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18 Jan 11. Afghanistan: OP HERRICK. From 1 Jan 06 to 31 Dec 10, 1,580 personnel were Wounded in Action and 4,171 were aeromedically evacuated. From 16 to 31 Dec 10 the figures were 14 and 40. (DASA, 18 Jan 11.)
The UK-run checkpoint Tapa Paraang in the Lashkar Gar District has been closed as security responsibilities are handed over to Afghan Forces. (MoD, 17 Jan 11.)
All Service personnel serving tours in Afghanistan and Iraq of six months or longer will continue to receive two weeks mid-tour leave. (Ministerial Answer (MA), 17 Jan 11.)
A newly built Police Station has been opened in Chah-e Anjir, overseen by soldiers from 5th Bn The Royal Regiment of Scotland. (MoD, 18 Jan 11.)
Commander, Task Force Helmand, gave a mid-tour update on 16 Air Assault Brigade’s time in Helmand Province. Brigadier J Chiswell focused on the relationship between UK Forces and the Afghan National Security Forces. (MoD, 19 Jan 11.)
There are around 117,000 fully trained Afghan National Police in Afghanistan and the aim is to have 134,000 by the end of 2011. (MoD, 21 Jan 11.)
Comment: Members of the House of Commons Defence Committee visited Afghanistan from 17 to 21 Jan 11, led by the Chairman. The Committee was said to have been “struck by the progress in security, governance and provision of Government services since their last visit to Afghanistan in January 2010.”. The visit is part of the Committee’s Inquiry into ‘Operations in Afghanistan’. [The Committee recorded (20 Jan 11) that nine of its Members were on the visit whereas the MoD stated (21 Jan 11) that 12 from the Committee visited. No wonder the MoD accounts are in a muddle!]
The current (22 Jan 11) edition of ‘The Spectator’ includes an Editorial and an article about Sangin which make uncomfortable reading for those who care about the British Army and its political direction. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 11/04, 24 Jan 11)
20 Jan 11. Allowances: To Be Reduced. The Personnel Minister announced (20 Jan 11) reductions to Armed Forces’ allowances designed to achieve a reduction in expenditure of some £250m by financial year 2014/15. Among the allowances affected are: Incidental Expenses; Local Overseas; Food & Incidentals; Home to Duty Travel; Recruitment & Retention; Disturbance; Daily Subsistence; Get You Home; Motor Mileage; Commitment Bonus and Specialist Pay.
Comment: A tightening of the rules governing Continuity of Education (or Boarding School Allowance) has already been announced. Further details about the reductions can be found in House of Commons Written Statements for 20 Jan 11, Column 45WS. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 11/04, 24 Jan 11)
17 Jan 11. Five Power Defence Arrangements (FPDA): Still Extant. The Defence Secretary visited Malaysia (17 Jan 11) for meetings with the Prime Minister and Defence Minister, during which he said that he wished to reinvigorate the Malaysia-UK bilateral relationship. HMS RICHMOND and “a number” of aircraft are to take part in a FPDA Exercise later this year.
Comment: The FPDA were agreed in 1971 between Australia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore and the UK. The Ar