-led International Security Assistance Force
now has the lead for all combat (such as fighting the resurgent Taliban in the south) and reconstruction operations (often led by the Provincial reconstruction teams
) in the current War in Afghanistan
. Units from both the U.S. Army and the U.S. Marines have deployed to Afghanistan as part of the ISAF force and before, under solely US national command, during the earlier stages of Operation Enduring Freedom
. Below is a list of deployed major units, known as the Order of Battle
This list covers current coalition forces in Afghanistan. See the article Operation Enduring Freedom - Afghanistan: Allies for coalition support for Operation Enduring Freedom from October 2001 to 2003.
For coalition forces involved in NATO combat operations in southern Afghanistan in 2006, see the article Coalition combat operations in Afghanistan in 2006. For coalition forces involved in NATO operations in 2007, see the article Coalition combat operations in Afghanistan in 2007. And the article International Security Assistance Force for coalition forces in Afghanistan as part of ISAF.
Overall Command and Control
This description of Command and Control within a US chain of command is incomplete at this time. It refers to Operation Enduring Freedom that includes some other "coalition" members, but is essentially American. However, there is also an expanding NATO structure that covers much of Afghanistan, including the Southern provinces that are the birth place of the Taliban and where the most serious fighting seen since 2001 took place in August and September 2006. This structure reports through the NATO chain of command, which in October 2006 formally took full responsibility for the whole of Afghanistan. CFC-A will disband after 30 Nov 2006, and CJTF 76 joined the ISAF structure as large chunks of RC East. ComCJTF 76 now is also ComRCEast.
Many of the contingents listed in this article are part of the NATO ISAF rather than the US Operation Enduring Freedom. For example the British, Canadian and Dutch contingents in the South are NATO ISAF forces, rather than those of Operation Enduring Freedom. Some coalition units though, such as ground attack aircraft, support Operation Enduring Freedom, ISAF and the Provisional Reconstruction Teams.
The final completion of the transfer of authority from OEF to ISAF will in some ways not change coalition leadership realities much. The United States will remain dominant in the coalition structure, with a U.S. four-star general arriving to take command in early 2007. U.S. forces hunting the Taliban in eastern Afghanistan will also remain under U.S. control.
International Security Assistance Force
The overall command of the NATO
-led International Security Assistance Force
starts from Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe
at Casteau, Belgium. The overall command is vested in Joint Force Command Brussum
at Brussum in the Netherlands, then the Commander ISAF, who has five regional commands, Capital, at Kabul, North, South, East, and West reporting to him.
- Regional Command (Capital)
- Kabul Multi-National Brigade
- Hungary has deployed one reconnaissance company that serves as part of ISAF's Battle Group 3 in Kabul.
- A Latvian explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) unit is deployed as part of ISAF's Battle Group 3 in Kabul.
- Regional Command (South)
- Headquarters Regional Command (South) is based on the Netherlands 43 Mechanized Brigade with augmentation from the United Kingdom, Canada, the United States, Australia, Denmark, Estonia, and other partner countries. The new specially formed British 6th Division headquarters will take responsibility for Regional Command (South) in 2007, under Major General 'Jacko' Page. Regional Command (South) is a divisional organization composed of four provincial task forces (three equivalent to brigades) and regional troops.
- Task Force Uruzgan: Composed mainly of a Netherlands mechanized battle group (including self-propelled artillery and engineers) and Tarin Kowt PRT, and the Australian Reconstruction Task Force. Equipment includes the YPR-765 AIFV, the Patria AMV, the Bushmaster, and the Panzerhaubitze 2000.
- Task Force Helmand: The mainly British ground force commanded by 12 Mechanised Brigade as of April 2007, composed of elements of the 1st Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment, the Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters, the Grenadier Guards, the Royal Welsh, the Light Dragoons, the Royal Tank Regiment, the Royal Artillery, and Royal Engineers. Task Force Helmand also includes the Lashkar Gah PRT and companies from Denmark and Estonia. From April 2007 is to Task Force Helmand integrated also an continget from Special Operations Group - Military Police, Army of Czech Republic
- Task Force Kandahar: A mainly Canadian force composed of the 2nd Battalion The Royal Canadian Regiment Battle Group (including M777 towed artillery, a surveillance and reconnaissance squadron of The Royal Canadian Dragoons, a Leopard C2 tank squadron of Lord Strathcona's Horse, and combat engineers), various national support elements, and the Kandahar PRT.
- Task Force Zabul: A battalion-sized combined force of a Romanian infantry battalion and American elements, supporting the American PRT at Qalat.
- Aviation Task Forces from the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands, employing AH-64 Apache, UH-60 Black Hawk, CH-47 Chinook, Westland Lynx, and Eurocopter Cougar helicopters.
- Multi-national Field Hospital located at Kandahar Airfield
- Regional Command (East)/Combined Joint Task Force 101
- Task Force Bayonet: The 173rd Brigade Combat Team heads up Task Force Bayonet, a U.S.-led task force in the central and eastern regions of Afghanistan.
- Task Force Currahee: The 4th Brigade Combat Team (BCT) from the 101st Airborne Division makes up the majority of this task force, which shares its area of responsibility in central and eastern Afghanistan with Task Force Bayonet.
- Provincial Reconstruction Team Bamiyan/New Zealand Task Group Crib
- Other Provincial Reconstruction Teams in Asadabad, Gardez, Ghazni, Jalalabad, Khowst, Parwan, Mehtar Lam, and Sharona.
- Regional Command (North) (Mazar-e-Sharif)
- The are five PRTs under RC-North, which is commanded by Germany.
- Regional Command (West) (Herat)
- Commanded by Italy, RC-West includes four PRTs.
The overall command of the U.S.-led coalition effort in Afghanistan -- known as Operation Enduring Freedom - Afghanistan -- is headquartered at Bagram Air Base
, which reports to United States Central Command
. OEF-Afghanistan's two major commands are Combined Joint Task Force 101
, and the Combined Security Transition Command - Afghanistan
(CSTC-A). With the Stage IV transition of authority to ISAF, the status of the 10th Combat Aviation Brigade/Task Force Falcon, which handles all the helicopter combat aviation duties in Afghanistan, is uncertain, along with the exact status of Combined Task Force Sword, the engineer task force, and the Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force. It is unclear exactly what units are assigned to OEF-Afghanistan, but the operation is in charge of counter-terrorist operations, including pursuing al Qaeda along Afghanistan’s inhospitable border region with Pakistan.
Combined Security Transition Command - Afghanistan (CSTC-A)
- This command is responsible for training the Afghan National Army and the Afghan National Police through its headquarters and Combined Joint Task Force (CJTF) Phoenix. CSTC-A is responsible for mentoring the ministries of defense and interior, while CJTF Phoenix is responsible for mentoring Afghan National Army corps and below and Afghan National Police districts and below. CJTF Phoenix is headquartered by the 27th Brigade Combat Team, New York Army National Guard, which relieved the 218th Brigade Combat Team, South Carolina Army National Guard in 2008. The rest of the task force is made up of National Guard and Reserve personnel from 42 states, Marine Corps reservists, active duty representatives from the Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps, and soldiers assigned from France, Germany, Romania, Canada, New Zealand, Mongolia, and the United Kingdom.
- Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force
This Task Force covers special operations missions across the country. Elements of nearly every major U.S. special operations unit have served in Afghanistan. Units that have deployed to Afghanistan in the past have included U.S. Army Special Forces teams, elements of the 75th Ranger Regiment, Navy SEALs, units from the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment, squadrons from the Army's covert 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment—Delta, commonly known as Delta Force, and air commandos from the Air Force Special Operations Command. CIA paramilitary teams also have served in Afghanistan. Marines from the 2nd Marine Special Operations Battalion, Marine Special Operations Command are currently serving in Helmand province.
Special operations units from coalition countries have also served in Afghanistan, including members of the British Special Air Service (SAS) and Special Boat Service (SBS), troopers from the Australian Special Air Service Regiment (SASR), Germany's KSK (Kommando Spezialkraefte), and soldiers from Canada's Joint Task Force Two (JTF2). In 2005, the entire Special Air Service of New Zealand was deployed to Afghanistan. Soldiers from Sweden's Särskilda Skyddsgruppen (Special Protection Group) have served in Afghanistan and two SSG troopers were killed by a roadside bomb in late 2005. Norwegian Special Forces units also have deployed to Afghanistan.
The 173rd Airborne Brigade deployed to Afghanistan beginning in May 2007. Based in Vicenza, Italy, the brigade was scheduled to deploy to Iraq but the Pentagon changed the deployment to maintain the current level of forces in anticipation of a spring offensive by the Taliban. The deployment includes roughly 3,400 personnel, and the brigade replaced the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, which had been extended for up to 120 days. The 173rd includes the following units:
3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division
- Headquarters and Headquarters Company
- 1st Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment (Airborne)
- 2nd Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment (Airborne)
- 1st Squadron, 91st Cavalry Regiment
- 4th Battalion, 319th Airborne Field Artillery Regiment
- 173rd Special Troops Battalion (Airborne)
- 173rd Support Battalion (Airborne)
Based in Fort Hood, Texas, the 3rd BCT relieved the 173rd Airborne Brigade in July 2008. The deployment includes roughly 3,500 soldiers and continues the current U.S. commitment to providing two brigade combat teams in support of Regional Command East. The 3rd BCT is known as Task Force Duke and includes the following units:
Headquarters, 101st Airborne Division
- 3rd Brigade Special Troops Battalion
- 6th Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment
- 2nd Battalion, 2nd Infantry Regiment
- 1st Battalion, 26th Infantry Regiment
- 1st Battalion, 6th Field Artillery Regiment
- 201st Brigade Support Battalion
The headquarters of the 101st Airborne Division relieved the 82nd Airborne Division's headquarters on April 10, 2008. Consisting of roughly 1,000 soldiers the 101st's headquarters officially became Combined Joint Task Force 101 and now commands NATO’s Regional Command East sector in Afghanistan.
The 101st Sustainment Brigade, has 2,500 soldiers and deployed with the 101st Headquarters. The brigade includes the following units:
4th Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division
- 86th Combat Support Hospital
- 106th Transportation Battalion
- 101st Soldier Support Battalion
- 326th Engineer Battalion
The 4th Brigade, also known as the 506th Regimental Combat Team, deployed to Afghanistan in April 2008 and relieved the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division. The 506th RCT includes 3,200 soldiers in the following units:
27th Infantry Brigade Combat Team New York Army National Guard.
- 1st Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment
- 2nd Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment
- 1st Squadron (RSTA), 61st Cavalry Regiment
- 4th Battalion, 320th Field Artillery Regiment
- 801st Brigade Support Battalion
- 4th Brigade Special Troops Battalion
The 27th Infantry BCT is currently the headquarters of Task Force Phoenix, which is in charge of training the Afghan National Army. The 27th deployed in the spring of 2008 and will be relieved in late 2008 by the 33rd BCT.
Approximately 2,200 service members from the 24th MEU deployed in the spring of 2008 under ISAF command. The seven-month deployment will temporarily fill a standing ISAF request for a maneuver force in southern Afghanistan. The following units are part of the 24th MEU:
2nd Battalion, 7th Marines
Along with the 24th MEU, the 2nd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment will deploy to assist in the training and development of Afghan National Security Forces as part of Operation Enduring Freedom. The deployment also will be seven months and involve about 1,000 Marines.
- 101st Combat Aviation Brigade
The 101st CAB relieved the 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade in January 2008. Based at Bagram Air Field, the 101st CAB is responsible for operations in the area including convoy security, medical evacuations and the use of air assets in support of ground forces. The deployment of the 101st CAB includes more than 3,000 soldiers in the following units:
- 2nd Squadron, 17th Cavalry Regiment, flying OH-58 D Kiowa helicopters
- 1st Battalion, 101st Aviation Regiment, flying AH-64D Longbow Apache helicopters
- 5th Battalion, 101st Aviation Regiment, flying UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters
- 6th Battalion, 101st Aviation Regiment, flying UH-60A and UH-60L Black Hawks
- 96th Support Battalion
The main element of Australia's current commitment to Afghanistan
is a 400-person strong Reconstruction Task Force (RTF) attached to the Netherlands-led Provincial Reconstruction Team
(PRT), Task Force Uruzgan
, at Uruzgan
in Afghanistan. The RTF arrived in July 2006 and will work on the construction of community-based projects.
The PRT's commitment was recently extended to August 2008.
Australia also has redeployed a special forces task group of about 300 personnel to Uruzgan to enhance the security of the PRT. Australian previously deployed a special forces task group to Afghanistan between October 2001 and November 2002 and August or September 2005 until September 2006.
See Operation Herrick order of battle
There are 8,000 British armed forces personnel deployed in Afghanistan. Most of the force is deployed in southern Afghanistan but UK personnel also are deployed in support of headquarters for ISAF and OEF in the Afghan capital of Kabul.
British operations in the southern province of Helmand are led by the headquarters of 3 Commando Brigade, which relieved 16 Air Assault Brigade in October 2008. Units deployed to Helmand include the following:
- 3 Commando Brigade Headquarters, Royal Marines
- 42 Commando, Royal Marines
- 45 Commando, Royal Marines
- United Kingdom Landing Force Command and Support Group
- Commando Logistic Regiment, Royal Marines
- 1st The Queen's Dragoon Guards
- 29 Commando Regiment, Royal Artillery
- 24 Commando, Engineer Regiment
- 2nd Battalion, The Royal Gurkha Rifles
- 1st Battalion and elements of 6th Battalion, The Rifles
- 3 Close Support Battalion, Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers
- 114th Provost Company, Royal Military Police
- Elements of The Queen's Royal Lancers
- Elements of 5th Regiment, 16th Regiment, 26th Regiment, 32nd Regiment, 47th Regiment and 39th Regiment, Royal Artillery
- Elements of 32 Engineer Regiment, 33 Engineer Regiment (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) and 35 Engineer Regiment
- Elements of 170 (Infrastructure Support) Engineer Group
- Elements of 10th Signal Regiment, 21st Signal Regiment (Air Support) and 22nd Signal Regiment, Royal Signals
- Elements of 1st Battalion, The Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment
- Elements of 4 Regiment, Army Air Corps
- Headquarters, 104 Logistic Brigade
- From the Royal Logistic Corps, elements of 7 Transport Regiment, 9 Supply Regiment , 11 Explosive Ordnance Regiment, 13 Air Assault Support Regiment, 17 Port and Maritime Regiment, 24 Postal Courier and Movement Regiment and 29 Postal Courier and Movement Regiment
- Elements of 101 Force Support Battalion Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers
- Elements of 103 Military Working Dog Support Unit
- Elements of 1 Military Intelligence Brigade
- Elements of 4th Battalion, The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment (King's, Lancashire and Border)
The Royal Air Force (RAF) has deployed a Joint Force Harrier detachment from RAF Cottesmore. Based in Kandahar, it provides close air support and reconnaissance to coalition and NATO forces operating in southern Afghanistan. These are the deployed Royal Air Force, Royal Navy and Army Air Corps units:
- Elements of 845 Naval Air Squadron
- Elements of 846 Naval Air Squadron
- Elements of 847 Naval Air Squadron
- 1 Regiment Field Squadron, Royal Air Force Regiment
- Elements of 4 Regiment, Army Air Corps
- Elements to man 904 Expeditionary Air Wing, Royal Air Force
- 1 (Fighter) Squadron RAF, operating the GR7 Harriers
- 4 (Army Co-operation) Squadron RAF, operating the GR7 Harriers
- 18 (B) Squadron RAF, operating CH-47 Chinook helicopters
- 27 Squadron RAF, operating CH-47 Chinook helicopters
- 30 Squadron RAF, operating C-130J Hercules transport aircraft
- Elements of 39 Squadron RAF, operating MQ-1 Predator and MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aerial vehicles
- 47 Squadron RAF, operating C-130 Hercules transport aircraft
- 70 Squadron RAF, operating C-130J Hercules transport aircraft
- 4 Force Protection Wing Headquarters, Royal Air Force
- Elements of 1 Air Movements Wing, RAF
- Elements of 85 (Expeditionary Logistic) Wing Headquarters, RAF
- Tactical Supply Wing RAF
- Elements to man the Joint Helicopter Support Unit
- Elements of 1 Air Control Centre RAF
- Elements of 90 Signals Unit RAF
- Elements of 2 Motor Transport Squadron, RAF
- Elements of 5001 Squadron, RAF
- Elements of Mobile Catering Support Unit
- Elements of Tactical Medical Wing
- Elements of Tactical Armament Squadron
- Elements of Tactical Imagery Intelligence Wing
- Elements of Joint Medical Command
Roughly 2,500 Canadian Forces personnel are deployed in Afghanistan as part of Joint Task Force Afghanistan, which is part of Canada's renewed commitment to the international campaign against terrorism, Operation Athena. With the exception of approximately 85 CF personnel serving with various military and civilian organizations in Kabul and Bagram, all CF assets are based in Kandahar, in the southern region of Afghanistan.
- A battle group of 1,160 in Kandahar including the following units:
- Battle Group Headquarters, B Company, C Company and Reconnaissance Platoon from the 2nd Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry based in Shilo, Manitoba
- Elements of A Company from the 3rd Battalion, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry in Edmonton, Alberta
- 12 Field Squadron and the Armoured Engineer Troop from 1 Combat Engineer Regiment in Edmonton
- B Battery from the 1st Regiment, Royal Canadian Horse Artillery, based in Shilo
- B Squadron, Lord Strathcona's Horse (Royal Canadians) (LdSH(RC)) in Edmonton, Alberta, using Leopard II main battle tanks
- Operational Mentor Liaison Teams (OMLTs) from Land Forces Quebec Area (LFQA), partnering with the 1st Brigade of the Afghan National Army's 205 Corps, based in Kandahar province
- A tactical unmanned aerial vehicle troop flying the Sperwer tactical unmanned aerial vehicle and composed of pilots and technicians from 444 Combat Support Squadron in Goose Bay, Labrador, and artillery soldiers from 4 Air Defence Regiment in Moncton, New Brunswick
- Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT)
- Since August 2005, a Canadian PRT has operated in Kandahar, where it is expected to remain until February 2009. The PRT brings together elements from the Canadian Forces (CF), Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada, the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), and civilian police led by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) in an integrated Canadian effort known as the “All of Government” approach. Approximately 250 personnel are based at the PRT site at Camp Nathan Smith in Kandahar and are drawn largely from Land Force Central Area (LFCA). The PRT includes:
- The PRT Commander’s Tactical Headquarters Group, which provides protection and mobility to the PRT Commander and his staff
- An infantry company from 1st Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, which provides security to the various PRT detachments involved with projects outside of Kandahar. The company also is the quick reaction force for Kandahar and maintains the defense and security of the PRT camp.
- Military project managers (military engineers) to enhance the PRT’s capability to manage quick impact reconstruction and development projects
- A civil-military co-operation platoon of Army Reserve soldiers from Land Force Western Area
- Service and support elements drawn from across Canada
- Other specialized elements from various CF units across Canada.
- Other CF units
- A health service support company based around 1 Field Ambulance in Edmonton and 1 Canadian Field Hospital in Petawawa, Ontario. The company provides the medical staff for Kandahar Airfield’s “Role 1” medical unit, providing primary health care services, and most of the medical staff for the Multinational Medical Unit (MMU), a hospital with specialist services and major surgical capabilities
- 250 CF members from all over Canada, in Kandahar, who constitute the National Command Element (NCE)
- 300 CF members in the National Command Element (NSE) in Kandahar, primarily from 5 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group
- About 300 CF members with the National Support Element (NSE) in Kandahar, primarily from 5 Service Battalion in Valcartier;
- 250 CF members with the Theatre Support Element (TSE) in Southwest Asia;
- In Kabul, about 50 CF personnel at ISAF Headquarters, 15 personnel with a smaller NSE Detachment and 15 personnel working at the Strategic Advisory Team (SAT) who work closely with at the Canadian Embassy;
The Armed Forces of the Czech Republic have been a part of ISAF since March 2004 and are currently divided into three deployments.
- Czechs deployed for three years to the German Provincial Reconstruction Team in Badakshan province but began their own PRT in Logar province, south of Kabul, in March 2007. Based at Forward Operating Base Shank, it includes up to 200 military personnel and 10 civilians.
- Field Hospital and Chemical Detachment
- A field hopsital and chemical detachment from the Czech Armed Forces deployed in March 2007 after NATO requested that its members increase national contributions to ISAF. The field hospital consists of 83 personnel and is based at Kabul International Airport. The chemical detachment is a 13-member support unit attached to ISAF Headquarters in Kabul.
- Special Operations Group
- A 35-member contingent of the Special Operations Group (SOG) of the Czech Military Police has been deployed to Helmand province in southern Afghanistan since April 2007. Since then, the unit's strength has been increased by dozens. The SOG unit reinforces a British brigade deployed to Helmand. The unit's task is to protect specific persons and significant objects and facilities. There are three six-month rotations planned.
Roughly 640 Danish Defence Force personnel are deployed in Afghanistan from the Royal Danish Army
. Almost all of them are engaged in the Helmand Province, a part of these located at Camp Bastion
, the rest based in the vicinity of the Green Zone, near the town of Gereshk. Approximately 50 soldiers work along with civilian organizations.
Denmark has had an unknown amount of special operations forces in Afghanistan during the invasion in 2001, however it is unknown whether more special operations personnel will arrive at a later point.
The Danish units have been in extensive fighting with Taleban/Al-Qaeda militia, and has seen an increase in losses since February 2006. Denmark has the command of Battle Group Center, in the Helmand province.
- The capabilities of the DDF personnel includes:
- Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT)
- Around 50 Danish soldiers in total are working in PRT teams Mazar E Sharif, Feyzabad and Chaghcharan.
Germany is currently in charge of Regional Command North with its HQ located in Mazari Sharif
, Balkh province. Germany also leads the Provincial Reconstruction Teams
(PRT) located in Feyzabad
, Badakhshan province and Kunduz
, Kunduz province.
The German contribution to ISAF (3,550 soldiers, to be increased to 4,500 troops in late 2008) is mainly operating in northern Afghanistan. 100 soldiers from Germany's special forces fought in Afghanistan from early 2002 till 2005 with US-led coalition forces in Operation Enduring Freedom.
As of June 20, 2008 Germany deploys the following forces to Afghanistan:
• Army (Combat troops, special forces, logistics and support troops, PSYOP, army aviation (CH-53): 2,900 troops
• Air Force (8 Transall C-160, 6 Tornado reconnaissance jets and maintenance troops): About 600 troops
• Navy (Force protection troops): About 50 troops
• Police (ANP mentors): About 50 troops
Germany runs (Mazari Sharif (about 1850 troops), Kunduz (700) and Faizabad (430)) in the North of Afghanistan and has additional permanent presences in Termez (250), Kabul (240), Kandahar (35) and Taloquan (30).
2,725 French troops are deployed to the Afghanistan area of operations with 1,500 assigned to ISAF and 400 assigned to the U.S.-led Operation Enduring Freedom.
The largest French contingent is based in Kabul, where it is charge of the French control zone in Kabul's northern districts, the Shomali Plain and Deh Sabz. It includes 540 troops from the following units:
Operational Mentor and Liaison Teams
French OMLT have been assigned to the 1st Brigade of the Afghan National Army's 201st Corps since August 2006. The OMLT advise the Afghan military on soldier training and education, assist with planning and conduct of operations and coordinate actions with ISAF. Soldiers from the 27th Mountain Infantry are currently manning two OMLT. Soldiers of the 6th Light Armored Brigade and the 2nd Logistics Brigade arrived in Afghanistan on December 28, 2007 to staff two new OMLT, one for an engineering/artillery battalion and another for a logistics battalion. In February 2008, French advisers resumed full supervision of the staff of the 1st Brigade, previously shared with U.S. soldiers. France also will deploy another OMLT during 2008 that will be attached to the Dutch contingent deployed in the Oruzgan province.
Three Rafale F2 and three Mirage 2000D operate from Kandahar International Airport, alongside two KC-135 refueling aircraft which are based in Manas Air Base, Kyrgyzstan. Escadron de chasse 1/7 Provence currently supplies the three aircraft. The French Naval battlegroup, including Aircraft Carrier Charles de Gaulle has also carried out several deployments to the Indian Ocean, providing support for ground troops with its twenty-five Rafale and Super Etendards.
The French Air Force previously deployed the Dassault Mirage 2000D ground attack aircraft to Manas Air Base in Kyrgyzstan from 2002 to 2004. Then from 2004 to 2007, they stayed at Dushanbe, Tajikistan.
In 2001 and beginning again in the summer of 2003, 200 soldiers from various units of the Commandement des Opérations Spéciales for Special Operations Command, including Navy, marine and air commandos, have conducted operations against the Taliban with great success in southern Afghanistan, under command and in co-operation with U.S. special operations forces present in the area. At least seven members of French Special Forces units have died in southern Afghanistan in the past year. They were withdrawn early 2007 and replaced by regular infantry, currently by the elite 2nd Infantry Regiment 2ème REI of the Foreign Legion (Légion Etrangère).
- 1er Régiment de Parachutistes d'Infanterie de Marine
1st RPIMa (RPIMa standing for Marine Infantry Parachute Regiment) is part of the BFST Brigade des Forces Spéciales Terre. It was first involved in Operation Enduring Freedom in 2001 and then again from 2003. This unit is the French equivalent of the British SAS, and was created after World War II when 3 SAS and 4 SAS were handed over to the French as they had been Free French forces units. It serves today as the combat group of the French Special Operations Command (COS).
- 13ème Régiment de Dragons parachutistes
13th Parachute Dragoon Regiment This unit is, alongside the 1st RPIMa, the other ground component of the BFST. It is specialized in the collection of informations behind enemy lines and was the first French unit officially involved in Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom in 2001.
- Commandos Parachutistes de l'Air n°10
Air Parachute Commando number 10, the French Air Force's premier combat unit, specialized in assaulting and defending airfields, part of the COS.
- Commandos Marine Jaubert, Trépel, de Montfort, de Penfentenyo
French equivalent of the Navy SEALs, the Commandos Marine are French Navy. The unit specializes in all kinds of amphibious operations and infantry combat as well as special operations behind enemy lines such as sabotage and reconnaissance The different commandos, which regroup around a hundred men, bear the names of French officers who died during World War two and were members of the French Free forces commandos, forged on the model of newly born British commandos operating under the command of Lord Mountbatten.
Has ground forces active in Afghanistan in 2006.
In 2002, a tri-national detachment known as the European Participating Air Forces of 18 Danish, Netherlands and Norwegian F-16 ground-attack fighter aircraft and one Netherlands KDC-10 refuelling tanker was deployed to Manas International Airport in Kyrgyzstan to support operations in Afghanistan.
In mid 2006, Dutch Special Forces (Viper) teams deployed successfully to Tarin Kowt, to lay the ground for the increasing numbers of engineers who were building a vast base there. At the same time other special forces units from other nations deployed throughout the area, and worked closely together in this volatile area. By August 2006 the Netherlands deployed the majority of 1,400 troops to Uruzgan province at southern Afghanistan at Tarin Kowt (1,200), at Kamp Holland, and Deh Rahwod (200). The soldiers of Task Force Uruzgan are mostly from the 12 Infanteriebataljon Regiment Van Heutsz (Air Assault) supplemented with soldiers from 44 Pantserinfanteriebataljon Regiment Johan Willem Friso and the 42 Tankbataljon Regiment Huzaren Prins van Oranje. PzH 2000 self-propelled artillery pieces have been deployed and used in combat for the first time.
Royal Netherlands Air Force support consists of six F-16 close-air-support aircraft (stationed at Kandahar Air Field), six Chinook transport helicopters of 298 Squadron stationed at Kandahar Airfield and six AH-64 attack helicopters of 301 Squadron at Camp Holland in Tarin Kowt. In September 2006 Dutch forces took part in Operation Medusa in Kandahar Province and in Operation Mountain Fury.
On November 1, 2006, Dutch Major-General Ton Van Loon took over NATO Regional Command South in Afghanistan for a six-month period from the Canadians. During this period one reinforced companygroup from A (Kings') company of 11 Grenadier and Ranger Guards Battalion of the 11th Air Assault Brigade served as the regional command South's reserve unit / QRF.
In summer of 2006 the Dutch encountered their first two casualties as the result of a helicopter crash. Later they lost an F-16 pilot in a plane crash and two infantrymen in a roadside bombing action. The total number of Dutch troops present as of January 1, 2007 is 1,907.
New Zealand is maintaining a Provincial Reconstruction Team
- Task Group Crib - at Bamian
which reports to Task Force Spartan. It has also sent several rotations of New Zealand Special Air Service
personnel to Afghanistan.
In mid November 2007 NZ Prime Minister Helen Clark announced that NZ personnel would remain committed in Afghanistan until 2009. Around 120 will staff the Provincial Reconstruction Team, with others in ISAF staff positions and with a multinational medical unit at Khandahar, for a total of approximately 200. There are no current plans to send more SAS personnel.
A Polish combat team took over responsibility for peace enforcement in Ghazni and Paktika regions from U.S. troops on June 14, 2007. Part of the Polish deployment also is under the command of the 4th BCT of the 82nd Airborne Division. The Polish deployment includes 1,161 soldiers from the following units:
- 18th Air-Mobile Assault Battalion of Bielsko-Biala
- 17th Brigade (Mech) of Miedzyrzecz
- 10th Armoured Cavalry Brigade of Swietoszow
- 25th Air Cavalry Brigade
- 1st Special Regiment of Lubliniec
- 1st Pomeranian Logistic Brigade
- Civil-military cooperation group
- Psychologists’ group
- Military police units
In 2002, the Italian Navy contributed to Operation Enduring Freedom, conducting patrols in the Indian Ocean and Italian Navy Harrier close support aircraft were made available to support ground forces. The Italian Naval battlegroup, including Aircraft Carrier Giuseppe Garibaldi.
From its inception, Italy has been a contributor to ISAF. In 2003, The Italian Army ‘Task Force Nibbio’ undertook base protection duties at Salerno Forward Operating Base in south east Afghanistan.
Italy is currently in charge of the Regional Command West with its HQ located in Herat, the Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRT) located in Herat Province.
In 2008, the Italian Army's contribution to ISAF and Operation Enduring Freedom peaked at 2,850 personnel. The current Italian mission centres around the 2nd Alpini Regiment. Italy has sent 411 troops, based on one infantry company from the 2nd Alpini Regiment tasked to protect the ISAF HQ, one engineer company, one NBC platoon, one logistic unit, as well as liaison and staff elements integrated into the operation chain of command. Italian forces also command a multinational engineer task force and have deployed a platoon of Italian military police. Three AB-412 helicopters also are deployed to Kabul.Italian Special Forces (Col Moschin, Comsubin), equivalent of the British SAS, work from Herat and Kabul.
They are primarily tasked to protect conventional troops, but also woerk closely with Italina HUMINT teams.
Italy announced on the 15th May 2007 that it would send 5 Mangusta helicopter (A129), and new equipment in support of the ground troops, with armoured vehicles 8 “Dardo” and 10 “Lince”, and sent an additional 145 troops.
India has deployed around 380 commandos from the Indo-Tibetan Border Police to protect members of India's Border Roads Organization
from attacks by the Taliban. The BRO is working on the 218-km Zaranj-Delaram highway, a strategic road that will connect Kandahar to Iran border.
forces in Afghanistan consist of one mechanized company and one support squadron from the Telemark Bataljon
, and one intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance squadron from the Etterretningsbataljonen, all serving with ISAF forces in Kabul. Norway also has previously deployed four F-16
ground attack fighter jets in 2002 and four F-16s returned to support the ISAF force in Afghanistan later in 2006 alongside Dutch F-16s.
The detachment is know as the 1st Netherlands-Norwegian European Participating Forces Expeditionary Air Wing (1 NLD/NOR EEAW)
On the 8 February 2005, the US Navy and Marine Corps Presidential Unit Citation was awarded to Marinejegerkommandoen (MJK), the Norwegian Navy Special Forces, and to Hærens Jegerkommando (HJK), the Norwegian "Rangers", for their actions in Afghanistan since Operation Enduring Freedom onwards.
Portugal has a 40 men Portuguese Air Force
detachment, with one C-130H
Hercules, plus logistic and Force Protection unit.
Spain's contingent in Afghanistan consists of 450 personnel based in Badghis province in western Afghanistan. Spain commands one Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) and also operates a forward support base that is supply, medical and transport hub to assist the four PRT's under Regional Command - West. A Spanish unit also is the Quick Reaction Force for the area. The Spanish troops are from the following units:
- Regimiento de Infantería Ligera “Canarias” 50 (50th Light Infantry Regiment "Canary") based in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
- Agrupación de Apoyo Logístico 81 (81st Logistic Support Group), based in Santa Cruz de Tenerife
- A Fuerzas Aeromóviles del Ejército de Tierra(FAMET)helicopter detachment.
Romanian Armed Forces have about 550 soldiers deployed to Afghanistan as part of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). Assigned to ISAF are a 25-member military police platoon, six soldiers at posts in the ISAF command and the Multinational Brigade Command, a 30-soldier intelligence and counterintelligence detachment, all deployed in Kabul, and a C-130 Hercules airplane with 14 crew members and technicians operating from the 90th Airlift Base in Bucharest. Since July 2003, a detachment of 46 officers and NCOs are deployed in Kabul to assist in training the Afghan National Army. Small teams of Romanian soldiers also serve with the ISAF Provincial Reconstruction Teams around the country.
Romania also participates in the U.S.-led Operation Enduring Freedom, which is a separate mission from ISAF. The OEF deployment consists of one infantry battalion deployed in Zabul Province with the 33rd being the current battalion deployed. According to the Romanian Defense Ministry, the battalion's mission consists of surveillance of sensitive points, searching possible locations for Taliban, supporting humanitarian activities, escorting supply convoys, providing security for other coalition forces, and blocking enemy communication lines or retreat routes. The battalion is supported by soldiers from Company D, 1st Battalion, 4th Infantry Regiment of the U.S. Army.
Estonia has roughly 150 troops serving in Afghanistan. Estonia has had troops in Afghanistan since 2003 and the current mission's mandate expires on December 31, 2008. Estonia currently supports the British PRT in Helmand province.
Finnish Defence Forces
(Finnish Crisis Management Unit in Afghanistan, established in January 2002) composed of 104 personnel as of April 2007, distributed as follows:
- SYKA, Kabul, Command and Support Element, ISAF HQ Liaison Unit, CIMIC Squad
- SYME, Mazari Sharif, Command and Support Element, Aybak Regional Office, Aybak Military Observation Team, Shebergan Military Observation Team, Mazari Sharif Military Observation Team 1, Mazari Sharif Military Observation Team 2
- SYMA, Maimana, Command and Support Element, Maimana Military Observation Team 1, Maimana Military Observation Team 2, Close Protection Team
The focus of SKJA operation is in PRT activity which it supports in Maimana and Mazari Sharif PRT regions. It also conducts MOT patrols and protects civilian workers. SKJA uses PASI APCs and Land Rover Defender soft vehicles and 7.62 RK 95 TP assault rifles.
On 1 October 2006 SKJA personnel were performing night shooting practice at a shooting range close to Mazari Sharif, when Afghan National Police mistook the night practice for hostile activity and opened fire on the Finns. The Finns returned fire, but hit their own sentry, wounding him lightly in the shoulder and the leg. The sentry was returning from his position to warn the shooters after hearing, at the time unidentified, ANP approaching As of 30 March 2007, a Finnish public prosecutor is considering charges for service offence and grossly negligent bodily injury to the men involved in the fratricide incident The sentry was the only one hit in the 10 minute engagement.
On 23 May 2007 a sergeant from SYMA CPT was killed by an IED while escorting Norwegian medical personnel to a local hospital in Maimana. He was the first Finn killed in service of SKJA
A U.S. Marine Air-Ground Task Force (MAGTF) that could include up to 2,000 Marines will deploy to Afghanistan in November 2008 in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. A MAGTF is composed of a headquarters and ground combat, aviation and logistics elements from units across the Marine Corps.
The 3rd BCT, based at Ft. Drum, New York will deploy approximately 3,700 soldiers to Afghanistan in January 2009 to increase the capabilities of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).
It was announced on the 7 August, 2008 that Denmark would send three or four Eurocopter Fennec helicopters and up to 75 men extra to Helmand province in Afghanistan, to support the Danish and allied deployment there.
France will deploy a battalion of soldiers and some special forces units to reinforce NATO's fight against the Taliban in Afghanistan. The deployment will total around 1,000 troops and will allow U.S. troops to move south to reinforce the 2,500 Canadian troops in Kandahar province.
Britain's Ministry of Defence announced on February 6, 2008, that 16 Air Assault Brigade will replace 52 Infantry Brigade on the next rotation of UK forces to Afghanistan in April 2008. The MOD also announced that 16 Air Assault Brigade will be replaced by 3 Commando Brigade, Royal Marines in October 2008. 16 Air Assault Brigade will provide the majority of British units serving in Afghanistan. Overall force levels will remain essentially the same.
The 48th Infantry BCT will deploy in the summer of 2009 to relieve the 27th Infantry BCT to continue training the Afghan National Security Forces.
The 53rd Infantry BCT will deploy in the summer of 2009 and take control of a battle space in Afghanistan.
- Poland announced on the March 19, 2008, that it would send 400 more troops and eight helicopters to reinforce NATO forces in Afghanistan.
- In July 2008, it was confirmed Canada will send in an extra 200 troops to Afghanistan in February 2009.