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NEWS IN BRIEF

NEWS IN BRIEF

EUROPE

07 Jul 08. Iraq: OP TELIC. Military Transition Teams (MiTT) have been instrumental in improving the security situation across Basrah province. British MiTT are working in and around Basrah City with elements of the Iraqi 14th Division.
(MoD, 7 Jul 08.)
The Chancellor has already announced that the estimated cost of Operations in Iraq and Afghanistan will be at least £2,000m in 2008/09. (Ministerial Answer (MA), 8 Jul 08.)
“We’re here to consolidate security.” (Major General B W B White-Spunner, 9 Jul 08.)
Command of Combined Task Force 158 has passed from the Royal Navy to the US Navy. (MoD, 10 Jul 08.) [Command is shared between Australia, the UK and the US on a four to six months rotation.]
Comment: The MoD agreed £2.83m in compensation for the relatives of Baha Mousa and others who
had suffered while in British military custody. A spokesman said (10 Jul 08): “….this does not excuse
that, during 2003 and 2004, a very small minority [of soldiers in Iraq] committed acts of abuse and we condemn their actions.”. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 0828, 14 Jul 08)

07 Jul 08. Afghanistan: OP HERRICK. There were 102 direct engagements between ISAF forces and insurgents in Helmand Province during February, 127 in March and 90 in April 2008. (MA, 7 Jul 08.)
Between 1 Feb and 12 Jun 08 there were 176 improvised explosive device attacks recorded in Regional Command (South) and 21 suicide attacks. (MA, 7 Jul 08.)
The Defence Secretary confirmed that 3 Commando Brigade, Royal Marines, is to replace 16 Air Assault Brigade as the lead formation in Afghanistan from October 2008 until April 2009. New force elements
deploying include: 42 Commando RM, 45 Commando RM, 1st The Queen’s Dragoon Guards, 29 Commando
Regiment RA, 24 Commando Engineer Regiment, 1st Bn The Rifles & 2nd Bn The Royal Gurkha Rifles. (Written Statement 8 Jul 08 – a full list of units/sub-units deploying can be found in Hansard.)
A British Apache helicopter fired on a friendly forces patrol in Southern Afghanistan on 9 Jul 08. Nine members of the patrol were wounded; three seriously. An investigation is underway. (MoD, 10 Jul 08.)
Comment: The House of Commons debated ‘Reconstructing Afghanistan’ on 10 Jul 08. As recorded in Hansard, the debate starts in Column 489WH and the Minister’s summing-up in Column 531WH. Although useful for background information, the debate is only of limited value to the Defence community. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 0828, 14 Jul 08)

15 Jul 08. FRES in perspective. Following our piece last week (See: BATTLESPACE UPDATE Vol.10 ISSUE 27, 10 Jul 2008, FRES – TIME FOR AN NAO REPORT), it is worth looking at the Project and its costs from another angle. Taking a starting point of 1980 for the MoD to procure a new fleet of APCs, and its estimated cost to date of some £600m, let’s look at other vehicle projects. Since 1980 the SUV IPT has procured a new fleet of Wolf Land Rovers, a fleet of BV 206 and Viking vehicles for the Royal Marines, Pinzgauers, RB-44s, WMIKs, Jackals, Mastiff, Vectors, SNATCH, Supacat ATV, Bushmaster and Cougars to mention the large procurements, the ‘C’ Vehicle fleet has been renewed under the ALC Requirement which includes Engineer equipment, the existing Defender fleet is being upgraded under Tithonous with DSG. At the heavier end the General Support Vehicle IPT has purchased a fleet of 2000 DROPS vehicles from Leyland DAF and Foden, a new fleet of Leyland DAF 4 tonne vehicles and replaced its whole fleet under the Support Vehicle contract with MAN, purchased a fleet of Oshkosh Wheeled tankers as well as Oshkosh HETs under the PFI with KBR, refurbished its Seddon Atkinson fleet and bought a range of new specialist vehicles. The MoD has also purchased under a UOR a fleet of upgraded 432s, the Bulldog from BAE Systems and DSG and the Close Armour IPT has purchased a fleet of Panther vehicles. All this for probably £3.5bn including cots of contracts. The cost to i

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