Following the announcement today of the 300th member of the British Armed Forces to have been killed or have died as a result of operations in Afghanistan since 2001, the Secretary of State for Defence, Dr Liam Fox, and Chief of the Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Jock Stirrup, have made the following statements.
Secretary of State for Defence, Dr Liam Fox, said:
British forces in Afghanistan are protecting our national security as part of an international coalition of more than 45 nations, working alongside the Afghan National Army and Police.
“Their efforts will bring security and stability to Afghanistan and prevent it from once again becoming a base from which terrorists can attack the UK and our allies around the world.
“The last nine years have seen British forces at the forefront of the campaign; for the last five working hard in one of the most challenging areas of the country building Afghan capacity to secure and govern their own country - a process which ultimately will allow us to bring our forces home.
“Our Armed Forces are the best in the world, operating daily in the most dangerous and demanding conditions. Some have made the ultimate sacrifice to ensure this essential mission succeeds.
“My thoughts, and those of the nation, are with the families and friends of all those servicemen and women who have fallen, but our resolve and determination to see the mission through remain steadfast.”
Chief of the Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Jock Stirrup, said:
Our Armed Forces take enormous pride in their role in Afghanistan where they are helping to provide security to protect our freedoms at home.
“We remember everyone who has given their life in the line of duty and honour the significant progress they have helped to deliver in Afghanistan. In theatre today, our people will be more determined than ever to deliver their task of supporting Afghans to build for their own future.
“Service personnel from across the world deployed in Afghanistan are serving with determination every day - we owe it to them to give our support and backing. They put their lives on the line to make the progress we have seen, and will continue to see, in Helmand and across all of Afghanistan.”