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16 Feb 13. Afghanistan: OP HERRICK. During the reporting period (16 to 22 Feb 13), Tornados from IX (Bomber) Squadron conducted a number of reconnaissance missions using the RAPTOR (Reconnaissance Airborne Pod for Tornado). The Sentinel of V (Army Co-operation) Squadron carried out five missions during the period. There were almost 3,200 aircraft movements during the period. (RAF Ops Update, 5 Mar 13.)
Within the UK Area of Operations, Afghans are able to register claims arising from ISAF Operations with the MoD Area Claims Officer in Lashkar Gah. (Written Answer (WA), 6 Mar 13.)
The MoD is still in the process of determining what pieces of equipment should be repatriated from Afghanistan and by what means. (WA, 7 Mar 13.)
Comment: During a visit to Afghanistan (4/5 Mar 13), the NATO Secretary General reiterated that the Alliance would “stay committed” after the end of the ISAF combat mission in 2014. A new mission to train, advise and assist the Afghan Security Forces after 2014 is to be called Resolute Support. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 13/11, 11 Mar 13)
04 Mar 13. Mali: OP NEWCOMBE. The Foreign Secretary visited Bamako (4/5 Mar 13) and had meetings with the President and Prime Minister of
Mali. The Foreign Secretary reaffirmed the UK’s support to Mali and received an update on military progress.
The Foreign Secretary also met African troops from the African-led International Support Mission to Mali (AFISMA) as well as members of the UK military team supporting the RAF C-17 aircraft. (FCO, 4 Mar 13.)
Force protection for the UK military team supporting the C-17 aircraft in Bamako is being provided by the French. Protection for the EU training mission, to which the UK has offered both military and civilian personnel, is being provided by French and Czech military personnel. (Oral Answers, 5 Mar 13.)
Comment: A Ministerial Written Answer (4 Mar 13) for the Department for International Development anticipated an EU donor conference on 16 May 13, when discussions are due “on how international aid can assist the wider peace-building and stabilisation process in Mali”. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 13/11, 11 Mar 13)
06 Mar 13. Syria: Aid and Assistance. The Foreign Secretary made a Statement (6 Mar 13) to the House of Commons on Syria. The UK has contributed nearly £140m in humanitarian aid so far and over £9m in non-lethal support such as power generators and communications equipment. The UK is now to provide additional types of non-lethal equipment to the Syrian opposition, such as armoured four-wheel drive vehicles and body armour.
Comment: Additional views were expressed during House of Lords Questions (6 Mar 13). A Ministerial comment was “….we are all conscious that once you start supplying high-end weapons in a civil war, you never quite know where they will end up, as the French discovered in Mali”. Could this be ‘the pot calling the kettle black’? (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 13/11, 11 Mar 13)
04 Mar 13. UK ECO Issues Notice to Exporters 2013/08 on Updated OGELs for Military and Dual-Use Goods. The U.K. Government’s Export Control Organisation has issued Notice to Exporters 2013/08 on its amendment of Open General Export License (International Non-Proliferation Regime Decontrols: Dual-Use Items). UK ECO has amended this OGEL in line with Wassenaar updates agreed in 2012. In addition, UK ECO has created OGEL (International Non-Proliferation Regime Decontrols: Military Items) to reflect other Wassenaar updates in 2012. The Export Control Order 2008 (“the Order”) contains certain registration and record keeping requirements which apply to persons using OGEL (International Non-Prolifer