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12 Jul 12. Afghanistan: OP HERRICK. Tornados of 617 Squadron undertook reconnaissance missions throughout Afghanistan, covering all Regional Commands. Reaper aircraft of 39 Squadron delivered over 250 hours of full motion video to ground troops during the past week. (RAF Ops Update, 8 Jul 12.)
Members of the Light Dragoons changed their reconnaissance role to police monitoring, as part of ‘transition’ in Helmand. (MoD, 9 Jul 12.)
The number of common law personal injury compensation claims attributable to service in Afghanistan was 224, as at 30 Jun 12. (Written Answer (WA), 10 Jul 12.)
Task Force Helmand personnel are expanding their sphere of influence in the Upper Gereshk Valley. (MoD, 11 Jul 12.)
The MoD has spent about £41m to date on the leasing of helicopters in Afghanistan. (WA, 12 Jul 12.)
Reaper is the only armed remotely piloted aircraft system used by the UK. In Afghanistan, the policy governing the use of Reaper is identical to that for conventionally piloted combat aircraft. (WA, 12 Jul 12.)
A portable facility to support vehicle mechanics has been successfully trialled in Afghanistan. The Fitter Section In A Box (FSIAB) is a containerised system providing workshop facilities in Forward Operating Bases. (MoD, 13 Jul 12.)
Comment: In a Written Statement to the House of Commons (11 Jul 12), the Defence Secretary gave details of the next roulement of UK Forces in Afghanistan which is due to take place in October 2012. In the HERRICK 17 roulement 4th Mechanized Brigade is to replace 12th Mechanized Brigade as the lead British formation in Helmand Province. Members of the Reserve Forces will continue to deploy to Afghanistan and the MoD expects to issue around 575 call-out notices. The HERRICK 17 roulement will reflect an overall reduction of UK Forces by 500, as already announced. 4th Mechanized Brigade’s planned replacement is 1st Mechanized Brigade.
12 Jul 12. Olympic and Paralympic Games: Security. The Defence and Home Secretaries made Statements to the House of Commons about security for the Games (12 Jul 12). An additional deployment of Service personnel has been agreed, so that 17,000are now to be deployed. The Chiefs of Staff were said to support the deployment and that it would
“have no adverse impact on other Operations”. The Defence Secretary confirmed that there is no specific threat to the Games. Extra airspace restrictions around London and the South East started on 14 Jul 12. The air security plan includes: Typhoon aircraft deployed to RAF Northolt (from 9 Jul 12); Puma helicopters with RAF Regiment sniper teams deployed to Ilford (from 11 Jul 12); Rapier and Starstreak air defence teams at six London sites (from 12 Jul 12); Sea King helicopters deployed to RAF Northolt (from 13 Jul 12) and HMS OCEAN returning to London on 13 Jul 12.
Comment: As the MoD has pointed out: “….concerns about the ability of G4S to deliver the required number of guards in time for the Olympic Games has attracted a great deal of media coverage”. The 17,000 Service personnel involved are divided between: RN/RM – 2,600; Army – 11,800 and RAF – 2,600. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 12/28, 16 July 12)
12 Jul 12. Iran: Sweden to Represent the UK. Sweden and the UK announced (12 Jul 12) a ‘protecting powers’ agreement which will allow Sweden to represent British interests in Iran. Oman will perform the same role for Iran in London. A British Interests Section at the Swedish Embassy in Tehran is to provide limited consular assistance to British citizens in Iran and to take care of Embassy staff and property for as long as the British Embassy remains closed.
Comment: Sweden previously served as ‘protecting power’ for the UK in Iran until 1990. A ‘protecting power’ agreement has to be approved by the receiving State,