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NEWS IN BRIEF

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EUROPE

03 Jun 13. Afghanistan: OP HERRICK. Task Force Joint Aviation Group (TF JAG) is comprised of Apache, Chinook, Lynx & Merlin helicopters operated and supported by RN, Army & RAF personnel in support of Operations. TF JAG is closely integrated within the US Marine Corps and continues to work in support of the transition. (RAF Ops Update, 3 Jun 13.)
Contrary to media reports, the detention facility at Camp Bastion is not facing closure. (MoD, 3 Jun 13.)
The MoD does not usually publish details of individual incidents in which insurgents are killed. (Written Answer
(WA), 3 Jun 13.)
Merlin HC3 helicopters have carried out their final Operations in Afghanistan and are being prepared for their return to the UK. (MoD, 3 Jun 13.)
The UK is to implement a generous package of training and financial support for locally engaged staff in Afghanistan, to include those who worked for Danish and Estonian forces. It is estimated that around 1,200
local staff will qualify for a redundancy package, of whom up to 600 will be eligible for resettlement. (Written Statement, 4 Jun 13.)
The MoD intends to restart the transfer of detainees captured by UK Forces into the Afghan judicial system.
There are approximately 90 individuals currently being held pending transfer. (WA, 6 Jun 13.)
The Chief of the General Staff (CGS) visited various units in Helmand Province. (TFH, 7 Jun 13.)
Comment: The FCO, together with the MoD and the Department for International Development, published an Afghanistan progress report for April 2013 (a summary is in a Written Statement for 5 Jun 13.)
ISAF published (7 Jun 13) a list of troop contributing nations as at 1 Jun 13. The total number of troops reduced to 97,813 from 99,590 with the UK contribution down to 8,065 from 9,000. It is still planned that the strength of the UK contingent will reduce to 5,200 by 31 Dec 13.
(Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 13/23, 10 Jun 13)

04 Jun 13. Syria: Use of Chemical Weapons? The Foreign Secretary said (4 Jun 13): “The scale of the atrocities being committed by the Assad regime is becoming ever clearer. We welcome the decision by France to share information related to samples from Syria with the UN investigation so that the full facts are established around allegations of chemical weapons use in Syria.” The UN has recorded that the conflict in Syria “has reached new levels of brutality” and noted allegations concerning the use of chemical weapons by both sides.
Comment: The French Foreign Minister said (4 Jun 13) that samples taken from Syria and tested in France “prove the presence of sarin”, a poisonous nerve gas. Sarin is both colourless and odourless.
(Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 13/23, 10 Jun 13)

02 Jun 13. Burma: Visit by the Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS). CDS visited Burma from 2 to 4 Jun 13, meeting the President and the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces among others. During his visit, CDS discussed the role of the military in supporting Burma’s democratic transition and the importance of security sector reform. The national peace and reconciliation process was also discussed.
Comment: CDS has confirmed that the UK is to appoint a permanent Defence Attaché to Burma in Autumn 2013, replacing the present non-resident Defence Attaché. Military training co-operation is a future possibility.
(Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 13/23, 10 Jun 13)

03 Jun 13. Australia: Fleet Review. The Armed Forces’ Minister confirmed (3 Jun 13) that the First Sea Lord will be attending the Australian International Fleet Review in Sydney in October 2013. The UK will also be represented at the Review by HMS DARING, a Type 45 destroyer.
Comment: During the Austral

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