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24 Jul 12. Afghanistan: OP HERRICK. Members of 51 Squadron, RAF Regiment, completed OP CHEETAH’s RISING. Working with the US Marine Corps, the Squadron ensured that the area around Camp Bastion is kept safe. (MoD, 24 Jul 12.)
Soldiers from 16 Signal Regiment are involved with assisting the local population in the delivery of rice, blankets and cooking utensils to some of Kabul’s poorest inhabitants. (MoD, 24 Jul 12.)
In the year since British troops formally handed responsibility for security in Lashkar Gah to Afghan Forces, the positive changes in the District are obvious. (MoD, 25 Jul 12.)
Comment: The official view was given in an MoD Press Release on 25 Jul 12 as: “Although, by 2015, UK Forces will no longer be in a combat role or in the numbers they are now in Afghanistan, the UK will continue to have a very strong relationship with Afghanistan based on diplomacy, trade, aid and development and the continued training of Afghan troops….”. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 12/30, 30 July 12)
24 Jul 12. Olympic and Paralympic Games: Military Assistance. The 1,200 troops on standby were called forward (24 Jul 12) to assist with security for the Games. The total military contribution thus rose to 18,200, of which 12,200 are supporting venue security operations including pedestrian and vehicle screening.
The Prime Minister visited (26 Jul 12) HMS OCEAN berthed at Greenwich. HMS OCEAN is acting as a command and control centre as well as a logistic hub in support of Police maritime security operations. The Prime Minister paid tribute to those Service personnel on Olympic duties, 1,000 of whom are being accommodated in HMS OCEAN.
Comment: The troops on standby who have been called forward are from the Royal Marines based in Arbroath and Plymouth, 1st (UK) Armoured Division based in Germany and 16 Air Assault Brigade based in Colchester and Windsor. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 12/30, 30 July 12)
25 Jul 12. Boeing Defence UK: Long-term Commitment. The MoD noted (25 Jul 12) that Boeing has become the first contractor to sign up to a new policy encouraging overseas-based companies to make long-term business commitments in the UK.
Comment: Overseas-based suppliers have been encouraged to invest in the UK’s Defence & Security sector through the launch of a new Defence and Security Industrial Engagement Policy. Boeing supplies the MoD with C-17 strategic transport aircraft as well as Apache and Chinook helicopters.
(Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 12/30, 30 July 12)
24 Jul 12. Anglo-French Collaboration: Two Agreements. The (newly appointed) French Minister for Defence and the (UK) Defence Secretary met in London on 24 Jul 12 “where they reviewed progress made under the Lancaster House Treaties of 2010”. The Ministers committed themselves to strengthening their Defence relationship further and welcomed the signature of two Memoranda of Understanding (MoU):-
* One MoU represents the first phase of a demonstration programme for a Future Combat Air System.
* A second MoU enables co-operation on the Watchkeeper Tactical UAS.
Comment: Thales expanded on the above announcement by stating that France is to undertake operational assessments and trials of the Watchkeeper system in 2012/13. Thales state that the delivery of Watchkeeper equipment to the British Army is on track, with over 200 hours of flying trials having taken place. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 12/30, 30 July 12)
26 Jul 12. A plan by the Ministry of Defence to hand the £14bn a year procurement of Britain’s military equipment to the private sector has been roundly criticised by a group of senior current and former government, military and defence industry officials.
“We . . . wonder if ministers are being asked to take a d