Operations in Iraq: News and Events

Coalition military activity is summarised below, with links to more extensive briefings where available.

Operations in Iraq

British Forces played a key role in the United States-led coalition military operations, which began on 20 March 2003, and ultimately brought down Saddam Hussein's regime. British Forces, along with our US allies are now focussed on the training and mentoring of the Iraqi Security Forces.

24 Mar 10 - Among the British Service personnel to be honoured in the latest Operational Awards List were several members of the Royal Navy.

23 Mar 10 - Among the British Service personnel to be honoured for their gallantry and meritorious service in last week's Operational Awards List are six members of the Royal Air Force.

19 Mar 10 - A total of 146 members of the Armed Forces and one civilian have received honours and awards in the Operational Honours List.

Some of the soldiers, sailors and airmen who have been honoured for gallantry and meritorious service in the latest Operational Awards List attended a special ceremony in London where their actions were marked out as 'utterly remarkable'.

11 Mar 10 - The Basra Memorial Wall was rededicated in a poignant service at its new home in the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire.

5 Jan 10 - Currently on patrol in the Gulf, the Royal Navy warship HMS Monmouth has carried out a spectacular night-shoot with the use of night flares.

25 Nov 09 - The chairman of the public inquiry into allegations relating to the unlawful killing and mistreatment of Iraqi detainees by British soldiers in 2004 has been announced as Sir Thayne Forbes by Defence Secretary Bob Ainsworth.

9 Oct 09 - Prime Minister Gordon Brown has paid tribute to the achievements and remembered the sacrifice of British troops in Iraq at a service in St Paul's Cathedral, London.

5 Oct 09 - Veterans and other participants in the UK involvement in Iraq are being asked for their input to the official inquiry into the conflict.

30 Sep 09 - Soldiers from Warminster-based Alma Company, 3rd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment (Duke of Wellington's), have received Operation TELIC medals for their recent three-month tour of duty in Baghdad.

11 Sep 09 - A total of 145 members of the Armed Forces have received honours and awards in the Operational Honours.

10 Aug 09 - A service of remembrance to mark the end of combat operations in Iraq was announced, to be held at St Paul's Cathedral, London, on Friday 9 October 2009.

24 Jul 09 - One of the final deliveries of heavy equipment has arrived back in the UK from Iraq enabling some of it to be refurbished and sent to support operations in Afghanistan.

16 Jul 09 - A Royal Air Force engineer who was amongst the first British military to enter Iraq in 2003 is now going to be one of the last out.

15 Jul 09 - A team of 32 civilian communication specialists are helping support the military with their 'good order' withdrawal from Iraq now that combat operations have successfully completed.

12 Jul 09 - It is the end of an era for the British Forces Broadcasting Service (BFBS) as they broadcast their last live programme from Operation TELIC.

10 Jul 09 - The operation to return British military equipment from Iraq, one of the biggest logistic challenges to be undertaken by British military forces in modern history, reached its 100-day point.

3 Jul 09 - 60 communication specialists from 20th Armoured Brigade (The Iron Fist), the last serving British brigade in Iraq, received their operational medals this week in front of family, friends and partners.

1 Jul 09 - As the UK withdraws all its equipment from Iraq, auctions are being held to sell off kit that won't be brought back to Britain to businessmen in the Middle East.

60 communication specialists from 20th Armoured Brigade (The Iron Fist), the last serving British brigade in Iraq, received their operational medals in front of family, friends and partners.

30 Jun 09 - British troops in Kuwait and Iraq are being blasted by a fierce sandstorm which for the last 48 hours has made their work of bringing UK kit home from Iraq almost impossible.

24 Jun 09 - Helping the Joint Force Logistic Component pack up the UK's equipment from southern Iraq are three Merlin helicopters flown by RAF crew with support elements from the Army, Navy and RAF.

16 Jun 09 - The remaining British forces based in Basra handed back the former headquarters building of the Multinational Division (South East) to the authorities at Basrah International Airport.

15 Jun 09 - An independent inquiry into the UK's involvement in the run-up to the Iraq conflict, the conflict itself and the subsequent reconstruction has been announced by Gordon Brown.

A highly specialised unit within the Joint Helicopter Command, the RAF Tactical Supply Wing, which has been refuelling battlefield helicopters in Iraq for the last six years, has now come home. Report by Neale Adams.

3 Jun 09 - The last Tornado GR4s and VC10 tanker aircraft returned to the UK from the Middle East, marking the end of 18 years of combat operations for the RAF in the Gulf.

After six years of service in Iraq, seven 72-tonne Challenger Two main battle tanks started their three-week sea voyage back to the UK this week.

2 Jun 09 - Civilian welfare officers who have deployed on operations to act as a liaison between injured Service personnel and their families back home have been presented with operational service medals for their work.

30 May 09 - The final combat troops from 20th Armoured Brigade (known as the Iron Fist) to leave Iraq arrived home in Munster, North Germany, where they were greeted by overjoyed family members and friends.

1 Jun 09 - Two Royal Navy ships deployed today and one last week on three separate operations to Iraq, the Horn of Africa and West Africa.

29 May 09 - The operation to remove all UK vehicles and equipment from Iraq continues, with this week seeing a massive haul being shipped out of Kuwait to be returned home.

27 May 09 - After six years of protecting the Contingency Operating Base (COB) at Basra International Airport and after completing their final patrol, the RAF Regiment came home from Iraq.

Visit any location occupied by British troops during the six years of Operation Telic and chances are you will spot the handiwork of a Royal Engineer. Report by Stephen Tyler.

26 May 09 - As the drawdown in Iraq gathers pace, RAF Hercules aircraft and their crews will be the last to fly out of the region later this year. Report by Neale Adams.

19 May 09 - The last British infantry soldiers to serve in Basra, 79 soldiers from C Company, 1st Battalion The Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment, returned home to their barracks in Germany this weekend.

18 May 09 - The Royal Air Force has continued its withdrawal from Iraq with a flag-lowering ceremony marking the end of operations in Basra for 903 Expeditionary Air Wing (EAW) RAF. Report by Steve Willmot.

15 May 09 - With British combat operations in Iraq now completed, the task of moving the thousands of pieces of equipment and vehicles that have been used throughout the operation back to the UK has begun.

12 May 09 - A Royal Naval Commodore has taken command of the joint UK and US Task Force which is helping develop the Iraqi Navy to protect their territorial waters and offshore oil platforms.

6 May 09 - The Memorial Wall displaying the names of the 179 British Service personnel who died whilst on Operation TELIC has been dismantled brick-by-brick to be brought to the UK.

4 May 09 - Some of the last British troops to leave Iraqi soil will be four-legged, as a Royal Air Force team of elite air dogs hands over to their American canine counterparts.

30 Apr 09 - The end of British combat operations in Iraq has been marked in Basra today by the lowering of 20th Armoured Brigade's flag. They are the last British brigade to serve on Operation TELIC.

British combat missions in Iraq are coming to an end today, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki have announced.

A memorial service to the British Service personnel and civilians who have died since operations began in Iraq in 2003 has been held at the Basra Memorial Wall this morning.

29 Apr 09 - RAF airmen and women who have served on operations in Iraq and Afghanistan have been honoured with a prestigious reception at the Houses of Parliament. Report by Neale Adams.

17 Apr 09 - The withdrawal of British combat troops from Iraq has already begun and by 31 July 2009 the vast bulk of British Armed Forces will have all left the country. Except that is, a small group of Royal Naval personnel.

16 Apr 09 - As the last British troops prepare to leave southern Iraq, a London artist is preparing to exhibit a collection of works she produced while deployed to Basra with UK Forces in 2006.

7 Apr 09 - An Army medic has been honoured for his bravery in treating troops on the front line in Iraq. Report by Leigh Morrison.

6 Apr 09 - Senior American Commander, General David Petraeus, has written a letter to British Forces who have served in Iraq congratulating them on a job well done.

31 Mar 09 - British forces marked the beginning of their final withdrawal from southern Iraq with a ceremony which saw the lowering of the British Flag.

Due to improved security and the ability of Iraqi Security Forces to deliver security in southern Iraq with only minimal coalition assistance, Defence Secretary John Hutton has announced a change in coalition command structures.

30 Mar 09 - In an interview with the Times newspaper, Chief of the General Staff, General Sir Richard Dannatt, has talked about the magnificent performance of British Forces in Iraq.

34 Squadron has been formally recognised as 2008's leading RAF Regiment unit based on their achievements, leadership, exceptional standards and endeavours during the year in the UK as well as in Iraq.

29 Mar 09 - The commander of Iraqi Security Forces in Basra thanked UK forces for helping rid Iraq of a dictator at a farewell ceremony yesterday for the British Forces who will soon begin their drawdown from Iraq.

21 Mar 09 - Soldiers from 7th Armoured Brigade have been honoured in front of thousands of rugby fans as they were presented with their operational medals at Twickenham Stadium.

20 Mar 09 - Sending Mother's Day wishes this Sunday should be easier than ever for British troops serving in Afghanistan and Iraq with the range of welfare communications technology now available.

13 Mar 09 - The first Iraqi pilot to achieve the full RAF 'wings' standard as a multi-engine pilot was among students graduating from the Flying Training School at RAF Cranwell.

12 Mar 09 - Hundreds of people have applauded soldiers from 2nd Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment (The Poachers) this week as they paraded through towns across the UK to mark their homecoming from Iraq.

11 Mar 09 - RAF ground crews battled around the clock during the adverse weather conditions that the UK faced in February to keep the airbridge to Afghanistan and Iraq open. Report by Neale Adams.

10 Mar 09 - Two Royal Navy minehunters that have been deployed to the Gulf for two-and-a-half years returned to their home port of HM Naval Base Clyde, Scotland.

6 Mar 09 - The first Bar to the George Medal to be awarded in 26 years is among a catalogue of prestigious honours given to brave British Armed Forces personnel.

5 Mar 09 - Junior Iraqi leaders have been treated to a masterclass in command after British soldiers put them through their paces in a demanding series of leadership tasks.

2 Mar 09 - Lieutenant General John Cooper, who tomorrow stands down as the Deputy Commanding General, Multi-National Force-Iraq, has told the Guardian newspaper that the British Army will leave Iraq with al-Qaida diminished and the roots of democracy firmly planted.

Personnel from the RAF Regiment serving in Iraq came home to RAF Lossiemouth to a joyful welcome where they were greeted by emotional friends and family as well as rousing Scottish music and drams of whisky.

27 Feb 09 - Royal Navy Type 23 frigate HMS Lancaster has returned to Portsmouth having spent over six months away on operations in the Gulf.

26 Feb 09 - Defence Secretary John Hutton has made a full statement to the House of Commons on the detention and transfer of persons captured by UK forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.

25 Feb 09 - Members of the RAF'S 201 Squadron, who operate the Nimrod MR2 aircraft, have recently been presented with Operational Service Medals for deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan.

24 Feb 09 - Two RAF firemen and a RAF physical training instructor all currently deployed to Iraq have run a half-marathon wearing full firefighter uniform around Basra's Contingency Operating Base for charity.

23 Feb 09 - Hundreds of Desert Rats made London stand still when they passed through Parliament Square on their way to a Westminster reception to be honoured by members of all political parties.

British troops in Basra have teamed up with a confectionery manufacturer in Blackpool to mark the forthcoming completion of the UK's military tasks in Iraq with the 'Farewell to Iraq! Commemorative Rock'.

18 Feb 09 - Just because you're deployed to Basra doesn't mean you shouldn't take care of your teeth, which is why an Army dentist and her dental assistant are doing the rounds in southern Iraq.

17 Feb 09 - British soldiers based in Basra have been training soldiers from the Iraqi Army's 14 Division Engineer Battalion Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) team to use the latest robotic EOD technology.

The forward party of No 5 Force Protection (FP) Wing RAF Regiment has returned to the UK from a six-month deployment in Iraq to an emotional homecoming with friends and family at RAF Lossiemouth.

12 Feb 09 - It is with great regret that the Ministry of Defence must confirm the death of Private Ryan Wrathall in Basra, Iraq.

10 Feb 09 - The ration packs which have sustained British troops on operations since the Cold War have been given a much needed and timely update to ensure that today's soldier is getting the nutrients and vitamins that he or she needs. Report by Leigh Morrison.

British forces in Iraq have helped finance a new dining room for children in the Al Zahara orphanage in the Al Andolous area of Basra.

6 Feb 09 - Armed Forces Minister Bob Ainsworth visited downtown Basra this week to see for himself how UK forces have helped to transform the city.

5 Feb 09 - General David Petraeus, Commander of the US Central Command, thanked the UK for its military and non-military contribution to progress that has been made in Iraq and Afghanistan.

2 Feb 09 - The remarkable work of a small team of military and civilian personnel at Birmingham Research Park, near the city's Selly Oak hospital, is key to the maintenance of British military expeditionary operations. Report by Lt Cdr Susie Thomson.

31 Jan 09 - British Forces based in Basra, who have assisted in planning and mentoring the Iraqi security services, were on standby to assist with any outbreaks of violence but weren't needed.

23 Jan 09 - A newly constructed playing field for the children of a village near Basra, built with the help of soldiers from 1st Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment (1 YORKS), was opened this week with a local football tournament.

22 Jan 09 - A crack squad of specially trained RAF Police are soon to take charge of the UK forces' dog unit at the Contingency Operating Base in Basra. Report by Neale Adams.

Seven workers from the Defence Support Group were awarded campaign medals earlier this week for their work supporting operations in Iraq.

21 Jan 09 - Getting troops and equipment to the front line and back under the current tempo of operations in Iraq and Afghanistan means the RAF transport fleet is working round the clock to deliver the goods.

20 Jan 09 - With increased traffic around the Iraqi port of Umm Qasr and substantial oil exports now being undertaken from platforms in the Gulf, the role of the Iraqi maritime security forces is becoming ever more important. Helping train them is a coalition team led by the Royal Navy.

19 Jan 09 - Chief of the General Staff (CGS), General Sir Richard Dannatt, praised British troops for their part in what has "ultimately been a success" in southern Iraq, in a speech to the Institute for Public Policy Research.

15 Jan 09 - The equipment used by British soldiers on operations in Iraq and Afghanistan is as good as anything found in the American arsenal, according to a group of US Army Command Sergeant Majors (CSM).

14 Jan 09 - Defence Secretary John Hutton outlined the future objectives for British Forces in Iraq when he opened a debate on the UK's future strategic relationship with Iraq in the House of Commons.

13 Jan 09 - A British Royal Navy sailor has been honoured by the United States Army for his work in setting up an Iraqi Navy fast aluminium boat squadron.

Members of the Military Provost Staff, normally based in Colchester, have been presented with medals for their work in running detention facilities in Afghanistan and Iraq.

11 Jan 09 - The Iraqi Army's 14th Division, trained by British troops, celebrated the 88th Iraqi Army Day with a full scale parade and march past in Basra.

A major bridge crossing the Shatt al-Arab river in Basra has been repaired by soldiers from 35 Engineer Regiment in a two-night operation.

9 Jan 09 - The Iraqi Army and Police conducted a joint operation to deliver two tonnes of medical supplies from the main coalition base in Basra, the Contingency Operating Base (COB), to Basra Hospital.

5 Jan 09 - The village of Al Mithar, near Basra, southern Iraq, took delivery of a new school classroom from the back of a truck on Christmas Eve 2008, thanks to the 51 Squadron RAF Regiment (Regt).

1 Jan 09 - A major milestone in the completion of the British mission in Iraq was achieved as Basrah's airport fully transferred to Iraqi civilian control.

Operations in Iraq

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HMS Monmouth deploys to Gulf region

The Type 23 frigate HMS Monmouth sailed from Devonport Naval Base at the weekend...31 Mar 11

Royal Navy moves Iraqi Navy step forward

British-trained members of the Iraqi Navy have conducted their first patrol of...20 Jan 11

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