Hundreds of US marines set for return to Helmand

us-soldiers-afghanistanPAJHWOK: Hundreds of US military personnel will deploy to southern Helmand province in the spring to help train Afghan security forces, a military website says.

Around 300 troops from II Marine Expeditionary Force, based at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina, would join the NATO mission to train the Afghan National Army’s 215th Corps and the 505th Zone National Police.

The Stars and Stripes quoted 1st Lt. Katie Kochert, a spokeswoman for the Marine unit, as saying the US Central Command had requested the deployment. The marines first entered Helmand at the beginning of the war in 2001.

In early 2008, the unit returned and stayed in the restive province through October 2014, when the ANA was handed over control of Camp Leatherneck.

“The Marine Corps has an operational history in Afghanistan, particularly in Helmand province,” Kochert said. “Advising and assisting Afghan defense and security forces will assist in preserving gains made together with the Afghans.”

THE PASHTUN TIMES

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