Future RAF missions under threat if Libyan intervention continues

Tornado GR4 strike fighter carrying two Storm Shadow missiles.

From Thomas Harding, the Telegraph:  Air Chief Marshal Sir Simon Bryant has told MPs that intense air operations in Afghanistan and the Middle East are placing a “huge” demand on equipment and personnel.

In a briefing paper delivered to senior politicians and obtained by The Daily Telegraph, the RAF’s second in command said morale among airmen was “fragile” and their fighting spirit was threatened by being overworked.

Many areas of the RAF were “running hot”, he warned, while the servicemen’s sense that the nation valued their efforts was being undermined by the Coalition’s defence cuts.

The air force was also now finding it difficult to recruit staff, he said, with many specialities understaffed by up to a quarter.

In his conclusion, Air Chief Marshal Bryant — whose full title is Commander in Chief (Air) — warned that the ability of the RAF to deal with unforeseen emergencies would be rapidly “eroded” if the Libyan campaign went beyond September. “Two concurrent operations are placing a huge demand on equipment and personnel,” he said.

“Should Operation Ellamy (Libya) endure past defence planning assumptions the future contingent capability is likely to be eroded,” he added.   (photo: BAE Systems)

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