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09 Feb 11. Afghanistan: OP HERRICK. A Company Sergeant Major from 3rd Bn The Parachute Regiment was fatally wounded by an improvised explosive device on the Nahr-e-Bughra canal on 5 Feb 11. Two Privates from The Parachute Regiment were killed by small arms fire in the Nad-e Ali District on 9 Feb 11. UK deaths since the start of Operations on
7 Oct 01 thus rose to 354, of whom 312 were killed as a result of hostile action. (MoD, 9 Feb 11.)
The MoD is “necessarily focussed on how best we can achieve the transfer of security to the Afghan National Security Forces by the end of 2014.”. (Ministerial Answer (MA), 7 Feb 11.)
Soldiers from 2nd Bn The Parachute Regiment are currently working in partnership with members of the Afghan National Army in the Northern part of Helmand Province. (MoD, 7 Feb 11.)
There are 10 MoD civilians in Kabul and 130 in Helmand Province. (MA, 8 Feb 11.)
A new road project linking Marjah and Gereshk is known as Route Morpheus. (MoD, 8 Feb 11.)
Comment: The NATO Secretary-General announced (9 Feb 11) that Sir Simon Gass KCMG is to become the NATO Senior Civilian Representative (SCR) in Afghanistan from April 2011. As SCR, Sir Simon will represent the political leadership of the Alliance in Kabul. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 11/07, 14 Feb 11)
04 Feb 11. UK MoD reiterates commitment to Chinook buy. The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has reaffirmed its commitment to purchasing an additional 12 Boeing Chinook heavy-lift transport helicopters following reports in the UK media that the planned procurement may be in doubt. In response to a statement from a senior government official that the deal is still “subject to negotiation”, the MoD issued a clarification of its position on 1 February, saying: “There are some suggestions in today’s papers that the decision to buy 12 Chinook helicopters is in jeopardy. (Source: Jane’s, JDW)
14 Feb 11. UK armed forces will lose £12bn worth of military equipment as part of government cuts aimed towards easing the country’s public deficit, reports the Times. The UK’s parliament is expected to look into the details of the full estimated loss for the first time. The country’s fleet of Harrier jets and the aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal were decommissioned recently as part of the strategic defence review announced in October 2010. The UK government is simultaneously battling to control an 11.4% deficit while trying to fill a £38bn shortfall in military spending plans. Military experts have been frequently warning of the dangers the cuts represent since last year’s spending review. (Source: armytechnology.com)
14 Feb 11. DOD Releases Fiscal 2012 Budget Proposal. President Barack Obama today sent to Congress a proposed defense budget of $671bn for fiscal 2012. The request for the DoD includes $553bn in discretionary budget authority to fund base defense programs and $118bn to support overseas contingency operations (OCO), primarily in Afghanistan and Iraq. The fiscal 2012 budget continues the DoD reform agenda, seeking additional efficiencies across the entire defense enterprise, while also strengthening