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18 Feb 10. Afghanistan: OP HERRICK. UK deaths since the start of Operations on 7 Oct 01 have risen to 263, of whom 230 were killed as a result of hostile action. As confirmed by the MoD (18 Feb 10), the recent fatalities are:
* A Rifleman (i.e. Private) from 6th Bn The Rifles was killed by an IED (improvised explosive device) North East of Sangin on 14 Feb 10.
* A Kingsman (i.e. Private) from 2nd Bn The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment was killed during a small arms engagement near Patrol Base Minden on 14 Feb 10. (This fatality is being investigated as a possible ‘friendly fire’ incident.)
* A Sapper (i.e. Private) from 36 Engineer Regiment was killed during IED clearance North East of Sangin on 15 Feb 10.
* A Lieutenant from 1st Bn Coldstream Guards died from wounds received as a result of an explosion in the Babaji area on 18 Feb 10.
* A Lance Sergeant from 1st Bn Scots Guards died from small arms fire at Nad ‘Ali on 18 Feb 10.
From 1 Jan 06 to 31 Jan 10, 1,109 UK personnel were Wounded in Action and 3,057 were aeromedically evacuated. (MoD, 17 Feb 10.) From 16 to 31 Jan 10 the figures were 23 and 57.
“Following the initial airborne and ground offensives that marked the start of OP MOSHTARAK on Saturday
[13 Feb 10], the theme for UK Forces in the past 24 hours has been consolidation.” (MoD, 15 Feb 10.)
“The military phase of OP MOSHTARAK remains on track.” (ISAF, 17 Feb 10.)
A new Patrol Base, East of Garbay Noray, was established by British and Afghan soldiers. (MoD, 17 Feb 10.)
“More than two-thirds of the Clearance Phase of OP MOSHTARAK has now been completed.” (ISAF,
20 Feb 10.)
Comment: As at 20 Feb 10, ISAF recorded 15 military fatalities during OP MOSHTARAK: 10 US, three UK and two Afghan. (The three British were all Guardsmen: one on 13 Feb and two on 18 Feb 10.)
An interesting article in the ‘International Herald Tribune’ (19 Feb 10) claimed that “air support to American and Afghan Forces had been all but grounded by concerns about civilian casualties.”. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 10/08, 22 Feb 10)
19 Feb 10. France: Procurement Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). The MoD announced (19 Feb 10) that the Defence Equipment Minister has signed an MoU with his French counterpart (the Délégué Général pour l’Armement). The MoU “enables the potential for closer
co-operation on the procurement of urgent operational equipment”. The Minister was quoted as saying: “In order to ensure success in Afghanistan, it is important for us to co-operate closely with our international allies including France.”.
Comment: The MoU was signed on 18 Feb 10, at the British Ambassador’s residence in Paris, and follows a Statement of Intent covering urgent operational requirements (UOR) which was signed on 6 Jul 09. Given the long history of Anglo-French collaboration in military procurement (sometimes successful, sometimes not so), it is far from clear why this latest MoU is necessary. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 10/08, 22 Feb 10)
23 Feb 10. European governments have struck an outline deal with Airbus parent EADS (EAD.PA) over a rescue package worth 3.5bn e