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18 Apr 12. Afghanistan: OP HERRICK. A Sapper (i.e. Private) from 33 Engineer Regiment died on 18 Apr 12, having been seriously injured in an explosive strike in the Nad’e Ali District on 11 Apr 12. UK deaths since the start of Operations on 7 Oct 01 thus rose to 409, of whom 369 were killed due to hostile action. (MoD, 18 Apr 12.)
From 1 Jan 06 to 31 Mar 12, 1,884 personnel were Wounded in Action and 5,631 were aeromedically evacuated. (DASA, 17 Apr 12.) From 16 to 31 Mar 12 the figures were six and 43.
A series of co-ordinated attacks in Kabul included an attack on the British Embassy. There was limited damage to Embassy premises but no casualties. (FCO, 15 Apr 12.)
The routine use of commercial charter flights to carry personnel on a return journey basis between the UK and the Middle East began in December 2008. Chartered aircraft are not permitted to fly to Afghanistan and this leg of the journey is carried out using military C-17 or TriStar aircraft. (Written Answer (WA), 16 Apr 12.)
Around 100 vehicles and other major pieces of equipment will be removed from Afghanistan during 2012. Vehicles include Trojan Armoured Engineer and Challenger Armoured Recovery units. (WA, 18 Apr 12.)
It is intended to bring all serviceable Mastiff, Ridgeback and Foxhound vehicles back from Afghanistan. Ministers expect to make decisions on which vehicles will be retained as part of the core equipment programme during the course of the next year. (WA, 19 Apr 12.)
Comment: There have been several adjustments to the ISAF troop contributing nations’ (TCN) contingents. With the recent addition of Bahrain, the number of TCN has increased to 50.
NATO Foreign and Defence Ministers, together with representatives of 22 ISAF partner nations, met in Brussels (18/19 Apr 12) in preparation for the Chicago Summit (20/21 May 12). The Defence Secretary announced that the UK is to provide £70m a year to fund the Afghan National Security Forces, starting in 2015.
18 Apr 12. Defence Transformation: Future of the Army. The Armed Forces’ Minister drew attention (18 Apr 12) to the Defence Transformation announcement which was made of 18 Jul 11 and which set out the strategic long-term direction for the structure of the Army. The announcement had also included the outcome of the review into Reserve Forces. No decisions have, as yet, been taken on the future structure of specific Army units.
Comment: Hansard for 18 Jul 11 records both the then Defence Secretary’s oral Statement and a Written Statement. “Detailed work ” is said to be under way on the future of the Army and this “is expected to report later this year”. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 12/16, 23 Apr 12)
16 Apr 12. Gibraltar: Regiment Mounts Guard. The Royal Gibraltar Regiment assumed Public Duties from 1st Bn Coldstream Guards on 16 Apr 12, for two weeks. As well as guarding Buckingham Palace, St James’s Palace and the Tower of London, the Regiment fired a 62-gun Royal Salute at the Tower to mark HM The Queen’s birthday.
Comment: The current tour is only the second time that the Royal Gibraltar Regiment has performed Public Duties in London. Since 1991 the Regiment has had a predominantly Infantry role, while retaining Light Guns in order to fire ceremonial salutes. Both Regular and Territorial (part-time) elements of the Regiment have produced volunteers to serve in Afghanistan. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 12/16, 23 Apr 12)
13 Apr 12. US-UK Defence Trade Co-operation: Treaty Now Valid. The US-UK Defence Trade Co-operation Treaty came into force on 13 Apr 12. The Treaty aims “to simplify transfer arrangements between the US and the UK for specific technology destined for UK and US Government end