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NATO Training Mission for Afghanistan

Volume 493: debated on Friday 12 June 2009

At the Strasbourg-Kehl summit in April 2009, NATO agreed to establish the NATO training mission for Afghanistan (NTM-A) to help support the development of a capable and self-sustaining Afghan National Army (ANA) and Afghan National Police (ANP). This accords with the UK’s policy for Afghanistan and Pakistan announced by the Prime Minister on 29 April 2009 and is essential to the long-term stability of Afghanistan. Following discussions on the NTM-A’s tasks with my NATO colleagues this week, I can announce the UK will contribute to the mission by leading the ANA’s combined arms training school. The school will be multinational and will provide “train the trainer” courses across Afghanistan for ANA instructors in junior officer, non-commissioned officer (NCO), infantry support weapons, armour and artillery training. The school represents a new stage in the development of the ANA’s training. The UK will therefore be able to transfer some of its personnel already engaged in ANA training to the school and so there will be no need to increase UK force levels. The UK will also continue to provide mentoring teams for the ANA and ANP in Helmand province and ANA officer candidate training in Kabul.