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04 Aug 15. Iraq: OP SHADER. British Forces have continued to conduct air operations to assist the Iraqi Government in its fight against ISIL (MoD, 4 & 7 Aug 15):-
21 Jul 15: Reaper launched Hellfire missile at a group of terrorists.
21 Jul 15: Second Reaper destroyed an ISIL supply truck.
23 Jul 15: Two Tornado GR4, supported by a Voyager, conducted two air strikes.
23 Jul 15: Reaper destroyed an ISIL supply vehicle.
24 Jul 15: Reaper provided overwatch for Iraqi troops.
28 Jul 15: Reaper destroyed an ISIL armoured vehicle.
29 Jul 15: Tornado GR4 hit a mortar team with a Paveway.
31 Jul 15: Reapers were “highly active” around Ramadi.
2 Aug 15: Reaper destroyed an ISIL vehicle.
4 Aug 15: Tornado GR4 and other coalition aircraft conducted a large number of attacks.
5 Aug 15: Two Tornado supported Iraqi units near Bayji.
6 Aug 15: Close air support provided to the Peshmerga.
Comment: A large part of the coalition‟s strategic surveillance capability is provided by RAF Sentinel and Rivet
Joint aircraft, “while RAF Sentry airborne command platforms help ensure the effective co-ordination of the many different Air Forces contributing to the campaign against ISIL”. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 15/32, 10 Aug 15)
04 Aug 15. Afghanistan: Conflict Continues. The Defence Secretary visited Afghanistan (4 Aug 15) and reaffirmed the UK’s long-term commitment through the NATO RESOLUTE SUPPORT mission. During his visit, the Defence Secretary received an update on
British military mentors helping to develop the next generation of Officers at the Afghan National Army Officers’ Academy. (MoD, 5 Aug 15.)
There have been nearly 5,000 civilian casualties in Afghanistan, including over 1,500 deaths, reported in the first six months of 2015. (UN, 5 Aug 15.)
Some 250 soldiers from 2nd Bn The Royal Regiment of Scotland are about to deploy to Kabul to support training for the Afghan National Army. The eight month tour is in support of NATO military personnel advising at Afghan security institutions including the Afghan National Army Officers’ Academy. (Army, 5 Aug 15.)
One member of Afghanistan’s NATO force and two insurgents were killed in an overnight battle in Kabul during which “dozens” of civilians were killed and “hundreds” wounded. (Reuters, 8 Aug 15.)
Comment: Prior to the above deployment of soldiers from The Royal Regiment of Scotland, some 500 British service personnel are serving in Afghanistan; assisting with a range of tasks including mentoring, counterterrorism and force protection. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 15/32, 10 Aug 15)
06 Aug 15. Suez Canal: New Channel. The Defence Secretary visited Egypt (6 Aug 15) to discuss the UK’s partnership with Egypt and to attend the opening ceremony of a new channel for the Suez Canal.
Comment: The original Suez Canal was built between 1859 and 1869, with the UK having a majority interest from 1882 until 1956. The new channel will double the Canal‟s capacity and is forecast to foster economic transformation in the area. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 15/32, 10 Aug 15)
06 Aug 15. Nuclear Safety: Contract Award. Amec Foster Wheeler announced (6 Aug 15) the award of a contract by the MoD’s Defence Nuclear Safety Regulator (DNSR) to supply independent regulatory services across all their activities. DNSR is part of the MoD’s Defence Safety Authority and is responsible for the regulation of the Defence Nuclear Programme. The value of the three year contract, which has an option to extend for a further four years, has not been announced but it renews Amec Foster Wheeler’s support to DNSR which goes back more than 20 years.
Comment: Following a recommendati