04 Apr 16. Iraq and Syria: OP SHADER. On 30 Mar 16 Typhoons used Paveway IV guided bombs to strike a Daesh-held building and a stockpile of
concealed rockets near Fallujah. In Northern Iraq, also on 30 Mar 16, a second Typhoon flight destroyed two more buildings used as terrorists bases. On 31 Mar 16 Tornados attacked a terrorist observation post while providing close air support to Iraqi security forces. Typhoons bombed a Daesh vehicle on 1 Apr 16 as Tornados
destroyed three terrorist positions. On 2 Apr 16 Tornados conducted a major attack on a large weapons storage and manufacturing facility in Northern Iraq, while a Reaper eliminated a mobile mortar team. (MoD, 4 Apr 16.)
Tornados and Typhoons attacked five Daesh positions in Western and Northern Iraq on 4 Apr 16 while other aircraft were active over Northern Iraq. On the following day, Typhoons destroyed six terrorist targets in
Northern Iraq including a Headquarters building. On 6 Apr 15 Typhoons provided intensive air support to Iraqi ground forces in Hit while Tornados attacked a network of trenches in Northern Iraq. Tornados and Typhoons attacked a number of Daesh targets in Northern Iraq on 7 Apr 16 including terrorists engaged in close combat with Kurdish forces. (MoD, 8 Apr 16.)
Comment: RAF aircraft continued to fly daily armed reconnaissance missions across Syria and Iraq “to help the
coalition build an increasingly detailed intelligence picture of Daesh activities.” (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 16/14, 11 Apr 16)
08 Apr 16. Afghanistan: Puma II Deployment. RAF News (8 Apr 16) reported that Puma II helicopters have completed the first 12 months supporting NATO’s training mission in Kabul. Since deploying in 2015, the Puma Force has transported over 28,000 military and political passengers and more than 40 tons of equipment. The mission is the first deployment for the Benson based Puma Force and includes: aircrew, engineers, armourers, force protection specialists, flight operations staff, logisticians, administrators, intelligence staff and a meteorological forecaster.
Comment: OP RESOLOUTE SUPPORT is currently NATO’s largest mission with approximately 12,000 personnel from NATO and partner nations. As well as providing training, advice and assistance to Afghan Security Forces, Allies and partners contribute funds “for the long-term financial sustainment” of those Forces. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 16/14, 11 Apr 16)
03 Apr 16. Baltic Security: Deployments. The MoD announced (3 Apr 16) that HMS IRON DUKE and four Typhoon aircraft are deploying to the Baltic as part of the UK’s commitment to her allies. The four Typhoons are to operate in a Quick Reaction Alert role from Amari Air Base in Estonia.
The RAF advised (8 Apr 16) that Logistics Squadrons from RAF Wittering were on the move in support of the NATO Baltic Air Policing mission in Estonia. Trucks from No 2 Mechanical Transport Squadron collected
equipment for the Typhoons deploying to the Baltic States.
Comment: As part of standing arrangements within NATO, members of the Alliance without their own air policing assets are assisted by others on a four-monthly cycle. The RAF deployed Typhoons to Lithuania in
Spring 2014 and to Estonia in Summer 2015. HMS IRON DUKE is half-way through a six month deployment to Northern Europe as part of a NATO Task
Group. The Type 23 frigate is due to take part in EX BALTOPS 16 later this year with other RN ships, including HMS OCEAN and HMS PEMBROKE. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 16/14, 11 Apr 16)
27 Mar 16. Military Diplomacy: New Posts. The Defence Secretary announced (27 Mar 16) that new Defence Attaché posts and associated Defence Sections are to be created in Albania, Finland and Senegal (also covering the Sahel region). New Deputy Defence Attaché roles are being created in Afghanistan, Georgia, Latvia and Lithuania. A Senior Military Adviser post is to be created for the Organisation for Security and