As of 1 May 2008, there were a total of around 400 Royal Engineer posts established in Helmand province: the actual number deployed at any particular time can and does vary, including through roulements, visits and periods of mid-tour leave.
British military engineers in Helmand are conducting close engineer support (including tasks such as mobility support, counter mobility support, explosive ordnance disposal and search) and general engineer support (such as infrastructure development, construction, geographic support and civil-military co-operation). There are also a number of engineering personnel in Helmand Province who assist in training and mentoring the Afghan National Army.
The maximum weight of cargo able to be carried by all variants of the CH-47 helicopter used by the British forces in Afghanistan is kept under review to account for changes in environmental conditions, but is currently set at 5,000 kg.
The company providing the new contract is Skylink. UK troops have never flown in the aircraft provided. The contract continues to be funded from NATO common funding and the UK continues to contribute a 12 per cent. share to that funding. Currently all assets used by the contractor have been rotary wing.
International Security Assistance Force and Afghan armed forces continue to engage in successful operations against the Taliban in Helmand, pushing them back from populated areas and bringing more of the province under the control of the government of Afghanistan.
Nevertheless, the insurgents continue to pose a threat through improvised explosive devices, suicide bombers and opportunistic attacks.