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NEWS IN BRIEF

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EUROPE

17 Sep 13. Afghanistan: OP HERRICK. From 1 Jan 06 to 31 Aug 13, 2,151 personnel were Wounded in Action and 6,927 were aeromedically evacuated. (DASA, 17 Sep 13.) In August 2013 five were Wounded in Action and 44 aeromedically evacuated. An RAF C-130 Hercules Aero Medical Evacuation Flight and its crew saved the lives of Afghan National Security Forces personnel. (RAF, 15 Sep 13.)
When the Afghan National Army’s Officer Academy is at full strength, each intake will have 350 students including 90 females. (MoD, 16 Sep 13.)
The Prime Minister welcomed the NATO Secretary General to Downing Street and highlighted the UK’s continued commitment to Afghanistan after 2014. Support for the Officer Training Academy in Kabul and funding for the Afghan Security Forces were mentioned. (PM.s Office, 18 Sep 13.)
The Hermes 450 Unmanned Air Systems have completed over 70,000 hours of surveillance support to UK Forces. (Task Force Helmand, 19 Sep 13.)
Comment: During a break in Operations, an Afghan team from 3/215 Brigade beat a team from 4 RIFLES by five wickets in a game of 20/20 cricket.
(Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 13/37, 23 Sep 13)

16 Sep 13. Syria: The Inspectors’ Report. The UN Mission concluded that “chemical weapons were used on a relatively large scale in the Ghouta area of Damascus on August 21st, causing numerous casualties particularly among civilians.”. (UN Briefing, 16 Sep 13.)
“85% of the blood samples tested positive for sarin.” (UN Briefing, 16 Sep 13.)
The Foreign Secretary urges “all parties” to acknowledge the findings of the UN Inspectors’ report on the use of chemical weapons in Syria. (FCO, 16 Sep 13.)
The UN Mission confirmed unequivocally “that chemical weapons have been used in Syria. It detailed the types and trajectories of the rockets used to deliver their lethal pay-load….” (UN Briefing, 18 Sep 13.)
The UN Mission “is actively preparing to go back to Syria as soon as possible to continue its investigation of all other pending credible allegations of chemical weapons use.” (UN Briefing, 20 Sep 13.)
Comment: The key dates so far in this grim saga are 10 and 16 Sep 13. On 10 Sep 13 the Syrian Government pledged to surrender the chemical weapons it had previously denied owning, while on 16 Sep 13 the UN Inspectors confirmed the use of sarin as recorded above. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 13/37, 23 Sep 13)

13 Sep 13. Radio Spectrum: Part Sale. The MoD announced (13 Sep 13) that it is preparing to release around 200 Megahertz of radio spectrum to the
communications regulator Ofcom, so that it can be made available for commercial use. Ministerial assurance has been given that the release “will have no impact on national security or the Operational effectiveness of the UK’s Armed Forces.”
Comment: Radio spectrum in this context refers to the radio waves over which all wireless communications takes place, including: radio, television, radar, satellite, mobile voice and data. The spectrum being released is all below 15 Gigahertz, which is regarded as the most useful and valuable part of the radio spectrum because of its wide range of applications. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 13/37, 23 Sep 13)

16 Sep 13. Mali: Change of Mentors. The MoD advised (16 Sep 13) that 1st Bn The Rifles (1 RIFLES) have assumed responsibility for the UK.s
contribution to the European Union (EU) Mission in Mali. 1 RIFLES have taken over from 1st Bn The Royal Irish Regiment (1 R IRISH), which deployed six months ago in support of the EU Training Mission. The official handover date was 14 Sep 13.
Comment: The Rifles deployment is expected to last for six months and involves 21 volunteers. The pre-deployment trai

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