Showing posts with label United-Kingdom. Show all posts
Showing posts with label United-Kingdom. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

British Afghan Troop Med Records Lost

A UK newspaper is reporting that the medical records of up to 1,300 soldiers were lost after two laptops were sent to Afghanistan. Read more in "British Afghanistan troops' medical records lost", The Telegraph, January 12, 2015.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Women on Front Lines - "A Politically-Correct Mistake"

Some British military figures have condemned the move to allow women to fight on the front line as a "politically-correct mistake". Some question whether women have the 'killer instinct' and others point out that 99% of women lack the upper body strength to pass the physical fitness tests that males must successfully pass. Read more in a news article in The Independent (Dec 19, 2014).

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Interview with UK Soldier - "Kajaki"

A new movie being released in the UK is about the time spent on tour in Helmand province by some UK soldiers. Watch an interview about the movie in "British Soldier and Actor on Filming "Kajaki"", Forces TV, December 1, 2014.

Tribute to 453 UK Troops

The Telegraph, one of the UK's leading newspapers has posted an online memorial to the 453 UK lives that were lost in the Afghan War. The site is called "We will remember them: Afghanistan 2001-2014" at this link. A staff member of The Telegraph, Alice Audley, provides a heart-breaking story of how she helped research the backgrounds of those who died to assist in the establishment of the site. Read her story here in "Afghanistan 2001-2014: Creating The Telegraph's tribute" (December 1, 2104).

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

UK SAS to Remain in Afghanistan

News reports indicate that the Brits are not leaving entirely! While they have (along with the U.S. Marines) vacated Helmand province they will still be engaged elsewhere. Certainly they will be found in the staff at ISAF and the regional TAACs as well as at "Sandhurst in the Sand". In addition, the Special Air Service (SAS) will continue to work along side U.S. special operations forces to conduct counter-terrorism operations. It is anticipated that about 100 SAS troops and military intel types will remain. See "SAS to remain in Afghanistan to target al-Qaeda", The Telegraph, November 14, 2014.

Friday, November 21, 2014

UK's Watchkeeper Drone

The British Army recently used the Watchkeeper drone during its withdrawal from Camp Bastion and Helmand province. Early reports are that the new drone performed well. Read more in "British Army praises performance of Watchkeeper during debut deployment", Flight Global News, November 18, 2014.

Monday, November 17, 2014

RAF Tornados Complete Mission in Afghanistan

The Royal Air Force has completed their final mission with the Tornado GR4 all-weather attack aircraft in Afghanistan. The Tornados took over the air support mission from the RAF Harriers in June 2009. The aircraft provided close air support and reconnaissance to ground troops.  Read more in "RAF Tornados complete Afghan combat mission",, November 12, 2014. (photo by MSgt William Greer, CENTCOM)

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

UK Remembers the Fallen

The United Kingdom military forces held remembrance services in Afghanistan to remember the fallen from the Afghan War and previous conflicts. Read more in "British Forces in Afghanistan Remember the Fallen", UK Forces TV, November 10, 2014. (print and video).

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

UK Afghan Legacy

United Kingdom forces have been in Afghanistan since 2001. The UK special operations forces have played a significant role throughout the country (as part of ISAF SOF and later NSOCC-A) as well as numerous conventional force units in Helmand province. In late October 2014 UK forces departed Helmand province; however, some UK troops will remain on the ISAF staff and at the ANA Officer Academy near Kabul. The infographic above shows the troop strength of the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF), International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), and the United Kingdom from 2006 to the end of 2014. (Infographic from UK Ministry of Defence, 1 Nov 2014).

Afghans Request UK Air Support

The Afghan government has requested continued air support from the United Kingdom for its ground troops during the Resolute Support mission. Kabul's air force does not currently have the capacity to deliver close air support; but hopefully, it will in the future once it receives its twenty A-29 super Tucano light strike aircraft (2016?). Read more in "UK ponders Afghan request for air support", IHS Jane's 360, October 30, 2014.

Friday, November 7, 2014

UK - A Lasting Legacy in Afghanistan

On October 27, 2014 United Kingdom troops left Helmand province, Afghanistan marking the historic end of UK combat operations in the province for 13 years. UK forces have been in Afghanistan since 2001 and the end of 2014 will see the completion of the International Security Force Assistance (ISAF) mission. However, the ISAF mission will be replaced by the NATO Resolute Support mission and the United Kingdom will play a role in that mission as well. The UK will continue to provide officers and NCOs for the Resolute Support headquarters and staff in Kabul. In addition, the UK will continue its support of the Afghan National Army Officer Academy (ANAOA) also located near Kabul. The ANAOA is informally known as "Sandhurst in the Sand". The graduates of the ANAOA go through a 42-week long leadership course. Read more in "A lasting legacy in Afghanistan", UK Ministry of Defence, 1 November 2014.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

UK Soldiers - "Brave as Lions"

The United Kingdom has completed its 13 year-long war in Afghanistan. It will keep some military officers and NCOs on the NATO staff that will be conducting the Resolute Support mission as well as some instructors, trainers, and advisors working at "Sandhurst in the Sand" in Kabul. Britain's main contribution (its role in ISAF SOF is also important) will be its role in Helmand province where it suffered the vast majority of its casualties. Many observers will wonder how much actually got accomplished over those many years and the inevitable look back over decisions and policies will certainly take place. Some commentators are getting an early start. Read "Brave as lions but poorly led - the British heroes of Helmand", The Telegraph, October 23, 2014.

Pictures - 13-Years of UK in Afghanistan

The United Kingdom spent 13 years fighting in Afghanistan and lost over 400 of its military personnel. The UK recently handed over its largest base - Camp Bastion in Helmand province - to the Afghan National Army. The BBC has compiled some pictures of the UK commitment to Afghanistan. See "UK troops in Afghanistan 2001-2014", BBC News UK, October 26, 2014.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

19th SFGA Punished for Helping UK Wounded Warriors

It appears that members of the 19th Special Forces Group of the Utah Army National Guard are under investigation for their participation in a project to aid wounded warriors from the United Kingdom military services. The project sells calendars online to raise money for the benefit of wounded UK service members. Some of the Utah state politicians don't see that as a noble cause; instead focusing on some rules and regulations that may have been broken. The head of the Utah Army National Guard says that an investigation is in progress. Let's hope they focus in on the big picture; that the Guardsmen were supporting a worthy cause. The fact that the calendar's are featuring some very attractive women from the UK has some of the female legislators in Utah miffed. Read more in "Police, Guard members face penalties in risque bikini film shoot", Stars and Stripes, October 24, 2014.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Britain's 13-Year War Ends

Flags were lowered in a ceremony at Camp Bastion, Helmand province marking the end of the 13-year long war that Britain fought in Afghanistan. The long war claimed 453 British servicemen and women. The large base was handed over to the Afghan National Army. The remaining few hundred UK military personnel will leave the base within days. Camp Bastion was opened in 2006 and has been Britain's main operating base for the country. A few British military personnel will remain in the Kabul area to work on the ISAF staff as well as providing instructors to the Afghan officer training facility nicknamed "Sandhurst-in-the-Sand". Read more in "Britain's 13-year war in Afghanistan comes to an end", The Telegraph, October 25, 2014.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Story of UK Female Artist in Afghanistan

Here is a news account about a female artist from the United Kingdom who spent time with British military units and the Afghan people painting and drawing about the war in Afghanistan. Read more in "An artist in Afghanistan: 'To tell the story, you've got to take risks'", The Guardian, October 19, 2014.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

UK Moving Drones from Afghanistan to Iraq

Britain will soon be moving its unmanned armed drones from Afghanistan to Iraq. The United Kingdom has been one of the early members of the anti-ISIS coalition and has committed aircraft (eight RAF Tornado fighter jets) and special operations forces to the conflict with ISIS. The UK's armed drone is the Reaper which can launch bombs and missiles. It usually carries two Paveway laser-guided bombs and four Hellfire missiles for precision strikes. Read more in "Britain to re-deploy drones from Afghanistan to Iraq", Yahoo! News, October 16, 2014.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Departure from Helmand - Taliban Undefeated?

Map from
The U.S. Marines and the UK troops have departed Helmand province. Camp Bastion and Camp Leatherneck have been transferred to the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF). Only a few hundred ISAF troops remain to complete the packing up process. It was a tough fight for the Brits and Marines over the past several years - both contingents losing hundreds of men to the conflict. At one time there were over 40,000 ISAF personnel (Marines, Brits, contractors, etc.) stationed at Camps Bastion and Leatherneck but now it is owned and run by the Afghans. More importantly, the ANA and ANP are now responsible for providing security in that part of Afghanistan and defeating the Taliban. But . . . that is the big question. Can they do that? Read more in "With Marines Gone, Can the Afghan Army Hold Off the Taliban", NPR Parallels, October 27, 2014.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

How UK Deploys Reapers to Afghanistan

This news article provides a series of photos that show how the United Kingdom deploys its Reapers (drones) to Afghanistan. Call it "drone in a box". Read the news story here in The Aviationist (Sep 19, 2014).

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Brits Worry Over Attacks During Withdrawal

The Brits are slightly concerned about the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan over the next year but figure they have things set to ensure no adverse actions take place. They recognize that the Taliban will try and attack as they withdraw and then make some public announcements about it. Read more in "Army chiefs draw up plans to fight their way out of Afghanistan if Taliban attack during troop withdrawal", Mirror News, January 26, 2014.