THE MoD is trying to dress up this proposed relocation of the DLO (August 9), stating that it will save £200million over 25 years. Sounds a lot but, put in defence spending terms, it s not. The MoD has spent £527million on Urgent Operational Requirements
THE MoD is trying to dress up this proposed relocation of the DLO (August 9), stating that it will save £200million over 25 years. Sounds a lot but, put in defence spending terms, it's not.
The MoD has spent £527million on Urgent Operational Requirements (UORs) this year alone. UORs are usually military equipment requirements that the MoD has declined to spend money on, but now has to rush through a botched purchase to fulfil the need.
The death of Sgt Roberts in Iraq was directly attributed to a lack of body armour held in stock.
The Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft project is ordering 232 planes at an estimated cost of about £100million each. If the MoD wants to save £200million, leave Wyton as it is and cancel two Typhoon aircraft to give the same saving.
Location, location and location are also keys to this issue. The vast majority of the work at Wyton is serving the RAF logistic requirement.
The bulk of our time is spent interfacing with various air stations. A quick look at the map will prove the bulk of the RAF stations are in the Eastern region. Moving to Bristol will mean vastly increased travelling costs for staff engaged on visits to RAF bases. This has been ignored in the business case.
At Brampton, the Joint Air Reconnaissance & Intelligence Centre is planned to move from Brampton to Wyton.
Eighteen months ago, a planned moved into a larger building on the same site was abandoned as not cost-effective, so how can it now be cost-effective to move out of Brampton to Wyton? This has been ignored in the business case.
Let's look at what is really happening here. Marshalls of Cambridge has, for a while, been eyeing up Wyton as a new base for its Hercules support operations (the Hercules project team is based at Wyton).
Its current site at Cambridge is getting cramped but is worth a small fortune for housing.
Selling the Cambridge site and moving into Wyton would make perfect economic sense for them and gives the MoD a willing buyer for the site.
So, by contracting out aircraft support work to Marshalls and British Aerospace, the MoD will run down Wyton and drag off what's left to Bristol.
The MoD argues that staff will get relocation assistance, but I know from my personal experience that help only kicks in when your own mortgage capability cannot met the requirement.
So we get saddled with enormous mortgages. My last relocation cost the department £10,000 and I've only just finished paying off the debts I incurred in my 1993 move. This has also been ignored in the business case.
And, as the MoD only wants a few hundred staff to move, this leaves 2,200 staff "not wanted on voyage".
DERRICK DAVIES, Ferrars Avenue, Eynesbury