28/06/2008

The Metrix Miscalculation


I have been told that the Welsh Assembly Government is planning a 'stakeholder' consultation meeting re the plans for the military academy at St Athan on 14th July 6 - 7.30 pm at the methodist church in St Athan. it hasn't been advertised to the public as yet.
It is shameful that the public in Wales has not been asked their views about this follish privatisation project yet! It is shameful that the on;y cponsultaion to date is planned with little notice during the holiday period and is only planned for St Athan itself despite the huge implications for the whole of Wales -
http://www.antimetrix.org/

Why are these issues not been raised in Wales at the assembly...are our AMs not been kept informed or do they care so little that they welcome this imposed scheme with out a murmour?
Why aren't they asking questions about the viability of the scheme? How much money has been wasted on this St Athan white elephant?
Private Eye No. 1213; 27 July 2008
The Metrix miscalculation
Its not just private eye that suspects that privatising defence training could turn out to be one of labours more toxic legacies. So does the ministry of defence.
Documents produced following a recent meeting of the “defence training review executive board” reveal that the project , under which training will be handed to the Metrix consortium through a 30m PFI contract worth around £11bn, poses catastrophic risks on the front line.

A confidential “post meeting readout” of deliberations led by deputy chief of defence staff (personnel) Vice Admiral Peter Wilkinson exposes “major AFFORDABILITY issues” requiring a “realistic contingency plan” for the deal to privatise training on everything from tanks to fighter jets. Hinting at serious difficulties on the deal, the “affordability gap” could not be disclosed even to the project board as it was too “sensitive”.

More alarming still was a list of 15 significant risks with the project, including some that will fill the military on engagements around the world with dread. “trained output fails to meet requirement of operational commands” is one of them, on the grounds that “there is a risk that the Metrix solution will not be able to deliver the numbers of suitably trained personnel that are required and/or that the training output is not to a sufficiently high standard.”

Echoing concerns of MOD staff who suspect that companies like EDS, Serco, Qinetiq and Nord Anglia that make up the Metrix consortium don’t have the defence of the realm as their highest priority, a “lack of military ethos” is also seen as a danger with devastating consequences. “There is also a risk that the measures to instill military ethos…..provided by the Metrix solution fail to deliver the desired level of military discipline, ethos and culture that is required and that trainees will leave the training establishment ill-prepared for service in operational commands”, notes the MOD. This would impair “their ability to perform at full operational effectiveness when they join their unit.”

Among other concerns are a loss of existing defence trainers who appear unwilling to move to a new defence academy at St Athan, south Wales, from their existing bases
(72% have said they won’t) and the inability of Metrix to recruit suitable replacements; “inconsistencies in training standards” between privatised training and the limited training that remains in-house; lack of accommodation due to planning blight, leading to “further damage [to] the reputation of MoD and the morale of “both trainers and trainees”; “a risk that as a result of the 2012 Olympics construction and MoD projects in the region…..construction industry capacity will be exceeded” ; and the prospect of delays in planning permission for the new academy as “the possible need for public consultation…….could lead to programme delays, undermining [sic] possible solutions”.

Certain risks are deemed “intolerable”. In particular, the scheme depends on missing millions from the sale of sites at Arborfield and Bordon. If planning permission for housing is not obtained soon, sites will be much less valuable, “impacting on the affordability of the project as a whole”.

Equally intolerable – unlike the failure to meet the military’s operational needs, which is presumably tolerable – is the prospect of the deal losing its off balance sheet PFI magic. New government accounting rules are due to bring PFI investments, of which this project contains £750 million, on balance sheet. “There is a risk that the [project] will not receive exemption from the accounting rules …” notes the board, adding ominously: “The consequence of this would be to make the project unaffordable .. and therefore prevent the project progressing in its current form”.

Eighteen months ago defence minister Des Browne admitted that PFI was the only option for defence training because it would take investment off balance sheet (Eye 1177), inviting the disastrous consequences his officials are now admitting. But even the accounting “benefit” (to the governments books but to nobody else) is now disappearing, leaving nothing more than a handful of private companies presiding over an expensive shambles. Just what the forces soon packing their bags for Helmand need.

Contact private eye back team on 020 7437 4017 or
email strobes@private-eye.co.uk

Who will be training their soldiers at the new Defence Training Academy?

War is Peace Greg Lewis Friday, June 27, 2008

Who will be training their soldiers at the new Defence Training Academy at St Athan?
It’s a question that’s been exercising campaigners who feel the development is not just pledging Wales to a future of “militarism”, but wondering to whose military we are making that pledge.I mean, we are never going to stop people killing other people. But does it look like we even want to?

Especially if private security companies (mercenaries) – like the ones fighting wars for ‘us’ by proxy in Iraq – will be getting trained there. I contacted the Ministry of Defence under the Freedom of Information Act to ask if, for instance, the MoD would ban any particular nations from using the training camp.

And what about private security companies – would they be able to send personnel there?After a short delay I received an email from Brigadier Geoff Nield, a project leader with the Defence Training Review.Under this privatised scheme, it seems, the first decision on who comes in from the outside for training is down to the Metrix Consortium – a group of arms/defence companies and educational establishments like the Open University.

“The MoD is content that Metrix may deliver training and accommodation services to third parties as long as certain contractual conditions and restraints are met,” said Brigadier Nield.“

These include, for example, not impairing the delivery of military training to the MoD, meeting security requirements and maintaining military ethos on-site.

“Furthermore, MoD reserves the right to approve or forbid the use of training assets (including facilities) for third parties.”

So, could a regime like Burma for instance, on paying the right fees, get its soldiers trained here? After all, Britain kindly sold more than 40 Hawk aircraft to the Indonesians during the 1980s and 1990s before world attention suggested that helping the country suppress the East Timorese did not make Britain either great or a land of much hope and glory.

“The MoD…prioritises those countries that receive training on a case by case basis. Where there is a mutual agreement between the UK and countries of interest, agreed scheduled training courses can be attended by those invited, subject to availability and appropriate security clearance.”

There is, some might say, an Orwellian feel to the response. The MoD insists on calling the centre a “college” and the non-UK attendees, “students”.In addition, the MoD also states that the training of private contractors and foreign armies is actually about making a stable world for our children’s children.

“A key tenet of UK foreign policy is to encourage diplomatic engagement with foreign countries so as to not only serve UK interests but also develop long term stability throughout regions of the world,” said the brigadier.
“The MoD supports this policy in different guises, one of which is to train foreign students, both in UK and abroad as arranged through overseas embassies and high commissions.”

War is peace, then, after all.::The Big Issue Cymru, June 16-22, 2008
http://whatiswales.blogspot.com/

The view from the Military....
A MESSAGE FROM BRIGADIER GEOFF NIELD DTR IPT LEADER
The latest news from the DTR Package 1 Project May 2008
DTR PACKAGE 1 UPDATE
This is the second of the Defence Training Rationalisation Package 1
updates this year and, coming so soon after the publication by
Commandant’s of the Project’s People Management Plan (PMP), I
hope that you recognise that we are looking to do more to keep
you informed on Project progress. The PMP is an important document
and, in 13 Sections it provides a fairly detailed statement on the
origins, roles, responsibilities, solution and personnel issues that relate
to Package 1. The aim is to provide all staff with assurance that
civilian ‘People’ issues, including the implications for transfer and
future employment, are being fully addressed from now onwards.
I urge you to read it – in addition to the copies made available by College Commandants a copy has been published on the DTR Website on the Defence Intranet.

There are some omissions in the PMP. We have made very good progress in our discussions with Metrix over recent months to address affordability in the early years of the Project and to close off a range of high level issues following Metrix’ selection as Preferred Bidder. You will, however, not be surprised to hear that as a consequence Metrix’ proposal has evolved in some areas – particularly the training solution and the site layout at St Athan. The latest details were made available to us in the Metrix submission which we received on Friday 2 May.
This is now being evaluated and as soon as we have confidence that the material is likely to remain unchanged we shall share it with you in this routine bulletin. I am also conscious that you will be keen to hear what the future timetable to Financial Close is likely to be.
It would have been inappropriate to release anything to you until we had a high degree of confidence that the dates were broadly fixed and unlikely to change. Well, we are almost there and subject to the evaluation of the Metrix proposal and some adjustments for risk we should be in a position to share with you indicative dates (and these have moved to the right) in the next letter or sooner, if our work is concluded satisfactorily.

I have been really encouraged by the progress the IPT and Metrix have made on a whole range of fronts, and the support that we have received from College and other staff. Much of the progress is not visible to you because it deals with the arcane commercial and financial business associated with a PFI Project, but others will be.
The deployment of the three Metrix Liaison Officers to Colleges earlier in the year and more recently the approval and issue of a Pre-Contract Award Letter (PCAL) underwriting some Metrix activity, have enabled the consortium to mobilise in critical
areas to improve the maturity of the training solution and the design of the estate.

This is vital ground in maintaining momentum to Financial Close; more details are covered inside. Finally, I believe that we are on the cusp of achieving the maturity and certainty that we need for Main Gate, and I or the Programme Director, Major General Inshaw, look forward to providing further details in the next report.
Brigadier Geoff Nield

THE LATEST NEWS FROM THE DTR PACKAGE 1 PROJECT
PACKAGE 1 NEWS
Civilian Post Tagging on HRMS
Following an initial Post Mapping Exercise (PME) to identify the civilian posts that are either wholly or predominately dedicated to the Programme, approximately 1,123 Package 1 posts were identified as being in- scope and will TUPE Transfer to Metrix on Vesting Day. Under TUPE Regulations it is a legal requirement for the current employer to provide "Employee Liability Information" to the new employer about all in-scope employees. To assist with this requirement the People Pay and Pensions Agency (PPPA) has tagged the posts that have been identified as either out of scope (affected) or in-scope (assigned) by the Programme. The tagging of these posts on HRMS will enable the PPPA to extract HR information that is needed by the DTR IPT and Metrix. Only the HR information that is required for TUPE Transfer purposes will be released to Metrix and this will only take place after financial close.

Further information on Staff Transfers under TUPE can be found on the area of the People Service Portal or by contacting the PPPA directly.

Management of Course Change Contract
A risk reduction contract let with Metrix referred to as Management of Course Change was successfully completed at the end of March. The aim of this contract was to prove and refine the MOD’s existing Course Change Approvals Process whilst growing confidence in proposed training design strategy, methodology and implementation plans.

Four Package 1 military courses were selected and Metrix used Raytheon’s Architect process to guide the redesign modules from these courses. Despite a very short timeframe and resource limitations, the outcome of this work has exceeded the expectations of both the MOD and Metrix. The Management of Course Change (MCC) Contract delivered on time and to budget. It has helped initiate and foster positive working relationships between the Partner and all MOD staff who have been involved with the work over the past 6 months. The training aspects of work that are to be conducted during stage one of the PCAL work will build greatly upon the lessons nd knowledge gained from MCC.
The IPT and Metrix are planning to produce a range of articles on the MCC Contract and will be presenting the findings of the contract to the DTR Programme Executive Board on 7 May.
Following the publication of the final report the IPT and Metrix teams plan to present their findings to the wider Defence Community at ITEC 2008 in June of this year. They also intend to offer a series of focus discussions with interested members of the Package 1 DTR training community and look forward to a much greater engagement in the future.

THE LATEST NEWS FROM THE DTR PACKAGE 1 PROJECT
PACKAGE 1 NEWS
DCDS (Pers) Visits MOD St Athan
Vice Admiral Peter Wilkinson, DCDS (Pers), visited MOD St Athan in his role as Senior Responsible Owner of the DTR Programme. The aim of the visit was to familiarise DCDS (Pers) with the proposed Defence Training Academy site and give him an understanding of the relevant issues surrounding the Programme. Wing Commander Richard Read, St Athan Site Director, hosted the visit which included a tour of the Superhangar and the surrounding estate. Vice Admiral Wilkinson was extremely impressed by the visit and came away with a
greater understanding of the complexity of taking the DTR Package 1 Project forwards.


Package 1 Commandants Meet to Discuss Transition
The Commandants of the Defence Training Colleges of CIS, Aeronautical and
Electro-Mechanical Engineering met recently at HMS SULTAN to continue the close dialogue between themselves and the Director of Joint Technical Training. Together they continue to focus on taking forward the DTR Package 1 Project with particular attention to the transitional arrangements for the delivery of the training outputs required by the front line commands, both technical and military. Their wide ranging discussions formed part of a series of meetings which will direct the plan for the eventual transfer of authority for training from the 3 Colleges to a
single Defence Training Academy with separate technical streams. Their discussions are proving extremely helpful in identifying and resolving common issues, especially those related to HR, training , and developing a partnering relationship with Metrix during the lead-in work. They are also highlighting key aspects of the Project as a whole that must be communicated to their
members of staff and to the staff of supporting commercial, training and facilities management partners like Vosper-Thorneycroft and Flagship Training Limited.
Wing Commander Richard Read and Vice Admiral Peter Wilkinson at MOD St Athan

Interested in finding out about what has been said on the DTR Programme in Parlia-
ment?
All the latest Ministerial announcements and Parliamentary Questions on DTR can be found on the DTR website: www.dtr.mod.uk

THE LATEST NEWS FROM THE DTR PACKAGE 1 PROJECT
arly Work on Package 1
To ensure that we achieve contract signature for Package 1 as soon as possible, the
Department has agreed to underwrite Metrix’ bid costs for a specific programme of risk reduction work. This commitment was given to Metrix on 19 March and is referred to as a Pre-Contract Award Letter (PCAL).
This work will be in two stages. Stage 1 has begun and is expected to last until the main investment decision (Main Gate 2) expected in the Summer. The value of this Stage 1 work will be up to £9.5M although these costs will only be reimbursed in the event that the Department is not in a position to close the deal with Metrix.
The following streams have been identified for Stage 1:

Training Management and Support – A targeted review of training management
support processes across DTR Package 1 sites.

Sample Course Review
– To develop a deeper understanding of the opportunity for course compression, distribution and rationalisation across DTR.

Training Requirement and Course Analysis – Addresses the transition from
Statement of Training Requirement 2005 to 2009.

Sub Contract Rationalisation – Reviews existing contracts to ensure that interfaces can be managed and affected contracts can be effectively managed (e.g. the Flagship and Vosper-Thorneycroft contracts).

Workforce Analysis and Implementation – Examines the role that civilian staff who are expected to TUPE transfer might play in delivering the Metrix solution. Addresses associated implementation issues.

Planning Surveys – A thorough investigation of the St Athan site.

Planning Design and Programme Works – Metrix to clarify their technical solution, produce a strategic brief, refine the Masterplan and progress the Stage C design process.
These activities are likely to continue into a Stage 2 PCAL ( following Main Gate 2) along with another three other tasks; Facilities Management Mobilisation, Pre-Service Mobilisation and IT, Planning Set up and Mobilisation. Stage 2 will be approved as part of the main investment decision and is expected to represent an additional value of up to £50M.
An IPT Project Manager has been appointed for each task and is responsible for the
management of each activity stream, the development of the detailed work content and the refinement of the Stage 2 work. It is expected that the next month will see a significant mobilisation of Metrix staff at each of the Package 1 sites and it is likely that many of you may have the opportunity to contribute to this work. Metrix and the IPT are now looking at identifying the specific areas of work and aim to produce a fully detailed Programme Plan for Stage 1 in early May. In parallel to this, Director of Joint Technical Training is looking at how the Defence Training Establishments can support this work. Further details on this work will
be published shortly.
Page 5
A message from Charles Barrington, Chairman of
Metrix UK
I am very pleased to contribute to this newsletter. I have only recently joined the Metrix team and am delighted that we now have confirmation that pre-contract funding has been agreed.
This will now make possible a programme of analysis and joint detailed planning which can only be achieved by working closely with your teams across the three services in order to make the future handover as smooth as possible for everyone, while minimising disruption to the important work you do today.
This is an important step forward for the DTR Package 1 Project, a project which, as we are all fully aware, is of national importance and designed to improve and modernise the delivery of high quality training to soldiers, sailors, and airmen across our Armed Services. We in Metrix are proud to have been chosen as the MoD's partner is this exciting enterprise. We are determined to create a partnership with our customer that will allow this objective to be met in accordance with the MoD's project requirements. One of my tasks will be to ensure that we
invest our time and resources in that partnership in order to make it real, effective, and robust.

With regard to the communities in South Wales I have now been to St Athan and have met a number of the wider stakeholders in the Project. There I was struck by the support that exists for this project, and I recognise the responsibility this brings in terms of meeting those expectations. Only by understanding all of those stakeholder views will we be able to deliver a successful project.
I look forward to working with Major General Inshaw and his team, and I am pleased to tell you that we have now appointed Jim Morrison as our new Chief Executive Officer, following Mike Hayle's departure. We wish Mike well and I have thanked him for his achievement in winning Preferred Bidder status for Metrix. Jim joins us with a number of years experience of working on major MoD projects and will be a huge contribution to the team. I look forward to welcoming him to Metrix at the end of this month.
Page 5

THE LATEST NEWS FROM THE DTR PACKAGE 1 PROJECT
New Metrix CEO is appointed
The chief executive of Metrix UK, Mike Hayle, has decided to step down from his position within the consortium. Mike has been with the project since February 2005 and was instrumental in achieving Preferred Bidder status for the consortium. The Metrix and IPT teams wish him well for the future.
Jim Morrison CBE has been appointed to replace Mike Hayle. Jim will take up his new role leading this prestigious and important project at the beginning of June 2008. He is at present a Senior Consultant with DLA Piper LLP but is currently seconded to the Ministry of Defence, where he is leading the Army Recruiting and Training Division’s Royal School of Military Engineering PPP that is scheduled to close later this year.
Page 6
Page 6
THE LATEST NEWS FROM THE DTR PACKAGE 1 PROJECT
DTR IPT NEWS
New faces in the DTR IPT.
There have been a few moves amongst the personnel at the DTR IPT in Main Building. This
will result in some new faces and some familiar faces in new roles.
Recognising the need to drive the programme forward with ever more pace and vigour the IPT
has actually managed to make our case for expansion (no easy feat in these days of Head
Office streamlining) and will be welcoming two and possibly three new faces to the team in the
near future.
IN
Commander Tony Podmore has joined the IPT in the new post of SO1 Coherence. He will be supporting the IPTL and IPT Project Manager, providing programme coherence across lines of development and hopefully releasing the IPTL to devote more time to the upcoming negotiations. Tony will, in most instances, be the first point of contact for Brigadier Nield.
e-mail: DGTE DTRIPT-SO1 Coherence. Mil 9621 83797; Phone: 020 72183797
Robert Horvath is an expert who will be providing high level negotiation and commercial support to the IPT senior management team.
Defence Estates have recently appointed a new DTR Client Adviser. This role will represent the interests of Package 1 Schools and Colleges during the estate planning process.
OUT With regret we said goodbye to Victoria Pemberton. Having put in an enormous amount of work on TUPE and People Mapping, Victoria left on a well deserved promotion. The HR department of the IPT is now likely to be restructured, with two new staff members to be recruited in the near future.

SHAKEN ALL ABOUT
Chief Inspector Mark Dudley has swapped roles with Major Dick Haly. Mark will now be moving to the Plans area with particular responsibility for co-ordinating Transition plans. Dick will be taking over the co-ordination role, supporting Tony Podmore.
The DTR Update is accessible via the Defence Intranet along with an up to date DTR IPT Organisational Chart. You can access this site by typing ‘DTR IPT’ into the search facility and selecting ‘Defence Training Review Integrated Project Team (DTR IPT)’.
This DTR Update was produced by the DTR IPT.
May 2008

http://209.85.135.104/search?q=cache:z3cXFZvt-rYJ:www.mod.uk/NR/rdonlyres/485269A0-B77C-41D7-A99D-1252A1C60F5C/0/20080502DTRP1Update.pdf+vice+admiral+peter+wilkinson+defence+training+review+executive+board+meeting&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=1&gl=uk&ie=UTF-8



Private Eye reports St Athan bid on the rocks
By nomilitaryacademy
Rumours have long been circulated that Metrix’s plan for a privatised military training school at St Athan are in difficulty. Now Private Eye reports the following:. Documents from the Defence Training Review executive board” show that: ...No Military Academy - http://nomilitaryacademy.wordpress.com

26/06/2008

Fortress Britain - St Athan mercenary training

Fortress Britain
Media Monitors Network - CA,USA
... for a privatised Military 'Academy' at St Athan in the Vale of Glamorgan to train all-service personnel and private 'security services'. ...


..................With the demoralizing effect of ill-conceived interventions abroad, the struggle for politicians is then of rehabilitating the myth of the military, rather that the military itself. What interests policy makers is not so much the military, but the cult of military. Plans are also underway to introduce US-style citizenship ceremonies for children and a new public holiday to celebrate 'Britishness' by 2012, as part of "wide-ranging proposals to strengthen British citizenship."

In sharp contrast to the decrepit military stands the fortunes of the private military industry. The preference of recent governments for market solutions has facilitated the transfer of most military R&D to the private sector, with giants like QinetiQ and BAe Systems securing plum deals. When the Defence Evaluation and Research Agency (Dera) was split in two in 2001, QinetiQ, a British company with links to the US-based Carlyle Group, absorbed the majority of its activities.

Along with a raft of other lucrative PFIs, the private military industry is set to benefit from the largest to date, involving at least £14 billion of taxpayers' money, for a privatised Military 'Academy' at St Athan in the Vale of Glamorgan to train all-service personnel and private 'security services'. The corporate bonanza in Iraq has had Private Military Contractors – mercenaries – reaping windfalls profits for investors with stakes in the businesses, such as Frederick Forsyth and former Foreign Secretary Malcolm Rifkind (of Aegis and ArmorGroup respectively). The lure of salaries, at times reaching as high as £1,000 a day, may be one reason why the military is losing so many of its men to the mercenary business..................

UFO over St Athan

Is there anybody out there?
WalesOnline -
An anonymous source suggested the incident took place while the helicopter was at 500ft and waiting to land at the Ministry of Defence’s St Athan base in ...See all stories on this topic...sure it wasn't John Smith MP??

21/06/2008

ST Athan move may take 8 years leaked email

1.St Athan move ‘may take eight years’
Jun 21 2008 by Nick Machin, Western Mail here

2. 20th June Military transfer 'delay' worry here
The planned switch of military training to Wales to set up a £11bn new facility could be put back eight years, an e-mail obtained by BBC Wales suggests.

3. Don't miss on 26th June, 5:30-7:30pm Temple of Peace Rae McGrath, International Spokesperson on Cluster Munitions, is attempting to get the Welsh Assembly and Scottish Parliament to support the ban on cluster bombs. He is aware of our campaign and that it has highlighted Raytheon's production of such weapons.

4. Next meeting of the campaign against St Athan Military Academy will be at 3pm 28th June 2008 Temple of Peace ..more information http://www.antimetrix.org/
News

1. St Athan move ‘may take eight years’ Jun 21 2008 by Nick Machin, Western Mail PLANS to move military training to Wales as part of a new £11bn centre could be delayed for up to eight years, a leaked email has suggested.
Building on the facility at St Athan in the Vale of Glamorgan is due to start next year, bringing 5,000 new jobs.
The Ministry of Defence last night said it remained “100% committed” and there was “no question” about its future. But a leaked email has suggested that the Metrix consortium, which is backing the operation is considering keeping HMS Sultan in Hampshire open.
Metrix, yesterday said that the transfer of military training was just one detail of a “complex” project.
The training college at Gosport, at the mouth of Portsmouth Harbour, is the home of a number of organisations, including Royal Naval Air Engineering and Survival School.
It was due to close and move its training to South Wales in 2017, but the leaked email said it could stay open until 2025.
Union leaders fighting to keep work in Hampshire say the leaked email raised questions about the proposals. The PCS union opposes the plan to transfer. Paul Bemrose, a negotiations officer with the union, said the e-mail offered his members a degree of comfort.
But Metrix said the transfer of HMS Sultan was only one part of a scheme involving thousands of jobs. The firm said details were bound to change in what it described as a hugely complex programme running over 25 years.
.....................
2. 20th June Military transfer 'delay' worry
The planned switch of military training to Wales to set up a £11bn new facility could be put back eight years, an e-mail obtained by BBC Wales suggests.
Building on the centre at St Athan in the Vale of Glamorgan is due to start next year, bringing 5,000 new jobs.
The Ministry of Defence (MoD) said it remained "100% committed" and there was "no question" about its future.
Metrix, the consortium backing the operation, said the transfer was just one detail of a "complex" project.
The memo leaked to BBC Wales' Dragon's Eye programme stated the Metrix consortium was considering keeping open HMS Sultan in Hampshire.
The training college at Gosport, at the mouth of Portsmouth Harbour, is the home of a number of organisations, including Royal Naval Air Engineering and Survival School.
It was due to close and move its training to south Wales in 2017, but the leaked e-mail said it could stay open until 2025.
Union leaders fighting to keep work in Hampshire say the leaked e-mail raised questions about the proposals. The PCS union opposes the plan to transfer. Paul Bemrose, a negotiations officer with the union, said the e-mail offered his members a degree of comfort.
He said: "There are a lot of problems with the programme now in terms of affordability, which the MoD are not talking about, because they don't want to raise the spectre of the project collapsing."
However, Metrix said the transfer of HMS Sultan was only one part of a scheme involving thousands of jobs.
The firm said details we are bound to change in what it described as a hugely complex programme running over 25 years.
The MoD said: "There is no question whatsoever about the future of this project, which will bring world class training to our armed forces".
Story from BBC NEWS:http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/wales/south_east/7465154.stmPublished: 2008/06/20 14:52:12 GMT© BBC MMVIII

SEE ALSO
Protests against military academy 26 Apr 08 South East Wales
RELATED INTERNET LINKS
Metrix
BACKGROUND AND ANALYSIS
Sign of 'purple approach'
Politicians on St Athan 'victory'
Flying high and low at St Athan
PREVIOUS STORIES
Part of base training bid dropped
Plaid MEP queries military centre
Job hope as centre goes ahead
RAF base bid 'exceptional' - Hain
Hopes for 5,000 jobs at RAF base
Hangar opens to uncertain future

19/06/2008

Gordon brown cluster bombs and Private Eye





Recently Gordon Brown has made a big fuss about ridding the world of cluster bombs and he even promised to dispose of Britain's stocks. Private Eye points out that this doesn't quite fit with what the MoD are proposing for defence training. The company that make these bombs is Raytheon who are part of the Metrix consortium who won the bid to deliver defence training to the armed forces. The Instructional Officers (civil servants) who currently undertake this training will be privatised and expected to move to St Athan in South Wales.

12/06/2008

Response of Raytheon 9 to their acquittal

http://www.indymedia.ie/article/87945
Statement issued by the DAWC, calling for Raytheon to be prosecuted
The six anti-war activists who occupied arms manufacturer Raytheon's offices in Derry and destroyed its computers have been acquitted by a jury in Belfast. Derry Anti War Coalition calls on the office of the Attorney General and the Crown Prosecution Service, in light of the jury's verdict of 'not guilty' to criminal damage charges, to institute an investigation into the activities of Raytheon at its various plants across the UK, with a view to determining whether Raytheon is a criminal enterprise.

Raytheon disappointed by verdictBBC News, The defence company Raytheon has said it is disappointed that six men accused of destroying property at its plant in Londonderry were found not guilty. ..http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/foyle_and_west/7449983.stm

Raytheon 9 acquitted

Applause as jury clears 'Raytheon Six' of chargesBelfast Telegraph, United Kingdom - There were jubilant scenes in a Belfast court yesterday as six anti-war protesters were unanimously acquitted of destroying property belonging to ...

McCann seeks war crimes inquiry against Raytheon Belfast Telegraph, United Kingdom - Journalist and campaigner Eamon McCann is calling on the British authorities to investigate the arms firm Raytheon for war crimes. ...

N.Irish jury acquits men in Raytheon break-in case Reuters - USA The defence argued their action was taken to prevent war crimes in Lebanon by Israeli Defence Forces using Raytheon missile systems and to save civilian ...

Jury acquits Raytheon protesters BBC News -Six Londonderry anti-war protesters accused of destroying property belonging to US defence company Raytheon have been acquitted. ...

Jury acquits Derry Raytheon protestors RTE.Six men have been unanimously acquitted of destroying property belonging to defence technology company Raytheon during an anti-war protest in Derry. ...

Raytheon 6 cleared Derry Today - He also called on politicians and the citizens of Derry "to say in unequivocal terms that Raytheon is not welcome in our city". ..., control room operator for ...

McCann seeks war crimes inquiry against Raytheon By BreakingNews.ie / TCM journalist and campaigner Eamon McCann is calling on the British authorities to investigate the arms firm Raytheon for war crimes.

Trial of the Raytheon 9 ...Eamonn McCann is a founder of the1960s civil rights movement in Northern Ireland, a veteran socialist and trade unionist, and one of Ireland's most widely read journalists. He is the author of War and an Irish Town, Bloody Sunday in Derry: What Really Happened and other books.

..........Meanwhile Bush has been invited to Belfast as man of peace with the hope of further U.S. investment with no mention of restrictions on weapons manufacturers such as Raytheon http://www.counterpunch.org/harkin05302008.html

Related Links: www.raytheon9.org Indy.ie coverage Raytheon 9 Pamphlet

09/06/2008

How accountable is Serco ?

How accountablwe will serco and raytheon be to the british people? Read the interesting piece below. And you mcouldn't make it up - serco bid to run GP practice!!

One More Level of OversightBy Al DeVito(Al DeVito) The Department of Defense, in its superior wisdom, has contracted with Serco, a British-American company, to perform DOD’s oversight function of contractors in Iraq . Serco is responsible for "analyzing performance contractors' costs," ...

One More Level of Oversight
The problem is that it’s another fox guarding the fox who is guarding the chicken coop. The Department of Defense, in its superior wisdom, has contracted with Serco, a British-American company, to perform DOD’s oversight function of contractors in Iraq. Serco is responsible for "analyzing performance contractors' costs," "working with the Army to measure contractor performance" and "recommending process improvements."
How this will affect GAO’s auditing is a question, as everything between the government and the contractors (Fluor, KBR and DynCorp) goes between Serco and the GAO. When GAO decides to audit one of the contractors, Serco gets the documents from the contractor, summarizes them and then gives them to the GAO. The GAO has previously said that such a situation creates the “potential for conflicts of interest". I’m sure that Serco will be a good overseer of our money.

Outsourcing Oversight
Summary: The Department of Defense now employs contractors to keep ... the Pentagon split its largest military contract in Iraq ... A fourth company, the British-American service provider Serco, is ... oversight," Rasor told Truthout.

Sturgeon To End Privatisation Of Gp Practices (from Sunday Herald)
Jack McConnell's administration was criticised in 2006 after it emerged that Serco, a global services firm, was bidding to run a GP practice in Harthill, ...

05/06/2008

More anti Raytheon Demos in Wales


Daily Post, UK -DEMONSTRATORS held a protest outside a the Flintshire plant of a defence industry firm in support of peace activists prosecuted for occupying the firm’s ...

Bril pics here!!Solidarity demo at Broughton on day Raytheon 9 trial collapsesIndymedia UK, Campaigners from Wrexham, Chester and beyond held a demonstration outside the Broughton Raytheon factory this afternoon in solidarity with the Raytheon 9. ...

04/06/2008

Raytheon Nine Prosecution collapses!!! Congrats to Raytheon 9!

Judge thows case out. Maith thu!

At Belfast Laganside court today, the trial of the Raytheon Nine xxxxxxxxxxxx. The defendents from Derry Anti War Coalition walked xxxxx after the judge xxxxxxxx the case for xxxx of evidence. Throughout the trial the Nine have maintained that their actions were legitimate as an attempt to prevent war crimes.

The judge was forced to xxxxxxthis when he stated that the defendents had acted to prevent destruction in Lebanon. This is a major victory and vindication of the action of the Derry Anti War Coalition and the Raytheon Nine.T he development began to emerge yesterday when, bizarrely, the barrister for the Crown conceded that the 9 were genuine in their belief that Raytheon were active in supplying the US and Isreali war machines in Iraq, Palestine and Lebanon and that sabotaging Raytheon's equipment would disrupt that supply.

What the Crown was then asking the jury to do was convict on the strength of the evidence, whether, at the moment of entering Raytheon, the 9 had smashed computers out of anger and wanton destructiveness. barristers for the 9 petitioned the judge to dismiss the case as this was something the jury could not find, given that the Crown had already conceded that they had gone in there with the intention to sabotage in order to disrupt the supply chain. the Judge evidently xxxxxx

The crown have until tomorrow to decide whether to appeal or not. http://www.raytheon9.org/
send your messages to resistderry@aol.com

03/06/2008

Wales sold to war profiteers

Wales is fast becoming a TOTAL MILITARY TRAINING ZONE!
RAF Valley Privatised - More unaccountable war profiteers/arms dealers/clusterbomb manufacturers coming to Wales!!!

War is the oldest, the most profitable and the most vicious racket—one in which the profits are measured in dollars/pounds and the losses in body bags. The insanity of militarism is forced on Wales by New Labour without a cheep of protest.

Who has decided on this in Wales? Has it been discussed at the Welsh Assembly? Our Welsh politicians need to take a reality check!

RAF Valley currently trains air force and navy officers to fly jet planes. The new PFI scheme at RAF Valley will be the first step in a 25 year programme to be delivered by Ascent, the MoD's private training service provider - the total programme value is estimated to be worth up to £6 billion over the 25 years

The base at RAF Valley on Anglesey will be ‘upgraded’ as part of a PFI scheme that sees flying training for the RAF, Army and Navy run by a private firm, Ascent – a joint venture by US giant Lockheed Martin and VT Group, based in Southampton. All fast-jet pilot training will now take place at Valley, where pilots will use the new Hawk 128 aircraft.

Same old myths! The Ministry of Defence said the PFI deal would help cut costs and simplify a fragmented training system, as well bringing jobs to the area. Same old spin! dont believe a word of it.

VT Group, makes high-tech products for the military and intelligence services, and transport security firm TRL as well as defence industry stalwarts, BAE Systems, Meggitt, and Smiths Group, all suppliers to aviation and defence industry.

Private corporations working for profit now sway the course of national and international conflict, but shouldn’t the Welsh people be told the consequences. Are these huge multinational companies accountable and are they accountable in any way to the politicians and people of WALES? Answer..NO!

Human Rights Watch April 2008
The following US companies are associated with the current production of cluster
munitions
and their submunitions: Aerojet, Alliant TechSystems, General Dynamics, L-3
Communications, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, and Textron Defense Systems.

Hawk
Armament: AIM-9 Sidewinder, Aden 30mm, Cluster Bombs
The T1A has two under-wing pylons cleared to carry BL755 cluster bombs or Sidewinder AIM-9L air-to-air missiles, and can carry a 30mm Aden cannon in a pod underneath the fuselage centre-line.

Top Guns to get training centre liftic Wales, United Kingdom - 4 hours agoA NEW training centre for Top Gun RAF pilots will be built in Wales in a new £635m deal announced by the Ministry of Defence. ...
Training deal to secure RAF baseBBC News, UK - 2 Jun 2008A multimillion-pound deal .. military training at RAF Valley on Anglesey is expected to be confirmed later. The base would deliver all ...
History
Written Ministerial Statements — Defence: Training (2 Jun 2008)
Bob Ainsworth: I am pleased to announce the award of a contract to Ascent valued at £63.5 million, a joint venture between Lockheed Martin and VT Group, for the UK military flying training system, which is designed to meet the long-term flying training needs of the UK armed forces. Ascent has been appointed as training system partner to work with the Ministry of Defence to incrementally procure and...

Written Ministerial Statements — Defence: Military Flying Training (30 Nov 2006)
Derek Twigg: I am pleased to announce that the Ascent Consortium has been selected as the preferred bidder for the UK military flying training system (UKMFTS) training system partner. The Ascent Consortium consists of Lockheed Martin and the VT Group. The training system partner will ... read the spin.....work with the Ministry of Defence to deliver a long-term, cost effective, flexible training capability for the future...oh yeah!!! don't think so!

anti terror laws will stop peaceful protest


New Labour stop the rot NOW. Will we be able to do a Monbiot after this new terror legislation? Will we be able to make a peaceful protest against corporate war profiteers?

A letter today in the guardian by Lord Rea and others ....says that this is about more than 42 days tells us that Increasingly, "anti-terror" powers are used to convict individuals merely for alleged membership of "proscribed" political organisations, for possessing DVDs, for downloading web pages and to harass protesters for peaceful activities.

The police are increasingly abusing their powers in relation to section 12 and 14 of the public order act. In Cardiff protesters were banned from marching through Cardiff city centre as police invoked the public order act to minimise the visibility of the demonstration against the St Athan military academy. Police also insisted that written applications would be needed for further protests and threatened march organisers with arrest if anything untoward should happen at the event.

The pretext for the clampdown was that police ‘intelligence’ suggested that disruptive elements were targeting the march. It is simply enough that is an allegation is made?

The protest was against privatising MILITARY training to Raytheon - arms dealers and Serco and other corporate war profiteers on the New Labour delusion that it will save money! Services need to be accountable AND IN THE INTERESTS OF the community not corporations. See http://www.thegodsthatfailed.co.uk/?p=26

Counter-terror powers are already more than sufficient and there should not be more laws that will further permit police harassment of peaceful protesters and the protection of coporate interests.

Write to your mp asking them to vote against 2008 counter-terrorism Bill.

How can I get involved?
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Facebook Not a Day Longer

http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=8018032131

- Help us find out which Labour MPs oppose these plans. See: http://www.facebook.com/topic.php?uid=8018032131&topic=3550

- Sign the e-petition on the Downing Street website
http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/notadaylonger/

- Write to your MP and tell them you oppose these plans!
http://www.writetothem.org

If you want to know how your MP votes, try this: http://www.theyworkforyou.org
which allows users to see their MP's voting record.

VOICES AGAINST
Recently, a whole range of establishment figures have spoken out against extending the 28 days detention period.
http://www.liberalconspiracy.org/2007/11/23/28-days-list-of-names-against-extension/

These include:
Lord Goldsmith, former attorney general;
Ken Macdonald, director of public prosecutions and head of CPS;
Lord Woolf, former lord chief justice;
Vera Baird QC, solicitor-general;
Jonathan Evans, head of MI5;
Lord Falconer, former lord chancellor

Lord Rea, Sir Geoffrey Bindman, Bruce Kent Honorary vice president, CND, Dr Caroline Lucas MEP, Elfyn Llwyd MP, Frances Webber barrister, Jean Lambert MEP, Jeremy Corbyn MP, John McDonnell MP, Jonathan Bloch councillor, Lindsey German Stop the War Coalition, Liz Davies chair, Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers, Louise Christian solicitor, Mark Oaten MP, Mark Thomas comedian and journalist, Massoud Shadjareh Islamic Human Rights Commission, Moazzam Begg spokesman for Cageprisoners and former Guantanamo detainee, Nicholas Hildyard policy analyst, Saleh Mamon Campaign Against Criminalising Communities, Victoria Brittain journalist

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2008/jun/03/terrorism.justice?gusrc=rss&feed=politics

most Conservative and Libdem MPs are also against it.

Human rights group Liberty
http://www.liberty-human-rights.org.uk/

Justice
http://www.justice.org.uk

openDemocracy's British blog: OurKingdom
http://ourkingdom.opendemocracy.net

02/06/2008

St Athan campaign and Raytheon 9

We get a mention here. Opposition and horror at Raytheon grows! We call on politicans from Wales to oppose the privatisation of military training and Keep Raytheon out of Wales!