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30 Dec 14. Sierra Leone: OP GRITROCK. The Scottish Government confirmed a case of Ebola in an individual who had travelled to Glasgow from Sierra
Leone. The confirmed case of Ebola (Pauline Cafferkey) was a healthcare worker who had left Sierra Leone on 28 Dec 14. The UK Government is working closely with the Scottish Government to ensure the patient receives the best possible treatment. (Department of Health, 29 Dec 14.)
The Defence Secretary congratulated “the professionalism of RAF’s C-130 crew and NHS staff who transported the UK Ebola virus patient to London”. (Tweet, 30 Dec 14.)
The Prime Minister said that safety measures for Ebola are working well and the risk to the public is extremely low. (Tweet, 30 Dec 14.)
Comment: ‘The Economist’ (3 Jan 15) includes an article on the effect Ebola is having on Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. The three Countries are said to be “threatened by the continuation of draconian and authoritarian policies. The erosion of democracy might yet turn out to be a cure as bad as the disease.” (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 15/02, 12 Jan 15)
29 Dec 14. Iraq: OP SHADER. British Forces, along with other coalition partners, have maintained intensive air Operations over Iraq during the holiday period. These air Operations have been supported throughout by an RAF Voyager air-to-air refuelling tanker. In addition a British Army training team has continued its work, alongside coalition partners, to provide Infantry training to the peshmerga volunteers. (MoD, 29 Dec 14.)
Comment: On 16 Dec 14 the Defence Secretary told the House of Commons that “about 50” UK personnel are working with the Danes in Northern Iraq, carrying out combat Infantry and sharpshooter training. There are also about 10 military personnel in Irbil in an advisory role. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 15/02, 12 Jan 15)
BATTLESPACE Comment: BATTLESPACE understands that the new Iraq Command structure will soon be announced with the Filed Commander having already been selected.
28 Dec 14. Afghanistan: A New Mission. In a ceremony in Kabul (28 Dec 14), the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) concluded Operations and started a new, NATO-led RESOLUTE SUPPORT mission. The new mission will consist of over 12,500 troops “focussed on building Afghan National Security Force (ANSF) sustainability”. 28 NATO members and 14 partner nations are due to contribute to the mission in different ways. (NATO, 28 Dec 14.)
Comment: The new mission is based on a request from the Afghan Government and the Status of Forces Agreement between NATO and Afghanistan. The UN Security Council has unanimously welcomed the mission. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 15/02, 12 Jan 15)
18 Dec 14. Libyan General Purpose Force: Training. The Armed Forces. Minister said (18 Dec 14) that, during the course of training the Libyan General Purpose Force, 16 individuals had been arrested. Five of the 16 had been remanded in custody while facing various criminal charges.
Comment: The Minister had said earlier (4 Dec 14) that: “Training in the UK offered the most rapid, effective way of meeting the Libyan Government’s requirement and at the lowest cost”. Unfortunately there were “disciplinary issues” which were “completely unacceptable” and the Prime Minister announced (5 Nov 14) that all such training had been ended. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 15/02, 12 Jan 15)
19 Dec 14. Women in Ground Close Combat (GCC): Review Paper. The MoD published (19 Dec 14) a review paper covering women in GCC roles and the Defence Secretary announced his hope that such roles would be opened up for women in 2016. The paper calls for further research into the physiological