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By Rt Hon Des Browne MP, Secretary of State for Defence

The next relief in place of UK forces in Afghanistan will take place in October 2008. The force package that we currently plan to deploy will see the lead formation, 16 Air Assault Brigade, replaced by 3 Commando Brigade, Royal Marines, which will command the majority of the units serving in Afghanistan. The new force elements deployed include:

3 Commando Brigade Headquarters, Royal Marines

Elements of the Naval Strike Wing

Elements of 845 Naval Air Squadron

Elements of 846 Naval Air Squadron

Elements of 847 Naval Air Squadron

42 Commando Royal Marines

45 Commando Royal Marines

United Kingdom Landing Force Command and Support Group

Commando Logistic Regiment Royal Marines

1st The Queen's Dragoon Guards

29 Commando Regiment Royal Artillery

24 Commando Engineer Regiment

2nd Battalion The Royal Gurkha Rifles

1st Battalion The Rifles

3 Close Support Battalion, Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers

114th Provost Company Royal Military Police

Elements of the Queen's Royal Lancers

Elements of 5th Regiment Royal Artillery

Elements of 16th Regiment Royal Artillery

Elements of 26th Regiment Royal Artillery

Elements of 32nd Regiment Royal Artillery

Elements of 47th Regiment Royal Artillery

Elements of 39th Regiment Royal Artillery

Elements of 32 Engineer Regiment

Elements of 33 Engineer Regiment (Explosive Ordnance Disposal)

Elements of 35 Engineer Regiment

Elements of 170 (Infrastructure Support) Engineer Group

Elements of 10th Signal Regiment

Elements of 21st Signal Regiment (Air Support)

Elements of 22nd Signal Regiment

Elements of 1st Battalion The Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment

Elements of 7 Transport Regiment The Royal Logistic Corps

Elements of 4 Regiment, Army Air Corps

Headquarters, 104 Logistic Brigade

Elements of 9 Supply Regiment The Royal Logistic Corps

Elements of 11 Explosive Ordnance Regiment The Royal Logistic Corps

Elements of 13 Air Assault Support Regiment The Royal Logistic Corps

Elements of 17 Port and Maritime Regiment The Royal Logistic Corps

Elements of 24 Postal Courier and Movement Regiment The Royal Logistic Corps

Elements of 29 Postal Courier and Movement Regiment The Royal Logistic Corps

Elements of 101 Force Support Battalion Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers

Elements of 103 Military Working Dog Support Unit

Elements of 1 Military Intelligence Brigade

Elements of 4th Battalion The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment (King's, Lancashire and Border)

Elements of 6th Battalion The Rifles

Elements to man 904 Expeditionary Air Wing, Royal Air Force

4 Force Protection Wing Headquarters, Royal Air Force

1 Regiment Field Squadron, Royal Air Force

Elements of 4 Squadron, Royal Air Force

Elements of 18 Squadron, Royal Air Force

Elements of 27 Squadron, Royal Air Force

Elements of 30 Squadron, Royal Air Force

Elements of 39 Squadron, Royal Air Force

Elements of 70 Squadron, Royal Air Force

Elements to man the Tactical Supply Wing

Elements to man the Joint Helicopter Support Unit

Elements of 1 Air Movements Wing, Royal Air Force

Elements of 85 (Expeditionary Logistic) Wing Headquarters, Royal Air Force

Elements of 1 Air Control Centre, Royal Air Force

Elements of 90 Signals Unit, Royal Air Force

Elements of 2 Motor Transport Squadron, Royal Air Force

Elements of 5001 Squadron, Royal Air Force

Elements of Mobile Catering Support Unit

Elements of Tactical Medical Wing

Elements of Tactical Armament Squadron

Elements of Tactical Imagery Intelligence Wing

Elements of Joint Medical Command

The above represent either direct replacements for capabilities already in place in Afghanistan or comprise elements of the force level increases that I announced to the House on 16 June 2008.

Volunteer and regular members of the reserve forces will continue to deploy to Afghanistan as part of this integrated force package, and we expect to have eventually issued in the order of 620 call-out notices to fill around 560 posts. On completion of their mobilisation procedures, the reservists will undertake a period of training and, where applicable, integration with their respective receiving units. The majority will serve on operations for six or so months, although some may have shorter tours. As part of this commitment, we expect up to 25 members of the sponsored reserves to be in theatre at any one time.

The House will also wish to be aware that 3 Commando Brigade's deployment will last until April 2009.

This statement was made to the House of Commons on 8th July 2008

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