Friday, 01 July 2022
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UK armed forces and defence

Captain Daniel Shepherd
11 Explosive Ordnance Disposal Regiment, The Royal Logistic Corps

Captain Shepherd aged 28, was married and came from Lincoln. Following a degree in Electrical Engineering, he joined the Royal Logistic Corps on Commissioning from Sandhurst in August 2003.

He subsequently attended specialist logistic training before, as a junior officer, joining 8 Transport Regiment Royal Logistic Corps, with whom he served in Iraq in 2004.

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25 February - MoD announces death of three soldiers in Afghanistan

The Ministry of Defence has announced the deaths of three soldiers from 1st Battalion The Rifles. They died from wounds sustained as a result of an enemy explosion during an escort operation in the Gereshk district, central Helmand Province, at approximately 0700 this morning (Wednesday 25 February 2009).

The Medical Emergency Response Team helicopter was called, but sadly the soldiers were all pronounced dead by the doctor in the helicopter.

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Secretary of State for Defence Dr Liam Fox has this morning announced the strategy for reforming the Ministry of Defence which will include the formation of the Defence Reform Unit that will lead in the reorganisation of the Ministry of Defence into three 'strategic pillars'.

Speaking to an audience at the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors in Westminster, Dr Fox announced that he is launching a full review of how the Ministry of Defence is run and how the Armed Forces can be reformed to "produce more efficient provision of defence capability, and generation and sustainment of operations".

In his speech Dr Fox began by describing the background to the changes, highlighting the fact that the country faces a legacy of debt - the interest on which for the next year alone will exceed the budget of the Ministry of Defence.

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Private Johnathon Young,
The 3rd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment (Duke of Wellington's)

Private Young was killed after two explosions while on foot patrol. The patrol was taking place in Sangin District, Helmand Province on the morning of Thursday 20 August 2009.

Private Johnathon Andrew Young was born in Hull on 19th September 1990. He joined the Army on 24th February 2008 and completed his training at Catterick, North Yorkshire, in September 2008 before joining the 3rd Battalion the Yorkshire Regiment (Duke of Wellington's) based in Warminster, Wiltshire. Private Young made an immediate impression for his easy going nature, good humour and faultless manners. In the short time he was in Burma Company he was recognised by all as a popular,capable soldier with great potential.

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As Listed in The Times - February 28th 2008


House of Commons -Publication of Report, "Ministry of Defence: Chinook Mk 3 HC 247, Thursday 5th March.

House of Lords- Oral questions on the safety of Iranian reidents at Camp Ashraf in Iraq, Baronness Harris of Richmond, Monday 2nd March.

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As Listed in The Times - March 14th 2008


House of Commons - Russia: A new confrontation? Defence Select Committee, Tuesday.

House of Lords - Oral questions, HMS Endurance, Viscount Montgomery of Alamein, Tuesday; oral questions, Strength of battalions deployed overseas, Lord Astor of Hever, Thursday; EU Sub-Committee C, Foreign Affairs, Defence and Development Policy, Thursday

Public Accounts Committee - Report on Nuclear Deterrent published, Thursday

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British Forces in Basra staged a Premier League sponsored 6-a-side football competition on the Contingent Operating Base (COB), Basra, Iraq this week. All 20 teams played in premier league strips kindly donated by the Premier League.

In a spirited and hard fought, but sportsmanlike, competition the Iraqi Police Service, playing in Wigan strip, eventually ran out worthy winners. They beat 903 Expeditionary Air Wing, Royal Air Force, in the final by 2 goals to nil.

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By Nigel Green, Research Associate, U K Defence Forum

A survey of thousands of houses used by Army, Royal Navy and RAF families has found a decline in standards compared to 13 years ago. The investigation was launched after the Ministry of Defence came under severe criticism two years ago for the condition of properties used by personnel.

Surveyors have since been asked to check around 44,000 Service Family Accommodation (SFA) properties in England and Wales, as well as thousands more overseas. Similar reports are planned for Scotland and Northern Ireland.

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The friends and family of Harry Patch, the last British survivor of the First World War, have announced his death. Harry died peacefully in his residential home in Wells, Somerset,aged 111.

Harry Patch was born on 17 June 1898 in Combe Down, Somerset. At the age of 18 he was conscripted into the Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry, becoming number 2 in a Lewis Gun Team. Harry served in the trenches between June and September 1917, and saw considerable action in the Third Battle of Ypres, (often called the Battle of Passchendaele).

After the war, Harry returned to his trade as a plumber and married the young girl he had met while convalescing after the Battle of Passchendaele. They were married in 1919 and had two sons. His wife died in 1976 and his sons have also predeceased him. Harry retired in 1963. He married again in 1980 and his second wife died in 1984.

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Written Statement by The Secretary of State for Defence,31/03/09

Coalition forces providing support to the Iraqi Security Forces in the area south of Baghdad have to date been organised into two multi-national areas: Multi-National Division-South East (MND-South East) under UK leadership covering Basra province, and MND-Centre under US leadership, covering the other eight Iraqi provinces. In the future however only a single multi-national divisional headquarters will be required south of Baghdad.

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Written statement by The Secretary of State for Defence, 31/03/09

The 2009 Report of the Armed Forces' Pay Review Body (AFPRB) has now been published and I would like to confirm that the AFPRB's recommendations are to be accepted in full, with implementation effective from 1 April 2009.

In line with the AFPRB recommendations, the basic military salary for officers and all other ranks will increase by 2.8 per cent. The rates of Specialist Pay (including Flying Pay, Submarine Pay and Diving Pay) will also increase by 2.8 per cent. The Government has also accepted the AFPRB recommendations on a number of targeted financial measures, including a minimum pay increase on promotion to the rank of Sergeant and Petty Officer of 5 per cent and a reduction in the qualifying period between each level of Longer Separation Allowance. The AFPRB, meanwhile, has endorsed the improved Commitment Bonus arrangements.


During a recent Parliamentary trip toAfghanistan, the British Army was keen to demonstrate the process by which wounded soldiers are flown in toKandahar on a Hercules (based at RAF Lyneham) and swiftly transferred across the runway to a C-17 fully equipped with the latest medical equipment.

Members of Parliament were all shown on to the C-17 and posed for photographs with the medical staff on board, were then ushered back to the terminal to watch the incoming Hercules.

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The full text of the speech on the nature of future conflict, given by the UK Chief of the General Staff
General Sir Richard Dannatt at RUSi last week can be found at


The following two statements were released by the MoD yesterday concerning the High Court's decision to dismiss the MoD's appeal and ruled that the Human Rights Act can apply to British troops, even on the battlefield.

Armed Forces Minister Bob Ainsworth said:

"We are surprised and disappointed by this judgement. While it does not affect the position concerning Private Smith, it potentially has very serious implications for the ability of our forces and those of our allies - to conduct military operations overseas. We are studying the judgement's implications for our forces and considering whether to appeal to the House of Lords. In the meantime, we await a date for a fresh inquest into the death of Private Smith and will as usual offer the Coroner our full cooperation."

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In addition to a potential pension for life (the capital value of which we shall endeavour to ascertain) amounts of up to the following can be awarded :

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By our political correspondent at the Lib Dem Party Conference

Paddy, Lord Ashdown, the former EU High Representative in Bosnia, has told Liberal Democrats at their annual conference in Bournemouth that the UK has a huge "black hole" in its defence spending plans. He also said that France faces a similar crisis, and called on the two countries to collaborate more closely in defence procurement.

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The former Chief of the General Staff, General Sir Richard Dannatt, said on 14 May 2008 when the MOD announced that there would be a public inquiry into the death of Baha Mousa:

"The British Army in Iraq has performed exceptionally well under extraordinarily testing conditions and of that there is no doubt. But in September 2003 a number of Iraqi civilians were arrested and taken into custody by soldiers from the 1st Battalion The Queen's Lancashire Regiment. One of those civilians, Mr Baha Mousa, died while being held in Army detention and the subsequent post-mortem examination showed that he had suffered asphyxiation and some 93 injuries to his body.

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The full text of the Prime Minister's Statement on sending extra troops to Afghanistan can be read below:

With permission, Mr Speaker, I should like to make a statement on Afghanistan and Pakistan;

First on our work with the government of Pakistan to counter the terrorist threat from al Qaeda and the Taliban

Second on our priorities for Afghanistan in the next stage of the work our armed forces and civilians are undertaking there.

And third on the conditions we are setting down for the next stage, including for the best possible protection of our troops, especially against the growing threat of IEDS.

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The Government has responded to the following urgent qestion asked by Dr. Liam Fox MP, Shadow Defence Secretary concerning the Territorial Army.

"The Government has previously said that they 'always finance our military commitments overseas out of the reserve.' The Secretary of State stated that: 'we are adjusting the core defence budget to reprioritise Afghanistan.' Some of us are surprised that it's not already the No.1 priority, but if it is fully funded from the Reserve, why are they cutting the core budget of the TA by 43m?"

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A senior and much respected UK Conservative figure recently set out some of the criteria which will underpin that party's defence and national security policy, including their proposed defence review (SDR). Delivered under the Chatham House rule, some of the key points are worth reporting for the light they throw on some of the detailed thinking that is being carried out by some thinkers in the Party. The proposals have not been formally included in Conservative Party policy but they should be.

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Latest from the Ministry of Defence

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