NEWS IN BRIEF
28 Apr 08. Iraq: OP TELIC. On returning from a visit to Basrah, the Chief of the General Staff wrote an open letter to all ranks in the Army assuring them that the Operation in Iraq “remains on its broad track”. (MoD, 28 Apr 08.)
The approximate cost of transporting a Mastiff vehicle to Iraq by commercial aircraft is £41,600. (Ministerial Answer (MA), 28 Apr 08.)
28% of fatalities of UK Service personnel in Iraq are the result of improvised explosive devices or mines.
(MA, 28 Apr 08.)
“In Baghdad, we have over 200 Senior Officers and supporting staff working in the Coalition Headquarters. In the South, the primary focus of our Forces is now on training and mentoring the 14th Division of the Iraqi Army….” (Defence Secretary, 28 Apr 08.)
“The security situation in Southern Iraq is stable, but has a fragility.” (Defence Secretary, 28 Apr 08.)
Since 2003 the British have initiated, overseen and directed 15 reconstruction projects in the vicinity of Umm Qasr to a value of approximately £500,000. (MA, 29 Apr 08.)
The Commander of Task Force 158, currently Commodore D L Potts RN, is in charge of policing the waters of the Northern Arabian Gulf. (MoD, 30 Apr 08.)
The strength of the Iraqi Army’s 10th Division is 11,300 and the 14th Division is 8,400. (MA, 1 May 08.)
The Operation by Iraqi Security Forces in Basrah continues to bring improvements in and around the City. (MoD, 1 May 08.) This view was endorsed by Major General B W B White-Spunner in an interview on Radio 4. (MoD, 2 May 08.)
Comment: The boundary between Iran and Iraq was agreed in the Constantinople Protocol of 17 Nov 1913, although this was called into question by the HMS CORNWALL incident in 2007. The FCO’s definition of the boundary can be found in House of Lords Hansard for 29 Apr 08, at Column WA19. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 08178, 05 May 08)
03 May 08. Afghanistan: OP HERRICK. A soldier from The Household Cavalry Regiment was killed on 2 May 08 when his vehicle hit a mine while on a routine patrol in Helmand Province. (MoD, 3 May 08.) UK deaths since the start of Operations thus rose to 95.
“The security situation in Afghanistan is stable if fragile in places.” (Defence Secretary, 25 & 28 Apr 08.)
Both Task Force Helmand and the US 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit (24 MEU) are under the control of the Commander of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). (MA, 28 Apr 08.)
The approximate cost of transporting a Mastiff vehicle to Afghanistan by aircraft is £55,000. (MA, 28 Apr 08.)
27% of fatalities of UK Service personnel in Afghanistan are the result of improvised explosive devices or mines. (MA, 28 Apr 08.)
UK Forces from Task Force Helmand were joined by US Marines from 24 MEU in launching an Operation in Southern Helmand on 28 Apr 08. (NATO, 29 & 30 Apr 08.)
Comment: Responding to a question about the NATO Summit in Bucharest, the Defence Secretary said
(28 Apr 08) that President Sarkozy had confirmed the deployment of an additional French Battalion to Eastern Afghanistan. A number of other allies including Poland, Romania and Slovakia had also announced increased troop contributions. Canada confirmed that a presence would be maintained in Kandahar until 2011.
The Government Response to the International Development Committee’s Report on ‘Reconstructing Afghanistan’ was published on 1 May 08, as HC 509 for £6:00. Although of limited interest to the Defence community, Civil-Military co-operation is discussed as is the feasibility of extending Military Commanders’ tours of duty (to, perhaps, one year). (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 08178, 05 May 08)
29 Apr 08. Kosovo: Operational Reserve Force (ORF) Deployment. The Defence Secretary announced (29 Apr 08) that 2nd Bn The Rifles is to deploy to Kosovo by 31 May 08, as part of the UK commitment to the NATO/EU pan-Balkans ORF. The Defence Secretary has agreed to deploy the UK’s ORF Battalion until 30 Jun 08.
Comment: The ORF com