Memorandum submitted by the Ministry of
Defence (20 March 2000)|
The Iraqi no-fly-zones were established in April
1991 (north) and August 1992 (south) as a coalition initiative
(US, UK and France) in support of UNSCR 688 which condemned, and
demanded an immediate end to, Saddam's brutal repression of Kurds
in north and Shias in south. Coalition aircraft help protect interests
of these minorities by ensuring Iraqi aircraft are unable to fly
north of the 36th parallel and south of the 33rd parallel. The
southern no-fly-zone was extended from 32nd to 33rd parallel in
September 1996 in response to Iraqi offensive in north. However,
French aircraft withdrew from northern no-fly-zone in December
1996, when the then Op Provide Comfort became Op Northern Watch.
The French claimed that it lacked humanitarian element. We are
clear it is humanitarian, since it deters Saddam from acting
against Kurds in northern Iraq. In the south, French aircraft
patrol only up to 32nd parallel. All flights were suspended during
Operation Desert Fox, but resumed in southern no-fly-zone on 22
December 1998, and in northern no-fly-zone on 28 December 1998.
However, the French have not yet resumed participation.
The continuing requirement for the no-fly-zones
is as acute today as it was when they were established. Max Van
Der Stoel, the UN Special Rapporteur on Iraq, in a report published
last November, made it clear that the gravity of the human rights
situation in Iraq has few comparisons in the world since the end
of the Second World War. He also reports that there has been a
resurgence of grave violations against the population living in
the southern marshes, the most blatant being military attacks
against civilian settlements in Al-Nassiriya, Amara and Basra,
with associated repressive measures, mass arrests, demolition
of houses and summary executions. Whilst it is clear that Saddam's
internal security organisations continue to persecute all opponents
of the regime on the ground, without our continued presence in
the air he would be free to use his airforce to return to an all-out
assault. Ministers have made clear our determination not to be
deflected from carrying out this vital humanitarian task.
Since the end of Operation Desert Fox there
have been around 230 violations of the no-fly-zones by Iraqi combat
aircraft. Whilst they have usually sought to avoid a direct air-to-air
confrontation, they have often tried to lure coalition aircraft
into the range of surface-to-air missiles. The vast majority of
these violations have been in the southern no-fly-zone, some coming
far south to within a few miles of the Saudi border. Coalition
aircraft have been fired at by Iraqi surface-to-air missiles and
anti-aircraft artillery or targeted by fire control radars over
550 times. In responding to this systematic and sustained attempt
to kill our aircrew we are acting only in self defence, and in
a proportionate but robust fashion, attacking only targets which
pose a real threat to coalition forces.
Coalition aircraft have been forced to take
defensive action on 159 days since the end of Desert Fox and RAF
Tornados have dropped laser guided bombs on 33 occasions, hitting
39 targets. Coalition targets have included a variety of different
elements of Iraq's Integrated Air Defence System, such as radar
sites and associated communications and control networks, surface-to-air
missile batteries, and anti-aircraft artillery positions, all
closely involved in the attacks on our aircraft. The primary role
for both the RAF Tornados in the south and the RAF Jaguars in
the north remains reconnaissancethe work which underpins
all our humanitarian efforts within the no-fly-zones.
These actions have thus far ensured that these
humanitarian patrols have been able to continue in safety. Indeed,
Saddam's only achievement to date has been to further degrade
his ability to interfere with this important work; whilst he continues
to attack our aircraft, his air defence system pays the penalty.
Although coalition action is strictly limited to proportionate
defensive measures, the very frequency of Saddam's attacks means
that the cumulative damage to his air defence system, particularly
in the southern no-fly-zone is causing him pain. He has already
had to withdraw many of his strategic surface-to-air missile batteries
from the no-fly-zones, and his offering of huge bounties to anti-aircraft
units is one indication of the faltering morale amongst these
troops, who are only too aware of the responses that further attacks
on our aircraft will attract. The threat posed to the safety of
our aircraft remains real and present.
Ministers have made clear that the UK very much
regrets having to take this action at all. Should Saddam cease
his attacks on our aircraft, we would of course not have to respond.
However, the only alternative to allowing our pilots to defend
themselves properly would be to give up the patrols and leave
the Kurds and Marsh Arabs exposed to Saddam's full might.
RAF DEPLOYED LOCATIONS
Operation Bolton is the name given to UK operations
in support of operations relating to Iraqthis subsumes
Op Armilla and Jural. It forms part of the larger coalition Operation
Southern Watch (OSW), conducted principally with the United States
of America. Key locations are:
Eskan, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
potential to move CJTF-SWA and CBFB
to Prince Sultan Airbase. Project referred to as "Desert
Shift", no timescale yet agreed.
Prince Sultan Air Base (PSAB), Al Kharj, Kingdom
of Saudi Arabia
a major (and expanding) Royal Saudi
Air Force and Coalition airbase, situated south east of Riyadh
and east of Eskan;
total of 54 US and nine French aircraft
declared for OSW located at PSAB, although French aircraft have
not participated in operational flying since December 1998;
RAF aircraft based at PSAB are six
Tornado F Mk 3, currently crewed by 43 Squadron from RAF Leuchars.
Aircraft are air-defence ("fighter") assets that escort
Coalition patrols and provide protection from hostile fighters.
Total strength in Saudi Arabia (PSAB and Eskan) is 284 personnel.
Detachment Commander Wing Commander Hugh Geddes.
Ali Al Salem (AAS) Airbase Kuwait
Kuwaiti Air Force base, located about
90 minutes drive west of Kuwait City;
four US Hercules transports and four
helicopters based at AAS main US base in Kuwait is Al Jaber, south
of Kuwait City;
RAF aircraft based at AAS are eight
Tornado GR Mk I, currently crewed by II (AC) Squadron from RAF
Marham. Aircraft operate in a combination of ground-attack and
reconnaissance roles, using Paveway-series laser guided bombs,
Thermal Imaging and Laser Designator (TIALD) pods, and VICON reconnaissance
additional forces based at AAS include
a half squadron of RAF Regiment personnel in the force protection
role, and Royal Engineers working on infrastructure improvements.
Total strength is 430. Detachment Commander Group Captain David
Muharraq Airfield, Bahrain
military compound within civil airfield
adjacent to Al Manamah, the principal city in Bahrain;
RAF aircraft based at Bahrain is one
VC-10 airborne tanker, crewed permanently by 101 Squadron, RAF
Brize Norton. Total detachment strength is 36 personnel. Detachment
Commander Squadron Leader Nicky Loveday;
role of tanker is to support Tornado
F Mk 3 operations from PSAB, to allow sufficient flying time within
Iraqi airspace to escort coalition patrols. VC-10 also supports
US Naval Aircraft, both carrier and shore-based, which use the
same air-to-air refuelling system;
possible move of military assets
from Muharraq to Sheik Isa Airbase, a military airbase at the
south end of Bahrain, will not take place in short to medium term.
Development of Sheik Isa Airbase to standard required for large
aircraft operations will take up to three years.
The Armilla Patrol commenced in 1980 at the
beginning of the Iran/Iraq war when British warships operating
in the Far East were diverted to the Gulf region to ensure the
safety of British entitled merchant ships operating in the region.
Since then, the UK has maintained a permanent naval presence in
the Gulf which has varied in level from a single frigate or destroyer
during periods of stability, to large Task Groups during times
of crisis such as the Gulf War of 1991.
Originally charged with ensuring the security
of British shipping. Armilla Patrol has been maintained to ensure
an appropriate UK presence to provide reassurance to friendly
Gulf States and act as a tangible demonstration of UK engagement
in the region. Under the terms of the UN Security Council Resolution
665, the Armilla Patrol contributes to international efforts to
enforce the trade embargo against Iraq imposed under UN Security
Council Regulation 661.
Currently the Armilla Patrol is a continual
presence in the Gulf of one frigate or destroyer (with a second
held at notice to deploy) with a Royal Fleet Auxiliary vessel
in support. The Type 23 Frigate HMS Monmouth is presently on station
in the Gulf with support provided by RFA Orangeleaf.
While this represents the status quo for the
Armilla Patrol, additional units such as aircraft carriers, occasionally
deploy to the Gulf where the tailored embarked Air Group makes
an effective contribution to air operations, including enforcement
of the southern no-fly-zone in Op Southern Watch. Occasional deployments
are also undertaken by SSNs for operations, exercises and visits
throughout the Gulf region. Additionally, Mine Countermeasure
vessels (MCMVs) are periodically deployed to the Gulf to exercise
and maintain their skills in the region, and ships from the Hydrographic
Squadron conduct surveys to update charting information and to
undertake collaborative survey work.
The Armilla Patrol also plays a significant
part in fostering good relations in the region through a programme
of port visits to Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) States (Saudi
Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, UAE and Oman) and by regular exercises
with units from GCC navies.
SAUDI ARABIA: DEFENCE RELATIONS
1. Saudi Arabia has been our most important ally
in the Gulf region, and our largest defence sales market in the
world. The Gulf war strengthened that relationship and we have
been looking since then to increase our influence, and to exploit
the Saudi stated intention to increase significantly their defensive
capability, by offering UK assistance.
Operation Southern Watch
3. Operation Southern Watch was established
in August 1992 to monitor Iraqi compliance with UNSCR 688 which
condemned repression of the civil population in many areas of
Iraq, most notably the Kurds in the North and the Shi'a in the
marshes of Southern Iraq. The southern no-fly-zone was extended
from the 32nd to the 33rd parallel in September 1996 in response
to an Iraqi offensive in the North.
4. The UK force contribution to Operation
Southern Watch is primarily based at Al Kharj in Saudi Arabia
and comprises six Tornado F3s. Op Southern Watch flights were
suspended during Op Desert Fox and resumed on 22 December. However,
French aircraft have not resumed flights.
5. The bomb attack at Al-Khobar on 25 June
1996 revealed the vulnerability of coalition forces stationed
in Saudi Arabia. Physical security measures at all work and domestic
accommodation for UK forces were reviewed in the wake of Al-Khobar
and a number of enhancements were implemented, in co-operation
with the Saudi authorities. In general we are content that adequate
precautions have been made and are grateful for Saudi assistance
in achieving this.
Training in the UK
6. Training courses in the UK continue to
be well attended by Saudi students.
Flagship Training Ltd leads on the bulk of Saudi
naval training most of which is connected to Al Yamamah involving
Mine Counter Measures (MCM) and diving training; the Saudi Project
Office co-ordinates. There are no other students currently under
There are six students under training including
one on the MDA course at RMCS. The Saudis normally have at least
one cadet each year at RMAS and he is likely to be from a well-connected
family; there are none on the course at present.
Royal Air Force
Despite having shown little interest in RAF
Training in the past, the RSAF attended several courses in 1997-98
(predominantly Engineering and Supply) with the active support
of Al-Yamamah project team and the sponsorship of BAe. In the
last FY they attended 20 separate courses and have bid for a further
eight in the current FY.
Exercises and Loan Service Personnel
7. The Ministry of Defence and Aviation
(MODA) and Saudi Arabian National Guard (SANG) are quite separate
forces, with MODA being controlled by Prince Sultan and the SANG
by Crown Prince Abdullah.
Training with MODA. At present UK armed forces
carry out no training with or for their Saudi opposites within
Exercises with MODA. The substance of our defence
relationship with MODA in terms of military assistance is not
substantial, and joint exercises are minimal. The Saudis have
little inclination to host or participate in exercises within
the Kingdom. There have therefore been no UK Army or RAF exercises
in Saudi Arabia in the recent past; the Americans have a similarly
low exercise programme with the Saudis. That said, RAF aircraft
based at Al Kharj exercised with their Saudi and American counterparts
in September 1998. However, the Royal Navy have succeeded in exercising
with their Saudi counterparts, with minehunters early in 1998
and Armilla ships on an occasional basis. We would be keen to
carry out more joint exercises with the Saudi armed forces.
SANGInternal Security Training. As part
of the Counter-Terrorist package offered to the SANG after the
Al Khobar bomb in 1996, short-term training teams (STTT) from
the UK have been conducting low level Internal Security training
for the SANG at UK expense. So far two teams have deployed to
conduct such training: one in Spring 1997, the second in Autumn
1998 and the third in February 2000. All were a success. Further
teams are due to deploy over the next two years.
Exercises with SANG. UK armed forces do not
exercise with the SANG.
UK Loan Service and Contract Personnel in Saudi Arabia
8. Currently there are about 100 MOD personnel
in Saudi Arabia, either as Loan Service Personnel or on contract
to British Aerospace. The four major elements are (all figures
BMM Saudi National Guard (BMM SANG).
Eight LSP, all Army. Assistance with training and associated matters
within National Guard;
SANGCOM Project Team. 13 LSP. Running
since 1978, controlled by MOD(PE). Assistance with procurement
and introduction of new communications system;
Royal Navy Liaison Team. Five LSP.
Based at King Fahd Naval Academy at Jubail on the Gulf. The team
was established some 10 years ago to assist the Academy with teaching
and concepts. The RNLT was only ever intended to be a temporary
arrangement and the team has recently reduced from eight LSP to
Al Yamamah Project Team. British
Aerospace headed project. Support for purchase of Tornado, Hawk
and PC-9 aircraft to Saudi Arabian Air Force. Approximately 80
MOD Service and civilian personnel in Saudi, of which the RAF
(52 Service personnel) is the largest component.
1. Al Yamamah is a Government-to-Government
programme with Saudi Arabia for the supply of aircraft, ships
and associated support and infrastructure. The programme is funded
by revenue from the sale of a fixed flow of crude oil, partly
supplemented by cash payments. The original deal concluded in
September 1985 (the Core Programme) provided for the sale to Saudi
Arabia of 48 Tornado IDS (Strike) and 24 Tornado ADV (air defence)
aircraft, plus 30 Hawk and 30 PC-9 training aircraft together
with a comprehensive package of weapons, in-service support and
improvements to infrastructure facilities. Almost all the equipment
due under this phase of the programme has been delivered, but
substantial manpower support business continues.
2. In July 1988 the Saudi Government confirmed
interest in additional Tornado and training aircraft plus Minehunters.
Three Minehunters were orderedall have now been delivered.
Forty eight additional Tornado IDS aircraft were eventually ordered
in 1993, while the order for further training aircraft (20 Hawk
and 20 PC-9) was received in September 1994the programme
became known as Al Yamamah 2. The aircraft, all of which have
now been delivered, have been supported by weapons and construction
3. The formal agreements for supply are
between the two Governments, with the MOD acting on behalf of
HMG. The MOD's Saudi project office forms part of the Defence
Export Services Organisation and has staff at various locations
in Saudi Arabia as well as in the UK. The project office acts
on behalf of the Saudi Government in ensuring that contractual
arrangements placed on BAe, as Prime Contractor to the MOD, are
4. Al Yamamah has accounted for over 30
per cent of UK defence exports in recent years; the programme
currently sustains about 10,000 UK jobs plus about 5,000 BAE employees
in Saudi Arabia of whom 3,000 are European expatriates. Tied to
it is an offset arrangement under which the UK seeks to identify
commercial opportunities for joint ventures, technology transfer,
etc, between Saudi and (mainly, but not exclusively) UK companies.
Projects to date have included companies such as Glaxo, Tate &
Lyle and BP.
BAHRAIN DEFENCE RELATIONS
1. Bahrain is a key regional ally of the UK.
It is generally supportive of our efforts to contain Iraq and
allows us to base air to air refuelling aircraft there in support
of the aircraft patrolling the southern no-fly-zone. Bahrain also
co-sponsored UNSCR 1284 although it does retain lingering concerns
about the welfare of the Iraqi people. Until the beginning of
the year the UK operated two VC10 refuelling aircraft out of Muharraq
airport. We recalled one aircraft earlier in the year, although
we have assured the Bahrainis that we will reinforce if necessary.
The detachment consists of some 35 personnel (the detachment commander
is currently Squadron Leader Nicky Loveday). Bahrain is also a
regular port visit for ships of the Armilla patrol and the Illustrious
Carrier Group was in port last week.
2. The US maintains a heavy presence in
Bahrain, including Admiral Moore, the Commander of the Navy (Central)
(COMNAVCENT). The UK has one liaison officer (Commander Harrie
Harrison) attached to NAVCENT.
3. Key to the development of the Bahrain
Defence Force (BDF) is the Shaikh Isa Military College. Named
after the late Amir, the college was established nearly two years
ago to provide basic officer training to new recruits. The first
course will graduate in late October/early November. We currently
have one Loan Service Officer attached to the college (Lieutenant
Colonel Tim O'Donnell) who advises on course formulation. Funding
for O'Donnell is split between MOD, the FCO and Bahrain.
4. The BDF are considering expanding the
college to cater for Air Force cadets. In its grandest vision
this would see the establishment of an Air Training Wing to teach
up to intermediate flying techniques (on Hawk-type aircraft).
The MOD will be working with the BDF over the next few months
to analyse the training requirement to determine whether such
an expansion is viable.
5. The MOD and BDF meet once per year under
the auspices of the UK/Bahrain Defence Committee, to discuss matters
of defence interest and to put some structure to the way in which
the MOD assists in the development of the BDF. There was no meeting
in 1999 but the most recent talks in February this year were judged
to be a success. The Bahraini delegation was led by Crown Prince
Salman on his first official visit (in his capacity as Crown Prince)
to the UK. The Crown Prince had a number of productive calls on
the Foreign, Defence and Home Secretaries, Princes Charles and
Andrew and Baroness Symons. The MOD also hosted visits to RAF
Cranwell (to demonstrate how the RAF structures its recruitment,
selection and initial training) and to Warminster (to demonstrate
new techniques in battlefield simulation, mine clearance and battlefield
6. Despite our close relationship with Bahrain,
the UK has, in recent years, managed to win only a very limited
amount of defence sales compared to US contracts in excess of
$600 million. The majority of Bahrain's defence needs are met
by the US who offer low cost or even "gift" equipment.
The last major UK contract was awarded to BAE Systems (the Siemens
Plessey Systems) for the supply of an AR327 radar in 1995 (£8
million). Prospects exist for training aircraft, radars and Command
and Control training equipment.
Detachment at Ali Al Salem Airbase
1. There are eight Tornado GR1 aircraft
at Ali Al Salem primarily operating in the reconnaissance role
in support of Op Southern Watch. The GR1 recce imagery is processed
by a Reconnaissance Intelligence Centre (RIC). The Kuwaiti Government
continues to be extremely generous in their Host Nation Support
(HNS) to the Tornadoes providing accommodation, fuel and vehicles
free of charge and has invested considerably in the facilities
at Ali Al Salem airbase. The Kuwaitis have suggested that HNS
should be covered by an MOU. A draft has been produced and we
are expecting comments from the Kuwaitis shortly.
2. The Kuwaitis have made initial overtures
about building a coalition village for the RAF at Ali Al Salem.
The RAF are currently in the process of carrying out a full appraisal
of the facilities they require to ensure that the infrastructure
is properly coherent and cost effective.
Military Assistance/Loan Service Personnel
3. A British Military Mission was established
in Kuwait in August 1993 to provide advice and assistance to the
Kuwaitis on a wide range of military activities. The team is now
fully integrated into all areas of Kuwaiti Armed Forces training.
The BMM comprises 47 personnel (32 officers and 15 WOs), including
the 13 UK staff for the Joint Command and Staff Course. Further
UK support exists in the form of the Kuwait Programme Office which
includes a cell of five personnel in Kuwait. This team is responsible
for the introduction of UK defence equipment into service with
the Kuwaiti Armed Forces including the Desert Warrior infantry
fighting vehicle, Starburst air defence missile and the Sea Skua
Mubarak Al-Abdullah Joint Command and Staff College
4. At the request of the Kuwaitis, UK has
set up and is running the Joint Command and Staff College (JCSC)
under a Kuwaiti Commandant and a UK Director of Studies, for 60
Kuwaiti students. The first course started in March 1996 and its
aim is to train and educate selected senior officers in order
that they may fill high grade command and staff appointments.
Course number five began in February 2000, and included students
from all GCC nations (Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar
and UAE) as well as an officer from China. The Staff College is
the jewel in the crown of the UK's assistance to Kuwait. Kuwait
has expressed considerable gratitude to the UK for our help in
this, and the UK plan to continue with this level of assistance
for at least the next two Courses.
Military Training in UK
5. Training courses in the UK continue to
be well attended by Kuwaiti students.
Kuwait signed a major contract for Naval training
in November of last year. Officer Cadets regularly attend the
RN Young Officers Course at Dartmouth followed by a three month
attachment to a RN Warship. There are currently 15 officer cadets
on the current course and four officer cadets are currently attached
to HM Ships with a further three undergoing language training.
During FY 1999-2000 training places were booked
for 68 Kuwaiti students of which 31 were NCOs at ITC Catterick
(nine weeks infantry training preceeded by seven weeks of English
Language training). This has become an annual requirement worth
some £0.25 million. Each year six places at RMA Sandhurst
are taken, normally by members of the ruling family.
Military Exercise and Training in Kuwait
6. Land Exercises. In the aftermath of the
Gulf War US Centcom set up an exercise programme to exercise US
troops in Kuwait, to help rebuild the Kuwait Armed Forces and
to allow a degree of Coalition exercising to take place. The Kuwaitis
provided the Host Nation Support for allies taking part in the
exercises. In recent years the only UK Land forces exercising
in Kuwait have been light role battalions from Cyprus. The Kuwaitis
made clear their dissatisfaction with this, stating that for the
Host Nation Support provided they expected appropriate, ie, armoured
forces to participate in the exercises. We have therefore proposed
that UK Land forces exercise in Kuwait, with the Americans and
Kuwaitis, on US Centcom organised exercises as follows:
(a) an armoured brigade headquarters to participate
in the Command Post Exercise Lucky Sentinel in odd years commencing
in 1999; and
(b) provide an armoured Battle Group to participate
in the field training Exercise Intrinsic Action in 2002 and every
even year thereafter.
7. Our participation in Exercise Lucky Sentinel
is going ahead this month and represents an excellent opportunity
to exercise Armoured Brigade HQ forces alongside Kuwaiti and US
KUWAIT PROGRAMME OFFICEINTRODUCTORY
1. The Kuwait Programme Office (KPO) was
formed in January 1993 after the MOU of December 1992 was signed
that covered the sale to Kuwait of defence equipment and related
services from British prime contractors. The aim of the KPO is
to provide the Kuwait Defence Forces with the best British Government
support available for the procurement of British defence equipment
and related services.
2. KPO's business is conducted using Letters
of Offer and Acceptance (LOA). This sets up a government to government
agreement, which the KPO then mirrors contractually to British
industry with a back to back contract.
3. KPO consists of an office in London and
a detachment in Kuwait with a mix of military and civilian professional
skills to cover all aspects of procurement and support. This is
funded at no cost to the British exchequer by a 2 per cent departmental
expenses surcharge payable by Kuwait on the value of each LOA.
A small staff of five is based in Kuwait, while the main office
of 17 staff led by Brigadier Roger Styles (DKPO) is in London.
4. Presently KPO has ongoing LOAs for land,
air and naval projects. The land ones are primarily AFV logistic
support and AD missiles, the air side is for aircraft and engine
refurbishment, spares supply and maintenance, and the sea projects
include the delivery of Sea Skua Anti Ship Missiles, the conduct
of naval personnel training, and the refurbishment of naval workshops.
LOAs in operation
5. The LOAs in operation are listed in brief
(a) LOA 1Desert Warrior. The
provision of a fleet of Warrior AFVs. This mature LOA is now 98%
complete, deliveries of vehicles being completed in October 1997.
We continue to conduct business regarding maintenance, technical
training, and spares to keep the fleet at high levels of operational
availability. The Kuwait military are satisfied with and making
good use of their 254 vehicle fleet;
(b) LOA 2Starburst. The provision
of Starburst air defence missiles. This LOA is all but complete:
the missiles and ancillaries have been in place for three years,
and only spares and repairs are ongoing. A life extension proposal
has been submitted to Kuwait that will offer them a five year
(c) LOA 5Ship Launched Sea Skua.
The provision of ship launched anti-ship missiles for the
Kuwait Navy which are to be fitted to the French built P-37 Garoh
Patrol Boats. The missile production phase is underway, and we
await the right conditions for the First of Class missile firing
at Aberporth in Wales. This firing has been delayed by bad weather.
In country we are planning for a firing in Gulf waters;
(d) LOA 8Hawk Return to Work. The
refurbishment of Kuwait's Hawk jet trainer aircraft fleet. Presently
10 of Kuwait's 12 Hawk ac have been completed in this refurbishment
project. The final pair are shortly to be completed and ferried
back to Kuwait. Engines for this LOA are supplied from LOA 14;
(e) LOA 9Naval Training. This
LOA was to prepare Kuwait naval personnel with English language
training, general naval training, and some specialist training.
In all 293 personnel (31 Officers, 109 Senior, and 153 Junior)
have been or are being trained. The contract is placed with Flagship,
but operated by RN, Flagship and Kuwait personnel. The present
LOA is scheduled to be completed in early April 2000, but there
is a possibility of an extension to conduct further training in
the UK and in Kuwait;
(f) LOA 11Hawk 7 Tucano "I"
and "O" Level Maintenance. This project takes place
in Kuwait and is to carry out intermediate and operational level
maintenance on the Kuwaiti aircraft fleets of training aircraft.
This LOA is subject to quarterly audit by KPO, and is presently
(g) LOA 12NBC Respirators. Following
various proposals and enquiries an order was placed by Kuwait
for 1,000 NBC respirators.
(h) LOA 14Adour Engine Repair Programme.
It was discovered at the beginning of the Hawk Return to Work
programme that some of the engines were corroded by acidic oil
contamination and would need remedial attention beyond the scope
of LOA 8. The work on five of the seven engines in the LOA has
LOAs in prospect
6. There are a variety of further matters
under discussion and awaiting agreement across the spectrum of
tri-service equipment. Seven further LOAs are at various stages
Operation Northern Watch is the Northern no-fly
operationknown to the UK as Operation Warden. The Northern
no-fly zone was established in April 1991 as a coalition initiative
(US, UK and Francealthough France withdrew in 1996) in
support of UNSCR 688 which condemned, and demanded an immediate
end to, Saddam's brutal repression of the Kurds. Following Iraq's
defeat in early 1991, the Kurds of Northern Iraq attempted, through
military action, to promote the overthrow of Saddam Hussein. This
proved unsuccessful. The remnants of the Iraqi army mounted an
offensive in retaliation against theminvolving extensive
use of helicopter gun shipsresulting in a mass exodus of
people from northern Iraq over the border into the mountains of
South East Turkey. Originally a force of land and air elements
was positioned in the designated safe haven area and repatriation
was started. In mid-July 1991, having established the "safe
haven", the ground forces withdrew from Iraq and camped on
the Turkish border until the end of September 1991, when they
Coalition aircraft help protect interests of
the Kurds by ensuring that Iraqi aircraft are unable to fly north
of the 36th parallel. Given the extensive history of brutality
by Saddam Hussein's regime, there is no reason to believe that
he would not resume these tactics were we to cease patrols. Whilst
it is clear that Saddam's internal security organisations continue
to persecute all opponents of the regime on the ground, without
our continued presence in the air, he would be free to use his
airforce to return to an all-out assault. The UK contribution
to Op Northern Watch is provided by four Jaguar GR1a Tactical
Reconnaissance aircraft and two VC-10 tankers who provide air-to-air
refuelling to US and UK aircraft operating out of Incirlik, Turkey.
The UK do not therefore take part in self-defence bombing operations
in Northern Watch. There are approximately 200 UK personnel deployed
on the operation.