08 Mar 17. Budget 2017: Defence Aspects. In his Budget Statement (8 Mar 17), the Chancellor of the Exchequer made no reference to Defence or to the Armed Forces. Figures released in Spring Budget 2017 show MoD Departmental Expenditure Limits (DEL), as
follows (E = Estimate and P = Plans):-
2016/17E 2017/18P 2018/19P 2019/20P
Resource DEL 26,700 27,500 28,200 29,000
Capital DEL 8,800 8,500 8,700 9,000
Total DEL 35,500 36,000 36,900 38,000
Comment: ‘Spring Budget 2017’ is published as HC 1025 and the above figures are derived from Tables 1.6 and 1.7. In announcing the Spring Budget, the Chancellor reminded the House of Commons that the present
document would be the last of its kind to be presented in the Spring. As an aside, the Chancellor also reminded the House that the UK has a debt of about £62,000 for every household in the country. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 17/11, 13 Mar 17)
06 Mar 17. Iraq and Syria: OP SHADER. On 28 Feb 17 Tornados destroyed Daesh positions North West of Mosul and several terrorist positions South
West of Bayji. On 1 Mar 17 Tornados and a Reaper struck five Daesh targets in Western Mosul and on the following day Typhoons hit a machine-gun position in the same area. On 3 Mar 17 Typhoons and Tornados
struck Daesh targets in Western Mosul. On 5 Mat 17 Tornados destroyed a Daesh-held building as Typhoons hit two targets in Mosul. (MoD, 6 Mar 17.)
The Council of the European Union (EU) advised (7 Mar 17) that the EU, Germany, Kuwait, Norway, Qatar, the UK and the UN are to co-chair the Brussels Conference on Supporting the Future of Syria and the Region on
5 Apr 17. Ministerial representatives from 70 delegations are anticipated.
On 6 Mar 17 Typhoons demolished a Daesh headquarters in Eastern Syria as Tornados struck terrorist supply routes within Mosul. On the following day Tornados eliminated a sniper team in Mosul as Typhoons attacked a
Daesh supply route. On 8 Mar 17 Tornados engaged a mortar position North West of Mosul and Daesh extremists within the city.
Comment: The RAF is keen to stress that it is “continuing to take the fight to Daesh in Iraq and Syria” while emphasising the “careful intelligence analysis” employed. A cynic may wonder at the ‘over-kill’ Employed. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 17/11, 13 Mar 17)
09 Mar 17. Afghanistan: More Female Cadets. The Vice Chief of the Defence Staff has welcomed the increasing female participation in the Afghan Security Forces. This year’s Academy class has the largest number of female graduates to date, with 23 Officer Cadets graduating on 9 Mar 17.
Comment: The UK is working to strengthen the role of women in the Afghan Security Forces, through the training of future female leaders at the Afghan National Army Office Academy. The 23 Cadets from the class of
2017 (above) join the 57 female Officers who have previously „passed out. from the Academy. The total number of graduates (male & female) is now more than 2,000. The UK has recently increased the number of personnel in Afghanistan, with 500 people now deployed in various advisory roles. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 17/11, 13 Mar 17)
08 Mar 17. Saudi Arabia: Numbers Seconded. The Armed Forces. Minister said (8 Mar 17) that there were 125 Service personnel stationed in Saudi Arabia (20 RN, 53 Army and 52 RAF). The precise number fluctuates on a day-to-day basis.
Comment: An earlier Parliamentary Reply (15 Sep 16) indicated the various assignments in Saud Arabia. Apart from those within the Embassy at Riyadh there are those advising the National Guard as well as the technical
experts with the National Guard Communications Projects. Aircraft, naval vessels and weapons all require a certain amount of support staff as the equipment is brought into service. There are also a small number of
liaison personnel working at the Saudi MoD and Operational Centres.