First Lieutenant Mohammad Jawad Akbari and Captain Dave Kellett together in Kabul CREDIT MOD
First Lieutenant Mohammad Jawad Akbari and Captain David Kellett were reunited during the Afghanistan evacuation (Picture: MOD).
Afghanistan

British And Afghan Army Officers Reunited At Kabul Airport In Chance Meeting

The pair met up once again on UK soil on Monday when they were invited to meet Veterans Minister Leo Docherty at the MOD.

First Lieutenant Mohammad Jawad Akbari and Captain Dave Kellett together in Kabul CREDIT MOD
First Lieutenant Mohammad Jawad Akbari and Captain David Kellett were reunited during the Afghanistan evacuation (Picture: MOD).

A British Army officer and an Afghan special operations officer who trained together in the UK were reunited at Kabul airport during the evacuation of Afghanistan last month.

Captain David Kellett, 2nd Battalion, The Yorkshire Regiment and First Lieutenant Mohammad Jawad Akbari, Afghan National Army, trained together at Sandhurst in 2018.

They met again by chance as First Lt Akbari was evacuated from Afghanistan as part of Operation Pitting, which Cpt Kellett was helping to execute.

Cpt Kellett, told the PA news agency: "It was bizarre really. I was actually in the ops room for a lot of the operation when I was there so I popped out to see how my platoons were doing on the ground.

"As I was leaving, my sergeant major looked out into the queue and Mohammad... was in the queue going through the processing centre so I popped out of my vehicle just to go and say 'hello'."

Watch: Captain David Kellett, 2nd Battalion, The Yorkshire Regiment, told Forces News about the evacuation of Kabul airport.

First Lt Akbari, 30, from Kabul, told PA: "At first I didn't really believe that (Dave) was right there, it was like 'wow, shock, my friend is here'.

"We had a handshake and like a warm welcome to him and I appreciate this more, what (the British Army) did back in Kabul, evacuating all these people from Afghanistan from the outside, because the job was quite hard for them as it was so warm and the weather was hard to deal with all the guys having to carry heavy equipment and weapons, and they were just running around asking people what they need."

The pair met up again in London on Monday after they were invited to meet Veterans Minister Leo Docherty at the Ministry of Defence, and they took photographs next to a memorial for the 457 UK troops killed in Afghanistan since the 2001 invasion.

First Lt Akbari has now settled in London with his wife as part of the Operation Warm Welcome resettlement scheme and both men have said their Sandhurst colleagues were delighted when they heard about the reunion.

The friends say they hope to stay in touch now they are in the same country.

More than 15,000 people were airlifted out of Kabul during August as part of Operation Pitting.

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