NEWS IN BRIEF
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12 May 09. Iraq: OP TELIC. Commodore J A Morse RN assumed command of the Combined Task Force Iraqi Maritime (CTF IM) from
Rear Admiral T Cropper USN. CTF IM was established as a joint UK/US Task Force in January 2009, to develop the Iraqi Navy. The Iraqi Navy’s main concerns are the protection of territorial waters and offshore oil platforms. (MoD, 12 May 09.)
The task of moving equipment and vehicles back to the UK has begun. Around 1,000 logistic specialists are divided between the Basrah Contingency Operating Base and the Kuwait Support Facility at Camp Buehring. Most of the equipment will be moved through Shuaiba Port in Kuwait for transportation by one of the MoD’s
Ro-Ro vessels. (MoD, 15 May 09.)
Comment: An article in ‘Desider’ (May 2009) stated that over 1,300 vehicles will have been transported by November 2009, along with the majority of materiel. A considerable amount of infrastructure is being sold to the US Forces occupying the Operating Base at Basrah. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 10/19, 18 May 09)
14 May 09. Afghanistan: OP HERRICK. A Lieutenant from 1st Bn Welsh Guards died on 12 May 09 from wounds sustained on 9 May 09 while on patrol outside Check Point Haji Alem. A Marine from the Armoured Support Group, Royal Marines, was killed on 14 May 09 when his vehicle struck an explosive device in the Basharan area. UK deaths since the start of Operations in October 2001 thus rose to 159, of whom 130 were killed as a result of hostile action. (MoD, 14 May 09.)
Additional costs associated with Operations in Afghanistan are: 2006/07 – £738m (audited); 2007/08 – £1,504m (audited) and 2008/09 – £2,559m (unaudited). (Ministerial Answer (MA), 8 May 09.)
UK Forces in Helmand Province remain under the command of Task Force Helmand, which in turn is under the command of ISAF, Regional Command (South). (MA, 8 May 09.)
2nd Bn The Mercian Regiment and some Gurkhas took part in OP ZAFAR, which forced a retreat of Taliban fighters from several villages near Lashkar Gah. (MoD, 11 May 09.)
The MoD considers the main languages of Afghanistan to be Balochi, Pashtu, Dari and Farsi. (MA, 11 May 09.)
Between 1 Jan 06 and 15 Apr 09 there were 744 non-fatal UK military casualties in Afghanistan, of which 77 were ‘very serious’ and 101 were ‘serious’. (MA, 11 May 09.)
Of the 8,300 Service personnel serving in Afghanistan, about 80% are from the Army and 10% each from the RN/RM and the RAF. (MA, 12 May 09.)
A Harrier aircraft crashed at Kandahar but the RAF pilot ejected to safety. (Confirmed by MoD, 14 May 09.)
Comment: The replacement of General D McKiernan with Lieutenant General S McChrystal as Commander ISAF (COMISAF) gave rise to considerable media comment. One of the more interesting articles on the subject appears in ‘The Economist’ (16 May 09). (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 10/19, 18 May 09)
15 May 09. Troops ‘left with outdated kit’. Delays in defence projects have left front-line troops in Afghanistan serving with almost obsolete equipment, a cross-party com