NEWS IN BRIEF
25 Apr 08. Iraq: OP TELIC. From 1 Jan 06 to 31 Mar 08, 312 personnel were categorised as Wounded in Action and 1,402 were aeromedically evacuated. (MoD, 25 Apr 08.) From 16 to 31 Mar 08, the figures were five and 22.
“The Government of Iraq is clearly winning its battle to restore law and order in Basrah.” (Quoted by the
MoD, 21 Apr 08.)
“The mission of UK Forces in Southern Iraq is to support the Government of Iraq and their Security Forces….” (Ministerial Answer (MA), 21 Apr 08.)
“UK Forces have provided a range of support to recent Iraqi Security Force Operations against criminal elements in Basrah….” (MA, 21 Apr 08.)
There are nine serving and six retired UK civilian Police Officers seconded to Iraq. (MA, 21 Apr 08.)
There has been media debate regarding the security situation in Basrah. (MoD, 24 Apr 08.)
Bomb disposal teams have been helping their Iraqi counterparts destroy hundreds of Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) and other munitions recovered from Basrah City recently. (MoD, 24 Apr 08.)
The Defence Secretary announced the next roulement (OP TELIC 12) which is to see 4 Mechanised Brigade replaced by 7 Armoured Brigade in early June 2008. Overall numbers are to remain at around 4,000, including some 220 Reservists. Force levels “will be kept under review”. (MoD, 24 Apr 08.)
Comment: The Defence Secretary has indicated that “the focus of UK Forces” is on completing the task of training the 14th (Iraqi Army) Division in Basrah, while noting that the Division is “still months away from becoming fully operational”.
The Defence Secretary’s OP TELIC 12 announcement is recorded in Hansard for 24 Apr 08 as a Written Ministerial Statement. A complete list of the units involved in OP TELIC 12 is included in the Statement.
(Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 0817, 28 Apr 08)
21 Apr 08. Afghanistan: OP HERRICK. A Trooper (i.e. Private) from The Queen’s Royal Lancers was killed on 21 Apr 08 when his vehicle hit a mine when returning to Camp Bastion. UK deaths since the start of Operations thus rose to 94, of whom 60 have been classified as Killed in Action and eight as Died of Wounds. (MOD, 21 Apr 08.)
From 1 Jan 06 to 31 Mar 08, 347 personnel were categorised as Wounded in Action and 954 were aeromedically evacuated. (MoD, 25 Apr 08.) From 16 to 31 Mar 08, the figures were four and 26.
There are nine serving and one retired UK civilian Police Officers seconded to Afghanistan. (MA, 21 Apr 08.)
There are 39 Operational Mentor and Liaison Teams (OMLT) which mentor Afghan National Army personnel, 18% (i.e. seven) of which are British-led. (MA, 21 Apr 08.)
Comment: The All Party Parliamentary Group for the Army hosted a reception for Officers and Soldiers of 52 Infantry Brigade on 21 Apr 08 in Westminster Hall. The event was in appreciation of those who had served on OP HERRICK between November 2007 and April 2008. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 0817, 28 Apr 08)
25 Apr 08. Gun smuggling ‘common’ in UK army. Two former soldiers who were jailed for their involvement in a gun smuggling ring have said the practice is common in the British army. Shane Pleasant and Ben Whitfield were in the Third Battalion, the Yorkshire Regiment, when they helped to smuggle weapons from Iraq into Europe. They said if soldiers had the right contacts it was easy to smuggle weapons out of countries. The MoD said there was no evidence such guns were used in crimes in the UK. The two soldiers told BBC Radio 5 Live that weapons could be obtained in Iraq or Afghanistan, either by buying or stealing from locals and foreign police. Both soldiers said that with the right contacts it is easy to smuggle the weapons into the UK, but both the Ministry of Defence and the Association of Chief Police Officers said there is little cause for concern. The Ministry of Defence says there is no evidence that any guns used in crimes have been smuggled here by soldiers, while ACPO said the incidents of soldiers smu