NEWS IN BRIEF
09 Jun 08. Iraq: OP TELIC. The MoD believes that eight members of the UK Armed Forces have been killed as a result of ‘blue-on-blue’ incidents in Iraq since 2003. (Ministerial Answer (MA), 9 Jun 08.)
HMS CHATHAM and other Coalition and Iraqi vessels continually patrol a three kilometres exclusion zone around each of the oil platforms while providing security to the congested area of the Gulf. (MoD, 10 Jun 08.)
Iraqi Security Forces seized large amounts of weapons and ammunition in Basrah during the past week.
(MoD, 11 Jun 08.)
UK personnel have been attached to the Iraqi Army and chain of command since early April 2008. UK Forces also provide assistance to the Iraqi Army in the planning and conduct of Operations. Efforts to help develop the Iraqi Navy continue. (MA, 12 Jun 08.)
Coroners’ inquests have concluded that two Service personnel have died since 2003 as a result of heat related conditions while serving in Iraq. (MA, 12 Jun 08.)
Comment: Media speculation about the withdrawal of UK personnel from Iraq continued during the past week. It is anticipated that a definitive Government announcement will be made before Parliament rises for the Summer Recess on 23 Jul 08. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 0824, 16 June 08)
12 Jun 08. Afghanistan: OP HERRICK. Three Private soldiers from 2nd Bn The Parachute Regiment were killed on 8 Jun 08 by “a suicide explosive device” in the Upper Sangin Valley. A Lance Corporal and a Private, also from 2 PARA, were killed by enemy fire on 12 Jun 08 in the Upper Gereshk Valley. UK deaths since the start of Operations in October 2001 thus rose to 102, of whom 76 have been killed as a result of hostile action. (MoD, 12 Jun 08.)
The MoD believes that five members of the UK Armed Forces have been killed as a result of ‘blue-on-blue’ incidents in Afghanistan since 2001. (MA, 9 Jun 08.)
Over £3,500m has been approved for Urgent Operational Requirements in Afghanistan (and Iraq) since Operations began. Some 85% of this expenditure relates to force protection. £50m has been approved for Infantry equipment. (MoD, 10 Jun 08.)
There were 42 rocket attacks on Kandahar Airfield in 2006, 32 in 2007 and 15 in 2008 up to 31 May 08.
(MA, 10 Jun 08.)
Comment: A US air strike reportedly killed a Major and 10 Pakistani soldiers on 10 Jun 08 in the Mohmand
area of Pakistan on the Afghan border. Two US Air Force F-15E fighter-bombers and a B-1 bomber were said to have dropped about 12 bombs during a ‘hot pursuit’ Operation. The US authorities claimed that the area contained bases for insurgents. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 0824, 16 June 08)
12 Jun 08. Future Navy and RAF fighter flies for the first time. The successful first flight of a supersonic fighter jet, the next generation of Navy and RAF jump-jets, took place on 11 June at Lockheed Martin’s Texas plant. The F35B, a stealthy fighter-bomber, made a conventional take-off and landing, and climbed to 15,000 feet for a series of handling, engine and other systems checks. It landed successfully after 46 minutes in the air. Air Commodore Mark Green, MoD Joint Combat Aircraft (JCA) team leader said, “This is a great achievement by Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and BAE Systems and they should be congratulated for their endeavours. “This programme is constantly breaking new ground, and with the first flight milestone behind us, we look forward to the demonstration and associated flight test of the aircraft’s Harrier-like short take off and vertical landing capabilities in the coming months.” The supersonic stealthy fighter-bombers will form the next generation of Navy and RAF jump-jets and the F35B is one of three variants of the US Department of Defense Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) project. MoD is a partner in the JSF programme and is investing £1.8bn developing the aircraft. The F35B was flown by a British pilot, BAE Systems employee and former RAF Harrier pilot, Graham Tomlinson.
13 Jun 08.