Defence Secretary speech announcements:

Gavin Williamson speech announcements at the Conservative Party Conference:

 

Defence Secretary reveals new generation of ‘cyber cadets’

A new scheme to help develop the next generation of cyber security experts and protect our nation against sophisticated and evolving threats has been announced by Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson today. 

The Cadets CyberFirst programme, delivered by Ministry of Defence cadet organisations and the GCHQ National Cyber Security Centre, will equip over 2,000 cadets a year with the skills and expertise to become future leaders in this emerging industry.

Over £1 million will be invested in the programme each year, giving cadets the opportunity to learn how to protect systems connected to the internet from cyber attacks. Cadets will be able to choose from introductory courses covering the tools, knowledge and skills to protect small networks, to more advanced courses where they will be fully immersed in cyber security issues.  

The new initiative comes as the Defence Secretary also reveals plans to increase the number of cadets in school units to 60,000 by 2024 and celebrate their achievements through a National Cadet Week. 

The annual week will give communities and families, along with local dignitaries and MPs, the chance to celebrate the great work cadets and their volunteer adult instructors do across the UK. 

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said:

“We live in a modern world where our phones are rarely out of our hands and we rely on computers to make daily tasks easier. Cyber threats to the UK are constantly evolving and this exciting initiative to train and develop ‘cyber cadets’ – the first of its kind in a NATO state - reaffirms our leading role in tackling security threats head on.

“It is important to recognise the vital role cadets play in our communities, and I am determined to grow the number of young people signing up and make sure their successes are properly recognised each year.”

 

UK to maintain military presence in Germany

The UK will continue to have a military presence in Germany beyond 2020, Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson has announced today

Around 185 British Army personnel and 60 Ministry of Defence civilians will remain in Germany, once the withdrawal of British Army units to the UK has been completed.

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said:

“We are increasing our British points of presence across the world. We will not close our facilities in Germany and are will instead we keep them open and forward base the Army there.”

 

UK set for new Birmingham warship and will keep amphibious assault ships, Defence Secretary announces

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson has today made two major announcements for the future of British warships, as he named a new frigate HMS Birmingham and revealed he is protecting HMS Bulwark and HMS Albion.

Speaking in Birmingham, the Defence Secretary outlined that one of Britain’s new cutting-edge Type 26 frigates will be called HMS Birmingham, becoming the fourth Royal Navy ship to bear that name.

The 6,900-tonne frigates will be world-class anti-submarine warships and will provide cutting-edge protection for the likes of the UK’s nuclear deterrent and the Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers, with the ability to conduct a whole range of other operations anywhere in the world.

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said:

“Three of our nation’s ships have proudly borne the name Birmingham. Those ships won five battle honours. Today, in honour of this great city, we will be naming one of our eight Type 26 global combat ships HMS Birmingham.”

 

The Defence Secretary also put to bed any speculation about the future of amphibious assault ships HMS Bulwark and HMS Albion being withdrawn from service early.

He said:

“To deliver what seems impossible, the Royal Marines need to be able to bring the fight from the sea to the land. As such, I am happy to announce today that I am protecting their vital landing platforms HMS Albion and HMS Bulwark.”

 

Defence Secretary Bolsters Support for Armed Forces

 

A series of new schemes and initiatives, designed to support serving personnel and their families throughout their military careers and beyond, has been announced by Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson today.

The new package will help the Armed Forces throughout their careers by offering a renewed focus on personal development and creating a support network for those living with significant illness, caring for others. The package will also ramp up support for those leaving the services, including a new transition programme and ID cards for all military leavers so their service to their country can be recognised easily.

A new fund will be dedicated to supporting the careers of the spouses and civil partners of those who serve, in recognition of the vital role of families within the military community. This fund follows the success of the MOD’s Spouse Employment Support trial, and will facilitate access to vocational training and development opportunities, helping them enter new sectors or self-employment.

 

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said:

“The bravery and dedication of our people is second to none. Whether they are in service, have served, or support the service of a loved one, we owe them a great debt of gratitude for their work in keeping this country safe.

“It is only right that we give our Armed Forces every opportunity to develop their skills to reach their potential, while ensuring that their spouses and civil partners are just as valued for the part they play.”

 

By the end of 2020, all serving personnel will have access to their own Professional and Personal Development Plan – a new scheme that will enable them to hone the skills they need to succeed throughout their service, and equip them for the next stage in their careers.

Providing an extra layer of care for those preparing to leave the military, the new Defence Transition Service will deliver specialist support for serving personnel who are most likely to face challenges as they adjust to civilian life. These individuals will be offered unique solutions to the challenges they face, including help with housing or employment.

To further support the transition to civilian life, the Defence Secretary also announced that new ID cards will be available to military service leavers shortly. The ID cards will initially be given to everyone leaving the Armed Forces, and will give them instant recognition for their service to the country.

 

Those who have already made the transition to civilian life will be able to apply for an ID card in 2019. The cards will allow easy access to the range of support available from the public and charitable sectors, including registering with their local authority for priority healthcare and housing.

The Defence Secretary added:

 

“The vast majority of those who have served in our Armed Forces go on to lead successful and rewarding lives, but it’s important we recognise that the transition is not always smooth. We are dedicated to upholding the support they receive while in uniform as they take this next step, and I’m delighted to be adding an extra helping hand to those most in need.

“The challenges that service leavers can face are unique, and I want to make sure that they are fully equipped with the tools to thrive independently, whatever issues they face.”