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04 May 12. Afghanistan: OP HERRICK. Two soldiers from The Royal Logistic Corps were killed in an indirect fire attack on a Forward Operating Base in the Northern part of Nahr-e Saraj District on 4 May 12. UK deaths since the start of Operations on 7 Oct 01 thus rose to 412, of whom 371 were killed due to hostile action. (MoD, 4 May 12.)
Despite poor weather over the operating area, the week ended 28 Apr 12 was extremely busy for the Tornado GR4 of 617 Squadron. (RAF Ops Update, 28 Apr 12.)
Over 600 members of the Afghan National Army and 170 International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) advisers were involved in OP SHAFUQ, to clear part of Nad ‘Ali. (MoD, 30 Apr 12.)
In the 2011/12 financial year, 24 military personnel were deployed as members of female engagement teams. The teams usually consist of a leader as cultural adviser/linguist supported by two protection members. (Written Answer (WA), 30 Apr 12.)
From 2013, the UK will be leading support for the new Afghan National Army Officer Academy. The UK expects to provide the majority of the 120 staff which will be required, as well as support personnel. (WA, 30 Apr 12.)
The Foreign Secretary awarded an initial batch of 110 Afghanistan Civilian Medals to a selection of diplomats, advisers and contractors. (FCO, 3 May 12.)
Comment: The NATO Secretary General discussed “security transition” with the Prime Minister in London on
3 May 12. The NATO Summit in Chicago (20/21 May 12) is to focus on three main topics: Afghanistan; building security in a time of austerity and strengthening partnerships. The Secretary General acknowledged that the UK is making a major contribution in all three areas. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 12/18, 07 May 12)

30 Apr 12. Campaign Medals: To be Reviewed. The Prime Minister announced (30 Apr 12) that a review of the rules and principles governing the award of military campaign medals is to make recommendations, where appropriate, for any change. Sir John Holmes, formerly HM Ambassador in Paris and Lisbon has been appointed to carry out the review and to report back later in 2012.
Comment: The review will be held against the background of a plethora of campaign awards followingthe General Service Medal (with 15 bars) and its successor Campaign Service Medal. A far bigger muddle surrounds commemorative medals (or ‘bling’) where the rules have changed and caused disappointment since the Coronation in 1953, followed by the Silver (25th) and Golden (50th) Jubilee awards and now the Diamond (60th) celebrations. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 12/18, 07 May 12)

03 May 12. Air defence missile systems which could play a key role in a comprehensive and layered air security plan during the Olympics are arriving at six sites in and around London as part of an exercise aimed at testing the military contribution to the overall security effort. The testing with practice dummy missiles – as part of ‘Exercise Olympic Guardian’ – takes place following several months of engagement in the areas in question. This has included extensive talks with local authorities and landowners alongside briefings to local MPs, discussion with community representatives and, most recently, delivering leaflets to residents’ homes. Defence Secretary Philip Hammond MP, said: “Whilst there is no reported threat to the London Olympics, the public expects that we have in place a range of measures aimed at ensuring the safety of this once-in-a-generation event. As part of the comprehensive security plan being tested this week, Ground Based Air Defence systems are temporarily at locations across London. We believe they will reassure the public and those attending the Games, while providing a powerful deterrent. Although a process of engagement has been underway for four m

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