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US President Obama announced to send 30000 extra US troops to Afghanistan and asks his NATO allies to do the same. Several countries did announce to send soldiers before or at the Afghanistan Conference in London on 28th January 2010.
This overview of the European involvement in this war and the military infrastructure involved was made as part of the Europe for Peace-Grundtvig project, with involvement of the No Bases-network and the No to NATO-coalition. We also mapped the political debate in several countries.
This overview does not contain the command HQ's and logistics, only the deployed military forces. For the HQ's and logistics see the earlier overview from 15 October 2008 on War starts from Europe and logistics.
Albania pledged 85 soldiers extra. Now it has 235 soldiers in Afghanistan.
Beginning January 112 soldiers from the 2nd Infantry Battalion, Rapid Reaction Brigade, from Zall-Herr deployed to Herat.source DoD Albania
The contingent in Kabul comes from the 1st Battalion, Rapid Reaction Brigade in Vau i Dejes, Shkoder. source DoD Albania
Belgium has appr. 600 military in Afghanistan. Personnel rotates mostly every 4 months. No extra military deployments are announced, but extra civil contributions instead.
More information: Vredesactie - Bomspotting / international at bombspotting dot org
Bosnia (no NATO member, but applying for membership) announced the intention to send up to 100 military to Afghanistan, to be integrated with the German or Turkish contingent. At the moment it has 10 officers in the German and Danish contingent. source
497 military (mainly mechanized infantry) in Afghanistan, which mostly participate in securing the airports of Kabul and Kandahar. 30 more military (medical personnel and field hospital) are announced for Kandahar in the beginning of 2010, where the Bulgarian presence is raised to 300. 70 more infantry soldiers are announced for the end of the year.
source Standart News source Sofia News Agency source Sofia Echo
Canada has 2800 troops in Kandahar (Alberta-based Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry battle group). They will be strengthened by 9000 US troops (parachute battalion and military police unit from the 82nd Airborne, the 1st battalion of the U.S. army's 12th Infantry Regiment, combat brigade 101st Airborne, 3 battalions from the 5th Stryker Brigade). source
Canada plans to end its combat mission in Kandahar province starting in July 2011, with all forces out by the end of next year.
The Czech Republic has 480 troops in Afghanistan. It runs its own PRT in Logar (277 soldiers and 14 civilians), formed mainly by soldiers of the 4th Rapid Deployment Brigade based at Žatec.
62 soldiers are based in Kabul, giving support to the airport, training missions with the Afghan Army and logistical support to the Czech forces in Afghanistan.
source DoD Czech Republic
It announced to send its newly formed 1st helicopter unit (consisting of three upgraded Mi-171S transport helicopters and 110 soldiers from the Prerov base) to the Sarana base in southeast Afghanistan. The whole mission will be operative end-January and is to last two years. The pilots would rotate in four-month intervals.
Also a new deployment of Czech special forces is foreseen in 2011. source
Denmark has about 750 soldiers in Afghanistan, mainly around Gereshk in Helmand.
The Danish Battle Group includes:
In February a unit from the Royal Life Guards in Høvelte with IKK9035 will deploy. source Danish Army
Estonia has 150 military in Afghanistan. Estonia is to delegate a maximum of 170 troops for NATO forces in Afghanistan in 2010, under the legislature's decision. source Interfax
Finland has 121 soldiers in Afghanistan and decided on 22 Jan 2010 to raise this amount to 195 military. source Finnish Broadcasting Company source Helsingin Sanomat
Finnish “crisis management troops” are trained in Porin prikaati (Pori Brigade) garrison, which is located in small town called Säkylä, in South-Western Finland.
Finland will also provide special training to British, Norwegian, and German soldiers, who are to coach Afghan security officials. The training is to take place in Finland, because Finland has large numbers of aging Soviet-made weapons, which are similar to the weaponry in use in Afghanistan.
source Helsingin Sanomat
Herve Morin, the defense minister of France, announced that he may deploy “medium-sized supplementary troops” after the January 28 conference on Afghanistan in London. source Xinhua
The French troops in Afghanistan are:
- HQ Nijrab: EMF2 (Etats-majors de Force - Nantes), CFLT, 40e RT+IA (Régiment de transmissions - Thionville), BRENS+IA (Brigade de Renseignements - Metz), 1 REG, 1RG (Régiment de génie - Illkirch)
- BATFRA/GTIA Surobi:
2e REI (Régiment étranger d'infanterie - Nîmes), 6e BLB (Brigade légère blindée - Nîmes), 1e REC (Régiment étranger de cavalerie - Orange), 1e REG (Régiment étranger de génie - Laudun), 3e RAMa (Régiment d'artillerie de marine - Canjuers)
2e REP (Régiment étranger de parachutistes - Calvi), 11e BP (Brigade Parachutiste - Balma), 1e RHP (Régiment Hussards Parachutiste - Tarbes), 17e RGP (Régiment du Génie Parachutiste - Montauban), 35e RAP (Régiment d'Artillerie Parachutiste - Tarbes)
- GTIA Kapisa (since end Nov 2009): 13e BCA (Batallion de chasseurs alpins - Chambéry/Barby), 4e RCH (Régiment de chasseurs - Gap), 2e REG (régiment étranger de génie - Saint Christol), 93e RAM(régiment d'artillerie de montagne - Varces), Groupement commando montagne 27 - Varces, 40e RT (Régiment de Transmissions - Thionville)
- BCS (bataillon de commandement et de soutien / based in Kabul): 4e RMAT (Régiment du Matériel - Nîmes), 503e RT (Régiment du Train - Camp de Souge, Martignas Sur Jalle), 3RMED (Régiment Médical - La Valbonne, Belligneux), DCSSA BL
- OMLT: Etat-Major Brigade - Pau, 7e BB (Brigade Blindée- Besançon) followed by 6e BLB, 9e BLBMa (Brigade légère blindée - Nantes) puis 6e BLB, 152e RI (Régiment d'Infanterie - Colmar), 1e BM (Brigade Mécanisée - Chalons-en-Champagne), 93e RAM, 517e RT (Régiment du Train - La Martinerie)
- Epidote (training officers): officers from the Army HQ (Commandement de la force terrestre (CFT)) in Lille.
- BATHELICO Kabul (helicopter support): 3 Tigre, 3 Gazelle, 3 Caracal, 2 Cougar (5e RHC Régiment d'hélicoptères de combat - Pau, 4RHFS, EH 1/67 Pyrénées de Cazaux)
- Kandahar (fighter planes): 3 Rafale, 3 Mirage
- Bagram: drone unit
- Dushanbe (Tajikistan): 2 Transall C160 transport + 2 C135 tanker planes (Istres)
As of December 2009 Germany deploys the following forces - among others - to Afghanistan:
Germany is also planning to deploy in March its UAV squadron with Heron UAV's, under Aufklärungsgeschwader 51 (Reconnaissance Wing 51) based at Schleswig-Jagel. In December 2009-February 2010 it was training in Israel. source Defense News
Germany runs bases in Mazari Sharif (about 1850 troops), Kunduz (1100 troops) and Faizabad (430)) in the North of Afghanistan and has additional permanent presences in Termez (250), Kabul (240), Kandahar (35) and Taloquan (30). source Wikipedia
Germany is also an important training ground before deployment to Afghanistan for US Army troops and others. Training area's are Grafenwoehr and Hohenfels. In November OMLT's from 12 states trained in Hohenfels, in January Armenian and Georgian troops will train. source S&S source Rustavi2
In Ramstein forward air controllers are trained, who are responsible for calling in air strikes for close air support. source S&S
Hungary has 340 troops in Afghanistan and announced a raise with 200 by end 2010. The current contingent is mostly based at the PRT base in Pol-e-Khumri, Baghlan Province, as well as an OMLT in Khylaghay (57 military from No.25. “Klapka György” Infantry Brigade in Tata). The extra deployment probably consists of 50 new troops for the development and training of the Afghani Air Force and another OMLT with 30 mentors. Hungary wants also to act as lead nation at Kabul AirField again, for which an additional contingent of 70 HDF personnel would deploy. Fielding such a large contingent would necessitate the deployment of a 35-strong logistics support unit, which would be based at Mazar-e-Sharif.
source DoD Hungary source2 DoD Hungary source ABC News
Ireland has 7 military in Afghanistan, working in the ISAF HQ in Kabul. source parliamentary question - PANA
Shannon airport plays an important logistical role for the US military. In 2009 more than 243000 US troops passed Shannon airport on their way to or from Afghanistan or Iraq. source parliamentary question - PANA
Italy has now about 2800 military in Afghanistan, mainly in Herat, and plans to send 1000 additional soldiers in the second half of 2010. source Trend (based on Corriere della Sera)
The Regional Command West in Herat is under Italian command. Italian troops come mainly from the 151st (based in Cagliari) and 152nd Infantery Regiment (based in Sassari) (Mechanized Brigade “Sassari”) and the 1st Reggimento bersaglieri (Riflemen) from Cosenza. The PRT in Herat is staffed by the 131st Tank Regiment (based in Persano). source1 DoD Italy source2 DoD Italy
Also US troops in Italy are used in the Afghanistan war. The 173rd Airborne Brigade, based in Vicenza, is deploying to Afghanistan with approximately 3,700 troops in the winter of 2009-2010. source US DoD
Lithuania has 150 soldiers in Afghanistan. Since June 2005 Lithuania leads a PRT headquartered in Chaghcharan, the capital city of Ghowr, and is responsible for security in this province.
The ongoing PRT-10 is formed on the basis of the 1st Territorial Unit of the NDVF Dainava Military District. According to the rotation schedule, the current PRT-10 will be replaced by PRT-11 formed on the basis of the Lithuanian Grand Duke Kestutis Battalion in May. The successive PRT-12 will rotate to Afghanistan in autumn of 2010; it will be formed the basis of the Lithuanian Grand Duke Algirdas Mechanised Infantry Battalion. source Defense Professionals
163 military in Afghanistan, tasked with the security of the ISAF-base in Kabul. 80 more are announced for February, which will be embedded in US National Guard units from Vermont. source1 source2 source AP
The upcoming rotation of the Kabul contingent consists of 149 soldiers from the Second Infantry Platoon (Tetovo). Focus News Agency
2160 soldiers in Afghanistan (Uruzgan), which are scheduled to begin pulling out in August and leave completely by the end of the year. The Dutch government stepped down after a dispute on the continuation of the deployment. A decision on new deployments can only be made after elections and once a new government is installed.
source Dutch ministry of Foreign Affairs NY Times
Main forces were coming from 13 Gemechaniseerde Brigade (Mechanized Brigade) from Oirschot, 11 Luchtmobiele Brigade (Parachutists) from Schaarsbergen and 2 Mariniersbataljon (Marines) from Doorn source DoD Netherlands source military blog.
They are now rotating with 13 Infanteriebataljon, 11 Luchtmobiele Brigade from Assen (Infantry), 17 Pantserinfanteriebataljon uit Oirschot (Armoured infantry) and 23 Infanteriecompagnie, 2 Mariniersbataljon (Marines) from Doorn. source Blikopnieuws
At the moment new units from 13 Gemechaniseerde Brigade, 11 Luchtmobiele Brigade, Operationeel Ondersteuningscommando Land (Support for operational HQ) and Koninklijke Marechaussee (police) are training for the next rotation.source DoD Netherlands
In Kandahar 4 F-16's (from Leeuwarden and Volkel) and 5 Cougar transport helicopters (from Gilze-Rijen) are located, while 5 Apache attack helicopters are in Tarin Kowt. A Dutch detachement (55 military from Eindhoven) and a C-130 plane is located in the UAE. It serves as intermediary stop between the Netherlands and Afghanistan. source DoD Netherlands
The Netherlands also has 6 policemen in Afghanistan for the new NATO Training Mission (NTM-A), starting from February 2010. source Dutch ministry of foreign affairs
480 military in Afghanistan, mostly in the Norwegian PRT in the Faryab province. They are reported to be every third day involved in firefights in this 'quiet' region. source IceNews
Poland has about 2000 military in Afghanistan, and announced to raise this with another 600 by April 2010. source
Polish troops are deployed in the province of Ghazni and Bagram under US command. Poland also has been providing three OMLTs (Operational Military Liaison Teams) to train Afghan National Army and two IPMTs (International Police Mentoring Teams) aiming at mentoring Afghan National Police.
Units (October 2009 - April 2010)
Portugal has at the moment 103 soldiers in Afghanistan:
163 extra commando troops are deploying between 25 January and 22 February. They will serve as Quick Reaction Force in Kabul. source Jornal de Noticias Before deployment training takes place at Centro de Tropas Comandos (CTC) - Serra da Carregueira - Belas near Queluz, few kilometers northwest of Lisbon. This centre, used to train the colonial troops, was re-opened in 2002.
Romania currently has 1020 soldiers in Afghanistan: 982 in NATO's ISAF and 38 as part of the US-led operation Enduring Freedom. It announced raising this contingent first with 100 and later with 600 soldiers. source Reuters source Financiarul
The 33rd Mountain Battalion “Posada” from Curtea de Arges left early January. They take over for the next 6 months the positions in the Zabul province from the 280th Infantry Battalion from Focsani. source DoD Romania
Slovakia announced to deploy 57 extra troops in addition to the existing contingent of 242 soldiers. RTT News
27th December 2001, Spanish Government allowed the military to participate in the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in support of the interim Afghan Government. First Spanish military units arrived in Afghanistan at the end of January 2002. Initial contingent was made up of 350 troops and has slowly grown to the current number of 1068 troops deployed permanently in Afghanistan. The minister of Defence, Carme Chacón, has confirmed recently at the Spanish Parliament that in 2010 Spain will send 511 more troops to train 2000 afghan soldiers in reply to the US request. In 2010, there will be more than 1600 Spanish soldiers in Afghanistan. source
Every 4 months between 500 and 700 military rotate grouped in task forces (ASPFOR: Afghanistan Spanish Force) made up of a number of units. At present ASPFOR XXIV is deployed in Afghanistan.
Units deployed are basically the same that make up the Spanish military interventionist core, that is, the Rapid Reaction Force, plus mountain and special operations troops.
- Legionary Brigade (BRILEG): (Viator) Almería and Ronda (Málaga).
- Parachute Brigade (BRIPAC): Alcalá de Henares (Madrid) and Jabalí Nuevo (Murcia).
- Airborne Brigade (BRILAT): Pontevedra y Siero (Asturias).
- Armored Vehicles Regiment “Lusitania”: Marines (Valencia)
- Mountain Brigade: Jaca (Huesca), Andoain (Pamplona)
- Special Operations Command (GOE): Rabasa (Alicante)
Transport helicopters (Manoeuvre Helicopter Unit) and logistics support units also take part in the task force:
ASPFOR XXIV is made up of the Mountain Regiment “Arapiles 62” (Barcelona), Mountain Troops Command (Jaca), logistics personnel of AALOG-41 from Zaragoza and Manoeuvre Helicopter Unit (BHELMA III) from Agoncillo (Logroño).
40 “Guardia Civil” policemen are also deployed in charge of training the Afghan police.
According to the NATO Command Component Land HQ (CC-Land) Chief Commander in Retamares (Madrid), in 2011 will be offered to Spain that NATO Rapid Deployable Corps Headquarters in Bétera (Valencia) takes over the command of the ISAF “hard core”.
Spanish contingent is deplyed mainly in the western region of Afghanistan:
- Herat (Forward Logistics Base)
- Qala-I-Now (Base 'General Urrutia', headquarters of the Spanish Provincial Reconstruction Team)
Another 70 military are in charge of managing the Kabul Airport.
Deployment to Afghanistan
Spanish military troops and equipment setting off for Afghanistan leave mainly from several air bases inside transport planes C-130 Hercules.
Civil airports like Barcelona or Almeria are used for troops transport aswell. Even civil companies planes like Air Europa are used for that.
Until few months ago, Spanish planes stopped over in Manás base (Kirguizistán). From the end of last year on, the new base of Dusambé (Tayikistán) is used. It will be a temporary situation, since the Ministry of Defence is negotiating to set up a permament site in this country. France is using this base aswell. Spain is also trying to get permission to fly over Turkmenistan airspace, given that this is a shorter path.
Since the early 90's, Torrejón and Zaragoza are no longer US bases but used frequently by the USAF for scaling and refueling. Rota (Cádiz) and Morón (Sevilla) are two key sites for the US deployment in the Mediterranean Sea, Middle East and Central Asia, as logistic and support bases, and as platform for bombing missions.
Regarding US deployment to Afghanistan, Rota is often used as stopover and hub. For example, in 2007 was coordinated in Rota the relief and reconfiguration for sea operations 40 Black Hawk attack helicopters coming from Afghanistan in the frame of US operation Enduring Freedom.
Sweden has about 500 soldiers in Afghanistan. In total 855 are involved, but this includes staff ready to assist with a possible evacuation of the troops from Afghanistan. source The Local
Four persons are serving in the United Arab Emirates (Abu Dhabi), in the Swedish support unit NSE Detachment UAE. It is part of the international force belonging to ISAF. The task is to support the mission in Afghanistan with the transit of personnel to and from Afghanistan, including accommodation, catering and support at the airport to the extent required, passport processing and more. The detachment is also responsible for local purchases for Afghanistan and dealing with goods to be delivered by plane to Afghanistan.source Swedish
U.K. promised to provide an additional 1,200 troops (500 new ones and 700 already there, sent to help with the election in that country) to its existing contingent of 9,000.
Overview of UK forces in Afghanistan:
The UK force deploying to Afghanistan from April - October 2010 on Operation HERRICK 12 includes elements of the following Royal Navy, Royal Marines, British Army and Royal Air Force units:
President Obama announced a surge with another 30000 troops by the summer of 2010. This would bring the total US troops in Afghanistan to 100000. Obama also announced that the drawdown would probably start in July 2011.
12 Jan: Another 3100 soldiers received deployment orders. The 4th Combat Aviation Brigade of the 4th Infantry Division, based in Fort Hood, Texas, should arrive in summer. The 2,600 soldiers assigned to the brigade will be accompanied by about 500 support troops. source DOD
22 Dec: 6,000 additional forces received deployment orders to Afghanistan. The 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, Fort Campbell, Ky., will deploy approximately 3,400 soldiers during early summer 2010. 2,600 support forces, which will deploy at various times through spring 2010. source DOD
7 Dec: 1,500 Marines from Camp Lejeune's 2nd Marine Division have already deployed into Afghanistan from North Carolina. Other units announced for deployment this spring include 6,200 Marines from Regimental Combat Team-2, Camp Lejeune; a Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward) headquarters of 800 Marines from I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, Calif.; a Brigade Combat Team with about 3,400 soldiers from the 1st Brigade, 10th Mountain Division, Fort Drum, N.Y., as well as approximately 4,100 support forces.
In addition, several Army brigades, a total of more than 11,000 soldiers, have already received orders to replace units supporting NATO's International Security Assistance Force in eastern and southern Afghanistan. The units that received orders are: 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, from Fort Campbell, Ky.; 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment
from Vilseck, Germany; and 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division, Iowa Army National Guard. They will deploy to Afghanistan from now through fall.
source USTRANSCOM source DOD
Also US troops in Italy are used in the Afghanistan war. The 173rd Airborne Brigade, based in Vicenza, is deploying to Afghanistan with approximately 3,700 troops in the winter of 2009-2010.
The 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, from Fort Campbell, Ky., will deploy with approximately 3,800 troops to Afghanistan in late fall 2009. source DOD
This surge also included a lot of material to support the allied forces, like 250 helicopters. source Times
Armenia sends 40 soldiers to Afghanistan for 5 or 6 months. Prior to deployment they will have a 3 weeks-training in January in Germany.
source1 PanArmenian.net source2 PanArmenian.net source3 PanArmenian.net
Bahrain deployed in December 125 soldiers for two six-month rotations to serve as first security line at Camp Leatherneck, where the US Marine brigade headquarters in Helmand is based, and Camp Bastion. source Stars and Stripes
The 23rd Battalion (173 military servicemen) of Land Forces` Second Infantry Brigade (based in Senaki) started serving under French command after arriving in November. source MoD Georgia
Georgia is also sending two light companies and a heavy battalion, slightly fewer than 1,000 soldiers, to Afghanistan next spring to serve under US command. source Telegraph
Main force is the 31th Light Infantry battalion from Kutaisi, now training in Germany and deploying 1st March. source Rustavi2 source MoD Georgia, last page
From 13 January onwards these Georgian troops train in Hohenfels, Germany before deployment.
source Rustavi2 source EUCOM source2 EUCOM
Also before there was a regular training schedule in Germany. source EUCOM
South-Korea announced to send again 320 military, 40 police and 100 Provincial Reconstruction Team members in July, after disengaging in 2007. The deployment is scheduled for 29 months. source1 source2 source3
The Stop NATO-list by Rick Rozoff is a good resource to daily follow the developments and proved very useful in this mapping project.