12 Feb 07. General John G. Castellaw, Deputy Commandant for Aviation, today presided over Sikorsky Aircraft Corp.’s official dedication of its CH-53K program’s new Heavy Lift Development Center, as a ribbon-cutting ceremony formally opened the 106,000-square-foot office building. (Source: Shephard)
12 Feb 07. Plan to recycle HMS Intrepid in the UK. The former Royal Navy assault ship HMS Intrepid, a key part of the fleet that led the campaign to retake the Falkland Islands 25 years ago, is expected to be recycled at a British facility, the Ministry of Defence announced. The 12,000 tonne vessel, which has been moored in Portsmouth harbour since she left service in 1999, has been replaced in service by the much larger, more capable and better equipped assault ship HMS Albion. Leavesley International has been selected as preferred bidder for the task of recycling HMS Intrepid and will now apply for the necessary licences and approvals. When the company has secured these permissions MoD expects to be in a position to place a contract for the task.
15 Feb 07. The Government has agreed to host a ground station for a US strategic and military satellite communications system at the Australian Defence Satellite Communication Station (ADSCS) located at Geraldton in Western Australia. The new ground station will be sited within the grounds of ADSCS but will be unrelated to the existing activities of ADSCS which will remain under separate Australian control. The ground station will form part of the Mobile User Objective System (MUOS). MUOS, in simple terms, will be a satellite-based mobile phone network. MUOS will support US and Australian users, including deployed forces. The ground station at Geraldton will comprise three small buildings housing the electronic infrastructure, power and spares, three 18 metre satellite dishes and two smaller antenna covering an area of approximately 12,000 square metres or less than the size of two and a half rugby fields. Once complete, it will be unmanned requiring only call-out contractor maintenance support. (Source: ASD Network)
Feb 07. As the US and International Community continue to build capability within the Afghan National Army, efforts are also underway to improve the quality of life for Soldiers who elect to serve their country. A recent ribbon-cutting ceremony marked the opening of two newly-constructed living facilities for Afghan National Army Air Corps Soldiers at the Kabul International Airport. The barracks house up to 128 Soldiers per building, and provide them with livable accommodations where they can sleep, eat and work. According to an Afghan official, better living conditions will lead to higher morale and better retention.
MILITARY AND GOVERNMENT
Feb 07. AFGHANISTAN: OP HERRICK ROULEMENT
1. The UK handed over command of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) on 4 Feb 07 and the Command Group of the Allied Rapid Reaction Corps has returned to Rheindalen.
2.The UK is providing some 140 personnel for the new ISAF HQ, leading to an overall reduction of around 500 UK troops in Kabul.
3. 3 Commando Brigade, Royal Marines, is due to complete its tour in April 2007 and to be replaced by:-
a. 12 Mechanised Brigade HQ and Signal Squadron.
b. The Light Dragoons (LD).
c. 19 Regiment, Royal Artillery (19 Regt RA).
d. 26 Engineer Regiment, Royal Engineers (26 Engr Regt RE).
e. 2 Signal Regiment, Royal Signals (2 Sigs Regt R SIGNALS).
f. 1st Bn Grenadier Guards (1 GREN GDS).
g. 1st Bn The Royal Anglian Regiment (1 R ANGLIAN).
h. 1st Bn The Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters Regiment (1 WFR).
j. 4 Logistic Support Regiment, Royal Logistic Corps (4 Log Sp Regt RLC).
k. 4 General Support Medical Regiment, Royal Army Medical Corps (4 Gen Sp Med Regt
4. Elements of other units providing “niche capabilities”:-
a. Armoured Support Group, Royal Marines.