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08 Aug 17. Iraq and Syria: OP SHADER. On 31 Jul 17 Typhoons attacked a Daesh defensive position and two sniper teams in Raqqa. Typhoons destroyed a Daesh strongpoint in Raqqa on 2 Aug 17 and an ammunition factory and three sniper positions on 4 Aug 17. (MoD, 8 Aug 17.)
On 9, 10, 11. 12, 13 & 14 Aug 17 Tornados and Typhoons attacked Daesh targets in Raqqa. On 16 Aug 17 Typhoons attacked a position in Raqqa while Tornados bombed a mortar position in Northern Iraq. Tornados
and Typhoons engaged targets near Tal Afar and Raqqa on 17 Aug 17 while Tornados and Typhoons were active again over Raqqa on 18, 19 & 20 Aug 17. (MoD, 22 Aug 17.)
On 21 Aug 17 Tornados and Typhoons destroyed two trucks and a car-comb near Tal Afar. Tornados and Typhoons continued to engage hostile targets on 23, 24, 25, 26, 27 & 28 Aug 17. (MoD, 31 Aug 17.)
Comment: The Defence Secretary visited 2nd Bn The Royal Regiment of Scotland (2 SCOTS) on 24 Aug 17 as the Battalion prepares for its future roles. In Iraq, 2 SCOTS will provide the latest training in urban combat,
marksmanship and countering improvised explosive devices (IED). [2 SCOTS is a ‘light role’ Infantry battalion of 35 Officers and 414 Soldiers supported by 53 attached personnel.] (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 17/31, 04 Sep 17)
30 Aug 17. Japan: Prime Minister’s Visit. The Prime Minister visited her counterpart in Japan (30 Aug – 1 Sep 17) in order to enhance trade, security and Defence relations. A Japan-UK Joint Declaration on Security Co-operation was published (31 Aug 17) covering various areas for Defence engagement, including: joint exercises, unit-to-unit exchanges, Defence equipment & technology, maritime security, peacekeeping, counter-terrorism and cyber security. A Joint Statement was also issued (31 Aug 17) by the Prime Ministers, condemning North Korea’s ballistic missile launch on 29 Aug 17.
Comment: During the visit the Prime Minister confirmed that HMS ARGYLL is to take part in Japanese military exercises during December 2018 and that UK troops will also take part in joint exercises during 2019. Ultra Electronics announced (31 Aug 17) that the company has expanded its relationship with Jupitor Corporation of Tokyo, supporting future Japanese aerospace requirements. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 17/31, 04 Sep 17)
29 Aug 17. Estonia: Typhoons Redeploy. The RAF reported (29 Aug 17) that two Typhoons from 3(Fighter) Squadron have arrived in Estonia to conduct
a training mission. The aircraft are to conduct air/land integration training with the Army battlegroup deployed to Estonia as part of the NATO Enhanced Presence Operation. The aircraft deployment follows the end of their NATO enhanced air policing role in Romania.
Comment: Meanwhile, media reports (31 Aug 17) noted that the US has begun flying seven F-15C from the UK out of Lithuania on 30 Aug 17 (replacing four Polish F-16s). (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 17/31, 04 Sep 17)
28 Aug 17. Romania: End of Mission. Four RAF Typhoon FRG4 aircraft left Romania on 28 Aug 17; ending the UK’s five-month leadership of NATO’s enhanced air policing mission in the Country. Since April (2017) the Typhoons from 3(Fighter) Squadron have spent alternate weeks on stand-by to defend NATO’s airspace over the Black Sea; augmenting the Romanian Air Force’s existing air defence capability.
Comment: The Royal Canadian Air Force has now assumed responsibility for the NATO mission, as two of the RAF’s Typhoons relocated to Estonia to join training with the Army. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 17/31, 04 Sep 17)
09 Aug 17. OP SOPHIA: HMS ECHO’s Maintenance Period. The survey vessel HMS ECHO left the OP SOPHIA deployment in the Mediterranean on 9 Aug 17 in order to return to the UK for essential maintenance. It is anticipat