The deployment of British personnel to Afghanistan as part of NATO's Headquarters Allied Rapid Reaction Corps (HQ ARRC) from January 2011 to January 2012 has been endorsed by the Secretary of State for Defence, Dr Liam Fox.
Minister of State for the Armed Forces, Nick Harvey, made the announcement earlier today.
HQ ARRC is one of NATO’s nine Graduated Readiness Forces (Land) [GRF(L)], standing headquarters which provide augmentation, on a rotational basis, to the ISAF Joint Command in Kabul.
HQ ARRC’s personnel will take on the augmentation role from elements of the French-led GRF(L) which are currently deployed and will be replaced in turn by staff from the Eurocorps GRF(L) and the Spanish GRF(L).
HQ ARRC is a UK-led multinational headquarters staffed by personnel from 15 allied nations. 250 headquarters staff will deploy at any one time, of which up to 189 will be from the UK.
As a deployment of NATO-assigned personnel, the UK contribution will not be considered part of the UK’s established and enduring force level, which remains at 9,500.
The deployment of elements of HQ ARRC will ensure the operational effectiveness of the ISAF Joint Command throughout 2011 and demonstrates the UK’s continued commitment both to NATO and to the international mission in Afghanistan.