About 350 soldiers from The Royal Highland Fusiliers, 2nd Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Scotland (2 SCOTS), will deploy to Afghanistan throughout March for a six-month operational tour.
The battalion, which is based in Penicuik near Edinburgh, will deploy as part of Task Force Helmand, commanded by 1 Mechanized Brigade, and will take on a variety of roles including advising and training the Afghan National Security Forces.
Commanding Officer Lt Col Robin Lindsay said: "I am clear that we have a pivotal role at this point in the campaign. The Afghans now have the lead for providing security in most of Afghanistan, so assisting and advising the Afghan Police in their role of providing security for the Afghan People is a very valuable and worthwhile task.
"2 SCOTS will be building on the good work of our predecessors and our focus is now on ensuring that the institutions of the Afghan Police are further strengthened, through effective training."
Securing the future
The Battalion will be advising Afghan Police Chiefs in Nad-e-Ali, Nahr-e-Saraj and Lashkah Gar as well as assisting the Afghan's in training new police officers at the Lashkah Gar Training Centre (LTC). The troops will be training and advising the Afghans on how to train their own policemen, helping to ensure institutional development, a key factor in securing the future of Afghanistan.
Maj Jock McGown, Officer Commanding the LTC, said: "The task ahead of us is vital and exhilarating. We are building on a solid foundation laid by 4 Brigade ensuring that we give institutional depth to police training in Helmand. From what I have seen things are well advanced. My team and I are looking forward to help move things on even further."
2 SCOTS have undertaken a challenging training programme over the last nine months to ensure that they are ready for their role working with the Afghan Police. The programme has included cultural training and conflict resolution. Understanding and diplomacy will be key attributes for the Battalion over the next six months.
Their role in Afghanistan means that the traditional structures of platoons and companies have been replaced by District Advisor Teams and District Training Teams. These organisations have been optimised to train and advise the Afghan Police in Nad-e-Ali, Nahr-e- Saraj and Lashkah Gar.