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19 Apr 10. Afghanistan: OP HERRICK. From 1 Jan 06 to 31 Mar 10, 1,181 UK personnel were Wounded in Action and 3,250 were aeromedically evacuated. (MoD, 19 Apr 10.) From 16 to 31 Mar 10 the figures were 17 and 50.
Responsibility for the Sangin Area of Operations has been transferred from 3rd Bn The Rifles to 40 Commando, Royal Marines. (MoD, 20 Apr 10.)
Snipers from 1st Bn The Royal Welsh were engaged in a firefight near Shahzed. (MoD, 21 Apr 10.)
Operations on the ground were not affected by the disruption to the use of European airspace. The airbridge between the UK and Afghanistan has been reopened. (MoD, 23 Apr 10.)
There is no current intention to move UK Forces to Kandahar, nor is planning for such a move taking place. (MoD, 23 Apr 10.) [Contrary to some media reports.]
Comment: Forward Operating Bases/Patrol Bases now occupied by the Commandos have been subjected to ‘minor cultural changes’. The lavatories have become the heads, cookhouses are galleys, brews are wets and scoff (food) is scran.
As at 16 Apr 10, ISAF numbers had increased by over 16,000. The US contingent increased by over 15,000 and three more countries (Korea (RoK), Mongolia & Montenegro) were added to the list of contributing nations. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 09/16, 26 Apr 09)
20 Apr 10. HMS ALBION: Collecting Service and Civilian Passengers. HMS ALBION, a Landing Platform Dock, was diverted from EX COLD RESPONSE to Santander, Spain, where she arrived on 20 Apr 10. 440 Service personnel returning from Afghanistan and some 280 ‘stranded’ civilians were embarked and returned to Portsmouth on 21 Apr 10.
Comment: The returning troops and civilian holidaymakers had been delayed by air traffic problems, following the eruption of an Icelandic volcano and the grounding of aircraft from 15 Apr 10. HMS ARK ROYAL was placed on ‘stand-by’ to assist but rejoined EX JOINT WARRIOR. HMS OCEAN was also placed on ‘stand-by’, sailing from Devonport to the Channel, but returned to her routine patrol. The whole business has caused considerable discussion as to the ‘proper’ use of RN warships (particularly in the run-up to a General Election). (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 09/16, 26 Apr 09)
23 Apr 10. Eurofighter Typhoon: No Volcanic Damage. The MoD confirmed (23 Apr 10) that there was no damage to any Typhoon aircraft or engines “following precautionary investigation of volcanic ash deposits”. Following the checks, Typhoon flying at RAF Coningsby started again at 0800hrs on 23 Apr 10.
Comment: The MoD was responding to media reports that Typhoon training flights had been suspended following claims that ash deposits were found in the engines of four aircraft. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 09/16, 26 Apr 09)
Apr 10. Nimrod MR2 Aircraft: Out of Service. Ceremonies were held at RAF Kinloss on 26 Mar 10 to mark Nimrod MR2’s retirement. The aircraft’s final operational flight took place on 31 Mar 10 with a flypast of airfields in the North of Scotland.
Comment: On 8 Apr 10 the Armed Forces’ Minister said that “other assets” would be used in the long-range search and rescue role, u