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23 Oct 11. Afghanistan: OP HERRICK. The Kandahar-based Reapers of 39 Squadron, RAF, continued to provide reconnaissance and attack support to ISAF troops in South and East Afghanistan. (RAF, 23 Oct 11.)
Commanders on the ground have access to sufficient helicopter flying hours to enable core tasks to be undertaken. (Written Answer (WA), 24 Oct 11.)
The MoD Labour Support Unit estimates that, since March 2006, around 2,000 to 2,400 interpreters have been employed. The MoD takes responsibility for all those employed “very seriously”. (WA, 25 Oct 11.)
Tasks completed by a team of Royal Engineers in Helmand Province included the design and construction of 71km of Tarmac road as well as the construction/refurbishment of 34 Afghan Police bases. (MoD, 26 Oct 11.)
Since 2006, 42 UK helicopters have been damaged on landing in Afghanistan. (WA, 27 Oct 11.)
By the end of 2014, Afghan Forces will lead on security Operations in all Afghan Provinces. The UK and the international community will retain a long-term commitment to Afghanistan. (MoD, 28 Oct 11.)
Comment: There have been some slight adjustments to the ISAF troop contributing nations’ (TCN) contingents, as shown at page 3. With the recent addition of El Salvador, the number of TCN has increased to 49.
The forthcoming conference on Afghanistan, to be held in Bonn, is to have three main themes: the political process, the international community’s long-term relationship with Afghanistan and the civilian aspects of transition. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 11/42, 31 Oct 11)
23 Oct 11. Libya: OP ELLAMY. The Foreign, Defence and Development Secretaries issued Statements to mark the fall of Sirte, the death of Colonel Qadhafi and the Libyan Declaration of National Liberation. (FCO, 23 Oct 11.)
The Defence Secretary said that NATO Operations in Libya would “continue for as long as necessary, but not a moment longer”. (MoD, 24 Oct 11.)
As at 10 Oct 11, the number of Service personnel deployed overseas in support of OP ELLAMY was:
RN/RM – 350; Army – 90 & RAF – 770. (WA, 24 Oct 11.)
A team from the UK is assisting with the collection of small weapons and with the problem of missing missiles in Libya. (Oral Answer, 25 Oct 11.)
The UN Security Council voted unanimously (Resolution 2016) to end the NATO Civilian Protection Mandate in Libya, from 31 Oct 11. (UN, 27 Oct 11.)
The current UK commitment includes: HMS LIVERPOOL, HMS BANGOR, 16 Tornado GR4, One Sentinel, two E-3D Sentry and two VC10 tankers. Up to 24 Oct 11, UK Forces employed around 1,420 precision guided munitions, some 110 direct fire weapons, about 4,100 30mm cannon rounds and around 240 rounds of 4.5inch naval ammunition. (MoD, 28 Oct 11.)
The NATO Secretary General confirmed the North Atlantic Council decision to end Operations over Libya on
31 Oct 11. (NATO, 28 Oct 11.)
The Defence Secretary visited Gioia del Colle (28 Oct 11) and approved the immediate return to the UK of six Tornado [from the 16 shown above]. Operations continue until 31 Oct 11, but “scaled down significantly”.
HMS LIVERPOOL started her journey back to UK waters during 29/30 Oct 11. (MoD, 28 Oct 11.)
Comment: At OP ELLAMY’s peak, the UK had 2,300 personnel, four ships and 32 aircraft committed to the Operation. 3,000 sorties were flown, over 2,100 of which were ‘strike’ sorties. (MoD figures.) (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 11/42, 31 Oct 11)
28 Oct 11. Anglo-French Collaboration: Major Naval Exercise. The MoD announced (28 Oct 11) that a major Anglo-French Naval Exercise is being planned for 2012. The UK Response Force Task Group is to join forces with the FS CHARLES DE GAULLE and her Battlegroup in the Mediterranean in order to demonstrate co-operation between the two Navies. The First Sea Lord and his French counterpart agreed that mar