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15 May 11. Afghanistan: OP HERRICK. A Marine from 42 Commando, Royal Marines, was fatally injured in an improvised explosive device blast in the Nad-e Ali District on 15 May 11. UK deaths since the start of Operations on 7 Oct 01 thus rose to 365, of whom 321 were killed as a result of hostile action. (MoD, 15 May 11.)
From 1 Jan 06 to 30 Apr 11, 1,670 personnel were Wounded in Action and 4,561 were aeromedically evacuated. From 16 to 30 Apr 11 the figures were six and 36. (DASA, 17 May 11.)
“The death of Osama bin Laden….does not change our strategy….” (Written Answer (WA), 16 May 11.)
The British Government (i.e. the FCO) currently has three contracts with British-based private security companies in Afghanistan. (WA, 16 May 11.)
The Foreign Secretary reported on progress in Afghanistan during April 2011. (Written Statement, 17 May 11.)
Members of 4th Bn The Royal Regiment of Scotland and the Afghan National Police took part in a five-day Operation in the Lashkar Gah area. (MoD, 17 May 11.)
The Prime Minister told the House of Commons Liaison Committee, on 17 May 11, that around 400 military personnel had already left (or would soon leave) Afghanistan. (MoD, 18 Apr 11.)
The Chief of the Defence Staff visited British Forces serving in Helmand Province and spent time in Kabul with the Afghan President and Defence Minister. (MoD, 20 May 11.)
Comment: The media got over-excited about the Prime Minister’s ‘withdrawal’ announcement. Most of the 200 who have already returned to the UK were providing protection at Kandahar Airfield. A further 200 will return by February 2012 from the Allied Rapid Reaction Corps. None of the 400 was involved in combat operations, where the UK contribution remains at over 10,000. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 11/20, 23 May 11)
16 May 11. Libya: OP ELLAMY. On 12 May 11, an RAF Typhoon destroyed two Libyan Palmaria self-propelled 155mm guns with enhanced Paveway II bombs. (MoD, 16 May 11.)
“….we will end military action when the regime obeys international law and UN Security Council Resolutions and lifts the threat to the Libyan people.” (WA, 16 May 11.)
“The UK has 23 aircraft and two naval vessels committed to the NATO-led Operation. These continue to provide vital capability….” (Defence Secretary, 16 May 11.)
Tomahawk missiles fired from HMS TRIUMPH and Tornado aircraft attacked Intelligence Agency buildings and a training base. (MoD, 17 May 11.)
RN and RAF aircraft attacks have damaged or destroyed over 330 regime targets since the start of Operations to enforce UNSCR 1973. (MoD, 18 May 11.)
Up to 8 May 11, the UK has flown the following sorties in support of OP ELLAMY: VC10 – 110; C-130 – 15, Nimrod – 20 & Sentinel – 50. In the same period 300 Tornado and 140 Typhoon sorties were flown, delivering some 240 weapons. (WA, 19 May 11 – see also Item 4).
RAF aircraft participated (19 May 11) in a major NATO strike against the naval base at Al Khums. Tornados hit two corvettes in the harbour as well as dockyard facilities. (MoD, 20 May 11.)
Comment: Questions were asked in the House of Lords (17 May 11) as to whether pilots flying “combat missions” o