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13 Feb 07. Iraq: OP TELIC. A Hercules C-130 was involved in “an incident” on landing in Maysaan on 12 Feb 07. The aircraft was “significantly damaged” during the landing and subsequently safely destroyed. Recovery was deemed to pose “undue risk”. (MoD, 13 Feb 07.). Four of seven accused in connection with the death of an Iraqi civilian in 2003 had the charges against them dismissed. All charges against Col J E Mendonca, Sgt K L Stacey, L/Cpl W A Crowcroft and Pte D T Fallan were dismissed. One charge against Cpl D Payne remained, as did all charges against Maj M E Peebles and WO M L Davies. The Court Martial continues. (MoD, 14 Feb 07.) A major security crackdown (OP TROY) was launched (15 Feb 07) in Basrah by Iraqi Security Forces assisted by Coalition troops. (MoD, 15 Feb 07.)
From 1 Jan 06 to 31 Jan 07, 116 personnel were categorised as Wounded in Action and 747 were aeromedically evacuated from Iraq. (MoD, 15 Feb 07.)
‘Explosively formed penetrator’ (EFP) munitions have reportedly killed 170 Coalition troops. (The Economist,
17 Feb 07.)
Comment: The Court Martial of Colonel Mendonca was all the more extraordinary given that he had been decorated and promoted following his tour of command in Iraq. An editorial in ‘The Sun’ (15 Feb 07) started: “The botched trial of Colonel Jorge Mendonca on trumped-up war crime charges was a travesty of justice.”. Commanding Officers, in all three Services, continue to be vulnerable in the present political climate. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 0708, 19 Feb 07)

12 Feb 07. Afghanistan: OP HERRICK. 265 members of 2 Signal Regiment, based in York, started to leave the UK for Afghanistan. The Regiment’s six-month tour in Helmand Province starts on 21 Feb 07. (MoD, 12 Feb 07.) Royal Marines and Afghan engineers remained at the Kajaki dam, despite a Taliban rocket attack. (MoD,15 Feb 07, in response to a media report.) Members of The Light Dragoons, 1st Bn Grenadier Guards, 1st Bn The Royal Anglian Regt and 1st Bn The Worcester and Sherwood Foresters Regt were preparing for their forthcoming deployment. (MoD, 15 Feb 07.) From 1 Jan 06 to 31 Jan 07, 96 personnel were categorised as Wounded in Action and 287 were aeromedically evacuated from Afghanistan. (MoD, 15 Feb 07.) Corporal B J Budd, 3rd Bn The Parachute Regt, was killed on 20 Aug 06 and posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross. The Corporal’s death is the subject of a routine investigation and further comment would be inappropriate. (MoD, 16 Feb 07.)
Comment: There has been newspaper speculation (16 Feb 07) that Corporal Budd could have died from friendly fire. The Commanding Officer of 3 PARA said that nothing detracted from the “utmost valour” of the Corporal’s actions, however he died. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 0708, 19 Feb 07)

Feb 07. Royal Navy: Funding. Responding to media reports about funding for the Royal Navy, the First Sea Lord issued (16 Feb 07) a statement which started: “I do not think, and have not said, that the Royal Navy needs a £1bn-a-year extra to do its job or to keep ships at sea. Today’s Royal Navy is funded to do what is asked of it….”
Comment: Following a lunch hosted by journalists (16 Feb 07), the First Sea Lord was widely quoted as saying that spending on the Royal Navy needed to increase by £1,000m annually. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 0708, 19 Feb 07)

14 Feb 07. Kongsberg awaits go-ahead for NSM production. Kongsberg Defence and Aerospace (KDA) expects to receive a production contract from the Norwegian government for the NSM (Nytt Sjomalsmissil or Naval Strike Missile) anti-ship missile by the middle of 2007 following the completion of the development test-firing programme earlier this year. Announcing its fourth quarter earnings on 13 February, KDA’s parent company Kongsberg Gruppen stated that “the [Norwegian] government’s proposal for the 2007 fiscal budget indicates that the authorities will be ordering the NSM”. (Source: Jane’s Navy Intern

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