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A Royal Air Force Puma Helicopter flies over Kabul, the capital city of Afghanistan, during a routine transit between compounds within the city

As Operation TORAL draws to a close, a small number of UK military personnel will temporarily remain to support the transition to a new phase of UK Government support to Afghanistan.

As Operation TORAL, the UK’s contribution to NATO Resolute Support, draws to a close, a small number of UK military personnel will temporarily remain to support the transition to a new phase of UK Government support to Afghanistan.

A Royal Air Force Puma banks left over the countryside of Afghanistan on its way to Bagram Airfield (BAF) as part of their role of transporting people between bases by air whilst on Operation Toral 12.

Operation TORAL has been the UK’s mission in Afghanistan since the end of UK combat operations in 2015. In line with the orderly and coordinated withdrawal of NATO Forces which began on 1 May, the Prime Minister confirmed earlier today that the UK has now withdrawn the majority of our personnel from the country.

A number of troops will remain to offer diplomatic assurance to the international community in Kabul as we transition to the end of the NATO mission. This is consistent with the continued diplomatic presence and retaining a bi-lateral relationship with Afghanistan.

A soldier from the 3rd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland practices his GPMG (General Purpose Machine Gun) drills on top of a Foxhound vehicle as part of continuation training to keep the soldiers up to date whilst deployed on Operation Toral 12

The Secretary of State for Defence, Ben Wallace MP, said:

Operation TORAL is drawing to an end, but our enduring support for the Afghan Security Forces and Afghan Government has not.

We owe a huge debt of gratitude to all those who have served in Afghanistan over the past 20 years, particularly those who lost their lives. Their efforts have helped prevent international terrorism and set the country on the path to peace. We hope the deal struck last year will form the basis for progress.

We will now continue this important work as we transition to a new phase in Afghanistan.

Since 2001, 457 members of the UK Armed Forces have sadly lost their lives in Afghanistan, with more sustaining life-changing injuries. The country owes them a huge debt of gratitude, and their sacrifice must never be forgotten. Over 150,000 UK personnel have served in the country, and their efforts have not been in vain.

Brigadier Oliver Brown, General Miller and the UK Ambassador attended a flag lowering ceremony in Afghanistan.
British and American soldiers stand beneath their respective flags in preparation to lower them as part of the handover ceremony of NKC (New Kabul Compound) to the Afghanistan National Army (ANA) from coalition forces.
3 SCOTS personnel, deployed on Operation TORAL depart Hamid Karzai International Airport to return to the UK
Three Foxhound vehicles wait on the pan at HKIA (Hamid Karzai International Airport) Kabul
A Foxhound vehicle is loaded on to a waiting C17 aircraft for delivery back to the UK at HKIA (Hamid Karzai International Airport) Kabu
Puma helicopters are unloaded from the Antonov AN-225 after their flight home to the UK after deployment on Operation TORAL in Afghanistan.
Puma helicopters are unloaded from the Antonov AN-225 after their flight home to the UK after deployment on Operation TORAL in Afghanistan
After disembarking the Voyager aircraft troops made their way to the Arrivals lounge to continue their journey home
After disembarking the Voyager aircraft troops made their way to the Arrivals lounge to continue their journey home
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Special Thanks to: Cpl Cameron Eden  

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