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The UK Secretary of State for Defence (The Rt Hon Dr Liam Fox) today announced that following a request by the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) Joint Command in Afghanistan aCompany Group, formed around elements of the 2nd Battalion The Royal Welsh, from Task Force Helmand and partnered by a company from the Afghan National Army, will temporarily extend their current Freedom of Movement task along Highway One. The area of operations will extend east into Kandahar Province, adjacent to Helmand, for a specific time-limited period of up to six months. The objective of the task is to secure 'Freedom of Movement' along a key part of Highway One, between central Helmand and Kandahar. This will enable ISAF and the Afghan National Security Forces to increase security in both Helmand and Kandahar Provinces. It will further benefit security, stability and economic development in Helmand by reducing the influence of the insurgency on the free-flow of traffic on Highway One. Improving security on the route will ensure that it is freely usable by the Afghan authorities, commercial users and the local population.