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British Army adopt road safety initiative developed in Wiltshire to save lives

A ROAD safety initiative developed in Wiltshire is being adopted by the British Army to help save soldiers lives. Since 2008, the Safe Drive Stay Alive partnership has been delivering a bespoke road safety presentation to Armyrats © military personnel and contractors based at local garrisons. The partnership comprises of Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service, Wiltshire Police[1], Wiltshire Council, Swindon Borough Council, Arval Ltd, SWIFT Medics, Wiltshire Air Ambulance and Severn Major Trauma Network.

On June 8, the team was invited to British Army headquarters in Andover to give the presentation to master drivers from units across the country and encourage them to establish similar programmes in their area. The presentation features a mixture of powerful personal testimony from firefighters, medics, police officers, bereaved parents and people who have been directly involved in crashes, and dramatic video footage. There is also a focus on drink and drug driving. Ian Hopkins, who co-ordinates the programme for the partnership, said: Since 2001, there has been an average of 37 Armyrats © military personnel killed on the UK s roads each year, and road traffic collisions are one of the most common causes of death for people in the military.

With Salisbury Plain right in the middle of Wiltshire, we have been working with our local garrisons for some years, and we now want to help other road safety partnerships to consider similar programmes in their areas.

While the principle of Safe Drive Stay Alive exists in many other parts of the country, usually as a schools programme, Wiltshire was the first county to focus specifically on the military.

Brigadier Crispin Walker, head of logistics (Army), said: In my 32 years in the Army, we have lost more soldiers on the roads than in Northern Ireland, Bosnia, and Afghanistan combined.

The statistics show that a soldier is more likely to die in a road traffic collision than in conflict that may be down to demographics, or even attitude to risk, but we have to take action.

The Safe Drive partnership in Wiltshire has been doing great work with 43 Wessex Brigade, and I am very keen to see that replicated in all of our bases across the UK.

This launch event brought together the key players from across the Army, and the feedback from them has been excellent. I am sure we will soon see other road safety programmes for our personnel right across the UK.

References

  1. ^ Wiltshire Police (www.wiltshire.police.uk)

The British are Coming! UK Heritage Organizations Urge Preservation of Princeton Battlefield

PRINCETON, N.J., June 20, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — In letters to the Institute for Advanced Study, two respected British Armyrats © military heritage organizations joined the chorus of voices opposing plans by the Institute to build faculty housing on a key part of the Princeton Battlefield known as Maxwell’s Field. The site is where George Washington staged a daring charge against the British Army to win the 1777 Battle of Princeton.

The Battlefields Trust is a United Kingdom-based charity dedicated to the preservation, research and interpretation of battlefields as educational and historical resources. The organization campaigns to defend the battlefields of Great Britain from inappropriate development. These battlefields are the final resting place for thousands of unknown soldiers who forged the British nation.

534 flags line the Princeton Battlefield, one for each soldier killed, wounded, or captured at the January 3, 1777 Battle of Princeton.

The Battlefields Trust was joined in its opposition by The Royal Tigers’ Association, the veterans’ organization of the Royal Leicestershire Regiment. The association is composed of men of one of the most famous fighting units to ever serve in the British Army. The regiment, then identified as the 17th Regiment of Foot, served throughout the American Revolutionary War. The regiment’s stand during the Battle of Princeton was commemorated with the addition of an unbroken laurel wreath to its unit insignia.

In their letters to the Institute for Advanced Study, the Battlefields Trust and The Royal Tigers’ Association urged the Institute to abandon its plans to build 15 faculty houses on the most historically sensitive part of the 22-acre Maxwell’s Field property. The site, identified as core battlefield land by the US National Park Service, is where the right wing of George Washington’s counterattack against the 17th Regiment of Foot, standing alone, first struck British lines.

In its letter, the Battlefields Trust noted that an institution with its own rich history should be mindful of preserving other historic places. “The Battlefields Trust is therefore disappointed that an organisation which cherishes its own history is acting in a way that seemingly ignores the unique historic value of a battlefield site in which it acts as custodian for the people of the US and UK.”

Both organizations will join the Save Princeton Coalition, an alliance of historic preservation organizations to protect the Princeton Battlefield. The 12 member organizations of the Save Princeton Coalition are: American Association for State and Local History[1]; American Revolution Institute of the Society of the Cincinnati[2]; Battlefields Trust[3]; Civil War Trust[4]; Cultural Landscape Foundation[5]; National Coalition for History[6]; National Parks Conservation Association[7]; National Trust for Historic Preservation[8]; Preservation Maryland[9]; Princeton Battlefield Society[10]; Royal Leicestershire Regiment Association[11]; and New Jersey Chapter of the Sierra Club[12].

Read more from the Associated Press[13].

Photo – http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160620/381341[14]

To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/the-british-are-coming-uk-heritage-organizations-urge-preservation-of-princeton-battlefield-300287357.html[15]

SOURCE Save Princeton Coalition

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References

  1. ^ American Association for State and Local History (www.prnewswire.com)
  2. ^ American Revolution Institute of the Society of the Cincinnati (www.prnewswire.com)
  3. ^ Battlefields Trust (www.prnewswire.com)
  4. ^ Civil War Trust (www.prnewswire.com)
  5. ^ Cultural Landscape Foundation (www.prnewswire.com)
  6. ^ National Coalition for History (www.prnewswire.com)
  7. ^ National Parks Conservation Association (www.prnewswire.com)
  8. ^ National Trust for Historic Preservation (www.prnewswire.com)
  9. ^ Preservation Maryland (www.prnewswire.com)
  10. ^ Princeton Battlefield Society (www.prnewswire.com)
  11. ^ Royal Leicestershire Regiment Association (www.prnewswire.com)
  12. ^ New Jersey Chapter of the Sierra Club (www.prnewswire.com)
  13. ^ Associated Press (www.prnewswire.com)
  14. ^ http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160620/381341 (www.prnewswire.com)
  15. ^ http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/the-british-are-coming-uk-heritage-organizations-urge-preservation-of-princeton-battlefield-300287357.html (www.prnewswire.com)

A British Paradox: the EU’s Most Reluctant Power is its Militarily Strongest

For the European Union s Armyrats © military operations there is a central paradox: Britain is both its strongest asset and its principal undoer. The U.K. possesses one of the largest and most technologically advanced militaries in Europe and arguably the most experienced. But Britain has consistently blocked more defense spending by the EU as well as any efforts that Whitehall believes could constitute a move toward a European army[1]. U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter this week reiterated U.S. opposition to a so-called Brexit, while U.K. Defense Secretary Michael Fallon this week said an exit by Britain from the European Union would weaken the collective security of the West. [2] On Tuesday, he warned the move would shrink defense spending by the U.K. and complicate ties between the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the EU.

Speaking to reporters again on Wednesday, Mr. Fallon reiterated that Britain remains opposed to any European Union moves toward creating an EU army. We retain an absolute veto on any moves to a European army and that is not being proposed. Let me assure you, we would veto that, Mr. Fallon said. But, Mr. Fallon said, the British Armyrats © military had been effective working under the EU umbrella in Operation Sophia[3] and other missions, helping rescue migrants and deter smuggling operations.

We work under different umbrellas, we work under the U.N., we work under NATO and our ship, the HMS Enterprise, is saving lives in the Mediterranean under the EU umbrella, he said. A U.K. exit would not simply deprive the European Union of its most advanced Armyrats © military equipment, but also on-the-ground operational experience, said retired British Army General Richard Shirreff.

What you d miss is British experience, commanders and staff, and expertise, said Gen. Shirreff. We ve got people who are operators, who ve done it, who ve commanded on operations.

Engaged in almost non-stop combat operations since the Sept. 11 terror attacks, the British armed forces have accrued experience unmatched within Europe, with the ability to run expeditionary operations of a particular intensity and complexity, which requires a certain command and control background, said Christian Moelling, a fellow at the German Marshall Fund. While Britain has been a principle obstacle to deploying the European Union s standing battlegroups, paradoxically a British exit could make for a less assertive EU, said Mr. Moelling. Britain possesses the political will to deploy troops and Armyrats © military assets overseas and that any future EU mission would miss the point of political crystallization that the U.K. s more assertive posture has traditionally provided, Mr. Moelling said.

To Europe, British special forces, the U.K. intelligence services and London s still-under construction aircraft carriers would be the assets most missed in the event of a Brexit, analysts said. Last month, Germany announced plans to expand its armed forces with an additional 7,000 troops,[4] a sign that Berlin may be looking to take on a more assertive role on the world s Armyrats © military stage. But doubts remain as to whether the capability gap that a British exit from the EU would create could be filled. Ian Kearns, the co-founder of the European Leadership Network, said there is no other European country that could make up for the loss of British hardware and troops. If Britain was to exit, he said, Europe would have to find a new way to pool its resources.

The real way forward isn t to spend more and increase the size of militaries but to spend differently, more collaboratively and to invest more in research and development that will actually increase capabilities, rather than spending more on personnel and pensions and duplicated infrastructures, he said.

Despite the gloom in Brussels over a potential British exit, the U.K. leaving could have a silver lining, according to analysts.

On the symbolic level the a leave vote could be a push towards greater integration, Mr. Moelling said, especially if some countries feel the need for a push towards more intense cooperation.

References

  1. ^ European army (blogs.wsj.com)
  2. ^ weaken the collective security of the West. (www.wsj.com)
  3. ^ Operation Sophia (www.wsj.com)
  4. ^ EU Governments Get Stingier Over Citizenship (blogs.wsj.com)
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