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Entries in British Military (5)

Tuesday
Jul242012

UK Deploys Additional 1,200 Troops to Secure Olympic Games

MIGUEL MEDINA/AFP/Getty Images(LONDON) -- With just three days to go before the summer Olympics kick off in London, the British government has decided to deploy an additional 1,200 troops who were on standby to boost security at the Games.

The move comes after private security contractor G4S failed to deliver enough guards for the event.

With the added troops, the number of British military personnel tasked with securing the Games is up to nearly 18,000 -- almost twice the amount of troops the U.K. sends to Afghanistan to fight the Taliban.

In a statement Tuesday, Olympics Secretary Jeremy Hunt said the decision to take the troops out of standby was more of a precaution.

"On the eve of the largest peacetime event ever staged in this country, Ministers are clear that we should leave nothing to chance," Hunt said.  "The Government continues to have every confidence that we will deliver a safe and secure Games.”

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Wednesday
Jul112012

London Olympics: Effort to Ban Missiles from Apartment Buildings Rejected

MIGUEL MEDINA/AFP/Getty Images(LONDON) -- A British judge has rejected an effort by residents of a 17-story apartment building near the London site of the upcoming Summer Olympics to ban a surface-to-air missile battery from their roof.

The residents claimed their high-rise building would become a target for terrorists if missiles were positioned on the roof, but the judge disagreed, saying the deployment posed no such threat.

The high-rise is one of six London apartment buildings the British military plans to use for missile batteries that are part of a massive security effort for the Summer Games.

The British military is deploying some 13,000 troops to protect the Olympic Games.  That’s more than the U.K. has deployed in Afghanistan, and represents the largest military presence in London since World War II.

The opening ceremonies for the London Summer Games are set for July 27.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
May232011

US Military Reports Its First Two May Casualties in Iraq

U.S. State Department(BAGHDAD) -- Two U.S. soldiers were killed in Iraq Sunday, marking the first fatalities for American troops in the country for the month of May.

According to the U.S. Army, the service members were killed while conducting operations in Amiriya, a western neighborhood of Baghdad.  The soldiers' identities are being withheld until their family members are notified.

Also on Sunday, more than a dozen Iraqis were killed and several more wounded after bombings rocked several areas in and around Baghdad.  The deadliest assault occurred north of the capital in town of Taji, where 10 people, including seven policemen investigating an earlier incident, died at the hands of a suicide bomber.

The bombings underscored the violence the British leave behind as the last of the Royal Navy's personnel were withdrawn Sunday.  Only a few soldiers will remain in Iraq to provide security at the embassy in Baghdad.

At its height, Britain deployed 46,000 military personnel to Iraq, mostly at the start of the war, which began with the U.S.-led invasion in March 2003 to depose dictator Saddam Hussein.  Britain's death toll over the course of eight years stands at 179.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
May202011

Britain Set to Bring Last Troops Home from Iraq

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(BAGHDAD) -- The Iraq war ends for Britain next Sunday.

That's when the last of Britain's forces, approximately 100 Navy personnel, will leave Iraq.

At the start of the operation to overthrow dictator Saddam Hussein, Britain sent 46,000 troops to Iraq, second only to the U.S.  During most of the eight-year war, British forces were deployed in the southern, Shiite-dominated part of the country, home to 90 percent of Iraq's oil supplies.

At least 179 British soldiers have died in the war, far fewer than the 4,450 fatalities suffered by the U.S. since March 2003.

Most in Britain are glad to see their military's involvement end as a majority opposed the war from its onset.

The U.S. is planning to withdraw virtually all of its remaining 50,000 troops from Iraq by the end of this year.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Mar102011

Corporal Tasker Killed by Sniper, His Bomb-Sniffing Dog Collapsed and Died

Ministry of Defense(WILTSHIRE, England) -- British mourners traditionally give a respectful silent salute to slain soldiers, but Thursday they were joined by dog owners who brought their dogs to the grim arrival of Lance Corporal Liam Tasker and his bomb-sniffing dog Theo.

Tasker, 26, died in a firefight on March 1 in Helmand province with Theo by his side. The dog, a springer spaniel, suffered a seizure from the stress and died hours later after being returned to base, according to the British Ministry of Defense.

Tasker's body and the ashes of Theo were returned Thursday on the same military plane to RAF Lyneham in Wiltshire, England.

Residents of Wootton Bassett, near Lyneham, lined the streets when Tasker's coffin, draped with the British Union Jack, passed through the town on its way to Oxford, where soldiers' bodies are examined by a coroner before being returned to families. Villagers traditionally greet the casket with a solemn moment of silence. It's a ritual of respect that began more than two years ago, explained a local government employee. But when the bells of St. Bartholomew's Church tolled Thursday, the mourners included devastated dog handlers and their animals, she said.

Tasker and Theo had worked together uncovering roadside bombs in Afghanistan and were remarkably successful, finding 14 bombs meant to kill and maim British soldiers. They had more operational finds than any other individual team in Afghanistan to date, the Ministry of Defense said. They were featured in a video released by the Army before Tasker's death, showing a perky Theo on patrol with his handler. The two were so good at what they were doing that their tour of duty had been extended by a month.

Theo, 22 months old and on his first tour of duty, was with Tasker when he was felled by a sniper's bullet during a firefight and died.

Theo's ashes were due to be presented to the Tasker family Thursday in a private ceremony.

Tasker, from Kirkcaldy, Scotland was the 358th member of the British military to have died in Afghanistan since operations began in 2001. Theo is the sixth British military dog killed in action in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001.

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