& Bullets

Musings on the worlds of aviation, military and international affairs.


With reviews of books that cover these topics


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Brize 2010 Reds 3

By psmiddy, Feb 27 2020 03:00PM

The National Audit Office has today published its annual review of the MoD’s equipment purchasing. It can be found here.

Depressing reading. It confirms what I already knew that we are now down to 3 live airframes in the E3D Sentry fleet – these are the old 707s with a dish on top which act as AWACS, i.e. Battlespace Managers, and airborne air traffic control. Further that these retire in December 2022 – nine months before their replacements arrive. Another capability gap.

Moreover the RAF’s Air Command has decided to “reduce its equipment expenditure to increase investment in its estate, which it assessed as being in poor condition.” That is very evident to this writer!

By psmiddy, Feb 10 2020 09:29AM

By way of diversion I read Nicholas Coleridge’s autobiography over the weekend – the well-reviewed The Glossy Years. Highly entertaining. He drops names as though delivered by JP233s (check it out). And to ram the point home, most names have an accompanying footnote telling you their profession, their films, their books. Even in the case, for example of Joan Collins. A little naff. He even lists the entries in the visitors' book of his country gaff acquired later in life – Wolverton Hall, in Worcestershire.

Coleridge, like his employee Betty Kenward, is very particular about punctuation. So I should point out one error: the visitors' book entries read (mid-flow): "Mr Simon Thurley and Miss Anna Keay [ex- English Heritage & English Heritage], Mr & Mrs David Shaughnessy [Eton mate], Lord Rose of Monewden [M&S etc]; Miss Kate Reardon [Tatler etc], Mr & Mrs Charles Moore [Telegraph]….”

The semi-colon after “Monewden” is superfluous since Rose and Reardon were an item!

There are some great stories, related with dry and great wit – entertaining.