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Factsheet

Operations in Afghanistan: Chronology of Events, January - December 2007

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.

28 Dec 07 - MOD civilian trainers are trying to bring new management theory and processes to the people who run Afghanistan's armed forces. Report by Roy Bacon.

Hundreds of armed forces personnel deployed on operations in Iraq and Afghanistan have donned their running shoes and their best fancy dress outfits to take part in fun runs aimed at raising money for Service charities.

27 Dec 07 - Engineers from 69 Gurkha Field Squadron, 36 Engineer Regiment, have begun the process which will cement security in the troubled town of Musa Qaleh in Helmand province, southern Afghanistan.

25 Dec 07 - Chefs from 40 Commando Royal Marines have been doing their bit to bring Christmas cheer to troops serving in Afghanistan by serving a festive dinner to colleagues on the front line.

UK military personnel serving across the world were opening their special Christmas Boxes.

20 Dec 07 - An integral part of the medical staff who treat casualties on arrival at the field hospital in Camp Bastion are two military radiographers. The x-rays they provide can mean the difference between life and death. Report by Danny Chapman.

18 Dec 07 - A £62 million contract with Boeing to convert eight Chinook Mk3 helicopters to a support helicopter role was announced by the Ministry of Defence.

It is said that few things in life are as stressful as planning a wedding, but for one young Army couple making their marriage arrangements has been more complicated than they bargained for.

17 Dec 07 - In a tented field hospital in the middle of the Afghan desert, a team of military medics capable of providing some of the best healthcare available anywhere await the latest casualties from Helmand Province. Report by Danny Chapman.

14 Dec 07 - Success in Afghanistan will require a significant and concerted international effort, said Defence Secretary Des Browne.

Defence Secretary Des Browne has announced that Charles Haddon-Cave QC will lead the independent review to examine the findings of the Board of Inquiry into the crash of Nimrod XV230 in Afghanistan, September 2006.

If you've got Forces family or friends away from home, whether in Iraq or Afghanistan, Germany, Cyprus or the Falklands, or anywhere in the Forces world, let them know you're thinking of them this Christmas.

Before making his hit TV series about the Royal Marines on operations in Helmand province, southern Afghanistan, Chris Terrill, 55, passed their Selection Course. Report by Roy Bacon.

13 Dec 07 - The military chefs at Camp Bastion rarely run out of food, but they are not taking any chances for the all important morale boosting Christmas dinner. Report by Danny Chapman.

12 Dec 07 - In a statement to Parliament Prime Minister Gordon Brown has been explaining the ongoing role of British troops in Afghanistan.

The town of Musa Qaleh, in Helmand province of southern Afganistan, once again flies the Afghan national flag having been carefully and comprehensively retaken by Afghan and ISAF forces.

Anyone who is going anywhere in Helmand Province wants to travel in the Mastiff Armoured Vehicle. Keeping it serviceable is a small team of mechanics who, when necessary, will face Taliban fire to get the armoured beast back on the road. Report by Danny Chapman.

UK armed forces personnel serving in southern Afghanistan have been overwhelmed by the support from the efforts of the great British public in getting letters, cards and parcels to them before Christmas.

11 Dec 07 - The British military commander responsible for ensuring the town of Musa Qaleh is removed from Taliban hands believes Afghan National Army (ANA) soldiers, working with UK and other ISAF forces, are making good progress in their mission.

Soldiers who have recently returned from demanding operations in Iraq and Afghanistan have been honoured across the UK with a series of homecoming parades up and down the country.

10 Dec 07 - The Prime Minister has called operations against the Taliban "one of the most important of missions" on a visit to British troops serving in Afghanistan.

UK troops working alongside other ISAF troops and Afghan Security Forces are making progress in removing Taliban forces from the town of Musa Qaleh.

Westminster Abbey held a Service of Thanksgiving and Remembrance for the 2nd Battalion, The Mercian Regiment (formerly The Worcesters and Foresters), following their return from a difficult and demanding six-month tour of duty in Afghanistan.

9 Dec 07 - Afghan security forces, supported by the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force, are continuing their operation to remove the Taliban from the town of Musa Qaleh in northern Helmand, southern Afghanistan.

8 Dec 07 - It is with great sadness that the Ministry of Defence must confirm the death of Sergeant Lee Johnson of 2nd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment (Green Howards) in southern Afghanistan.

7 Dec 07 - People turned out in their thousands when 300 soldiers from 2nd Battalion The Mercian Regiment (Worcesters and Foresters) paraded through their home cities of Nottingham, Derby and Worcester to mark their return from Afghanistan.

Armed Forces Minister Bob Ainsworth has praised the outstanding generosity of the British public, which has responded to a national call to support troops overseas at Christmas by sending huge quantities of parcels, cards and letters.

Today is the last day for sending Christmas post to the troops in Afghanistan where the post office at Camp Bastion is filled with bulging sacks full of letters, parcels and Christmas cards. Danny Chapman reports from southern Afghanistan.

6 Dec 07 - An unprecedented response to an Urgent Operational Requirement has seen front line troops in Afghanistan benefit from superior levels of close air support within four months of the contracts being signed.

Rick Jolly ran a field hospital in the Falklands conflict in 1982. Rob Ross did the same job in Afghanistan in 2006. In this special feature they compare notes. Report by Ian Carr.

4 Dec 07 - The MOD has published the report of the Board of Inquiry into the tragic loss of Nimrod XV230 in which 14 servicemen lost their lives on 2 September 2006.

It is with much sadness that the Ministry of Defence must confirm the death of Trooper Jack Sadler of the Honourable Artillery Company in southern Afghanistan. He was serving with 4/73 Special Observation Battery, Brigade Reconnaissance Force.

29 Nov 07 - Since their arrival in theatre the Royal Marines of 40 Commando have been pushing their patrols out further and further in order to limit the Taliban's movement.

70 Soldiers drawn from 12 Mechanized Brigade, which has recently returned from a six month deployment to Afghanistan, enjoyed a reception at the House of Commons.

The RAF's biggest, newest and most sophisticated transport aircraft, the C17 Globemaster, is making a major contribution to the delivery of essential supplies to troops in Afghanistan. But the aircraft only does some of the job. It is the personnel from the Air Movements Wing who work around the clock to distribute the supplies around the country. Report by Simon Mander.

The British Forces Post Office has won the UK Mail Award for Technology for its e-bluey service which allows personnel to send letters home from operations using the internet.

28 Nov 07 - Royal Marine Corporal John Thompson's exceptional bravery in Helmand, which saw him in the lead of 30 massive fire-fights with the Taliban, has been recognised by the Queen at Buckingham Palace. Report by Danny Chapman.

Soldiers from 2nd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment (2 YORKS) have played a key role in the seizure of more than 100kgs of opium with an estimated street value of over one million US dollars in a raid in Lashkar Gar, southern Afghanistan.

At Camp Bastion in southern Afghanistan a close-knit team of military personnel from RAF Lyneham are managing to keep British and coalition troops continually supplied with reinforcements, equipment and ammunition. Report by Simon Mander.

27 Nov 07 - From a corner of Camp Bastion in Helmand Province a specialist RAF unit is winning the battle to control the skies over Afghanistan. Report by Simon Mander.

26 Nov 07 - The Chief of the Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Jock Stirrup, has been seeing for himself the progress being made by British troops in southern Afghanistan.

23 Nov 07 - The people of East Anglia have been out in force this week to welcome home local soldiers who have recently come home from a tough tour of duty fighting the Taliban in southern Afghanistan. Report by Danny Chapman.

22 Nov 07 - Soldiers from 1st Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment and their families have become the first passengers to use the newly named "Royal Anglian Regiment" train.

21 Nov 07 - Soldiers returning this week from operations in Iraq and Afghanistan have been given a warm welcome by local people who turned out to offer their support and cheer the troops home.

British troops who have recently returned from service in Iraq and Afghanistan completed a 'Lap of Honour' before England's vital Euro 2008 football qualifier against Croatia at Wembley Stadium last night, Wednesday 21 November 2007.

20 Nov 07 - Army twins Donna and Fiona Johnstone-Mason are amongst a group of soldiers honoured for their successful six month tour of duty in Afghanistan.

18 Nov 07 - Medical Emergency Response Teams (MERTs) working in Helmand province, southern Afghanistan, are on call 24 hours a day and seven days a week ready to respond to any injuries that UK and coalition troops may suffer on the front line. Report by Lt Jonnie Telford.

16 Nov 07 - British soldiers serving in southern Afghanistan have foiled a suicide car bomber who attempted to attack their patrol as they were returning to base.

15 Nov 07 - Soldiers from 1st Battalion Royal Anglian Regiment (The Vikings) have received their campaign medals following their return from what was a gruelling six-month tour of duty in Afghanistan.

14 Nov 07 - It is with deep regret that the Ministry of Defence must confirm the death of Captain John McDermid of The Royal Highland Fusiliers, 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland, in southern Afghanistan.

British troops have pushed forward into the area around the Taliban stronghold of Musa Qaleh in an effort to disrupt and confuse the Taliban and remind local villagers that ISAF have not forgotten them.

12 Nov 07 - A free parcel service for the families of troops serving in Afghanistan and Iraq is to be extended, it was announced.

11 Nov 07 - Royal Navy, British Army and Royal Air Force personnel at home and overseas joined the nation on Armistice Day and Remembrance Sunday, in paying tribute to those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice, and remembering those they have left behind.

Armed Forces personnel paid tribute to fallen comrades by holding Remembrance Day ceremonies all over the world.

9 Nov 07 - It is with great sadness that the Ministry of Defence must confirm the death of Lance Corporal Jake Alderton of 20 Field Squadron, 36 Engineer Regiment in southern Afghanistan.

The RAF's first Reaper Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, Britain's most sophisticated unmanned surveillance system, has taken to the air in Afghanistan.

If you had been wandering around Camp Bastion in southern Afghanistan this week an unusual sight may have greeted you - Army nurses dressed as poppies!

8 Nov 07 - Injured Service personnel recovering at Headley Court were treated to an exclusive singing performance.

7 Nov 07 - A temporary Brigade Headquarters has formed up which will command UK forces in Afghanistan between October 2009 and April 2010, it was announced.

6 Nov 07 - A month after 52 Infantry Brigade began their deployment in Helmand province, the local population are continuing to return to their villages as British troops maintain their strongholds and further develop local links.

A consultant anaesthetist from Newcastle is discovering how serving in the tough and demanding environment of southern Afghanistan where he helps provide emergency health care to coalition forces is both challenging and rewarding. Report by Lieutenant Jonnie Telford RN.

5 Nov 07 - This year has been the busiest so far for British military aeromedical evacuation teams with British forces incurring the highest number of battlefield casualties since 2001. Report by Heidi Mines.

29 Oct 07 - Army and RAF Personnel, from the Joint Helicopter Force Signals Troop, serving in Kandahar, have cycled the equivalent of 2,000 kilometeres to raise money for Cancer Research UK.

24 Oct 07 - Six months ago the town of Sangin was controlled by the Taliban and the small ISAF unit there was under siege. But as 12 Mechanized Brigade’s six month deployment to Afghanistan came to an end yesterday, the town is thriving once again with a Governor and Chief of Police, and throughout Helmand the Taliban have been put on the back foot.

In the second part of our exclusive interview with BBC News presenter Huw Edwards about his experiences embedded with UK troops we hear about the challenges of reporting from Afghanistan, how good news is out there if you look hard enough and also how the military and the media might improve relations between them. Report by Barry Shaw.

23 Oct 07 - After a three month deployment to Afghanistan, a period which saw some fierce fighting and heavy casualties, soldiers from a Territorial Army field hospital have returned home to North West England humbled by their experience.

22 Oct 07 - In March 2007 the BBC spent a week in Iraq embedded with British troops. A few months later they visited Afghanistan to see what troops are doing there. Here, the man who anchored the BBC News at Ten from both of those countries, presenter Huw Edwards, talks exclusively to the MOD about his experiences of being up close and personal with the military. Report by Barry Shaw.

22 Oct 07 - In facilities similar to those which many British troops would recognise back home soldiers from the Yorkshire Regiment are giving the Afghan National Army the tactical training to take the fight to the Taliban themselves.

18 Oct 07 - A soldier who slept on a land mine in Afghanistan which then exploded in the morning sending shrapnel into his arm is returning to his unit just three weeks later thanks to the efforts of Defence medical staff.

16 Oct 07 - After a brutal but successful six month deployment in Helmand which left nine dead and 57 wounded, soldiers from the 1st Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment, (the Vikings), were welcomed home.

15 Oct 07 - The area around Forward Operating Base (FOB) Arnhem has seen continual fighting over the last 12 months and until recently was a Taliban stronghold. That was, until a new type of Warrior arrived in the neighbourhood, and one that is giving local villagers the confidence to come home.

14 Oct 07 - Soldiers of Somme Company, London Regiment, were greeted by around 750 family members and colleagues as they made their Afghanistan homecoming parade at London's Guildhall.

11 Oct 07 - Defence Secretary Des Browne met his American counterpart Robert M Gates in London to discuss the two countries' common defence goals, with a particular focus on Iraq and Afghanistan.

10 Oct 07 - Commander 52 Infantry Brigade, Brigadier Andrew Mackay, assumed command of Task Force Helmand in southern Afghanistan at one minute past midnight, this morning.

Harriers have been operating out of Kandahar as a coalition asset since 2004, but their potential as ground-attack aircraft was rarely exploited until last year, when the responsibility for taming the Taliban in Helmand passed to British control.

48 Field Squadron Royal Engineers won the Judges' special award in the British Construction Industry Awards for their building of Camp Bastion in Afghanistan.

8 Oct 07 - 140 additional Mastiff vehicles are to be bought by the MOD to enhance the mobility and protection afforded to troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, announced Gordon Brown.

4 Oct 07 - It is with great sadness that the Ministry of Defence must confirm the death of Major Alexis Roberts, serving with 1st Battalion The Royal Gurkha Rifles in Southern Afghanistan.

27 Sep 07 - Soldiers from the 1st Battalion The Royal Gurkha Rifles are currently taking part in a Task Force offensive involving 2,500 troops in decisive operations in Helmand Province, their first major operation since their arrival in Afghanistan earlier this month.

26 Sep 07 - The first 160 Royal Marine Commandoes from 40 Commando are deploying to Afghanistan, 'raring to go and with morale sky high,' said their Commanding Officer.

25 Sep 07 - Armed Forces personnel deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan will benefit from a tax-free rebate on the cost of council tax in new measures announced by Defence Secretary Des Browne.

A large dose of morale in the form of parcels and letters has just landed at the British Forces' main base in Afghanistan courtesy of the Royal Mail's new free postal service.

21 Sep 07 - British Warrior Armoured Fighting Vehicles working alongside the Afghan National Security Force have been taking part in a major offensive aimed at driving out the Taliban from key areas of Helmand province.

20 Sep 07 - It is with much sadness that the Ministry of Defence must confirm the deaths of Colour Sergeant Phillip Newman of 4th Battalion The Mercian Regiment and Private Brian Tunnicliffe of 2nd Battalion The Mercian Regiment (Worcesters and Foresters) in a tragic accident in southern Afghanistan.

18 Sep 07 - Derek Twigg, Under Secretary of State for Defence, has been visiting the Field Hospital which British forces have built in the middle of one of the world’s most inhospitable deserts in southern Afghanistan.

17 Sep 07 - It is with immense sadness that the Ministry of Defence must confirm the death of Corporal Ivano Violino from 20 Field Squadron, 36 Engineer Regiment in southern Afghanistan.

16 Sep 07 - The Sunday Telegraph has published an article claiming that there are critical shortages of doctors for British troops in Afghanistan and that the 40-bed field hospital at Camp Bastion, the main British base in Helmand, closed its doors twice in the past six months because it ran out of beds.

13 Sep 07 - Nicknamed England's Northern Cavalry, it is not horses that The Light Dragoons have gone into battle with in southern Afghanistan but robust and effective tracked vehicles. Report by Major John Godfrey and Corporal Jon Bevan.

12 Sep 07 - Troops on front-line duty in Afghanistan are trusting their lives to a vehicle which helped guarantee a bright operational future for the Royal Marines. Report by Steve Moore.

10 Sep 07 - British medics from 208 Field Hospital have helped to treat a number of local civilians and officers from the Afghan National Police after a suicide bomber blew himself up next to a bus station in the Helmand town of Gereshk in the early hours.

8 Sep 07 - It is with deep regret that the Ministry of Defence must confirm the deaths of Sergeant Craig Brelsford and Private Johan Botha, both from The 2nd Battalion, The Mercian Regiment (Worcesters and Foresters), in Afghanistan.

6 Sep 07 - The dogs and handlers of the Theatre Military Working Dog Support Unit play a vital role in ensuring the safety of British troops serving in southern Afghanistan. Report by Roy Bacon.

5 Sep 07 - It is with great sorrow that the Ministry of Defence must confirm the deaths of Private Damian Wright and Private Ben Ford who were killed in Helmand province, southern Afghanistan.

1 Sep 07 - Soldiers serving in Afghanistan joined Regimental colleagues in the UK by donning their new Mercian double-headed eagle badges at the same time to form the Army's newest infantry unit, the Mercian Regiment.

30 Aug 07 - It is with deep regret that the Ministry of Defence must confirm the death of Senior Aircraftman Christopher Bridge from C flight, 51 Squadron Royal Air Force Regiment in Kandahar Province, southern Afghanistan.

28 Aug 07 - Newly appointed Minister for the Armed Forces, Bob Ainsworth MP, lost no time in getting to grips with his new job, undertaking a tour of British bases in Afghanistan just days after his appointment. Report by Roy Bacon.

24 Aug 07 - Minister for the Armed Forces Bob Ainsworth visited RAF Brize Norton to learn how the airbridge, which connects the UK Armed Forces with overseas operations, works.

23 Aug 07 - It is with profound sadness that the Ministry of Defence must confirm the deaths of Privates Aaron James McClure, Robert Graham Foster and John Thrumble from 1st Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment who were killed in Afghanistan.

Padre Cole Maynard, UK forces' senior chaplain in Afghanistan, is helping the Army to introduce a groundbreaking new model of peer group monitoring and support for use in the aftermath of traumatic events. The intention is that it will reduce the stigma associated with mental health problems and, where necessary, enable early referral to Defence Medical Services mental health professionals. Report by Roy Bacon.

Claims in the media recently that troops in Afghanistan are underfed have been met with disbelief by the people charged with keeping them nourished. Here the chefs of the Royal Logistic Corps (RLC), who keep Task Force Helmand's soldiers fed and its larders stocked, have their say.

Not that long ago, Barry Vint could be found plying his trade as a private hire taxi driver in Liverpool. Now he's landed a fare much further afield - as the military driver for the commander of the International Security Assistance Force in southern Afghanistan. Report by Kevin Hegarty.

20 Aug 07 - Chief of the General Staff, General Sir Richard Dannatt has been in Afghanistan to see for himself how British troops are getting on in Helmand Province.

17 Aug 07 - Soldiers from 1st Battalion Royal Welsh have been demonstrating their flexibility by operating in several provinces across southern Afghanistan.

16 Aug 07 - For the last month the soldiers from B (Suffolk) Company, 1st Battalion, The Royal Anglian Regiment, have been based in Kajaki, southern Afghanistan. Although they call it home, they have few of the comforts most people would associate with a cushy life. Report by Corporal Jon Bevan and Captain Jim Bewley.

13 Aug 07 - Defence Secretary Des Browne has delivered an upbeat assessment of what he considers to be real progress in southern Afghanistan after returning from a recent visit to the country.

Royal Engineers are taking on one of the most difficult jobs in Helmand province, southern Afghanistan - starting the reconstruction and development of basic infrastructure in villages and towns that have been effected by fighting in the region.

11 Aug 07 - It is with profound sadness that the Ministry of Defence must confirm the death of Captain David Hicks from 1st Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment.

10 Aug 07 - It is with much sadness that the Ministry of Defence must confirm the death of Private Tony Rawson, aged 27, from 1st Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment killed during a fighting patrol to disrupt enemy activity and reassure the local population in the area of Jusyalay, north east of Sangin in Helmand Province, southern Afghanistan.

Embedding journalists with military units provides as many opportunities for the Ministry of Defence as it does threats. In the third of our features about the embedding system we talk to Lieutenant Colonel Kevin Stratford-Wright, from the Defence Media Operations Centre, about the benefits, the drawbacks and the realities of putting journalists in the firing line. Report by Barry Shaw.

6 Aug 07 - On a mission out of Lashkar Gah to visit the Afghan National Police, the Land Rovers stopped by a small building flying the national flag: a police station that had appeared since the unit's last patrol in this part of the city. Report by Roy Bacon.

Corporals Adrian Harlen and Russ Nolan are fully-trained soldiers, ready to fight for their country when called upon. But in the dangerous operational theatres where they ply their trade they must keep their fingers on a second trigger. Report by Shell Daruwala.

1 Aug 07 - A small team of twenty Army engineers from 26 Engineer Regiment are busy improving living conditions for soldiers working in a desert forward operating base in southern Afghanistan.

30 Jul 07 - In the second of our special reports about embedding journalists with UK troops we talk to Terri Judd from The Independent about working on the front line, the pros and cons of embedding and the size of the task facing UK troops in southern Afghanistan. Report by Barry Shaw.

29 Jul 07 - It is with deep regret that the Ministry of Defence must confirm the death of Lance Corporal Michael Jones Royal Marines during operations in southern Afghanistan.

27 Jul 07 - It is with great sadness that the Ministry of Defence has confirmed the death of Sergeant Barry Keen of 14 Signal Regiment, killed by a mortar attack in Afghanistan.

A small team of Royal Engineers is managing an ambitious ten month project to build a second runway at the Task Force Helmand logistics hub, Camp Bastion, in Helmand province, southern Afghanistan.

26 Jul 07 - It is with deep regret that the Ministry of Defence must confirm the death of Guardsman David Atherton from the 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards in southern Afghanistan.

25 Jul 07 - It is with deep sadness that the Ministry of Defence must confirm the death of Lance Corporal Alex Hawkins, aged 22, of 1st Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment, in southern Afghanistan.

The MOD has published the findings from a Royal Air Force Board of Inquiry (BOI) into the loss of an RAF Hercules C-130K in Afghanistan on 24 May 2006.

24 Jul 07 - The Royal Artillery's newest long range precision land attack rocket has been fired for the first time on operations in Helmand province, southern Afghanistan.

British soldiers from the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), working alongside their Afghan National Security Force (ANSF) counterparts, have launched a further operation to drive the Taliban out of the Upper Gereshk Valley in southern Afghanistan.

Soldiers from the 1st Battalion Royal Anglian Regiment, known as the 'Vikings', have been helping Afghan farmers extend their irrigation systems which it is hoped will save vital crops needed to sustain hundreds of villagers.

23 Jul 07 - A unique exhibition is set to open at the National Army Museum which will bring the realities of military operations in southern Afghanistan graphically into focus.

19 Jul 07 - 139 members of the Armed Forces have received honours and awards for their bravery and service on operations in Afghanistan, Iraq and around the World.

Defence Secretary Des Browne announced the next roulement of UK forces in Aghanistan, scheduled to take place in October 2007.

18 Jul 07 - Defence Secretary Des Browne has responded to a report by the House of Commons Defence Committee into UK Operations in Afghanistan.

17 Jul 07 - UK and Afghan artillery units are working closely together to deter attacks by the Taliban on NATO units in Afghanistan's Helmand province.

Portsmouth-based warship HMS Richmond steamed into the Northern Arabian Gulf to take over Iraqi oil platform protection duties from HMS Cornwall.

12 Jul 07 - It is with profound sadness that the Ministry of Defence must confirm the death of Guardsman Daryl Hickey from the 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards in southern Afghanistan.

11 Jul 07 - A British icon is bringing a reminder of home to soldiers currently serving on operations in Afghanistan. A fully-working, shiny red postbox has been delivered to troops serving in Helmand province, southern Afghanistan, courtesy of the Royal Mail along with a little help from the Postal and Courier depot, part of the British Forces Post Office in London.

9 Jul 07 - Armed Forces Minister Bob Ainsworth wasted no time in getting to grips with his new portfolio as he flew into Afghanistan to meet British troops and find out more about their mission.

Forget crimps and curls, tints and blow dry, soldiers both male and female are queuing up at their local hair salon for a simple short back and sides.

5 Jul 07 - Soldiers from 1st Battalion the Royal Anglian Regiment have been taking part in a difficult and dangerous operation aimed at clearing Taliban elements from Jusyalay, the area between Sangin and Putay in Helmand province, southern Afghanistan.

3 Jul 07 - A team of British Army truck drivers who are deployed in Afghanistan have been helping to put together a training package for their Afghan National Army (ANA) counterparts.

1 Jul 07 - It is with profound sadness that the Ministry of Defence must confirm the death of Sergeant Dave Wilkinson from 19 Regiment Royal Artillery in southern Afghanistan.

30 Jun 07 - It is with profound sadness that the Ministry of Defence must confirm the death of Captain Sean Dolan of 1st Battalion, The Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters in southern Afghanistan.

24 Jun 07 - It is with deep sadness that the Ministry of Defence must confirm the death of Drummer Thomas Wright, aged 21, from the 1st Battalion The Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters Regiment, in Afghanistan.

22 Jun 07 - For the first time since the Malaya Insurgency, British military engineers working in southern Afghanistan have built an assault bridge under combat conditions.

18 Jun 07 - Britain's most senior military medic, Surgeon General Louis Lillywhite, has responded to concerns over the provision of medical care and helicopters for British Forces in Afghanistan.

A special bandage, partly made from crushed shellfish, is helping to save the lives of badly injured troops and civilians in the deserts of southern Afghanistan. Report by Jason Impey.

A military couple whose daughter is suffering from a life-shortening disease are planning to raise funds to help others in a similar predicament. Report by Matt Clark.

15 Jun 07 - World-class equipment and top-rate logistics are playing a vital part in helping British troops bring stability to some of the most hostile parts of Afghanistan. Report by Jason Impey.

12 Jun 07 - In January this year, soldiers from the Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters were preparing themselves for what they believed would be a deployment to southern Iraq this summer. But then the plans changed and, in March, they arrived in Helmand Province, Afghanistan to work as part of NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF); their role, to form a new Battlegroup to supplement the troops, many of whom are British, already operating in the region.

9 Jun 07 - It is with deep regret that the Ministry of Defence must confirm the death of Guardsman Neil 'Tony' Downes from the 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards in Afghanistan.

8 Jun 07 - Training and mentoring the Afghan Army is key to the success of NATO's mission in southern Afghanistan as soldiers from the Grenadier Guards have recently been finding out.

6 Jun 07 - It is with deep sadness that the Ministry of Defence must confirm the death of Lance Corporal Paul "Sandy" Sandford from 1st Battalion The Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters in southern Afghanistan.

5 Jun 07 - British troops serving in southern Afghanistan have been helping to secure the livelihood of thousands of Afghan people by carrying out urgent reconstruction work while in the middle of a major operation to clear Taliban fighters from the Sangin Valley.

British Forces based in Helmand Province, southern Afghanistan, deployed as part of NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), have launched a programme to raise awareness of the dangers posed by landmines.

4 Jun 07 - Gaining the support of the local population is critical to success in southern Afghanistan, according to the British Commander there, and with the success of the latest operation in the Sangin Valley, gaining that support is exactly what the troops are now doing.

2 Jun 07 - The UK-led Operation Lastay Kulang, which has been continuing in northern Helmand Province, has succeeded in squeezing the Taliban in the north and south of the Upper Sangin Valley into isolated pockets.

31 May 07 - British troops deployed as part of NATO's International Security Assistance Force, and working alongside Afghan National Security Forces, are taking part in a major operation aimed at extending the control of the Afghan Government into northern Helmand Province.

30 May 07 - It is with much sadness that the Ministry of Defence must confirm that Corporal Mike Gilyeat from the Royal Military Police was amongst the seven ISAF soldiers killed when the Chinook helicopter that they were travelling in went down near Kajaki in Helmand Province, southern Afghanistan at approximately 9pm local time.

28 May 07 - It is with deep regret that the Ministry of Defence must confirm that Corporal Darren Bonner from 1st Battalion the Royal Anglian Regiment was killed on the morning of Monday 28 May 2007, in Helmand Province, southern Afghanistan.

26 May 07 - It is with much sadness that the Ministry of Defence must confirm the death of Guardsman Daniel Probyn from 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards in Afghanistan.

22 May 07 - UK Defence Secretary Des Browne has urged the United Nations to take a lead strategic role in Afghanistan in a speech to the Council on Foreign Relations in New York.

21 May 07 - The first black officer to serve in the Grenadier Guards has been speaking about his experiences battling the Taliban in southern Afghanistan.

20 May 07 - The Ministry of Defence deeply regrets to announce that Lance Corporal George Russell Davey from 1st Battalion Royal Anglian Regiment has died as a result of injuries sustained in a tragic accident at the British base in Sangin, Afghanistan.

14 May 07 - The commander of International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) troops in Helmand Province has been meeting with tribal elders in Gereshk in an effort to formulate plans for the reconstruction of the area following a recent joint operation by Afghan National Army (ANA) and ISAF troops.

9 May 07 - An officer from the RAF Regiment, Flight Lieutenant Matthew Carter, who played a vital role in destroying Taliban positions as a forward air controller in Afghanistan, has received his Military Cross from His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales at Buckingham Palace following his "selfless bravery".

3 May 07 - It is with great regret that the Ministry of Defence must confirm the death of Guardsman Simon Davison from 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards in Afghanistan.

Soldiers from 60 Close Support Squadron have completed a gruelling 240 kilometre round trip to re-supply forward troops serving with Task Force Helmand, in southern Afghanistan.

With the help of the Royal Engineers, multinational forces and the Afghan National Army are taking steps towards building a peaceful life for the people of the town of Gereshk.

30 Apr 07 - Around 1,000 British troops have joined Afghan soldiers in an operation to stabilise the lower Sangin Valley allowing reconstruction and redevelopment work to take place.

Inspired by the world famous 'Angel of the North' in Gateshead, RAF Corporal Craig Leighton has created his own version at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, using spare aluminium aircraft parts.

26 Apr 07 - Thirty members of 26 Regiment Royal Artillery who played a key role in artillery firing missions to clear an area of Helmand province have returned from Afghanistan.

25 Apr 07 - Royal Marines from 45 Commando returned to Abroath, Scotland after a six month deployment to Afghanistan.

24 Apr 07 - Royal Engineers from 26 Engineer Regiment have been making the town of Sangin in northern Helmand, Afghanistan, more secure by constructing three company-sized patrol bases for the Afghan National Security Forces.

13 Apr 07 - It is with deep regret that the Ministry of Defence must confirm the death of Private Chris Gray from 1st Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment, in Afghanistan.

12 Apr 07 - The Army's 12 Mechanised Brigade has officially taken control of British military operations in Helmand Province, southern Afghanistan.

The UK's ground forces in Afghanistan are getting a state-of-the-art precision land attack rocket with twice the range of existing artillery systems.

11 Apr 07 - Two soldiers who will be taking part in this year's Edinburgh Tattoo have been conducting their musical preparations for the event while on deployment in Afghanistan.

10 Apr 07 - UK troops serving with the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) have been taking part in a major operation in the Sangin area of Helmand province, southern Afghanistan.

3 Apr 07 - Engineer David Lauchlan, who has been working to rebuild Afghanistan's infrastructure, has recently returned home to meet his baby daughter who was born while he was on tour.

30 Mar 07 - Personnel from 51 Squadron RAF Regiment have taken an unusual step in their bid to win over local people during their forthcoming deployment to Afghanistan.

21 Mar 07 - The Chancellor has announced £400m for the Treasury's Special Reserve in 2007-08 as an allowance against continuing international commitments in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere.

Royal Marine Captain Matthew Williams has just completed a six month tour in Helmand Province, southern Afghanistan, where he helped train the Afghan Army.

20 Mar 07 - Afghan Traffic Police in Helmand Province have recently been presented with some new vehicles by the UK-led Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT).

15 Mar 07 - British forces have praised the Afghan National Security Services for preventing injuries following two suicide attacks in Lashkar Gah.

14 Mar 07 - Soldiers from the Light Dragoons who are deploying to Afghanistan later this month will each carry a small wooden cross given to them by their local churches.

Two RAF nurses have reminded troops in Afghanistan of the health issues caused by smoking. The two worked hard to promote No Smoking Day.

8 Mar 07 - It is with deep regret that the Ministry of Defence must confirm the death of Warrant Officer Class 2 Michael Smith from 29 Commando Regiment Royal Artillery in Afghanistan.

In the third of a series of stories from Kandahar Air Base in Afghanistan, here we feature the Tactical Imagery Intelligence Wing (TIW).

On the far side of Kandahar Air Base you'll find the Tactical Armaments Squadron. It knows the life history of every single bomb and every single rocket sent out with the jets.

6 Mar 07 - It is with deep regret that the Ministry of Defence must confirm the death of Marine Benjamin Reddy from K Company, 42 Commando Royal Marines, in Afghanistan.

Kandahar Air Base in Afghanistan covers some 400 square kilometres, is home to more than 12,000 personnel and often attacked by the Taliban. So keeping the place safe is quite a challenge for the man responsible, Wing Commander Andy Knowles.

3 Mar 07 - It is with deep regret that the Ministry of Defence has confirmed the deaths in Afghanistan of Lance Bombardier Ross Clark and Lance Bombardier Liam McLaughlin, both 29 Commando Regiment Royal Artillery.

21 Feb 07 - It is with deep regret that the Ministry of Defence must confirm the death of Royal Marine Jonathan "Dutchy" Holland, from 45 Commando.

It is with deep regret that the Ministry of Defence has confirmed the death of Royal Marine Scott Summers, aged 23, of 42 Commando Royal Marines, as a result of injuries sustained in a road traffic accident earlier this month in Afghanistan.

20 Feb 07 - International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and Afghan troops have targeted the Taliban's gateway to Helmand Province in a major operation to allow Afghans back to their homes.

15 Feb 07 - Hundreds of soldiers from The Light Dragoons are gearing up for their forthcoming deployment to Afghanistan.

12 Feb 07 - Over two hundred Army Signallers have started to leave for Afghanistan as part of a routine deployment to keep NATO and British troops on the airwaves.

8 Feb 07 - The first ever children's playground to be built in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, has gone up in Lashkar Gah.

1 Feb 07 - Defence Secretary Des Browne has announced a new roulement of UK Forces for Afghanistan.

30 Jan 07 - Two Harrier GR9A aircraft have arrived in Afghanistan from the UK after a journey of more than 3,500 miles (5,600 km). Just under two hours later they were ready for action, flying over UK ground forces combating the Taliban.

23 Jan 07 - Personnel of 800 Naval Air Squadron have completed their tour on Operation Herrick in Afghanistan and returned home to their base at RAF Cottesmore in Rutland.

15 Jan 07 - Royal Marines carried out a dramatic rescue attempt of their comrade, Lance Corporal Mathew Ford, in Afghanistan. Click here to view pictures and video footage.

15 Jan 07 - It is with deep regret that the Ministry of Defence must confirm the death of Lance Corporal Mathew Ford, from 45 Commando Royal Marines.

13 Jan 07 - It is with deep regret that the Ministry of Defence must confirm the death of Royal Marine Thomas Curry.

11 Jan 07 - UK forces have engaged and captured a key Taliban headquarters in a daring night time raid, extending security into the south of Helmand Province, Afghanistan.

8 Jan 07 - Royal Marines began their New Year by clearing villages in the area around Kajaki, Afghanistan, of Taliban, enabling work to begin on a major hydroelectric dam.

5 Jan 07 - Royal Marines based at Lashkar Gah, Afghanistan spent the end of 2006 patrolling the dangerous district of Garmsir in order to restore security.

Operations in Afghanistan

Closing patrol bases in a cost-effective way

Sorting out the stuff that is returned from patrol bases in Afghanistan is a...9 Nov 12

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Hundreds of people lined the streets of Romford yesterday, 6 November, to...7 Nov 12

IN PICTURES: British sappers lay 'Golden Egg' in Afghanistan

Royal Engineers from 21 Engineer Regiment have replaced an important bridge to...7 Nov 12

Operational deployments offer MOD civilians a fresh perspective

Alan Lawson is a seasoned volunteer with MOD's civilian 'Support to Operations'...7 Nov 12

Read more Afghanistan stories

See all In Depth stories

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