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7th Armoured Brigade to deploy to Afghanistan

The Defence Secretary has announced that 7th Armoured Brigade will lead the next group of UK Armed Forces personnel deployed to Afghanistan.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Royal Scots Dragoon Guards leaving Main Operating Base Price in Helmand province (library image) [Picture: Corporal Andy Reddy RLC, Crown copyright]

The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards in Afghanistan (library image)

The next roulement, or transition, of UK forces in Afghanistan is due to take place in October 2013.

As the Prime Minister announced in December 2012, the UK’s conventional force levels in Afghanistan will draw down to around 5,200 by the end of 2013, from the current level of around 7,900.

As part of this drawdown, there will be around 6,000 personnel in Afghanistan from Autumn 2013. However, this figure may fluctuate and occasionally exceed this total due to ‘relief-in-place’ (where all or part of a unit is replaced in an area by an incoming unit) and additional surges into theatre.

Around half of these units will form Task Force Helmand under the command of 7th Armoured Brigade. The remainder will deploy within Helmand province and also to other locations in Afghanistan, particularly Kandahar and Kabul, as part of the UK’s overall contribution.

In addition to the list of formed units, individual augmentees from each of the Services will continue to deploy as part of this integrated force package. In total MOD expects around 1,119 individual augmentees to deploy on operations.

These will be comprised of 246 Royal Navy personnel, 370 Army personnel and 503 Royal Air Force personnel. The Royal Air Force currently provides the command element of Headquarters Joint Force Support (Afghanistan), with the wider headquarters manned by individual augmentees from all 3 Services. 101 Logistic Brigade will deploy in November to take on this role.

A member of the 1st Battalion Coldstream Guards
A member of the 1st Battalion Coldstream Guards talks to one of the local children during a patrol around Kopak near Babaji (library image) [Picture: Sergeant Keith Cotton RLC, Crown copyright]

Volunteer and ex-regular members of the Reserve Forces will continue to deploy to Afghanistan as part of this integrated force package, and we expect to issue around 400 call-out notices.

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 around 6 months although a small proportion of any force which is stood down due to force level reductions is likely to be reservist.

As announced by the Defence Secretary Philip Hammond on 14 May 2013, some elements of 7th Armoured Brigade will deploy on Op Herrick 19 for up to 8 months. This will remove the requirement to train and deploy an extra brigade, at greatly reduced scale, to cover the final months of 2014.

It will also align tours to key milestones in the transition process, such as the Afghan presidential elections in Spring 2014. A small number of reservists may therefore voluntarily serve for 8 months.

20th Armoured Brigade is currently training to relieve 7th Armoured Brigade in 2014.

The forces deploying include:

Published 10 July 2013