11 Jan 16. Iraq and Syria: OP SHADER. The International Development Secretary made a statement (11 Jan 16) in the House of Commons “on the current situation in Madaya and other besieged communities in Syria”. (Hansard, 11 Jan 16, Column 584.) On 6 Jan 16 two Tornado GR4s used two Paveway IV bombs in attacks on Iraqi terrorists. Operations over
Ramadi continued on 7 Jan 16 with Typhoons delivering six Paveway IV attacks on Daesh positions. On 8 Jan 16 Tornado GR4s conducted two more Paveway attacks near Mosul and on 10 Jan 16 the focus turned to a series of targets inside Syria. On 11 Jan 16 an RAF Reaper flew the 1,000th sortie by the type since they were committed to Operations against Daesh. (MoD, 11 Jan 16.)
A Joint UN/Red Crescent/Red Cross operation delivered humanitarian assistance to Madaya on 11 Jan 16.
(House of Commons, Daily Report, 12 Jan 16.)
On 12 Jan 16 Typhoon aircraft from RAF Akrotiri, supported by a Voyager air tanker, used Paveway IV guided bombs to attack a Daesh compound; initial analysis indicating that the attack was successful. (MoD, 13 Jan 16.) RAF aircraft continued active air operations against Daesh targets in Syria. On 11 Jan 16 a Reaper identified a terrorist check point and successfully attacked it with a Hellfire missile. Reapers maintained (12 Jan 16) surveillance over the oilfields in Eastern Syria, in order to deny Daesh their ability to use the oil with which to finance their operations. (MoD, 13 Jan 16.)
Comment: The RAF Deputy Commander of Operations issued (14 Jan 16) a note reflecting “on the RAF contribution to the UK‟s fight against the terrorist group Daesh”; the RAF having been engaged on OP SHADER for nearly 18 months. The Air Marshal concluded that the role of Air Command “is simply to force generate the Air Forces to sustain our contribution” with the personnel involved being “the real key to our success”.
(Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 16/03, 18 Jan 16)
12 Jan 16. Lebanon: Gifting of Equipment. In a Written Statement (12 Jan 16), the Foreign Secretary gave details of the proposed gifting of personal protection equipment to start the establishment of the 4th Land Border Regiment (4 LBR) of the Lebanese Armed Forces. The command element of 4 LBR has been established and the Regiment is preparing its deployment plan to cover the remaining 25% of the borders with Syria, from Arsal to Masnaa. The proposed gift is to be funded by the Government’s Conflict, Security and Stability Fund.
Comment: During a visit to Lebanon (14 Sep 15), the Prime Minister said that the UK has “provided around
£300m in assistance for Lebanon since the crisis began, including food, shelter and medical support”. Comment: About 1,000 Nigerian personnel have benefited from training to prepare them for counter-insurgency Operations in North East Nigeria; with 2 R ANGLIAN having played a major role. The MoD also supports a Nigerian intelligence and analysis cell focussed on the North East and based in Abuja. In addition to the soldiers, a team from the RAF Regiment is to train Nigerian Air Force personnel in airfield defence and counterinsurgency techniques. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 16/03, 18 Jan 16)
11 Jan 16. Warrior Infantry Fighting Vehicles (IFV): Upgrading. The Defence Procurement Minister said (11 Jan 16) that a contract had been placed in October 2011 (25 Oct 11) for the Warrior Capability Sustainment Programme, which is designed to keep the vehicle “at the front and centre of combat capability for the next 25 years”. The programme includes an improved turret with a new stabilised 40mm cannon and “a tailored armour mounting system”. The 7.62mm co-axial chain gun is to be retained, but will receive a number of modifications.
Comment: ‘Desider’ for October 2015 stated that 245 Warriors were to be upgraded as described above, to include “an ultra-modern CT40 weapon system”. Other features, such as an updated environmental control system, better all-r