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15 May 14. Afghanistan: OP HERRICK. From 1 Jan 06 to 30 Apr 14, 2,177 personnel were Wounded in Action and 7,170 were aeromedically evacuated. During April 2014, no personnel were Wounded in Action but 26 were aeromedically evacuated. (Def Stats, 15 May 14.)
The Defence Secretary witnessed the closure of OP (Observation Post) Sterga, the last forward base to be used by UK troops. The UK presence in Helmand is now centralised in Camp Bastion, which is due to close at the end of the year. (MoD, 11 May 14.)
Mental health care is provided for all serving Armed Forces personnel. (Written Answer (WA), 12 May 14.)
Once UK Forces have drawn down from their combat role in Helmand the UK will still have a small security team, largely composed of civilian contractors, based in Kabul. (WA, 12 May 14.)
The International Development Secretary delivered an update on Afghanistan to the House of Commons. The report covered the period from the last such Statement on 10 Feb 14. (Hansard, 14 May 14, Column 755.)
Comment: The Defence Committee’s Report on ‘Afghanistan’ was published as HC 994 for £10:00 on 13 May 14. The Report examines the possible outcomes of the new President of Afghanistan signing the Bilateral Security Agreement and Status of Forces Agreement in order to confirm the legal basis on which International Forces will operate in Afghanistan after 2014. The progress of withdrawal of UK Forces and equipment is also examined. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 14/20, 19 May 14)
13 May 14. Baltic Air Policing (BAP): Additional Air Support. The Prime Minister told the House of Commons Liaison Committee (13 May 14) that the UK will be offering two additional Typhoons for the BAP deployment. The Sentinel aircraft deployment could be extended until the end of 2014, if required. The UK may also offer air-to-air refuelling support.
Comment: The additional Typhoon will join the four which deployed, on 28 Apr 14, to the Siauliai Air Base in Lithuania. The Polish Air Force MiG-29 Fulcrum fighter aircraft are also deployed to Siauliai, operating from the opposite end of the runway. The Prime Minister foresaw British participation in NATO Exercises in the Baltic States as well as “a range of packages” to assist NATO allies. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 14/20, 19 May 14)
14 May 14. Nigeria: Missing Schoolgirls. During his weekly Questions (14 May 15), the Prime Minister said that the UK has “offered Nigeria further assistance in terms of surveillance aircraft and a military team to embed with the Nigerian Army in its HQ, as well as a team to work with US experts to analyse information on the girls’ ‘Location’.
Comment: The Prime Minister was referring to the abduction of over 200 schoolgirls in Northern Nigeria on 14 Apr 14. A UK team arrived in Abuja on 9 May 14; co-ordinating closely with France, Canada and the US, who have also sent teams to Nigeria. The UK team is drawn from the FCO, the MoD, the Department for International Development (DfID) and Family Liaison Officers; having been assembled at the request of President Jonathan. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 14/20, 19 May 14)
16 May 14. Armed Forces: Trained Requirements and Strengths. As at 1 Apr 14 the trained (Regular) Armed Forces were under strength by 8,740 (5.5%) against a reduced requirement of 159, 640 all ranks.
TRAINED ARMED FORCES
FULL TIME REQUIREMENTS AND STRENGTHS AS AT 1 APR 14
Requirement(1) Strength(1) Deficit/Surplus
RN/RM Officers 5,850 6,100 +250
RN/RM Other Ranks 24,490 24,410 -80
Army Officers 13,620 12,460(2) -1,160
Army Other Ranks 80,480 74,720(2) -5,760