British paratroopers in Norfolk preparing for deployment to Afghanistan


Colchester-based 2nd Battalion The Parachute Regiment (2 PARA) is deploying to the Afghan capital Kabul from late September as part of the UK’s enduring support to the Afghan Government. Their mission is to protect NATO military and civilian advisors working in government ministries, as well as UK mentors based at the Afghan National Army Officers’ Academy.


British paratroopers in Norfolk preparing for deployment to Afghanistan
Colchester-based 2nd Battalion The Parachute Regiment (2 PARA) is deploying to the Afghan capital Kabul from late September as part of the UK’s enduring support to the Afghan Government (Picture source: British MoD)


The paratroopers are learning about working from the Foxhound patrol vehicles and civilian armoured vehicles – known as CAVs - used to move around the busy streets of Kabul is key preparation for the mission. Exercise Kabul Convoy has seen the paratroopers training in Foxhounds on the STANTA ranges in Norfolk this week (29 Jul – 2 Aug) practising for scenarios which they could face in Kabul, such as convoy movements and recovering a broken-down vehicle.

2 Para’s training officer Captain Tom Shaw, said: “Our role in Kabul will be to provide force protection to the NATO advisers helping the development of the Afghan Army and Government. We will be protecting the mentors – who are diplomats, senior military officers and civil servants - when they go out to support training or attend meetings. We have been working with the Foxhound and CAVs for several months and our paratroopers have shown the flexibility to adapt to a different way of operating quite easily.” Some 350 paratroopers will start to deploy to Kabul at the end of September for the six-month tour.

2 Para served in Kabul in 2002, helping to secure the city following the overthrow of the Taliban, and then deployed on two tours of Helmand Province before the end of NATO combat operations in late 2014. Their focus for this deployment is enabling the training of Afghan forces so they can secure their own country.


 

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