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NEWS IN BRIEF – EUROPE

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04 Jun 14. HM The Queen’s Speech: Defence Reform. HM The Queen’s Speech (4 Jun 14) outlined the Government’s priorities for the forthcoming Parliamentary year. Conditions of service are addressed in the Speech: “Legislation will be introduced to improve the complaints system in the Armed Forces through the creation of an Ombudsman.” The Speech also mentioned the forthcoming NATO Summit in Wales (4/5 Sep 14), “as a sign of the UK’s commitment to the Alliance”.
Comment: The MoD issued a Press Release to explain how the “new legislation will create the Armed Forces’ first Service Complaints Ombudsman”. According to the MoD, the Ombudsman’s remit would include: “The power to overturn, at the outset, a decision by the chain of command to exclude a complaint.” In other words, a possible ‘rogue’s charter, is proposed which could undermine the authority of the chain of command. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 14/23, 09 Jun 14)

03 Jun 14. Afghanistan: OP HERRICK. Troops from 4th Bn The Royal Regiment of Scotland handed over command of the multinational manoeuvre
Battlegroup to 5th Bn The Rifles on 30 May 14. (MoD, 3 Jun 14.)
The Queen’s Dragoon Guards (QDG) have deployed for the final time, as part of OP HERRICK 20. The QDG will serve in Afghanistan until the end of combat Operations. (MoD, 3 Jun 14.)
Sea King helicopters of the Airborne Surveillance and Control force have recorded five years of unbroken commitment to OP HERRICK. (RN, 4 Jun 14.)
The team responsible for redeploying troops and equipment back from Afghanistan (Joint Force Support) has changed command for the last time. (Army, 5 Jun 14.)
The Foreign Secretary announced the publication of the 37th Progress Report on developments in Afghanistan since November 2010. (Written Statement, 5 Jun 14.)
Comment: NATO Defence Ministers and their counterparts from ISAF partner nations met the Afghan Defence Minister on 4 Jun 14 “to review progress in the ISAF mission and preparations for the second round of Afghan presidential elections” (to take place on 14 Jun 14). (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 14/23, 09 Jun 14)

05 Jun 14. Germany: Depot Closure. The Defence Equipment Minister announced (5 Jun 14) that the MoD main storage and distribution depot in
Dülmen is to cease “non-core activities” by October 2015. The aim is to close the site by September 2016 and release it to the German federal authorities. Redundancies of 242 locally employed civilians, in two tranches during 2015/16, are forecast.
Comment: The depot closure is consistent with the 2010 Strategic Defence and Security Review forecast that half the Armed Forces based in Germany would be withdrawn by 2015 and the remainder by 2020. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 14/23, 09 Jun 14)

03 Jun 14. Type 26 Frigate: Slow Progress. BAE Systems delivered (3 Jun 14) a briefing on the progress being made on the Type 26 Global Combat Ship programme. The Assessment Phase for the Type 26 began in March 2010 and a joint team of over 650 people from across BAE Systems and the wider industry are working with the MoD in preparing proposals. The
Company intends to secure a manufacturing contract by the end of 2014.
Comment: The planning assumption remains for a Class of 13 Type 26 frigates (not forgetting that 12 Type 45 destroyers were reduced to six during the procurement process). The vessels are expected to displace 6,000 tonnes, with a top speed of 26 knots (plus) and a range of 7,000 nautical miles. Accommodation for 208 is anticipated and first steel should be cut in 2016. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 14/23, 09 Jun 14)

07 Jun 14. Baltic Region: New Exercises. The MoD announced (7 Jun 14) that the Services

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