NEWS IN BRIEF
17 Sep 08. Iraq: OP TELIC. From 1 Jan 06 to 31 Aug 08, 315 personnel were categorised as Wounded in Action and 1,583 were aeromedically evacuated. (MoD, 17 Sep 08.) From 16 to 31 Aug 08 the figures were nil and 21.
The Royal Military Police have conducted approximately 400 investigations into incidents involving members of the Armed Forces in Iraq. (Ministerial Answer (MA), 15 Sep 08.)
During an interview, the Chief of the Defence Staff said that he “wouldn’t want to put a specific timescale” on how quickly British troops might return home from Iraq. (BBC 2 TV, 16 Sep 08.)
The Defence Secretary announced the next roulement of UK Forces (OP TELIC 13), starting in November 2008. HQ 20th Armoured Brigade is to take over command of UK Forces, from 7th Armoured Brigade, in early December 2008 and is to provide most of the units. Major units deploying include: The Queen’s Royal Hussars, 35 Engineer Regiment, 1st Bn The Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment, 1st Bn The Yorkshire Regiment and 5th Bn The Rifles. It is anticipated that 175 call-out notices for Reservists will be issued in order to fill some 150 posts during OP TELIC 13. (MoD, 17 Sep 08.)
Comment: A list of units and sub-units deploying on OP TELIC 13 is available to subscribers on request.
13 Sep 08. Afghanistan: OP HERRICK. A Lance Corporal from 20th Bn The Parachute Regiment was killed while on patrol in Helmand Province on 13 Sep 08. UK deaths since the start of Operations in October 2001 thus rose to 120, of whom 93 were killed as a result of hostile action. (MoD, 13 Sep 08.) From 1 Jan 06 to 31 Aug 08, 453 personnel were categorised as Wounded in Action and 1,302 were aeromedically evacuated. (MoD, 17 Sep 08.) From 16 to 31 Aug 08 the figures were 20 and 38.
Standard tour lengths for the vast majority of personnel are to remain at six months. (MoD, 15 Sep 08.) As at 31 Jul 08, 18 countries were seconding 138 personnel to the EU Police Mission (EUPOL) of which the UK contribution was 10. (MA, 15 Sep 08.)
As at 28 Mar 08, the strength of the Afghan Police was approximately 78,000. “While the Force suffers from major problems such as corruption and low levels of literacy, its performance is improving.” (MA, 15 Sep 08.)
During an interview, the Chief of the Defence Staff said in respect of Afghanistan that: “We’ve got to be very careful about using terms [such as] winning and losing and victory and defeat….”. (BBC 2 TV, 16 Sep 08.)
The UK Government does not collate figures for civilian casualties in Afghanistan. (Defence Secretary,
17 Sep 08.)
Comment: Responding to extensive newspaper speculation about additional British troops for Afghanistan, the MoD stated (19 Sep 08) that Force levels are kept under “regular review”. Around 7,800 Service personnel are in Afghanistan and, as announced on 16 Jun 08, an extra 230 will be deployed by “early 2009”.
18 Sep 08. The first UK Tranche 2 twin-seat Typhoon is now in the final stages of assembly at BAE Systems Warton. The Tranche 2 Typhoon will provide the customer with an increased capability thanks to the improved speed and power of the aircraft’s computers combined with the stronger airframe to enable the aircraft to carry heavier weapons. The major units of the aircraft (BT017) have arrived at Warton’s final assembly facility after being manufactured in the partner nations’ facilities across Europe – the front fuselage is built at the BAE Systems Samlesbury site in Lancashire. Once delivered to the RAF, in late 2009, the jet will be used to train the next generation of Typhoon pilots. This latest milestone on Typhoon comes hot on the heels of other major achievements on the programme. On 1 July, the RAF declared Typhoon multi-role capable – this means the aircraft can deliver both an air-to-air and an air-to-ground capability – making it the most flexible aircraft in operation today. Also in the last few weeks, the first two single seat Tranche 2 aircraft made their maiden flights