The British armed forces in Afghanistan have moved headquarters from Lashkar Gah to Camp Bastion. The move is part of the troop draw down ahead of withdrawal in 2014 and reflects the greater part that Afghan forces now play in Helmand province.
Staff were ferried to the new location in an early morning Chinook helicopter operation on 9th August 2013. Control was formally handed over to the new headquarters at around 10am. A short ceremony was then held in memory of those members of the Armed Forces who have lost their lives on operations in Afghanistan.
Brigadier Rupert Jones, Commander Task Force Helmand, commented on the move:
“The Brigade Headquarters move was seamless, both operationally and technically, thanks to the hard work of a great many people both here in Helmand and also right across Defence. It represents probably the most complex HQ move on operations ever undertaken by the British Army.
“The move of the headquarters from Lashkar Gah is a significant moment in the campaign and reflects the progress made by the Afghan security forces and that they are now in the lead for security across Helmand. The move is in line with our progressive lift off from the Afghan security forces.
“The move brings to an end a significant chapter in the British Army’s history with the headquarters at Lashkar Gah having controlled a great many feats of arms by TFH through the years.”
“With our advising role now focused at the brigade level, this was the right time to move the Task Force Headquarters to be next to that of our counterparts in 3/215 Brigade at Camp Shorabak.”
260 staff, 10km of cabling and 1400 pieces of IT equipment were moved in the operation.