UK-EU BATTLEGROUP CERTIFICATION EXERCISE
Letter from the Rt Hon Des Browne MP,
Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence, to the Chairman
When you saw MOD officials to take evidence
on developments in European defence in November you expressed
an interest in observing the exercise in which we will certify
the capability of the Battlegroup that we are contributing to
the European Union roster in the second half of this year. I am
now very pleased to be able to invite members of your Committee
to observe the exercise, which is being held at Salisbury Plain,
on Monday, 12 May 2008. This would be as part of a visit
that has been arranged for Military representatives from EU member
This would be a good opportunity for the Committee
to increase its understanding of the EU Battlegroup concept as
well as the UK's contribution to the Battlegroup roster. In addition
to observing the Battlegroup undertaking manoeuvres you would
be briefed on the UK's approach to training and certification
and have the opportunity to participate in a short seminar with
key staff from our Force Headquarters. Officials from the Ministry
of Defence would also be present.
I should emphasise that the visit has been set
up as a working session for military observers but we would welcome
participation from up to six members of your Committee alongside
those observers if you would like to take part on this basis.
Much of the day will be spent in the field and participants would
need to bring clothing and footwear appropriate to the conditions
at the time.
Perhaps you could confirm to my office whether
members of your Committee are interested in participating. If
so, I will ask an officer from the UK's Permanent Representation
to the EU to contact your Clerk to arrange the details.
20 March 2008