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NEWS IN BRIEF

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12 Aug 11. Afghanistan: OP HERRICK. A Lieutenant from 1st Bn The Rifles was killed by an improvised explosive device near Dactran on 12 Aug 11. UK deaths since the start of Operations on 7 Oct 01 thus rose to 379, of whom 335 were killed as a result of hostile action. (MoD, 12 Aug 11.)
From 1 Jan 06 to 31 Jul 11, 1,746 personnel were Wounded in Action and 4,888 were aeromedically evacuated. (DASA, 16 Aug 11.) From 16 to 31 Jul 11 the figures were 13 and 62.
The Commander Task Force Helmand/3 Commando Brigade took part in a briefing via video link. The Brigadier believes that the Campaign is on track and that “we have very much suppressed the fighting season this year”. (MoD, 9 Aug 11.)
The RN Sea King Mk7 Airborne Surveillance and Control (SKASaC) helicopters have proved a popular and useful asset for the US Marine Corps as well as for British Forces. (MoD, 17 Aug 11.)
The Military Stabilisation Support Group, drawn from all three Services, is divided into six Military Stabilisation Support Teams spread over the British area of Operations. (MoD, 17 Aug 11.)
A New Zealand Special Forces soldier was among those killed, on 19 Aug 11, when the British Council compound in Kabul was attacked. The Prime Minister expressed his sympathy and gratitude to the Prime Minister of New Zealand. (FCO, 19/20 Aug 11.)
Comment: A report published (18 Aug 11) by the Royal United Services Institute concludes that military leaders demonstrated a failure of strategic planning in 2006 when they deployed forces into Helmand Province. The MoD, in response, accepted that “mistakes were made in the lead-up to and during the initial deployment to Helmand in 2006”.(Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 11/32, 22 Aug 11)

11 Aug 11. Libya: OP ELLAMY. Tornado, Typhoon, Apache and Sea King aircraft, supported by HMS LIVERPOOL, HMS OCEAN andHMS BANGOR continued to engage targets on 5, 6, 7, 8 & 9 Aug 11. (MoD, 7, 8 & 11 Aug 11.)
The Defence Secretary reiterated that OP ELLAMY could be sustained “as long as we choose to”. The Armed Forces’ Minister said that the MoD “has assessed that current Operations in Libya are not impacting on the UK’s standing Defence commitments”. (Written Answers, 11 Aug 11.)
On 10 Aug 11, six Tornado GR4 armed with Storm Shadow missiles launched from RAF Marham to conduct an eight hour round-trip mission over Libya.
British Forces, in particular RAF aircraft, continued to engage targets on 11, 15, 16, 17, 18 & 19 Aug 11. Since the start of Operations on 19 Mar 11, precision strikes have damaged or destroyed some 870 targets.
(MoD, 14, 16, 18, 19 & 20 Aug 11.)
Comment: The Foreign Secretary welcomed the re-opening of the Libyan Embassy in London on 9 Aug 11, under the governmental authority of the National Transitional Council (NTC). The Embassy, at 15 Knightsbridge SW1X 7LY, is headed by the NTC Chargé d’Affairs Mr Mahmud Nacua. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 11/32, 22 Aug 11)

08 Aug 11. Switzerland studies plans to stretch F-5E lifespan. Swiss defence procurement agency Armasuisse is expected to publish the results of a feasibility study regarding the upgrade of the Swiss Air Force’s (SAF’s) fleet of Northrop F-5E Tiger II combat aircraft this October, agency sources have revealed. The study was commissioned in March by Ueli Maurer, head of the Swiss Federal Department of Defence, Civil Protection and Sports (DDPS). (Source: Jane’s, IDR)

18 Aug 11. Stefan Wallin, Finland’s newly appointed defense minister, has stirred a new debate over the militarily nonaligned nation’s future relationship with NATO. Wallin has signaled that pursuit of new defense spending cuts and greater economies within the armed forces will draw Finland closer to NATO by reopening

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