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NEWS IN BRIEF

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02 Oct 11. Afghanistan: OP HERRICK. In the week ended 2 Oct 11, Reapers of 39 Squadron RAF provided almost 300 hours of detailed video imagery and other reconnaissance. (RAF, 2 Oct 11.)
UK Forces have supported the establishment of seven Afghan Local Police sites within central Helmand. (Written Answer (WA), 3 Oct 11.)
The 600 members of the Commando Logistic Regiment have started to return to the UK and all should be back by 12 Oct 11 [at the end of HERRICK 14]. The rest of 3 Commando Brigade is also in the process of leaving Helmand. (MoD, 5 Oct 11.)
Comment: OP ENDURING FREEDOM having been launched on 7 Oct 01, the 10th anniversary was marked by statements from the Defence Secretary and from the Chief of the Defence Staff. CDS concluded: “Our core aims are the security of the UK and the linked development of the Afghan Security Forces. In this we are achieving our objectives in Afghanistan and we will succeed.”. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 11/39, 10 Oct 11)

06 Oct 11. Libya: OP ELLAMY. MoD daily briefings, up to and including 6 Oct 11, confirmed continued strike activity by Tornado GR4 delivering Paveway and Brimstone missiles. (MoD, 2-6 Oct 11.)
At least 10,000 Libyan missiles were said to be ‘unaccounted for’. (AFP, 3 Oct 11.)
“The UK continues to work with partners at the UN to unfreeze Libyan assets for the benefit of the
Libyan people.” (WA, 3 Oct 11.)
“On 27 Jul 11, the Government announced that they recognised and would deal with the National Transitional Council as the sole legitimate governing authority in Libya.” (WA, 3 Oct 11.)
HMS BANGOR destroyed a 2,000lb (907kg) mine and a torpedo off the port of Tobruk. (MoD, 5 Oct 11.)
Tornado aircraft have accumulated over 7,000 flying hours in support of NATO Operations. (RAF, 6 Oct 11.)
Comment: It has been confirmed that the Defence Committee is to take oral evidence in support of its Inquiry into ‘Operations in Libya’ on Wed 12 Oct 11, starting at 10.30hrs. The evidence session will now take place in the Wilson Room, Portcullis House (and not in the Palace of Westminster as previously advised). (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 11/39, 10 Oct 11)

06 Oct 11. NATO: Defence Ministers Meeting. NATO Defence Ministers met in Brussels (5/6 Oct 11) to review current Operations and to promote ‘Smart Defence’. Ministers discussed projects in critical areas such as surveillance and reconnaissance, medical support, force protection and the maintenance of essential assets. In discussing the prospects for ending the campaign in Libya: “Ministers affirmed that the time for terminating OP UNIFIED PROTECTOR is approaching but that the mission is not over yet.”. Defence Ministers of the 49 nations contributing to ISAF “expressed strong commitment to support Afghanistan throughout the transition process and well beyond”. How to continue to support Afghanistan after 2014 is to be discussed at the NATO Summit in Chicago in May 2012.
Comment: Much was made of ‘Smart Defence’, with the Secretary General saying that it was not an excuse for insufficient Defence spending but rather “we can spend smarter by spending together”. The trouble with these worthy sentiments is that they have been expressed many times before (without much effect). (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 11/39, 10 Oct 11)

07 Oct 11. Liam Fox has ordered an investigation into allegations that he compromised national security by allowing a close friend to have regular access to the Ministry of Defence, despite not being a government employee. The defence secretary has attracted criticism over his close friendship with Adam Werritty – his former flatmate and best man – who has been into the MoD’s headquarters 14 times in 16 months and reportedly hands out business cards stating he is an adviser to Dr Fox.

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