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Afghanistan

Captain Andrew Griffiths

2nd Battalion The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment (2 LANCS) Theatre Reserve Battalion

Captain Andy Griffiths was born on 3 October 1984 in Richmond, North Yorkshire. He was brought up in a military family and studied European and International Studies at Loughborough University before starting the Commissioning Course at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in September 2007.

Whilst at Sandhurst Capt Griffiths only ever considered joining The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment, known as the 'Lions of England' - his father's regiment. On completion of the Platoon Commander's Battle Course he took over command of 5 Platoon, Blenheim Company, in the 2nd Battalion based in Episkopi, Cyprus, prior to starting pre-deployment training with his battalion as the Theatre Reserve Battalion. The Theatre Reserve Battalion provides acclimatised troops over a 12-month period as the UK's high readiness operational reserve.

Capt Griffiths approached Command with characteristic humility and absolute dedication, deploying with his Platoon to Afghanistan on his first tour with great pride, through a demanding and successful deployment to Babaji during Operation Panther's Claw and latterly to Nad 'Ali.

He forged himself the strongest possible reputation; he distinguished himself with his personal courage and his duty of care for his men. On return from Helmand he moved into Dettingen (Fire Support) Company and immediately crafted his Javelin Platoon and his Fire Support Group into a well-trained, well-drilled team.

The only standards Capt Griffiths set were high standards, he was the finest at everything he did. As part of the 2nd Battalion's deployment to Nad 'Ali and Nahr-e Saraj in July, he assumed command of his Fire Support Group in support of Arnhem Company.

Capt Griffiths was extremely personable and was loved and highly respected by his men. His attitude and his unwavering personal standards set him apart from the crowd making him a most effective Army Officer with a bright future ahead of him. Capt Griffiths was born to command Infantry Troops in battle, and he was a natural at this. He led from the front and his men loved him for his courage as a result.

A massive character with a huge personality, Capt Griffiths will leave a gaping hole in the Officers' Mess and will be sadly mourned by his brother officers. A force to be reckoned with on the rugby pitch as well as in the bar, he approached all aspects of his life with an infectious enthusiasm.

He lived his short life to the maximum, thoroughly enjoying the social life of a young officer who was always great fun to be around. He was always at the centre of everything, always laughing and often up to some sort of mischief but his cool exterior and innocent persona often kept him out of the Adjutant's office. He will be sorely missed by his family, his girlfriend, Nic, and all those who were lucky enough to know him.

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Lance Corporal Joseph McFarlane Pool

The Royal Scots Borderers, 1st Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland 

Lance Corporal Pool, aged 26, from Greenock, enlisted in the Army in August 2003. After completing the Combat Infantryman's Course at the Infantry Training Centre Catterick he joined 1st Battalion The King's Own Scottish Borderers before the formation of The Royal Regiment of Scotland in March 2006.

He accrued a raft of operational experience during his time in the Army, completing tours of Northern Ireland, Iraq and Afghanistan; often selected for demanding specialist roles on operations on the basis of his enthusiasm and natural talent for his chosen profession. Equally charismatic in barracks as he was in the field, he prided himself on his position as a battalion Physical Training Instructor.

Lance Corporal Pool died doing a job he loved surrounded by men proud to call him a friend. He will be sorely missed by all his colleagues in both 1st Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland and the Brigade Reconnaissance Force.

His dedication to his comrades on the battlefield was only surpassed by that to his family; his fiancée Lynsey and sons Lee and Jamie were never far from his thoughts. He also leaves behind his mother and father, Stella and Roddy, and brother Ryan.

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Since the 11th May the United States has carried out three unmanned airstrikes:

15th May: US Predators fired missiles at a Taliban compound and "two truckloads of militants" in the first recorded airstrike with Pakistan's Khyber tribal agency. Between 5 and 15 Taliban fighters were killed in the attack, but none were reported to be senior figures. The location of the attack also remains unclear.

21st May: Unmanned aircraft fired four missiles at a Taliban compound in the village of Mohammed Khel, North Waziristan. Reports suggest that between 6 and 10 'terrorists' were killed in the attack. Initially it remained unclear if the casualties were al Qaida, Taliban or other Jihadists operating in the area. No senior figures were reported killed at the time. However on the 31st May As Sahab, al Qaida's propaganda arm, released statement confirming that its chief finance official Mustafa Abu Yazid was killed in the strike. Yazid is considered one of al Qaida's most senior figures. He served as al Qaida's leader in Afghanistan and was identified by the 9/11 Commission as its "chief financial manager." This would have made him responsible for the distribution of funds from al Qaida's treasury.

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Earlier Wednesday, a NATO helicopter providing support to British troops in southern Afghanistan was shot down by Taliban gunners, and military officials said all four American crewmen aboard were killed.

The deaths brought the number of American service members killed in Afghanistan to at least 19 this month, according to icasualties.org, a nongovernmental Web site that tracks war fatalities in Afghanistan and Iraq.

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An occasional series highlighting longer reports and features on Afghanistan which we think are worth a read.

Afghan's civic war - attempts to build local governance from the grass roots up.
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/20/magazine/20Afghanistan-t.html?th&emc=th

U.S hopes Afghan councils will weaken Taliban

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/20/world/asia/20nadali.html?th&emc=th

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MARINE TONY EVANS
MARINE GEORGIE SPARKS
J COMPANY 42 COMMANDO

The Ministry of Defence confirmed the deaths of Marine Tony Evans and Marine Georgie Sparks, both of J Company, 42 Commando Royal Marines.

The men had been conducting a foot patrol to the north-west of Lashkar Gar in Helmand Province. Marines Evans and Sparks had moved on to the roof of a compound when, at around 9am, there was an attack by insurgents armed with rocket-propelled grenades and they were badly wounded. Both received immediate medical attention and were moved to a secure location before being put on a helicopter to be transferred back to Camp Bastion. However, both sadly died from their injuries during the flight.

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House of Commons Library new research paper 10/45: The 'Afpak policy' and the Pashtuns

http://www.parliament.uk/briefingpapers/commons/lib/research/rp2010/RP10-045.pdf

A year's deployment in Afghanistan : One U.S. battalion's story

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/27/world/27battalion.html?th&emc=th

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Trooper James Munday

It is with great sadness that the Ministry of Defence confirms the death of Trooper James Munday, of 1 Troop, D Squadron, The Household Cavalry Regiment. Please see the eulogy below and attached photograph.

On 15th October, Trooper Munday was serving as a Jackal driver on Operation HERRICK 8 when he was killed in action in Helmand province. His Troop was conducting a routine patrol approximately 23km north of Forward Operating Base Delhi when he was killed by a contact explosion.

Despite the best efforts of the medical team, sadly, Trooper Munday was pronounced dead at the scene. Two other soldiers were also injured in the blast.

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On the 9th June a NATO helicopter providing support to British troops in Afghanistan was shot down by Taliban forces. The deaths of four American crewmen took the number of U.S. casualties for the month to 19 servicemen. What was already proving to be a bad month for the United States and its partners has since then got much worse.

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The two troops that lost their life over the weekend of 12-14th September have been named as Lance Corp Nicky Mason and Private Jason Lee Rawstron.

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Lance Corporal Mason,26,  a soldier from 2nd Battalion The Parachute Regiment, died on Saturday 13 September 2008 whilst on a routine patrol near Kajaki, in Helmand province as a result of an explosion, the cause of which is being investigated.

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Together, the United Kingdom, the United States and our allies around the world, face a difficult security environment, where the outlook is sobering and the threats diverse, growing and unpredictable.

We live in a period in which direct military threats to our countries' territories are low.

But in this globalised world, the scourge of terrorism, the danger of nuclear proliferation, the ungoverned space created by fragile or failed states, and the competition for energy and resources, will test our ability to deter, contain and deal with risks to national security.

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Suicide bombers storm Afghan aid building, kill four

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/03/world/asia/03afghan.html?_r=1&th&emc=th

Pakistan Army struggling to root out Taliban

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/05/world/asia/05waziristan.html?_r=1&th&emc=th

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SapperIshworGurungSapper Ishwor Gurung was born in Pokhara, Nepal on 15 October 1988.  Having passed selection for the Brigade of Gurkhas in Pokhara on 14 December 2007, he went on to complete initial infantry training in Catterick, North Yorkshire and Combat Engineer training at the Royal School of Military Engineering in Minley.  He was subsequently posted to 69 Gurkha Field Squadron, part of 36 Engineer Regiment in Maidstone Kent and trained as a Bricklayer and Concreter.

Sapper Ishwor spent the last year preparing for this, his first operational tour.  This included a large scale construction exercise in Devon and mission specific training in Ripon North Yorkshire.  He excelled throughout these activities, proving not only his burgeoning professional knowledge but his keen desire to deploy on operations in Afghanistan.  He was an outstanding sportsman and had represented 36 Engineer Regiment in Divisional cross country competitions and boxed for his Squadron.

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The International Security Assistance Force's strategy for defeating the improvised explosive device threat in Afghanistan can be characterised by three main elements - attacking the system, defeating the device and preparing the force.

Major General Gordon Messenger, the Chief of the Defence Staff's Strategic Communications Officer, and Colonel Peter Smith, Assistant Director of Counter-IED at Land Forces Headquarters, reiterated that the IED menace is being countered through intelligence, training and equipment at a briefing to the media in MOD's Main Building on Thursday 1 July 2010.

Reminding the audience that while improvised explosive devices are far from a new phenomenon and that around 300 are found every month outside Iraq and Afghanistan, Major General Messenger said that it was in Afghanistan that their use had become 'unprecedented'.

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RiflemanRemandKulungRifleman Remand Kulung, from G (Tobruk) Company, 1st Battalion The Mercian Regiment (Cheshire) attached to the Danish Battlegroup, died on 12 August 2010 of wounds received in Afghanistan .

In the early hours of 10 August 2010 a Chinook helicopter was conducting a resupply at Patrol Base BAHADUR. Part of the helicopter came into contact with the sangar from which Rifleman Remand was carrying out sentry duty.

The sangar collapsed and Rifleman Remand sustained serious injuries and was evacuated to Bastion Role 3 hospital before subsequently being moved to the United Kingdom for further treatment.

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To the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, and Civilians of NATO's International Security Assistance Force:

We serve in Afghanistan at a critical time. With the surge in ISAF strength and the growth of Afghan forces, we and other Afghan comrades have a new opportunity. Together, we can ensure that Afghanistan will not once again be ruled by those who embrace indiscriminate violence and transnational extremists, and we can ensure that Al Qaeda and other extremist elements cannot once again establish sanctuaries in Afghanistan from which they can launch attacks on our homelands and on the Afghan people.

This has been a hard fight. As you have soldiered together with our Afghan partners to reverse the Taliban momentum and to take away Taliban safe havens, the enemy has fought back ISAF and Afghan Forces sustained particularly tough losses last month. Nonetheless, in the face of an enemy willing to carry out the most barbaric of attacks, progress has been achieved in some critical areas, and we are poised to realize more.

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SapperDarrenFosterSapper Darren Foster of 21 Engineer Regiment was killed on Friday 13 August 2010.

At 0653hrs on 13 August 2010, whilst manning a sangar in order to provide security to his colleagues in Patrol Base Sangin Fulod, Sapper Darren Foster was engaged by small arms fire and suffered a gunshot wound.

He received medical treatment on site and was evacuated by helicopter to the Bastion Role 3 Hospital where he died of his wounds.

Sapper Darren Foster, aged 20, originally from Whitehaven, Cumbria, enlisted into the Royal Engineers on 22 September 2008. After completing basic training he qualified as a combat engineer and subsequently as a military fabricator. He joined 21 Engineer Regiment, based in Ripon, on 18 May 2010.

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12 July 2010

Severed Afghan trees tell a nation's story: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/11/world/asia/11afghan.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1&th&emc=th

Is Yemen the next Afghanistan? : http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/11/magazine/11Yemen-t.html?_r=1&th&emc=th

Distrust slows US training of Pakistanis: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/12/world/asia/12training.html?_r=1&th&emc=th

Local defence forces in Afghanistan to resist the Taliban: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/15/world/asia/15afgha

 

LtJohnCharlesSandersonLieutenant John Charles Sanderson of 1st Battalion The Mercian Regiment (Cheshire) [1 MERCIAN], attached to 1st Battalion The Royal Gurkha Rifles Battle Group, died on Wednesday 11 August 2010 of wounds sustained in Afghanistan.

Lt Sanderson was wounded in an explosion whilst on patrol in the Nahr-e Saraj district of Helmand province on 13 July 2010.

He was treated at the scene before being flown to the UK for further treatment. On Wednesday 11 August 2010, surrounded by his family, he finally succumbed to his injuries.

Lt Sanderson was born in Oklahoma USA on 23 April 1981. He was educated at Bradfield College and Exeter University where he read history and was a member of the University Officer Training Corps.

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It is with sadness that the Ministry of Defence must confirm the death of three soldiers this morning from 1st Battalion Royal Gurkha Rifles serving as part of Combined Force Nahr-e Saraj South, on Tuesday 13 July 2010. The soldiers were killed in a suspected premeditated attack by a member of the Afghan National Army (ANA) using a combination of weapons.

Read more...  
 

Latest from the Ministry of Defence

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