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Nov 09. Afghanistan: OP HERRICK. UK deaths since the start of Operations in October 2001 have risen to 230, of whom 199 were killed as a result of hostile action. As confirmed by the MoD (5 Nov 09), the most recent fatalities are:-
* A Staff Sergeant from The Royal Logistic Corps was killed as he was defusing an improvised explosive device (IED) in the Sangin Region on 31 Oct 09.
* The Regimental Sergeant Major, a Sergeant and a Guardsman from 1st Bn Grenadier Guards together with two Royal Military Police Corporals were killed during an attack at a Police checkpoint in the
Nad e-Ali District on 3 Nov 09.
* A Serjeant from 3rd Bn The Rifles was killed as a result of an explosion near Sangin on 5 Nov 09. [The alternative spelling of Sergeant is a Regimental custom.]
From 1 Jan 06 to 15 Oct 09, 940 UK personnel were categorised as Wounded in Action and 2,693 were aeromedically evacuated. (MoD, 3 Nov 09.) From 1 to 15 Oct 09 the figures were 44 and 44.
The UK assumed leadership of ISAF Regional Command South (RC(S)) on 1 Nov 09, with Major General N P (Nick) Carter taking over from his Dutch counterpart. There are approximately 34,855 troops in RC(S). The HQ and Forward Support Base for RC(S) are both at Kandahar Airfield. (MoD, 2 Nov 09.)
The Prime Minister reaffirmed the UK’s commitment to the Afghan Campaign in a speech at the Royal College of Defence Studies on 6 Nov 09. The speech is available through the 10 Downing Street website (www.number10.gov.uk).
Three former Defence Ministers and four former Chiefs of the Defence Staff took part in a House of Lords Debate on Armed Forces: Future Defence Policy on 6 Nov 09. (The Debate is recorded in Hansard for
6 Nov 09: a study is highly recommended.)
Comment: The Air Battlespace Training Centre (ABTC) which has reopened following a major refurbishment and software upgrade, is at RAF Waddington. DNA 09/41 wrongly gave the ABTC location as RAF Marham (personnel from Marham are among those who have been training on the new facilities prior to deploying). (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 10/42, 09 Nov 09)
04 Nov 09. Saville Inquiry: To Conclude at Last. The Northern Ireland Secretary said (4 Nov 09) that Lord Saville was not expected to deliver his Report until the week beginning 22 Mar 10. The Report has taken over 10 years to produce and has cost nearly £200m, half of which has been spent on legal aid.
Comment: The Inquiry is investigating the role of 1st Bn The Parachute Regiment in the deaths of
13 demonstrators in Londonderry on 30 Jan 72 (or ‘Bloody Sunday’). (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 10/42, 09 Nov 09)
02 Nov 09. Aircraft Carriers: Availability. The Defence Equipment Minister said (2 Nov 09) that the planned out of service dates (OSD) for the three Invincible Class aircraft carriers are: HMS INVINCIBLE – 2010 (no change); HMS ILLUSTRIOUS – 2016 (previously 2012 and then 2015) and HMS ARK ROYAL – 2014 (previously 2013 and then 2012).
The Minister also confirmed that the planned in service dates (ISD) for HMS QUEEN ELIZABETH and HMS PRINCE OF WALES are now towards the end of 2015 and 2018 respect