The Duke of Gloucester Lecture Series: Flooding and the British Armed Forces

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Duke of GAs part of the Duke of Gloucester Lecture series, RUSI is holding a reception and lecture by Brigadier Rupert Jones CBE, Assistant Chief Of Staff Operations, Army Directorate for Operations & Contingencies, Army Headquarters and Major Daniel Ashton, SO2 Plans, Standing Joint Command Headquarters, in the presence of His Royal Highness The Duke of Gloucester KG GVCO.

Between December 2013 and February 2014, the UK experienced a series of strong winter storm events, combining to cause an estimated £1.1 billion in damage. The collective skills of the emergency services, civil volunteers, and armed forces were called upon in response to these severe weather conditions in protecting infrastructure, rescuing civilians, and providing support to communities.

Across the three services, the armed forces successfully deployed 3,000 personnel in the response to the flooding, drawing on their full spectrum of capabilities to protect and support civilian authorities across the UK. The armed forces’ involvement was versatile, from the deployment of Tornado GR4 and Sentinel aircraft to capture optical and radar imagery, to the construction of sandbag defences, the evacuation of stranded civilians, and the rapid 5-week inspection of the nation’s flood defences in the aftermath.

In light of the principles of Military Aid to the Civil Authorities (MACA), this lecture examines the role that the military played in the floods, the organisation of Defence to support the Local Authorities and what capabilities they provided, and future considerations for both the armed forces and wider defence and resilience community.

The Duke of Gloucester Lectures are a regular series of lectures aiming to keep Flood Risk Management issues on the policy agenda. The lectures are an activity of the Inter-Institutional Flood Group, which comprises RUSI, the Institution of Civil Engineers, the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, the Royal Institute of British Architects, the Chartered Institute of Water and Environmental Management, the Landscape Institute and the Royal Institute of Town Planners. The group aims to consult on flood risk management issues and present a ‘single voice that cannot be ignored’ to government in response to, for example, consultations on new flood policy and legislation.

Please arrive at 1800 for regsitration. His Royal Highness the Duke of Gloucester KG GVCO will introduce the event at 1830. The lecture will be followed by a drinks reception 2000-2100.

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