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NEWS IN BRIEF

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23 Sep 13. Afghanistan: OP HERRICK. Chefs deployed to Helmand Province on OP HERRICK 18 have achieved 55 National Vocational Qualifications in either Customer Service or Facilities Management. (Task Force Helmand, 23 Sep 13.)
The RAF Technical Supply Wing provides 24-hour aviation fuel support to the Joint Aviation Group Rotary Wing and visiting helicopters on the Flight Line at Bastion Air Field. (RAF, 23 Sep 13.)
The opening of a new $11.3m complex at the Lashkar Gah Training Centre, funded by the British and Danish Governments, enables the Afghan Ministry of Interior to teach further specialist Police courses. Soldiers from
2nd Bn The Royal Regiment of Scotland provide the Police Mentoring and Advisory Group. (MoD, 24 Sep 13.)
902, 903, 904 & 906 Expeditionary Air Wings continue to support current Operations. The Joint Aviation Group is closely integrated within the US Marine Corps. (RAF, 26 Sep 13.)
Comment: There has been some media speculation that British military advisers/planners could remain in Camp Bastion after 2014. Such military assistance may cover planning, intelligence and logistics but these suggestions remain speculative. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 13/38, 30 Sep 13)

23 Sep 13. Syria: Unanimous Action. Multiple streams of intelligence indicate that the regime executed a chemical weapons attack against Damascus suburbs, using rockets, in the early hours of 21 Aug 13. The Government judges that there were at least 350 fatalities, with the number of people affected between 1,188 and 3,600. (Written Answer, 23 Sep 13.) The UN Mission looking into allegations of use of chemical weapons has returned to the Syrian Arab Republic “to complete its fact-finding activities for all pending credible allegations.” (UN Briefing, 25 Sep 13.)
Following its arrival in Damascus on 25 Sep 13, the UN Mission finalised preparations for its forthcoming work.
(UN Briefing, 26 Sep 13.)
The UN Mission expects to finalise its activities in Syria “early next week.” (UN Briefing, 27 Sep 13.)
The UN Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 2118 (2013) requiring the destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons. The Security Council meeting lasted from 20.15hrs until 21:45hrs on 27 Sep 13.
(UN SC/11135, 27 Sep 13.)
The Foreign Secretary welcomed The Security Council Resolution and confirmed that the UK is “making an initial contribution of $3 million to the OPCW Syria Trust Fund”. (FCO, 28 Sep 13.) [OPCW = Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.]
Comment: The UN Secretary General drew attention to the activities of the Mission in Syria (as above) and said that he would transmit a report “promptly”, as soon as the team has concluded its work. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 13/38, 30 Sep 13)

27 Sep 13. Scotland: Report Published. The Defence Committee published (27 Sep 13) a Report on The Defence Implications of Possible Scottish Independence. The main part of the Report divides between: Foreign, Security and Defence Policy; A Scottish Defence Force; Scotland; the nuclear deterrent and NATO membership; The implications for the Defence Industry in Scotland and Implications for the United Kingdom. The Report seeks to answer how a sovereign Scottish Government would ensure the Defence and Security of an independent Scotland. The Committee also raises detailed questions about the proposed Scottish Defence Force.
Comment: The Report raises a number of intractable questions, many of which may be answered by a White Paper which the Scottish Government is due to publish in November 2013. The Report makes extensive use of the abbreviation ‘UK’ as a shorthand way of referring to the ‘remainder of the UK.’ (or England

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