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NEWS IN BRIEF

NEWS IN BRIEF

EUROPE

08 Sep 08. Iraq: OP TELIC. HMS BLYTH and ATHERSTONE visited the Iraqi deep water port of Umm Qasr, “highlighting the continued security improvements in Southern Iraq”. (MoD, 8 Sep 08.)
Iraqi soldiers completed the first Junior Non-Commissioned Officer course at the former Naval Academy, with instructors from 2nd Bn The Royal Anglian Regiment. (MoD, 10 Sep 08.)
“One of the main roles for UK troops in Southern Iraq is the mentoring of their Iraqi counterparts from the
14th Infantry Division….” (MoD, 12 Sep 08.)
10 Royal Gibraltar Regiment soldiers have completed the first three months of their six month tour and a further nine of their colleagues arrived in Iraq recently. (MoD, 12 Sep 08.)
Comment: On 11 Sep 08 the MoD issued a strong rebuttal of an article which had appeared in ‘The Times’. The author of the article suggested that UK Forces were only spectators during the Iraqi-led offensive against Basrah militias during April 2008. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 0836, 16 Sep 08)

09 Sep 08. Afghanistan: OP HERRICK. A Warrant Officer Class 2 from 11 Explosive Ordnance Disposal Regiment was killed in an explosion in Musa Qaleh on 10 Sep 08. A soldier from 2nd Bn The Parachute Regiment was killed while on patrol in Helmand Province on 12 Sep 08. UK deaths since the start of Operations in October 2001 thus rose to 119, of whom 92 were killed as a result of hostile action. (MoD, 12 Sep 08.) The last of the British troops guarding the convoy on its return from Kajaki returned to base on 8 Sep 08, marking the end of OP OQAB TSUKA. (MoD, 9 Sep 08.) Brigadier G K Messenger DSO OBE has replaced Brigadier F H R Howes OBE as the Commander of 3 Commando Brigade, Royal Marines. Brigadier Howes was injured whilst off duty. (MoD, 11 Sep 08.)
Comment: According to Human Rights Watch, 540 Afghan civilians died during fighting in the first seven months of 2008. Taliban were said to be responsible for 367 of those deaths; 119 Afghans died in US/NATO air strikes and 54 in other US/NATO attacks. (NATO-caused civilian deaths in 2007 were said to have been 434, including 321 from air strikes.)
There are now 38 nations contributing to ISAF; Ukraine having joined although the representatives from Jordan, Singapore and Switzerland have left.
AFGHANISTAN: INTERNATIONAL SECURITY ASSISTANCE FORCE (ISAF)
TROOP CONTRIBUTING NATIONS (TCN) AS AT 1 SEP 08
United States, 17,790; Hungary, 200; United Kingdom, 8,380; Lithuania, 200; Germany, 3,220; New Zealand, 155; France, 2,660; Albania, 140; Canada 2,500
Macedonia (FYRM), 135; Italy 2,350; Greece, 130; Netherlands, 1,770; Estonia, 120; Poland, 1,130; Finland, 80; Australia, 1,080; Latvia, 70; Spain, 780; Slovakia, 70; Denmark, 750; Slovenia, 70; Romania, 730; Azerbaijan, 45; Turkey, 725; Portugal, 40; Czech Republic; 490; Luxembourg, 9; Bulgaria, 460; Iceland, 8; Norway, 420; Ireland, 7; Belgium, 390; Ukraine, 3; Sweden, 290; Austria, 1; Croatia, 200; Georgia, 1. TOTAL: 47,599(Source: ISAF.)(Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 0836, 16 Sep 08)

Sep 08. Weapon Locating Radar (WLR): Possible Replacement. Defence Equipment and Support has invited ‘expressions of interest’ from companies able to meet the MoD’s requirement for a future WLR. It is anticipated that no more than three companies will be invited to tender on 30 Apr 09, prior to an in-service date of 2012.
Comment: 5 Regiment, Royal Artillery currently operates two types of WLR: the short-range MAMBA (Mobile Artillery Monitoring Battlefield Radar) and the longer-range COBRA (Counter Battery Radar). The acquisition of four MAMBA from Ericsson for £30m was announced on 20 Jan 04. 29 COBRA were produced by Euro-Art for France (10), Germany (12) and the UK (seven) under a production contract announced on 9 Mar 98. The seven COBRA in UK service were worth £85m to Racal. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 0836, 16 Sep 08)

19 Sep 08. Sources close to BATTLESPACE suggest that the Tactical Sup

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