Sitrep 2nd April

NYF and Sony Radio Award winning Sitrep brings you discussion and analysis on defence, foreign policy and the stories affecting the British Forces.  

Presented by Kate Gerbeau with defence analyst Christopher Lee.


The giant NHS Nightingale Hospital in London’s docklands prepares to receive patients — built in just a few days with help from the Army. We’ve a special report from inside the hospital. 

As thousands of reservists are called up and the RAF and Royal Navy make their own contributions to the national response to the pandemic, we’ll hear from the First Sea Lord, and get updates from forces communities in Germany, the Falklands and Cyprus. 

Plus we learn more about the call to veterans to help their local communities cope with the virus. 

Fake news connected to the pandemic is spreading around the world — we’ll explore the task facing the new government unit set up to combat conspiracy theories. 

And we hear how a group of veterans in Scotland are using technology to keep in touch despite the rules on social distancing.

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We hear from some of those in the forces helping the UK’s response to the coronavirus pandemic. 

Former Chief of the Defence Staff Lord Richards tells us the Army’s “perfect” to help build a giant new hospital in London — and remembers his experiences of being drafted in to help in past civil emergencies. We learn about the military personnel training to deliver vital oxygen supplies to hospitals up and down the country, and find out how the outbreak could threaten charities working with veterans. 

Plus we look at how prepared the UK was for this emergency — do we need to think more about civil defence?


After an extraordinary week for the UK and the world, this week’s Sitrep looks at the role the military is likely play in the response to the coronavirus outbreak. 

We’ve a full update on the MoD’s plans so far, and former defence minister Tobias Ellwood tells us how the military will fit into the overall response. 

Michael Clarke, the former director-general at the Royal United Services Institute, remembers past occasions where the military’s been called in to help out, and chemical weapons expert Hamish de Bretton Gordon talks through the lessons from the Novichok attack in Salisbury that could come in handy in the coming weeks.


It’s five years since Saudi Arabia first intervened in the fighting in Yemen. Since then it’s escalated into the world’s worst humanitarian disaster — and this week aid agencies have warned the situation could get even worse. 

We’ll hear from the Red Cross, on the ground in Yemen, on the crisis facing its population — and learn more about Saudi Arabia’s huge surge in arms imports during the conflict — and who’s selling them the weapons. 

Plus a special report from Africa on Britain’s growing military role in the continent, and find out more about the coming deployment to Mali. 

And if you thought you’d soon see the back of Vladimir Putin — think again. Find out how Russia’s leader plans to effectively become president for life with Russia analyst Stephen Dalziel


Can the military help with the coronavirus outbreak? The British troops training African soldiers in Senegal, Army women celebrate International Women's Day and what it's like to become an RAF Reservist.


The defence review to end all defence reviews, life after service and the high tech piracy threat on the high seas.


The scale of the humanitarian tragedy unfolding in Syria is hard to comprehend. Close to 1-million civilians — the majority women and children — have fled towards the Turkish border in the depths of winter. Western nations, though, appear unwilling to do anything. 

Germany’s president criticises the US, and Mike Pompeo insists the transatlantic alliance remains strong. We’ll look at those competing claims, and why the UK only sent a very junior representative to the first big international security conference since Brexit. 

Sir William Patey talks about the impending peace deal in Afghanistan, the way the Taliban has managed to win a key role in deciding the country’s future, and the political pressure pushing Trump to sign the deal. 

A lot has changed in the two decades since the government lifted the bar on gay and bisexual people serving in the armed forces. Now a group of veterans and serving personnel - some of them instrumental in fighting to remove that ban - are giving their backing to a new charity called "Fighting with Pride".


The Army's about to meet its recruitment target for the first time since it started working with Capita. James Hirst reports. 

A cabinet reshuffle but what are the defence implications? We talk to Lucy Fisher, Defence Editor at the The Times. 

Why has Sinn Féin done so well in the Irish General Election and what does it mean for the Island of Ireland? Tommie Gorman from RTÉ explains. 

Africa’s Sahel region, is currently at the centre of huge conflict and displacement with different armed groups, including Al Qaeda and Islamic State moving in. We talk to Paul Melly, consulting fellow at Chatham House. 

The United States is a hundred percent committed to NATO. So says a US General involved in the planning of the largest deployment of U.S.-based forces to Europe for an exercise in more than 25 years. 

Presented by Kate Gerbeau with Christopher Lee.


President Trump’s made his annual State of the Union Address to Congress. Malcom Brown from Feature Story News and Dr Karin von Hippel of RUSI discusses the current state of Britain’s relationship with the US.


The Government’s made its decision on Huawei and the new 5G network – but is it the right one? James Sullivan, head of Cyber Research at the Royal United Services Institute looks at the concerns surrounding the announcement. 

After Brexit, the UK will no longer be part of the Galileo, so does this affect defence? Dr Bleddyn Bowen from the University of Leicester thinks it won't. 

As we remember the Holocaust, why are we ignoring the human-rights atrocities happening right now? Paul Rogers, Professor of Peace Studies at the University of Bradford, reminds us of today’s brutalities. 

And our reporter Sian Grzeszczyk speaks to BAE Systems' Human Factors lead researcher, Suzy Broadbent, about the new technology that will read the minds of future fast-jet pilots to improve their performance.  

Presented by Kate Gerbeau with Christopher Lee.