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NEWS IN BRIEF

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29 May 07. Iraq: OP TELIC. From 1 Jan 06 to 15 May 07, 179 personnel were categorised as Wounded in Action and 915 were aeromedically evacuated from Iraq. (MoD, 31 May 07.) For the period from 1 to 15 May 07, the figures were four and 21. A patrol from 1st Regiment Royal Horse Artillery discovered an underground storage facility containing 10,000 rounds of ammunition, six improvised explosive devices and other military equipment, all of which was in good condition. (MoD, 29 May 07.)
19 Light Brigade was replaced by 1 Mechanised Brigade (1 Jun 07). 19 Light Brigade had overseen “an important period of transition” with Maysaan Province reaching Iraqi control on 18 Apr 07 and the conditions created for Basrah Province to follow. (MoD, 1 Jun 07.)
Comment: The Prime Minister promised (30 May 07) that the Government “would do everything possible” to help free the five Britons abducted from the Iraqi Finance Ministry on 29 May 07.
Colonel J E Mendonca’s resignation from the Army occupied the front and two inside pages of the ‘Daily Mail’
(1 Jun 07). Having been cleared of all charges at a Court Martial in February 2007, the Colonel had apparently been warned that further investigations into his conduct could take place. Whatever else, the whole matter is yet another MoD public relations disaster. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 0722, 04 Jun 07)

29 May 07. Afghanistan: OP HERRICK. A Corporal from 1st Bn The Royal Anglian Regiment died on 28 May 07 near Hyderabad, when an explosive device hit his convoy. (MoD, 29 May 07.) A Royal Military Police Corporal was among the seven ISAF soldiers who died when their Chinook crashed near Kajaki on 30 May 07. (MoD, 1 Jun 07.) UK deaths since the start of Operations in November 2000 thus rose to 58.
From 1 Jan 06 to 15 May 07, 415 personnel were categorised as Wounded in Action and 148 were aeromedically evacuated from Afghanistan. (MoD, 31May 07.) For the period from 1 to 15 May 07, the figures were 12 and 31.
A Task Force of 2,000, including 1,000 British and 500 Afghan National Army soldiers, launched (31 May 07) OP LASTAY KULANG in the Upper Sangin Valley. 1st Bn The Royal Anglian Regiment and elements of
1st Bn Grenadier Guards form the bulk of the UK troops. Danish and Estonian troops are also in the Task Force, which is supported by the US 82nd Airborne Division. (MoD, 31 May 07.)
Comment: UN Headquarters noted (29 May 07) that the Assistance Mission (UNAMA) had “called for all parties fighting in Afghanistan to increase efforts to ensure the protection of innocent civilians”. An article in the ‘International Herald Tribune’ (30 May 07) considered that: “Mounting civilian casualties are turning Afghans against the nearly 45,000 US and NATO troops in their country….”.(Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 0722, 04 Jun 07)

08 Jun 07. Allegations of corruption threaten BAE acquisition. BAE Systems’ proposed $4.5bn (£2.26bn) acquisition of Armor Holdings in the United States has been thrown into doubt by the latest allegations of corruption against the defence giant. Diplomatic sources in the US have revealed that the deal could be in danger as officials threaten a closer examination. “There are protectionist elements on Capitol Hill and elsewhere who are looking for an excuse to block BAE,” the source said. “This may have just provided them with one.” The furore caused by the latest al-Yamamah revelations may give BAE’s rivals a chance to block the company’s ambitions in the US. BAE has done 15 deals in the US since 1999 and the country now accounts for 42 per cent of its sales. Both Congress and the US Department of Justice (DoJ) are now expected to take a fresh interest in the corruption allegations. The DoJ has not launched its own investigation into whether BAE breached the US’s Foreign Corrupt Practice Act but British officials in Washington fear “that may change” after these latest allegations. Staff members from the Senate Foreign Relations Commit

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