The UK Armed Forces has handed over control of two additional main operating bases (MOBs) in Helmand province to the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF).

The handover of Lashkar Gah MOB and Patrol Base (PB) Lashkar Gah Durai, means that UK forces now only control two bases, from a peak of 137.

The UK has also closed MOB Price, which previously served as home to Danish armed forces and was the UK’s largest forward location for majority of Operation Herrick.

MOB Lashkar Gah served as the headquarters of UK military forces in Afghanistan from 2006 until August 2013, while PB Lashkar Gah Durai commanded an important junction in Helmand.

UK Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said: "The handover and closure of bases across Helmand underlines the progress UK forces have made to increase security and stability across the province, and to build up the capability of the Afghan forces who will carry that work forward.

"UK personnel will continue to serve in Helmand throughout this year supporting the Afghan security forces."

"UK combat operations will cease by the end of this year but our support for the Afghan people will continue. Meanwhile, our troops will continue the mammoth task of getting our people and equipment home by Christmas."

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Task Force Helmand commander brigadier James Woodham said: "The fact that we are no longer required to operate from these bases is a sign of the progress made by Afghan forces delivering security for their own people.

"While the Afghans are firmly in the lead, UK personnel will continue to serve in Helmand throughout this year supporting the Afghan security forces where necessary."

Only Camp Bastion, which remains the main base for British soldiers, and Observation Post Sterga 2 currently remain under UK control.

Image: MOB Lashkar Gah being handed over to the Afghan National Security Forces in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. Photo: courtesy of Crown copyright.

Defence Technology