UK armed forces deploy on 60-day operation to Kosovo
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UK Armed Forces deploy on 60-day operation to Kosovo

14 Sep 2021 (Last Updated September 14th, 2021 12:20)

The armed forces were deployed to support the relocation of former Nato Afghan staff.

UK Armed Forces deploy on 60-day operation to Kosovo
Commanding officer First Battalion The Royal Gurkha Rifles holds an Afghan evacuee. Credit: © Crown copyright / Government of UK.

The UK Government has deployed troops from the Royal Gurkha Rifles and additional personnel on a 60-day operation to Kosovo.

This military operation is part of the government’s commitment to helping resettle former Nato Afghan employees via third countries.

A total of 140 troops from the Royal Gurkha Rifles and an additional workforce from the armed forces have been deployed for the Kosovo operation.

These troops will provide protection and help to process some 2,000 former Nato contractors and their families.

Nearly 150 former Nato Afghan employees and their families will be relocated to the UK following their evacuation from Afghanistan.

UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said: “This rapid deployment demonstrates the UK’s ability and readiness to relocate vulnerable Afghans from around the world.

“Our commitment to those who worked alongside the UK and our Nato allies endures far beyond the end of Operation PITTING.”

The Kosovo Government has provided Nato with temporary accommodation for many Nato contractors and their families.

The UK Government also stated that the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy (ARAP) remains open, in addition to the relocation of Nato contractors.

As of last month, ARAP has already supported more than 3,100 former Afghan staff and their families moving to the UK.

During Operation PITTING, UK Armed Forces evacuated more than 15,000 people from Kabul under extremely complex situations.

In August, Nato coalition forces evacuated around 120,000 people from Kabul.

Last month, Ben Wallace authorised the deployment of 600 troops to Afghanistan to help British nationals evacuate the country safely.