UK and the US ended combat operations in Hemland province of Afghanistan

Oct 27, 2014 17:30 IST

United Kingdom (UK) and the US Marines ended combat operations in Hemland province of Afghanistan on 26 October 2014. As a part of this, UK and US Marines handed over two adjacent bases to the Afghan military after 13 years of a US-led invasion launched against the Taliban.

The Bastion Camp of Britain and Leatherneck camp of US are the two camps in the southwestern province of Helmand that were handed over to 215 Corps of the Afghan Military. As part of the handing over ceremony, the two Countries troops lowered the American and British flags for the final time and folded them away.

Now, Afghan National Army's 215th Corps will be headquartered at the 28 sq km base, leaving almost no foreign military presence in Helmand.

UK announced that North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) forces in Afghanistan will be reduced to about 12500 which comprise of mostly trainers and advisers by January 2015. Among them, Americans will be 9800 and rest from other NATO members where British will keep a small contingent in Kabul.

UK will also continue to support Afghanistan through institutional development, the Afghan National Army Officer Academy and development aid to maintain security and stability in Afghanistan.

The US is leaving behind about 230 million US dollar worth of property and equipment, which includes a major airstrip at the base, roads and building for the Afghan military.

The huge joint base built in the desert near the provincial capital Lashkar Gah was the most important installation for the NATO mission in Afghanistan.

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