South Tyneside MP selected for Westminster armed services scheme
A South Tyneside MP has taken part in a Westminster defence scheme that is designed to provide a window into military life for Parliamentarians without an armed services background.
Jarrow MP Kate Osborne has been selected as one of 45 MPs across all parties to participate in this year’s Armed Forces Parliamentary Scheme (AFPS).
The AFPS has been running for over 30 years and aims to provide an insight into military life that would not otherwise be available to Members of Parliament.
The AFPS is run by the Armed Forces Parliamentary Trust, based in the Palace of Westminster, and has support from all the main political parties. It is fully endorsed and resourced by the Ministry of Defence.
As part of the scheme, MPs can apply to a single Service course they wish to enrol on – Royal Navy, Army or Royal Airforce.
Kate Osborne MP has been successful in the selection process and will now be one of 15 MPs assigned to the Royal Air Force.
Over the next year, Kate will participate in visits to numerous RAF bases. The first visit, which begins tomorrow with a three-day stay at the Defence Academy at Shrivenham, will see her and a number of other MPs be given an ‘introduction to defence’.
The RAF course gives MPs an opportunity to learn about life in the Royal Air Force from the “cradle to the grave.”
Commenting ahead of the visit, Ms Osborne said: “I am looking forward to getting more of an in-depth understanding about the work the RAF do.
"It is a great opportunity to take a hands-on approach to research and I am hopeful that my time on the Armed Forces Parliamentary Scheme with the RAF will give more perspective to my work as an MP.
“It is so important as Parliamentarians that we take part in schemes like this, which allow us to gain a real-world perspective of both the work being done by our armed forces, but also the challenges faced by our military service people.”
“I hope to get as much out of this experience as possible and I am looking forward to getting stuck in.”