Ministry of Defence
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MOD Annual Report and Accounts 2008/2009
Armed Forces continue to achieve highest priority of success on operations.
The Ministry of Defence’s Annual Report and Accounts were published today by the Secretary of State for Defence, Bob Ainsworth. The Annual Report sets out in detail what we have done over the last year and how we have performed against Public Service Agreement Targets and Departmental Strategic Objectives.
It remains a very busy period for defence. The UK’s Armed Forces are sustaining a high operational tempo in order to contribute to security across the globe, particularly on operations in Afghanistan. At home, the Armed Forces continue to play a vital role supporting civil authorities including through search and rescue, fishery protection and explosive ordnance disposal.
Secretary of State for Defence Bob Ainsworth said:
“Our Armed Forces have delivered our highest priority once again this year – success on operations. They have done this by demonstrating their bravery, professionalism and dedication day after day, sometimes in extremely difficult circumstances. Many have been wounded and, tragically, some have lost their lives and our thoughts are with their families, friends and colleagues.
“I recognise we are asking a lot of our people as the operational tempo continues to be high. The recent drawdown of troops in Iraq should help and measures introduced through the Service Personnel Command Paper including increases in compensation and help with housing aim to ensure that troops and their families receive all the support they need.
“We remain committed to giving UK service personnel the best equipment for the job they are asked to do. We have spent £10Bn on equipment since 2006 and our Armed Forces are now better equipped than ever before.”
The report states:
- The Armed Forces are achieving their policy and military objectives and met the Departmental Strategic Objective for Operations. Although the Armed Forces are stretched, the proportion of regular forces deployed on operations and other military tasks decreased from 19 percent in the last quarter of 2007-08 to 17 percent for the same period in 2008-09. This was mainly due to the withdrawal of combat troops from Iraq.
- There were further improvements to Service personnel terms and conditions including a rise in the operational bonus, the provision of a council-tax rebate for those on operations, and the announcement of a childcare vouchers scheme. The MOD also led the work on the cross-Government command paper on support for Service personnel, their families and veterans - containing over 40 new commitments aimed at ending any disadvantage imposed by the unique demands of Service life today and providing special treatment where appropriate.
- Both external and internal opinion of the MOD and the Armed Forces has improved again this year from already strong starting points. The substantial effort put in to communicating the work of the Armed Forces and the Department continues.
In order to achieve operational success, the Department has had to take a level of risk against other defence objectives, including:
- The Armed Forces consistently and reliably deployed, sustained forces in operations and recovered them to their home bases at the end of their tours. However, this meant their ability to be ready for the full range of contingent operations that we normally plan against was more limited.
- The continuing high operational tempo has meant that the Army and the RAF did not meet individual separate service or unit harmony guidelines, and the Royal Navy breaching its guidelines by less than one percent. The Service Personnel Plan continues to make improvement in this area.
Notes to editors
1. We are publishing our report and accounts before the summer recess for the fourth year running as required by the Government’s programme for faster closing of its accounts. The Annual Report can be found online at http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/AboutDefence/Co rporatePublications/AnnualReports/MODAnnualReport0809/
2. For further information, please contact Hannah Fletcher in the MOD press office on 020 7218 7924. Or visit www.mod.uk.