The intent of this covenant is to provide a formal agreement, subject to periodic review, of a strong and enduring partnership, between the Bases and the Cyprus based veteran community. This agreement is based upon a mutual understanding of service and sacrifice and a desire to work in partnership for the mutual benefit of both the serving and veteran communities.
This covenant is between the Cyprus based veteran community (including spouse/partner/widow(ers)) and the serving British Forces military community, UK Based Civilians (UKBCs) and their families.
- Veteran. For the purpose of this covenant, a veteran is any person who has served in the UK Armed Forces for more than 6 months and who is permanently resident in Cyprus. The veteran community will be represented by a senior veteran, who will jointly sign this covenant.
- SBAA/BFC. The serving military community, UKBCs and their families are those who are temporarily resident in the SBAs. They are represented by the Administrator of the SBAs/Commander British Forces, who will jointly sign this covenant.
Effective Date and Review. This covenant will be effective from 9th July 2021 and subject to periodic review. The signatories and representatives will meet annually in January to reaffirm this agreement and raise any issues of mutual concern or benefit.
The SBAA/BFC will:
- Acknowledge the veteran community, including spouses/partners/widows(ers), as a trusted and valued on-island asset, undertake to ensure veterans are treated appropriately, recognising previous service as well as the knowledge, skills and experience they possess.
- Permit veterans advantage over other non-entitled personnel when seeking to become members of BFC clubs and societies. Veterans applying for membership will take preference over other non-entitled personnel and veterans will not count towards the 15% non-entitled personnel limit.
- Where appropriate, allow access for veterans and spouses to the wider SBAs/BFC estate, subject to the veterans assurance/vetting process, to use non publicly funded facilities as non-entitled personnel. Station passes will detail both the club/society/organisation as well as “VETERAN”. UK Veterans’ ID cards will be recognised by BFC and will assist in the BFC access pass application process.
- Undertake to keep the veteran community aware of ongoing relevant issues and community events, by linking with the Station Veterans’ representative as well as Service organisations and Regimental Associations.
- Maintain effective and appropriate communications to both inform and manage expectations.
The Veteran community will, on a voluntary basis:
- Actively engage with BFC, providing a Station Veteran representative at Episkopi, Akrotiri, Dhekelia and Ayios Nikolaos, to work with Station Commanders and their staff in implementing aspects of this covenant. TORs for this role can be found at Annex A.
- Support the work of the SBAA/BFC through insight, influence and promoting a positive message across Cyprus in support of SBAA and Station Community Engagements plans.
- Assist through both membership of, and volunteering for appointments within, Station clubs/societies or support to welfare, and other voluntary positions, across the SBAA/BFC. This may include service through the Base Support Group (BSG).
- Promote, contribute to and attend relevant Station events and, where appropriate, places of worship.
- Apply, when available, for the UK Government Veteran identity card to assist BFC in granting concessions to veterans and validating service. This will also assist with the BFC pass application process.
SBAA/BFC undertake to treat the Veteran community with respect, recognising their service, include veterans in the planning and conduct of appropriate BFC and Station events and communicate effectively.
Veterans undertake to follow BFC and Station direction, specifically on matters of security and Health and Safety, and continue to uphold the high values and standards of the UK Armed Forces.
This covenant is unable to make provisions for:
- Treating veterans as “entitled personnel” in accordance with the Treaty of Establishment. This includes, but is not limited to, employment in UK Dependent positions and access to duty free goods.
- Permitting access to the SBAs through the waiving of immigration controls, which may be in place between Cyprus and the Turkish Controlled Area.
- Any medical treatment, except in an emergency whilst on the Bases.
- Use of Officers’ or Sergeants’ Mess facilities, unless a member, or having been invited and hosted by a current Mess member.
- Use of any publicly funded facilities which would incur additional cost to the public purse including, but not limited to, Post Office and Recycling facilities.
- Forgoing the normal assurance/vetting measures in place for serving military personnel, civilian personnel, contactors and Locally Employed Civilians. This will include obtaining Cypriot Police Criminal Records Check (CRC) at personal cost.
- Confer upon veterans any rights. The decision of the Station Commander in whether a veteran can benefit from membership of clubs or access station facilities is final.