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Army: Afghanistan

Volume 458: debated on Monday 12 March 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many officers serving with the British Army in the Helmand Province of Afghanistan have passed an oral examination in the Pashto language. (124667)

[holding answer 5 March 2007]: All regular and reserve service personnel deploying on operations receive some level of language training, ranging from a few hours to a ten week course. Selected individuals receive longer periods of training.

There are currently 25 members of the British Army who have passed a speaking exam in Pashto. Of these, 16 are Army officers, one of whom is currently deployed in the Helmand Province of Afghanistan.