BFBS Radio Sitrep (general)
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.

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.

 

Direct download: Sitrep_27_August_2020_v2.mp3
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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Direct download: Sitrep_16_July.mp3
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.

Direct download: Sitrep_16_April.mp3
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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Direct download: 10_Sitrep_Podcast.mp3
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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Direct download: SITREP_WK_8_POD.mp3
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:  forces.net

To see the Forces TV documentary:  youtube.com/playlist

You can hear more stories about the British Forces every week by  subscribing to Sitrep.  New Episodes are released on Thursdays.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

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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

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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.

 

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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

Direct download: Sitrep_41_Podcast_edit.mp3
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

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

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

Category:general -- posted at: 6:41pm UTC

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

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

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, www.forces.net/sitrep or download the Sitrep Podcast.

Direct download: Sitrep_20190207.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00pm UTC

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

In this week’s Sitrep with Kate Gerbeau and Christopher Lee…

 

In today’s programme Sitrep hears from the Defence Secretary, Gavin Williamson, and General Sir Nick Carter,  the Chief of the defence staff  who is rated by many as one of the best modernisers in the army

 

The carnage in Yemen - is there a chance to bring some hope to more than a hundred thousand people made homeless and starving as a result of this war?

 

Why the Afghan interpreters for the British Army fear that they or their families may be killed if the UK sends them back home

 

And has the navy scooped the PR opportunity of the year?  Find out, in today’s Sitrep

Direct download: Sitrep_20181213.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:28pm UTC

In this week’s Sitrep with Kate Gerbeau and Christopher Lee…

Should we be banning one of China’s biggest telecoms firms from involvement in Britain’s next-generation mobile networks? The head of MI6 is asking that question, and many of Britain’s global security partners have already taken action – should the UK follow suit?

As Russia threatens to escalate missile production – are we heading into a new Cold War era?

Could climate change create a security crisis triggering a military response?

Plus the ethic of autonomous weapons – as the Army tests a potential killer robot.

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Check out our Facebook video on the Forces News facebook  (after 15.15 UKT)

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, www.forces.net/sitrep or download the Sitrep Podcast.

Direct download: Sitrep_20181206.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:05pm UTC

The defence secretary, Gavin Williamson speaks to Sitrep about Ukraine, the Navy and Brexit

 

Will NATO get involved as tensions rise between Russia and Ukraine?

 

The new F35s have been on exercise off the North Sea….

 

And, a pocket guide to UK defence, all you need to know in a nutshell.

 

Category:general -- posted at: 1:18pm UTC

In this week’s episode with Kate Gerbeau and Christopher Lee….

Has the Matthew Hedges’ case made for tricky relations between Britain and the UAE?   

Is it time to ditch the Russian-American missile treaties and start again?

It’s Thanksgiving in America but is it a bad time to say thank you?

And the Armed Forces Covenant - what has it done for you?

 

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Check out our Facebook video on the Forces News facebook Thursdays (15.15 GMT)

 

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, www.forces.net/sitrep or download the Sitrep Podcast.

Direct download: Sitrep_20181122.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:18pm UTC

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

Brexit – what happens to the military?  Is the Defence Budget threatened and what about NATO?

Does Britain still have influence in the Middle East and has the US lost its global military edge ?

Plus - how does the MoD monitor big defence contracts?

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Check out our Facebook video on the Forces News facebook  (after 15.15 UKT)

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, www.forces.net/sitrep or download the Sitrep Podcast.

Direct download: Sitrep_20181115.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:06pm UTC

In today’s Sitrep with James Hirst and Christopher Lee…..

As the US prepares to walk away from a nuclear pact with Russia — should we be worried?

A Brexit deal’s agreed for Gibraltar — but what if there’s no deal?

Plus the continuing political row over the treatment of veterans of the conflict in Northern Ireland, and we’re in Australia with

And a special report from the Invictus Games in Australia, hearing from some of those taking part, and some of their supporters...

 

Check out our Facebook video on the Forces News facebook  (after 15.30 UKT)

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, www.forces.net/sitrep or download the Sitrep Podcast.

Direct download: Sitrep_20181025.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00pm UTC

In this episode with Kate Gerbeau and Christopher Lee…

Britain accuses Russia of cyber-attacks.  We hear from Sky’s defence correspondent Alistair Bunkall in The Hague plus analysis from Professor Paul Rogers from the university of Bradford.

British troops make history by joining in Japanese war games for the first time. We hear from Paul Madden, the British Ambassador to Tokyo.

The Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson tells us why he’s sending the Royal Marines back out into the snow.

And the human faces behind RAF Drone warfare with the author of Reaper Force, Dr Peter Lee.

Direct download: Sitrep_20181004.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:03pm UTC

In today’s Sitrep with Kate Gerbeau and Christopher Lee

Is the Syrian war over, and if so - who runs the peace?

Why the Taliban are talking peace to an unlikely mediator…

Could Russian hackers fix the next general election?

And… Flying high at a hundred.

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Check out our Facebook video on the Forces News facebook  (after 15.30 UKT)

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, www.forces.net/sitrep or download the Sitrep Podcast.

Direct download: Sitrep_20180920.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00pm UTC

In this week’s Sitrep with Kate Gerbeau and Christopher Lee………..

The two Novichok suspects make a public appearance on Russian TV – is Putin playing games with the UK?

Why a British General says don’t write of IS….

Why we need a new counter-terrorism organisation.

And spy stories from behind the iron curtain from a former SAS soldier.

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Check out our Facebook video on the Forces News facebook  (after 15.30 UKT)

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, www.forces.net/sitrep or download the Sitrep Podcast.

Direct download: Sitrep_20180913.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:30pm UTC

In  this week’s Sitrep with James Hirst and Christopher Lee………..

 

Why Turkey poses a potential threat to the stability of NATO.

 

The leaders of north and south Korea have agreed to meet for the third time this year - what’s likely to be on the agenda?

 

Plus, after an especially violent week in Afghanistan, Sitrep has a special report from Camp Bastion - four years after the last British troops left

 

And, how can the UK protect itself against the risk of a military threat from the Arctic Circle?

 

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Check out our Facebook video on the Forces News facebook  (after 15.30 UKT)

 

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, www.forces.net/sitrep or download the Sitrep Podcast.

Direct download: Sitrep_August_16th_2018.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:24pm UTC

In this episode presented by Tim Cooper…

The Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson started the week in Kenya where agreements are being drawn up for Army training to continue there.  As well as meeting troops and their families at BATUK Headquarters in Kenya, he met the men and women running UK funded courses to prevent sexual violence in war. We have a report from Laura Makin-Isherwood.

Also… The Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson says he has the best job in Whitehall – is he right?

As MPs pack their cases for their summer holidays, we look at the outstanding defence issues they’ve put on hold with Editor of Defense Analysis Francis Tusa.

The war of words between Trump and Iran’s President Rouhani – we’re joined by Professor Wyn Bowen who is Head of the School of Security Studies at King's College London.

And we talk about the remains of US soldiers brought back to the United States 70 years after the war in Korea.

Direct download: Sitrep_20180802.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:05pm UTC

In Sitrep – it’s a big week for defence stories and in today’s Sitrep Kate Gerbeau and Christopher Lee look at threats to the defence budget.

Find out why Number 10’s  in a Grump with Trump over Putin.

NATO’s boss praises the UK but does anyone care?

Will Brexit black-out Britain's Euro Security pact?

And The RAF police the skies over Romania……

Direct download: Sitrep_20180621.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:30pm UTC

In this episode Kate Gerbeau talks to Matthew Morris who is the UK spokesperson for the International Committee of the Red Cross about the humanitarian catastrophe unfolding in Yemen.  BFBS defence Analyst Christopher Lee and Professor Michael Clarke formerly of RUSI join the conversation too to discuss the fact that the UK is a major supplier of weapons to Saudi Arabia.

 

Kate, Christopher and Professor Clarke also discuss the meeting between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and what might happen next.  They also talk about Trump and the G7.

 

You’ll also hear from reporter Ali Gibson who has been to see the huge NATO training exercise Saber Strike.

 

Also what happened to the missing Royal Marine Allan Addis who disappeared in the Falkland Islands nearly 38 years ago?  The Forces TV team have been investigating the case for a new documentary.

 

Follow us on Twitter @BFBSSitrep

Direct download: Sitrep_July_14th_2018.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:27pm UTC

On again, off again -- will the US/North Korea summit actually happen?

After Donald Trump abruptly cancelled the talks, now it seems they're back on -- Sitrep assess the likely next moves.

Plus the mysterious case of the Russian journalist who came back from the dead.

The latest campaign on behalf of Britain's nuclear test veterans, as officials face calls to apologise.

Six months into the job - how is Gavin Williamson doing?

And, we hear from the Sergeant-Major who wants to spend more time listening to soldiers.

https://www.forces.net/radio/sitrep/latest

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 the website, or download the Sitrep Podcast.

Direct download: Sitrep_20180531.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00pm UTC

The North Korean summit – has Trump underestimated the Koreans?  We hear from Professor Robert E Kelly from

the Department of Political Science and Diplomacy at Pusan University in South Korea.

 

Are British pilots flying in a military muddle in the middle east?  We hear the realities of Operation Shader from Air Vice-Marshall Johnny Stringer as he briefs MPs

 

Back to Bosnia - why a former army officer turned GP, Dr Jonathan Leach has returned to Srebrenica.

 

Why the story of the Damnbusters Raid still has legendary status 75 years on - Steve Darlow, Ambassador for the RAF Benevolent Fund as well as a bomber command historian and author explains.

 

Why the military stands guard over the Royal wedding and which uniform will Prince Harry wear?

Direct download: Sitrep_May_17th.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:29pm UTC

This week’s episode looks at the mounting tensions in the Middle East after President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear agreement.  Kate Gerbeau and Christopher Lee talk to Professor Rosemary Hollis from City University, London, Emeritis Professor Colin Schindler from SOAS, University of London and Professor Paul Rogers from the University of Bradford.

 

The Chief Executive of Save the Children, Kevin Watkins explains why the UK should become a global leader in protecting civilians in armed conflict.

 

HM Naval Base Clyde celebrates its 50th anniversary. We hear from the First Sea Lord, Admiral Sir Philip Jones.

 

The military historian Antony Beevor talks about his latest book: Arnhem, The Battle of the Bridges 1944

 

And what’s the story behind the man who is the new Head of the Army? Lt General Mark Carleton Smith.

Direct download: Sitrep_May_10.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:26pm UTC

Could Britain be about to go to war in Syria after the weekend’s suspected chemical weapons attack in Douma.

 

If that’s the case, the Sitrep team ask what would be the main aim of conflict?   If British forces take part - what will they be asked to do?  And will this be an open ended commitment?

 

Also this episode – Could Russia respond to any attack on Syria by using Cyber warfare and if so is Britain ready to deal with a category one attack.

 

Kate Gerbeau and Christopher Lee are joined by Professor Michael Clarke formerly the Director General of The Royal United Services Insitute, Hamish de Bretton Gordon the chemical weapons expert and former army officer and Simon Marks from Feature Story News in Washington

Direct download: Sitrep_20180412.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:02pm UTC

In this episode hosted by Tim Cooper with BFBS Defence Analyst Christopher Lee we mark the 20th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement in Northern Ireland.  Tim talks to Major General Julian Thompson, a former Royal Marine who commanded troops in South Armagh in 1976.  You’ll hear what it was like at the height of the troubles and why the agreement could be affected by Brexit.

Also… 

Salisbury attack: Alexander Nekrassov, a former advisor to the Kremlin has some strong opinions about the Salisbury Novichok poisoning. 

One year till Brexit: Defence writer Sebastian Schulte gives the German view of Britain’s European defence and security relationships.

New Chief of Defence Staff:  General Sir Nick Carter has been appointed, but what’s he like?

And The RAF celebrates 100 years in the sky….hear some classic RAF aircraft sounds!

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Direct download: Sitrep_20180329.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00pm UTC

 

Why is the Government so sure the Novichok (pro: Novee- chock) chemical came from Russia?

 

As we commemorate those killed in the Westminster attack a year ago – Sitrep asks the experts how they think the general public should respond to a terrorist attack?

 

Could what facebook knows about you send your country to war?

 

And…. Finally, the Type 45 destroyers are getting an engine refit……….

 

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 the website, or download the Sitrep Podcast.

Direct download: Sitrep_20180322.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:33pm UTC

Nato’s new command structure – what’s changed and why?

In Syria, who’s fighting who?

Should the West be worried about China and Russia’s increasing military power?

And could the damage to Oxfam’s credibility have a serious impact on the search for peace in a region? 

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 the website, or download the Sitrep Podcast.

Direct download: Sitrep_20180215.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:30pm UTC

The Government’s Defence Modernisation Programme – what does it mean and what will it do?

Drawdown in Germany could be partially reversed, but what does that mean for the Army and European defence?

Why the Russian threat is causing concern in the Arctic.

Should we be doing more to protect peacekeepers?

And, DAVOS – what is it and why is it important?

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 the website, or download the Sitrep Podcast.

Direct download: Sitrep_20180125.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00pm UTC

What will 2018 have in store for the British Forces?

There’s a bleak forecast for defence from a top analyst but is it really all doom and gloom?

Find out why some people think the British Army is top heavy.

And, who’s in the running to be the new Chief of the Defence Staff?

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 the website, or download the Sitrep Podcast.

Direct download: Sitrep_20180104.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:30pm UTC

European Defence gets serious but Britain wants to be big in Japan.

The Afghan Interpreter who feels he's being treated like a criminal in the UK.

Also in the programme – the Royal Navy says goodbye to Atherstone and Quorn

What tickles the troops?  Is Forces humour different?

And war stories from a seasoned correspondent…..

Direct download: Sitrep_20171214.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00pm UTC

In today’s programme Sitrep hears from the PM who’s been visiting British troops in Iraq.

Plus…..Is the international response against North Korea strong enough?

Find out why the defence chiefs got a telling off.

Beach landings - do we still need an amphibious capability?

And that rousing regimental boxing speech – Sitrep hears from the officer that made it.

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 the website, or download the Sitrep Podcast.

Direct download: Sitrep_20171130.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:53am UTC

Is there a problem with the Type 45 Destroyers?

How much will Britain's F35 aircraft programme cost in the long term?

It's Thanksgiving today in America - but what, in name of Trump, should Americans be thankful for?

And Op Shader -  from the pilot's view in the skies above Iraq.

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 the website, or download the Sitrep Podcast.

Direct download: Sitrep_20171123.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:01pm UTC

Sir Michael Fallon has resigned from the top job at the Ministry of Defence..and the former Chief Whip Gavin Williamson will take his place as the new Secretary of State for Defence.

Sitrep examines Fallon’s legacy and looks at the issues facing the new defence secretary ahead of a mini defence review & an important NATO meeting.

Join Tim Cooper and special guests in a special edition of Sitrep.

Direct download: Sitrep_20171102.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:48pm UTC

Can Britain afford to have its own defence industry?

 

Catalonia seeks independence from Spain but still wants to be in NATO,

 

Minehunting off the coast of Scotland for Exercise Joint Warrior,

 

And returning from the hurricanes, RAF Brize Norton welcomes back Op Ruman's air crews.

 

 

TOPICS

 

DEFENCE CUTS

Editor of Defence Analysis Francis Tusa & BFBS Defence Analyst Christopher Lee .

 

CATALAN DEFENCE

James Hasik is a senior fellow in the Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security.

 

EXERCISE JOINT WARRIOR

BFBS Reporter Rosie Laydon & BFBS Defence Analyst Christopher Lee.

 

OP RUMAN RETURN

BFBS Reporter Alex Gill.

 

REMEMBRANCE – THE QUEEN

BFBS Defence Analyst Christopher Lee.

 

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 the website, or download the Sitrep Podcast.

 

Direct download: Sitrep_October_12th_2017.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:48pm UTC

North Korea: How close are we to actual war?

The battle for Raqqa  - what happens when ISIS are defeated?

The fight for Kurdish independence – what does it mean for the Middle East?

Nato’s international rescue for Submarines…

And, after 90 years the White Helmets wave goodbye……………

Direct download: SITREP_20170928.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00pm UTC

 

Trump’s speech to the UN – why it’s a game-changer…

Is the Ministry of Defence considering reducing the size of the Royal Marines?

Three years of Op Shader, Sitrep goes behind the scenes at Al Udeid?

British Forces are suffering from a recruitment crisis – so should we bring back national service?

Guests:

Former Director General of the Royal United Services Institute Professor Michael Clarke.

TOPICS

TRUMP/UN

Former Director General of the Royal United Services Institute Professor Michael Clarke.

HURRICANE MARIA

Forces News reporter Rebecca Ricks on board RFA Mount Bay.

ROYAL MARINES - CUTS

Major General Julian Thompson, former RM commander, Deborah Haynes the Defence Editor at The Times and former Director General of the Royal United Services Institute Professor Michael Clarke.

AL UDEID /OP SHADER

Forces News reporter  Simon Newton goes behind the scenes.

CONSCRIPTION

Elisabeth Braw, a non-resident Senior fellow at the Atlantic Council & former Director General of the Royal United Services Institute Professor Michael Clarke.

Direct download: Sitrep_20170921.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:24pm UTC

On this week’s Sitrep with Kate Gerbeau, we have a special look at Afghanistan following Donald Trump’s speech on his new strategy for the war.

We look at what it means for Afghanistan, America and the UK plus we discuss whether putting more boots on the ground will make a significant difference.

We speak to Emily Winterbotham (RUSI), Michael Kugelman (Woodrow Wilson Center), Emily Knowles (Oxford Research Group) and Paul Rogers (University of Bradford).

Direct download: Sitrep_20170824.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:54am UTC

In today’s Sitrep with Tim Cooper

There’s mounting tensions over North Korea as President Trump threatens fire and fury whilst the UN urges caution & diplomacy.

Find out how the Army is hoping to keep the Anglo-German deployment going post 2019.

Plus:  why the Imperial War Museum has upset its members

And Portsmouth gets ready to welcome the Navy’s biggest ever carrier.

TOPICS

Guests:

Professor of Peace Studies at the University of Bradford Paul Rogers and BFBS Defence Analyst Christopher Lee.

North Korea

Former British Ambassador to Pyongyang, David Slinn, Dr Paul Rogers, Professor of Peace Studies at the University of Bradford and BFBS Defence Analyst Christopher Lee.

Commander Field Army in Minden

Lt General Patrick Saunders talking to Aimee Dewitt about post 2019.

HMS Queen Elizabeth

Interview with the leader of Portsmouth City Council Donna Jones ahead of the Carrier’s arrival.

The Imperial War Museum

Mark Smith, the Antiques Roadshow's militaria expert, Professor of Peace Studies at the University of Bradford Paul Rogers and BFBS Defence Analyst Christopher Lee.

Direct download: Sitrep_20170810.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:09pm UTC

President trump has tweeted that he doesn’t want transgender personnel in the us military, today the Sitrep programme speaks to Caroline Paige, who was the first openly transgender officer in the British Forces.

Also in the programme: what the RAF are doing in Romania on Op Biloxi, an update on Sandhurst in the Sand and the Afghan Air Force take to the skies.

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 the website, or download the Sitrep Podcast.

Direct download: Sitrep_20170727.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00pm UTC

Can Europe cope with the influx of refugees?

Could the UN broker a peace deal in Syria?

What went wrong with the F35s?

Why did the head of France’s armed forces quit his job?

Plus: Make Your Bed - a US Admiral's top tip for a lifetime of success.

TOPICS

REFUGEES

Professor Paul Rogers, Professor of Peace Studies at the University of Bradford & Christopher Lee, BFBS Defence Analyst.

SYRIA

Hamish de Bretton Gordon who is a former Army Officer now advising NGOs in Syria

FRENCH MILITARY

Christopher Lee, BFBS Defence Analyst.

 MAKE YOUR BED (Book review with author William H. McRaven, a former US Admiral )

Navy & HMS Glasgow

Professor Paul Rogers who is Professor of Peace Studies at the University of Bradford & Christopher Lee, BFBS Defence Analyst.

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 the website, or download the Sitrep Podcast.

Direct download: Sitrep_20170720.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00pm UTC

 

SITREP TRAIL THURS, 6th July (KATE PRESENTS TODAY)

 

One year after publishing his report Sir John Chilcot finally speaks out but why did it take so long?

Why NATO’s ready for business on the front line.

How should the international community respond to North Korea?

And, the people's storybook of the Cold War.                               

 

TOPICS

 

CHILCOT INTERVIEW

Former BBC Diplomatic Correspondent and now Master of Peterhouse, Cambridge, Bridget Kendall and BFBS Defence Analyst Christopher Lee.

NATO

Brigadier Commander Mike Elviss speaking to BFBS reporter Rob Olver in Paderborn.

NORTH KOREA

Professor Hazel Smith from the Centre of Korea Studies at the school of Oriental and African Studies at The University of London.

SAUDI ARABIA

Christopher Lee, BFBS Defence Analyst.

COLD WAR, STORIES FROM THE BIG FREEZE

The BBC's former Moscow and then Diplomatic Correspondent Bridget Kendall  -  now the Master of Peterhouse, Cambridge, who has written an oral history of the Cold War.

 

 

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 the website, or download the Sitrep Podcast.

 

 

 

Direct download: Sitrep_July_7th.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:39am UTC

Why the army needs to change the way it recruits

the head of the US Army in Europe shares his concerns about the shrinking British army….

Plus, Britain's biggest ever warship, HMS Queen Elizabeth sets sail, but what does the future hold for her?

Fresh talks are taking place aimed at re-unifying Cyprus.

And its 20 year since the British left Hong Kong………..

TOPICS

ARMY RECRUITING

BFBS reporter Rosie Laydon interview with General Sir Nick Carter.

Christopher Lee, BFBS Defence Analyst.

HEAD OF US ARMY IN EUROPE

Lt General Ben Hodges commander of the US Army in Europe speaking to BFBS reporter Charlotte Banks

CARRIERS

The ship's captain - Commander Jerry Kyd & Naval Historian and analyst Eric Grove & Christopher Lee, BFBS Defence Analyst

NATO AFGHANISTAN

Christopher Lee, BFBS Defence Analyst.

CYPRUS TALKS

BFBS Reporter Simon Newton, Naval Historian and analyst Eric Grove & Christopher Lee, BFBS Defence Analyst

HONG KONG

Analyst Eric Grove & Christopher Lee, BFBS Defence Analyst

Direct download: Sitrep_20170629.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:30pm UTC