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The incoming command team will oversee the return to the UK of the majority of the UK troops and equipment still deployed in Afghanistan.
Joint Force Support (Afghanistan) (JFSp(A)) is in charge of sustaining UK forces in Afghanistan at approximately 5,000 personnel while simultaneously managing the drawdown and redeployment of UK personnel and equipment from locations across the country.
With combat operations due to finish by the end of 2014, the new command team has arrived in Helmand province under Herrick 20. Their task is to finish the job of bringing the majority of UK troops and equipment home.
By the end of operations, approximately 5,000 standard 20-foot shipping containers worth of materiel, including 400 tonnes of ammunition, plus 3,400 vehicles and major equipment, including 50 aircraft, will have been redeployed; a process which only began on 1 October 2012.
By the incoming headquarters’ arrival, 64% of the materiel and 63% of the vehicles and major equipment had already been redeployed.
Brigadier Martin Moore, the outgoing commander of JFSp(A), said:
The figures stand for themselves, and I am exceptionally proud of the way that all personnel have contributed to the redeployment effort.
However, it has not solely been about redeployment. There are a lot of people that we are responsible for supporting, and it has been the mission of JFSp(A) to ensure that these people are adequately resourced, from food to gymnasium equipment, ammunition to internet booths; all are vital to sustain a military force on operations.
The new commander, Brigadier Darrell Amison, said:
It is my privilege to assume command of Joint Force Support (Afghanistan) in the final stage of Operation Herrick. The redeployment effort is in full flow, going well, and Martin and his team have done a superb job to ensure that my team are able to complete the mission.
We will continue to make sure that the force remains supported, as well as being able to conduct their jobs safely and to the usual high standard of UK armed forces.
Whilst we will transition to more expeditionary conditions towards the end of the campaign, I am absolutely committed to ensuring the safety and welfare of our personnel throughout.
Though the new command team will be the final JFSp(A) team to deploy to Afghanistan under Operation Herrick, the UK plans to continue to support the Afghan government post-2014.
Alongside financial support and institutional development, the UK is the lead nation in developing the Afghan National Army Officer Academy in Kabul, the aim of which is to select and train Afghanistan’s officers and leaders of the future.