NEWS IN BRIEF
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17 Mar 09. Iraq: OP TELIC. From 1 Jan 06 to 28 Feb 09, 315 personnel were categorised as Wounded in Action and 1,817 were aeromedically evacuated. (MoD, 17 Mar 09.) From 16 to 28 Feb 09 the figures were nil and 17.
“Considerable effort is continuing….to ensure a smooth Transfer of Authority to US Forces as the UK mission comes to an end and the new US mission begins.” (RAF Update, 15 Mar 09.)
Planning for the withdrawal of UK Forces continues and any proposal to gift equipment to Iraq “would follow established procedures”. (Defence Secretary, 16 Mar 09.)
Comment: The MoD recorded (16 Mar 09) a visit to the UK by the Director of Basrah Museum and two Iraqi undergraduates. The Director was particularly interested to learn how historic sites, such as those on Salisbury Plain, can be protected in a military environment. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 09/13, 23 Mar 09)
15 Mar 09. Afghanistan: OP HERRICK. Two Corporals from the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers were killed when their patrol vehicle was struck by an explosive device to the west of Garmsir on 15 Mar 09. UK deaths since the start of Operations in October 2001 thus rose to 152, of whom 123 were killed as a result of hostile action. (MoD, 15 Mar 09.)
From 1 Jan 06 to 28 Feb 09, 599 personnel were categorised as Wounded in Action and 1,773 were aeromedically evacuated. (MoD, 17 Mar 09.) From 16 to 28 Feb 09 the figures were 15 and 30.
A Royal Engineers Explosive Ordnance Disposal Team is assisting with explosive hazard awareness training for Afghans in Nad e-Ali. (MoD, 17 Mar 09.)
A new, 37 metre long bridge built by Royal Engineers in Garmsir was opened. (MoD, 19 Mar 09.)
Over 500 Royal Marines and Afghan National Army soldiers completed a month-long Operation throughout the ‘Fish Hook’ area of the Southern Helmand Valley. (MoD, 20 Mar 09.)
Comment: An MoD report (19 Mar 09) noted that the deployment of extra US troops will have “a profound impact” on British Operations in Helmand. Camp Bastion is destined to grow to nearly three times its present size. As well as extra accommodation, cafés and gymnasia there are plans to upgrade the UK hospital as a joint UK/US facility. The amount of rubbish to be burnt is expected to increase from 30 to 90 tonnes each week. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 09/13, 23 Mar 09)
Mar 09. Ration Packs: New Contents. New hot-weather rations packs are being purchased for trials in Afghanistan. Over 300,000 24-hour multi-climate rations (MCR) include 20 new menus for general use plus six special menus (vegetarian, halal and Sikh/Hindu). As a result of selection panels held in 2008, the MCR sees many changes of content:-
* No Longer included: Chocolate bars; Pâté; Brown and fruit biscuits; Corned beef hash; Treacle pudding; Oatmeal biscuits and Powdered soup.
* Now replaced by: Energy bars; Pasta pouches; Shrewsbury and ginger biscuits; Muesli; Rice pudding; Fruits in a pouch; Soups in a pouch; Cookies; Chocolate chip cake; Drink flavourings and Chewing gum.