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17 Jan 12. Afghanistan: OP HERRICK. From 1 Jan 06 to 31 Dec 11, 1,854 personnel were Wounded in Action and 5,319 were aeromedically evacuated. (DASA, 17 Jan 12.) From 16 to 31 Dec 11 the figures were five and 30.
The standard of food in Afghanistan is maintained and monitored on a daily basis. (Written Answer, 17 Jan 12.)
A team of tri-Service Regular, Reservist and multinational medical personnel took part in an intensive Training Exercise in preparation for their deployment. The Exercise at Towthorpe Lines, Strensall completed over a year’s worth of preparation for a three-month Operational tour. (MoD, 17 Jan 12.)
The Field Training Unit on Salisbury Plain expects to host 20 formations (17,000 to 20,000 personnel) during a 12-month cycle. Topics cover intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance together with helicopter and vehicle familiarisation. (MoD, 18 Jan 12.)
Comment: NATO’s senior civilian representative in Afghanistan, Ambassador Sir Simon Gass, lectured at the Royal United Services Institute (16 Jan 12) on the challenges ahead as the Country prepares to take on responsibility for its own security.
A classified report (‘A Crisis of Trust and Cultural Incompatibility’) was obtained and reviewed (20 Jan 12) by ‘The New York Times’. The report found that, between May 2007 and May 2011, at least 58 Western Service members were killed in 26 separate attacks by Afghan soldiers and police (representing six percent of hostile coalition deaths). The theme was tragically highlighted when four French soldiers were killed by an Afghan soldier on 20 Jan 12. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 12/04, 23 Jan 12)
17 Jan 12. Libya: Unexploded Ordnance. The Armed Forces’ Minister said (17 Jan 12) that the UK has “not specifically assessed the presence of unexploded World War Two ordnance in Libya”. The UK is, however, “working with the UN and international partners to address the very serious issue of unexploded ordnance and weapons contamination caused during the recent uprising”.
Comment: Although both sides recorded their minefields in North Africa during World War Two, they have been impossible to make safe. Land mines laid in the desert move with the ‘shifting sands’. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 12/04, 23 Jan 12)
17 Jan 12. Puma ZA934: Fatal Accident. The Armed Forces’ Minister announced (17 Jan 12) the findings of a Service Inquiry into the fatal accident of Puma ZA934 on 8 Aug 07 at Catterick. Two of the RAF aircrew were killed, together with an Army recruit who was being transported.
Comment: The Inquiry concluded that the cause of the accident was “an incorrectly executed manoeuvre”. Further details can be found in a Written Statement recorded in Hansard for 17 Jan 12. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 12/04, 23 Jan 12)
19 Jan 12. Denmark’s military spent $1.8bn in support of International Security Assistance Force operations in Afghanistan from 2001 to 2011, according to a government-ordered audit. The year-on-year cost, which was largely funded directly from the defense forces’ fiscal budget, averaged between 5 percent and 6 percent of annual spending on national defense over the 10-year period. The audit, completed Jan. 15, was based on figures provided by the Ministry of Defense and the Foreign Ministry. The military expenditure also includes the procurement cost for equipment specifically designated for operations in Afghanistan, such as air ventilation and filtering systems, and armored vehicles’ spare parts. The $1.8bn figure excludes monies provided by Denmark to support civilian aid and infrastructure projects in Afghanistan. These monies, which totaled $580m over the 10-year period, were mostly funded independent of the Foreign Ministry’s annual budget. (Source: Defense News