NEWS IN BRIEF
11 Jun 07. Iraq: OP TELIC. From 1 Jan 06 to 31 May 07, 208 personnel were categorised as Wounded in Action and 954 were aeromedically evacuated from Iraq. (MoD, 15 Jun 07.) From 16 to 31 May 07, the figures were 29 and 39.
The majority of individuals involved in attacks against UK Forces are assessed as being affiliated to the militant and extremist elements of Muqtada al Sadr’s Jaysh al-Mahdi. (Ministerial Answer (MA), 11 Jun 07.)
The Chancellor of the Exchequer (and Prime Minister designate) and the Defence Secretary visited Baghdad on 11 Jun 07. (MoD, 11 Jun 07 – see also Item 4.)
Jaysh al-Mahdi and its factions have been responsible for many attacks against Coalition Forces, including UK troops. (MA, 13 Jun 07.)
Comment: An Opposition proposal for an Inquiry “to review the way in which the responsibilities of Government were discharged in relation to Iraq….” was defeated in the House of Commons by 288 votes to 253. (Hansard, 11 Jun 07, Column 532 et seq.) (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 0724, 18 Jun 07)
10 Jun 07.)Afghanistan: OP HERRICK. A Guardsman from 1st Bn Grenadier Guards died after his vehicle was hit by an explosion in Helmand Province on 9 Jun 07. (MoD, 10 Jun 07.) UK deaths since the start of Operations in November 2001 thus rose to 60, of whom 34 have been classified as Killed in Action and three as Died of Wounds sustained in action.
From 1 Jan 06 to 31 May 07, 174 personnel were categorised as Wounded in Action and 456 were aeromedically evacuated from Afghanistan. (MoD, 15 Jun 07.) [N.B. The figures for 1 Jan 06 to 15 May 07 quoted in DNA 07/22 were transposed and should have read 148 Wounded and 415 evacuated.]
Usage of ammunition for the automatic lightweight grenade launcher has been higher than initially anticipated, but stocks are currently assessed as adequate. (MA, 11 Jun 07.)
“….our Force package will adapt to the evolving situation, including the ability of the Afghan National Army to take greater responsibility for its own affairs.” (MA, 11 Jun 07.)
Comment: The US Defence Secretary expressed concern about who was controlling the conflict in Afghanistan: “One of my concerns is that we have 42 countries and 12 non-government organisations out here and I want to find out if there’s anyone really creating an overall strategy or co-ordinating their activities”. (‘Aviation Week’,
11 Jun 07.) [It is unclear how Mr Gates arrived at a figure of 42 countries. NATO claimed (15 Jun 07) that 26 NATO countries and 11 non-NATO countries were supporting the mission in Afghanistan.]
An MoD News Release (12 Jun 07) inadvertently indicated the extent of Army ‘overstretch’. Apparently 1st Bn The Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters were preparing for a tour in Iraq in January 2007, only to find themselves in Helmand Province with ISAF in March 2007. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 0724, 18 Jun 07)
12 Jun 07. Deployment: Tour Intervals. The Armed Forces’ Minister said (12 Jun 07) that tour intervals for Army units were: Royal Armoured Corps – 39.1 months; Royal Artillery – 22.4; Royal Engineers – 19.7; Royal Signals – 25.4; Infantry – 24.7 and Royal Logistic Corps – 28.0. The overall unit average was 26.5 months.
RN deployments are to be no longer than nine months, within a ship’s programme aimed at 60% on deployment and 40% spent at the base port.
Comment: The Minister was unable to quote any sensible figures for the Royal Marines, while RAF data “could be provided only at a disproportionate cost”.(Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 0724, 18 Jun 07)
11 Jun 07. Operational Allowance: Increase. The Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Defence Secretary announced (11 Jun 07) that the tax-free Operational Allowance was to be increased from £2,240 to £2,320 for a six-month tour. The increase has been backdated to 1 Apr 07.
Comment: The allowance, paid equally to all ranks, was introduced on 10 Oct 06 and backdated to 1 Apr 06. Personnel deployed t