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06 Mar 10. Afghanistan: OP HERRICK. UK deaths since the start of Operations on 7 Oct 01 have risen to 269, of whom 236 were killed as a result of hostile action. As confirmed by the MoD (6 Mar 10), the recent fatalities are:-
* A Rifleman (i.e. Private) from 4th Bn The Rifles was killed by small arms fire in Sangin on 1 Mar 10.
* A Corporal from 3rd Bn The Rifles was killed by small arms fire near Sangin on 2 Mar 10.
* A soldier from 3rd Bn The Rifles died from wounds following an explosion near Sangin on 5 Mar 10.
From 1 Jan 06 to 15 Feb 10, 1,126 UK personnel were Wounded in Action and 3,115 were aeromedically evacuated. (MoD, 4 Mar 10.) From 1 to 15 Feb 10 the figures were 17 and 58.
The Counter-Improvised Explosive Device (C-IED) Task Force has developed new tactics and equipment to find and destroy the devices before they explode. Teams are made up from Royal Engineers’ searchers and Royal Logistic Corps ammunition experts. (MoD, 1 Mar 10.)
The net additional costs for OP HERRICK are £2,623m in 2008/09 (final outturn) and £3,754m in 2009/10 (estimate). These costs are in addition to the Defence budget and are met from the Reserve. (Ministerial Answer (MA), 1 Mar 10.)
Medical Officers are now using EnFlow100 Rapid Blood and Fluid Warmers. Six sets of the Warmers, for carriage on casualty evacuation helicopters, are part of a contract with Prometheus Medical. (MoD, 2 Mar 10.)
Pashtun and Dari linguists are entitled to financial awards under the Defence Operational Languages Award Scheme (DOLAS). (MA, 2 Mar 10.)
During a visit to Helmand Province Commander ISAF, (US) General S McChrystal, told troops “to put yourself in the position of the local Afghans”. (MoD, 3 Mar 10.)
Four RN bomb disposal experts are joining 21 Field Squadron, Royal Engineers in order to assist the counter-explosives effort. (MoD (Navy), 4 Mar 10.)
Since November 2006, there has been an increase of nearly 140% in all UK battlefield helicopter flying hours in Afghanistan. (MA, 4 Mar 10.)
HRH The Princess Royal visited Camp Bastion during a two-day programme of visits to troops on Operations. (MoD, 5 Mar 10.) (Princess Anne is Colonel in Chief/Colonel of a number of British and Commonwealth Regiments and Corps.)
The Prime Minister flew to Afghanistan on 5 Mar 10, to visit British and Allied Forces. (News item, 6 Mar 10.)
Comment: An article in ‘The Economist’ (6 Mar 10, pp 13/14) describes anti-IED (Improvised Explosive Device) technologies. A BAE Systems spokesman is quoted as saying that defeating IED is now the Operational priority for the MoD.
05 Mar 10. A400M Transport Aircraft: Agreement Reached. EADS announced (5 Mar 10) that agreement has been reached with the seven customer nations (Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Spain, Turkey and the UK) regarding the A400M. The original contract is thus to be amended “in the coming weeks”. The price of the original €20,000m (£18,000m) contract is to be increased by €2,000m (£1,800m) and all penalty charges for late delivery are to be waived.
EADS states that the agreement “provides a sound basis for a successful evolution of the A400M programme