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26 Jul 10. Afghanistan: OP HERRICK. A Sapper (i.e. Private) from 36 Engineer Regiment was killed in the Sangin area on 26 Jul 10. An investigation is being held to determine if the fatality was caused by a smoke shell falling short of its target. UK deaths since the start of Operations on 7 Oct 01 thus rose to 325, of whom 286 were killed as a result of hostile action. (MoD, 26 Jul 10.)
From 1 Jan 06 to 15 Jul 10, 1,380 personnel were Wounded in Action and 3,632 were aeromedically evacuated. (MoD, 30 Jul 10.) From 16 Jun 10 to 15 Jul 10 the figures were 66 and 128.
Of the 134 Service personnel killed due to enemy action between 1 Jul 09 and 30 Jun 10, 115 fatalities occurred during foot patrols and other dismounted operations; the remaining 19 fatalities were as a result of attacks on vehicles. (Ministerial Answer (MA), 26 Jul 10.)
Private security companies carry out a variety of important duties in Afghanistan, providing close protection of personnel and static protection of our Embassy and other premises. (MA, 26 Jul 10.)
Four RN bomb disposal experts from the Fleet Diving Squadron are supporting 61 Field Squadron (Explosive Ordnance Disposal). (MoD, 29 Jul 10.)
British and Afghan forces, led by 1st Bn The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment, launched an Operation against insurgents in Central Helmand. OP TOR SHEZADA aims to clear insurgents to the South of Nad-e Ali. A similar Operation is being conducted by the US Marine Corps in Northern Marjah. (MoD, 30 Jul 10.)
Comment: Writing in his Regimental magazine, a Royal Tank Regiment Officer comments on life as a Staff Officer with HQ Regional Command (South). Some 20,000 people are housed in Kandahar Airfield (or KAR) where they have a choice of five cookhouses and a full range of welfare facilities such as food outlets, local goods shops, PX stores, telephones, the internet and cinemas. The Officer is gracious enough to admit that such a comfortable environment does not apply to life in the Forward Operating Bases or anywhere else in Afghanistan. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 09/230, 02 Aug 10)

04 Aug 2010. Bulgaria plans to cancel orders for three military helicopters and two transport planes from France’s Eurocopter and Italy’s Alenia in a bid to reduce costs, the country’s defense minister said Aug. 4.
“Very hard negotiations are ahead,” Defense Minister Anyu Angelov told a press conference. Talks with Eurocopter already were underway about dropping three Panther helicopters from a €358m ($473m) order for six of the Panther AS323s for its navy and 12 Cougar AS352 choppers for the air force.
“Our aim is to refuse the last three Panther helicopters [from Eurocopter],” he added.
Bulgaria will push for the bank guarantee for the three cancelled helicopters to be used as payment for three Panthers that have already been delivered, he said. Eleven Cougars and three Panthers have already been delivered. Bulgaria will also seek to cut back its €91m order for five C-27J Spartan transport aircraft from Italy’s Alenia Aeronautica, Angelov said.
“With Alenia Aeronautica, we want to refuse the fourth and fifth aircraft on t

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