15 Feb 05. Iraq: OP TELIC. It was confirmed by the MoD that 12 Mechanised Brigade (Brigadier C G S Hughes) would be taking over for OP TELIC 6 in Southern Iraq from 1 May 05. The Brigade will deploy with a core Bowman communications capability only, which would exclude the Challenger 2 main battle tanks and Warrior armoured fighting vehicles. The MoD issued a statement (17 Feb 05) covering the deaths of the six members of the Royal Military Police who were killed at Al Majarr Al Kabir on 24 Jun 03. RAF News (18 Feb 05) reported that the crash site search for the C-130 crash of 30 Jan 05 had been completed. Particular gratitude was expressed for the assistance given by US Forces at the site. Comment: There has been a certain amount of banter in the national media about 12 Brigade and Bowman’s perceived shortcomings. As was pointed out on 15 Feb 05, nine out of 10 operations the Brigade is likely to undertake in Southern Iraq will not involve the use of heavy armour. The Brigade will have secure voice communications and complete “positional awareness” but incomplete “situational awareness”.(Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 05/08, 21 Feb 05)
13 Feb 05. Afghanistan: Senior Appointments. Lieutenant General J-L Py, French Army, handed over command of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) to Lieutenant General E Erdagi, Turkish Army, who became the ISAF VII Commander.
The Foreign Secretary was visiting Kabul when he announced (16 Feb 05) the appointment of Lieutenant General J C (John) McColl CBE DSO as the Prime Minister’s Special Envoy to Afghanistan. Mr T R V (Tom) Phillips CMG has relinquished the appointment of UK Special Representative for Afghanistan. Comment: Currently there are over 8,000 troops from 37 countries under ISAF command (NATO figures). General McColl was the first ISAF Commander and he was subsequently invited to attend President Karzai’s inauguration on 7 Dec 04. The General is to remain as Commander Regional Forces and Inspector General of the Territorial Army (CRF/IGTA), while visiting Afghanistan two or three times a year in connection with his additional responsibilities. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 05/08, 21 Feb 05)
17 Feb 05. Kenya: Mine Action Training Centre. The Armed Forces’ Minister opened the first East African International Mine Action Training Centre (IMATC), at Embakasi in Kenya. The UK Government has provided £3.5m (three and a half million) for the construction of IMATC. Three Royal Engineers including the Commandant, Lieutenant Colonel T C L (Tim) Wildish, together with 57 Kenya Army personnel form the IMATC’s staff. Comment: The first IMATC course is to train Kenya Army personnel for de-mining operations in Southern Sudan. The second course, in May 2005, has been set aside for Sudanese personnel. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 05/08, 21 Feb 05)
21 Feb 05. Joint Maritime Training: Initial Course. The 2005 programme of multi-national Joint Maritime Courses, directed from HM Naval Base Clyde, starts on 21 Feb 05. JMC 051 lasts until 28 Feb 05 and involves four ships, two submarines, 14 fast jets and five maritime patrol aircraft. Units taking part are being supported by RFA Fort Victoria as well as by electronic warfare and air-to-air refuelling aircraft. Naval gunnery is being practised against targets on the Cape Wrath range. Comment: The Exercise setting for JMC 051 involves fictitious nations in a dispute over mineral rights. Maritime forces will be expected to enforce an arms embargo while providing a sea base, reinforcements and supplies for troops deployed ashore. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 05/08, 21 Feb 05)
14 Feb 05. Defence Academy: Campus Integrator Contract Signed. Serco announced that the company had signed the Defence Academy Campus Integrator (DACI) contract, worth about £400m, with the MoD. Serco is to assist the MoD to integrate support services within the post-graduate Colleges at Shrivenham. The DACI part