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NEWS IN BRIEF

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EUROPE

25 Nov 13. Afghanistan: OP HERRICK. Prior to July 2010, the Department for International Development (DfID) spent £3.59m on the Bost Airfield and Agricultural Business Park. (Written Answers (WA), 25 Nov 13.)
As the Afghan Government takes greater control in Helmand, the work of the UK Military Stabilisation Support Group is nearing an end. (MoD, 27 Nov 13.)
From August 2009 to October 2013, a total of £4.56m was spent on the Bost Airfield project. DfID spent £0.75m on road building. DfID is not able to provide details of US spending on the programme. (WA, 27 Nov 13.)
The aircraft damaged by a hailstorm at Kandahar Airfield on 23 Apr 13 were: Hercules C-130J, BAe 125, BAe 146, Chinook, Sea King & Lynx. It is too soon to give an estimate of the cost of repairs. (WA, 28 Nov 13.)
The King of Tonga spent three days in Camp Bastion, accompanied by his Chief of Defence Staff. The contingent of 55 Tongan soldiers undertook pre-deployment training for two months at RAF Honington. (Media Ops, 29 Nov 13.)
Comment: The Royal Marines Sergeant found guilty on 8 Nov 13 of the murder of an Afghan is due to be sentenced on 6 Dec 13. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 13/47, 02 Dec 13)

25 Nov 13. Philippine Islands: Further Assistance. HMS ILLUSTRIOUS arrived in the Philippines; taking over from HMS DARING. (RN, 25 Nov 13.)
An RAF C-17 continued to fly missions delivering humanitarian aid. (MoD, 25 Nov 13.)
An RAF C-130 delivering aid also assisted in the rescue of two (civilian) helicopter pilots who had crashed into
the sea off Manila. (MoD, 26 Nov 13.)
HMS ILLUSTRIOUS arrived North of Panay on 25 Nov 13 and sent reconnaissance teams to three islands: Calagnaan, Canas and Bayas. Engineering teams were sent to Bitoon to repair damage to a school and fishing boats as well as to clear fallen trees. (RN, 26 Nov 13.)
A troop of 30 men from 24 Commando Engineer Regiment is embarked in HMS ILLUSTRIOUS. The troop has the ability to build showers, provide sanitation, repair buildings and build bridges. (MoD, 28 Nov 13.)
The International Development Secretary updated the House of Commons on the UK’s response to Typhoon Haiyan. (Hansard, 28 Nov 13, Column 441.)
The RAF C-130 has delivered 200 tonnes of humanitarian aid across the Philippines in 10 days, from 19 to 29 Nov 13. (RAF, 29 Nov 13.)
HMS ILLUSTRIOUS has started the distribution of around 500 tonnes of aid, under the direction of DfID. Helicopters from HMS ILLUSTRIOUS continue to shuttle between remote islands. Islands in most need of assistance were initially identified by HMS DARING. (MoD, 29 Nov 13.)
Comment: Having seen some photographs of the devastation, an Army Lieutenant Colonel expressed concern (by signal) that sailors from HMS DARING were not “correctly trained and equipped” for humanitarian rescue work. (DR&A is indebted to an RN Reserve Officer for this gem of ‘health and safety’ nonsense!) (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 13/47, 02 Dec 13)

18 Nov 13. Mali: UK Involvement. A Ministerial reply (18 Nov 13) indicated that the UK had originally committed 40 military personnel in support of the EU Training Mission in Mali, but the number has now been reduced to 30.
Comment: The EU Training Mission “is successfully providing much needed training and support to the Malian Armed Forces”. Since 14 Sep 13, 1st Bn The Rifles has assumed responsibility for the UK.s contribution to the EU Training Mission. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 13/47, 02 Dec 13)

28 Nov 13. Voyager Aircraft: Hangar Limitations. The Defence Equipment Minister said (28 Nov 13) that Voyager aircraft do not fit in the hangars currently available at RAF Mount Pleasant in the Falkland Islands. Th

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