British Army 7th Armoured Brigade Desert Rats takes over as Task Force Helmand Afghanistan 1210131

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Defence & Security News - United Kingdom

 
 
Saturday, October 12, 2013 10:57 AM
 
British Army 7th Armoured Brigade "Desert Rats" takes over as Task Force Helmand in Afghanistan.
The 7th Armoured Brigade of the British Army , 'The Desert Rats', has taken over as Task Force Helmand in Afghanistan, officially marking the start of Operation Herrick 19. In a short ceremony in front of British, Danish, Estonian and American partners at the Headquarters of Task Force Helmand (TFH) in Camp Bastion, Brigadier Rupert Jones, Commander of 1st Mechanized Brigade, formally handed over to Brigadier James Woodham, Commander of 7th Armoured Brigade.
     
The 7th Armoured Brigade of the British Army , 'The Desert Rats', has taken over as Task Force Helmand in Afghanistan, officially marking the start of Operation Herrick 19. In a short ceremony in front of British, Danish, Estonian and American partners at the Headquarters of Task Force Helmand (TFH) in Camp Bastion, Brigadier Rupert Jones, Commander of 1st Mechanized Brigade, formally handed over to Brigadier James Woodham, Commander of 7th Armoured Brigade.
Soldiers of the 7th Armoured Brigade of the British Army "Desert Rats" in Afghanistan.
     

Over the coming months the incoming Brigade will support the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) as they lead the security of Helmand Province, advising and training as well as providing important enablers such as medical evacuation, aviation and surveillance capabilities.

Both Brigadiers reflected on the successes of the Operation Herrick 18 summer campaign and discussed plans for the winter. A mark of the progress through the summer is that the footprint of British forces across Helmand Province has reduced significantly from 13 British bases six months ago, to only four now, plus Camp Bastion.

Reflecting on the successes of his tour, Brigadier Rupert Jones, Commander of Task Force Helmand for Operation Herrick 18, said: "This summer has been all about the successes of the Afghan National Security Forces, who now lead the provision of security. They have really come of age and the insurgents have been no match for them."

"They are full of confidence and are relishing their ever-greater independence. The truth is that they need our support less and less."

“Of course, there is still work to be done and I am very proud of the achievements of everyone in 1st Mechanized Brigade and I wish 7th Armoured Brigade every success going forward.”

Brigadier James Woodham, Commander of Task Force Helmand for Herrick 19, said: “Thanks to the efforts and great sacrifices of those who have gone before from the ANSF and Coalition forces, the Afghans have been able to lead operations this summer when traditionally the insurgency tends to be stronger.

“Moving into the winter, our focus will be on providing them with support when it is really needed and continuing to develop their confidence and institutions, and improve the structure of their security organisations at a higher level.”

7th Armoured Brigade will be TFH’s lead formation until summer 2014.

 

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