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NEWS IN BRIEF

NEWS IN BRIEF

EUROPE

26 Nov 07. Iraq: OP TELIC. 4th Bn The Rifles returned to Bulford between 23 and 25 Nov 07, after six months in Iraq. The Battalion’s Battle Group suffered 11 killed and 62 wounded during the tour. (MoD, 26 Nov 07.)
Royal Military Police personnel completed a programme of training Iraqi Police recruits and are handing over the management of the Basrah Police Academy to the Iraqis. (MoD, 26 Nov 07.)
371 expatriate, third country national and local national personnel are currently employed in Iraq under FCO contracts. (Ministerial Answer (MA), 27 Nov 07.)
Comment: A Defence Committee Report ‘UK Land Operations in Iraq 2007′ was published on 3 Dec 07
(at 00.01hrs) as HC 110. The main sections cover: The security situation; The capacity of the Iraqi Security Forces and The role of UK Forces in Iraq.
(Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 0747, 03 Dec 07)

26 Nov 07. Afghanistan: OP HERRICK. 778 square kilometres of Afghanistan are estimated to be contaminated by mines and unexploded ordnance. 133 square kilometres were cleared in 2006, despite a shortage of funds. (MA, 26 Nov 07.)
The Chief of the Defence Staff flew into Southern Afghanistan on 26 Nov 07 and was briefed by OC 52 Infantry Brigade, among other senior personnel. (MoD, 27 Nov 07.)
530 expatriate, third country national and local national personnel are currently employed in Afghanistan under FCO contracts. (MA, 27 Nov 07.)
2nd Bn The Yorkshire Regiment assisted on Operations which resulted in the seizure of over 100kgs of opium. (MoD, 28 Nov 07.)
40 Commando, Royal Marines, has been operating in Helmand Province including around the towns of Sangin, Now Zad, Malmand and Kajaki. (MoD, 29 Nov 07.)
Comment: NATO assumed authority for the ISAF mission on 9 Aug 03 and the national contingents are shown at page 3. There is an additional US contingent of about 7,000, deployed for OP ENDURING FREEDOM. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 0747, 03 Dec 07)

30 Nov 07. EU transport ministers have decided to press on with the multi-billion euro Galileo satellite-navigation project. The decision was made initially without the support of Spain, but it too finally threw its backing behind the troubled and much delayed venture. Ministers had until the end of the year to reach an agreement. The system is supposed to be in operation by 2013. Questions remain about its cost but supporters say it will create jobs and cut dependence on the US GPS service. “This is going to ensure economic and strategic independence,” commented EU Transport Commissioner Jacques Barrot. “Spatial navigation is really an indication of our power amongst the countries of the world.” The EU’s executive had previously said that if agreement was not reached by January 2008, the long-troubled project would essentially be dead. The current crisis was triggered by the collapse earlier in the year of the private consortium asked to build most of Galileo’s infrastructure and run its services. (Source: BBC)

26 Nov 07. Aircraft: Operating Costs. The Armed Forces’ Minister said (26 Nov 07) that the “total cost per funded flying hour” of selected Service aircraft is: Apache – £46,000; Tornado GR4 – £33,000; Nimrod MR2 – £30,000 and Chinook – £24,000. The Minister’s predecessor had previously (25 Jun 07) given the Tornado F3’s hourly figure as £40,440. The figures include servicing, fuel, crew costs, training and depreciation.
Comment: The Minister added (26 Nov 07) that the MoD had “no plans for any changes to the Tornado GR4 force structure at present”. Senior RAF Officers had already made the same point (‘RAF News’, 26 Oct 07) following media speculation that two GR4 Squadrons were to be disbanded in order to save money. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 0747, 03 Dec 07)

Nov 07. EU defence ministers give boost to military spending. EU defence ministers have increased the European Defence Agency (EDA)’s annual budget by one third in a bid to improve the bloc’s

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