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NEWS IN BRIEF

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20 Nov 11. Afghanistan: OP HERRICK. A Private from 1st Bn The Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment was killed by an improvised explosive device while on patrol in the Jamal Kowi area on 20 Nov 11. UK deaths since the start of Operations on 7 Oct 01 thus rose to 389, of whom 345 were killed as a result of hostile action. (MoD, 20 Nov 11.)
The Hercules C-130J based at Kandahar moved almost 150 tonnes of freight and conducted nearly 1,700 passenger movements in the last week. (Joint Media Ops, 20 Nov 11.)
Since May 2010, 477 MoD civilians have visited Afghanistan while MoD Special Advisers made nine return trips to Afghanistan in the same period. (Written Answer (WA), 21 Nov 11.)
British Forces are to remain within the three present Districts and hand over progressively within them to the Afghan National Security Forces. (Chief of the Defence Staff, 23 Nov 11.)
Soldiers from 1st Bn The Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment and from 5th Bn The Rifles joined with Afghan Security Forces in two anti-insurgent Operations (OP BRAVE COBRA & OP COURAGEOUS MOUNTAIN). (Media Ops, 24 Nov 11.)
Comment: The Foreign Secretary informed the House of Commons (21 Nov 11) of the publication of the 11th Progress Report on Developments in Afghanistan. The Report is published in Hansard and on the FCO website (www.fco.gov.uk). Media reports indicate that the number of German Troops in Afghanistan is to be reduced by 500 in early 2012 and by a further 500 in early 2013. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 11/46, 28 Nov 11)

21 Nov 11. Libya: After OP ELLAMY (19 Mar – 31 Oct 11). A small MoD team is working with US experts and the Libyan authorities to secure, disable and destroyMan-Portable Air Defence Systems (MANPADS). (WA, 21 Nov 11.)
The MoD has a small Defence Advisory Team as part of the UK Embassy in Tripoli. The UK stands ready to respond to any formal request for Defence and Security assistance from the new Libyan Government.(WA, 23 Nov 11.)
The MoD’s current assessment is that Libya remains largely stable. (WA, 24 Nov 11.)
HMS BANGOR sailed into HM Naval Base Clyde on the morning of 25 Nov 11. (MoD, 25 Nov 11.)
Comment: The Foreign Secretary welcomed (22 Nov 11) the formation of a transitional Government in Libya. The UK is to ask the new Government to support continuing Police investigations into the killing of
WPC Fletcher and into the Lockerbie bombing. The FCO is also to work for “reconciliation” following Qadhafi’s past support for IRA terrorism. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 11/46, 28 Nov 11)

24 Nov 11. Lord Astor of Hever, Parliamentary under Secretary of State for Defence welcomed the Vice Chief of Defence for The Socialist Republic of Vietnam, Lieutenant General Nguyen Chi Vinh and his delegation to a lunch held at Lancaster House to mark the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the two nations. The signing of this Memorandum follows on from the Strategic Partnership Declaration signed on 8th September 2010 by the Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, Pham Gia Khiem and the UK Foreign Secretary, the Rt Hon William Hague MP. The agreement with Vietnam demonstrates the UK’s commitment to pursuing an active foreign policy with emerging powers around the world. The UK aims to make the Strategic Partnership a springboard to take our growing bilateral trade relationship to the next level. The Strategic Partnership Declaration demonstrates the breadth and the depth of our cooperation, including defence & security. The UK is looking to engage more closely with countries in South East Asia and the Defence Cooperation MOU signed today between Lord Astor of Hever, and Vice Minister of National Defence Vinh, is another example of this regio

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