Britain handed over two military bases to Afghan troops in Helmand province

Mar 18, 2014 18:18 IST

British Forces on 17 March 2014 handed over its two important military bases in southern Helmand province to Afghan security forces and closed down another base. This action of handing over the bases to Afghanistan has been done under the ongoing security transition process in Afghanistan.

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Main Operating Base Lashkar Gah and Patrol Base of Lashkar Gah Durai in Helmand were transferred to Afghan forces and Main Operating Base Price was closed down.

With this handling of the two bases and shutting down of one, the British troops now controls only two operational bases in the Helmand province of the country, namely Main Operating Base Camp Bastion and Observation Post Sterga. The Bastion camp serves as the main base for UK personnel.

A statement of the British Defense Ministry claims that during the peak of its operations, Britain had 138 military bases in Helmand province of Afghanistan of which majority have already been handed over to the Afghan security forces. The statement also says that the Afghan forces are now leading about 97 percent of all security operations and are also carrying out over 90 percent of their training programmes.

The highest number of deployment of the British troops in Afghanistan happened in 2009 with 9500 military personnel, which was the second largest contribution of soldiers in the 49-nation coalition in the country. The operations of UK (Britain) in Afghanistan were largely concentrated in the Helmand province under the name of operation Herrick.

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Background
The British forces in Afghanistan are a member of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). The UN mandate has committed the withdrawal of all combat forces in Afghanistan by December 2014.

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