NEWS IN BRIEF
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24 Feb 14. Afghanistan: OP HERRICK. In the Afghan programme: “…no evidence of misuse of UK taxpayers’ funds has been identified.”. (Written Answer (WA), 24 Feb 14.)
Soldiers from 3rd Bn The Mercian Regiment acted on an Afghan Police request and intercepted more than 200kg of hashish in Helmand Province. (Media Ops, 25 Feb 14.)
The MoD has employed around 2,770 locally employed interpreters since January 2004. Initial estimates are that up to 600 interpreters will receive relocation and/or financial offers. (WA, 26 Feb 14.)
The Tornado Detachment with 904 Expeditionary Air Wing at Kandahar Airfield continues to support Afghan-led ground forces. The Air Wing also continued to support the redeployment of equipment from Afghanistan. (RAF Ops Update, 27 Feb 14.)
Comment: The ISAF ‘drawdown’ continues, with a further reduction of 4,928 (8.6%) between 15 Jan and 20 Feb 14. The biggest reductions were from the US (-4,400 to 33,600) and from Georgia (-755 to 805). The reductions were slightly offset by a Romanian increase (+513 to 1,018). The total on 20 Feb 14 was 52,686 (previously 57,614).
NATO Defence Ministers and those from ISAF partner nations met the Afghan Defence Minister on 27 Feb 14, “to review ISAF mission progress and to discuss NATO’s relationship with Afghanistan after 2014”. The ISAF mission is to end on 31 Dec 14. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 14/10, 03 Mar 14)
20 Feb 14. Defence Council: Membership. The appointment of Lieutenant General Sir Nicholas Carter as the next Chief of the General Staff was announced on 20 Feb 14.
DEFENCE COUNCIL: AS AT 20 FEB 14
1. Secretary of State for Defence (Defence Secretary): The Right Honourable P Hammond MP.
2. Minister of State for the Armed Forces (Armed Forces’ Minister): The Right Honourable M G Francois MP.
3. Parliamentary Under Secretary of State and Minister for Defence Equipment, Support & Technology (Defence Equipment Minister): P M Dunn Esq MP.
4. Parliamentary Under Secretary of State and Minister for Defence Personnel, Welfare and Veterans (Personnel Minister): Mrs A Soubry MP.
5. Parliamentary Under Secretary of State and Minister for International Security Strategy (International Security Minister): Dr A W Murrison MP.
6. Parliamentary Under Secretary of State and the Lords’ Spokesman on Defence: Lord Astor of Hever DL.
7. Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS): General Sir Nicholas Houghton GCB CBE ADC Gen.
8. Vice Chief of the Defence Staff (VCDS): Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach KCB CBE ADC.
9. First Sea Lord and Chief of the Naval Staff (CNS): Admiral Sir George Zambellas KCB DSC ADC.
10. Chief of the General Staff (CGS):
a. General Sir Peter Wall GCB CBE ADC Gen.
b. Lieutenant General Sir Nicholas Carter KCB CBE DSO from September 2014 on promotion to General.
11. Chief of the Air Staff (CAS): Air Chief Marshal Sir Andrew Pulford KCB CBE ADC.
12. Commander Joint Forces Command (Comd JFC): General Sir Richard Barrons KCB CBE ADC Gen.
13. Permanent Under Secretary of State (PUS): J Thompson Esq.
14. Chief of Defence Matériel (CDM): B Gray Esq.
15. Chief Scientific Adviser (CSA): Professor V Gibson FRS.
16. Director General Finance (DGF): D Williams Esq.
(Source: MoD 20/21 Feb 14.)
Comment: Some published versions of the Defence Council have been incomplete. Those affected are: Mrs Soubry (page 3, Serial 4); General Barrons (Serial 12) & Mr Williams (Serial 16). The list has been agreed by the MoD. (!)(Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 14/10, 03 Mar 14)
24 Feb 14. Flood Relief: Military Assistance. The Armed Forces’ Minister delivered (24 Feb 14) a Written Statement