NEWS IN BRIEF
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26 May 10. Afghanistan: OP HERRICK. A Gunner (i.e. Private) from 4th Regiment, Royal Artillery was killed during a small arms engagement near Enezai Village on 26 May 10. A Corporal from 40 Commando, Royal Marines was killed in an explosion in Sangin on 26 May 10. UK deaths since the start of Operations on 7 Oct 01 thus rose to 288, of whom 254 were killed as a result of hostile action. (MoD, 26 May 10).
At the request of the District Governor, Royal Marines have been distributing rechargeable radios to the population of Sangin District. (MoD, 24 May 10.)
Two female Lance Corporals completed the US Marine Corps’ Female Engagement Team course held in Camp Leatherneck near Camp Bastion. (MoD, 24 May 10.)
The Defence Secretary confirmed the reorganised command arrangements for Southern Afghanistan. (Written Statement, 26 May 10.)
Soldiers were involved in the handing-over of 20 tractors to farming co-operatives in the Nad ‘Ali region. [The aim is to encourage wheat farming rather than poppy crops.] (MoD, 26 May 10.)
Comment: Casualty figures updated to 30 Apr 10, which should have been published by the MoD on 17 May 10, are still awaited. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 09/21, 31 May 09)
26 May 10. Nuclear Stockpile: Numbers Declared. The Foreign Secretary stated (26 May 10) that the UK’s stockpile of nuclear warheads will not exceed 225, of which up to 160 will be retained as operationally available.
Comment: The 65 additional warheads “are required to allow for routine processing, maintenance and logistic management”. France declared in 2008 that it would hold fewer than 300 nuclear warheads. On 3 May 10, the US announced a stockpile of 5,113 warheads as at 30 Sep 09. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 09/21, 31 May 09)
24 May 10. Public Finances: Departmental Savings. The Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Chief Secretary to the Treasury announced (24 May 10) savings totalling £6,242m to be made by 16 Departments during 2010/11. Defence, Health and International Development are treated separately and their efficiency savings are to be recycled within their own budgets in 2010/11. In addition to these savings, and as already announced, a re-examination of all spending approvals made since 1 Jan 10 is taking place, “to ensure that they are consistent with the Government’s priorities of good value for money”.
Comment: On 17 May 10 the Chancellor spoke of “the UK’s unprecedented £163bn deficit” whereas on 24 May 10 this became “the unprecedented £156bn deficit”. On 21 May the Office of National Statistics produced revised figures on tax receipts and we all became £7,000m better off. An explanatory note with the second Treasury Press Notice would have been helpful. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 09/21, 31 May 09)
01 June 10. Vector Aerospace Engines Services-United Kingdom has been awarded the EASA Part 145 approval rating for all variants of the Rolls Royce (RR) 250 model engine. The Rolls Royce 250 powers a large number of helicopters and small fixed-wing