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13 Dec 07. Minister for Defence Equipment and Support, Baroness Taylor, has
today launched a strategy to ensure that the UK Armed Forces reap the
benefits of the latest developments in defence technology. The Innovation Strategy recognises that the UK must exploit world-class technology in order to respond quickly and effectively to both existing and new threats. In accordance with the aims of the Defence Industrial Strategy (DIS) it sets out how the UK Government, industry and academia can work together to ensure that innovation in
Defence technology is encouraged, rewarded and benefits the front line more quickly than ever before. Minister(DES) said: “We want to create an environment with industry where innovation is encouraged and quickly developed to give our military personnel a battle-winning edge. This is particularly important at a time when our opponents are becoming increasingly more successful at exploiting technology to use against the Armed Forces. “Through the Innovation Strategy we can replicate the recent successes of getting innovative technology to the battlefield rapidly, such as Mastiff, a mine-protected armoured vehicle, offering enhanced crew protection and Desert Hawk the super lightweight unmanned air vehicle (UAV) currently relaying vital information about the enemy back to commanders in the field. “The Innovation Strategy sets out how the efforts of the UK Government, industry and university research and development can join up to make this happen and get the best value for money out of UK investment in defence.”

10 Dec 07. Brown thanks troops for Iraq work. Prime Minister Gordon Brown has thanked British troops for their efforts in Iraq as he announced the official handover of Basra to Iraqi authorities. Addressing troops at Basra air station on an unannounced visit, Mr Brown said the final area of Iraq under UK control would be handed over within two weeks. Praising the forces’ “professionalism, courage and patriotism”, he said the British people were proud of them. The 4,500 UK troops still in Iraq will now focus on training Iraqi forces. UK troop numbers are set to be reduced to 2,500 from the spring. Mr Brown told the troops: “I have just talked to Prime Minister Maliki and he asked me to pass on his thanks to you for what you have done to help rebuild the democracy of Iraq. (Source: BBC)

03 Dec 07. Iraq: OP TELIC. From 1 Jan 06 to 15 Nov 07, 291 personnel were categorised as Wounded in Action and 1,252 were aeromedically evacuated. (MoD, 3 Dec 07.) From 1 to 15 Nov 07, the figures were six and 15.
HMS ARGYLL is part of an international Task Force of Australian, UK and US ships keeping watch over the Northern Arabian Gulf oil terminals. (MoD, 30 Nov 07.)
The formal transfer of Basrah Province to Iraqi control is expected to take place later this month. (Defence Secretary, 3 Dec 07.)
“We have set our plans for Iraq to Spring 2008, when we plan to reduce UK troop numbers in Southern Iraq to around 2,500.” (Defence Secretary, 3 Dec 07.)
Comment: The Armed Forces’ Minister said (5 Dec 07) that the number of personnel deployed as at 19 Nov 07 was: Iraq – 4,910 (4,970 as at 28 Oct 07); At sea – 790 (540); Qatar – 410 (420); Kuwait – 270 (140);
Oman – 250 (270) and Bahrain – 60 (60); giving an OP TELIC total of 6,690 (6,400).

04 Dec 07. Afghanistan: OP HERRICK. A Trooper from The Honourable Artillery Company, serving with the Brigade Reconnaissance Force, was killed when his vehicle was caught in an explosion in Helmand Province on 4 Dec 07. UK deaths since the start of Operations in October 2001 thus rose to 85, of whom 56 have been classified as Killed in Action and three as Died of Wounds sustained in action. (MoD, 4 Dec 07.)
From 1 Jan 06 to 15 Nov 07, 303 personnel were categorised as Wounded in Action and 769 were aeromedically evacuated. (MoD, 3 Dec 07.) From 1 to 15 Nov 07, the figures were 24 and 39.
There are around 39 languages spoken in Afghanis

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