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30 Jun 14. Afghanistan: OP HERRICK. “Towards the end of 2014 UK Forces will redeploy from Southern Helmand, returning Camp Bastion to the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.” (Defence Secretary, Written Statement, 30 Jun 14.)
“As an integral capability of UK Forces remotely piloted air systems are assessed to have made a valuable contribution, both in their surveillance and strike roles, to the improved security situation.” (Written Answer,
30 Jun 14.)
Comment: ‘Soldier’ magazine for July 2014 includes an article on ‘The Changing Face of Bastion.’ One paragraph is, perhaps, worth quoting: “Welfare options such as Pizza Hut have now closed and changes are being planned to the internet and telephone cabins and gym facilities.”. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 14/27, 07 Jul 14)
02 Jul 14. HMS PROTECTOR: Specialists on Board. The MoD reported (2 Jul 14) that a specialist team on board the Ice Patrol Ship HMS PROTECTOR has been helping the local community of the British Virgin Islands with a range of long-standing projects. The Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) team of 30 is made up of specialists from the RN, RM and Royal Engineers. The team will remain on board while HMS PROTECTOR continues her hydrographic surveying prior to resuming her main role in Antarctica during October 2014.
Comment: HMS PROTECTOR deployed from Portsmouth on 17 Oct 13 and is due to return to the UK in June 2015. The ship’s main role is the provision of a sovereign presence in the British Antarctic Territory and delivering the UK’s commitments under the Antarctic Treaty. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 14/27, 07 Jul 14)
30 Jun 14. Cyprus: OP TOSCA. The Armed Forces’ Minister announced (30 Jun 14) that a new Order has been made under the Reserve Forces Act 1996 to enable Reservists to continue to be called out into Service, as part of the UK’s contribution to the UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP). 114 Reservists were called out for UN Operations in Cyprus in the year to 28 Jun 14 and it is anticipated that around 60 Reservists will be required over the period of the new Order (28 Jun – 31 Dec 14).
Comment: The OP TOSCA deployments to Cyprus are normally for six months with the key task being to patrol the buffer zone between the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Forces. The present deployment consists of 200 Irish Guardsmen with 50 Reservists from the London Regiment. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 14/27, 07 Jul 14)
02 Jul 14. RAF: 38 Group Re-forms. A parade was held (2 Jul 14) at RAF Wittering to mark the re-formation of Number 38 Group. The new Group brings together the RAF’s Engineering, Logistics, Communications and Medical units. Although many of the Group’s deployable Squadrons are stationed at Wittering, there are also units at RAF Brize Norton, RAF High Wycombe and RAF Leeming.
Comment: Number 38 Group was first formed during World War II and was disbanded at the end of the war. The Group was re-formed three times subsequently, most recently in 1992. Aircraft associated with the Group include the Harrier, Jaguar, VC10 and Westland Wessex. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 14/27, 07 Jul 14)
03 Jul 14. Combat Arms: Role of Women. The MoD announced (3 Jul 14) that the terms of reference for the review of women in ground close combat roles have been agreed. The review is to look at whether females can serve in ground close combat roles in the Royal Marines General Service, the Household Calvary, the Royal Armoured Corps, the Infantry and the RAF Regiment. The review “aims to identify the benefits and risks” of changing the present policy and to make recommendations.
Comment: As was remarked earlier (DNA