14 Nov 06. A special ‘Train the Trainer’ course for Iraqi Officers has been run in Iraq for the first time, following on from two previous courses which took place in Wales. The five week course was run at the Iraqi Military Academy at Zakho (IMAZ) in Northern Iraq. 50 current and future Senior Non Commissioned Officers (NCOs) and officer instructors from all three of Iraq’s Military Academies took part. The officers being trained will go on to train officer cadets at the Iraqi Military Academies. The course was designed and run by personnel at the NATO Training Mission – Iraq (NTM-I), who work as advisors and mentors at the Iraqi Military Academy Al Rustamiyah, near Baghdad. In 2005 and mid-2006 Train the Trainer (TTT) courses were run in Brecon, Wales, but the decision was made to continue the courses inside of Iraq. The Zakho location was chosen for its stable security situation, good infrastructure and suitable terrain. The main aim of the TTT course is to improve the knowledge base and ability of the Academies’ Instructional Cadres in the areas of navigation, conventional platoon light infantry tactics, techniques and procedures and counter Insurgency low level tactics, techniques and procedures. UK Royal Marine Major Dan Caldwell was responsible for putting together the course. He said that after the UK TTT course conducted in mid-2006, the academies and their advisors recognised some areas that needed to be improved upon, both among the NCOs and the officers, and the decision was made to hold the next TTT course within Iraq. (Source: MoD DEFENCE NEWS DAILY)
14 Nov 06. Despite being under almost constant attack from the Taliban, Royal Engineers have successfully carried out an operation to construct vital police check points on the outskirts of Gereshk, Afghanistan. Operation Slate began at dawn on 5 November 2006. J Company, 42 Commando Royal Marines (RM) and W Company, 45 Commando RM, deployed by vehicle into their area of operations to provide a security cordon for 42 Field Squadron Royal Engineers to construct the check points. Within hours the Taliban began their concerted attacks on the security cordon. Initially extremely random and inaccurate, the Chinese 107 rockets and 82mm mortars being fired by the Taliban soon began to land within 50 meters of the UK troops on the ground. The Royal Engineers, under almost constant fire throughout, continued with their work, only stopping when they had to replace a tyre on a mechanical digger that had been shredded by incoming mortar fire. (Source: MoD DEFENCE NEWS DAILY)
13 Nov 06. HMS RAMSEY and BLYTH: Bound for Bahrain. Two Sandown Class single-role minehunters, HMS RAMSEY and BLYTH, are leaving Faslane for an extended tour in the Gulf (OP AINTREE). The ships are to operate out of Bahrain for at least the next two years, with crews rotating about every six months.
Comment: The aim of the deployment is to train as many sailors as possible in the use of recently installed (modified Type 2093) sonar in extreme climatic conditions. The two minehunters are also expected to work with ‘coalition’ Forces in the Gulf as well as with the Navies of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman and Saudi Arabia. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 0643, 13 Nov 06)
Nov 06. HMS BRECON: Training Role. The Hunt Class minehunter HMS BRECON is to be given a fresh lease of life training young sailors at HMS RALEIGH. The ship is expected to leave the ‘ghost fleet’ in Portsmouth for Jupiter Point in the
River Lynher in mid-2007.
Comment: HMS BRECON and her sister-ships COTTESMORE and DULVERTON paid off at Faslane on 12 Sep 05, having previously served as the Northern Ireland Squadron. In her new role as a harbour training ship at Devonport, BRECON is also expected to be used as a Royal Navy/Royal Marines facility for boarding and searching instruction. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 0643, 13 Nov 06)
JOB LOSSES AND STRIKES
13 Nov 06. The Washington Shakeup. Congress’ New