Nearly 1,000 troops have gone through final preparations for deployment to Afghanistan, say the British Army.

The deployment sees 1st Battalion The Rifles and 1st Battalion The Royal Irish operating together for the first time since World War Two, according to a release.

Brigadier Alan Richmond, head of the Army in Wales and Commander 160 Brigade, is quoted as saying the deployment was significant, for a number of reasons.

“This is a true UK endeavour with the British Army showing off the best bonds of the union, with the deployment supported by Reservists from 6th Battalion The Rifles and 2nd Battalion The Royal Irish, who also come under my command, with Scottish and Welsh soldiers also serving with the units. This is also the first time Riflemen and Rangers will operate beside each other since World War Two.”

The main effort of the deployment is for Riflemen and Rangers to provide armoured force protection to NATO advisors to allow them to support the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and its institutions.

UK troops will be deployed to several locations within Kabul as part of the NATO mission, Resolute Support. The troops deploy in various stages from mid-March for a six-month tour, say the Army.

37 COMMENTS

  1. The Light Protected Mobility Battalions no longer exist, so
    good to see the Foxhound is still used.

    I think that is indeed a Foxhound behind the soldiers?

    Can it withstand the IED’s though? I assume Mastiff is too large for urban areas?

    • Foxhound is better than a snatch that is a fact!

      Nice to see the HK416 in circulation as well! Cracking weapon system.

          • Just to be that boring gun guy (kind of my job) the Sharpshooter (L-129A1) isn’t really a 417, it’s a bespoke weapon made by ballistics perverts in America, based (sort of) on a stoners SR-25. It’s the heaviest of the rifles we trailed but it moves less when firing so the shooter can keep his (or her) sight picture.

            Weston, my bike is better protected then a Snatch! But it doesn’t have that weird smell about it.

            BV

          • BV / Steven… Yep LMT definitely rings a bell… Am I right in thinking that these can be fired after being fully submerged without the chamber being cleared? This version is a short stroke piston as opposed to direct gas I believe?… Stops the over pressure etc when water sits in the chamber – Ideal for Commando and SF roles I’d say!

      • Think of the gas parts like a love child between an M16 and an SA80, still a short stroke as opposed to direct gas impingement. Direct gas impingement is a pain in the ass for cleaning, remember digging out GMPG gas parts?, same detail, using gas to cycle the bolt but also to unlock is an incredibly light system but in shits carbon all over your working parts.

        BV

    • Yes that’s the foxhound and it was designed with IED survivability in mind. I’m not sure if the Army will be getting large numbers of foxhounds though.

    • I understand the reason given here for the deployment, I dont understand what the end goal is, the fighting will never end and the government will not last once western troops leave, how long before this is understood?

      • I think the goal is to eventually let afghan troops take over all of Afghanistan once We have trained and equipped enough of them to an ok standard, but not sure how long they will last with all the desertions with expensive equipment going on. Sandhurst in the Sand should be training officers to a good standard so it’s upto the normal Afghan soldier to follow them and fight for there country now.

        But as long as NATO personnel are there then there will always be Nato troops protecting them. I say leave Afghanistan to sort itself out now. Even though the west has pulled out the vast majority of fighting forces most fighters are attracted from Pakistan ect to fight the foreign invaders in Afghanistan. And how many terrorist atacks have afghans actually committed in the west? Even less I bet when we actually leave there country. Just keep special forces, intelligence assets and drones operational in region.

        • Too many tribal conflicts, too many warlords Cam, no western solution would ever be accepted, no government will have enough backing to last long enough if it is seen as a western puppet. Westerners dont do well in Muslim countries at the best of times, nobody does well in Afghanistan. I dont know how many UK troops are still getting hurt there but it must be time to leave to stop your pointless loses

        • SF, Drones and Intelligence I agree, which is pretty much the situation from Yemen to Somalia to Syria.

          Anything in greater numbers then no.

          We just look like occupiers.

  2. I agree with Ulya

    Afghanistan is all about tribal warfare. We could not defeat them the first time, the Russians could not, and we will not win this time.

    As soon as we leave the vacuum will be filled.

    I agreed with going in there after 9/11. I did not agree with occupying parts of it like Russia did in the early 80’s. And that makes me feel bad saying that for all the magnificent efforts of the British Army and losses suffered.

    We just become infidels occupying another’s land.

    If there is anything positive it has given our forces tremendous experience to add to their professionalism. Did Hearts and Minds work?

    • Question is if NATO leave and the taliban do manage to take control, will afghanistan become a terrorist haven again??

      • I think that is inevitable Dave, unless we are talking of a never ending commitment.

        How much of Afghanistan is currently controlled by NATO or Afghan Government forces?

        • True , the figures of afgan soldiers killed in action in recents year is scary I just hope they hold the line after top training from NATO troops is done.
          We should of kept our eye on the ball in afghanistan instead of invading Iraq.

          • Yes maybe.

            As I said above I was all in favour of going in to Afghanistan after 9/11 with special forces, using the Northern Alliance as proxy forces, airpower, ISTAR, and the like.

            And that should continue. But not tens of thousands as an occupation force.

            Truth be known I also approved of Iraq 2003 as I believed the WMD line preached by Blair. That man should be impeached.

            And to be fair the Iraqi’s did have WMD as proved by the attack on Halabja in 1988.

            As for Afghanistan if NATO are in Kabul and other strategic places like Kandahar what is to stop the Taliban re establishing in the mountains?

            I can see many Afghan National Army deserting and taking their training with them, and their weapons.

            Just like the Stingers and Blowpipes given to the Mujahideen by the CIA and SIS in the 80’s that went walkabout.

          • I didn’t believe we should have invaded after the Towers and Pentagon were hit. I thought we just should have waited till 9/12 then retaliated by launching a massive carpet bombing raid ala WWII on every populated area then declared victory by retaliation. Then went on our merry way.
            If any other foreign terrorist launched another 9/11 style attack we should merely have repeated on whatever country gave them shelter before the attack.

  3. What is the point if sending a paltry 1000 troops when the Afghan government is in peace talks with the Taliban?

    How many more innocents will the British army kill while out on deployments? The atrocities committed by the Protestant English army in Catholic Ireland have come to the surface again with the decision to prosecute the murderer ‘soldier F’. Other murderers in the Parachute Regiment were allowed to die in peace or escape accountability because of judicial games and attempts at suppression through government sponsored committees like the Widgery commission, who were hand in glove with the Government. For Shame. No more deployments abroad without either permission from the country of deployment of a legitimate government or chance to fulfil a mission.

    • Iqbal wrote:
      “What is the point if sending a paltry 1000 troops when the Afghan government is in peace talks with the Taliban?”

      Well, if you had bothered to read the article you would have learnt this:
      “The main effort of the deployment is for Riflemen and Rangers to provide armoured force protection to NATO advisors to allow them to support the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and its institutions.”

      • Yes Farouk, I can read. What is the point of the deployment, when we haven’t managed to accomplish anything, including protecting our troops for 18 years or more? More fodder for IEDs.

        Didn’t a larger (but still inadequate) British force leave Helmand province with its tail between its legs? Didn’t we run away…. sorry…. ‘extract’ Easy Company from MUsa Qala?

        You’d have thought there were some historians amongst the Brass who knew that we tried to occupy Afghanistan in the 18th century and were wiped out, as were the Soviets. Leave well alone.

        • And your history is very limited, as your knowldge of the previous conflicts in Afghan shows. 18th century? Wiped out? I believe you are trying to comment on the first and second anglo Afghan wars? Maybe look them up, get your initial facts correct before coming up with the froth and piffle son. How sad.

    • Iqbal wrote:
      “How many more innocents will the British army kill while out on deployments? The atrocities committed by the Protestant English army in Catholic Ireland have come to the surface again with the decision to prosecute the murderer ‘soldier F’.2

      Enough already with the selective revisionist history. In 38 years of troubles the death toll for the province is as follows:
      Republican paramilitary groups 2058
      Loyalist paramilitary groups 1027
      British security forces 363
      Persons unknown 79
      Irish security forces 5
      Total 3532

      Yes, even 1 death is 1 death too many and yet race hustles like you omit the full picture. Yes there are idiots in the British army just as there are elsewhere, but unlike the Paramilitaries , the BA tends to root them out. Now before you come back sprouting yet another bigoted religious diatribe. The fact remains that the paramilitaries murdered over 10x the number that the army did. But it gets worse, due to the peace accord those paramilitaries were given an amnesty for crimes committed , the Army ,UDR and RUC didn’t. This has allowed claims for compensation to be made against the state , whilst the IRA walk free.

      • Farouk, very well put. I was going to summarize with my own response of ‘twat’.

        But you’ve done a much better job of it.

      • Farouk, don’t bother trying to give him a reasoned explanation, just remind him he is a bell-end and take a turn on his mum!

        • Insulting mothers is an admission I hit a nerve.

          It’s time the right wi g ‘rule Britania’ Tone if this site changed and we had more balance.

          • “Insulting mothers is an admission I hit a nerve.

            No, just sick to death of intolerant religious bigots like yourself who on seeking asylum in the West, instead of adapting, subscribe to the mores that ruined their so called superior homelands in the first place in which to remake the West into the lands they left behind.

            “It’s time the right wi g ‘rule Britania’ Tone “
            Oh the irony, we celebrate Pakistani, Indian, Nigerian, Scottish, Irish and welsh nation days in the Uk. That is deemed OK. Yet to bigots like yourself anybody who supports the Union flag is a racist. Funny how the hundreds of Pakistani Pedophiles (not groomers) are all deemed by the faithful as victims, those ISIS warriors Humanitarian workers are deemed as victims by the faithful, and those idiots stabbing people in London are all deemed as victims by the faithful.

            Tell you what Iqbal, if you hate the Uk so much, why don’t you pack your bags and go and live in a true paradise . But you won’t as you will have to work for a living, and won’t be allowed to play the race card for your peccadilloes.

          • By replying I have hit a nerve of your haven’t I son. More balance? It’s a military site for commenting on military matters isn’t it TH. Oh dear, trolling a site like this means you need to get out more son.

      • Farouk, you’re making my point by equivocating between an army of a nation state fighting under the banner of a country that used to respect human rights with a non state actor like the IRA that is considerate to be a terrorist organisation.

        Why don’t you answer the hard questions about British state, military and legal collusion in hiding evidence of murder of unarmed Catholic civil rights marchers? The murder of solicitor Pat Finucin? The fact that the Protestant Ulster Police (now disbanded) and the army played a Pro Unionist role during the Troubles?

        As for your rant about Pakistani paedophikes and going ‘back home’, I didn’t mention anything about Islam or immigration. Thanks for highlighting your prejudices for all to see. You are assuming everything. It proves my point about this site being dominated by rightwing types. This vibe has consequences for defence, you can forget people like me voting for increases to defence expenditure from 2% to 3% of GDP. You guys don’t have the votes for it.

        It’s all too easy to bait you. I’m guessing that’s down to the beatings you say you received from your father and your family who apparently disowned you when you left Islam. So I won’t hold your prejudice against you. I think you’ve been deeply scarred by your personal experiences but aligning with far right sentiment, as you’ve demonstrated in your post, isn’t the way to find a new identity.

        Btw, I’m a secular left wing British Bangladeshi, so your jibes about paedophilic Pakistanis and Pakistani Islamists stabbing people mean nothing to me. Do you really think British Bengalis will align and defend British Pakistanis given the bad name they give to wider Muslim communities and after the 1971 war of Liberation? We might be brown and Muslim but the Muslim communities are hardly a monolith.

        • Secular left wing British Bangladeshi, oh keep the noise down, you are waffling piffle, your a racist bell end with a serious chip on your shoulder, and a racist with limited grasp of history and a limited subject matter experience. And hey, guess what, I couldn’t give a toss what colour or race you claim to be, a bell end is a bell end isn’t it TH?

    • Ah a troll, a sad troll at that, but one who’s mum is pretty hot, and does the pre tour leave requests for the lads. Tell your mum cheers iqbal. However could be another avatar for TH, as he mentioned “English” and as we will remember that was THs thing, hatred and trolling and crying about the English.

  4. Seems like a bit of perspective and some facts are required in the comments section. The vast majority of casualties in Afghanistan are Afghan security forces and civilians, killed by Taliban and ISIS. In 2018, the worst year since the start of the conflict for Afghan civilians, nearly 4,000 civilians were killed, more in one year than the total number of coalition troops killed since the start of the conflict, which stands at about 3,500. The Afghan security forces deaths seem to be much worse, at somewhere between 10-20,000 in 2018.

    Since the end of the US and NATO combat mission in 2014, coalition troops killed is very low. There have been no UK losses since the end of 2015. Of the 9 personnel lost in 2014 and 2015, 7 were due to helicopter accidents, one due to engineering plant accident and one due to wounds sustained in 2012. US losses are higher than the UK (but actually way lower than US police officer deaths which are about 150 per year), with 26 dead in 2015 falling to deaths in the teens for each year since.

    The strategic reason we are still there is to prevent the re-establishment of terrorists operating internationally and the tactical reason is to train Afghan forces in order to establish a government that will support that strategic goal. Afghans may not be carrying out terrorist actions, but have we forgotten that Osama bin Laden and Al Quaeda launched 9/11 from Afghanistan? That is why the recent talks between the US and the Taliban have this topic as a focus https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/12/world/asia/afghanistan-us-taliban-talks.html

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