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Defence and Security Strategy

Photo Copyright: The Sun

Milly award winners with Prime Minister David Cameron

Photo Copyright: The Sun

One of Britain’s radical, vibrant and fearless newspapers, The Sun, last week in its yearly Sun Military Awards, popularly known as The Millies, now in its fifth year, recognised the excellent work of the Armed Forces and the people who support them, at a colourful night where some of British best including a galaxy of stars from the entertainment world were gathered to join the Sun in thanking the men and women who in faraway lands had risked their lives and are still doing so contending for the liberty of Britain, that of mankind and posterity.

The annual event which is organised by The Sun newspaper in close collaboration with the Ministry of Defence had in attendance Their Royal Highnesses The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall who of course, were guests of honour at the event – billed as “A Night of Heroes” – held at the Imperial War Museum, London, on Thursday 6 December. Their Royal Highnesses were joined by the Prime Minister and Mrs Cameron, Defence Ministers and Military Chiefs, senior government and political figures, and stars from the worlds of entertainment and sport to pay tribute to these exceptional individuals.

The awards celebrated across nine categories the professionalism and bravery of the men and women working in our Armed Forces around the world. Also recognised were members of the public who in various ways work tirelessly to support our Service personnel.

Alongside the main categories, the Judging Panel made two further awards for special recognition. One award was presented to The Complex Trauma Team at the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre Headley Court for their outstanding contribution to the recovery of our injured Service personnel. The Judges also wished to pay special tribute to all three Services for their crucial and widely praised role during the London 2012 Olympic Games, under Operation Olympics.

Admiral Sir Mark Stanhope, First Sea Lord said: “Over the last five years, the Sun Military Awards has shone the spotlight on the courage, tenacity and professionalism of our Armed Forces. This year has been no exception, showcasing these outstanding men and women, serving the nation’s interests both across the world on operations, and in the UK.”

The ceremony, including unique footage of shortlisted individuals and teams at work, plus reconstructions of the acts of heroism that were nominated, will be televised on Friday 14 December at 9pm on ITV1.

SUN MILITARY AWARDS

2012 WINNERS

Overcoming Adversity

Captain Simon Maxwell RM

Hasler Company

Purley, Surrey

Most Outstanding Sailor / Marine

Corporal Justin Morgan RM

Rescue 193, 771 Naval Air Squadron, Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose

Helston, Cornwall

Most Outstanding Soldier

Corporal Sean Jones MC

1st Battalion The Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment

Market Drayton, Shropshire

Most Outstanding Airman

Sergeant Roy Geddes RAF

51 Squadron Royal Air Force Regiment

Elgin, Moray

Best Reservist

Private Simon Sunderland

Territorial Army, deployed with 1st Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment

Middlesborough, North Yorkshire

Support to the Armed Forces

Scotty’s Little Soldiers, Nichola Scott

King’s Lynn, Norfolk

Life Saver Award

Lance Corporal Hayley Ridgeway

1st Battalion The Rifles

Banbury, Oxfordshire

True Grit

Corporal Oliver Kennedy

1st Battalion The Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment

South London

Best Unit

3rd Battalion The Rifles

The Rifles

Edinburgh

Judges’ Special Award

Complex Trauma Team

DMRC Headley Court

Headley, Surrey

Operation Olympics

In another development, the Ministry of Defence last week awarded a £46 million Submarine Command System contract to BAE Systems to support and maintain a new sophisticated combat system across the Royal Navy’s world class submarine fleet.

 

A submarine Photo: MoD

Vigilance gathered that the Design Services Arrangement (DSA) contract will ensure that the system, which is used to navigate vessels as well as gather intelligence and defend against attacks, is maintained and developed over the next decade.

A source revealed that the Royal Navy operates three classes of submarine totalling 10 vessels, which are used to safeguard the UK’s interests around the world.

Currently, it is said different combat systems are used across the fleet. This new contract will help drive adoption of a Common Combat System across all current and future Royal Navy submarines, with considerable benefits to training, maintenance and updating costs.

The contract has been awarded to BAE Systems Maritime-Submarines and will safeguard around a total of 30 jobs at the company’s sites in Ash Vale, Surrey, and Weymouth in Dorset.

Minister for Defence, Equipment, Support and Technology Philip Dunne said: “The UK’s submarine fleet is second to none and plays a key role in protecting our waters and interests both at home and abroad. This latest commitment to maintain and develop this vital technology throughout the fleet will ensure that we can continue delivering first class capability for many years to come.”

Rear Admiral Simon Lister, MoD Director of Submarines, added his voice: “Command Systems on board our submarines contain many vital technologies and it is very important that our submarines retain their technological edge, both now and in the future. This contract will help secure that position for the MOD and UKindustry.”