My final domestic visit on the Armed Forces Parliamentary scheme yesterday. This time to the Royal Tank Regiment in Tidworth. Fascinating visit and one I won’t be forgetting anytime soon. Had a go at commanding a tank with mixed results as you can see.
The Armed Forces Parliamentary scheme gives MPs an opportunity to spend time with the armed forces to better understand the work they carry out and the challenges they face. It’s a brilliant scheme that gives us a real insight into defence issues. It’s lasted throughout the year but the Army scheme I’ve been on has now come to an end.
My respect and admiration for our brilliant British Army personnel has only increased as a result of the insights I’ve gained. There is a reason they’re called the best of the best. A real highlight for me has actually coming across constituents on the scheme who are currently serving our country abroad.
There’re are key challenges when it comes to funding and recruitment and retention though that need to be overcome. Pleased to see all armed forces yesterday getting a significant pay rise. Hopefully that will make a bit of a difference but issues remain. Saw a bit of this yesterday. The Challenger 2 tanks we came across are great but The sooner the new Challenger 3 tanks are properly rolled out the better.