NEWS IN BRIEF
23 Jul 08. Iraq: OP TELIC. From 1 Jan 06 to 30 Jun 08, 315 personnel were categorised as Wounded in Action and 1,514 were aeromedically evacuated. (MoD, 23 Jul 08.) From 16 to 30 Jun 08, the figures were one and 14.
In a Written Statement (21 Jul 08) the Defence Secretary gave further details of the Public Inquiry into the death of Baha Mousa, who died in Iraq in September 2003 while being detained by British soldiers.
“The security situation in Iraq has improved significantly since mid-2007 and, overall, acts of violence have reduced to levels last experienced in 2004.” (Ministerial Answer (MA), 21 Jul 08.)
Civilians deploying in support of Operations in Iraq receive an Iraqi culture brief, delivered by contracted Iraqis. (MA, 22 Jul 08.)
Iraqi soldiers, supported by troops from 1st Bn The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, uncovered a large arms cache on the outskirts of Basrah. (MoD, 23 Jul 08.)
Comment: As anticipated, the Prime Minister updated the House of Commons on “the latest developments in Iraq”. The statement is recorded in Hansard for 22 Jul 08, starting at Column 660. The Prime Minister said that he was aiming for “a long-term bilateral relationship with Iraq”, about which the Defence Secretary would report back to the House of Commons in the Autumn (of 2008).
The Defence Committee published (22 Jul 08) a Report on ‘UK Operations in Iraq and the Gulf’ which was able to conclude that “there had been an obvious and substantial improvement in security”. The Report is published as HC 982, for £8.50. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 08/30, 28 Jul 08)
26 Jul 08. Afghanistan: OP HERRICK. A Corporal from the Corps of Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers was killed when his patrol came under enemy fire in the Kajaki area of Helmand Province on 22 Jul 08. A Lance Corporal dog handler from the Royal Army Veterinary Corps and his dog died following an attack on their patrol in the Sangin area on 24 Jul 08. UK deaths since the start of Operations in October 2001 thus rose to 112, of whom 85 were killed as a result of hostile action. (MoD, 25/26 Jul 08.)
From 1 Jan 06 to 30 Jun 08, 380 personnel were categorised as Wounded in Action and 1,138 were aeromedically evacuated. (MoD, 23 Jul 08.) From 16 to 30 Jun 08, the figures were four and 40.
The MoD has a contract with a civilian supplier for helicopters to undertake logistics tasks. (MA, 21 Jul 08.)
“The security situation in Afghanistan is stable if fragile in places – particularly in the South and East of the Country.” (Defence Secretary, 21 Jul 08.)
The Government currently has 84 personnel deployed to work with the Police in Afghanistan. (MA, 21 Jul 08.)
There were 23 reported thefts of British military supplies in transit from Pakistan between 1 Sep 07 and
17 Jul 08. (MA, 22 Jul 08.)
Comment: 3 Commando Brigade is taking part in a large-scale Exercise on Salisbury Plain prior to its deployment in October 2008. Some 5,800 troops are involved, supported by fast jets and helicopters. Media coverage is anticipated for 30/31 Jul 08. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 08/30, 28 Jul 08)
26 Jul 08. The future of a vital new helicopter programme for Britain’s armed forces fighting in Afghanistan hangs in the balance this weekend amid rising speculation it will fall victim to the government’s cash crunch. The £1bn ($2bn) programme to replace the Lynx helicopters for the Army and Royal Navy will be discussed at a meeting of senior defence officials and service chiefs on Monday. Des Browne, secretary of state for defence, will chair the meeting. Senior defence sources said on Friday night cancellation of the programme in favour of buying a cheaper model was a serious option, but stressed that no final recommendation had been made. Scrapping Future Lynx would spark a political backlash and stoke concerns about the capability of British troops fighting in Afghanistan. Battlefield commanders in Iraq and Afghanistan have repea