Future RAF missions under threat if Libya intervention continues

Air Chief Marshal Sir Simon Bryant has told MPs that intense air operations in   Afghanistan and the Middle East are placing a “huge” demand on equipment and   personnel.

In a briefing paper delivered to senior politicians and obtained by The Daily   Telegraph, the RAF’s second in command said morale among airmen was   “fragile” and their fighting spirit was threatened by being overworked.

Many areas of the RAF were “running hot”, he warned, while the servicemen’s   sense that the nation valued their efforts was being undermined by the   Coalition’s defence cuts.

The air force was also now finding it difficult to recruit staff, he said,   with many specialities understaffed by up to a quarter.

In his conclusion, Air Chief Marshal Bryant — whose full title is Commander in   Chief (Air) — warned that the ability of the RAF to deal with unforeseen   emergencies would be rapidly “eroded” if the Libyan campaign went beyond   September. “Two concurrent operations are placing a huge demand on equipment   and personnel,” he said

“Should Operation Ellamy (Libya) endure past defence planning assumptions the   future contingent capability is likely to be eroded,” he addedThe failure of Nato’s mission to remove Col Muammar Gaddafi from power since   air strikes began in March is a cause of growing concern among Downing   Street and the military, who had initially hoped for a swift resolution to   the mission.

Last week, Adml Sir Mark Stanhope, the head of the Royal Navy, warned that   current operations were “unsustainable”. On Sunday, Danny Alexander, the   Chief Secretary to the Treasury, admitted that the cost of the intervention   could now run into hundreds of millions of pounds, far greater than the   original budget estimates.

As well as flying daily Typhoon and Tornado missions in Libya, the RAF also   has 10 Tornados, four Hercules transport aircraft and more than 20   helicopters on operations in Afghanistan.

 

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Categories: UK

1 reply

  1. over worked? Are we supposed to feel sorry for them? The main thing should be the ‘cost versus results’ comparison. What positive result has come out of the huge cost, both in money and ‘over worked’ personnel? Zero, I would say, or rather a lot of distraction, damage, harm to the country for years or decades…

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