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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.
31 Mar 11. Afghanistan: OP HERRICK. A Colour Sergeant from 1st Bn Scots Guards died on 31 Mar 11 as a result of wounds received from an improvised explosive device North of Lashkar Gah on 13 Apr 10. UK deaths since the start of Operations on
7 Oct 01 thus rose to 363, of whom 319 were killed as a result of hostile action. (MoD, 9 Apr 11.) [The dates quoted are correct: the Colour Sergeant had been suffering for nearly a year and there was a nine day delay in his death being made public.]
The Defence Secretary visited the Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, where he met RAF personnel working in the Coalition Combined Air and Space Operations Centre. (MoD, 5 Apr 11.)
45 Commando, Royal Marines, assumed responsibility from 1st Bn The Royal Irish Regiment for Combined Force Nad ‘Ali (South). (MoD, 5 Apr 11.)
Provincial Reconstruction Teams will continue to evolve as Afghans take ownership of security for their own Country. (Ministerial Answer (MA), 6 Apr 11.)
There was a marked improvement in the disruption of heroin production and distribution in Helmand Province during the year to March 2010. (MoD, 6 Apr 11.)
A Transfer of Authority ceremony took place on 9 Apr 11 at Lashkar Gah; from 16 Air Assault Brigade to 3 Commando Brigade as the lead UK formation in Helmand Province.
Comment: A previous Specialist Adviser to the Defence Secretary has written an interesting article in the current edition of ‘The Spectator’ (9 Apr 11 – Operation Amnesia by Matt Cavanagh). The point is well made that: “We don’t have five years’ experience in Helmand, we have six months experience 10 times.”. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 11/15, 11 Apr 11)
04 Apr 11. Libya: OP ELLAMY. HMS TRIUMPH returned to HM Naval Base Devonport on 2 Apr 11. (MoD, 4 Apr 11.)
Over 800 foreign nationals from 54 countries were evacuated from Libya by the UK; on six charter flights plus MoD ships and aircraft. (MA, 4 Apr 11.)
The Foreign Secretary made a Statement to the House of Commons on Africa and the Middle East, stressing that NATO had assumed “full operating capability over all military Operations” in Libya. (FCO, 4 Apr 11.)
The UK is in dialogue with the Interim National Council and other elements of the opposition inside and outside Libya. (MA, 5 Apr 11.)
Over 12,000 people have been repatriated from the borders with Libya on UK-funded flights. Blankets and tents delivered by the UK provide shelter for up to 10,000 people. (MA, 5 Apr 11.)
Tornado GR4 aircraft have launched Brimstone and Paveway IV missiles at armoured fighting vehicles. Four additional Tornado are deploying to bolster the UK’s ground attack capability. Two of the original 10 Typhoon have returned to the UK. (MoD, 5 Apr 11.)
The Prime Minister visited Gioia del Colle, the Air Base hosting RAF Typhoon and Tornado. (MoD, 5 Apr 11.)
Four Typhoon have been moved from an air defence role to ground attack. The UK has 16 ground attack aircraft under NATO command, from a total of 20 deployed to Southern Italy (four Tornado remain under UK command, on ‘standby’). (MoD, 6 Apr 11.)
RAF aircraft are flying up to 20 sorties a day in support of the UN mandate. (RAF News,