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Royal Marine who died during Dartmoor exercise named

A Royal Marine trainee who died last week during an exercise on Dartmoor has been named as Lieutenant Gareth Jenkins.

Lieutenant Jenkins was based at the Commando Training Centre at Lympstone, Devon.

He died on Thursday during a 30-mile march across upland Dartmoor which is the last major test undertaken as part of the 32-week Commando course.

Trainees must navigate the route themselves and complete it within eight hours while carrying additional safety equipment.

The Royal Navy has expressed sympathy at his death and said an investigation is currently underway.


'No threat' from Russian planes spotted near UK airspace

The Ministry of Defence has said at no time was there a perceived threat from Russia planes that were tracked flying towards UK airspace.

The two Russian Bear military aircraft were escorted by RAF Typhoon fighters after they were scrambled when the initially unidentified aircraft were spotted flying North of Scotland.

The Russia Bear military aircraft did not cross into UK airspace, an RAF spokesperson said. Credit: PA Wire

It is the latest of similar incidents involving Russian military aircraft flying close to UK airspace in recent months.

RAF intercept Russian aircraft flying towards UK airspace

RAF Typhoon fighter jets have intercepted Russian aircraft that were tracked flying towards UK airspace earlier today.

The jets were scrambled from RAF Lossiemouth and escorted the Russia Bear aircraft until they were out of the UK area of interest, an RAF spokesperson said.

RAF Typhoon fighter aircraft were scrambled to intercept the Russian Bear aircraft.

"The aircraft were identified as Russian Bear aircraft which were escorted by the RAF Typhoon fighters until they were out of the UK area of interest.

"At no time did the Russian military aircraft cross into UK sovereign airspace", the spokesperson added.

Fallon praises British armed forces in fight against IS

The Defence Secretary has praised Britain's armed forces for their work in fighting Islamic State (IS) extremists during a visit to Cyprus.

Michael Fallon told the 400 service personnel based at RAF Akrotiri he was "proud" of their role in helping the Iraqi government defend itself against the threat of IS.

"While this fight will take time, the coalition's air strikes are having a direct effect in supporting Iraqi ground operations against IS," Fallon said.

"In the north, areas around Mount Sinjar have been retaken, bringing relief to the local Yazidi population and applying pressure to IS forces in Mosul. In the south, Iraqi forces operations are beginning to push back ISIL."

RAF 'flies daily missions' supporting Iraqi fight against IS

Royal Air Force Tornado and Reaper jets have flown daily armed reconnaissance missions to support the Iraqi government in its fight against Islamic State militants, the Ministry of Defence has said.

"In the most recent UK military engagement, one of our Reapers provided close air support to an Iraqi unit in combat with Isil terrorists in Diyala province on Friday 13 February," a spokeswoman said.

"The Reaper spotted a machine-gun team firing on the Iraqi troops, and conducted a successful attack with a Hellfire missile. A second machine gun then opened fire on the Iraqis, and the Reaper conducted a further strike with another Hellfire" she added.

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