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NEWS IN BRIEF

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16 Jan 13. Afghanistan: OP HERRICK. A Kingsman (i.e. Private) from 1st Bn The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment died on 16 Jan 13 from wounds sustained in the Lashker Gah District on 14 Jan 13. (MoD, 16 Jan 13.) UK deaths since the start of Operations thus rose to 440, of whom 397 were killed due to hostile action.
From 1 Jan 06 to 31 Dec 12, 2,076 personnel were Wounded in Action and 6,440 were aeromedically evacuated. (DASA, 16 Jan 13.) For December 2012 the figures were 10 and 63.
“We envisage the primary role of British Forces after 2014 to be assisting, mentoring and teaching at the Afghan National Officer Academy in Qargha….We do not intend to bring our troops out early….We expect to bring almost all our equipment out….” (Armed Forces’ Minister, 14 Jan 13.)
All Provincial Reconstruction Teams, including the UK-led Helmand PRT, will close by the end of 2014. (Written Answer (WA), 14 Jan 13.)
The MoD is still in the process of determining what pieces of equipment and material should be repatriated from Afghanistan and by what means. (WA, 14 Jan 13.)
“Corruption remains an endemic problem in Afghanistan society”. (WA, 15 Jan 13.)
The average period between tour completion and the start of the next pre-deployment training is 18 months; based on a policy of having 24 months between six-month tours. (WA, 16 Jan 13.)
The Reaper Remotely Piloted Air System currently employs two types of munitions: the GBU-12 laser guided bomb and the Hellfire AGM 114 precision guided missile. (WA, 17 Jan 13.)
About 6% of the military personnel deployed since 2007 have been female. (WA (derived), 17 Jan 13.)Comment: The involvement of the Department for International Development in Afghanistan was debated by the House of Commons on 17 Jan 13 (Hansard, Column 353 WH et seq).
The Defence Select Committee is to take evidence for its Inquiry into ‘Securing the Future of Afghanistan’ in the Thatcher Room, Portcullis House, at 14.30hrs on Wed 23 Jan 13. The main witnesses are due to be the Defence Secretary and the Deputy Chief of Defence Staff (Military Strategy and Operations). (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 13/04, 21 Jan 13)

12 Jan 13. Mali: Logistical Assistance. A spokesman confirmed (12 Jan 13) that the Prime Minister and the French President discussed the situation in Mali and how the UK could assist the French military initiative. The Prime Minister agreed that the UK would provide logistical military assistance to help transport troops and equipment to Mali. The UK would not be deploying any British personnel “in a combat role”. The FCO confirmed (13 Jan 13) that the UK had offered, at French request, two transport aircraft. The RAF reported (14 Jan 13) that the two C-17 transport aircraft had arrived at Eureux-Fauville Air Base, near Paris. The aircraft were loaded with armoured vehicles and other military equipment, for transport to the capital of Mali, Bamako.
Comment: It subsequently transpired that the MoD and the PJHQ at Northwood began contingencyplanning for potential UK deployments in support of French Forces on 11 Jan 13, with Ministerial authority following on 12 Jan 13. RAF plans were not assisted by one of the C-17s suffering a “minor technical fault” in Paris on 14 Jan 13.
A comprehensive summary of the situation will be found in House of Commons ‘Hansard’ for 14 Jan 13, starting in Column 621.
(Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 13/04, 21 Jan 13)

18 Jan 13. Algeria: Hostage Crisis. The Prime Minister altered his announced plans in order to make a Statement in the House of Commons
(18 Jan 13) “on the hostage crisis in Algeria and the tragic events of the last three days”. Technical and intelligence support, including experts in hostage negotiations and rescue, had been offered to the Algerian Prime Mini

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