NEWS IN BRIEF
22 Oct 07. Iraq: OP TELIC. From 1 Jan 06 to 30 Sep 07, 283 personnel were categorised as Wounded in Action and 1,189 were aeromedically evacuated. (MoD, 22 Oct 07.) From 16 to 30 Sep 07, the figures were one and 19.
HMS CAMPBELTOWN left Devonport for an eight-month deployment to the Gulf. (MoD, 19 Oct 07.)
“We have no confirmed reports of counter-terrorist Operations by Turkish security forces within Iraq.” (Ministerial Answer (MA), 24 Oct 07.)
Five Territorial Army personnel had been killed since 2003, not four as previously stated. (MA, 24 Oct 07.)
Comment: The MoD reacted (24 Oct 07) to media speculation about the number of troops to be stationed in Iraq after Spring 2008. The official line remains that decisions on the UK’s “long-term force posture” will not be made until Spring 2008, by when the number is expected to be down to about 2,500 in Southern Iraq. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 0742, 29 Oct 07)
22 Oct 07. Afghanistan: OP HERRICK. From 1 Jan 06 to 30 Sep 07, 271 personnel were categorised as Wounded in Action and 691 were aeromedically evacuated. (MoD, 22 Oct 07.) From 16 to 30 Sep 07, the figures were 15 and 21.
Operational commitments to Afghanistan are being kept under review, but the MoD is “not about to make any announcements on troop levels”. (MoD, 22 Oct 07.)
“UK Armed Forces in Helmand continue to defeat the Taliban tactically while supporting FCO and DfID programmes….” (MA, 22 Oct 07.)
“….we expect to deliver more than 400 [protected vehicles] over the next two years. The majority of them will go to Afghanistan….” (MA, 22 Oct 07.)
The last units from 12 Mechanised Brigade left Afghanistan on 24 Oct 07, after a six-month deployment.
(MoD, 25 Oct 07.)
Comment: In an interview with Sky News (24 Oct 07) the Chief of the Defence Staff said that there was no military solution to the struggle against the Taliban, which could only be resolved politically. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 0742, 29 Oct 07).
BLESMA told BATTLESPACE that current state of play in respect of amputees from the current Iraq/Afghanistan conflicts is: Iraq – 27; Afghanistan – 23
17 Oct 07. Training Exercises: Cancellations. The Armed Forces’ Minister said (17 Oct 07) that 699 training events had been scheduled for the 2006/07 Defence Exercise Programme, of which 69 were cancelled. 35 Exercises had been cancelled due to Operational commitments, 14 were cancelled by other nations and five were deleted as savings measures. The other 15 events were cancelled “in response to changing priorities or rescheduling”.
Comment: A comprehensive list of Exercises which were cancelled in 2005/06 and 2006/07 was published in Hansard for 17 Oct 07 starting at Column 1124W. Simplistic newspaper coverage of Exercise cancellations was rebutted by the MoD (22 Oct 07) with the extraordinary statement that such cancellations “do not include training that is necessary for personnel to perform effectively on Operations”.(Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 0742, 29 Oct 07)
17 Oct 07. Russian Aircraft: More Visits. The Defence Equipment Minister said (17 Oct 07) that Quick Reaction Alert aircraft had been launched to intercept Russian aircraft on four separate days during August and September 2007. The Minister added that Tornado F3 aircraft were gradually being withdrawn as they are replaced by Typhoon.
Comment: The MoD had earlier confirmed that four Tornado F3 had been launched from RAF Leeming on 6 Sep 07, in order to intercept eight Tupolev Bear aircraft. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 0742, 29 Oct 07)
29 Oct 07. Defense spending continues to be a relative afterthought throughout European capitals, despite the increased demands placed on Europe’s militaries to participate in out-of-theater operations under multiple banners. While many are willing to assign their forces to peacekeeping and conflict intervention within NATO, European Union or United Nations missions, where f