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06 Oct 14. Iraq: OP SHADER. Tornado GR4 from RAF Akrotiri continued their patrols over Iraq. Two aircraft, flying in support of Iraqi forces, successfully used Paveway IV precision-guided bombs to attack ISIL terrorists near Ramadi. (MoD, 6 Oct 14.)
Tornado GR4 completed another round of air strikes in Iraq overnight. Two Tornados were tasked to support the Iraqi Army. Brimstone missiles and Paveway IV bombs were used to conduct a successful precision attack on ISIL terrorists. (MoD, 8 Oct 14.)
Comment: The Foreign Secretary discussed (6 Oct 14) co-operation against ISIL with the Iraqi Vice President, Dr Ayad Allawi, in London. After the meeting the Foreign Secretary said: “The UK is committed to assisting and promoting an inclusive Iraqi government and to working with Iraq to combat the threat of ISIL.” (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 14/40, 13 Oct 14)
09 Oct 14. Afghanistan: OP HERRICK/OP CATALINA. A ceremony was held to mark the return of Camp Bastion’s memorial wall to the UK. The memorial bears the names of all 453 UK personnel who have died on Operations in Afghanistan. The wall is to be transported to the National Memorial Arboretum. (MoD, 9 Oct 14.)
Comment: The deconstruction and repatriation of the memorial wall is described as “the latest milestone as UK troops prepare to conclude combat Operations at the end of this year”. The UK is then to “focus on continuing to support the Afghan National Army Officer Academy and the Afghan Security Ministries….”
The current (11 Oct 14) edition of ‘The Economist’ includes an appraisal of the Afghan withdrawal. The tone of the article can be judged by the sub-heading: “Britain’s campaign in Afghanistan has been a failure. Its withdrawal could be a disaster.” (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 14/40, 13 Oct 14)
06 Oct 14. Gibraltar: A Further Incursion. The FCO reported (6 Oct 14) “a serious incursion into British Gibraltar Territorial Waters by a Spanish state research vessel” on 5 Oct 14. In response to the incident, the Minister for Europe called the Spanish Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs “to express his grave concern”.
The FCO reiterated that the British Government takes very seriously any attempt by Spain to exert authority or control within British Gibraltar Territorial Waters and considers such incursions as a violation of UK sovereignty.
Comment: The whole situation over Gibraltar has become absurd and spoils otherwise excellent relations between Spain and the UK. The Foreign Affairs Committee published a Report (HC461) on Gibraltar on 1 Jul 14 which was debated in the House of Commons on 3 Jul 14. The Government Response to the Report (Command 8917) was published on 8 Sep 14. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 14/40, 13 Oct 14)
07 Oct 14. United Nations (UN): UK’s Permanent Representative. The Foreign & Commonwealth Office announced (7 Oct 14) that Mr M (Mathew) Rycroft CBE has been appointed as the UK’s Permanent Representative to the UN, in succession to Sir Mark Lyall-Grant KCMG. Mr Rycroft will take up his appointment during April 2015.
Comment: Among his other appointments, Mr Rycroft has been the Prime Minister’s Private Secretary for Foreign Affairs (2002-04) and HM Ambassador in Sarajevo (2005-08). (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 14/40, 13 Oct 14)
09 Oct 14. Astute Class SSN: Progress Report. The RN reported (9 Oct 14) that First of Class, HMS ASTUTE, returned to HM Naval Base Clyde on 7 Oct 14 having spent eight months at sea on her first Operational deployment.
The RN reported (10 Oct 14) that Second of Class, HMS AMBUSH, returned to HM Naval base Clyde on 9 Oct 14 after a successful maiden voyage.
BAE Systems reported (7 Oct 14) th