which could make it easier for pirates to operate at sea.

Presented by Kate Gerbeau with Christopher Lee.

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Category:general -- posted at: 4:44pm UTC

The scale of the humanitarian tragedy unfolding in Syria is hard to comprehend.   Close to 1-million civilians — the majority women and children — have fled towards the Turkish border in the depths of winter.  Western nations, though, appear unwilling to do anything.

Germany’s president criticises the US, and Mike Pompeo insists the transatlantic alliance remains strong. We’ll look at those competing claims, and why the UK only sent a very junior representative to the first big international security conference since Brexit.


Sir William Patey talks about the impending peace deal in Afghanistan, the way the Taliban has managed to win a key role in deciding the country’s future, and the political pressure pushing Trump to sign the deal.


A lot has changed in the two decades since the government lifted the bar on gay and bisexual people serving in the armed forces.  Now a group of veterans and serving personnel - some of them instrumental in fighting to remove that ban - are giving their backing to a new charity called "Fighting with Pride".

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Direct download: 07_Sitrep_Podcast.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:53am UTC

The Army has some rare good news on the shortfalls in its ranks.  It is about to meet its recruitment target for the first time since it started a controversial private partnership with Capita in 2012.

The cabinet reshuffle didn't go quite as expected but are there any defence implications?  We talk to Lucy Fisher, Defence Editor at the The Times

Africa’s Sahel region, is currently at the centre of huge conflict and displacement with different armed groups, including Al Qaeda and Islamic State moving in. We talk to Paul Melly, consulting fellow at Chatham House.

The United States is a hundred percent committed to NATO.  So says a US General involved in the planning of the largest deployment of U.S.-based forces to Europe for an exercise in more than 25 years.

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Direct download: 06_Sitrep_Pod.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:28am UTC

President Trump’s made his annual State of the Union address to Congress.  Malcolm Brown from Feature Story News in Washington explains how it went down with the voters and Dr Karin von Hippel the Director General of RUSI talks about the current state of Britain’s relationship with the US.

Does the United Nations need reform? Antonio Guterres, the Secretary General of the UN, is angry because countries are ignoring security council resolutions. 

The new chairman of the House of Commons Defence Committee, Tobias Ellwood, tells us what he hopes to achieve in the job.

And aviation expert Paul Beaver gives his view on the RAF’s new Poseidon Maritime Patrol Aircraft.

Presented by Kate Gerbeau with Christopher Lee.

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Direct download: 05_Sitrep_Podcast.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:31am UTC

The Government’s made its decision on Huawei and the new 5G Network – but is it the right one?  James Sullivan, head of Cyber Research at the Royal United Services Institute looks at the concerns surrounding the announcement.

As we remember the Holocaust, why are we ignoring the human-rights atrocities happening right now?  Paul Rogers, Professor of Peace Studies at the University of Bradford, reminds us of today’s brutalities.

Sian Grzeszczyk speaks to Bae System’s Human Factors lead researcher, Suzy Broadbent, about the new technology that will read the minds of future fast-jet pilots to improve their performance. 

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Direct download: 04_Sitrep_Podcast.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:54am UTC

The 2020 Defence Review – is it big enough to shape Britain’s future defence policy?  Defence analysts Francis Tusa and Christopher Lee discuss the possible options.

The former First Sea Lord, Admiral Lord West explains why is there concern over the repair programme for the Type 45s.

Did the government do a deal with Sinn Fein that could lead to more veterans being prosecuted?  Former defence minister Mark Francois voices his concern.

And remembering Peter Hobday, the first presenter of Sitrep.

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Direct download: 03_Sitrep_Podcast.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:21am UTC

Higar Chemali, the former spokesperson for the US mission to the United Nations and Professor Scott Lucas from Birmingham University tell us

why the UK has changed its policy on the  Iran nuclear deal, and look at America’s reaction one week after the air strikes against US forces in Iraq.

Former Kremlin advisor Alexander Nekrassov looks at President Putin’s big plan for the future leadership of Russia

Who’s fighting who in Libya? Mary Fitzgerald is a writer and frequent visitor to the beleaguered country and explains all the different factions in the current crisis.

According to a recent survey carried out by the International Committee of the Red Cross, millennials across the globe are worried about war, but why?

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Direct download: 02_Sitrep_Podcast.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:03am UTC

This week Sitrep takes an in-depth look at the Iran-US crisis,

Was it a bad decision by the United States?  Should the UK's foreign policy should be aligned so closely with America's?

How have Europe & Russia reacted to the rising tensions?

And where does this leave British and American troops based in Iraq and what are the longer-term consequences for the Middle East?

That’s all in this week’s Sitrep with James Hirst and Christopher Lee


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Direct download: 01_Sitrep_Podcast.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:52am UTC

BRIXMIS was a unit of the British Army set up at the end of the Second World War as part of a liaison mission between the wartime allies: Britain, France, America, and The Soviet Union.

BRIXMIS stands for the 'British Commander-in-Chief’s Mission to the Soviet Forces in Germany'.

However, BRIXMIS rapidly became, in common with United States (USMLM) and French Allied Military Liaison Missions (FMLM), something quite different.

In this special edition of Sitrep, BFBS reporter Rosie Laydon tells Kate Gerbeau how she took former BRIXMIS operative Dave Butler back to Germany, where he spied on Soviet troops at the height of the cold war.  As well as Dave, Rosie spoke to other former spies from Britain, the US and the former Soviet Union, who all have dramatic tales of espionage in plain sight.

Want more?

To read Dave's story in his own words and see photos from the time:

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Direct download: All_Parts_Brixmis_Edit_Mixdown_2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:10pm UTC

So what’s the state of British Defence as 2019 draws to a close? 

That’s the question being asked on Sitrep this week as Britain’s newly elected government goes to work.

In an extended programme, Kate Gerbeau and Christopher Lee will be joined by a panel of experts to assess current and future security threats to the UK and NATO.

They’ll also be looking ahead to Brexit, the US Presidential election and the security issues surrounding climate change.

Follow us @bfbssitrep

Direct download: xmas_sitrep.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:28pm UTC

Did major allies fail to tell the truth about the state of the war in Afghanistan?  The former ambassador to Afghanistan, Sir William Patey, gives us his unique perspective.

Russia and Ukraine talk peace, but is President Putin listening? Jonathan Eyal ,International Director at the Royal United Services Institute, discusses the ceasefire.

BFBS Reporter Rebecca Ricks has a special report from Portsmouth looking at how the Royal Navy fishery protection. 

And cricket returns to Pakistan, but why is it so important?  Cricket commentator, Guy Swindles explains.

Follow us @bfbssitrep

Direct download: Sitrep_Wk50_Podcast.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:29pm UTC

The Royal British Legion has  launched its own manifesto asking what’s in the general election for service people and veterans?

Happy Birthday NATO, but not everyone’s celebrating.

And why is NATO still obsessed with the threat from Russia but forgetting all about Libya?

Follow us @bfbssitrep

Direct download: 48_Sitrep_Podcast_512.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:51am UTC

As Nato celebrates its 70th birthday, Sitrep looks ahead to next week’s summit hosted in the UK with Elizabeth Braw from the Royal United Services Institute, Professor Scott Lucas from the University of Birmingham, and former director general of RUSI, Professor Michael Clarke.

A new report says that Russia could ‘outgun’ the UK on the battlefield, Professor Michael Clarke looks at the evidence.

The Tories and SNP launched their election manifestos this week, but with two weeks to go, who will get your vote for defence?  BFBS Defence Analyst Christopher Lee looks at the details.

And a fascinating new book  "Tipping Point, Britain, Brexit and security in the 2020s" by Michael Clarke and Helen Ramscar looks at Britain and its security strengths and weaknesses in the 2020s.

Follow us @bfbssitrep

Direct download: Sitrep_Podcast_48.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:48am UTC

The Duke of York steps down from public duties, but what does it mean for his military roles?  BFBS reporter Claire Sadler and royal historian Christopher Lee look back on his military career and achievements.

Chris Curtis, the Political Research Manager at YouGov, tells us how defence and security rate as an issue for voters ahead of the General Election.

And we find out what Labour,  the Lib Dems and the Green Party are they saying about defence as they launch their manifestos.

In a rare interview, the head of MI6 speaks about his life in the Service and how the world of espionage is changing.  He spoke to Sky’s Defence Correspondent, Alistair Bunkall.

Follow us @bfbssitrep

Direct download: Podcast_Version_Sitrep_21_Nov.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:35am UTC

Why does French President Emmanuel Macron think NATO is suffering brain death and that Europe should be more powerful? 

Find out what the two main party leaders are saying about the main defence and security issues on the campaign trail.  We talk to The Times' defence correspondent Lucy Fisher.

And, remembering Lord Bramall -  looking back at a long & distinguished military career from D-Day to Hong Kong and the Falklands War.


Follow us @bfbssitrep

Direct download: 46_Sitrep_Podcast.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:52am UTC

Jonathan Eyal, International Director at the Royal United Services Institute, explains why a report into Russian interference with British politics hasn’t been published.


Sitrep talks to the former Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon as he steps down from political life.


It’s 30 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall, Sitrep hears from former British Army spy Dave Butler who worked on the BRIXMIS mission which spied on Soviet military activities in East Germany.


Plus – BFBS presenter Jamie Gordon gives his account of broadcasting from Berlin during one of the most iconic moments of the 20th Century

Twitter @bfbssitrep

Direct download: 45_Sitrep_Podcast.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:59am UTC

For years he’s been the world’s most wanted terrorist. Now Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is dead. In this week’s Sitrep, we examine the implications of the death of the IS leader, and what’s likely to happen next with Fawaz Gerges, professor of international relations at the London School of Economics and Professor Michael Clarke, former director-general of the Royal United Services Institute.

After months of political deadlock, Britain is set for a pre-Christmas election. The Times' political Correspondent, Lucy Fisher, looks at whether defence issues will get a mention in a campaign likely to be dominated by Brexit.

Professor Michael Clarke has written a new book how Brexit is creating a new world of security challenges

And a former Army officer explains how he helped track down one of the suspects in the Sergei Skripal poisoning, and explains how much vital intelligence is just out there, waiting to be discovered.


Find us @bfbssitrep

Direct download: 44_Sitrep_Podcast.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:37am UTC

People all over the world are taking to the streets in protest against their governments for different reasons.  Professor Paul Rogers from the University of Bradford explains why this is happening now and what it could mean for the future.

President Trump is pulling America out of the Paris climate change agreement.

Paul Osbourne explains what the Australian newspaper black-out has to do with defence.

Why the Defence Secretary Ben Wallace has concerns about the Royal Navy fleet.

And military thinking outside the box with The Wavell Room.

Join the debate on Twitter @bfbssitrep

Direct download: Sitrep_Podcast_wk_43.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:57pm UTC

President Donald Trump says the crisis which has followed the withdrawal of US troops from Syria is not America's fight.  As Russian forces appear to fill the void left we talk to Mary Dejevsky about why this is a good and bad situation for President Putin. 

Simon Marks gives us the low down on the Republican vote, supported by some Democrats, condemning Trump's decision on Syria and the increasingly incendiary rhetoric.

We talk to Pakistan's High Commissioner in London about the Royal visit to his country.

As David Richmond is announced as head of the newly created Office for Veterans' Affairs, Johnny Mercer explains its remit, funding and long term ambitions.

Follow us @bfbssitrep


Direct download: Sitrep_Podcast_wk_42.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am UTC

Turkish forces are stepping up air strikes and a ground offensive, as their incursion in Kurdish-held areas of northern Syria continues. It follows the withdrawal of US troops, who fought alongside Kurdish forces in north-east Syria against so-called Islamic State.  Former soldier and Isle of Wight MP Bob Seely joins us along with former US intelligence officer Michael Pregent.

The American press are suggesting President Trump is about to bin yet another east west treaty. It's called the Open Skies treaty and it says Russians and Americans should be able to fly over and look over each other's territory and so lesson the chances of building undeclared weapons. Jonathan Eyal joins us.

Pressure mounts on the Prime Minister to announce a Bill protecting veterans of Northern Ireland in the Queen’s Speech. Lord Dannatt, ex Army chief, and Michael Fallon, former defence sec, are among those who have written to The Times.  We speak to the paper's defence correspondent Lucy Fisher.

Join the conversation on Twitter @bfbssitrep

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Category:general -- posted at: 1:26pm UTC

An RAF pilot has been selected to join Virgin Orbit's small satellite launch programme on secondment

Brexit is four weeks away, so what preparations are being made for any potential civil disobedience and will the military be involved? 

Hiding in plain sight Exercise Iron Viper challenges the art of camouflage in an urban environment.

As the violence in Hong Kong gets worse we speak to Professor Steve Tsang from SOAS at the University of London on what happens next. 

The US has a new top military officer, General Mark Milley takes over as the Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. 

And why is Sweden’s Navy HQ returning to a vast underground fortress designed to withstand a nuclear attack  

Follow us on Twitter @bfbssitrep

Direct download: 40_Sitrep.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:08am UTC

We are joined by Professors Paul Rogers and Michael Clarke to talk the constitution, law and the military after this week's Supreme Court decision.  

Can climate change send us to war?

Forces News has been given exclusive access to a sniper course and Amy Wiltshire has been speaking to one of the them about their job.

And soldiers jumping ship to join the Royal Navy.

Follow us on twitter @bfbssitrep

Direct download: 39_Sitrep.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:53am UTC

Prime Minister, Boris Johnson has praised the military at a Downing Street reception for the Armed Forces. The Iran/Saudi stand off continues but what does this mean for the US we hear from experts Dan Plesch and Mike Evans. 

Two former paratroopers who took the Ministry of Defence to a tribunal were subject to "highly offensive" racial harassment, an employment judge has ruled.  Why is this still happening in the Army?

And Britain's second aircraft carrier, HMS Prince of Wales begins sea trials.

Follow us on Twitter @bfbssitrep


Direct download: 38_Sitrep.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:42am UTC

This week the First Sea Lord is at DSEI as the MOD announce Babcock will build the new Type 31 frigates.

Police chiefs in Northern Ireland say a bomb in Londonderry was built with the aim of killing police officers.  We talk to the Chair of the Police Federation of Northern Ireland Mark Lindsay.

We are joined by Dr Karin Von Hippel, the Director General of RUSI to talk about the sacking of the US National Security Advisor John Bolton and Fawaz Gerges explains what it means for American foreign policy.

Chris Ryan, the former SAS soldier turned author has a new book out called Black Ops.  It's firmly based on his knowledge of how the regiment operates, so what's life like as member of the elite unit in today's trouble times?

 Follow us on Twitter @bfbssitrep

Direct download: 37_Sitrep.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:20am UTC

This week we are joined by Dr Julian Lewis, Chair of the Commons Defence Committee to discuss defence spending and why the UK needs a full time National Security Adviser.

Christina Lamb, chief foreign correspondent for the Sunday Times talks about the Taliban peace talks and whether they will bring long term peace to Afghanistan.

We're tracking the Adrian Darya 1.  The oil tanker that was seized by Royal Marines off Gibraltar back in July has been hanging around in the Eastern Mediterranean  - what is it waiting for?

Paul Beaver is an aviation expert and we talk to him about the National Audit Office report suggesting military aircrew training is coming up short.

And we remember the start of the Second World War, 80 years ago this week.

Follow us on twitter: @bfbssitrep

Direct download: 36_Sitrep.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:44am UTC

The Prime Minister's decision to temporarily suspend parliament and have a new Queen's Speech means the Chancellor is planning his spending.  Defence analysts Francis Tusa and Professor Michael Clarke discuss whether defence could lose out.

We track the Iranian tanker formerly known as Grace 1.  It's now called Adrian Darya 1 and is trying to find somewhere to refuel in the eastern Mediterranean, but this is more than a story about a ship as Professor Michael Clarke explains. 

What happens at BATUS, the British Army's training unit on the prairie in Canada? Our reporter Sian Grzeszczyk talks to BATUS Commander Colonel Mark Ellwood.

And Churchill established his war rooms in a bunker beneath Whitehall 80 years ago this week. Imperial War Museum Curator James Taylor has some stories from that time.

Presented by James Hirst with Christopher Lee

Direct download: Sitrep_WK_35_2019.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:48pm UTC

Talks between the US and the Taliban on a peace deal in Afghanistan are said to be close to completion — with the White House keen to get American troops home before Donald Trump seeks re-election next year. We hear from a correspondent who’s been talking to the Taliban’s chief negotiator in Qatar.

The latest figures on UK military personnel numbers again show the forces are under their target strength. But the Chief of the Defence Staff has claimed that doesn’t matter, in an age of autonomous and unmanned equipment. We’ll ask whether he’s right.

Donald Trump and Boris Johnson head to the G7 summit this weekend, and the tension with Iran is likely to dominate — we’ll look ahead.

And we’ll ask why Donald Trump was so keen to buy Greenland, and so offended when his bizarre suggested was rejected out of hand.

Direct download: sitrep_wk_22-08-2019.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:42pm UTC

On the 14th August 1969 the British Army deployed to Northern Ireland in response to sectarian riots on the streets of Londonderry and Belfast.  Op Banner, as the Army came to call it, was the longest ever continuous operational deployment of troops in the history of the British Armed Forces.

In this programme, 50 years on, you'll hear from:

  • Ben Wallace, the Secretary of State for Defence. 
  • General Sir Mike Jackson who served as a Captain with the 1st Battalion of the Parachute Regiment in Londonderry on Bloody Sunday and went on to become Chief of the General Staff.
  • Baron Caine, a former government advisor to the Northern Ireland Office.
  • Richard White, a former Royal Marine who served in Northern Ireland.

Presented by James Hirst with Christopher Lee 

Direct download: 2019-08-15_Sitrep.mp3
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American and Taliban negotiators have agreed the war in Afghanistan must end, but will it?

Could the tensions in Kashmir really lead to a nuclear war?

We hear from Uganda where Royal Marines are training soldiers for peacekeeping.

How cyber crime is funding North Korean missile tests.

And here's an idea - National Service for cyber defence

Category:general -- posted at: 6:10pm UTC

Please also plug listen again/podcast  

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

The UN hears pleas to intervene in Syria, but why the is the west is seemingly so reluctant to intervene?

As Britain’s stand-off with Iran continues, is there a diplomatic way to end it? 

One week into Boris Johnson’s premiership, what have we learned about his commitment to the forces? And are the repeated comparisons to Winston Churchill really justified?

Plus, as an American teenager wins $3-million playing the video game Fortnite, how the military views gamers as a potential source of new recruits

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_news_august_1.mp3
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In today’s Sitrep with Kate Gerbeau and Christopher Lee…

We have a new Prime Minister and now a new Defence Secretary, so who is Ben Wallace?

The UK wants to put together a European-led maritime protection mission in the Gulf – but what ships are needed and how will it work?

Britain is going to deploy troops to Mali in Africa, but what will they be doing?

And Sitrep’s summer reading list:  delve deep into military history and foreign affairs with Sitrep’s reading list.

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: 2019-07-25_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.

Category: -- posted at: 6:33pm UTC

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
Category: -- posted at: 4:38pm UTC

Direct download: 2019-06-06_Sitrep.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 6:16pm UTC

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.


Direct download: Sitrep_wk_10_2019.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 5:50pm UTC

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
Category: -- posted at: 4:58pm UTC

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

Direct download: Sitrep_16th_May_2019.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 6:55pm UTC

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
Category:general -- posted at: 8:10am UTC

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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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.

Direct download: SITREP_28-03-19.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:58pm UTC

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Category: -- posted at: 4:13pm UTC

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.


Direct download: 10_Sitrep_Edit_Mixdown_1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:38pm UTC

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.

Direct download: Sitrep_20190228.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:43pm UTC

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.

Direct download: Sitrep_20190221.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:09pm UTC

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!

Direct download: sitrep_news.mp3
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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.

Direct download: Sitrep_20190124.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:28pm UTC

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.

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Direct download: Sitrep_January_10th_2019_.mp3
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