Podcasts & Specials

Pilot | Mali | Can Sergeant Thurts grow a beard like the Swedes?

What’s life like as a UN Peacekeeper in one of the most dangerous countries in the world? British Army Soldiers deployed to Mali on Operation Newcombe have been sharing their experiences over a brew break.  

Sergeant Matt Thurtle, Lance Corporal Matt Hughes and Captain Jonathon Quicke chat about everything from the food, accommodation and local wildlife, to banter about beard envy among the multi-national force operating in Western Africa.  

As part of the United Nations Peacekeeping mission in Mali, soldiers from the British Army and across defence are helping to bring peace and security to the country. The Light Dragoons and the Royal Anglian Regiment form the basis of the new task group comprising soldiers from across defence with a wide array of skills, from bomb disposal experts to drone operators and a state-of-the-art medical team. 

This is an original Voices of the Armed Forces podcast series from the Ministry of Defence, in collaboration with BFBS.

13/07/2021Download

What’s life like as a UN Peacekeeper in one of the most dangerous countries in the world? British Army Soldiers deployed to Mali on Operation Newcombe have been sharing their experiences over a brew break.  

Sergeant Matt Thurtle, Lance Corporal Matt Hughes and Captain Jonathon Quicke chat about everything from the food, accommodation and local wildlife, to banter about beard envy among the multi-national force operating in Western Africa.  

As part of the United Nations Peacekeeping mission in Mali, soldiers from the British Army and across defence are helping to bring peace and security to the country. The Light Dragoons and the Royal Anglian Regiment form the basis of the new task group comprising soldiers from across defence with a wide array of skills, from bomb disposal experts to drone operators and a state-of-the-art medical team. 

This is an original Voices of the Armed Forces podcast series from the Ministry of Defence, in collaboration with BFBS.

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13/07/2021

#1 | Mali | Justin Bieber bed sheets on tour 

Eating mussels in the desert, Justin Bieber bed covers and a peculiar unidentified cactus. Deploy to Mali with the Royal Air Force as they work alongside French Forces on counter-terror operations in Mali.  

Flight Lieutenant Matt Jeffery, Flight Lieutenant Steve Wilders and Corporal Marc Towner talk about their time on Operation BARKHANE.  

The UK Armed forces have been deployed to Mali since 2013, providing logistical support to French combat forces. In 2018, the Royal Air Forces deployed three Chinook (CH-47) helicopters to provide logistical heavy “air-lift” support to the French counter-terror mission in the region. By 2020, the Chinooks and their crews have completed more than 2,000 flying hours, moved over 1,000 tons of equipment and more than 12,000 passengers.  

This is an original Voices of the Armed Forces podcast series from the Ministry of Defence, in collaboration with BFBS.

13/07/2021

#2 | Bahrain | Do Explosive Ordnance Divers really have big egos? 

Head to the sunny climate of Bahrain for a brew, or a ‘wet’ as it’s known in the Royal Navy.  

Hear about life on Operation KIPION from Lieutenant Commander Andrew ‘Sharkey’, Lieutenant Zoe Jones and AB(SC) Rebecca McKenzie.  

Operation KIPION is the name given to the Royal Navy’s presence in the Gulf and Indian Ocean. The Royal Navy has been present in the Gulf for more than 30 years securing the safe flow of trade goods. The Royal Navy and the Royal Fleet Auxiliary are on patrol in the region 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. 

This is an original Voices of the Armed Forces podcast series from the Ministry of Defence, in collaboration with BFBS.

13/07/2021

#3 | Somalia | What does camel taste like? 

Join Captain Alex Bradford, Captain Kit Lewis and Captain Alex Park as they discuss life in Somalia on Operation TANGHAM.  

Somalia’s vast stretched of coastine along the Horn of Africa are infamous for stories of piracy and illegal activity, but less known is the country’s internal struggle with a lingering insurgency borne from civil war and extremist influence.  

Since 2017, the UK Armed Forces have been playing an active role in reinstating security and stability in Somalia by building skills within the Somali National Army (SNA). 

This is an original Voices of the Armed Forces podcast series from the Ministry of Defence, in collaboration with BFBS.

13/07/2021

#4 | Cyprus | Jason Statham’s body double 

Join Reservists Seargeant Liam Wood, Captain Richard Roberts and Private Giles Maythan as they discuss life inside the Buffer Zone in Cyprus on Operation TOSCA.  

Operation TOSCA is the name given to the British contribution to the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP). Since 1974, the British Army has been deployed to Cyprus as part of the UK’s contribution to the UN Peacekeeping Force there.  

As one of the longest-running continuous operations, around 260 soldiers from the British Army form the largest contingent of the multinational force. In an area of continuing tension, they patrol 24/7 along the Buffer Zone that separates the Greek and Turkish Cypriots, keeping the peace and maintaining stability in the country.  

This is an original Voices of the Armed Forces podcast series from the Ministry of Defence, in collaboration with BFBS.

13/07/2021

#5 | Cyprus | Geckos on deployment 

Join Squadron Leader Lizzie, Corporal Tom and Padres Jonny and Michael as they discuss life in the Middle East in the fight against Daesh on Operation SHADER.  

The Global terrorist group Daesh poses a threat to UK national security as it seeks to expand its terror network, using propaganda to radicalise and recruit citizens from the UK and around the world. That’s why the UK Armed Forces work day and night to help defeat Daesh.  

The UK Armed Forces’ latest mission in the Middle East has seen them work alongside 80 other nations to help provide safe and stable communities for the Iraqi people to live and work in, conducting the operation both on land and in the air.  

This is an original Voices of the Armed Forces podcast series from the Ministry of Defence, in collaboration with BFBS.

13/07/2021

#6 | UK | How do you prepare for a global pandemic? 

Operation RESCRIPT is the codename for the military response to COVID-19 in the UK. It is the biggest ever homeland military operation in peacetime. 

Join the commander of this historic operation, Lieutenant General Tyrone Urch, as he talks with Lieutenant Jonathon, Lance Corporal Dirgha, Lieutenant Fabian and Flying Officer Eleanor to discuss life on Operation RESCRIPT.  

On 23 March 2020, the UK went into a national lockdown to supress the threat of COVID-19. What most people don’t know is that planning for the pandemic began a lot before this date under the name Operation RESCRIPT. From testing to driving ambulances to administering vaccines, the Armed Forces have played a crucial role in the UK’s response to the pandemic.  

This is an original Voices of the Armed Forces podcast series from the Ministry of Defence, in collaboration with BFBS.

13/07/2021

#7 Iraq | How can you unwind on deployment? 

Whilst away on operations downtime is crucial, but how can our serving personnel enjoy their time away from the action?


Join Guardsman Sixsmith, Lance Sergeant Henry, Lance Sergeant McCormella and Guardsman Lilly as they discuss life as part of the UK Mobility Company deployed on Operation SHADER 12 in Iraq.

No strangers to Iraq, for the last six years the UK Armed Forces have been passing on their skills and drills to the Iraqi forces.

 

In 2014, and in parallel to the air campaign led by the Royal Air Force, a small team of experts from the British Army were sent to Iraq to train forces there.

13/07/2021

#8 Carrier Strike Group 21 | Sailing British diplomacy around the world 

The UK Carrier Strike Group, led by aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth, has set off on their 28-week global deployment. The Carrier Strike Group will be engaging with more than one-fifth of the world’s nations, including India, Japan, the Republic of Korea and Singapore.

Type 23 frigate HMS Kent is part of the UK Carrier Strike Group formation, supporting HMS Queen Elizabeth on her maiden deployment.

Join Petty Officer Stansfield, Able Rate Castello and Lieutenant Tattersall as they discuss life onboard HMS Kent and what it is like being part of the UK Carrier Strike Group.

13/07/2021

#9 HMS Tamar | Playing bucketball on a ship? 

In the latest episode of our podcast, join Leading Seaman Fawcett, Sub-Lieutenant Mileham and Chief Petty Officer Fitzgerald as they share their stories and experiences as part of the crew onboard HMS Tamar.

HMS Tamar can perform a variety of roles from intercepting drug traffickers and smugglers to protecting UK territorial waters and providing humanitarian assistance in the wake of a disaster.

She has also trained extensively to work with Royal Marines Commandos on board and search operations.