NEWS IN BRIEF
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17 Feb 09. Iraq: OP TELIC. From 1 Jan 06 to 31 Jan 09, 315 personnel were categorised as Wounded in Action and 1,785 were aeromedically evacuated. (MoD, 17 Feb 09.) From 16 to 31 Jan 09 the figures were nil and 31.
2 Squadron has assumed the Tornado GR4 commitment from 9 Squadron RAF, conducting close air support and reconnaissance tasks. (RAF Update, 15 Feb 09.)
Iraqi Army Engineers have been trained in the use of the Mini-Andros 2 explosive ordnance disposal robot. (MoD, 17 Feb 09.)
Comment: In a magazine interview (‘Desider’, February 2009), the Chief of Defence Matériel drew attention to the equipment ‘clearing process’, which is particularly concerned with movement plans on return to the UK. Planning activity is expected to be at its height during February and March 2009.
16 Feb 09. Afghanistan: OP HERRICK. A Marine from 45 Commando died of wounds following an ambush in Helmand Province on 14 Feb 09. A Lance Corporal from 1st Bn The Rifles was killed during the assault of an enemy position in the Nawa District on
16 Feb 09. UK deaths since the start of Operations in October 2001 thus rose to 145, of whom 116 were killed as a result of hostile action. (MoD, 16 Feb 09.)
From 1 Jan 06 to 31 Jan 09, 573 personnel were categorised as Wounded in Action and 1,716 were aeromedically evacuated. (MoD, 17 Feb 09.) From 16 to 31 Jan 09 the figures were six and 49.
The feedback from ground commanders suggests that the Nimrod MR2 contribution to the overall ‘Air’ effort is “extremely positive”. (RAF Update, 15 Feb 09.)
The Foreign Secretary spent a day (17 Feb 09) in Helmand Province, meeting military and civilian staff as well as Afghan leaders. (FCO, 17 Feb 09.)
OP DIESEL involved over 700 personnel and resulted in the disruption of enemy command and control, logistics and IED (improvised explosive device) facilities in the Upper Sangin Valley as well as the capture of four narcotics factories. (MoD, 18 Feb 09.)
Comment: Prior to the meeting of NATO Defence Ministers (Item 6), the Defence Secretary gave interviews to the BBC and to the ‘Financial Times’. A major theme was the lack of interest in Afghanistan being shown by some European countries. Mr Hutton also said that the UK had not, as yet, been asked to increase troop numbers in Afghanistan. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 09/09, 23 Feb 09)
01 Mar 09. Iraq: OP TELIC. From 1 Jan 06 to 15 Feb 09, 315 personnel were categorised as Wounded in Action and 1,800 were aeromedically evacuated. (MoD, 6 Mar 09.) From 1 to 15 Feb 09 the figures were nil and 15.
Transition planning continues as the dates for Transfer of Authority to US Forces approach. (RAF Update,1 Mar 09.)
51 Squadron RAF Regiment and 2622 (Highland) Squadron RAuxAF returned to RAF Lossiemouth on 2 Mar 09. (MoD, 3 Mar 09.)
Comment: During a visit to Basrah, the Foreign Secretary was reported as saying that the UK will start withdrawing troops from Iraq on 31 Mar 09. ‘The Sunday Telegraph’ (1 Mar 09) also stated that all military Operations in Southern Iraq will cease on 31 Ma