Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Greek Battalion in Afghanistan is Moving

DefenceNet reports that the Greek Forces in Afghanistan will move away from Kabul to Farach, in the Herat region (Also see here). Farach is in the south west part of Afghanistan and is about 240 km away from the area’s largest city, Herat, which in turn lies 640 km from Kabul.

The most noteworthy part of the news is that spokespeople for the Greek Ministry of Defence said that human losses cannot be ruled out, with the biggest threat coming from Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) which are used by the Taliban.

The Battalion is expected to be garrisoned at a base at 1,200 metres altitude with temperatures ranging from +40 degrees Celsius in the daytime to -40 degrees at night. The strength of the battalion is expected to go up from 125 personnel which it is today to 300. The transportation of the force will be by air for the first part and by road for the final stage.

The mission of the battalion is also changing. Previously the mission was to improve city infrastructure, now construction of various projects will have to take place in remote areas. To fulfil its task the force is expected to be equipped with more armoured vehicles.

Spokesperson Dimitrios Bonoras states that the need to purchase Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicles shows the level of danger the mission faces. In the area where the Greek forces will operate allies have already lost over 500 men since the beginning of the Afghan campaign. The additional vehicles are expected to cost 20 million Euros and the move of the force another 63 million Euros.

Finally, according to information of DefenceNet, an older study showed that should the Greek Battalion be moved to this area there would be at least 6 Greek casualties, on top of the wounded.

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