28 August 2013 army.mod.uk
Scotland’s most senior, and only cavalry, regiment has officially taken control of the force protection of more than 500 British Armed Forces personnel in Kabul.
The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards (SCOTS DG) took over as the outgoing commander, Lieutenant Colonel Brian Kitchener, of the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME), handed control to the incoming commander Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan Bartholomew.
SCOTS DG will provide essential support for all those working in Kabul, including transport and accommodation.
Lt Col ‘Barty’ Bartholomew, a veteran of the campaign in Iraq and highly experienced on the UK’s campaign in Afghanistan, described his thoughts on the months ahead:
“It’s a hugely exciting and challenging role. The Regiment is well-trained, prepared and ready for its tour of duty in Kabul. At a crucial part of the campaign, the Regiment is well placed to support and enable the military effort in the nation’s capital.
“All of the Regiment are up for the task ahead and look forward to making a difference in the coming months.”
Enduring UK commitment
The UK has maintained a presence in Kabul since NATO forces deployed there in 2001. Currently, British troops fulfil an array of tasks in the city including advising and assisting the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) and providing military assistance to the British Embassy.
In June this year, the ANSF formally took over for security for the whole of Afghanistan and UK support is increasingly focused at the institutional level.
In addition to their force protection role, the SCOTS DG also has a number of troops committed to the Afghan National Army Officer Academy (ANAOA) in Camp Qargha, an enduring UK commitment, which will continue to train the next generation of Afghan officers beyond 2014 when combat operations in Afghanistan ends.
"challenging and rewarding"
Outgoing commander, Lt Col Kitchener said of the last sixth months: “I expected the tour to be a challenging and rewarding time in my career and it has certainly lived up to that expectation. I now leave knowing that the unit’s mission and reputation has been handed over to a very capable unit – the SCOTS DG.
“It has been an honour to serve as the Commanding Officer of the Kabul Joint Support Unit, providing force protection and support to UK personnel across the city for the last six months.”
The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards will complete a six-month operational tour (their 3rd in Afghanistan) before returning to their home base of Bad Fallingbostel in Germany.
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