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Afghanistan: Helmand Province

Volume 688: debated on Monday 8 January 2007

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What impact current deployments in the Helmand province of Afghanistan have had on (a) air crew training, and (b) air fleet availability in other theatres of operation. [HL742]

We have a robust training system for air crew training which is not affected by current deployments. UK Armed Forces have sufficient aircraft to meet all current operational commitments.

asked Her Majesty's Government:

How United Kingdom military forces deployed in the Helmand province of Afghanistan are structured. [HL743]

As part of the International Security Assistance Force laydown, the UK task force in Helmand reports to Regional Command (South), which is led by Dutch Major General Van Loon. The task force is currently commanded by Brigadier Jerry Thomas, with 3 Commando Brigade providing the task force headquarters and the core of the deployment, although they are supported by numerous other ground and aviation units to deliver a tailored all-arms capability to suit the operational environment in Helmand.

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What arrangements the Helmand provincial security co-ordination centre has for working with other provinces in Afghanistan. [HL818]

In each Afghan province there is a Joint Provincial Co-ordination Centre, which oversees the activities of the Afghan National Army and the Afghan National Police. Within Regional Command (South), co-ordination between provinces is conducted through the Joint Regional Co-ordination Centre (JRCC), located in Kandahar. Any liaison with provinces in other regions would be conducted by the JRCC and by the national security co-ordination system based in Kabul.

asked Her Majesty's Government:

How the strategic delivery unit in the United Kingdom embassy in Kabul will co-ordinate and monitor reform and reconstruction activities in the Helmand province in Afghanistan; and what working arrangements it has with government departments involved in these activities. [HL991]

The strategic delivery unit (SDU) supports the work of our embassy in Kabul by providing a comprehensive overview and assessment of the UK's progress in implementing its strategic objectives in Afghanistan and in particular in Helmand province. It also provides advice on the implementation of the UK strategic plan for Afghanistan and for Helmand and on linkages and dependencies with the Afghanistan Compact, the Afghanistan national development strategy and the Afghan National Drug Control Strategy. Within the governance, economic and social development strands of the UK strategic plan, the SDU monitors and reports on reform and reconstruction activities in Helmand. The SDU reports regularly through the ambassador to the Cabinet Office, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office; the Ministry of Defence and to the Department for International Development.