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21 Jul 14. Afghanistan: OP HERRICK. The Foreign Secretary updated Parliament (21 Jul 14) with a progress report on developments in Afghanistan since November 2010. The second round of the Presidential election took place on 14 Jun 14 with both candidates alleging widespread fraud. Further details are expected to be published in the July report. (Written Statement, 21 Jul 14.)
The format of the Afghanistan Development Conference, to be co-hosted by the UK in November, can only be decided once a new Government is in place. (Written Answer, 23 Jul 14.)
31 Squadron is preparing to replace IX Squadron at Kandahar Airfield as the last Tornado GR4 Squadron to deploy to Afghanistan. (RAF, 24 Jul 14.)
Comment: According to the Officer Commanding, 31 Squadron RAF first operated in Afghanistan in 1919 when British and Indian Forces were called upon to carry out a campaign against Afghan rebels who had declared war on the British. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 14/30, 28 Jul 14)
21 Jul 14. 1st (UK) Armoured Division: Renamed. Members of the 1st (UK) Armoured Division paraded (21 Jul 14) at Hammersmith Barracks in Herford, Germany, to mark the Division’s renaming as 1st (UK) Division. The name-change reflects the fact that the Division is moving from an Armoured to a light Infantry role, as an Adaptable Force.
Comment: After 54 years in Germany, the Division is moving to York in its new role. The Adaptable Force concept provides a Division of Regular and Reserve Forces capable of undertaking fighting and stabilisation tasks while meeting standing commitments such as Cyprus and Brunei. The Adaptable Force is expected to work alongside Reaction Forces undertaking short-notice intervention tasks. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 14/30, 28 Jul 14)
22 Jul 14. Bosnia-Herzegovina: OP ALTHEA. The MoD confirmed (22 Jul 14) that 95 members of the Light Dragoons, together with some Reservists from the Queen’s Own Yeomanry, have deployed in support of the European Union’s (EU) peace-keeping mission in Sarajevo. The deployment is expected to last for six months, covering the period of the October elections.
Comment: The UK is a long-standing supporter of the EU mission in Sarajevo and the Army has contributed personnel since 2004. The above troops are in addition to the UK’s contribution of six Staff Officers and a Reserve Company which is at short notice to deploy to Bosnia. As noted in DNA 14/24 (16 Jun 14) the UK is reinforcing its contribution to OP ALTHEA following a request from the Deputy Supreme Allied Commander, Europe. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 14/30, 28 Jul 14)
15 Jul 14. Baltic Region: Typhoons Returning. The Lords. Spokesman on Defence confirmed (15 Jul 14) that the four Typhoon deployed to Lithuania in support of NATO’s Baltic Air Policing mission are expected to return to the UK at the end of August 2014. E-3D Sentry flights in Polish airspace are expected to continue until the end of 2014. There are no plans to extend this commitment further, “as future mission rotations are filled by Allies for the foreseeable future”.
Comment: There has been some confusion over the number of aircraft deployed to Lithuania: four Typhoon are confirmed (and not six). In addition to the aircraft, the MoD is also taking part in a number of Exercises in the Baltic Region; as already noted in earlier DNA. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 14/30, 28 Jul 14)
17 Jul 14. HMS PROTECTOR: Purchase Price. The Defence Equipment Minister said (17 Jul 14) that HMS PROTECTOR had been leased from G C Rieber from April 2011 until September 2013 in order to provide the MoD with an Ice patrol Ship capability. The annual cost of the lease, including suppo