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NEWS IN BRIEF

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Force Protection Europe (FPE) was established in 2009 to provide a UK-based vehicle support organisation for the world renowned Cougar vehicles (Mastiff, Ridgback and Wolfhound). Over 700 of these vehicles are in service with the UK MoD and continue to save heroes’ lives. Since its formation, FPE has developed a revolutionary light protected patrol vehicle, Ocelot. In 2010, Ocelot was awarded the contract for the UK’s Light Protected Patrol Vehicle Programme and named Foxhound by the MoD. It is the best protected vehicle for its weight and size available today. Patrol, utility load bed and weapons pods offer Ocelot flexibility and fleet coherence.

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18 Mar 11. Afghanistan: OP HERRICK. A soldier from 2nd Bn The Parachute Regiment died on 18 Mar 11 from wounds sustained in an explosive blast in the Nahr-e Saraj District two days earlier. UK deaths since the start of Operations on 7 Oct 01 thus rose to 360, of whom 316 were killed as a result of hostile action. (MoD, 18 Mar 11.)
From 1 Jan 06 to 28 Feb 11, 1,625 personnel were Wounded in Action and 4,342 were aeromedically evacuated. From 16 to 28 Feb 11 the figures were nine and 28. (DASA, 15 Mar 11.)
About 64% of violent incidents take place in only three of Afghanistan’s 34 Provinces (Helmand, Kandahar and Kunar), which have about 11% of the population. (Ministerial Answer (MA), 14 Mar 11.)
OP KAPCHA KWANDIKALAY (‘Cobra Safe Village’) saw the largest-scale, high-risk IED clearance of an entire village to be carried out by British troops in Afghanistan. (MoD, 15 Mar 11.)
The development of the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) is a key element in delivering the UK’s national security objectives in Afghanistan. (MA, 15 Mar 11.)
The RAF’s seventh (and newest) C-17 aircraft completed its first mission to Afghanistan, delivering over 25 tonnes of supplies to Camp Bastion. (MoD, 17 Mar 11.)
The number of suicide attacks in Regional Command South were: 60 in 2007; 63 in 2008; 99 in 2009 & 98 in 2010. (From July 2010, Regional Command South occupied a smaller area than before.) (MA, 17 Mar 11.)
There are four female engagement teams in Afghanistan. Each team will shortly consist of three (female) soldiers. (MA, 17 Mar 11.)
Comment: Middle East Air Operations were discussed during an MoD briefing on 14 Mar 11. On any one day about 80 aircraft are airborne although the air contribution to OP HERRICK is not well understood “because a lot of it happens at 20,000 feet and above”. About 50% of requests for air operations are being fulfilled: there will never be enough assets (!).
Responsibility for the Government’s quarterly statement on Afghanistan rotates between the FCO, the MoD and the DfID (Department for International Development). (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 11/12, 21 Mar 11)

17 Mar 11. Libya: OP ELLAMY. The UN Security Council adopted Resolution 1973 of 2011 on 17 Mar 11 by a vote of 10 in favour and none against, with five abstentions. The Council approved a ‘No-fly zone’ over Libya and authorised ‘all necessary measures’ to protect civilians. Those in favour were: Bosnia Herzegovina, Colombia, France, Gabon, Lebanon, Nigeria, Portugal, South Africa, the UK and the US. Abstentions were recorded by Brazil, China (PRC), Germany, India and the Russian Federation.
The Prime Minister delivered a Statement to the House of Commons (18 Mar 11), drawing attention to UN Resolution 1973. Together with the Defence Secretary, the Prime Minister instructed the Chief of the Defence Staff to work with allies to put in place the appropriate military measures to enforce the UN Resolution. The UK is deploying Tornado, Typhoon, air-to-air refuelling and surveillance aircraft.
The MoD confirmed (18 Mar 11) that HMS WESTMINSTER is off the coast of Benghazi and HMS CUMBERLAND is in the regio

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