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Defence

News Article

52 Infantry Brigade to replace 12 Mechanized Brigade in Afghanistan

19 Jul 07

Defence Secretary Des Browne has today, Thursday 19 July 2007, announced the next roulement of UK forces in Aghanistan, scheduled to take place in October 2007.

Lance Corporal David Jones of The Queen's Royal Lancers (QRL) on patrol in Maysaan Province during their tour of Iraq. Elements of the QRL will deploy to Afghanistan later this year  [Picture: Cpl Russ Nolan RLC]. Opens in a new window.

Lance Corporal David Jones of The Queen's Royal Lancers (QRL) on patrol in Maysaan Province during their tour of Iraq. Elements of the QRL will deploy to Afghanistan later this year.
[Picture: Cpl Russ Nolan RLC]

The force package that is expected to deploy will see the lead formation, 12 Mechanized Brigade, replaced by 52 Infantry Brigade, which will provide the majority of the units serving in Afghanistan.

The bulk of these units represent direct replacements for the Afghanistan deployments Mr Browne announced on 1 February 2007 and 26 February 2007. All military operations are subject to regular review. As a result, Mr Browne has also agreed to deploy an additional troop of the highly regarded VIKING Protected Mobility Vehicles, manned by Royal Marines and the Queen's Royal Lancers, to enhance further the Task Force Helmand's ability to manoeuvre.

In addition, from 1 August 2007 to 31 July 2008 the UK will act as Principal Co-ordinating Nation for NATO's management of Kandahar airfield. Mr Browne is also considering options to enhance UK support for the Afghan National Security Forces. As a result the total UK commitment in Afghanistan is likely to be around 7,800 by the end of this year.

The forces deploying include elements of:

Volunteer and Regular members of the reserve forces will continue to deploy to Afghanistan as part of this integrated force package, and we expect to have eventually issued in the order of 750 call-out notices to fill over 600 posts. 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 six or seven months, although some may have shorter tours. As part of this commitment, we expect up to 20 members of the Sponsored reserves to be in Theatre at any one time.

In his Written Ministerial Statement to the House of Commons, Mr Browne stressed the importance of burden-sharing within the International Security Assistance Force:

"I should like to welcome the recent decision by the Danish parliament to increase their deployment in Helmand. Operating under 52 Infantry Brigade's command will be a Danish Battlegroup which, building on our close co-operation with Danish forces in Iraq, will exercise tactical command over two British infantry companies. This important increase in the Danish contribution to Task Force Helmand is a significant boost to its operational capability and its capacity to help stabilise and secure Helmand province."