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Defence

Factsheet

Operations in Afghanistan: Chronology of Events

Coalition military activity is summarised below, with links to more extensive briefings where available.

Operations in Afghanistan

The UK is providing a number of British military and civilian personnel in support of NATO-led military operations in Afghanistan.  The UK contribution, which began in October 2001 following the terrorist attacks on the United States, has helped to bring about the fall of the Taliban regime.  This subsequently paved the way for the first ever parliamentary elections in Afghanistan which took place on 18 September 2005.

British Forces, under the command of the International Security Assistance Force and along with US and other allies from the international community, continue to work with the new, democratically-elected Afghan Government to build stability and maintain security across the country.

27 May 08 A school in a remote, mountainous area of Afghanistan is preparing to welcome its first pupils thanks to the efforts of a group of dedicated RAF Regiment personnel.
25 May 08 It is with deep sadness that the Ministry of Defence must confirm the death of Marine Dale Gostick, of 3 Troop Armoured Support Company, Royal Marines, in Afghanistan.
23 May 08 A Royal Navy photographer from Plymouth has been named as the Navy's top snapper for the second year running.
19 May 08 It is with deep regret that the Ministry of Defence must confirm the death of a British soldier in Afghanistan.

The Ministry of Defence has welcomed the publication of the independent National Recognition of the Armed Forces study by Quentin Davies MP.
16 May 08 Afghan National Army and Police, mentored by British forces, have seized more than 100,000 rounds of ammunition and nearly 50 rocket propelled grenades in a planned operation in Helmand province, southern Afghanistan.
15 May 08 Responsibility for the security of thousands of personnel working at Camp Bastion, the UK military's largest base in Helmand province, will for the next six months fall to Territorial Army soldiers from Northern Ireland.
13 May 08 An Army Officer from the Royal Regiment of Scotland has had a lucky escape after surviving a Rocket Propelled Grenade (RPG) attack in Afghanistan.
7 May 08 UK troops working as part of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in southern Afghanistan have been taking part in a joint operation with US Marines aimed at disrupting Taliban activity in the volatile Garmsir area of Helmand province.

A group of Territorial Army soldiers from 4th Battalion The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment (4 LANCS) are currently deployed to Kabul, Afghanistan, where they are guarding the Headquarters of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).
5 May 08 Lt Harry Wales has received his medal for service on Operation Herrick alongside comrades from the Household Cavalry Regiment in a ceremony.
1 May 08 From providing Harrier air support for ground troops to receiving freight from the UK, RAF personnel deployed to Kandahar Airfield have been undertaking all manner of jobs supporting operations in Afghanistan. In the third of our four articles we look at the work of a Harrier pilot.
30 Apr 08 Hundreds of proud family and friends watched 600 Soldiers from 2 Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment (Green Howards) receive medals recognising their recent operational tour in Afghanistan.

From providing Harrier air support for ground troops to receiving freight from the UK, RAF personnel deployed to Kandahar Airfield have been undertaking all manner of jobs supporting operations in Afghanistan. In the second of our four articles we look at the work of the Duty Air Movements Officer.

Flying Officer William Wales has paid a short visit to UK troops serving on operations at Kandahar air base in southern Afghanistan.
29 Apr 08 From providing Harrier air support for ground troops to receiving freight from the UK, RAF personnel deployed to Kandahar Airfield have been undertaking all manner of jobs supporting operations in Afghanistan. In four instalments this week we bring you some of their stories.
26 Apr 08 The cheers of thousands welcomed home some 450 soldiers of 1st Battalion Coldstream Guards (1 COLDM GDS) from Afghanistan when they paraded through Windsor.
25 Apr 08 Currently deployed to Camp Bastion, Captain Louise Greenhalgh is the first Territorial Army female bomb disposal officer to serve in Afghanistan. Her decision to join the TA back in her university days though was a tough call, she nearly joined the netball club instead.
21 Apr 08 It is with deep regret that the Ministry of Defence must confirm the death of Trooper Robert Pearson from the Queen's Royal Lancers Regiment in Afghanistan.

Officers and soldiers from 52 Infantry Brigade were welcomed back from their recent six month deployment to Afghanistan at a special ceremony hosted by MPs at the Houses of Parliament.
17 Apr 08 Soldiers from 1 Company 1st Battalion Coldstream Guards returned home to a heroes welcome at the end of a six month tour of duty in Afghanistan.
16 Apr 08 As research showing recognition of the valuable skills Reservist employees bring to the workplace is released, the leaders of UK small business organisations are visiting Afghanistan to show their support for the UK's Reserve Forces.
13 Apr 08 It is with great sadness that the Ministry of Defence must confirm the deaths of Senior Aircraftman Graham Livingstone of the Royal Air Force Regiment and Senior Aircraftman Gary Thompson of the Royal Auxiliary Air Force Regiment in Afghanistan.
11 Apr 08 Soldiers serving with The Coldstream Guards in Kabul have been helping to make the lives of schoolchildren in the city a little easier by building a footbridge over a busy main road which will enable them to walk safely to school.

Gurkha signallers paraded to loud applause through the crowded streets of York before receiving medals for their recent operational service in Afghanistan from the city's new General.
10 Apr 08 The new Brigade Commander of Task Force Helmand in southern Afghanistan has been outlining the challenges he believes he and his troops face in the coming months as 16 Air Assault Brigade look to build on the progress made by their predecessors in 52 Infantry Brigade.

The pilots and ground crew from 4 Regiment Army Air Corps, based near Ipswich, are going through their preparations before they take over responsibility for flying and maintaining the UK's Apache attack helicopters in southern Afghanistan.
9 Apr 08 An improved counter-mine capability which has gone into action in Afghanistan is already getting rave reviews from front line troops. Report by Steve Moore.
8 Apr 08 The first planeload of Royal Marines from 40 Commando touched down at Exeter Airport this afternoon following a successful six-month tour of duty in southern Afghanistan.

The first of the UK military's tough new 'Jackal' 4x4 patrol vehicles have been put through their paces in Helmand province, southern Afghanistan.
3 Apr 08 The first British troops from 52 Infantry Brigade have begun to arrive back at their home bases in the UK after a six-month tour in Afghanistan.
2 Apr 08 Three months after UK troops helped Afghan Security Forces to recapture Musa Qaleh the process of returning the town to a bustling centre of commerce is well underway. Report by Hugh Blethyn.
30 Mar 08 It is with deep sadness that the Ministry of Defence must confirm the deaths of Lieutenant John Thornton and Marine David Marsh, both of 40 Commando Royal Marines, in southern Afghanistan .
26 Mar 08 Combat Medical Technician Lance Corporal Nat Jackson has been deployed forward to serve in the northernmost outpost of Kajaki, southern Helmand, and is currently the only female soldier serving there.
25 Mar 08 The Gurkhas' efforts in support of operations in Afghanistan have been marked by the award of a special commendation by Canada at Kandahar Air Station.

Paratroopers due to arrive in Afghanistan in the next few days have been preparing for their deployment by learning the local language.
23 Mar 08 The men and women of 52 Brigade paid their respects to the soldiers who have lost their lives during Operation HERRICK 7 at a special rededication service at Camp Bastion on Easter Sunday.
19 Mar 08 Chief of the General Staff, General Sir Richard Dannatt, is fiercely proud of the men and women he commands and of their amazing work in Iraq and Afghanistan. In an exclusive interview for Soldier magazine, he talks about this work, public support for the Armed Forces and about being a father. Report by John Elliott.
17 Mar 08 As soldiers from Number One Company, 1st Battalion Coldstream Guards near the end of their tour of duty in Kabul they have been carrying out a few last tasks aimed at helping local people benefit from some much needed medical care. Report by Neil Weddell.

Soldiers with Irish connections serving on operations in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as those preparing to deploy to Afghanistan shortly have been honouring the tradition of St Patrick's Day.

Specially made air-conditioned kennels have been delivered to Iraq and Afghanistan to replace the existing basic but ageing accommodation currently used to house Military Working Dogs (MWD).
12 Mar 08 The Chancellor has confirmed an initial indication of 2 billion for the costs of military operations in the coming financial year, 2008/09 in today's budget.

Soldiers from 2nd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment (2 YORKS) are advising and mentoring the Afghan National Army (ANA) on ways to fight the Taliban.

Military and civilian nurses were applauded for their life saving work in Iraq and Afghanistan by the Government and the General Secretary of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) at a reception in London.
11 Mar 08 A torture chamber used by Taliban groups on local Afghanis in Helmand's Green Zone has been uncovered by British and Afghan National Army troops. Report by Neil Chandler.

The medical unit who helped treat an Afghan boy who arrived at the Field Hospital in Camp Bastion with a knife in his head have been awarded medals for their work in Afghanistan.

Soldiers recently honoured for their acts of courage in Afghanistan demonstrated the personal kit they are issued with on operations at an event showcasing new defence technologies.
9 Mar 08 Since Major Dominic Biddick returned from Afghanistan in late 2007 following a gruelling operational tour with The Royal Anglian Regiment, he's had a few months to reflect on his experiences fighting the Taliban.
7 Mar 08 181 members of the Armed Forces and three MOD civilians have been honoured for their courage and professionalism on operations in Afghanistan, Iraq and around the world.

The man who commanded British troops in Helmand province during the difficult summer of 2007 has been expressing his admiration for the men and women who served under his command.
5 Mar 08 Soldiers from 151 (London) Transport Regiment who recently returned from operations in Afghanistan have been welcomed home with a medal parade, hosted by the Mayor of London and the London Assembly, at City Hall.

A UK-funded factory is giving young Afghans the chance to make a living while gaining an education. Report by Roy Bacon.
4 Mar 08 After repelling a week-long attack from Taliban insurgents when they arrived at Forward Operating Base Keenan, 3 Company Coldstream Guards have since been undertaking daily patrols to weed out the remaining pockets of enemy in the surrounding area. Report by Neil Weddell.
3 Mar 08 Soldiers from 1st Battalion Coldstream Guards are deployed in the volatile 'green zone' of Helmand province, scene of some fierce fighting between UK troops and elements of the Taliban in the last year. Report by Neil Weddell.

A group of schoolchildren from Taunton in Somerset have been hard at work creating images that will be used to decorate a newly-opened school in Sangin, southern Afghanistan.
1 Mar 08 After ten weeks serving on operations in Afghanistan Prince Harry returned to the UK where he was met by his father Prince Charles and his brother Prince William.
29 Feb 08 The Ministry of Defence can confirm that HRH Prince Harry left Afghanistan earlier this evening. He is now on his way home to the United Kingdom.
28 Feb 08 Chief of the General Staff and professional head of the British Army, General Sir Richard Dannatt, has made a statement concerning media reporting of HRH Prince Harry's deployment to Afghanistan.

As part of the ongoing redevelopment of Sangin, Royal Marines from 40 Commando have been helping to provide sustainable security for the area by training members of the town's police force.

Padre Fran Myatt RAChD is currently stationed at Camp Sharabak in Afghanistan. Here he talks about dealing with bad dreams, maturing soldiers, and how he helps to manage morale when tragedy strikes. Report by Stephen Tyler.

The new Viking ambulance vehicles are among the various pieces of equipment that Baroness Ann Taylor, Minister for Defence Equipment and Support, has seen on her first visit to an operational theatre.
27 Feb 08 Royal Marines from 40 Commando have destroyed a drugs factory in the Upper Sangin Valley along with 1.5 tonnes of morphine base - the precursor of heroin.

An RAF fast jet pilot has traded his Tornado GR4 aircraft for an F15 after taking up an exchange appointment with the United States Air Force (USAF).
26 Feb 08 An Army officer from the Light Dragoons has overcome a serious injury sustained while on operations in Afghanistan to ski to success at this year's Army UK Divisional Alpine Ski Championships in France.
25 Feb 08 Royal Marines from 40 Commando are seeing continued signs of progress in the Helmand province town of Sangin, scene of some fierce fighting in the last two years between ISAF troops and elements of the Taliban.
21 Feb 08 Soldiers from The Coldstream Guards are currently working with the Afghan National Police in Kabul to patrol the urban and rural areas surrounding the city.

Soldiers from 1st Battalion The Royal Irish Regiment have produced a wristband to help build support within their local community as they prepare for their forthcoming deployment to Afghanistan.
20 Feb 08 It is with great sadness that the Ministry of Defence must confirm the death of Corporal Damian Mulvihill of 40 Commando Royal Marines in Helmand Province, Afghanistan.

Royal Marines from 40 Commando have helped to save the lives of two Afghan children injured in a random attack by enemy insurgents in Sangin, Helmand province.
19 Feb 08 In the summer of 2007 actor Ross Kemp tackled probably his most difficult and dangerous assignment when he joined soldiers from 1st Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment as they took on a determined enemy in southern Afghanistan. Report by Cliff Caswell.

The Storybook Soldiers scheme is now operating in Colchester as troops bound for Afghanistan are being given the chance to record themselves reading a story for their children to have as a CD while they are away on operations this summer.
18 Feb 08 Soldiers from the Parachute Regiment have had a special beer called "Every Man an Emperor", brewed by their local pub landlord in honour of their upcoming deployment to Afghanistan.
17 Feb 08 It is with great sadness that the Ministry of Defence must confirm the death of Corporal Damian Stephen Lawrence of 2nd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment (Green Howards) in Helmand Province, southern Afghanistan.
15 Feb 08 The Ministry of Defence has responded to reporting of statements by the coroner concerning the death in Afghanistan of Captain Jim Philippson of 7 Parachute Regiment Royal Horse Artillery.

Soldiers of the 1st Battalion The Royal Irish Regiment are currently training for their forthcoming deployment to Afghanistan amidst the shingle beaches and sand dunes of Romney Marshes in Kent.

Royal Marines of 40 Commando's Delta Company are half way through their six-month deployment to Afghanistan. These pictures show how they are adapting to day-to-day life on the front line.
14 Feb 08 Love conquers all they say, and never more than on Valentine's Day. Missing their loved ones British troops in Iraq and Afghanistan have sent messages back home which we have published here.

The new Afghan Army is 50,000 strong, and is projected to grow to 65,000 by the spring of 2008. While US army mentors oversee the mass of recruits, and Afghans do the actual training, British trainers, principally Gurkhas, have responsibility for the NCOs. Report by Roy Bacon.
13 Feb 08 The Viking All Terrain Protected Vehicles have proved so effective on operations in Afghanistan that the Marines who drive them are back in Helmand. And there is no other vehicle they'd rather be in. Report by Danny Chapman.
12 Feb 08 Afghan and British forces have seized a tonne of raw opium and around 20kg of pure white heroin powder in a daring early morning raid in the Mosulmani area of Helmand.

Bony, in his handler's own words, is a trained killer. He is one of the German Shepherds employed at Camp Bastion to guard the perimeter fences and other vulnerable points. Report by Danny Chapman.
11 Feb 08 Royal Marines have provided enough security in parts of Helmand to enable outreach patrols to bring much needed health care and reconstruction to local communities.

A British Major has overseen the completion of a new mosque for the Afghan National Army in Helmand Province, Afghanistan.
8 Feb 08 Since its introduction into service last year the Grenade Machine Gun (GMG) has proved to be an effective and popular asset with front line troops. Now, as part of the MOD's Fire Support Weapon programme, more of these battlefield dominating weapons will soon be in theatre.

Soldiers from the 2nd Battalion The Mercian Regiment have visited the company that produces the Mastiff armoured vehicle which helped keep them safe on their recent tour of Afghanistan.
6 Feb 08 Defence Secretary Des Browne has announced plans for 16 Air Assault Brigade to replace 52 Infantry Brigade on the next roulement of UK forces to Afghanistan in April 2008.

A new solid build field hospital at Camp Bastion which will increase the capabilities of the British military medical team in Helmand has been opened by Armed Forces Minister Bob Ainsworth.
5 Feb 08 Chefs in Camp Bastion have celebrated Shrove Tuesday by flipping pancakes for around 2,000 service personnel. Using their newly equipped kitchens they have made the best pancakes yet.
4 Feb 08 These latest pictures from Afghanistan show Royal Marines visiting local Afghan communities in the Upper Gereshk Valley, Northern Helmand, bringing aid and support where they can.
1 Feb 08 A group of MPs have been learning about military operations during a visit to British troops currently serving in southern Afghanistan.
30 Jan 08 Sparky, a feisty black Spaniel, searches Afghani trucks bringing supplies into Camp Bastion. Like the other British search dogs deployed to Afghanistan he instils such confidence in his handlers that they are prepared to walk with him where others fear to tread. Report by Danny Chapman.
29 Jan 08 More than 3,000 people have lined the streets of Winchester to welcome home Hampshire-based servicemen and women from the Army, Royal Navy and the RAF who have recently returned from operations in Afghanistan and Iraq.

A few, a happy few, a band of soldiers and RAF personnel who have recently returned from operations in Iraq or Afghanistan, went once more unto the breach when they were given free tickets by the Royal Shakespeare Company to see Henry V at Stratford-upon-Avon. Report by Danny Chapman.
28 Jan 08 The Vikings are unstoppable in Afghanistan. The All Terrain Protected Vehicles' arrival at a scene of conflict instils relief in British Troops, confidence in the local population and, perhaps most importantly, fear in the Taliban. Report by Danny Chapman.
24 Jan 08 Trained to sniff out explosive ordnance or stop intruders on a base, the military dogs deployed in Afghanistan can often be the difference between life and death for UK personnel. But the dogs are only one half of a team. Report by Danny Chapman.

Thousands of military personnel pass through RAF Brize Norton every year on their way to Iraq, Afghanistan and other postings around the world. Report by Simon Mander.

The Duke of Westminster announced the winners of the prize draw from the recent Christmas boxes sent to Armed Forces personnel by the charity uk4uThanks!.
20 Jan 08 It is with great sadness that the Ministry of Defence must confirm the death of Corporal Darryl Gardiner, Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME), in southern Afghanistan. He was serving attached to 5th Regiment Royal Artillery and 52 Brigade's Reconnaissance Force.
16 Jan 08 First on the ground to clear the dangerous path of landmines and Improvised Explosive Devices for British patrols throughout Helmand are the Joint Force Explosive Ordnance Disposal Group, based at Camp Bastion. Report by Flight Lieutenant Nicola Hammond.
15 Jan 08 The UK's Commander of 52 Infantry Brigade in Helmand province, Brigadier Andrew Mackay, has been talking about the progress he believes is being made by UK troops in southern Afghanistan.
14 Jan 08 Amongst 80 volunteer army medics who have just flown out to work at the British Field Hospital in Camp Bastion, southern Afghanistan are a carpenter, girl guide leader, helicopter pilot and a couple with three children. Report by Jason Impey.
10 Jan 08 All eighteen UK Service personnel potentially affected by a small risk from US blood transfusions have been informed and offered tests as appropriate, the MOD has confirmed.

Reaper, the RAF's new unmanned aircraft is Britain's most sophisticated unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) and is at work in Afghanistan, giving troops fighting the Taliban a valuable eye in the sky.
8 Jan 08 Sergeant Stuart Pearson lost a leg in a mine explosion in Afghanistan in 2006, and has now returned to duty. Every day troops put themselves in harm's way. But they do so knowing they can rely on excellent medical care if the worst should happen. Report by Lorraine McBride and Ian Carr.
6 Jan 08 Royal Marines conducted the first ever amphibious operation in landlocked Afghanistan by crossing the reservoir at Kajaki Dam to open up a new front against the enemy.
3 Jan 08 In Kabul British and American troops and their Afghan colleagues provide basic medical consultation and medicines during 'medcap' operations. Report by Roy Bacon.


Archive summary reports:

January 2007 - December 2007
February 2003 - December 2006
September 2001 - December 2002