NEWS IN BRIEF
19 May 08. Iraq: OP TELIC. From 1 Jan 06 to 30 Apr 08, 312 personnel were categorised as Wounded in Action and 1,444 were aeromedically evacuated. (MoD, 20 May 08.) From 16 to 30 Apr 08, the figures were nil and 20.
“….the strategy is working and significant progress has been made across Iraq in improving security.” (Defence Secretary, 19 May 08.)
212 Service personnel have been categorised as very seriously injured/seriously injured whilst deployed on Operations in Iraq during the five years from 2003 to 2007. (Ministerial Answer (MA), 19 May 08.)
The Government of Iraq is negotiating with Kuwait and Iran to agree maritime boundaries. (MA, 19 May 08.)
HMS ATHERSTONE and BLYTH took part in a mine clearance Operation in the Khawr Abd Allah waterway. (MoD, 20 May 08.)
Troops serving with 4 Mechanised Brigade are preparing to return to the UK. (MoD, 22 May 08.)
Comment: The Defence Secretary visited Basrah (22 May 08) and concluded that the City was “showing real signs of progress”. Mr Browne has visited Basrah nine times in the past two years.
19 May 08. Afghanistan: OP HERRICK. A soldier (whose Regiment was not disclosed) was killed on 19 May 08 in an explosion in the Musa Qaleh area. UK deaths since the start of Operations in October 2001 thus rose to 96, of whom 61 have been classified as Killed in Action and nine as Died of Wounds. (MoD, 19 May 08.)
From 1 Jan 06 to 30 Apr 08, 355 personnel were categorised as Wounded in Action and 1,005 were aeromedically evacuated. (MoD, 20 May 08.) From 16 to 30 Apr 08, the figures were three and 25.
104 Service personnel have been categorised as very seriously injured/seriously injured whilst deployed on Operations in Afghanistan during the seven years from 2001 to 2007. (MA, 19 May 08.)
“We keep the size and scale of the UK military commitment to Afghanistan under regular review….”. (Defence Secretary, 22 May 08.)
Comment: The current (21 May 08) edition of ‘Jane’s Defence Weekly’ includes an interview with the Commander of 16 Air Assault Brigade, Brigadier M A P Carleton-Smith. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 0821, 26 May 08)
20 May 08. Cyprus: OP TOSCA. The Armed Forces’ Minister said (20 May 08) that the mission of the 250-plus Reservists due to deploy to Cyprus in October 2008 will be to contribute to the implementation of the UN (UNFICYP) mandate. During the Reserves Debate (Item 4) the Defence Equipment Minister referred to the deployment, saying that “by utilising our Reserves in this way, we are freeing up Regulars to be deployed in other Operations”.
Comment: The Reservists for the above deployment are to be selected from within 2 Division, mainly from 32 Signal Regiment. Once deployed, those concerned will wear a UN blue beret with a UN cap badge. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 0821, 26 May 08)
23 May 08. MoD insists Nimrod ‘safe to fly’. Defence Secretary Des Browne has insisted RAF Nimrod aircraft are safe to fly despite a coroner’s call for the entire fleet to be grounded. The coroner, Andrew Walker, was speaking at the end of an inquest into the deaths of 14 servicemen in a Nimrod crash in Afghanistan in 2006. He said the fleet had “never been airworthy” as he recorded narrative verdicts at the Oxford hearing. But Mr Browne said changes made to the Nimrod meant it was now safe for crews. In a statement, Mr Browne said: “The death of 14 brave servicemen in Afghanistan nearly two years ago was a profound and tragic accident, and my thoughts and sympathies are with their families today. “The safety and security of our service personnel is an absolute priority for me. (Source: BBC)
24 May 08. The chief executive of EADS, Louis Gallois, called on the state to help it compete against arch rival Boeing. “Support from governments is definitely an issue,” he said in an interview published on Saturday in the Berliner Zeitung. “Boeing received subsidies of 800m dollars from the U.S. government for research and tec