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14 Aug 15. Iraq: OP SHADER. British Forces have continued to conduct air operations to assist the Iraqi Government in its fight against ISIL (MoD 14 Aug 15):-
• 9 Aug 15: Reaper provided close air support to Iraqi Army units.
• 9 Aug 15: Two Tornado GR4s destroyed stockpiled explosives.
• 10 Aug 15: Reaper operated in support of the Kurdish Peshmerga.
• 10 Aug 15: Tornado GR4s attacked an ISIL excavator and truck.
• 11 Aug 15: Tornado GR4s destroyed stockpiled explosives.
• 12 Aug 15: Reaper attacked a Danish position and truck.
• 13 Aug 15: Two Tornado GR4s were part of a co-ordinated air strike.
Comment: On the ground, British military instructors “continue to play a significant role within the coalition’s effort to train and equip the Iraqi security forces….”. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 15/33, 17 Aug 15)
23 Jul 15. HMS BULWARK: Search & Rescue Operations. The Armed Forces’ Minister said (23 Jul 15) that HMS BULWARK rescued 4,747 migrants in the Mediterranean during the ship’s nine week deployment from 4 May 15.
Comment: It was also stated that HMS ENTERPRISE had not rescued any migrants since deploying to the Mediterranean in support of the Common Security Defence Policy, EUNAVFOR Med. An MoD spokesman explained (13 Aug 15) that, while HMS BULWARK had played a vital role in the Mediterranean, HMS ENTERPRISE was now “helping to co-ordinate the wider international response”. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 15/33, 17 Aug 15)
12 Aug 15. Ukraine: Training Assistance. The Defence Secretary announced (12 Aug 15) extra assistance for the UK training programme in Ukraine during a brief visit to the Country. The latest additions to the UK training programme will see an increase in the skills being provided, to include ground threat awareness (such as identifying mines and IED), operational planning and engineering expertise. The Short Term Training Team is from 1st Bn The Yorkshire Regiment and 4 Armoured Medical Regiment.
The Defence Secretary went on to meet the Ukrainian Prime Minister and Defence Minister in order to discuss the programme of support being provided by the UK and other allies.
Comment: Since March 2015, 13 British training teams have deployed across eight locations and it is anticipated that some 2,000 members of the Ukrainian Armed Forces will have been trained by the end of 2015. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 15/33, 17 Aug 15)
05 Aug 15. Pakistan: Additional Support. During a visit to Islamabad (5 Aug 15), the Defence Secretary offered Pakistan a new three-year package of counter-improvised explosive device (C-IED) support. The offer builds on the successful C-IED package provided by the UK between 2012 and 2015. As well as receiving support in finding and defusing IEDs, the package would include training in how to gather and analyse forensic evidence from bomb scenes. The offer came as the Defence Secretary held a series of meetings with the Prime Minister of Pakistan, the Chief of Army Staff, the Interior Minister, the Defence Minister and the National Security Adviser.
Comment: The UK‟s original response to Pakistan’s request for assistance in tackling the IED threat was given in a Written Statement from the (then) Foreign Secretary on 19 Nov 13. Further details about the gifting of equipment to Pakistan were given by the Defence Secretary in another Written Statement on 14 Jan 15. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 15/33, 17 Aug 15)
27 Jul 15. Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA): All Change. In the House of Lords, the Minister of State said (27 Jul 15) that RFA Orangeleaf is to be withdrawn from service “later this year” (i.e. during 2015).
Comment: The single-hulled support tanker is 33 years old and due for replacement. The first Tide Class, RF