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19 Sep 11. Afghanistan: OP HERRICK. A Marine from 42 Commando, Royal Marines, was killed by small arms fire in the Khorgajat area on 19 Sep 11. UK deaths since the start of Operations on 7 Oct 01 thus rose to 382, of whom 338 were killed as a result of hostile action. (MoD, 19 Sep 11.)
The 39 Squadron Reaper detachment, operating from Kandahar Air Field, “struck several heavy blows against insurgents this week, while maintaining the crucial flow of detailed imagery and intelligence to ground commanders”. (RAF Ops Update, 18 Sep 11.)
RAF aircraft supported visits by HRH The Duke of Kent and by the Chief of Joint Operations as well as eight other VIP. (RAF Ops Update, 18 Sep 11.)
Members of 2nd Bn The Royal Gurkha Rifles have been training teams of the Afghan National Police. From October 2011, these duties are to be undertaken by 1st Bn The Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment and by the RAF Regiment. (MoD, 22 Sep 11.)
Commando Gunners from 29 Commando Regiment, Royal Artillery, have helped members of the Afghan National Army to develop the skills needed to run Check Points. (MoD, 23 Sep 11.)
Another group of Commando Gunners have been ‘mentoring’ Afghan Police in Helmand, putting into practice advice received from the Devon and Cornwall Police. (MoD, 23 Sep 11.)
1st Bn The Rifles Battle Group “has not experienced the level of fighting over the Summer that they were expecting….”. (MoD, 23 Sep 11.)
20 Armoured Brigade has completed training for preparing the Afghan National Security Forces for transition in Helmand Province. [OP HERRICK 15.] (MoD, 23 Sep 11.)
Comment: The NATO Secretary General was among those who strongly condemned the attack in Kabul resulting in the death of Burhanuddin Rabbani, the former President of Afghanistan, on 20 Sep 11.
22 Sep 11. Libya: OP ELLAMY. MoD daily briefings, up to and including 22 Sep 11, confirmed continued strike activity by Tornado GR4 and Typhoon aircraft. The aircraft used 1,000lb and 500lb laser and GPS guided Paveway bombs to engage targets. RN vessels, including HMS LIVERPOOL remain on patrol off Libya. (MoD 18-22 Sep 11.)
HMS OCEAN liased with FS MISTRAL “in a practical demonstration” of Anglo-French co-operation.
FS MISTRAL took over recently from her sister-ship FS TONNERRE. (MoD, 19 Sep 11.)
HMS OCEAN resumed patrols off Libya following a short break in Crete to undergo essential maintenance. HMS LIVERPOOL, HMS BANGOR and RFA Fort Rosalie are also on station. (MoD, 20 Sep 11.)
The Chief of the Defence Staff visited UK Service personnel deployed to Gioia del Colle. (MoD, 20 Sep 11.)
The Operation has seen NATO coalition aircraft carry out 23,000 sorties in support of UN Security Council Resolution 1973. (MoD, 20 Sep 11.)
The Defence Secretary welcomed the announcement (21 Sep 11) that NATO’s mission in Libya is to be extended by 90 days. 16 Tornado and two attack helicopters are to be kept on Operations while four Typhoon and three attack helicopters are to be returned to the UK. (MoD, 22 Sep 11.)
Typhoons left Gioia del Cole and returned to RAF Coningsby. (RAF, 23 Sep 11.)
Nearly 50 members of 857 Naval Air Squadron returned to RNAS Culdrose. The Squadron’s two Mark 7 Sea King helicopters flew almost 100 Operational sorties over Libya. (MoD, 23 Sep 11.)
Comment: On 20 Sep 11 in New York, the NATO Secretary General said that NATO is committed to continuing the mission in Libya for as long as threats against civilians endure but is also determined to end the Operation as soon as conditions allow.
The MoD stated (21 Sep 11) that UK Services have damaged or destroyed over 970 former regime targets since Operations started on 19 Mar 11.
22 Sep 11. Northern Ireland: ‘Bloody Sunday’. The MoD issued a statement (22 Sep 11) about ‘Bloody Sunday’. The Government has expressed regret and “wh