The UK’s global military presence has been widened by the creation of new Defence Attaché (DA) posts.
Defence Secretary Michael Fallon has announced that he will create new DA posts and associated Defence Sections in Finland, Senegal (also covering the Sahel region) and Albania, as well as new Deputy DA roles in Qatar, Afghanistan, Latvia, Lithuania and Georgia.
The expansion of the UK DA network is an important part of the Government’s plan to strengthen Defence relationships with allies, which was set out in last year’s Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR).
Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said:
These posts will increase Britain’s global defence reach. Backed by a defence budget that next week will increase for the first time in six years, they will help us to build stronger relationships with our allies and deter threats against us.
Mr Fallon also announced that a UK Senior Military Advisor post will be created for the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe and that the Deputy DA posts in Pakistan and Japan would be made permanent along with the Assistant Military Attaché post in Pakistan.
The UK already has one of the largest and best-connected Defence networks with resident DAs in 77 countries around the world, and non-resident DAs to a further 81 nations. The SDSR bolstered the UK’s commitment to make the most of our international relationships which are crucial to British security.
This further expansion will allow the UK to increase influence in the countries and regions most important to us by helping us to understand the capabilities, requirements and processes of our allies and partners.
The new DA posts will be established over the next six to 18 months and the post holders will be amongst the first to be trained by the new Defence Attaché and Loan Service Centre, the creation of which was also announced as part of the SDSR.