News story

Britain helps train record number of Afghan Army officers

The Afghan National Army Officer Academy (ANAOA) has now trained over 1,300 Afghan officer graduates, the Defence Secretary has announced.

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon made the announcement during a visit to the academy in Kabul today.

Since the ANAOA held its first graduation in September 2014, the academy has played a crucial role in developing the next generation of Afghan officers. With more female officers than ever, graduates from the facility are playing an active role in shaping the security of the country.

The UK, along with NATO partners, are providing essential support in helping development of the institution, mentoring the Afghan instructors.

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said:

Afghan forces are now leading security for their country and hundreds of British troops are providing crucial support.

Our long term commitment to help build a more secure and prosperous Afghanistan will make the region more stable and the streets of Britain safer.

While the UK’s combat mission in Afghanistan ended in 2014, 450 British troops - our second largest operational deployment - continue to play a vital role in the country. In addition to our work with the ANAOA, British troops provide advisors to the Afghan Security Ministries and support NATO’s Resolute Support Mission through the Kabul Security Force.

Before travelling to Kabul the Defence Secretary met the UAE Minister of State for Defence Affairs, Mr Mohammed Ahmed Al Bawardi, and Deputy Chief of Staff of the UAE Armed Forces Maj Gen Essa Saif Mohammed Al Mazrouei in Abu Dhabi.

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said:

The UAE is an important partner in the campaign against Daesh and promoting security and prosperity across the Gulf.

As part of our longstanding defence relationship we will continue to enhance our military co-operation across all areas.

The UAE plays a key role in the campaign against Daesh, making an important contribution to this allied effort.

The Gulf is one of the most visited regions in the world by Royal Navy ships, and the UAE plays an important role in supporting these operations and activities.

As part of our strong military relationship, the UAE is a partner of choice for bilateral training exercises and we look forward to operating alongside them in future events, including Ex SEA KHANJAR, a major joint amphibious maritime exercise due to take place next year.

The UK remains committed to the defence of the UAE through the UK/UAE Defence Agreement.