Saturday, 26 May 2018
Up-to-the-minute perspectives on defence, security and peace
issues from and for policy makers and opinion leaders.

     |      View our Twitter page at     |     


In a statement released today, the Secretary of State for Defence revealed that force levels in Afghanistan will increase to 9,000 over the course of the Afghan elections. They will then reduce to an enduring presence of 8,300 in 2010. The following units will be committed over the Summer:

  • 854 Naval Air Squadron
  • Elements of 5th Regiment Royal Artillery
  • Elements of 16th Regiment Royal Artillery
  • Elements of 19th Regiment Royal Artillery
  • Elements of 32nd Regiment Royal Artillery
  • Elements of 33 Engineer Regiment (Explosive Ordnance Disposal)
  • Elements of 38 Engineer Regiment
  • 15 Field Support Squadron Royal Engineers
  • 65 Field Support squadron Royal Engineers
  • Elements of 170 (Infrastructure Support) Engineer Group
  • Elements of 10th Signal Regiment
  • Elements of 4th Battalion, The Rifles
  • Elements of 11 Explosive Ordnance Disposal Regiment Royal Logistics Corps
  • Elements of 1 Military Intelligence Brigade
  • Elements of Joint Medical Command
  • Elements of 2 Medical Regiment
  • Elements of 4 Medical Regiment
  • Elements of the Queen's Own Yeomanry
  • Elements of 5(Army Co-Operation) Squadron, Royal Air Force
  • Elements of No.3 Royal Air Force Police Wing
  • Elements of 15 Squadron Royal Air Force Police Wing

Elements of 2nd Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers were to be deployed from April until August 2009. They will now serve throughout the election period.

A small number of Volunteer and regular members of the Reserve forces will deploy to Afghanistan as part of this integrated force package. The majority will serve on operations for six or so months, although some may have shorter tours.

These units will provide important additional capabilities for UK forces in Afghanistan. The reinforcement of two infantry companies will enable troops to provide extra security during the Afghan elections. It is also planned to enhance the capability to counter Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs). These devices are a major threat to both troops and to the ordinary Afghan people. Therefore there will be personnel deployed with a range of skills to detect, dispose and exploit IEDs and to prevent them being laid. Other personnel will improve the ability to defend bases while there will also be a reinforcement of reconnaissance capabilities in the guise of increasing the number of tactical Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. Sea King Air Surveillance and Control helicopters will also be deployed as well as the new Airborne Stand-Off Radar. These complementary systems track use radar to track movements on the ground. They can help forces to detect, follow and intercept Insurgents before they can lay IEDs.

In addition, the UK will deploy the Headquarters of 6 (UK) Division to command the International Security Assistance Force's Regional Command (South) from November 2009 to November 2010. MERLIN Support Helicopters from 78 Squadron, Royal Air Force are also being prepared for service in Afghanistan. On current plans, they will be available to deploy by late 2009.

Add comment

Security code

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on the Defence Viewpoints website. However, if you would like to, you can modify your browser so that it notifies you when cookies are sent to it or you can refuse cookies altogether. You can also delete cookies that have already been set. You may wish to visit which contains comprehensive information on how to do this on a wide variety of desktop browsers. Please note that you will lose some features and functionality on this website if you choose to disable cookies. For example, you may not be able to link into our Twitter feed, which gives up to the minute perspectives on defence and security matters.