My first thought on reading your article on the £1bn defence training academy in St Athan, south Wales, (26 October, page 15) was “never put all your eggs in one basket”.
Take 9/11 as a prime example. Should a terrorist organisation wish to cause total disarray to military operations in the UK, what better target would there be than the proposed military academy?
During the Second World War, the Royal Air Force had its stations scattered across the country. If one or two stations were bombed, it did not stop the whole operation.
You could use the 1958 Munich air disaster as another example – most of the Manchester United players and support team flew in the same plane which sadly crashed, taking with it a core element of the club. Another example would be the military helicopter crash in Scotland a few years ago, where all the best eggs were put in one basket, which crashed, killing all on board.
Therefore, perhaps the learned people who came up with this idea should reconsider their options. Rather than having one major base, an alternative would be a scheme that encompasses a number of satellite training camps in defined groups which then report back to a mother ship. Then, if one or two satellites are taken out, the operation can still function.
You could ask what the likelihood was that terrorists would try and fly one plane into the twin towers, let alone two.