NEWS IN BRIEF
04 Feb 08. Iraq: OP TELIC. From 1 Jan 06 to 15 Jan 08, 295 personnel were categorised as Wounded in Action and 1,320 were aeromedically evacuated. (MoD, 4 Feb 08.) From 1 to 15 Jan 08, the figures were nil and 16.
The Defence Secretary said (4 Feb 08) that the units serving in Iraq are listed on the MoD website (www.mod.uk), but the major units are: 4th Mechanised Brigade HQ and Signal Squadron, The Royal Dragoon Guards, 21 Engineer Regt, 1st Bn Scots Guards, 1st Bn The Royal Regt of Scotland, 1st Bn The Duke of Lancaster’s Regt and 1st Bn The Mercian Regt.
Comment: The Foreign Secretary said (4 Feb 08) that over 50 UK-based civilian officials worked in the UK’s Embassy in Baghdad and in the associated Basrah and Erbil offices. Staff numbers are not expected to change significantly over the next three years. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 0807, 11 Feb 08)
04 Feb 08. Afghanistan: OP HERRICK. From 1 Jan 06 to 15 Jan 08, 319 personnel were categorised as Wounded in Action and 844 were aeromedically evacuated. (MoD, 4 Feb 08.) From 1 to 15 Jan 08, the figures were one and 10.
The Armed Forces’ Minister opened a ‘state of the art’ Field Hospital at Camp Bastion, currently staffed by
243 Field Hospital (Volunteers). (MoD, 6 Feb 08.)
The Defence Secretary announced (6 Feb 08) plans for 16 Air Assault Brigade to replace 52 Infantry Brigade in April 2008 and for 3 Commando Brigade, Royal Marines, to take over in October 2008. Overall force levels will be broadly unchanged.
The Foreign Secretary visited ISAF HQ in Kabul with the US Secretary of State (7 Feb 08). The two Secretaries held a joint Press conference with President Karzai.
Comment: A comprehensive list of units/sub-units going to Afghanistan in April is available to subscribers on request (by e-mail or facsimile). The Defence Secretary’s announcement attracted a remarkable amount of misreporting, particularly concerning requests for “600 additional soldiers” and for “extra firepower”. Such media nonsense should be ignored.
A soldier “living in Camp Bastion has access to four super cookhouses, seven gyms, six internet suites, six ‘phone cabins, a medical centre, an EFI shop and a Pizza Hut….”. (Quoted in ‘Soldier’, February 2008.) (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 0807, 11 Feb 08)
11 Feb 08. France Breaks Acquisition Mold With Scorpion. Defense companies will get a chance in a couple of weeks to make a live pitch for a leading position in the French Army’s drive to replace a creaking fleet with 2,600 new armored vehicles under the Scorpion program, a procurement official said. Scorpion is a collaborative effort by the Army, the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Délégation Générale pour l’Armement (DGA) procurement office to provide battlefield mobility on the ground, combined with greater protection and network-enabled capabilities. The program is billed as a transformation of the combat capability and procurement process. As part of the assessment for Scorpion’s first-stage
procurement, the authorities will “receive companies at the end of February,” the DGA official said. They will be asked to expand on proposals submitted in June on how they see the program could be best managed. Scorpion is conceived as a system of systems, encompassing tanks, armored personnel carriers, the Tiger attack helicopter and battlefield management systems down to the Felin infantry kit. EADS Defense & Security has offered services as systems integrator, a
spokeswoman said. Thales is expected to stake its claim as a systems specialist, industry executives said. The Scorpion program runs through 2025 and is estimated at €10.3bn ($15.2bn), with €6bn earmarked for the first two stages, the procurement official said. France may also buy about 300 light tanks, dubbed Engin Blindé de Reconnaissance et de Combat (EBRC), to replace 256 AMX10RC and 180 Sagaie wheeled vehicles, the procurement official said. The 2,600 other new vehicles, of vario