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21 Sep 12. Afghanistan: OP HERRICK. A Sergeant and a Private from 3rd Bn The Yorkshire Regiment were killed by a rogue Afghan Local Policeman in the Nahr-e Saraj District on 15 Sep 12. A soldier from the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers died at Camp Bastion on 21 Sep 12. A soldier from 28 Engineer Regiment died following a shooting incident at Forward Operating Base Shawqat on 21 Sep 12. Neither of the deaths on 21 Sep 12 are thought to have been the result of hostile action. UK deaths since the start of Operations on 7 Oct 01 thus rose to 432, of whom 390 were killed as a result of hostile action. (MoD, 21 Sep 12.)
From 1 Jan 06 to 31 Aug 12, 2,005 personnel were Wounded in Action and 6,162 were aeromedically evacuated. (DASA, 18 Sep 12.) For August 2012, the figures were 24 and 97.
Members of No 5 RAF Force Protection Wing, with members of the US Marine Corps, regained control of the Camp Bastion Airfield following an insurgent attack on 14 Sep 12, killing 14 and capturing one enemy.
(MoD, 19 Sep 12.)
Comment: The Foreign Secretary announced publication (18 Sep 12) of the 20th progress report on Afghanistan since November 2010. Details can be found in Hansard and on the FCO website (www.fco.gov.uk).
In reply to an Urgent Question, the Defence Secretary made a Statement (17 Sep 12) to the House of Commons “on the security of UK soldiers in Afghanistan”. The Defence Secretary returned to the House of Commons (18 Sep 12) in response to a further Urgent Question “on the change in NATO’s strategy in Afghanistan”. Both Statements (and a certain amount of robust commentary) are recorded in Hansard for the two days. [Mr Dennis Skinner MP gave it as his opinion “that the allies are unreliable, Karzai is useless and the Afghan Forces are treacherous….”.] (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 12/37, 24 Sep 12)
18 Sep 12. Galileo: Due to be Operational in 2014. A Written Answer (18 Sep 12) from the Business Secretary stated that the Development Phase of the Galileo satellite navigation programme took place between 2000 and 2007 and was funded through contributions to
the European Space Agency (ESA). The UK provided €240.3m (£192m approx) to Galileo through its contributions to the ESA. Initial Galileo services are due to be declared operational in 2014, with the full services declared in 2019/20.
Comment: The ESA successfully launched Galileo’s first two satellites from French Guiana on 21 Oct 11. The in-orbit validation phase of the programme will be completed with the launch of a further two satellites.
18 satellites should be in orbit by the end of 2014 and 26 by the end of 2015. The full constellation of 27 and three orbiting spares is due to be deployed by 2019. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 12/37, 24 Sep 12)
10 Sep 12. Cluster Munitions: Destruction of Stockpile. A Foreign Office Minister said (10 Sep 12) that the UK was “greatly encouraged” that 111 countries have already joined the Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM). The Convention required States to destroy their stockpiles of cluster munitions within eight years of the Convention coming into force. Over 70% of UK stocks, or over 27 million sub-munitions, have been destroyed. It is the Government’s intention that all UK stocks will be destroyed by 31 Dec 13.
Comment: Cluster Munitions were debated in the House of Commons on 9 Nov 11 (Hansard, Column 412) and in the House of Lords on 10 Nov 11 (Hansard, Column 335). (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 12/37, 24 Sep 12)
07 Sep 12. Atomic Weapon Establishment (AWE): No Risk to Public. A Ministerial Written Answer (7 Sep 12) stated that the fire at the AWE Aldermarston on 12 Apr 12 was caused by the ignition of bearing grease within a ventilation extraction system. 17 fire fighting personn