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Afghanistan: Peacekeeping Operations

Volume 475: debated on Monday 12 May 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 29 April 2008, Official Report, column 49W, on Afghanistan: peacekeeping operations, whether (a) elements of British forces will have a command relationship subordinate to the US 24th Marine Expeditionary Force and (b) elements of the US 24th Marine Expeditionary Force will have a command relationship subordinate to British forces in 2008. (203581)

Both Task Force Helmand and the US 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit are under the control of the Commander of the International Security Assistance Force.

British forces will be neither commanded by, nor in command of the US 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit, but individual arrangements may be made between UK and US forces as dictated by the practical execution of military operations.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the number of (a) infantry battalions, (b) helicopters, (c) aircraft and (d) training teams available to NATO forces deployed in Afghanistan to achieve their objectives. (203776)

The Bucharest summit saw a number of nations make significant additional commitments to the International Security Assistance Force; in particular President Sarkozy confirmed the deployment of an additional battalion of French troops to the east of the country.

Nevertheless, there remains a need for more training and mentoring personnel; combat forces in the south and east of Afghanistan; and key enablers, such as helicopters and other aircraft, to meet the Combined Joint Statement of Requirements for Afghanistan. The UK continues to work with partners to address these shortfalls.