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30 May 10. Afghanistan: OP HERRICK. A Marine (i.e. Private) from 40 Commando, Royal Marines, was killed in an explosion in Sangin on 30 May 10. Another Marine, also from 40 Commando, was killed in an explosion in Sangin on 2 Jun 10. Two soldiers from 1st Bn The Mercian Regiment were killed during a small arms engagement in the Nahr-e Saraj District on 4 Jun 10. UK deaths since the start of Operations on 7 Oct 01 thus rose to 292, of whom 258 were killed as a result of hostile action. (MoD, 4 Jun 10.)
From 1 Jan 06 to 15 May 10, 1,233 UK personnel were Wounded in Action and 3,386 were aeromedically evacuated. (MoD, 4 Jun 10.) From 16 Apr to 15 May 10 the figures were 34 and 75.
Quick drying towels and head torches have been added to the personal kit bags, or ‘Black Bags’. (Desider,
May 2010.) [All personnel deploying are issued with a £3,000 ‘Black Bag’ containing personal equipment.]
A flag ceremony marked changes to the command and control of ISAF in Southern Afghanistan on 1 Jun 10. The new Regional Command (South West) is based in Helmand while the existing Regional Command (South) remains in Kandahar. (MoD, 1 Jun 10.)
Work by elements of Task Force Helmand and Afghan National Army units has helped to bring increased security to Gereshk. (MoD, 1 Jun 10.)
Royal Engineers have been supporting the Infantry and building new bases in Helmand Province. Two patrol bases built so far have increased ISAF coverage of the area. (MoD, 3 Jun 10.)
The Commander-in-Chief Fleet, the Second Sea Lord and the Commandant General, Royal Marines visited Afghanistan to see the work of RN and RM personnel. (MoD, 3 Jun 10.)
Comment: During his first session of Prime Minister’s Questions (2 Jun 10), the Prime Minister was asked about the effectiveness of NATO’s military strategy in Afghanistan. The reply could not have been clearer: “Afghanistan is my top priority. That is why we have set up the National Security Council and why it met on the first full day of the new Government.” (The complete reply is shown in ‘Hansard’ under Question 10.) (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 09/22, 07 June 09)
May 10. Nimrod R1: Replacement. The Defence procurement magazine Desider (April/May 2010) has confirmed the arrangements for replacing Nimrod R1, first announced by the then Defence Secretary on 22 Mar 10. Three new Rivet Joint aircraft are to be bought from the US Government, in order to sustain the UK’s airborne signals intelligence capability. The RC-135 Rivet Joint is based on the Boeing 707 and has a similar airframe to the E-3D Sentry aircraft operated by the RAF.
Comment: The Rivet Joint aircraft are expected to cost about $1,050m (£718m), with the first one available from 2014. One of the two remaining R1 aircraft at RAF Waddington is expected to be deployed to Afghanistan in the near future, prior to both aircraft being retired in March 2011. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 09/22, 07 June 09)
02 Jun 10. United Nations (UN) Missions: UK Involvement. The Defence Equipment Minister said (2 Jun 10) that there are six military personnel serving with MONUC (UN Mission in the Democra