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News Article

19 Light Brigade to replace 3 Commando Brigade, Royal Marines, in Afghanistan

A Defence Policy and Business news article

16 Dec 08

19 Light Brigade will replace 3 Commando Brigade, Royal Marines, in April 2009 as the lead formation of UK forces in Afghanistan, Defence Secretary John Hutton confirmed today, Tuesday 16 December 2008.

Soldiers from 2 Rifles in the back of a Bulldog

Soldiers from 2 Rifles in the back of a Bulldog Armoured Personnel Carrier in Basra, 2007
[Picture: Cpl Ian Forsyth RLC]

19 Light Brigade will command the majority of the units serving in Afghanistan. Their deployment is expected to last until October 2009.

The new force elements deploying under the command of 19 Light Brigade will be direct replacements for capabilities already in place in Afghanistan.

In addition, elements of 2nd Battalion The Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment, the Theatre Reserve Battalion, are deployed or are about to be deployed to meet short-term operational needs.

The approval until August 2009, which will include the period of preparation for Afghan elections, to increase the number of British troops deployed to Afghanistan from just over 8,000 to around 8,300, was announced yesterday, Monday 15 December 2008, by the Prime Minister, Gordon Brown.

These additional troops will come from 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers and will replace equivalent forces deployed from 2nd Battalion The Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment. These forces will be building on recent security gains in central Helmand.

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 issue around 600 call-out notices to fill some 575 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 so months, although some may have shorter tours. As part of this commitment, we expect up to 15 members of the Sponsored Reserves to be in Theatre at any one time.

The new force elements deploying in April 2009 include:

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