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07 Apr 10. Afghanistan: OP HERRICK. UK deaths since the start of Operations on 7 Oct 01 have risen to 281, of whom 248 were killed as a result of hostile action. As confirmed by the MoD (7 Apr 10), the recent fatalities are:-
* A Rifleman (i.e. Private) from 3rd Bn The Rifles died in an explosion caused by a suicide bomber near the Sangin Bazaar on 27 Mar 10.
* A Guardsman (i.e. Private) from 1st Bn Coldstream Guards died as a result of an explosion in the Babaji area on 1 Apr 10.
* A Rifleman from 3rd Bn The Rifles died as a result of an explosion in the Kajaki area on 4 Apr 10.
* A Fusilier (i.e. Private) from 1st Bn The Royal Welsh died as a result of a gunshot wound sustained during an exchange of fire near Showal on 7 Apr 10.
From 1 Jan 06 to 15 Mar 10, 1,164 UK personnel were Wounded in Action and 3,200 were aeromedically evacuated. (MoD, 5 Apr 10.) From 1 to 15 Mar 10 the figures were 21 and 44.
“UK Forces continue to work hand in hand with Afghan National Security Forces to build and maintain security in Helmand Province….security responsibility for Musa Qala is transferring to US Forces.” (Ministerial Answer (MA), 29 Mar 10.)
“….nothing has been given a higher priority in our efforts in Afghanistan than countering improvised explosive devices.” (MA, 29 Mar 10.)
Troops from 3rd Bn The Parachute Regiment Battle Group have been training in Kenya in preparation for their OP HERRICK deployment. 13 Squadron RAF, a Tornado unit, is training in Nevada prior to its deployment. (MoD, 29/30 Mar 10.)
13 MoD Police Officers are helping to create a new Afghan Police Force. (MoD, 31 Mar 10.)
In Helmand Province, the Taliban are increasingly turning to the intimidation of the local population.
(MoD, 31 Mar 10.)
3rd Bn The Rifles Battle Group has suffered 29 dead and over 100 injured during the current tour of duty.
(CO 3 RIFLES, 1 Apr 10.)
Task Force Helmand recorded 1,034 improvised explosive devices as neutralised during 2009 and 168 during the first two months of 2010. (MA, 8 Apr 10.)
Comment: The MoD advised (31 Mar 10) that there are 42 chefs serving in Camp Bastion, producing 13,000 daily meals for over 3,600 personnel. The most popular dishes include fillet steak with onions and mushrooms and grilled chicken breasts. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 09/14, 12 Apr 09)
29 Mar 10. Budget Statement: Correction. DNA Issue 10/13 (29 Mar 10) incorrectly referred to “the core Defence Budget” in Item 2. The 2010/11 Plan figures are said to include the allocation of “over £4,000m” mentioned by the Chancellor and not to exclude this allocation.
Comment: DR&A is grateful to the DNA subscriber who drew our attention to the above. With the change in presentation of the figures, it is no longer possible to establish the planned core Defence budget. The Chancellor having announced an extra “over £4,000m” for Afghanistan, the Defence Secretary changed the figure to £5,000m “potentially” on 29 Mar 10. Meanwhile, HM Treasury briefers put the figure for Afghanistan at £4,150m. All extremely confusing….
Yet more equipment orders were announced between 22 and 26 Mar 10, as list