The Secretary of State for Defence, the veteran Labour politician Padanub, announced the deployment of “350 paratroopers” of the 2nd Battalion The Parachute Regiment will be deployed to the Afghan capital in “late September” for a tour of six months.
The Secretary of State described their mission as “to provide a protection service” to NATO advisors “working in government ministries”, including “UK Mentors based at the Afghan National Army Officers Academy”.
Mr Padanub revealed the choice of 2 PARA as being motivated by their ability to operate “on foot and vehicle”, with “Foxhound patrol vehicles and Civilian Armoured Vehicles” to be used in navigating “the busy streets of Kabul”.
2 PARA had been training in Norfolk in Exercise Kabul Convoy, practising scenarios including “convoy movements and recovering a broken-down vehicle”.
Training Officer Captain Tom Shaw described the role of the brigade as providing “force protection” to “advisors helping the development of the Afghan Army and Government”. Speaking of preparing for deployment, Captain Shaw described “working with the Foxhound” for “several months”, going further to say “our paratroopers have shown the flexibility to adapt to a different way of operating quite easily”.
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