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04 Sep 07. HMS BULWARK: Preparing for the Future. The MoD announced (4 Sep 07) that HMS BULWARK, described as a commando assault vessel, had embarked on a period of intensive training “to prepare both ship and crew for front line Operations”. The training is to conclude with EX SOUTH WEST SABRE when over 200 members of 42 Commando, Royal Marines, are to be embarked.
Comment: HMS BULWARK, an 18,500 tonne Landing Platform Dock, was accepted into service on 10 Dec 04. The ship returned to sea in May 2007, after a nine-month maintenance period which included work on her propulsion system and an overhaul of her landing craft. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 0735, 10 Sep 07)

Sep 07. Former HMS BRECON: Harbour Training Ship. BRECON was towed from Portsmouth to Dartmouth on 16 Aug 07, for refurbishment before relocating to the River Lynher close to HMS RALEIGH. BRECON’s sister-ships COTTESMORE and DULVERTON remain at Portsmouth, on the ‘for sale’ list.
Comment: The three Hunt Class minehunters paid-off at Faslane on 12 Sep 05, having previously served as the Northern Ireland Squadron. In her new role as a training ship for young sailors, BRECON is also expected to be used for RN/RM boarding and searching instruction. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 0735, 10 Sep 07)

03 Sep 07. Warship: Decommissioning Dates. The Armed Forces’ Minister released (3 Sep 07) updated ‘out-of-service’ dates for much of the Fleet.
HMS TRAFALGAR is now due to decommission in 2009 (previously 2008). HMS SOUTHAMPTON and LIVERPOOL have changed places, with the former leaving in 2009 and the latter in 2010. No changes were announced for the 17 frigates.
Comment: HMS TRAFALGAR’s extension delays the time when the number of nuclear-powered (SSN) boats reduces to seven (which is now programmed to occur in 2009, rather than in 2008). (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 0735, 10 Sep 07)

Sep 07. BAE upgrades Glascoed plant. BAE Systems Land Systems Munitions has invested some GBP750,000 in its Glascoed munitions facility in Wales with the introduction of a worldleading X-ray imaging process that can detect air pockets as small as 1mm in diameter within explosives. Further work is planned to enhance the system to produce images showing pockets smaller than 1mm. Air pockets in munitions can affect accuracy, and in severe cases, could lead to premature detonation. (Source: Jane’s)

13 Sep 07. A Dutch software company said it is opening a U.S. headquarters in
Herndon. Rotterdam-based Bell ID has signed a lease at 2325 Dulles Corner Blvd. and is planning to start business there Sept. 17. Bell ID, which has Boeing Co. and Hewlett-Packard Co. as partners, sells smart cards to companies and government agencies to increase their security. The company plans to expand its corporate identification, mobile, government identification and banking businesses in the Americas.



07 Sep 07. Army Gen. David H. Petraeus has indicated a willingness to consider a drawdown of one brigade of between 3,500 and 4,500 U.S. troops from Iraq early next year, with more to follow over the next months based on conditions on the ground, according to a senior U.S. official. The pullouts would be contingent on the ability of U.S. and Iraqi forces to sustain what the administration heralds as recent gains in security and to make further gains in stabilizing Iraq. President Bush signaled the possibility of drawdowns after visiting Anbar province earlier this week. After meeting with Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan C. Crocker, Bush said he was told that “if the kind of success we are now seeing continues, it will be possible to maintain the same level of security with fewer American forces.” (Source: Washington Post)


Sep 07. NATO announced the appointment of Lieutenant General James N. Mattis as Supreme Allied Commander Transformation. Lieutenant General Mattis

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