progress has been made in Iraq over the last few months.
Coalition forces continue to support Iraqi leaders both
nationally and at the local level. Political progress
has been made, with the increasing effectiveness of
the Iraqi Governing Council and the recent appointment
of Iraqi departmental Ministers. We now seek to accelerate
progress in other areas, including enhanced security
across the country, and the reliable provision of basic
the light of the evolving security situation in Iraq,
and the increasing military tasks arising out of the
reconstruction efforts in the south of the country,
the UK Divisional Commander in theatre has been conducting
a formal review of UK forces and resources in Iraq.
While the full scale of the requirement, which will
be largely driven by initiatives of the Coalition Provisional
Authority and the Department for International Development
(DfID) to accelerate reconstruction activities in Iraq,
has yet to be fully developed, there is an immediate
requirement for two battalions and some additional specialist
personnel, vehicles and equipment to allow him to fulfil
the expanding range of tasks for UK forces in Multinational
Division (South East) (MND(SE)).
we are deploying to Iraq the balance of 2nd Battalion
The Light Infantry, a company of which is already in
theatre. This battalion will be involved in supporting
current operations, and in offering additional protection
to the Coalition Provisional Authority. They are currently
based in Cyprus and were already identified as an 'Over
the Horizon Reserve' for Iraq. Their role in Cyprus
will be filled by two batteries from 16 Regiment Royal
addition, 1st Battalion The Royal Green Jackets (1 RGJ)
will deploy to Iraq immediately supported by some specialist
personnel and equipment. This deployment will enable
MND(SE) to increase force protection, accelerate training
of the Iraqi Civil Defence Corps and to improve our
information gathering capability in MND(SE). 1 RGJ are
currently designated the Spearhead Land Element, are
already at high readiness, and are therefore the most
appropriate unit to call upon. They will be replaced
as Spearhead Land Element by 42 Commando Royal Marines.
plan to maintain the deployment of these units until
around November, providing an interim additional capability
to our commanders in theatre, Additional units would
deploy to replace them in theatre if the requirement
remained. We plan for some of the roles progressively
to be conducted by Iraqi personnel.
addition to the requirements that we have already fully
identified, we anticipate additional tasks in the near
future which will require military resources, in particular
the provision of military support to critical infrastructure
work planned by CPA(S) and DfID. This work will deliver
a more stable power supply; improve fuel availability
and significantly improve the delivery of water services
to all sectors of the population in the MND(SE) area.
The military capabilities needed will be identified
as the detail of the plan's implementation takes shape.
We will immediately take steps to identify and reduce
notice to move for some additional headquarters and
units, to allow further deployments as rapidly as possible
in response to this accelerating programme of work.
measures will give extra capabilities to our commanders
in theatre, allowing them to increase their proactive
efforts to improve wider security across the region,
and allowing them to support the essential reconstruction
and regeneration efforts in their area of operations.
The commitment of the United Kingdom and its Armed Forces
to Iraq remains undeterred by recent events. We are
determined to help the Iraqi people to forge a new,
peaceful and secure future for themselves and we will
meet this commitment with appropriate forces in Iraq
for as long as required, and no longer.
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