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Britain withdrew last military forces from southern Afghanistan

Nov 26, 2014 16:16 IST

Britain on 24 November 2014 withdrew its last military force based at Kandahar Airfield in southern Afghanistan. Complete British military departed for their home soil from Afghanistan after 13 years of fighting that started in the aftermath of 9/11 terrorist attack in 2001.

To mark the departure of remaining Royal Air Force personnel, the flag of Union Jack was lowered in a ceremony at Kandahar airfield. In October 2014, British forces departed from Hemland province and the departure from Kandahar marked the end of combat mission of Britain in Afghanistan.


The ceremony was attended by Britain's Ambassador to Afghanistan Richard Stagg, British national contingent commander Maj. Gen. Ben Bathurst, and commander of the British forces in Afghanistan, Brig. James Stopford.

After the cerement, personnel from the RAF's 904 Expeditionary Air Wing (EAW) boarded a Britain-bound C17 aircraft along with colleagues from the Joint Force Support Unit which was responsible for supporting military operations in Afghanistan.

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) said the only service personnel left in Afghanistan are in advisory, logistical and support roles helping the Afghan army. About 100 British military personnel are left working at the Afghan Military Academy near the capital of Kabul in the east.

About RAF in Afghanistan
RAF personnel have worked in Afghanistan since Operation Herrick was started in 2006. It worked to support allied operations in Afghanistan with strategic and tactical air transport from Britain to the battlefield.  This troop also provided air-to-air refueling, close air support, intelligence and reconnaissance gathering, force protection and as well as many other roles.


Background
Britain maintained a military presence in Afghanistan in 2001, when troops were deployed as part of the NATO response to the 11 September 2001 attacks in the US.

Since deployment in October 2001, Britain has suffered 453 military deaths during operations in Afghanistan. Much of the British fighting took place in neighbouring Helmand province, which remains a Taliban insurgent stronghold and a centre of opium poppy cultivation.

 

 

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