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NEWS IN BRIEF

EUROPE

05 Jan 07. Iraq: OP TELIC. Between 1 Jan and 15 Dec 06, 83 personnel were categorised as Wounded in Action and 685 were aeromedically evacuated from Iraq. (MoD, 5 Jan 07.)
Comment: US Forces in Iraq announced their 3,000th death since March 2003 on 31 Dec 06. Over 22,000 wounded have been recorded by the US during the same period. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 0702, 08 Jan 07)

05 Jan 07. Afghanistan: OP HERRICK. Between 1 Jan and 15 Dec 06, 82 personnel were categorised as Wounded in Action and 256 were aeromedically evacuated from Afghanistan. (MoD, 5 Jan 07.) Royal Marines based at Lashkar Gah spent the end of 2006 patrolling the district of Garmsir in order to restore security and “were involved in daily fighting with the Taliban….”. (MoD, 5 Jan 07.)
Comment: In an unusual admission, the Chief spokesman for NATO’s International Security Assistance Force said (3 Jan 07) that the Alliance had been reviewing measures to bring down the number of civilian casualties. “….we are striving extremely hard to improve on [our record of] killing innocent civilians.”. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 0702, 08 Jan 07)

Jan 07. Iraq: Cabinet Ministers to be Questioned. The Defence and Foreign Affairs Committees are to take oral evidence from the Defence and Foreign Secretaries on the Government’s policy on Iraq. The evidence session is to take place on Thu 11 Jan 07 at 15:30hrs in the Boothroyd Room at Portcullis House.
Comment: Those wishing to attend the evidence session are asked to check the venue by telephoning the Committee Office information line (020-7219 2033) the day before the hearing. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 0702, 08 Jan 07)

19 Dec 06. Future of NATO: Committee Inquiry. The Defence Committee has launched (19 Dec 06) an Inquiry into The Future of NATO and European Defence. The Committee forecasts that the Inquiry “will be a comprehensive analysis of the Atlantic Alliance, its role, purpose and prospects, considering what role NATO should play in the future of UK and European Defence and whether NATO has a viable, long-term future.”.

Comment: A more comprehensive description of the topics the Committee aims to cover, and for which written evidence has been solicited, is available to subscribers on request. Copies are still available of the 70-page Brief, ‘European Defence 2006’ which was published by DR&A on 16 Mar 06. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 0702, 08 Jan 07)

10 Jan 07. One dead as helicopters collide. The Defence Helicopter Flying School is based in Shropshire. Two military helicopters have collided in mid-air, leaving one person dead and another three injured. The crash happened at RAF Ternhill near Market Drayton in Shropshire, just before 1500 GMT on Wednesday. The Squirrel aircraft were from the Defence Helicopter Flying School, based at RAF Shawbury. One of those injured was airlifted to the North Staffordshire Hospital. Two others suffered minor injuries, the MoD said. In a statement, the MoD added that there were two people in each of the helicopters and that a Board of Inquiry will now be held. (Source: BBC)

Jan 07. After delays that kept potential bidders waiting, Turkey has officially launched a bidding process to acquire a batch of 10 heavy lift helicopters for its armed forces. The Undersecretariat for the Defense Industry (SSM) has said that it expects potential bidders to respond to a Request for Information (RfI) no later than Jan. 15. The heavy lift platforms will be the first such aircraft the Turkish military will operate. Industry sources say the program may cost Turkey around $500m and expect a mostly U.S.-Russian rivalry in the competition. Potential bidders include U.S. Boeing, maker of the U.S. Army’s CH-47 Chinook; Sikorsky, maker of the U.S. Marine Corps and Navy’s CH-53 Super Stallion; and Russia’s Mil Helicopter Company, maker of the Mi-26 Halo. Boeing’s Chinooks have been sold to 16 countries, and one of the largest

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