Web page sponsored by General Dynamics Land Systems Force Protection Europe (GDLS FPE)
13 Jul 15. Iraq: OP SHADER. The Defence Secretary answered a number of questions about ISIL during Oral Answers in the House of Commons (13 Jul 15). In addition to over 300 strikes, the RAF.s intelligence and reconnaissance aircraft are making “a crucial contribution” to the counter-ISIL coalition air campaign.
The Defence Secretary presented (16 Jul 15) an update on the military campaign against ISIL in Iraq and Syria to the House of Commons. The UK makes “a substantial contribution” to the counter-ISIL global coalition air campaign. On the ground, an additional 125 UK personnel will bring the total of UK Forces to over 275.
Comment: Reacting to media pressure, an MoD spokesman said (17 & 18 Jul 15) that the UK was not conducting air strikes in Syria but small numbers of UK personnel were acting under “the command of host nations”. There are currently no British pilots operating in the region. UK personnel have operated under US command as ‘embeds’ since the 1950s, including those in recent Operations in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 15/29, 20 Jul 15)
13 Jul 15. Ukraine: Military Activity. The Defence Secretary advised (13 Jul 15) that an RAF C-130 aircraft had flown to Ukraine on 3 Jul 15 with military equipment including: 1,000 individual first aid kits, 54 helmet-mounted monocular night vision goggles and 2,000 helmets.
The Prime Minister announced (13 Jul 15) that British soldiers are to take part in a multi-national Exercise (EX RAPID TRIDENT 2015) in Ukraine for 11 days from 20 Jul 18. The Exercise is designed to promote regional stability, strengthen Ukraine’s defensive capacity and build trust between participating nations. The UK’s contribution is some 50 personnel from 1st Bn The Rifles.
Comment: The equipment flown to Ukraine forms part of the package of support pledged to the Ukraine Armed Forces by the Defence Secretary in March 2015. The support is “designed to improve the situational awareness and resilience of troops fighting Russian-backed separatists in the East of the country”. The Prime Minister’s announcement coincided with a visit to Downing Street by the Ukrainian Prime Minister “to discuss a range of issues.” (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 15/29, 20 Jul 15)
14 Jul 15. Iran: Nuclear Programme. The Prime Minister was among those who made announcements (14 Jul 15 et seq) following agreement being reached in Vienna on Iran s nuclear programme. As the Prime Minister said: “Now we must ensure that this deal is fully implemented.”
In the House of Commons (15 Jul 15) the Foreign Secretary made a comprehensive statement on the outcome of the nuclear negotiations with Iran. (Hansard, Column 894.) As the Foreign Secretary concluded: “The deal also has the potential to build a different kind of relationship between Iran and the West and to change in a positive way the dynamics in the region and beyond.”
The Prime Minister spoke to the President of Iran (16 Jul 15), expressing the hope that the agreement would mark a fresh start in bilateral relations between the UK and Iran. The Prime Minister “remained committed” to re-opening the British Embassy in Tehran.
Comment: In Lausanne on 2 Apr 15 the Foreign Secretary announced that the UK, China, France, Germany, Russia, the United States, the European Union and Iran had “agreed the key parameters of a comprehensive deal on Iran’s nuclear programme”. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 15/29, 20 Jul 15)
17 Jul 15. Sierra Leone: OP GRITROCK. Three RAF nurses were interviewed for RAF News (17 Jul 15) following their deployment to Sierra Leone. The medical personnel from 4626 Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron were deployed “as part of a multinational Operation”. The three nurses also helped in the protection of chi