22 Mar 06. DNA Brief: Issue 06/12. OP TELIC: MAJOR UNITS FROM MAY 2006
1. 20 Armoured Brigade (replacing 7 Armoured Brigade in early May 2006).
2. 1st The Queen’s Dragoon Guards (QDG).
3. The Queen’s Royal Hussars (QRH).
4. 12th Regiment Royal Artillery (12 Regt RA).
5. 33 Engineer Regiment (33 Engr Regt).
6. 35 Engineer Regiment (35 Engr Regt).
7. 1st Bn Grenadier Guards (1 GREN GDS).
8. 1st Bn The Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment (1 PWRR).
9. 2nd Bn The Royal Anglian Regiment (2 R ANGLIAN).
10. 1st Bn The Devon and Dorset Light Infantry (1 DandD LI).
11. 1st Bn The Light Infantry (1 LI).
12. 3 Logistic Support Regiment (3 Log Sp Regt).
Territorial Army (TA) Personnel
13. “A number” of Reserve personnel are to accompany the deployment, including soldiers from:-
a. The King’s and Cheshire Regiment (KCR).
b. The Lancastrian and Cumbrian Volunteers (LCV).
14. Support to the Iraqi Navy is to continue.
15. The RN contribution to the Coalition Task Force in the North Arabian Gulf is to continue.
16. Helicopter support is to continue to be provided by:-
a. Five Merlin.
b. Eight Sea King (reducing to six).
c. Four Lynx.
17. There will be a reduction of UK Forces in Iraq of “around 800” personnel, to “just over 7,000” in May 2006. (Source: Defence Secretary, 13 Mar 06.)
(Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 0612, 20 Mar 06)
15 Mar 06. Iceland: US Withdrawal. The US Administration informed the Icelandic Prime Minister that most of its military support would be withdrawn during 2006. The US, under the auspices of NATO, would continue to honour the 1951 agreement which provided for the Defence of Iceland. Comment: It is understood that the US Administration wants to turn the Keflavik base into a ‘stand by’ military facility operated by a minimum number of personnel. The Pentagon first announced the withdrawal of military support from Keflavik in May 2003 and the P-3 Orion aircraft have already left. For the time being four F-15 fighter aircraft, five search and rescue helicopters, two refuelling aircraft and 2,000 Service personnel with 3,000 dependents remain. Total military withdrawal by the US could trigger an Icelandic application to join the European Union.
13 Mar 06. Decommissioned Vessels: Storage. The Defence Procurement Minister said that 30 former RN and RFA vessels were “being preserved or stored pending disposal or planned conversion for re-use”. 16 surface ships are at Portsmouth and one is berthed in Southampton, while six nuclear-powered submarines are “stored safely afloat” at Devonport and seven at Rosyth. In addition, HMS INVINCIBLE has been placed in extended readiness and is in preservation at Portsmouth. Comment: The six submarines at Devonport are all SSN and the rest of the Swiftsure and Trafalgar Classes are due to be berthed with them in due course. The seven boats at Rosyth are four SSBN and three SSN. HMS INVINCIBLE is due to be decommissioned in 2010 and it is unlikely that she will ever rejoin the Fleet.
17 Mar 06. Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC): EU Military Mission?
A European Union (EU) spokesman said that the High Representative would be travelling to the DRC on 19 Mar 06 “to firm up plans for a military mission to help with upcoming elections”. (On 12 Jan 06 the DRC called for Parliamentary elections and the first round of a Presidential contest to be held on 29 Apr 06. On 22 Feb 06 a postponement was announced, with the Electoral Commission saying that the first round of voting would take place on 18 Jun 06.) Comment: On 7 Mar 06, EU Defence Ministers postponed a decision on sending extra troops to the DRC “amid confusion over the Force’s role and reluctance among Member States to lead it”. A Foreign Office Minister said (16 Mar 06) that the UK believed that the EU should support the mission. However, “Given our heavy operational commitments elsewhere, the UK will be unable