Afghanistan: February 2, 2002


NATO Support For The Afghan War-

@ Britain is contributing 1800 Army and Royal Air Force personnel. This includes troops at Bagram airport, aerial tankers, transport aircraft, and special operations units.

@ Germany is providing helicopters as part of ISAF (the International Security Assistance Force, a UN peacekeeping unit), transport aircraft, and a task force of ships to control sea traffic around Yemen and Somalia. 

@ France is providing 240 ground troops to protect the airport and hospital at Mazar-I-Sharif, plus another 300 troops including special operations units now tracking down Taliban and al Qaeda holdouts. Another 400 French troops are part of ISAF and 50 Marine commandoes are also in the country. France is setting up facilities in Uzbekhistan and Kirghizstan to operate six Mirage-2000D fighters and two C-135 tankers. French C-130s and C-160s are operating out of Dushanbe, Tajikistan. DC-8 and A130 airlifters are flying directly from France. Mirage-IV recon aircraft (the only NATO aircraft with horizontal cameras) played a key role in finding Afghan caves. Atlantique-2 maritime recon planes have flown missions over Afghanistan. A naval task force including the carrier Charles de Gaulle, three frigates, two minesweepers, and a support ship. The Super Etendards from the carrier have flown bombing missions in Afghanistan. Several prototype Rafales are on the carrier but it is unclear if they have flown any combat missions. The French squadron has stopped and searched more than 400 ships in the area and expects to remain in the region through June. 

@ Norway has provided special operations forces which are being used now to track down remaining Taliban and al Qaeda forces.

@ Spain is providing helicopters for ISAF and transport aircraft.

@ Italy is providing transport aircraft, ground troops for ISAF, the carrier Garibaldi, and AV-8B aircraft (which have flown combat missions over Afghanistan).

@ Canada Is sending a battalion of ground troops for combat duty against Taliban and al Qaeda holdouts. Special operations units have been working for months. Six Canadian ships are patrolling nearby seas and six Canadian transport aircraft are supporting the operations. 

@ Denmark is providing a contingent of ground troops.

@ Turkey is providing a headquarters unit and a mountain infantry battalion.

@ Belgium, Greece, Romania, and Portugal have provided transport aircraft.

@ Non-NATO units include Austrian ground troops, a Jordanian military hospital, Australian SAS troops, and Japanese transport aircraft among others.--Stephen V Cole


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