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20 Aug 07. HMS CLYDE: Departure for the South Atlantic. HMS CLYDE sailed (20 Aug 07) from Portsmouth for a tour of duty as the Falkland Islands Patrol Vessel. The ship is expected to stay in the South Atlantic for at least five years, with relief crews being flown to the Falklands every six months.
Comment: HMS CLYDE is replacing HMS DUMBARTON CASTLE, which is to return to Portsmouth in November before decommissioning. As with the three Batch 1 River Class (HMS TYNE, SEVERN & MERSEY), CLYDE is chartered from the VT Group for five years. At the end of the five years the MoD may extend the charter, return the ship or buy her outright. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 0734, 03 Sep 07)

22 Aug 07. HMS OCEAN: Docking Period. The Defence Equipment Minister announced (22 Aug 07) that Babcock Marine had been awarded a £30m contract for maintenance and upgrade work on HMS OCEAN. The ship is expected to be with Devonport for
13 months from September 2007, when her role as a helicopter carrier for amphibious Operations will be assumed by HMS ARK ROYAL.
Comment: HMS OCEAN is the first RN ship built to commercial standards. According to ‘Navy News’ (August 2007), “….the warship has proven her worth despite leaking pipes and troublesome engines….”(Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 0734, 03 Sep 07)

06 Aug 07. Escorts: The Numbers Game. The Defence Equipment Minister repeated (6 Aug 07) that the number of destroyers and frigates has been reduced from the 1998 requirement for 32 ships to the 2004 total of 25. The Minister added that: “No further reductions to the Fleet are planned.”.
Comment: The RN has now reduced to 25 escorts: eight Type 42 destroyers, four Type 22 frigates and
13 Type 23 frigates. As the Type 42 destroyers are replaced by the Type 45, the total number of escorts is set to fall to 24 in 2009 and 23 in 2012. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 0734, 03 Sep 07)


31 Aug 07. Warner To Leave U.S. Senate. Sen. John Warner, R-Va., former chairman of the Armed Services Committee, said Aug. 31 that he will not run for re-election in 2008, but will retire on Jan. 3, 2009, ending a 30-year career in the U.S. Senate. He is 80. He was chairman of the Armed Services Committee in 2001 and again from 2003 to 2007. A strong supporter of the U.S. military, Warner has been partial to Navy shipbuilding. Nuclear-powered submarines and aircraft carriers are built in his home state at Newport News Shipbuilding. (Source: Defense News)



23 Aug 07. Armed Forces: Trained Requirements and Strengths. Trained requirements and strengths as at 1 Jul 07 were published (23 Aug 07), with considerable qualification. No figures were published for the Army.
The RN/RM provisional figures give a strength of 34,190 against a requirement for 36,710. RAF figures, also provisional, are 42,130 against a requirement for 44,610.
Comment: Introduction of new computer systems has thrown the manning statistics into disarray, but reliable figures should be available from 1 Apr 08.
An entry in the Contracts Bulletin (29 Aug 07) states that the Army aims to recruit 900 Regular & 750 TA Officers and 13,800 Regular & 7,000 TA soldiers in the 2007/08 financial year. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 0734, 03 Sep 07)

01 Sep 07. Infantry: Formation of The Mercian Regiment. The Mercian Regiment was officially formed on 1 Sep 07 (and not on 24 Aug 07 as originally proposed). Composition of the new Regiment is shown on page 3.
Comment: The Mercian Regiment is the sixth and last new, large Regiment to be created under the Future Army Structure. The Royal Welsh was formed on 1 Mar 06; The Royal Regiment of Scotland on 28 Mar 06; The Yorkshire Regiment on 6 Jun 06; The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment on 1 Jul 06 and The Rifles on 1 Feb 07.
1. The Regiment formed on 1 Sep 07, through the merger of:-

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