What steps his Department is taking to ensure that the projected capabilities of the armed forces over the next 10 years are adequate to meet future expected threats to national security.
The Ministry of Defence has rigorous processes to test its capabilities and force structure to ensure they are robust against the ever evolving threats to our country and our allies. We will be assisted in doing this by the forthcoming cross-Government integrated review.
I pay tribute to everyone involved in the covid support force. Will the Minister give an early indication of how this current deployment might influence the integrated review and whether defence planning assumptions will be amended to reflect the fact that the MOD has again provided extensive liability to support the civil power?
My hon. and gallant Friend is absolutely right that the lessons learned will be picked up by the IR. There will be many points to take on board from what has been a formidable military effort, including the value of being plugged in early for effective working at regional and devolved level. The huge value of our reserves, not only to their local links but for the specialist skills they can bring to bear, and for their agility in coping with all the tasks of our brilliant military planners and logisticians, is a point that will not be lost on my hon. and gallant Friend, a former commanding officer of 27 Regiment Royal Logistics Corps.