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NEWS IN BRIEF

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29 Feb 12. Afghanistan: OP HERRICK. From 1 Jan 06 to 15 Feb 12, 1,874 personnel were Wounded in Action and 5,487 were aeromedically evacuated. (DASA, 29 Feb 12.) From 1 to 15 Feb 12 the figures were three and 94.
The Air Component Commander hosted a two-day conference “to discuss the challenges of delivering air Operations in Afghanistan and to shape the contribution of air power” as the UK moves towards Transition. (RAF Ops Update 25 Feb 12.)
Search of a compound in Sangin uncovered a stash of weapons while an Operation in the Pupalzay region disclosed over 90kg of opium. (MoD, 27 Feb 12.)
“The strategic air bridge has moved nearly 58,000 people to and from Afghanistan in the past 12 months.” (Chief of the Air Staff, 28 Feb 12.)
A joint Afghan and British team seized an anti-tank weapon, which had been used to target a British base, together with rocket-propelled grenades and improvised explosive device components. (MoD, 28 Feb 12.)
The Government has been informed of the death of 27 British civilians in Afghanistan since 2008. (Written Answer (WA), 1 Mar 12.)
The current single rate of the Operational Allowance is £29:02 per day, tax-free. (WA, 1 Mar 12.)
Comment: During the past week, Defence Ministers visited five central Asian Countries “in an effort to boost Britain’s relationship with key Countries in the region….”. The Defence Secretary visited Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan while the Armed Forces Minister went to Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan. As the Defence Secretary said from the Kazakh capital: “We have a major logistical operation to undertake to get around 11,000 containers and around 3,000 armoured vehicles back from Afghanistan….”.(Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 12/10, 05 Mar 12)

27 Feb 12. Northern Ireland: Security Situation. The Northern Ireland Secretary delivered (27 Feb 12) a Written Statement to the House of Commons. The threat level in Northern Ireland remains at ‘severe’ (meaning that an attack is highly likely) while the threat level in Great Britain is ‘substantial’ (meaning that an attack is a strong possibility).
Comment: The Statement is the first in what is expected to be a twice-yearly assessment. The full Statement is recorded in Hansard for 27 Feb 12, starting in Column 16WS. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 12/10, 05 Mar 12)

27 Feb 12. Following a rough year in 2010, France remained the world’s fourth-largest arms exporter last year, behind the U.S., U.K. and Russia, reporting a 25% boost – from €5.1bn to €6.5bn –
at the end of 2011. The French armaments agency DGA estimates the world’s top four arms exporters account for 90% of the global military export market, although anemic U.S. and European budgets are helping to stimulate the market entry of new players, including China and South Korea. French export performance in 2011 is about the same as in 2010 in terms of revenue, but still far behind 2009, when exports totalled nearly €8.2bn, according to DGA. Highlights among France’s 2011 exports include the sale of Mistral-class amphibious assault ships to Russia, India’s upgrade to its Mirage 2000 fighters and the sale of armored vehicles to Saudi Arabia. During a Feb. 22 briefing, DGA head Laurent Collet-Billon said a Franco-British study on whether the two nations could merge their future satellite telecommunications requirements is continuing with the idea that both the French Syracuse 3 and British Skynet 5 systems would be succeeded by a Franco-German system. He said that in all likelihood, the system would be contracted as a public-private partnership. This is already the case for Britain’s Skynet 5 system. During a France-U.K. defense and security cooperation summit Feb. 17, the two countries agreed to increase cooperation, including satellite communications. (Source: D

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