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Factsheet

Operations in Afghanistan: Chronology of Events, January - December 2008

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.

31 Dec 08 - It is with deep regret that the Ministry of Defence must confirm the death of Corporal Liam Elms of 45 Commando Royal Marines who was killed in action by an explosion in southern Helmand whilst on operations with Zulu Company, 45 Commando Royal Marines.

25 Dec 08 - Armed Forces personnel serving across the world received around 20 different gifts each on Christmas Day this year courtesy of uk4u Thanks!

24 Dec 08 - It is with deep sadness that the Ministry of Defence must confirm that Lance Corporal Benjamin Whatley, from Lima Company, 42 Commando Royal Marines.

22 Dec 08 - Thousands of British Armed Forces personnel serving overseas will receive an extra 40 minutes of free talk time over the festive period, Defence Secretary John Hutton announced.

21 Dec 08 - It is with great sadness that the Ministry of Defence must confirm that Corporal Robert Deering from the Commando Logistic Regiment Royal Marines was killed in Afghanistan.

19 Dec 08 - Providing improved protection to British troops in Afghanistan 100 Bronco vehicles have been bought by the MOD from Singapore Technologies Kinetics to be converted into Warthog armoured vehicles.

17 Dec 08 - It is with great regret that the Ministry of Defence must confirm the death of Rifleman Stuart Nash, 1st Battalion The Rifles, who was killed in action in Afghanistan.

16 Dec 08 - 19 Light Brigade will replace 3 Commando Brigade, Royal Marines, in April 2009 as the lead formation of UK forces in Afghanistan, Defence Secretary John Hutton confirmed.

Defence Secretary John Hutton has announced that he will not be instituting a public inquiry into the use of Snatch Land Rovers by the British military on operations in Afghanistan and Iraq.

15 Dec 08 - It is with deep regret that the Ministry of Defence must confirm the death of Lieutenant Aaron Lewis who was killed whilst on operations in Afghanistan.

Compensation payments for Armed Forces personnel who have suffered the most serious injuries in the line of duty have been doubled to a new maximum lump sum of ?570,000.

The President of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai, has expressed his gratitude for the sacrifice that thousands of British troops are making in Afghanistan every day.

13 Dec 08 - During a visit to Afghanistan this weekend, Prime Minister Gordon Brown told British troops that because of their efforts in fighting the Taliban the people of Britain are safer.

12 Dec 08 - It is with deep sadness that the Ministry of Defence must confirm the deaths of Marine Damian Davies, Sergeant John Manuel and Corporal Marc Birch who were killed as a result of a suspected suicide bomb attack south of Sangin, Afghanistan.

It is with great sadness that Whiskey Company, 45 Commando Group Royal Marines, must confirm the death of Lance Corporal Steven Fellows Royal Marines, known to all as 'Jamie'. He was killed in action in Sangin, Helmand province, Afghanistan.

Royal Marines from 42 Commando, supporting an Afghan Security Forces-led operation, uncovered a sizeable quantity of drugs and weapons in the Nawa area of southern Helmand earlier this week.

As we edge closer to Christmas, family and friends of servicemen and women are being urged to make use of the innovative email system which allows messages to be sent directly and discreetly to serving personnel on operations.

8 Dec 08 - From water and washers to bullets and boots, fuel and now festive food, the Commando Logistic Regiment Royal Marines are currently in Afghanistan working 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week, to keep 3 Commando Brigade supplied with everything they need. And the Regiment won't even be taking a break on Christmas Day.

5 Dec 08 - Today is the last day that post from the UK to troops serving in Afghanistan will be guaranteed to arrive before Christmas and the British Forces Post Office (BFPO) is gearing up for a late rush of parcels and letters for much missed family members and friends.

4 Dec 08 - Bomb disposal soldiers from 11 Explosive Ordnance Disposal Regiment, Royal Logistic Corps, and soldiers from 219 Signal Squadron, part of 2 Signal Regiment, have been honoured in their hometowns this week for their recent operational tours.

Royal Marines have pushed deeper into southern Afghanistan's rural Kandahar province with a helicopter assault directly onto insurgent positions, supporting a wider Canadian initiative to redraw the boundaries of ISAF (International Security Assistance Force) influence in the region.

2 Dec 08 - Over 500 soldiers from The Parachute Regiment were presented with operational service medals by their Colonel-in-Chief, The Prince of Wales, yesterday, for their six-month deployment to Afghanistan.

1 Dec 08 - An orphanage, a nursery and a women's centre all opened in Lashkar Gah last week thanks to the work of Afghan construction firms and 24 Commando Engineer Regiment.

The British Forces Post Office (BFPO) has announced the final posting dates from the UK for mail to troops serving in Iraq, Afghanistan and other global destinations.

27 Nov 08 - It is with deep regret that the Ministry of Defence must confirm the deaths of Marine Tony Evans and Marine Georgie Sparks, both of J Company, 42 Commando Royal Marines.

In a speech given at the Berlin Security Conference British Defence Secretary John Hutton has said that NATO must confront the security issues of our time and succeed in Afghanistan to maintain its crucial credibility.

26 Nov 08 - Professional war artists have been capturing the spirit of battle, and the mystery, horror, and emotions of war since long before the arrival of photography. But many painters have been non-combatants. Doug Farthing is an exception. Report by Tony Matthews.

25 Nov 08 - This time last year Musa Qaleh, a town in northern Helmand with a population of approximately 20,000 people, was in the hands of the Taliban and was a conduit for narcotics, weapons and Taliban fighters.

24 Nov 08 - It is with deep regret that the Ministry of Defence must confirm the death of Marine Alexander Lucas from Victor Company, 45 Commando Royal Marines, in Afghanistan.

Royal Engineers have completed the successful construction of two checkpoints near the Helmand province capital of Lashkar Gah as part of the ongoing security operation in the area.

21 Nov 08 - Soldiers from 23 Engineer Regiment (Air Assault), based at Woodbridge in Suffolk, have been presented with their Operational Service Medals following a busy six-month tour in Helmand province, Afghanistan.

20 Nov 08 - Working with the Afghan National Security Forces, Royal Marines currently deployed to Helmand have unearthed a range of explosive devices in the Sangin Valley area of the province.

19 Nov 08 - Troops on operations in Afghanistan will benefit from further improvements in safety and protection following the announcement, by Defence Secretary John Hutton, of Preferred Bidders for three new classes of armoured support vehicle.

18 Nov 08 - A unit of British reservists are undertaking regular foot patrols in the streets around the International Security Assistance Force's headquarters in Kabul, establishing a presence in the area and building rapport with the locals.

Thousands took to the streets of Colchester to welcome home from Afghanistan hundreds of soldiers from 16 Air Assault Brigade as they marched through the town.

15 Nov 08 - It is with great sadness that the Ministry of Defence must confirm the death of Colour Sergeant Krishnabahadur Dura, of the 2nd Battalion The Royal Gurkha Rifles, who was killed in Afghanistan.

14 Nov 08 - Chief of the General Staff, General Sir Richard Dannatt, has given a wide-ranging interview to the Daily Telegraph in which he expressed his gratitude to the Army for a job well done in Iraq and emphasised that we must be prepared for a long haul in order to succeed in Afghanistan.

13 Nov 08 - MOD Police (MDP) have reunited Royal Marines with 33 stolen medals, including Operational Service Medals for Afghanistan and Iraq, after leading an investigation which resulted in the prosecution of two suspects.

12 Nov 08 - It is with deep regret that the Ministry of Defence must confirm the deaths of Marine Neil Dunstan and Marine Robert McKibben, both from the UK Landing Force Command Support Group.

A box that allows drugs and blood products to be transported to the hottest regions of the world, while maintaining them at a perfect temperature, has been brought into service by Defence Equipment & Support. And it's saving lives on the front line. Report by Lieutenant Commander Susie Thomson Royal Navy.

11 Nov 08 - One month on from being appointed Secretary of State for Defence, John Hutton has given a speech restating why 8,000 British troops are deployed to Afghanistan and "why they should stay until their job is complete".

9 Nov 08 - The Chief of the Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Jock Stirrup, appeared on BBC1's Andrew Marr Show to give his opinion on operations in both Iraq and Afghanistan and equipment for troops.

7 Nov 08 - After being badly injured by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan, a Royal Irish soldier will mark his recovery by completing a 13 mile sponsored run from the Knockagh Monument, County Antrim, to the Cenotaph at Belfast City Hall on Remembrance Day, 11 November 2008.

6 Nov 08 - To continue raising money and awareness for Help for Heroes and the Royal British Legion's Poppy Appeal, the recently filmed video that accompanies the X Factor number one single is to be screened for the first time this weekend.

4 Nov 08 - It is with great sadness that the Ministry of Defence must confirm the death of Rifleman Yubraj Rai of the 2nd Battalion The Royal Gurkha Rifles who was killed in Afghanistan.

Four soldiers from the 1st Battalion The Royal Gurkha Rifles (1 RGR) were each awarded the Military Cross by the Queen in recognition for their individual acts of bravery while recently deployed to Kandahar, Afghanistan.

3 Nov 08 - British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has taken some time out from a tour of the Gulf region to visit British troops who are supporting operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Twelve months after returning from Helmand with 12 Mechanized Brigade, Army Photographer Sergeant Jon Bevan is proudly showcasing a selection of his published pictures in his home town of Swansea, South Wales.

31 Oct 08 - Fifty Colchester-based Royal Military Police (RMP) officers have been honoured by a senior civilian police officer for their work in Afghanistan and how that has helped in tackling drugs and terrorism in the UK.

30 Oct 08 - 15 soldiers who were killed in action in Afghanistan this summer either from or attached to 2nd Battalion The Parachute Regiment Battle Group, were remembered in Colchester.

Lance Corporal Matthew Croucher, the first reservist to receive either a Victoria Cross or a George Cross since operations began in Iraq and Afghanistan received his George Cross from Her Majesty The Queen.

A Royal Navy helicopter pilot who twice braved ferocious enemy fire to save the lives of British troops wounded in Afghanistan received his Distinguished Flying Cross from HM The Queen at Buckingham Palace.

29 Oct 08 - Defence Secretary John Hutton has announced a package worth £700 million, which will pay for some 700 new armoured vehicles to further improve the safety and protection of troops on operations in Afghanistan.

28 Oct 08 - A Gurkha unit who have recently deployed to Afghanistan with 3 Commando Brigade Royal Marines have taken a short break from their busy workload to celebrate the most important Nepalese festival of the year, Dashain.

26 Oct 08 - The final 60 soldiers from 2nd Battalion The Parachute Regiment were greeted by 150 friends and family members in emotional scenes at Colchester after returning from a hard-hitting deployment to Afghanistan.

25 Oct 08 - Injured Service personnel from Headley Court attended the live broadcast of The X Factor to see the first ever performance of the song 'Hero', which has been recorded for charity. Speaking to the troops and the TV show's judges and contestants on the night was MOD reporter Leigh Morrison.

23 Oct 08 - Personnel and aircraft from 847 Naval Air Squadron (NAS), usually based at Yeovilton, are working around the clock to support military operations in southern Afghanistan.

Royal Air Force helicopter crews operating in Iraq and Afghanistan were recognised by the premier organisation for aviators at its annual Trophies and Awards Banquet at the Guildhall in the City of London.

22 Oct 08 - In the final leg of his first visit to Iraq and Afghanistan Defence Secretary John Hutton met Afghanistan's President Karzai in Kabul.

21 Oct 08 - The Defence Secretary John Hutton flew into Afghanistan in a historic visit making him the first UK Defence Secretary to visit the district centre of Musa Qaleh since Afghan and international forces reclaimed the town in December last year.

17 Oct 08 - The inquest into the death of Corporal Mark William Wright GC from The 3rd Battalion, The Parachute Regiment, who was killed in Afghanistan in 2006, has concluded.

16 Oct 08 - Around 80 troops from 216 Parachute Signal Squadron have received their Operational Service Medals at Merville Barracks, Colchester, following their six-month tour in Afghanistan.

15 Oct 08 - It is with great sadness that the Ministry of Defence must confirm the death of Trooper James Munday, of 1 Troop, D Squadron, the Household Cavalry Regiment.

12 Oct 08 - With a special parade through the town, members of the Armed Forces paid tribute to the people of Wootton Bassett for the huge respect they have shown to fallen servicemen and women.

10 Oct 08 - Following the Transfer of Authority in Helmand province from 16 Air Assault Brigade to 3 Commando Brigade earlier this week the Royal Marines of Whiskey Company have been familiarising themselves with their new surroundings in the volatile town of Sangin.

9 Oct 08 - At the same time as Prince Harry's presence in Afghanistan earlier this year was gaining all the media attention a group of gunners were mounting the British Army's longest recorded desert patrol since the Second World War. Report by Heidi Mines.

An award for meritorious service has been presented to RAF fire fighters, based in Helmand, which recognises their heavy commitment to incidents in September; in particular one very busy night.

8 Oct 08 - A ceremony was held at Headquarters Task Force Helmand in Lashkar Gah to mark the Transfer of Authority in Helmand province between 16 Air Assault Brigade and 3 Commando Brigade.

The last 100 soldiers from the Royal Irish Battle Group, who have been serving on operations in southern Afghanistan for six months, returned home to a heroes' welcome.

3 Oct 08 - Royal Marines from 45 Commando, who spearheaded the very first military operations in Afghanistan in 2002, have begun deploying to the Sangin area of northern Helmand.

Members of the public who send Christmas gifts to unnamed British Service personnel serving overseas are being urged this year to donate money to military charities instead.

30 Sep 08 - A team of UK military medics currently serving on operations in Afghanistan will be honoured with a Pride of Britain Award during a special ceremony hosted by Carol Vorderman in London.

28-29 Sep 08 - Soldiers from 3rd Battalion The Parachute Regiment (3 PARA) and 13 Air Assault Support Regiment, Royal Logistic Corps are amongst the first personnel from 16 Air Assault Brigade to return home from the Brigade's latest six month deployment to Afghanistan.

24 Sep 08 - Territorial Army soldiers from Imjin Company, 2nd Battalion The Royal Irish Regiment are carrying out a vital mentoring role working alongside personnel from the Afghan National Army (ANA).

23 Sep 08 - Over 300 troops from the 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers (2 RRF) have exercised their privilege to march into the City of London with 'drums beating, colours flying and bayonets fixed'.

18 Sep 08 - A powerful demonstration of the new technology and equipment currently supporting British Armed Forces on operations has been taking place on Salisbury Plain.

Following improvements to the Urgent Operational Requirement system in recent years the personal kit of infantry soldiers has changed dramatically reflecting the needs of fighting counter-insurgencies in hot environments.

Hundreds of pieces of new equipment and over 500 people have been massing on Salisbury Plain for a powerful demonstration of the advanced and cutting-edge technology which is supporting troops on operations. Report by Leigh Morrison.

17 Sep 08 - The men and women of 3 Commando Brigade have been out on Salisbury Plain trying out some of the kit they'll be packing as they head to southern Afghanistan later this year; including the highly acclaimed off-road "beast" that is Jackal. Report by Steve Moore.

16 Sep 08 - The Royal Navy is preparing for the first time that it will form the command element of the hospital group based at Camp Bastion in Helmand.

13 Sep 08 - It is with great sadness that the Ministry of Defence must confirm the death of Lance Corporal Nicky Mason, a soldier from 2nd Battalion The Parachute Regiment, in southern Afghanistan.

12 Sep 08 - It is with deep regret that the Ministry of Defence has confirmed the death of Private Jason Lee Rawstron of 2nd Battalion The Parachute Regiment in Afghanistan.

10 Sep 08 - It is with deep regret that the Ministry of Defence must confirm the death of Warrant Officer Class 2 Gary 'Gaz' O'Donnell GM, from 11 Explosive Ordnance Disposal Regiment Royal Logistic Corps, in Helmand province, southern Afghanistan.

9 Sep 08 - The last of the British troops guarding the convoy on its return from Kajaki have finally rolled back into base, marking the end of Operation OQAB TSUKA.

8 Sep 08 - A £60million contract to deliver the new generation of Mastiff vehicles - the Mastiff 2 - has been announced by Defence Secretary Des Browne on a visit to NP Aerospace.

5 Sep 08 - Defence Secretary Des Browne, has written to The Guardian newspaper explaining that in his opinion their editorial from Thursday 4 September 2008, stating that the recent operation to deliver a turbine to Kajaki dam was merely a symbol, is wrong.

4 Sep 08 - It is with deep regret that the Ministry of Defence must confirm the death of Ranger Justin James Cupples of 1st Battalion The Royal Irish Regiment (1 R IRISH) in southern Afghanistan.

2 Sep 08 - Around 2,000 British troops in Afghanistan have taken part in a huge convoy to deliver a hydro-electric turbine 180 kilometres by road from Kandahar airfield to Kajaki dam.

Around 2,000 people packed the streets of Stamford, Lincolnshire to welcome home the personnel of 3 Squadron RAF Regiment from a difficult six month deployment to Kandahar, southern Afghanistan.

24 Aug 08 - A platoon of 34 soldiers from 4th Battalion The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment returned to the North West after six months on operations in Kabul, Afghanistan.

21 Aug 08 - Prime Minister Gordon Brown has been meeting British troops based in Helmand province during a visit to southern Afghanistan.

After a devastating shrapnel blast in Afghanistan Private Neil McCallion's hand was rebuilt at Selly Oak hospital by a team of surgeons in a gruelling operation which used an untried and radical approach to helping the soldier continue his life. Report by Tim Bouquet.

20 Aug 08 - When Private Neil McCallion's hand was left "mashed" by a shrapnel wound he received in Afghanistan, surgeons at Selly Oak hospital in Birmingham set to work and thirteen operations later the soldier's hand has been virtually rebuilt and his career in the Army back on track. Report by Tim Bouquet.

19 Aug 08 - British, Pashtu-speaking Paras are finding that they are the "face" of the British Army to which their Afghan National Army colleagues and the people of the Upper Sangin Valley can relate. Report by Captain Tom McShane.

18 Aug 08 - It is with great sadness that the Ministry of Defence must confirm the death of Corporal Barry Dempsey from The Royal Highland Fusiliers, 2nd Battalion Royal Regiment of Scotland, who was killed in Afghanistan.

UK troops are using a new tactical Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) to patrol the skies of the Upper Sangin Valley in southern Afghanistan, helping to identify enemy threats and protect soldiers as they go about their work.

15 Aug 08 - The Board of Inquiry (BOI) report into the death of Lance Corporal Mathew Ford in Afghanistan has been published.

Defence Secretary Des Browne visited UK troops in Afghanistan last week. Here, he describes the positive impact he believes the presence of UK troops is having in the region.

13 Aug 08 - Coming face to face with the Taliban is all in a day's work for the soldiers and officers of B Company, 2nd Battalion The Parachute Regiment, at their base on the edge of the notorious Green Zone in Aghanistan's volatile Helmand province.

12 Aug 08 - The citations of the Army's latest Military Cross winners reveal how the chill of last year's Afghan winter was warmed by the heat of battle. Here an in-depth look at those from Op Herrick who have been recognised with operational honours.

Moving equipment to the front line is a huge logistical operation - from shipment of armoured vehicles to millions of bottles of water, hundreds of thousands of rounds of ammunition to bags of mail for the troops. Report by Steve Moore.

11 Aug 08 - It is with great sadness that the Ministry of Defence must confirm the death of Signaller Wayne Bland, from 16 Signal Regiment, in Kabul, Afghanistan.

Service personnel who have deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan will be able to see their favourite Clydesdale Bank Premier League team this season with an allocation of tickets donated by the bank.

After the maximum tour of two and a half years, soldiers from 1st Battalion The Royal Welsh are bidding farewell to Cyprus, and preparing to return to the UK.

5 Aug 08 - Across Afghanistan, soldiers and officers from the Royal Horse Artillery and Household Cavalry joined together this week to pay tribute to their comrades who died in Helmand two years ago.

31 Jul 08 - The first visit to Afghanistan by the Ministry of Defence Police (MDP) has seen officers help train newly-qualified local police in some of the most dangerous locations in Helmand Province.

Crowds lined the streets of Taunton to welcome home from Afghanistan the Royal Marines of 40 Commando.

30 Jul 08 - In preparation for their upcoming deployment to Afghanistan, thousands of troops from 3 Commando Brigade (Royal Marines) have been training on Salisbury Plain in one of the largest UK exercises of its kind.

29 Jul 08 - It is with great sadness that the Ministry of Defence must confirm the death of Private Peter Joe Cowton from 2nd Battalion The Parachute Regiment in Helmand province.

28 Jul 08 - It is with deep regret that the Ministry of Defence must confirm the death of Sergeant Jonathan William Mathews of The Highlanders, 4th Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Scotland.

A new tri-Service initiative to provide Adventurous Training and Sporting opportunities for seriously injured personnel has been launched. Report by Shell Daruwala.

25 Jul 08 - 136 members of the Armed Forces and one MOD Civilian have been honoured for their gallantry and service in Afghanistan, Iraq and on other operations around the world.

Royal Marine Reservist Lance Corporal Matthew Croucher, who is being awarded one of Britain's highest medals for bravery, has given an interview exclusively for the MOD website.

24 Jul 08 - It is with deep regret that the Ministry of Defence must confirm the death of Lance Corporal Kenneth Michael Rowe of the Royal Army Veterinary Corps, attached to 2nd Battalion, The Parachute Regiment.

23 Jul 08 - A Royal Marine Reservist who risked his life by throwing himself on a live grenade to save his comrades in Afghanistan is to be honoured with the nation's highest gallantry award, it was announced.

22 Jul 08 - It is with great sadness that the Ministry of Defence must confirm the death of Corporal Jason Stuart Barnes from the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME), attached to 2nd Battalion The Parachute Regiment, in Afghanistan.

16 Jul 08 - British Forces in Afghanistan have killed their second senior Taliban leader in a little over two weeks, striking a critical blow to the insurgency's command and control capabilities in Helmand.

One of the most highly decorated UK soldiers of the latter part of the 20th Century has been visiting UK troops in Afghanistan.

10 Jul 08 - Defence Secretary Des Browne gave a speech at the world-famous Washington 'think tank' The Brookings Institution where he outlined the recent progress being made in Iraq and the need for the international community to stay the course in Afghanistan.

The first Afghan National Army (ANA) designed, built, manned and patrolled Forward Operating Base (FOB) has received a seal of approval from the British Forces team that mentored them and from the local people it has been built to help protect.

The Ministry of Defence has released a statement concerning an incident in southern Afghanistan in which UK personnel were wounded.

8 Jul 08 - 3 Commando Brigade, Royal Marines will replace 16 Air Assault Brigade in October 2008 as the lead formation of UK forces in Afghanistan, Defence Secretary Des Browne confirmed.

4 Jul 08 - When the 1st Battalion the Royal Anglian Regiment (aka the 'Vikings') were deployed on operations in Helmand last year, troops experienced some of the most intense fighting the Army has seen in decades. Report by Lorraine McBride.

3 Jul 08 - As jobs go, running a joint coordination centre in a small Afghan town might not be everybody's idea of fun. But for one Army officer the challenge of ensuring the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) are capable of providing security to their own people is one to be relished. Report by Barry Shaw.

2 Jul 08 - British troops based in the Helmand town of Gereshk are helping to train and mentor hundreds of Afghan soldiers who it is hoped will soon be able to take charge of security for themselves. Report by Barry Shaw.

Soldiers from 5th Regiment Royal Artillery ('The Yorkshire Gunners') held a service of Remembrance and medal parade to mark their recent return from operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

1 Jul 08 - Soldiers from the Household Cavalry Regiment are using a variety of armoured vehicles to act as the Commander's "eyes and ears" in some of the most remote areas of Helmand province.

30 Jun 08 - British troops using Apache attack helicopters have killed a key Taliban leader and up to ten members of his cell during an operation in Helmand Province.

All phone calls to the UK from troops serving in Afghanistan, Iraq and Kosovo have been slashed from 89 pence per minute to 11 pence following a £1.4 million investment from the MOD.

28 Jun 08 - It is with deep sadness that the Ministry of Defence must confirm the death of Lance Corporal James Johnson, B Company, 5th Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland in Afghanistan.

Members of the UK Armed Forces who lost their lives during 2007 have been honoured at a special service attended by HRH The Prince of Wales.

27 Jun 08 - It is with deep regret that the Ministry of Defence must confirm the death of Warrant Officer Class 2 Dan Shirley from 13 Air Assault Support Regiment Royal Logistic Corps in Afghanistan .

A trial looking at whether alternative routing arrangements of the Operation HERRICK airbridge, which transports troops to Afghanistan, can increase its capacity is set to begin next week.

24 Jun 08 - It is with deep regret that the Ministry of Defence must confirm the deaths of Warrant Officer 2nd Class Michael Williams of 2nd Battalion The Parachute Regiment (2 PARA) and Private Joe Whittaker from 4th Battalion The Parachute Regiment in Afghanistan.

17 Jun 08 - It is with deep regret that the Ministry of Defence must confirm the deaths of Corporal Sarah Bryant of the Intelligence Corps, Corporal Sean Robert Reeve of the Royal Signals, Lance Corporal Richard Larkin and Paul Stout in Afghanistan.

16 Jun 08 - The bodies of five soldiers from The Parachute Regiment killed on operations in Afghanistan last week were repatriated to RAF Lyneham in Wiltshire.

Defence Secretary Des Browne has announced a plan to increase the number of troops deployed to Afghanistan.

13 Jun 08 - British troops in the urban environments of Afghanistan and Iraq are set to benefit from greater protection as the first "Cougar" vehicles begin their transformation into "Ridgbacks".

12 Jun 08 - It is with deep sadness that the Ministry of Defence must confirm the deaths of Lance Corporal James Bateman and Private Jeff Doherty of 2nd Battalion The Parachute Regiment (2 PARA) in Helmand Province, Afghanistan.

11 Jun 08 - Royal Irish TA troops have taken on the responsibility of force protection duties at the British Army's Herrick base.

10 Jun 08 - A new national award for the families of Service personnel who die on operations or as a result of terrorist action whilst on duty has been announced.

9 Jun 08 - With the loss of three soldiers from 2nd Battalion the Parachute Regiment in Afghanistan yesterday, Sunday 8 June 2008, the number of British personnel killed in the country has reached 100.

Soldiers from the Royal Gurkha Rifles have been honoured by the Canadian nation in recognition of their exceptional work fighting alongside the Canadian Armed Forces during a demanding deployment to Afghanistan. Report by Danny Chapman.

8 Jun 08 - It is with deep regret that the Ministry of Defence must confirm the deaths of Private Nathan Cuthbertson, Private Daniel Gamble and Private Charles Murray of 2nd Battalion The Parachute Regiment (2 PARA) in Helmand Province, Afghanistan.

6 Jun 08 - Amongst Armed Forces Personnel receiving their honours at an Investiture Ceremony at Buckingham Palace this week was the first woman ever to be awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.

An RAF Reaper Unmanned Aerial Vehicle used its weapons system in support of coalition forces in Afghanistan for the first time this week.

5 Jun 08 - Chief of the General Staff, General Sir Richard Dannatt, has spoken about various aspects of the British Armed Forces to a national newspaper.

4 Jun 08 - Hundreds of British soldiers have recently taken part in Operation Eagle's Eye, involving a night-time helicopter raid to disrupt the Taliban south of Musa Qaleh.

3 Jun 08 - Using aircraft specially converted into Flying Hospital Wards, RAF Reservists from No 4626 Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron have been flying sick and injured troops back to the UK since the Falklands War. They now have personnel constantly deployed to Afghanistan. Report by Jason Impey.

29 May 08 - Soldiers from the The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards Battlegroup are preparing to begin their six-month deployment in southern Iraq as part of Operation TELIC 12.

28 May 08 - Defence Secretary Des Browne has been impressed by the progress he has seen in southern Afghanistan during his latest visit to Helmand province over the bank holiday weekend.

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 sadness that the Ministry of Defence has confirmed the death of James Thompson 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.

Operations in Afghanistan

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