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Lords to explore role of military in resilience and emergency response

Tuesday 2 March 2021

The House of Lords Risk Assessment and Risk Planning Committee will tomorrow question experts in military and defence, on the role the military plays in building civil resilience and responding to civil emergencies.

The Committee will also explore the significant involvement the defence forces have had in the response to the Covid-19 pandemic to date, as well the military’s preparedness for technological advancements.

The session will take place virtually on Wednesday 3 March at 10:15am and can be followed on Parliament TV.

Giving evidence will be:

  • Lord Houghton of Richmond, Former Chief of Defence Staff of the British Armed Forces (2013-2016)
  • Sir Chris Deverell, Former Commander of the Joint Forces Command (2016-2019)
  • Dr Marc Schelhase, Lecturer at Defence Studies Department, King’s College London at the Joint Services Command and Staff College, UK Defence Academy

Questions the Committee is likely to ask include:

  • How might the army’s experience of responding to the current pandemic influence its future involvement in other civil emergencies?
  • Is the military more effective than other areas of Government at embedding long-term thinking and investing against high-impact low-probability opportunities and risks?
  • How resilient is the military itself? How able is the military to respond or continue operation if an event occurred which also impacted its own capabilities e.g. a blackout?
  • Is the military well placed to respond to the accelerating pace of technological advancement, most notably in the area of AI?
  • How does the military make use of exercising and wargaming, particularly in assuring resilience?

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