The Defence Secretary Michael Fallon has authorised an uplift to the UK’s enduring commitment to Afghanistan. Around 50 extra personnel will deploy to Kabul in 2017, joining the 450 British troops already in country.
The troops, who will be deployed in non-combat roles, will contribute to on-going training and mentoring of Afghan forces, including at the UK-led Afghan National Army Officer Academy (ANAOA). Personnel will also advise the fledgling Afghan Air Force, which took delivery of five US Cayuse Warrior attack helicopters last month, and will work alongside NATO Allies as advisors in mission’s headquarters in Kabul and in the Afghan Security Ministries.
Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said:
This increase will support Afghan forces now leading security for their country. It underlines our long term commitment to help build a more secure and prosperous Afghanistan. Doing that will make the region more stable and the streets of Britain safer.
With Afghan forces in the lead for security in their country, the extra British mentors will maintain the momentum of UK and NATO training efforts. Since 2014, the UK mentoring assistance has helped the ANAOA to train over 1300 high quality officers.
Today’s announcement comes as the UK reaffirmed its commitments to Afghanistan into 2017. As well as our on-going contribution to NATO’s Resolute Support Mission, the Government in May confirmed that Britain would provide £210 million to the Afghan security forces year until 2020, giving around £70 million per year in funding.