Wednesday, August 13, 2008

UK MOD Defence Estates future strategy: "Big hands, smaller map"

Annex C to the June 2008 Defence Estates Departmental Plan through 2030 has some illuminating assumptions underpinning plans for the next 20 years.

Defence Estates is the representative of the largest landowner in the United Kingdom and so from a taxpayers point of view has significant responsibility for the appropriate management of said estate, under the leadership of Vice Admiral Timothy Laurence, married to the Princess Royal.

An interesting aside is that the Ministry of Defence hosted microsite has had no press releases from DE since 2006. Little to say ?

The Royal Navy
Consolidation in the South West, though with a slew of retired-Admirals trying to hang onto Portsmouth Naval Base as homeport for the Future Aircraft Carrier ("CVF"). Shame no one has reminded them as to the basic fact that the dockyards at Rosyth in the Prime Ministers constituency, where the vessels are being assembled is the only logical, secure place for significant in-service support and maintenance. How does the RN Force Protection team feel about managing CVF entry and exit from one of the busiest commercial and recreational maritime corridors ? A bigger worry for RN Estate managers must be how to manage the balance the military worth of Portsmouth (slight) versus its commercial value (high) with the 'buggeration' factor of a slew of recently constructed high quality accomodation for service families (one very hot political potato)...

Did the recruitment branch of the Army have input into the planned future garrison areas (or defence estates for that matter). For the 2018-2030 period there will be three super-garrisons located close to London - occupying valuable real-estate and located in areas where recruitment is going to be harder than in the West and North. I would liked to have been a fly on the wall with regard to the half-garrison split between Ireland and Scotland.

The Royal Air Force
It would seem the RAF have put greatest thought and wielded the largest axe in terms of shrinking their footprint.

Defence Equipment & Support (DE&S)
Less clear, plans for the period after 2011 helpfully remove all names with just a red 'x' marking the spot of what is currently the Donnington logistics site. Sir Humphrey seems to have been busy...

MOD Centre
Ditto, the comment re: Sir Humphrey

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