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British Armed Forces in Helmand Province: timeline

Discussion in 'The Americas' started by layman, Apr 2, 2014.

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  1. layman

    layman Aurignacian STAR MEMBER

    May 1, 2012
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    Timeline of Britain's involvement in Helmand Province, Afghanistan as eight-year command is passed to US forces
    The Task Force Helmand HQ sign is taken down after the official handover ceremony in Camp Bastion Photo: Heathcliff O'Malley for the Telegraph

    By Gordon Rayner, Chief Reporter

    October 2001: Britain and America launch air strikes on Afghanistan after the Taliban refuse to hand over Osama bin Laden for his role in the September 11 terrorist attacks.

    December 2001: Hamid Karzai sworn in as head of interim government. He is elected formally in 2004.

    April 2002: Private Darren George, 23, from the Royal Anglian Regiment, becomes the first British serviceman to die in Afghanistan since the start of the mission when he is accidentally shot by a colleague on patrol in Kabul.

    January 2006: Nato announces Britain will lead the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Helmand province in the south of the country with a 3,300-strong force after fresh outbreaks of violence. Camp Bastion is built near provincial capital Lashkar Gah as HQ for 28,000 ISAF personnel.

    April 2006: Then Defence Secretary John Reid visits Afghanistan and says: “We would be perfectly happy to leave [Helmand] in three years without firing one shot.”

    [​IMG] John Reid

    September 2006: Fourteen British servicemen are killed when their RAF Nimrod explodes in mid air, the biggest loss of British lives in a single incident in Afghanistan.

    March 2008: Prince Harry flies back to Britain after serving in Helmand as a forward air controller.

    June 2008: Three soldiers killed in a suicide attack, taking British death toll to 100. Intelligence officer Sarah Bryant becomes first female soldier to be killed in Afghanistan.

    June 2009: British troops launch Operation Panther’s Claw to secure and hold ground in Helmand province. The first stage is declared a success at the end of July.

    July 2009: Lt Col Rupert Thorneloe, commanding officer of the 1st Battalion Welsh Guards, becomes the most senior British Army officer to die on operations since the Falklands.

    August 2009: The death of a soldier at the Royal College of Defence Medicine, in Selly Oak, West Midlands, takes the death toll to 200.

    June 2010 A US general takes charge of all 8,000 British troops in Helmand as part of a reorganisation of military command structures. The British death toll in the conflict reaches 300.

    July 2011: British forces hand over responsibility of Helmand capital Lashkar Gah to Afghan forces.

    May 2012: NATO summit in Chicago confirms ISAF troops will leave by end of 2014.

    September 2012: Prince Harry arrives in Camp Bastion for four-month tour of duty as a co-pilot gunner in Apache attack helicopters.

    [​IMG] Prince Harry spent four months at Camp Bastion

    June 2013: Afghan National Army assumes overall control of all military and security operations in Afghanistan.

    March 2014: From a peak of 137 bases across Helmand, British forces are left in just one Forward Operating Base, Sterga 2, with the remainder based at Camp Bastion.

    April 1, 2014: Britain hands over control of Helmand Province to the US Marines, bringing to an end eight years of British command in the area, with the loss of 448 British lives since the start of combat operations in Afghanistan.
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