Afghan soldiers

The UK military will now focus on training personnel from the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF), following the withdrawal of UK troops from Helmand Province last month.

Since 2001, UK soldiers have been operating in Afghanistan in support of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) mission.

A few hundred UK specialists and mentors will remain in Kabul, to support the Nato Resolute Support Mission (RSM), which aims to continue the development of the Afghan Defence Ministry and training of future Afghan National Army (ANA) leaders at the Officer Academy.

UK troops are expected to help in the establishment of process and systems, which will enable the Afghan Government to effectively deliver national security in a self-sustainable manner.

In particular, advisers will seek to develop the capability and professionalism of Afghan security forces.

"Approximately 12,000 personnel from Nato and partner countries are scheduled to be deployed in support of RSM."

Created as part of the Nato Training Mission for Afghanistan, the Afghan National Army Officer Academy (ANAOA) in Kabul accepted its first intake of cadets in October 2013, and 243 officers graduated in September.

The graduates underwent a 42-week leadership course, which was inspired by the ethos of the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, but was modified to suit the Afghan experience. The academy welcomed its first intake of female cadets in June.

Supported by ISAF, Afghan forces took control of security in Helmand province in 2011, and assumed the lead for all military and security operations in the country in June 2013, including the handling of security during the two rounds of presidential elections this year.

Approximately 12,000 personnel from Nato and partner countries are scheduled to be deployed in support of RSM, which will operate with one central hub in Kabul / Bagram, and four spokes in Mazar-e Sharif, Herat, Kandahar and Jalalabad.

Image: Members of the First Kandak at their graduation parade from the ANAOA, Afghanistan. Photo: courtesy of Corporal Chantelle Cooke.

Defence Technology