NEWS IN BRIEF
10 Aug 07. Iraq: OP TELIC. A Private from 2nd Bn The Royal Welsh was killed by small arms fire in Basrah City on 6 Aug 07. A Leading Aircraftman from the RAF Regiment died from a gunshot wound sustained in the Al Waki District on 7 Aug 07. A Lance Sergeant and a Lance Corporal from 1st Bn Irish Guards were killed when an Improvised Explosive Device detonated next to their vehicle West of Basrah City on 9 Aug 07. UK deaths since the start of the Campaign thus rose to 168, of whom 108 have been classified as Killed in Action and 24 as Died of Wounds sustained in action. (MoD, 9 Aug 07.)
Comment: There has been considerable media comment on the revelation that 30% of the US weapons handed out to the Iraqis cannot be accounted for. The source of the story is a US Government Accountability Office (GAO) Report on ‘Stabilizing Iraq’ (GAO-07-711 dated July 2007). The Report can be downloaded from the GAO website (www.gao.gov). (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 0732, 13 Aug 07)
10 Aug 07. Afghanistan: OP HERRICK. A Private from 1st Bn The Royal Anglian Regiment was killed during a routine patrol North East of Sangin on
10 Aug 07. UK deaths since the start of Operations in November 2001 thus rose to 69, of whom 44 have been classified as Killed in Action and two as Died of Wounds sustained in action. (MoD, 10 Aug 07.)
The Defence Secretary arrived in Southern Afghanistan (7 Aug 07) and travelled to a Forward Operating Base near Gereshk to meet UK Forces. (MoD, 7 Aug 07.)
There are approximately 7,100 British troops currently serving in Afghanistan as part of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). The number is to increase to 7,800 by October 2007.(MoD, 7 Aug 07.) (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 0732, 13 Aug 07)
Comment: In evidence to a House of Lords Committee (Item 7), the Defence Equipment Minister said: “….we expect the Operation in Afghanistan, for example, to continue for a considerable period….”.
09 Aug 07. Puma Helicopter: Fatal Accident. The MoD confirmed (9 Aug 07) that a Puma from 33 Squadron, RAF Benson had crashed near Catterick at 20.20hrs on 8 Aug 07 while taking part in a routine training exercise. Two of the three RAF aircrew were killed; a Flight Lieutenant who was the aircraft’s Captain and a Sergeant crewman. An Instructor and eight Infantry recruits were the rear passengers; one of the recruits died as a result of the accident and two others were said to be “very seriously ill”.
Comment: Eurocopter has been awarded an Assessment Phase contract for a Life Extension Programme. Up to 35 of the RAF’s Puma aircraft are expected to have their “useful lives” extended from 2010 to 2022. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 0732, 13 Aug 07)
15 Aug07. Police investigation into Puma crash. A Royal Air Force Board of Inquiry was convened at RAF Leeming, North Yorkshire, to investigate the circumstances of a Puma helicopter crash that occurred at Catterick Garrison on 8 August 2007. Following an initial investigation by the Board of Inquiry, the
Convening Authority has decided that the Board of Inquiry should be suspended at this stage pending further investigation by the North Yorkshire civilian police authorities, which MoD will fully support.
14 Aug 07. New Destroyer boosts Royal Navy. The Royal Navy’s newest and most sophisticated destroyer – to be called HMS Daring – has successfully completed demanding sea trials off the Scottish coast. Minister for the Armed Forces, Bob Ainsworth, said: “The Type 45 is an immensely powerful state of the art destroyer that will provide a vital layer of protection from missile attack for the fleet.” Daring’s success at sea – when I gather she exceeded her design speed of 29 knots – is an excellent start to the intensive trials phase that will now begin as we bring her world-leading missile defence system into full operation. “I have spoken to her crew and they are delighted with the capability