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01 May 13. Afghanistan: OP HERRICK. A Corporal and a Fusilier from 2nd Bn The Royal Regiment of Scotland together with a Private from 7th Bn The Royal Regiment of Scotland died of injuries sustained on 30 Apr 13. The soldiers were part of a patrol travelling along Route 611 in the Nahr-e-Saraj District when their vehicle was struck by an improvised explosive device. (MoD, 1 May 13.) UK deaths since the start of Operations thus rose to 444, of whom 401 were killed due to hostile action.
Comment: The above patrol was travelling in a Mastiff protected patrol vehicle and the attack attracted a considerable amount of (ill-informed) media comment. As pointed out by the MoD on 2 May 13: “….it would be premature to comment on whether the vehicle or its protection were penetrated. The protection afforded by these vehicles has saved many lives already and offers much-improved survivability for our personnel.”.
Some 306 Mastiff (the initial 108 plus an additional 198 Mastiff 2) have been taken into UK service. On 19 Apr 12 a Ministerial Answer indicated that all serviceable Mastiff (as well as Ridgeback and Foxhound) vehicles will be recovered from Afghanistan. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 13/18, 06 May 13)
BATTLESPACE Comment: Sources close to BATLESPACE suggest that the Mastiff was on a daily route clearing patrol on Route 611, the only current UK deployment permitted, when the incident occurred. The road concerned links UK and IS Forces and is a vital supply artery. Other Mastiffs have received hits on this route in the past but with no serious injuries or fatalities.

01 May 13. Three British soldiers have died in Afghanistan after their vehicle was hit by an improvised explosive device in Helmand, the Ministry of Defence said. They were from the Royal Highland Fusiliers, the 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland. Their next of kin have been informed. The soldiers, who died on Tuesday, were in a Mastiff armoured vehicle. Prime Minister David Cameron said the country had paid a “very high price” for its work in Afghanistan. The number of UK service personnel to have died since operations in Afghanistan began in 2001 is now 444, with the latest deaths bringing the total of British troops killed in Afghanistan this year to six. (Source: BBC)

01 May 13. United Arab Emirates (UAE): State Visit. As part of his State Visit, the President of the UAE called on the Prime Minister in Downing Street (1 May 13). The two leaders were said to have agreed that the relationship between their Countries has developed significantly in the last year, “especially building a deeper and substantive Defence partnership and significant new commercial links”. The UAE Foreign Minister held a corresponding meeting with the Foreign Secretary during which “they discussed the strong UK-UAE bilateral relationship”.
Comment: The UAE and the UK signed a Defence Co-operation Accord in 1996 which was refreshed during a visit to the UAE by the Prime Minister in November 2012. The possible sale of (60) Typhoon aircraft to the UAE may well have been discussed during the State Visit but any such discussions were not made public. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 13/18, 06 May 13)

01 May 13. Scotland: Report by Foreign Affairs Committee. The Foreign Affairs Committee published (1 May 13) a Report on Foreign policy considerations for the UK and Scotland in the event of Scotland becoming an independent Country. Of particular interest to the Defence community is the conclusion that: “The Scottish Government’s commitment to removing the UK’s nuclear deterrent from Scotland would, if delivered, have far-reaching bilateral, foreign, security and budgetary consequences for

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