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28 Jul 14. Afghanistan: OP HERRICK. HRH The Duke of York visited (28/29 Jul 14) Camp Bastion and Kandahar Airfield as troops work towards the end of Operations. Senior commanders updated Prince Andrew on the Campaign’s progress, including their continued move to expeditionary conditions. (MoD, 29 Jul 14.)
854 Naval Air Squadron returned to the UK as the last fully formed RN unit on Operations. (RN, 30 Jul 14.)
The Chief of the General Staff met personnel from all three Services and supporting civilians during a visit (29/30 Jul 14) to Helmand Province and Kabul. (MoD, 30 Jul 14.)
Comment: The Defence Committee published a Report on „Afghanistan. on 13 May 14, as HC 994. The Government’s response to the Report was produced on 29 Jul 14, as HC 582. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 14/31, 04 Aug 14)
02 Aug 14. NATO Summit: Prime Minister’s Aims. Five weeks before the NATO Summit in Wales, the Prime Minister wrote (2 Aug 14) to the leaders of the
Alliance’s member states and to NATO’s Secretary General setting out five goals for the Summit:
*Review of NATO-Russia long-term relations.
*NATO Armed Forces Charter.
*Support for the Afghan government.
*Encouraging all members to meet the 2% target for Defence expenditure.
*Creating a global security network.
Comment: The NATO Summit is to take place in Newport on 4/5 Sep 14 and is said to be the largest gathering of international leaders ever to take place in the UK ‘24,000 room nights’ have been reserved in 80 hotels in Newport, Cardiff and Bristol. 185 VIPs are expected to attend together with some 4,000 delegates and 1,500 media representatives. A copy of the Prime Minister’s letter can be viewed on the Prime Minister’s Office website via the Government web portal (www.gov.uk).
(Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 14/31, 04 Aug 14)
30 Jul 14. Ukraine: Joint Statement Issued. The G7 leaders issued (30 Jul 14) a joint statement on the situation in Ukraine. The leaders expressed their “grave concern about Russia’s continued actions to undermine Ukraine’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence”. The G7 again condemned “Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea….”
Comment: The G7 leaders (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK & the US) were joined in the statement by the president of the European Council and the President of the European Commission. The full statement was published on the Prime Minister’s Office website (at www.gov.uk). (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 14/31, 04 Aug 14)
28 Jul 14. Poland: Annual Talks. The Foreign and Defence Secretaries visited Warsaw (28 Jul 14) for the annual Poland-UK talks, hosted by the Polish Foreign and Defence Ministers. A joint declaration recorded continued support to the Afghan Government as the ISAF mission draws to an end as well as concern for the long-term implications of the Ukraine crisis. There was also a call for NATO members to follow the 2% of GDP guidance.
Comment: A full version of the joint communiqué can be found on the FCO website (via www.gov.uk). The Defence Secretary announced, during the above visit, that the UK is to take part in EX BLACK EAGLE in October 2014. The Exercise will involve some 1,350 personnel and over 350 armoured vehicles as part of a NATO ‘package’ in Poland. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 14/31, 04 Aug 14)
28 Jul 14. HMS PRINCE OF WALES: Final Assembly Approaches. BAE Systems reported (28 Jul 14) that a large section of hull for HMS PRINCE OF WALES left its Glasgow yard for a 600 mile journey to Rosyth where final assembly of the ship is to take place. Final assembly is due to start in September (2014).
Comment: Sister-ship HMS QUEEN ELIZABETH took to the water