defencehq:

Top: Reserve Soldiers from 7 Battalion The Rifles creating a dam with sandbags; 2nd row left: Reserve Soldiers from 7 Battalion The Rifles creating a dam in Beaulieu Close, Windsor; middle: Royal Navy personnel and Reserve Soldiers from 7 Battalion The Rifles work together to create a dam in Beaulieu Close, Windsor; right: Royal Navy personnel unloading sandbags; 3rd row: Reserve Soldiers from 7 Battalion The Rifles help members of the Berkshire Fire & Rescue Service to dam a breach in the Kennet & Avon Canal that threatened an electrical sub-station near Burghfield, south of Reading; 4th row left: Over 600 sandbags were put in place during a 90 minute period; middle: Reserve Soldiers from 7 Battalion The Rifles manhandling sandbags across knee-deep mud; and right: The Prime Minister meeting Royal Marines from 40 Commando to thank them for their efforts during his visit to flood-hit parts of the South West on Friday [Picture: Leading Airman (Photographer) Rhys O’Leary and Corporal Richard Cave RLC, Crown copyright]
 
The Prime Minister visited flood-hit parts of the South West on Friday and thanked Royal Marines from 40 Commando who were involved in relief efforts.
 
Yesterday, Reserve Soldiers from 7 Battalion The Rifles deployed to the Kennet & Avon Canal at the behest of the local authorities to provide flood relief assistance. An electrical sub-station near Burghfield, south of Reading, was at risk from the canal.
 
The troops, deployed alongside members of Berkshire Fire & Rescue Service, manhandled over 600 sandbags during a 90 minute period whilst in knee deep mud in order to hold back the water.
 
And in Beaulieu Close, Windsor, Reserve Soldiers of 7 Battalion The Rifles deployed alongside members of Royal Navy, from HMS Sultan and HMS Collinwood.


The local authorities requested military assistance to dam the roadway against flooding.
 
The troops manhandled over 6,000 sandbags during the night in order to hold back the water.
 
Military personnel continue to provide support in areas affected by floods as part of cross-Government and multi-agency relief efforts.

More images of the British Army this time moving out to help the area of Windsor from the Thames bursting. All three services are fully involved in this now.

Good luck to them and to all those who might be in those areas. Treat em well, a little cup of tea would be very appreciated!

defencehq:

Royal Marines from 40 Commando assisting with the flood relief effort on the Somerset Levels yesterday evening and this morning, 6 and 7 February [Pictures: Leading Airman (Photographer) Rhys O’Leary, Crown copyright]
 
Royal Marines are playing a key role in the cross-government and multi-agency relief efforts, supporting those affected by the flooding.
 
Yesterday, 6 February, around 40 Royal Marines from 40 Commando, based in Taunton, moved to the village of Athelney to provide general flooding assistance.
 
Read more: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/military-support-flood-relief-operation-in-somerset

Many elements of the British Armed Forces have deployed to Somerset and other areas of Southern England at current to help protect us against the flooding.

Their ability to respond rapidly and deploy supremely fit men and women all over the country via road and air has give a new line of defence for the thousands at risk from flood waters.

This is an excellent example of the true role of the Armed Forces. They serve to protect us. That does not simply mean fighting on our behalf, it means from anything. They stand ready to put a barrier between us and the elements when needed and have platforms in standby to commit to rescues given they also handle search and rescue.

Best of luck to all in the South. Don’t be afraid to pick up that phone and request military assistance if you feel you can’t get out safely. That’s what they’re there for.

The Era of the Astute Approaches
Three Astute submarines sit in a giant construction hall alongside one another, destined for the sea. HMS Anson, the fifth now joins her two sisters as they undergo completion for service in the Royal Navy.
Artful and Audacious flank her. The former of which will launch early this year to join HMS Astute and HMS Ambush (Possibly one of the most appropriately named submarines ever) that are already in service.
The seven Astute classes are of the top tier in the world’s submarines and mark over a decade of development. They have gone up against the world’s leading submarine, the US Virginia class and come away as equals. Part of it stemming from their world beating sonar and being one of only two classes of submarine to combine the advantages of a diesel electric submarine with nuclear propulsion.
Once in service they will carry out sea and land attack missions, confident in the knowledge that even in the foreseeable future, no country has anything on the cards yet that could match Astute or Virginia in their ability.

The Era of the Astute Approaches

Three Astute submarines sit in a giant construction hall alongside one another, destined for the sea. HMS Anson, the fifth now joins her two sisters as they undergo completion for service in the Royal Navy.

Artful and Audacious flank her. The former of which will launch early this year to join HMS Astute and HMS Ambush (Possibly one of the most appropriately named submarines ever) that are already in service.

The seven Astute classes are of the top tier in the world’s submarines and mark over a decade of development. They have gone up against the world’s leading submarine, the US Virginia class and come away as equals. Part of it stemming from their world beating sonar and being one of only two classes of submarine to combine the advantages of a diesel electric submarine with nuclear propulsion.

Once in service they will carry out sea and land attack missions, confident in the knowledge that even in the foreseeable future, no country has anything on the cards yet that could match Astute or Virginia in their ability.

Taranis takes to the skies!
The UK’s most advanced remotely controlled aircraft ever has finally been properly revealed after its first test flights last year. Now working with the French to create a 50/50 UCAV, the future of aviation is beginning to take shape between an Anglo-Franco deal.
Stealthy, incredibly precise and with some of the alleged best evasion technology and ability to fly in any air traffic conditions (a real problem to most drones) it should be a rather dramatic few years of this thing being developed.

Taranis takes to the skies!

The UK’s most advanced remotely controlled aircraft ever has finally been properly revealed after its first test flights last year. Now working with the French to create a 50/50 UCAV, the future of aviation is beginning to take shape between an Anglo-Franco deal.

Stealthy, incredibly precise and with some of the alleged best evasion technology and ability to fly in any air traffic conditions (a real problem to most drones) it should be a rather dramatic few years of this thing being developed.

So where’s Facts of the Forces been?

Holidays, project work and sickness take a heavy toll. Especially when another large project nears its climax and my time has to be focused on that.

Unfortunately, the research and time to make a full post might look small in the end, but getting the info and ensuring it is correct is no easy thing. Especially finding great pics! As such, I don’t have the time to create the large posts any more.

However, don’t think that means to end of it. Free of large scale requirement, what I intend to do is post small bitesize info-facts with whatever awesome pictures I find to throw out at a time. I’ll still do big posts when and where I feel I have time to do one. I shall also be reblogging other news sites now about the work the UK military does.

You’ll still get all your content, just a little more spread out over time.

I do hope you all enjoy.

Facts of the Forces Creator is sick/busy

Things will be slow over the holiday season, sudden sickness and 10 hour shifts every day make article making hard.

Things will resume soon. Thank you for the quick uptake on the blog!

RAF Chinook Aids Middlesbrough Flooding Effort

The sea defences at Middlesbrough burst as the storms his the UK this week, causing significant flooding. In an immediate response, RAF Odiham despached a massive Chinook heavy helicopter to assist. Carrying a full load of personnel from the base, alongside 95 soldiers from 2nd Battalion The Parachute Regiment based at Colchester deployed to Southend and Maldon to assist with the evacuation of homes. Furthermore, 60 soldiers from the Light Dragoons based at Swanton Morley deployed to Great Yarmouth to build flood defences at an electrical sub-station.

The provision of Prince William of Gloucester Barracks in Grantham as an evacuation rest centre supported by 20 soldiers from 5 Training Regiment Royal Logistic Corps took in 100 civilian evacuees due to the flooding, providing shelter and warm food for them.

In particular the Chinook lifted 30 tons worth of sandbags to help shore up the defences and provided a valuable bulwark across conditions that would hurl lesser helicopters from the air. The massive airframe of the chopper is able to wear it and also move a lot faster than many might expect.

This is an excellent reminder of how our forces stand ready to protect and assist us at home from anything. It doesn’t have to be an enemy and their equipment is second to none in the country when it comes to roles like this. Well done to all involved!

(Some information in article relating to units involved was used from the main BAF article here)

The Great War - A brief look

How to “summarise” such an event? A war that reshaped the global view of war itself in such a way that it took the apocalyptic event of World War 2 in order to mask it to merely being named “World War 1.”

For the United Kingdom, as with all countries, the Great War was a shock to the system. Outdated tactics and mentalities met with technology that had outpaced it, resulting in massacres unlike anything that had ever been seen before. For the UK in particular, the Great War was a time when they had to rise to the occasion in ways that humanity never had done before. Thus, it resulted in what could be thought of as the beginning of modern war itself. A birth that was bathed in fire and death, set to create many “firsts” that even today are still with us.

When the immensely convoluted alliance system broke into a colossal war, the UK was brought in on the side of France. This resulted in a shocking change to match the scale required. For the first time in its history, the UK introduced forced conscription in 1916 after two years of war led them to require it. Yet also, it even formed the largest volunteer army in global history until that point in Kitcheners Army, consisting of two million men. It saw the first declaring of “total war” in the UK and the first bombardments of British cities. Life would never be the same, war had come to the home front. A foreshadowing of the devastation that would follow in a few decades time…

Yet as one of the world’s major powers, the British rose to the occasion splendidly. The British Expeditionary Force was first deployed, consisting of 400,000 men and they met with early success. The legendary “Mad Minute” became known here when their accurate and rapid rifle fire led many Germans to believe they were being shot at by entire squads of machine guns.Even as trench warfare bogged down and every country involved engaged in pointless mass rushes, the UK did not sit idle. Beginning with ‘Little Willie’, the UK brought the very first tanks to the warfield with the Mk1 Heavy taking the lead. The first tank battles were fought by the Mk4’s (with success to the British) and the tales of these rhomboid juggernauts rolling across ‘no-mans land’ fill history books as much for their terror inducing presence as their almost laughable reliability. (Not that any country’s tanks were any better at the time)

Furthermore, the formation of the Royal Air Force formed, the first independent air force in the world’s history. The very first fighter aircraft also took flight, the Vickers F.B.5. While not exactly impressive in a combat role, it was the world’s first step to the air-dominance of the modern world. Not to be forgotten was the understated role of the Royal Navy in its blockades and first encounters with submarines as we know them today.

The Great War was many things to the UK in particular. It was the point when they reminded the world that, man for man, they were still a leading force. It was a point for their innovation to shine through in tanks and fighters. It was to show they had the determination and grit to hang on through years of horror.

Yet at the same time…the Great War can also be traced to the ‘beginning of the end’ for the British Empire and Commonwealth as it was known then. The war cast major financial woes on the UK, especially in the aftermath when they turned from the largest investor in the world to one of its largest debtors. Innumerable men lay dead in bloody wartorn fields as a result of backward tactics and pointless intent. More men died in the Somme than in any other single point in British military history and in a frighteningly short time. They had shown the world their value, but they were not exempt from the same faults shown by every single nation that had engaged in this thoroughly pointless war.

Yet as a legacy, it has left us with a beginning point for the things we so look to today. Much of that legacy falls to the feet of the United Kingdom, its population and its inventors.

However, at the feet of none more so than the young men (and surprisingly large number of women) sent to those nightmarish fields.

We will remember them

asker

triblademaster asked: Opinions on trench warfare in the great war/world ward I

"Opinion" on something that large is sort of difficult to quantify. Also potentially extremely divisive. I’ll do something on the Great War though. Just going to go do a little research and pic hunting. You’ll have something probably by tonight.

factsoftheforces:

Lynx Battlefield Helicopter

Used by both the Army Air Corps and the Royal Navy and created by AgustaWestland, the Lynx is actually one of the older helicopters in service with the British Armed Forces. However, despite this is is still considered at the leading edge of military helicopters thanks to decades of changes and upgrades since its induction in 1977. Since then, it has entered service in over a dozen militaries worldwide, but none so widely as with the British Armed Forces who have used it for almost everything over the course of its life, with 109 in service. It has formed the backbone of agile utility tasks and become something of a helicopter icon to many.

In the Army Air Corps, which maintains both 50 of the AH-7 variants and 22 of the Mk9a variants, the Lynx has taken part in troop transport, reconnaissance, tank hunting, battlefield support, casualty evacuation and special forces insertion. Capable of mounting TOW Anti-Tank missiles on either side along with gun pods and door gunners, the Lynx can mount a formidable array of weaponry to take on most forms of opposition. In this ‘light gunship’ role, it aided the advance into Iraq, with one well known incident setting one to duel with an Iraqi tank that was hidden in an urban environment. Eventually, this role was replaced by the much more capable AH-1 Apache, permitting the Lynx to fully dedicate to its normal roles of being a utility battlefield and support helicopter.

Within the Royal Navy, they have 37 of the HMA8.CMP variant of the Lynx, focused primarily on anti-surface warfare, anti-submarine operations and maritime utility. However it has also been used to transport Marines ashore and to make cargo lifts for humanitarian operations. Indeed, at the time of writing, there are numerous Lynx’s of the Army Air Corps and Royal Navy performing this very task from the deck of HMS Illustrious in the Philippines. The Lynx is recognised as an lethal maritime attacker having seen service in the Falklands and almost single handed sunk the entirety of Saddam Hussain’s Navy during the Gulf War using the Sea Skua missiles they can mount alongside Torpedoes.

While a fearsome war machine when called for it, the Lynx has numerous advantages that permit it to be an incredible force for peace. With a solid range and almost unparalleled agility (This display is worth the click!) for a helicopter its size, the Lynx is capable of inserting into the most remote and hard to reach places. In this role, it has brought medical aid to areas other aircraft simply could not reach or maneuver into. Much of the Lynx’s technology is so good, that it is being integrated into the helicopter aimed to work alongside it one day, the Westland Wildcat. Technology gained from the Lynx’s development and operation has also went into boosting Civil Helicopter programs for civilian transport and safety.

Furthermore, the Westland Lynx is also the fastest service helicopter on the planet, allowing it to reach the trouble spots at blistering speeds when medical help or emergency supplies are needed anywhere in the UK or abroad to help those in need. Often considered one of the British Armed Forces’ best pieces of equipment, the Lynx is both a dream for many pilots and a salvation for those seeing it arriving to aid them faster than any other helicopter around.

The Lynx that broke the record, ‘G-LYNX’, managed to hit a top speed of over 400kph on a 15km and 25km course in 1986.

As of the end of 2013, this record has yet to be broken.

There’s been a boost of followers lately, so here’s the Lynx helicopter reblogged for those who weren’t around then.

New article either tonight or tomorrow, a brief overview of what the Great War was to the UK and what it represented and resulted in.