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EXPEDITIONARY ROLE

 

The key defence policy documents talk of transforming our armed forces into lighter, highly mobile, forces adapted for rapid deployment overseas - what General Sir Mike Jackson refers to as its ‘expeditionary role’.

Current UK defence policy, as expressed in the 1998 Strategic Defence Review and the 2003 White Paper Delivering Security in a Changing World, talks of transforming Britain’s armed forces and using new technology to create more ‘agile’, more rapidly deployable forces which are capable of fighting one small and one large conflict simultaneously, or three simultaneous small to medium scale operations.

In his speech aboard HMS Albion in January 2007 Tony Blair explained how the government was implementing this ‘expeditionary role’ for its armed forces:

‘we have made a huge effort to equip the navy for this task (with a) mas sive boost to Britain’s amphibious capabilities..a generation of new ships, all far more capable than their predecessors, the helicopter landing ship HMS Ocean, four Bay Class (amphibious) landing ships, the strategic sealift ships, new equipment for the Royal Marines...and there is a further massive shipbuilding programme ahead, a programme that is likely to be worth some £14bn over the next 10-15 years..the Type 45 destroyers, new aircraft carriers -twice as big as our existing vessels; new attack submarines now being built.’

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